The writer’s notebook is an important tool in third grade. This is something we use all year long to generate ideas for writing, take notes on important skills needed to become better writers, and a place to begin our drafts throughout the year. In order to instill a sense of pride and importance, I take time at the beginning of each year to allow students the opportunity to decorate and personalize their notebooks.
Students were asked to bring their own pictures to use on their notebooks that would help to describe them and the things that are important to them. Some students chose to bring actual photographs of important people, pets, and places. Others brought clip art or pictures from magazines of their favorite sports teams, celebrities, and quotes. I even bring out my own magazines for them to cut and some stickers I’ve accumulated. Creating notebooks that are a true reflection of their own personality adds to the thrill of adding personal writing inside!
Once completed, students have the opportunity to share their decorated notebooks with classmates, and then interview each other as they stir up memories and important moments in their lives. This important discussion leads nicely into our first unit of study: Personal Narratives.
Students will then write their first official piece of writing in third grade. This piece is always important to me since it gives me a true indication of where they are beginning as writers, and it becomes a piece that we can then see growth as the students become more proficient writers as the year goes on.
These writing notebooks are such an significant part of the writing workshop. They contain so many important personal items that students are proud of, and it also is a place for students to refer to when they need additional ideas to write about!