Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to Create Interactive Writing Notebooks

Composition Notebook or 3-ring binder for each student
3-hole puncher
9 X 12 card stock
8.5 X 11 card stock
Computer paper
Clothespins or magnets (1 per student)
1 package of Small Medal Binder Rings
Chart paper or small white board for instruction and anchor charts
In writing center:  Stapler, white out, markers, pencils, dictionaries, thesaurus

Notebook Preparation:

1.  Decide on the type of notebook you want your students to write in.  Composition Book, notebook or 1.5 inch 3-ring binder. (Teacher will need a 3-hole punch for binders.)

2.  Print Student Resource Pages and a Million Dollar Dictionary. I have students place these at the beginning of their notebooks.  This way, they always have a resource to use!  In the composition books, resources will need to be folded over after they are glued or provide a separate folder to keep them in.

3.  Go to my store or blog and print off the FREE Spelling Dictionary.  Students will need this when editing their writing.

4.  At Meet the Teacher (or whenever works for you) pass out instructions on how to decorate the cover page for the notebook.  For binders with plastic sleeves, give students 8.5 X 11 cardstock to slide in their clear sleeve.  For composition books and notebooks, they can glue their items directly on the front cover.

5.  Place the Writing Process on a writing bulletin board.  Use small metal binder rings to attach them.  Don’t staple onto the board.  Use clothespins with students name on them so they can move their name down the process.  You can paint your clothespins to match your decor!  This will show you where students are in the process at a quick glance.  If you have a magnet surface and magnets, that works too!

6.  Print off any of the other colorful posters to use in your writing center or bulletin board.  Laminate. 

7.  Print off notebook pages or organizers needed for the week.

8.  Create a poster or part of wall for students to write the titles of their published books.  I’ve used chain links before too!  Anything works!

Set up Writer’s Notebook

1.  When students bring in their cover page creation, place it in the front clear sleeve.  If there isn’t a sleeve, use clear packaging tape and tape it on for them.  (This will need to be done if using composition books)

2.  Have students create their tabs.  (Resources, Ideas, Craft or Mini-Lessons, My Own Writing)  In binders, use 8 X 12 Color Card Stock and let the students write and decorate each one.

3.  For binders, Place paper inside “Mini-Lessons”  “My Own Writing”

4.  Create a Table of Contents for the first page in “Writer’s Craft or Mini-Lessons.”  As students learn the standards and the mini lessons, they will need to number their pages and keep track on the Table of Contents page.

5.  Decorate a label for their published (final copies).  I do not keep their final copies in the notebooks.  I collect everything that they have published throughout the year- poems, stories, writing across the curriculum, etc and place them in a folder with brass fasteners.  I file them each nine weeks and allow them to take them home for parent review.  (parent note included)  At the end of the year, they get to keep their final product!  I also set these out on tables when having parent/teacher conferences so parents have something to look at while they are waiting.  



Discussion on writing.  As a whole group, discuss the following questions and write on chart.  What do writers do?  Why are writing notebooks important?  (write thoughts, share stories, resource, personal)

Rules for Writing Workshop (see poster) A good visual to keep noise down is to bring in a block and write “Writer’s Block” on it.  Tell kids that we want to avoid writer’s block by keeping quiet.  If I raise the block, that means it is getting too noisy.  Have students initial the chart to show ownership.  Set up areas for peer conferencing and teacher conferencing.

Topic Chart- page 2 begins to.  Complete Interest Inventory.  List things that you like. Topic/Main Idea  Topic is what the prompt/paper is about. Favorite Candy bar  The main idea is the most important thing you want the audience to know.  Snickers

Resources:  There are several pages of student resources.  For binders, it is helpful to place them in plastic sleeves.  When using composition books, they can be folded and taped into the notebook or have a separate folder with resources. 

Tracking FormStudents are asked to track their own progress.   This form is useful when they are asked to develop a goal for their writing piece and when the teacher needs to see their individual progress.  There are two columns for tracking.  “First” and “Second”.  If they retest or you decide to reteach the whole class, they can record their second score.  I like to give them their percentages except on the bigger writing pieces that have rubrics.  Then I have them write down their rubric number 5, 3, or 1.  They can easily see their strengths and weaknesses.

Presentations and Cards:  When students publish their writing, I like them to present their work whether it is in a small group or whole group.   Their peers can evaluate them with presentation cards if you wish!  If you have an AUTHOR’S CHAIR, perfect!

Brainstorming Ideas:

Here are some things you may add to your Idea’s section of your notebook.  The graphics may be printed off or create templates for students to trace.  I would suggest to either do an Interest Inventory or the following:
1.Heart:  Have students cut out the heart and fill it with words that tell what they love.  Use the poster to help them think of ideas.
2.Question Mark:  Have students cut out the question mark and have them fill it with things that want to know.
3.House-  List family members.  Don’t limit it to members who live with them!  Around the house, list things that their family does together…weekends, summer, mornings, evenings…etc.
4.I-  This is a page where they can tell more about themselves.  “I am”
5.Trace hand.-  Use the hand or have students trace their hand.  List a feeling on each finger and one on palm.  Write examples of when they felt that way.  Use the Feelings Poster.
6.Treasure Map- Draw a picture of their yard or favorite place.  Mark an x by a place where they have a favorite memory.


your photo name

Pin It button on image hover