Hi! Happy Thursday to you!
I am currently working on a Personal Narrative Writing Unit to kick off the beginning of the school year and I was writing some of the Teacher Notes, etc. and apparently went off on a tangent about teachers keeping Writer’s Notebook. If you keep your own Writer’s Notebook, then you need to give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for your effective teaching. In the past couple of years, I have watched teachers collectively get more and more piled on their plate (and it is not the gourmet dinner you would hope for). So, some of our best practices go out the window -not because we don’t believe in them, but because we are forever needing more time.
There have been small things here and there that I believe in and WANT to do, but have gotten pushed to the side. I am happy to say that keeping my own Writer’s Notebook is not one of them. Of course, writing is my FAVORITE thing to teach, so I am quite biased. I also like to remind myself of why I do the things I do and as I started the list below, I felt a rush of exuberance about the upcoming year (cringe-Summer just started!). So, I hope this post simply reminds you of things you already know and encourages you to capture those Summer memories your making.
From my Personal Narrative Writing Unit-Coming Soon!
As a teacher of writing, your first step is to get your own writer’s notebook and fill it with your own ideas, entries, and life stories. I cannot tell you how important this is. The benefits of you modeling and sharing your own writing are bountiful.
- Your stories about your dog, your husband, your pets, your kids will fill your classroom with love and laughter. Your students will talk about your dog, your husband your pets, your kids ALL. YEAR. LONG. My students talked about my dog Titan, my neice Jayla, and my Ryan every day as if they lived in my house and shared our daily adventures. This builds the relationship that is the bridge to community, confidence, and then craft.
- Your writing does not have to be perfect. Your students writing does not need to be perfect. It won’t be. Believe me! (on both) This is more the reason they need to hear how you write because you are a good model and you might be the next J.K. Rowling, but they need to see how you try what those published writers do! They need to see the process. And writing is all about the process.
- Your notebook is your conferring tool! When you sit next to a student who is stuck or who is doing great and you want to teach them something new-your notebook is filled with endless writing strategies.
- Valuing your notebook reminds them to value their notebook.
- As teachers, we have to be able to do what we are asking kids to do. If they haven’t seen you do it, they are not going to be very motivated to try it themselves.
So, your Writer’s Notebook? It is essential.
So, I am going to head back and try to get this Unit wrapped up! 🙂 I’m going to leave you with a couple of questions and I would LOVE to hear your feedback!
Do you keep your own Writer’s Notebook to model for your students? Do you use the same one each year? If no, how do you organize all of your writer’s notebooks from the past years? Where do you put them? I would love to hear some answers to my organizational question! 🙂