Saturday, July 9, 2011

School Shopping: Blank Books

Fourth of July has come and gone which means that the summer is about half gone. My writing life feels the same. So I decided to jump start myself with some quick posts about books, ideas and changes I want to make in my own classroom for next year.
After attending the All Write Consortium this summer in Indiana, I have some ideas for organizing reading and writing assessments that I have always felt messy about. I found these blank books at Star Beacon here in Columbus yesterday and I think they may help me and my kids keep track of student goals and my conferring notes. Listening to Ann Marie Corgill and Debbie Miller at All Write, I was reminded of how important it is to document student process. I think these little blank books will be perfect for jotting conferring notes and setting goals for kids. In the past, I kept my notes with me in a single notebook, but I really like the idea of each student having their own journey of learning and goal setting in their own hands( how nice to be able to have the kids reread the notes or a few words we set in a goal together because they have their little blank book with them). I know they are small enough to fit in a folder and a book bin (and they were very reasonable 17.95 for 20 blank books). These are also the kind of books you could just make yourself if you had the time.

On to more thinking about the classroom, books and our new home. Hoping to close next week and pictures to follow. Happy Saturday!

11 comments:

Cathy said...

Katie,
For me, the single notebook works as a place to record student process and progress. However, you really have me thinking about these small spaces for students to record learning, reflections, and goals. Pondering.....

Cathy

melanie said...

I love Ann Marie and have heard her speak many times. I used her blank book idea year before last and loved it, but then tried a tri-fold folder last year to keep up with reading, writing and math. I'm going back to the blank book this year. But I am going to do writing on one cover and reading on the back cover and keep conference notes for both in the blank book. I used the hard cover "Bare Book" and had lots of unused pages at the end of the year, so this should work. I also took a picture of a writing sample and printed in on a label sheet and cut it out and put it in the book and the beginning, middle and end of the year. It ended up being a great tool to track their progress (which was helpful in parent conferences) and it was a good keepsake for them at the end of the year. And, I think having it in the book for each of them showed how much I valued what they've learned and what goal they had set. I remember every student always knowing their writing goal and being able to talk about it when I got to their next conference days later. I loved it. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you. Thanks so much for sharing your thinking here! And, best wishes on your move!

Megan said...

Fountas and Pinnell have a great goal recording sheet that students can keep in their writing folder/notebook. This can be used for students to summarize the goals you make during conferences. I still like keeping records myself in a binder or notebook. I use large address labels and make notes during reading or writing conferences that I then put on the student's page in my notebook. I also take notes when I'm grading assignments. I can review these notes to help students set goals or use them during parent/teacher conferences.

Megan
blackboardandbeyond.blogspot.com

katied said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone! So nice to share and read each other's thinking about this.

Elizabeth G. said...

What a great find. I read Ann Marie's book this year and was eager to start off next year with the bare books. I've tried to keep student goals in a folder but my kidlets always seemed to misplace them...I'm hoping that a book format will help with organization. I love the idea of keeping individual mini goal books for me as well. We'll see how it works. Good luck!

Julie said...

Katie,
I, too, have been thinking about my conferring notes for the next school year. I'm going to have to make a trip to Star Beacon and check these out. Next year, I need to go to this conference. :)

debf said...

Katie~
I remember considering this idea when I read Ann Marie's book, in fact I am still thinking about it. I currently have a spiral notebook that works well for me, but the child having the goal there for a reminder is an important piece. I also use individual work mats (work mats are similar to place mats, they contain visual tools for the kids when working) in my classroom. These mats provide a space for recording goals. Maybe being more consistent in using this space will help the kids in remembering their goals. So much to think about and time is coming to a close...

Christina said...

Thanks for all the comments
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