Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Calling all Writing Ideas - HELP...

Sometimes I really don't know why I teach a unit for writer's notebooks...I just don't know what to do. This is what some of my students are doing (I would say maybe half).

They add the pictures...maybe a title, BUT NOTHING ELSE. How do I get them to see the bigger reason that they're putting it in their notebook is because there's a connection to it? Also, does anyone else have kids drawing in their notebooks? What am I doing wrong? How can I change my tactic that notebooks are not for their drawings of the same flower over and over, but a place to store ideas. Yes, I've showed them mine. Yes, I've written in mine. And yes, I do have some students that get it. I am going to try and have one of them teach what she did...but I'm kind of hitting a wall and just want to get rid of them...I know horrible!


alotalot said...

I came over here from Two Writing Teachers :)

I have shared your frustration with the notebooks at times. I blogged about one of my solutions a few days ago.

I have also spent time using the heart maps and mind maps which I learned about on Stacey and Ruth's site. They have worked really well. In my class, each child has a small duotang folder for storing things like the maps, story starter ideas, plan boxes, etc. I like it seperate from the rest of the notebook. The notebook is just for the seed ideas. Also, I don't know what grade you have, but I tell my students that drawing has to happen after the story. Sketching can happen before, in the idea book. Are you doing Author's Chair? I find this also creates some accountability for their writing time. First, they love to have something to share (most of them anyway), and second they give each other ideas.

Sorry, this is long, but one more thing: I have tried lots of different things before finding what works for me. I still can't get some of them to stop writing about that Pokemon character! Overall, they just need to know that they have ideas and don't need someone to give them ideas. I think the doodles are a reflection of the fact that kids often don't think they have something important to say.

debrennersmith said...

I write about writing on my blog quite often. In July I posted a ton about writing. If you put writing in my search record, tons will pop up.