Students find it very valuable when they see teachers writing and using the strategies that are being taught to them. I encourage all teachers to have their own notebooks. The teacher's entries can act as a wonderful model for guided and shared writing experiences. Also it helps to build writing stamina - students are less likely to interrupt "writing time" to ask for help if they see their teacher working diligently at her/his own writing. I am often blown away by the incredible story telling talents of the teachers that I have had the pleasure of working with. It is amazing how well students listen when their teachers have turned into authors - talk about connection, authentic modelling and student engagement! That being said it is also valuable for students to see their teacher struggle with ideas and then problem solve.
I love the "Gradual Release of Responsibility" model and believe that students need to know what teachers expect from them in order to meet expectations. Therefore for every new prewriting strategy introduced I would recommend the "I Do - We Do - You Do Model".
"I Do" - The Modeled Lesson - During this lesson the teacher "models" what is expected from the students. The teacher should be talking aloud while he/she explains the purpose of the activity and shares his/her thoughts. At this time the teacher is in charge of the pen or marker. After the lesson the teacher should invite students to verbally rephrase the focus of the session and then display the modelled example to provide a clear reference point for student work. I typically encourage teachers to use this strategy for Collecting Idea Strategies (for example All About Me, Heart Map... see below).
|Example of a teacher modeled lesson using words.|
|Example of a teacher modeled chart using pictures.|
We Do" - The Shared Lesson - As teachers refer to their Collecting Ideas example - both teacher and students participate in the creation of a notebook entry. Students are encouraged to contribute, develop and organize ideas. Teachers can scribe (see example below) or when appropriate "share the pen" (interactive writing).
|Example of a teacher scribed text both teacher and students contributed ideas.|
"You Do" - Independent Lesson - Students independently apply previously learned processes and strategies to compose their own entries. During this time the whole class and teacher is engaged in the writing task for a sustained period of time (building writing stamina).
Students then choose ideas to write about from their collections for free writes. Teachers can ask students to refer to specific collection or list if they are working on specific forms of writing. For example "Places I Have Been" could support narrative (memoirs) or descriptive writing.
|It is very important that student's personalize their notebook!|
|Student example of collecting ideas - All About Me|
|Student example of collecting ideas - Places I have Been|
|Student example of collecting ideas - My Small Moments|
|An example of a student's entries. Students were allowed to choose two same stickers - one sticker was placed beside their idea. The second sticker indicated where the entry was started - young students liked this more than dating their entry!|
|Example of Small Moments graphic organizer.|
Using his details he then wrote his story. Then with a partner he edited and revise his work using the following as a guide.
|Example of a student "Checklist"|
He decided to "publish" his story as a picture book for the classroom library so he and his teacher met then edited his work.
|Example of a grade one narrative (memoir) writing.|
Please feel free to download the following attachments. They have been scanned to print on 11 X 14 paper two sided to two side to look like a notebook. Let me know your thoughts, recommendations and successes.
To download an example of a "Small Moments" organizer click here .
To download the "Fairy Tale" notebook strategies click here .
To download a primary student Writer's Notebook click here
To download the teacher's copy for the student Writer's Notebook click here
To download a rubric for Writer's Notebook click here