Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pint Sized Reading Response Journals

      A special thanks to Monica at The Shroeder Page for the great new idea on how to use composition books.  When I saw her idea for cutting the composition notebooks in half, I knew I wanted to do this, but just wasn't sure how to incorporate them in my classroom!  I ran out and bought 12 notebooks at the Dollar Tree and took them to Office Depot to be cut in half!
     Our students bring two composition notebooks each year with their classroom supplies.  One of these we use for a spelling homework notebook.  They are given a spelling list each week and they are able to choose from a list of activities to complete in their notebooks.  I knew this couldn't be cut in half, because the students use MOST of the pages as it is.  The other notebook is used as a poetry notebook.  Students read poems, glue them in the notebook, and then illustrate the poems.  Students use the entire page for their illustrations.  The students re-read poems on a daily basis. 
     So the two notebooks the students bring are already being used.  I then thought about our math journals.  I bought these for my students last year, however, occasionally the students glue in a regular-sized 8x11 sheet inside. So, finally long story short, I realized that these pint-sized notebooks would be perfect for my reading groups.  Each year I have a variety of response activities that we use/complete during guided reading groups.  As well, my advanced readers each have a vocabulary notebook in which they add words to during their nightly reading with a 4 block layout for a picture, the word, the definition, and using the word in a sentence.   It dawned on me that these journals would be a perfect substitute for copies, writing paper, and would be a great source for the students to "stop and jot or draw" their thoughts.  I still plan on using them to develop their vocabulary as well.   I love their size!  When I send books home with students I put them in a quart ziplock bag and these will fit in the baggie! 
Journal and a book in the baggie, ready to be put in a daily folder.

The graphics for my cover were purchased at

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