As many of you know from Facebook, we were at the beach last week celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I think I’m just now getting back into the swing of things at home again, but I had to take a little trip down memory lane and look at a few of our wedding pictures. Aww… memories. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we were married. I also can’t believe I hiked up the east coast’s biggest sand dune in my wedding dress for some of the pictures. It must have been pure adrenaline because it seemed so much harder this year. 😉 The week certainly flew by too. It was so nice to get away and have a schedule-free week with lots of sand between my toes and salty ocean air in my lungs. As much as I love teaching, I live for our week at the beach each year!
My husband loves to play in the waves, but I’m more of a read-on-the-beach kind of girl. I finished several just for fun books, but also read a couple professional ones too. Several of you asked about the Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reading Notebook picture I posted on Facebook. It’s Aimee Buckner’s reading version that follows up her earlier writing version, Notebook Know-How: Strategies for the Writer’s Notebook. I loved the writing one, so I was hopeful the reading one would give me several new ideas too.
You can definitely tell Aimee is a real teacher working with real students in a real classroom. She talks about the different ways to use a reader’s notebook, other than just writing letters back and forth. I found some of her ideas very fresh and can’t wait to try them. I love writing the letters with my students, but I like to sprinkle in other ideas to keep the notebooks from becoming stale. Aimee gives several suggestions (which would make great mini lessons) and shows actual student samples from her class too.
One idea that I can’t wait to try is having my students sift through their sticky notes/thinking marks after they finish a book. They’ll only keep the notes that are still meaningful and can be explained. Those go in their notebooks to be used for letters or other written responses and the rest are recycled. I love that this teaches them to monitor their own comprehension and really learn to focus on only making meaningful sticky notes as they read more books. So many times I have students who finish their books with a pile of sticky notes, but then they still have trouble remembering/writing about the book. It’s because their sticky notes aren’t meaningful or they don’t have enough “meat” to them. I like the idea of actually having students sort through the notes one-by-one at the end of the book in an effort to prioritize them. In the past, I’ve encouraged my students go find a “good” note to use for their notebook, but I need to spend more time teaching them what makes one note more meaningful than the next.
I could go on and on. If you don’t already have the book, I’d recommend picking up a copy. Her writing one is great too!