I'm thinking notebooks for students to record thought, and for me to write down teaching points. Would you go with the 10 cent spiral bound notebooks or a composition book? The comp books are 50 cents at W-mart, and i figure I can bring them to Lowes or something and have them cut them in half for me?? Will they do that?
I used notebooks with my kids in first grade all the time. I would use a photocopied orgainzer for the first time I taught the students a specific way to respond, then we would staple that into the book. Once I knew the kids were able to use and reproduce the organizer on their own, we just wrote in the book. I had them label the margain with the date and the title of the story, then we would write the startegy as well T-S, questioning, etc.
It's a great tool to show parents at conferenece time
I didn't like using the spiral nb- too many pages fell out very easily. The kids have to be super careful with them. I like the composition books and they usually go on sale as we get closer to school. The book I used was bound like a composition book, without the marbling as a cover. It had a blank cover, a bit smaller than a composition book, and plenty of pages to do the work we needed. I think you can get them from school specialty.
Hope that helps!
This will be my first year using RW in my first grade class. Can you give me some ideas of what you have your students do in the notebooks?I'm reading everything I can about RW this summer, and I'm trying to decide how I will implement it. Thanks for your help.
I would have my children respond in their nb using the strategy I had been modeling and working on during read aloud. So if I was working on Koala Lou and schema, I might ask my students to make a connection to the story and write it in their nb. They would then label their work T-S, T-T, or T-W and tell their connection. We could then share the work after together as a class or with a partner.
For questioning, children can write down the questions they have B,D,and A reading a story. They can see if they can answer them as they continue to read.
The possibiliteis are truly endless...
Many times I would have my students use the nb after I had read aloud and modeled, so they all repsonded to the same story. BUt as the year goes on and children get better and better at using the strats as well as writing, they were able to use their nb during Self-selected reading time too.
I understand now. I agree, the possibilities are endless. I will definitely be using these. Thanks for the ideas.
Do you respond to their entries, and how often do they write a response in their notebooks?
Sometimes I respond, but mostly I just "read over their shoulders" as they write to make sure they have the right idea about the concept we are focusing on. When the kids share, I can also assess what they are writing to make sure they are grasping the concept. I guess what I would say is that you don't want it to be something that you HAVE TO READ EVERYTIME THEY WRITE, but you can always pick it up if you need to get a grade, have a parent conference, or for some reason just aren't sure how a specific kid is doing in the class. I find that just by moving about the classroom in a RW atmosphere, you know who can and who can't do things.
Conference Notebook: A cut in half comp. book for me to write my conference notes to them: teaching points, compliments, running records, goals, etc...
Talk Back Journal: (the same as I did it last year) More kid-friendly lines and place for a picture. Kids talk back to one book per week (here's the blog where I write about some of their responses: http://blogs.proteacher.net/discussi...ad.php?t=34861 ) I do feel that it's very important to read their responses- since they are only once a week- and really write back to them in a thoughtful way that stretches their thinking. I put much more time into their talk backs than I do to checking anything else.
Now- if they were doing more of a guided write like luvteaching is talking about ("write a connection to Koala Lou"), I wouldn't feel that strong need to check each and every one and respond. I agree with luvteaching that you know who can and can't. That more guided way of responding is more how I do it in the beginning of the year.
If you were teaching first grade NEXT year--when would you begin the "talk back" journals? I began them second semester last year but I want to begin them much earlier. I already have the composition books with the space at the top for pictures (yeah--a left over from last school year's supplies). I see them as being used once a week from the beginning.
I am so frustrated right now--still teaching summer school and can't get my mind settled as to where I'm going in my goals for next year (next month!!!).
... I don't know- I thought they were really ready in January. The big thing was that their writing was fluent enough. I don't know whether or not I would give them the actual books at the beginning of th eyear, because I don't want to take away from the excitement and novelty when they recieve them in Jan.
If I were going to do it, I think I would have them write lots of guided responses on single sheets of paper and I would make a point to write in response to books on the overhead much more frequently first semester-- you know, so that they could see a more authentic reason for writing: readers write about books so that they can understand their own thinking more clearly.
last year, my kids started very early writing reading responses in their Reader's Notebooks (2nd grade) but I am going to hold off this year until probably November and encourage oral discussion the first few months. I will continue to model these responses on chart paper with books we read together- but won't encourage them to write too much for a few months. I used a comp. notebook last year- but this year I am going to order those ones with the primary lines that Liz (I think) suggested, they look great. I also had a rubric similar to bookmunchers that they used to monitor themselves and I used to give them reading grades (for the dreaded gradebook)
Home Depot will cut these in half for you if you plead...after they give you a funny look you just remind them that you are a teacher and therefore you are poor and crazy They use the lumber saw and they come out beautifully. Last year we used them for "Wonderous Words" and "Lovely Language" We found in books read aloud and sometimes we would write definititions of words we didnt know the meanings for (dictionary skills). It was a useful tool during writer's workshop. I am going to use them this year for conference notebooks too. I may split them in half with a sticky note (like a tab) and have the first half be for reading conferences and the second half be for writing conferences so they can quickly flip back and forth.
My question: I know Calkins suggests doing a writing unit in 2nd grade called "Writing about Reading" but I feel we do this all year long in Reader's workshop...and dont want to take up writing time to do it again...it is already so crunched to get everything in that you want to! What do you all think?
