Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday- Reader's Notebooks

Throwback Thursday Linky

   I am linking up with Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday Linky.  I really enjoyed this last week and was looking forward to joining in again.  

      I decided on this throwback post because it is from about a year ago this time.  Last summer I was getting prepped and ready to begin using reader's notebooks/journals.  I had never used them in first grade and at that point really didn't know how I was going to use it, I just thought my cover was cute (for my FIRST EVER use of graphics that is).  


Originally posted on June 28, 2012

      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.

   During the last year, I created a lot of Common Core focused journal prompts for fiction and non-fiction to be used to help my first graders respond in their journals.  I like the idea of having the teaching point in the journal so that as students go back and read their responses, they are reminded of what the teaching point was.  The last week or so, I have created a new and updated Reader's Notebook Starter Kit for First Grade.  
    Take a look at this packet over at my TpT site!  I would love some feedback about this packet.  I will give it out for FREE to the first three comments.  Make sure to leave your email in the comment!  If you receive this packet free or purchase it, please let me know what I can do to make it even better! 
     This packet is on sale today, 20% off!  If you don't get the free copy, stop over today to get everything in my store while it is on sale!

Here is a sneak preview of what you get with this new packet:

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Fourth of July! 



  1. Thanks for sharing your writer's notebook ideas! Your journal prompts for non-fiction look great, too...

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  2. Hi Michelle!
    It is such a pleasure to meet you through the linky! I am thrilled to find new first grade teachers to share great ideas with! So happy to be a new follower!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

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  4. Hi Michelle,
    I am your newest follower. Great ideas for non-fiction material to use with my First Graders.


  5. Thanks for stopping by! I will email you three a copy of this packet! (Probably on today or tomorrow). Sorry, I have been in the mountains all weekend and I have a busy day today! Keep an eye out for it! Julie and Roxanne, I'm glad you found my blog and I'm happy to have you as new followers!


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