Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Slice of Life - My Notebook

I just sat down after a long day; family, teaching, family - makes me think of a sandwich and I actually sat here contemplating about writing and elaborating on the sandwich idea but it wasn't coming easily to me.  I tried to brainstorm a list of different sandwiches my day could be but realized it would depend on the type of day I was having.  Was it sticky so it would be peanut butter or was it fresh veggies filled with new ideas or maybe heavy in thought with roast beef and melted cheddar cheese.  Then I realized I had the same dilemma with family representing the bread and that would probably depend on how our day was going interacting with each other.  Realistically, we all know families can't be classic Wonder bread every moment.  Which brings me back to the title of this piece, my notebook.  For 31 days, we were partners and teamed up quite nicely.  I found gathering ideas and drafting pieces of writing made my blogpost composition go faster and was easier.  Tonight I'm writing without my notebook and maybe that's why my sandwich comparison is a bit jumbled.  I did feel like my notebook was an important tool to use for 31 days and there was something about writing with a pencil on paper that felt right again.  

I did a poetry lesson today during writing workshop and thought afterwards the work we did during our mini-lesson would have been great to house in a notebook rather than on single sheets of paper.  One resource I am using suggests having students collect mentor text in a special folder but maybe I could copy smaller versions and these get placed in our notebooks.  I love creating heart maps for showing students possible poetry ideas.  In the past, we made them on large paper but what if we made them smaller and placed them directly on the covers of our notebooks, using clear contact paper to protect them and let them stick to the covers.  We could make them larger though, photograph them and then adhere them to the covers of their new writer's notebooks.

It's interesting how I sat down to write about one idea and it took off in a different direction giving me some thoughts to ponder before tomorrow's writing workshop.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for encouraging teachers to write and fostering this community.


  1. Oh, yes! This is the beauty of a notebook! I love that whole sandwich bit too. And you know, somewhere...I do not remember where but want to say it might have been in a Shelley Harwayne piece...I read about a teacher keeping a 12x12 scrapbook for mini lessons. One per page. You can put models, photos, mentors, anything! In older grades, one student could keep it. Like an ongoing book you make together about writing techniques. I told someone about it recently who was going to try it but cannot remember who that was. Thank goodness for notebooks and for community too! It is so great to be in touch. xx

  2. That little collection of pages called a notebook has so much power to develop ideas for writing. I was curious if you'd continue to share your notebook words for your post today. Loved following along with your musings.

  3. Enjoyed reading your thinking here. One thing I've never done consistently is have students place copies of things in their notebooks. I think I want to do that in the fall when I'm teaching writing again. It definitely makes a difference when I have mentor texts at my fingers. I really do need one notebook to rule them all! Over the 31 day slice challenge, I found if I was stuck on a piece, I could switch to my notebook and get unstuck. Interesting to reflect upon the uses of this one tool!