Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Book Whisperer-Reader's Notebook

Link up with Beth @ Thinking of Teaching to see what others are blogging about!

1) Have you used Reader's Notebooks in the past? If so what did you like about it?
Last year was the first year that I used Reader's Notebooks.  I started it after Christmas break when I realized I needed something more to see how students were reading and comprehending.  We "journaled" as I called it at the beginning of every class, to a prompt that I assigned.  This was the only part I didn't like.  Some of the prompts that I used were not appropriate for the genre that some students were reading.  

2) If you have not used Reader's Notebooks how do you plan to incorporate them this year into your reading program?
I do plan on changing my Reader's Notebooks a little this year.  I'm still not completely sure how I want to do it, so I'm excited to read other's thoughts!  Each student will have a spiral notebook that will be placed inside their Literacy Binders.  I know others use composition books, but lets face it, spirals are 10 cents (or less!) a piece and I've never seen comps for less than 50 cents.  Plus, when cleaning my basement for a yard sale this summer, I found an entire tote full of spirals that I forgot about.  So, spirals it is!  Inside the literacy binders, I will give a list of prompts for students to write about.  I know I will have to do a lot of modeling with the prompt writing.  I don't know that I will set aside journal time, or just expect my students to do them at some point during a Daily 5 choice.  I would love it if I could get students to do this, as not to waste precious lesson time, but I do worry about those procrastinators!  

3) How will you schedule the Reader's Notebook due dates in order to be able to effectively read and respond authentically to all your students?
I teach 60 students reading, so last year I graded one class every other Friday.  It wasn't the best system, so I think I will assign days to 6 students per class to read their notebooks.  That would be 12 students a day, but still better than 30!  I think the hardest part will be responding to each one.  I think if I know my students appreciate my responses, it will be a lot easier!  I also know some students will need that response from me in order to keep reading and writing, so that will also be some incentive for me!  

I'm so excited to read what everyone else's thoughts are on Reader's Notebooks!  Make sure to link up with Beth!


  1. I think with the planned accountability of being checked each week, you will be able to have success with them completing their notebook during a Daily 5. Good luck. I am getting excited for the school year where we can all test out our new plans. :)

    Lifelong Learning

  2. I think you will be surprised at the response you will get from some students when you write letters back to them! They start to take a real interest in your reading too and it becomes like a conversation. I am very excited to talk more about this with you as I also teach Grade 4 and continue to bounce ideas off of each other!!
    Thinking of Teaching

  3. I will have 80 students, so I appreciate your comments! I am planning on looking at 20-25 each day for the first few weeks and then might slow it down to 15 a day.