Interactive Writer's Notebooks: Writing Sundays #5

There is a trend in classrooms towards Interactive Notebooks.  They are easy to use, student friendly and are a great way to deepen the learning of your students in many different curricular areas.   They are also a great way to collect data for report cards. Today I'd like to talk about how I use my Interactive Writer's Notebooks in the classroom. Thanks for joining me this week!  If this topic interests you, I invite you to read on.

According to Merriam-Webster, INTERACTIVE means:

There are so many different kinds of interactive notebooks.  Some are so cute and fun with lift the flap kinds of activities.  But the main focus of the notebook should be the interactive nature of the lessons.

When I am teaching interactive writing lessons. I love to share the pen with the kids.  I teach 2nd (and 3rd this year) and students love to be out of their seat and writing where the teacher writes.  They feel like their ideas are important and worthy and they love being a part of the process. Sometimes the kids write on sticky notes and bring them up and other times they come up and take my marker and write their own ideas on the chart paper.

I use the Write Traits a lot when I am teaching fiction writing.  I use my Writing posters to introduce the overall set of traits.  You can grab the set for free in my TPT store by clicking the picture.

Then, I do interactive lessons for each trait.  I try to do several different lessons that all arrive at the trait that I am trying to teach.  For example, if I am teaching about Ideas, I will will do a few lessons that will all help students to generate writing ideas.  Students think differently so some may not grasp the first suggestion for finding writing ideas.

Here is the way I present an interactive writing lesson:

1.  When I introduce my interactive writing lesson or writing trait,  I always start with a question. For IDEAS, I might ask " Where do you think authors get their ideas from? "

2.  After listening to several authors speak and thinking about my own writing, I suggest some possibilities:  I might say " Authors can get their ideas from past experiences or memories" or "Authors can look around and observe their world and get ideas from what they see."

3.  If my lesson for the day will be getting ideas from past experiences or memories, I might create a chart that says memories and give topic examples of types of memories.  It might look something like this which is a page out of my Interactive Writer's Notebooks:

I will give some of my own examples and then hand the pen to the students to come up and write their own.  I always give them chit-chat time first to tell their A/B partner.  

4.  Afterwards, students are given either a copy of #2a above or #2b where you or the students can make up your own topics.  The notebook page is glued into their notebook and they can practice what they just learned.

You can use any kind of notebook but I love suggesting to the students that they go and find one that is just right for them from the dollar store.  It must be around a 5" x 7" size and be lined.  The possibilities are endless!

See you next week!

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