I considered putting that in since she suggested it, but I agree with you... if you're really putting a lot of time and effort into the responses, your kids have learned what objectives you would have for them in the unit:
readers use writing to clear up misunderstandings in their reading
readers use writing to explore new ideas and mysteries in books
readers tell their main idea and then give reasons and examples
I'm sure there are many more, and I think they get all of them from writing about reading throughout the year...
What you guys are saying really makes good sense. I guess my thoughts on responding at the beginning was more of a text to self type of response. For this I could see how the primary lined paper with room for a picture at the top would be great. I think maybe it could be used as more of a way to orally tell me or their partner what they are thinking--not so much that the words are on the page yet.
Last year I just used a three prong folder for reading response. This gave me the freedom to use different type of response sheets. At the beginning it could be "When I read the part_____________it reminded me of___________. I just added the type of paper I wanted. Since this worked for me I may continue it.
I guess everyone has to do what works for themselves.
However, I do see that holding off and creating a big production of "you guys have progressed to the point that we need to let you have a special notebook to record your thoughts" would make the notebook more beneficial.
I agree that using the scaffolded papers at the beginning of the year is a good idea... it gets kids realizing that readers keep track of their thoughts and it makes them committ to an idea. In first, I did that at the beginning of the year too, I just never had a formal place to keep them. I don't necessarily think that using that loose leaf notebook would stop the introduction of the talk back journal from being a big thing. You could keep the loose leaf to give them other forms for when you are still in the gradual release of the newer strategies. The journal could be totally separate, and therefore special. Kids always love getting blank books!
That is what I was thinking about, more of a "reading over their shoulder" type of thing to make sure they are getting the concept. Honestly, I love everyone's ideas. I think I need to read them all again and figure out what will work. I like the idea of giving them a "talk back" notebook of some sort in January. They do love getting something new, especially an empty notebook.
I like the idea of responding or "talking backing" to books for a while on the over head before asking the kids to do the same. I did talk backs this year but I think the kids could have used some more modeling first. When and how would you go about doing this if you were in 1st again? You would obviously have to wait until you start the strategies but then what? One a week? Would you mind giving me so more guidance on how you did this and what type of responses you would write. Thanks
I also agree that I will use two different notebooks. One for talk backs and then one for conferences- it worked really well for me to write in a book they kept and could look back in. I didn't do a lot of running recorders last year during conferences and want to improve on this. How often do you guys do running records on a child?
Would you mind sharing some of the guided response prompts that you use when teaching the different strategies. When in the unit do you find to be the best to do guided responses? Beginning, middle, or end of the unit?
I've been out of town for only 5 days and you guys have been busy! My plan is to cut composition books in half for my conferencing. I like the idea of the kids holding on to them, but I think I'll start my first year of RW with them in a basket on my desk (per Miller) and grab 4 a day so I know I'm covering the class well. As I read the posts here, I am now thinking I want a second 1/2 comp book for writing conferences. Last year I did most of my conferencing notes on sticky notes and put them on their writing. I found the notes got lost after the writing was put back in their writing works-in-progress folders. Maybe the comp notebook will keep those notes intact better. I was going to use a spiral for their Talk Back Journal, but not I'm leaning toward the comp book also. I do plan to set up hanging files for children's portfolios. I'll give each child a hanging file with 3 different colored folders--reading responses, writing that's been revised and edited, and math. This way I can give them strategy specific graphic organizers we'll use as we begin responding whole group. If I copy them with big margins, maybe we'll even be able to glue a few inside our comp books for reference to possible response formats. Am I rambling? Thinking out loud and typing. Does this make sense?
Last edited by Curious Cat; 07-08-2007 at 05:12 PM..
I'm just wondering a little bit about the management of your talk backs. You may have already spoken about this and I apologize if you did. Just curious - did you highlight one way of talking back at a time (for example, while teaching the comprehension strategy of questioning, did your talk back responses always focus on questions that you had while reading? Same for connections, mental images, etc.) When were students talking back to their books? How did you make sure that everyone was doing this at least once a week?
But I didn't talk about highlighting one strategy at a time.... actually, since I started after the kids already had some experience with a handful of strategies, I modeled how they could talk back using each of those. I separated out a lot of it, so there were talk backs like:
Tell about a connection you have to a story or part of a story. Tell how it helped you as a reader.
Tell how reading a book or a part of a book made your schema change.
Tell what the author's message is and why you think that.
Write about a part that gave you a strong mental image.
Tell about a part where you schema really helped you as a reader.
I modeled those for about a month or so, and then turned them loose with those options. Then, as we added more strategies, the kids started expanding their talk back topics. By that time, they were more flexible and so I didn't actually type out or post more ideas. I didn't want to stifle them too much... by that time, they weren't using any kind of prompt to write.
Your other questions are answered on the blog post above. Hope that helps!
I found out that modeling the types of reader responses needs to come before turning the kids loose with their own endeavors. I didn't do that enough! As a few of mine actually had some good RR, other's were not good at all. I got a lot of When I read where Henry played baseball, it reminded me of playing baseball. (example) ACKKKK!
If I had modeled as Bookmuncher reflects--then hopefully I would have had more "thinking" responses.
Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction and for helping me understand how you introduced and modeled talk backs. What I LOVE about them is the fact that you are always asking students to reflect back on how these strategies helped them as readers. This is very sophisticated thinking, and I feel that so often, students are not cognisant of how these strategies help them. Getting them to think and then write about that will truly help them make these connections. I can't wait to begin this!