Monday, July 16, 2012

Writer’s Notebook

If you spend time around me, you’ll discover that I think about my future classroom a lot. I’m always collecting ideas to use during field experiences, student teaching, and eventually in my own classroom. I read tons of teacher blogs and I’m constantly inspired by these educators with such a passion for teaching. I’ve also discovered countless ideas through Pinterest…more than half of my boards are geared toward my future classroom.

In addition to these great resources, I keep an idea notebook. I love having something tangible to jot down ideas in. Over the weekend, I started my own writer’s notebook. I was inspired by Jordon from Life Is Better Messy Anyway. She recently shared about using her writer's notebook as a writing journal in her fifth grade classroom. The notebook is full of various ideas and mini lessons to use with her kids.

I want my future students to not only become strong writers, but to enjoy creating stories. In order to foster the love of writing, you need to encourage creativity! I enjoy writing the most when I'm able to choose the subject and I know it will be the same with my future kiddos. Therefore, I'm starting to fill my writer's notebook in a way that is unique to me. These ideas are not my own, but borrowed from other teachers.

Here are a few pages of writing inspiration so far:

Heart maps serve as a visual reminder of what a student loves and cares about.

As readers, we can easily become attached to the books that we love. Why not write about those books?

Instead of writing about a broad topic, you can narrow it down to a particular aspect of that topic.

I snagged this idea of writing about an artifact from Jordon who snagged it from Ralph Fletcher. During my senior year of high school, I completed an externship in a second grade class. I was able to leave early every day to go to the elementary school. I received this sweet note on the last day of school and it meant a lot to me. So, I decided to use it as my artifact and write about it!

You can jot down topics that might "blossom" into stories later. When you're having a writer's block, turn to your list and choose a topic to write about.

Students are able to connect with their writing if given the freedom to write about what they know well. I made a few lists of what I could write with lots of detail about...

This is one of my favorite ideas! Pictures carry so much emotion and have the ability to take you back to that moment. I wrote about a picture that was taken when I was in first grade. When I look at this picture my mind flashes back to that time!

{Be sure to check out Jordon's blog! Many of these ideas came from her.}


amanda marie said...

My school's curriculum includes writers and readers notebooks. The first week we are to decorate them and start writing daily. Even me! I am so excited that this is something the whole county does! I will probably have posts later this month on how I decided to run it and what I think!

Tiffany said...

This is so cool!!!!!! I'm going to have to continue the chain of stealing the idea :)
Praying for you,

Natalie said...

Pinterest does have so many great ideas! One of my favorites projects is using and making lapbooks.

Molly said...

Hi Samantha!!!

Thank you so much for your sweet comments!! I love your writer's notebook!! I have seen some of the ideas before, but some of them are new to me! I especially like the "Narrowing your Topic" visual!! That would be great for my students!!

Lessons with Laughter

Kaitlin said...

This is so cool, Samantha!! I'm going to have to start one of my own.
ps: can you please move to Seattle so we can be best friends? Thanks ;)

courtney said...

you are going to make an AWESOME teacher!! keep that passion of yours for it, it makes all the difference :)

Katie Cook said...

What an awesome idea:) love it! Annndddd....we totally have the same taste in books! The Hiding place is seriously one of the most inspiring books, I LOVE Corrie Ten Boom! A few friends and I just found out she lived the last few years of her life in the town where we live in Southern California so we want to find it! And P&P is a definite favorite:) Love it! love Katie

The Cavallaro's said...

I use the heart map at the beginning of the year! My district is really big into literacy notebooks now (reading and writing notebooks). And we got a whole ton of fabulous ideas, I will have to go through my notebook once school starts (I left it there at the end of the year) and pull out some ideas and send them to you! Students really need to write more in the classroom, especially with all the slang going around (text slang, IM slang, facebook slang).

Your kiddo's will love you! We need more teachers with the passion you have!

The Cavallaro's said...

I agree with Amanda above! Whenever I give my kiddos a topic or if I want them to write about something specific, I ALWAYS write with them (even if it is a free write!) They love hearing and seeing me write and listening to what I write. A lot are more willing to share once I share!

Allie said...

These ideas are not only great for teaching (I totally would have loved if my teachers introduced me to this) But they're also great for blogging! A writer's notebook could really be about anything and such a great source of inspiration. The narrowing down of a topic and the "might blossom" ideas also apply. This is so great, and I'm sure your students will love this :)

Jenna Secrist said...

I did the heart map with my students this past school year! they loved it.

Chantel Klassen said...

I love this idea! Especially the heart map! I totally want to start a notebook like this now, thanks for sharing all those links! Off to check out your Pinterest boards . . .

Hilda said...

This is so awesome!!! Thank you for the writing tips, I love it!

by the way, the book "A tree grows in Brooklyn" is it the same as the movie? i watched it before and loved it but I never read the book.

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