Thursday, August 2, 2007

Notebook Know-How Chapter 2

This book was recommended by a couple of the supervisors at the Reading Clinic. I have had it for a few weeks, but only started reading it today. I am trying not to highlight too much (but it is hard). I am folding down lots and lots of pages with ideas I want to remember or be able to go back to. I think I am going to use some posts on my blog to keep track of some of the things I want to remember from this book (I have only completed the first 2 chapters and can't wait to write things down and keep reading).

Chapter 2: Launching the Notebook
1. Begin by storytelling . . . "oral storytelling allows children to tell about themselves and their experiences, and helps me take note of oral language skills while learning about each child." Read picture books with the class to get off to a good start.
While students are involved in storytelling, the teacher should be taking notes in her notebook. If or when students ask what she is doing . . .writing down things I want to remember

2. "Have them tell stories to each other, keep notes and ideas in your own notebook, share them with your kids, and wait for the right moment, when ut seems that everyone has a story to tell."

"We can't all talk at once, and we don't have time to hear everyone's story, but I do have a way for them to save their stories so they won't forget. Each one of you is getting a notebook today. This notebook is for your stories, ideas, and thinking."

3. Notebook Organization: "I ask the students to have 2 starting points. Students write from the from of the notebook . . .with their daily, self-selected topics." "The second starting point is from the back working toward the friont. here we keep notes from lessons, such as revision strategies, editing strategies, and grammar notes."

4. Strategies for Beginning Notebook Writing (page 15)
"These strategies help writers look at their lives and world in a way that seeks out stories, poems, and ideas."
No-fail strategies:
  • History of a Name (pg 15)
  • Writing from a list(pg 17)
  • Questions (pg 20)

5. After using these strategies to launch the notebook, then begin introducing strategies to help maintain the notebook:

  • Daily Pages (pg 23)
  • Writing off Literature (pg 24)
  • Obsrvations (pg 26)
  • Writing from a Word (pg 27)
  • Rereading and Highlighting (pg 29)
  • Lifting a Line (pg 30)

"There are countless books to inspire writing that work with strategies rather than prompts. As important as teaching some notebook strategies is, however, it is important to allow students to find their own ways of keeping a notebook. I try to limit the number of strategies I teach ad then I just let the kids go.) pg 31

6. A few guidelines help keep even the best students focused and on task. On pg 33, there is a chart of expectations for both the students and the teacher. This is given to students and parents so everyone is clear on who is doing what.



I just started reading Notebook Know-How by Aimee Buckner this morning (it is 8:25am now). On page 6, there is a neat comparison of how the difference between reading fluency and reading word-for-word is like the difference between spreading butter and margarine on a piece of bread.

"When spreading butter, the bread often tears and the butter is lumped in places on the bread. Margarine goes on smoothly, not tearing the bread, and covers the bread evenly."

She goes on to comment about how "writing fluency is equally important for writers. Being able to think and write at the same time -- getting words on a page, writing a paragraph, a page, or even a couple of pages in one writer's workshop -- is an important skill for students to develop. When students are thinking, they are less likely to forget what they want to say. Fluency is the ability to generate text -- a lot of it -- in a short period of time. This gives students something to work with when it comes to rereading, revising, and even editing."

I really liked these comments and thought this would be a good place for me to record them so I can refer back to them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I enjoyed creating my moviebook today. I took still pictures of the pages in Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook Adventure. Some of the pictures turned out better than others. If I did this at home, I could probably fix them using my photo editing software or by scanning the pages rather than taking pictures. I liked being able to click and drag the picture to the slot I wanted it in the storyboard. I then recorded my narration for each page. I painstakingly moved things around the line up the pictures with the sounds. I like the way it looked. I decided to try and add transitions that looked like the pages were turning. But the problem was when I tried to add these transitions, it made the sound and picture timing different. Right now I don't feel like taking the time to play around and fix it. I am not sure how things would have been different if I had added transitions before adding sound. I guess that is something I could try next time.

I think I would enjoy letting students see what they could come up with using this program. Since I will be teaching at a magnet school for the visual and performance arts, making movie books like this or what we did yesterday might prove to be a good way for my students to present the projects they create. I think it would neat to scan or take pictures/videos of student work. Students would be responsible for writing about (or describing) what they have done, and then we could use microphones and record their voices reading what they have written to show along with the pictures.

I used Microsoft photostory and PowerPoint yesterday to do about the same thing. I think that might have been a bit easier, but who knows. . .