A Christmas tradition in my family (yes, Christmas, stay with me here) is to visit Barnes and Noble during vacation and spend the day there reading and purchasing books. One of the books that I picked up was Notebook Know-How by Aimee Buckner. My sister mentioned that she owned it already. That's the best part of having a family full of teachers - we share materials!
Anyways, she finally delivered it to me last week. Notebook Know-How is an inspiring, easy read for any writing teacher. It reminded me of The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, but for writing instead of reading.
In her book, Buckner includes how to set-up and utilize a writer's notebook with you students. She shares tips on how to make it work in your classroom. Buckner starts with recommending that you allow students to personalize their notebook as a way of making it truly their own. Here's a picture of mine!
She then provides explains how her students' notebooks are set-up. She keeps it simple. Starting in the front, the students write daily entries (both at home and in school). Most of these entries are free-writes, allowing students to express themselves.
Working from the back, the students keep track of the strategies that they learn during mini-lessons. This is where they take notes, place anchor charts and practice the strategies that she teaches in class.
I found this book to be extremely helpful, especially for the older grades (she's a fourth grade teacher). It has definitely inspired me to start creating Writer's Notebooks with my students next year. I highly recommend picking up this book and I know that I will be looking into her other titles as well!
P.S. ~ I was not contacted to promote this book or author. I simply picked up Notebook Know-How after a recommendation from a friend and chose to share my own thoughts on it's content.