The Reader's Notebook

This is the workshop that I attended on Monday- the one that while I sat there listening the heavens opened up, angels wept- and I tried not to throw my hands in the air and shout "YES,YES,YES!"

I've been teaching using Reader's and Writer's Workshop for three years now, and this is the first explanation of how to use the Reader's notebook effectively that I have seen.

What did I do after the workshop? After taking Hunter to Occupational therapy- I ran home to work on my very own Reader's Notebook.

The notebook is divided up into four sections: "My Reading Life"- which shows my reading time-line, books that shaped who I am as a reader, the last ten books I have read and what that says about me as a reader, book recommendations, book list, WHY I read, and my favorite section that answers three questions:
I'm the kind of reader who...
I want to be the kind of reader who...
My reading goals...

The second section is called "What I am learning". I posted a picture of the mini-lesson charts that I recreated onto index cards to keep in my notebook. I do not expect my students to do this, so after each lesson I will type up what is on our chart and then give it to them to put into their notebook.

The third section is called "Read Alouds". This is where we put our post-it notes during the time where I am reading to the kids. If I am doing a lesson on character development and I am reading the book Albert, the kids would be listening, then I stop and ask them to jot down a word that describes the character. I may ask them to stop and jot what is going on in the story. Later we can "write long" off of those thoughts about the character and how he changed over the course of the story.

The final section is called "Independent Reading". This section is for putting all of those great text to self, text to text, text to world connections, synthesizing post-its, questioning post its, determining importance, etc. Then there is a page titled: My smartest post-it. I might ask that they choose their smartest post it that best shows their thinking about their reading and then talk to them about it during our reading conference.

So there you have it- the Reader's Notebook, angels and all!