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Get set! Every Page Has a Purpose


What’s in the video

  • How to use The Writer’s Notebook to develop the total writer, one who gains a deeper understanding of the writing process by the end of year.
  • How I have my students set up their Writer’s Notebooks (I provide the handout in the “More Resources section”)
  • What I consider are the non-negotiables.
  • Where you have room to do what’s best for your students.

More Resources

Please Comment below!


Don’t want to wait for tomorrow’s email? After you leave a reply to this lesson, and check out the extra resources, leap ahead to the next lesson!


8 thoughts on “LESSON 2

  1. I just had to laugh. When I started using Writer’s Notebooks, I thought I’d finally hit the pinnacle, and my purpose was to allow my Ss to own their writing and have a lot of choice. Saying, “Write about whatever you wanted” to juniors who had always been told what to write in school was my big failure. After realizing that they weren’t just being lazy, I had to own that the problem was my lack of scaffolding and modeling. I got smarter, but I wish it had happened sooner. Eventually, I had some fabulous successes from my creative writers who could finally do what they wanted in English – a novel and a book of poems were my favorites, and I had some fabulous covers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a more free-for-all, keep it simple approach last year, and while we continued to use the notebook, the quality amongst students varied. When I finally collected them after not looking for a semester, I saw that some students had done the bare minimum. So yes, I think I need to make it more purposeful so I can hold myself accountable.


  3. I love the set up. I used the writer’s notebook with kids before I clearly had thought through all of the needed sections. Bless you!


  4. I have been using composition notebooks for several years in my Writing I course (typically 9th grade students). It has been mainly focused on FastWrite Exercises, but this year I have decided to add components as we proceed through the year. Quintile I – Discovery – Ideas and Topics for Writing and Just Write exercises. Quintile II — I have added a follow-up Critical Thinking – Asking questions and exploring the WHY behind some idea that comes up in the Fast Write. Discovery is a way to explore what we may think about a topic, why we think what we think, how we have come to this idea in our thinking, influences on our thinking. Quintile III – we will begin to go back and look at topics and begin to Draft Topics in our Notebooks. Quintile IV — will focus on REVISION Quintile V — Specific strategies for improving Diction and Syntax — followed by some Reflections on the Writing Process and Summary … What we have learned and how that might apply to future writing.

    This is balanced with quite a bit of writing on the computer throughout the year.

    I want to know more about how you and others use the Notebook.


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