Assembling the Reader's Notebook

For a couple of years, my intervention students have kept a reader’s notebook, but we haven’t organized it in any particular way. I wanted my students to be more involved in organizing their learning and thinking about how they were putting new knowledge together, so I decided to get on the Reader’s Notebook Band Wagon. I looked around at a couple of examples and landed on something that I think is going to work out well for my friends.

Each group spent Day 1 putting the notebook together: making tabs and defining each section.

I’m using 100 sheet composition books, which I divided into four sections (these were inspired by a couple of different sites and Pins): My Thoughts is where students will track their responses to our reading passages; Powerful Words is where students will house interesting words they read to use later in their own writing; Author’s Craft is where students will keep “mentor text” notes and talk about how writers do what they do; and finally, Genre Notes is where students will take notes on the types of things we are reading and compare them to other text structures.

...I hope. I'm nervous that I'm going to make these schmancy plans and get overwhelmed and everything's going to be terrible and no one will learn anything. ...But that's just my crazy talking.

The first quarter will be focused on Narrative reading and writing, Informational second quarter, and Persuasive third. For the fourth quarter I plan to incorporate a novel study and a simplistic Writer’s Workshop.

After setting up these tabs, we talked about our first "big" genre: Narrative. First, I had the kids look at the tabs they just set up, look through the notes they took about what they're supposed to be accumulating in each section and figure out in which section we would record our notes on Narratives. One group got it right away, but some needed guidance (which was my fist panic attack about this whole thing not working AT ALL). I just have to remind myself that these students are with me because they need guidance (and remember to GUIDE them to the "right" answer and not GIVE them the answer.)

Here we go!

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