notebooks

Organizing the Writer’s Notebook: Four Powerful Sections

notebooksThis year marks my twentieth year keeping notebooks with writers.

I’ve only been satisfied with the quality of our notebook keeping for about two years though.

This is how that happened:

Thanks to this pin, elementary writers at the WNY Young Writer’s Studio now divide their notebooks into categories, reserving a specific number of pages for their work within each. It’s making for far more intentional use, and even more importantly, it’s enabling even our littlest writers to navigate their notebooks in order to reflect.

When the wrote page by page for varied purposes within their composition books, what emerged was often an incoherent collection of planning pages, reflective entries, notes, and drafting. As an adult, I embrace this chaos. My notebooks look like this, and I love it. Little ones have a hard time sorting through all of those pages in order to find what they need, though. They have a hard time reflecting on their growth as well.

Of course, your purposes and categories may vary, and you may not like the idea of using categories at all. Thought I’d share for those who might appreciate though.

Below, you’ll find a picture of the dividers we use. I slice heavy weight construction paper or tag board into triangles, and writers staple up the bottom and right side edges of a single page, leaving the flap on the diagonal open to tuck in ephemera that they collect along the way.

How do you use and manage notebooks in your classroom? Want some more ideas? You can scoop my notebook board on Pinterest right here.

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