The notebook is a great organization tool to showcase growth and changes in a student's reading life. But what was my purpose? Was it to record books that they have read, to keep a list of books they want to read, to tally different genres, or to compile their thinking for groups or book clubs? Was it all of those? Some of those? What was the purpose?
I realized one of my main purposes was to provide students a place to record their thinking WHILE reading a text. At the beginning of the year...it was a "sticky note" collection that we used for book talks, book partners and conferences. I had a collection of authentic thoughts and strategies that were put at the forefront in our reading workshop.
|Collection of thinking for a book partner.|
But then...I felt a need to develop a purpose that was even more choice-driven by providing students an avenue to develop their own monitoring plan. What did the student need to "hold on to" so they could take their comprehension to a deeper level? What focus did they want to explore so they would do more close reading and not feel like they "had to " stop?
|Student trying a book that was "longer" for her. She felt a need to track the big event at the end of every chapter. She was not use to having a book last several days.|
|A student was inspired by a mini-lesson to think about the "mood" she felt as a reader.|
But then...I felt a need to "push" the readers to deeper skills such as analyzing, evaluating, categorizing...The best avenue for this was to use graphic organizers (some pre-made and some constructed from anchor charts) from mini-lessons and bring those skills at the forefront of the notebooks.
|Categorizing information about Harry Houdini into important events in his life and stunts.|
|A student decided to use a graphic organizer from writing workshop.|
|A student decided to evaluate the decisions of her character.|
At the end of all this thinking...Whether it was jotting on post-its, developing their own jotting plan, or using graphic organizers to deepen their thinking...students had choice to "revive" what they needed to move their reading life forward at their individual pace.