Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reader's Notebooks

I am joining Thinking of Teaching and listing my thoughts on Reading Notebooks. (Well, turns out her linky set up has expired, but check out what other teachers are saying using link. I will post in her comments about my link.) Plus-it also goes with my series of Reading 101.
Discussion Ideas:

1) Have you used Reader's Notebooks in the past? If so what did you like about it? I used Reading Response Notebooks when I previously taught 3rd grade. I loved them. This was also my first year teaching using the Reading Workshop "method". I had always used Reading Anthologies and taught units and reading/writing lessons from them. (And nothing is wrong with reading anthologies because they are good resources. I am even thinking about having my students use reading anthologies as a "book" choice because some stories are worthy of reading.) I used many ideas from Fountas and Pinnell's book Guiding Readers and Writers (Grades 3-6): Teaching, Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy . Then , I taught mini-lessons, I would reference Beth Newingham's website (This was before she had the Scholastic blog she does now.) and she was my insporation to create graphic organziers and pose questions for my students to answer. So I would teach a mini-lesson (or two or three) and the students would read and respond sometimes in their notebook, sometimes using post its, sometimes using a graphic organizer. My first read aloud was Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Our class would practice a reading concept, vocabulary concept, grammar, etc. together in the book. Then, the students would show their understanding by "journaling" or responding to a book that they were reading at the time. I would grade/respond to reading notebooks once per week. One-third of my class would hand in their notebook on Tueday, another third on Wednesday, and another third on Thursday. Therefore it was too many to read for me, and the students got back the notebook the next day. Later in the year, it was once every two weeks. I would conference with them on the other week. I always met with students in Guided Reading groups or Literature Circles too. I could tell from these groups too about what they were reading and check notebooks for other reasons (book lists, AR points, along with all the other things that I posted here.
I did not incorporate The Daily 5 into my Reading Workshop previously (well somewhat--I mean I had Word Games, Listening, and Reading) so I am interested to see how D5 will fit in with schedule. I also did not know about CAFE then either, but had taught reading for several years and always taught the reading strategies and comprehension strategies as part of Reading Workshop. It just comes naturally when teaching reading (which btw is my favorite part of the day). I could teach reading all day long. I do incorporate or should I say integrate Science and Social Studies into my Reading Workshop. I also used Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning for mini-lesson ideas. This is an AWESOME helpful website too : Reading Lady and Mosaic
2) If you have not used Reader's Notebooks how do you plan to incorporate them this year into your reading program? I think I answered this is number one with all my rambling. OOPS!

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? Above too OR I saw another idea-One teacher had different color reading response journals. She had 5 or 6 due each day. She would have a place on her board the color due today, color due tomorrow, and late journals. I thought this was a cool idea.


  1. I was too excited to see you had a post about reader's notebooks but when I came here I can't find I doing something wrong? Love your blog and follow:) Let me know, I am starting reader's notebooks and am looking for any info I can get.

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. no I haven't posted, working on it. Sorry about 15 more minutes.

  3. Delena,
    Thanks for stopping by and that adorable cupcake project link!!! My list of things to make is oh so long!! Would love it if you would follow:)
    Thanks again bunches!!

    4th Grade Frolics

  4. So excited to read your blog. I taught third grade in NE for 12 years and created a reader's notebook, basically following Fountas &Pinnell. I had a huge class and really got backed up on my part -- i felt all the time. My last year in NE I discovered Beth Newingham and created notebooks pretty much following hers. They were working great, then i moved mid year and didn't get to see the whole year.Now I am in NC-have been off for two years and heading back to third grade in August. I am thinking of doing again this first year just what Beth did and then adjust. The other thing I have been thinking about is how to incorporate Daily 5. I am planning on this:
    Mini lesson-reading strategies
    All do Read to Self
    Mini lesson-vocabulary
    Choice of 4 (work on writing-i am not sure about yet since i also have a writers workshop, but could be to work in readers notebooks?)
    Mini lesson-phonice
    Choice of 4 again.
    I am having everyone do read to self all at the same time because i love that feeling when everyone is reading and i always find more kids stay on task when they are all doing it.
    any thoughts?