Writer's Notebooks...

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by luv2teach415, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I feel like i'm still not completely understanding this whole writer's notebook thing. I understand that it's a way for the kids to express their thoughts and to write but I feel like I don't know what to have them write. Does anyone have any ideas on things for students to write about in a writer's notebook. There are only so many times I can have them go to their heart page and write about something from their heart. Any ideas??
     
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  3. Researcher

    Researcher Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2007

    Writer's Notebook

    Hello,
    I've used Ralph Fletcher's "A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Inside You" for a couple of years. Although written for kids, it works well to use each chapter as a minilesson.
    For instance, right now, we're using our Writers NBs to capture seed ideas by brainstorming for given topics. We're doing wonderings right now (things we wonder about). I explain it, give my examples (always use your own writers' NB, and do the writing with them), I use a couple of students to model a few of their own wonderings verbally, then they individually brainstorm their own wonderings, then we share. Eventually, we'll use these ideas to write a piece. They usually always end up being personal narratives, but these are great for 5th graders. I find they're not quite ready to write stories (other than really really short stories) but really expressive. Eventually, they will be able to write fictional short stories (my 6th graders already are).
    I teach research report/article writing in a slightly different way.
     
  4. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Dec 31, 2007

    Is it true that these notebooks are not to be graded or marked up in any way, that they are just a place for the student to express himself/.herself? This is also the first year we are using these and it is quite confusing as we are getting different info depending on who we ask.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 31, 2007


    The notebooks should be places where writers gather ideas/try out different genres of writing...When they come OUT of the notebook with a seed idea then you should start editing. Inside the notebook though you could confer with each writer aboutwhat they are doing, some direction, ideas on where to go next...
     
  6. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 1, 2008

    It would be nice to have the time to let them just keep a journal, but what with the high stakes writing test, it seems that I'm constantly just teaching teaching teaching how to revise and clean it up. I wish the fourth grade teachers used a journal. I could take that journal and tell them to locate an entry about....I don't know...an experience with an animal?...and that we were going to expand on that entry by writing....an informational essay, or a persuasive one in which you try to convince your parents that you want one or something...

    Getting a brainstorm here. What if we had that? We could collaborate on various topics for fourth graders to write about. Kids who loved journaling in fourth could continue on their own or as part of a "What do I do when I'm finished?" assignment in fifth....hmmm....
     
  7. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 1, 2008

    I just created a new topic on Word called "Brainstorms" and copied and pasted that idea. It's going to be my "half-finished/half-baked" file. We need a thread for these ideas. Then I could stare at them until one "popped" and I decided to refine it for my class.

    I should probably copy and paste this idea onto my Brainstorm file so that I won't forget it.

    Ok...more coffee...gotta go....brain is getting muddled.
     

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