Snippets from Kindergarten Writer’s Notebooks

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When I started teaching Kindergarten (after teaching 2nd grade for 4 years) I wasn’t sure how a writer’s notebook could fit into my day when they couldn’t write or read. Aaaahhhh!!!!

Then, I realized drawing is writing as much as words and sentences. In years past, I started using a writer’s notebook in January when my writers were able to write a sentence or two. Last year, I started writer’s notebooks at the end of September (basically when I started them in 2nd grade) instead of waiting till mid-year. The beginning of the year I start simple. I use color poems and they draw various things and eventually label them. Then, gradually words becoming phrases and phrases become sentences.

The results…amazing. Seeing the growth and how they developed as a writer… so rewarding. Witnessing their love of writing…priceless!

Here are some snippets of our writer’s notebooks(I included some of mine too as I feel strongly that that teachers should be writing too. Students need to see their teacher as a writer too! It’s my favorite part of the day as it is many of my K writers favorite time, too!):

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15 thoughts on “Snippets from Kindergarten Writer’s Notebooks

  1. Shelly, you are an incredible teacher of writers. The fact that you always model with your writing and that you keep a writer’s notebook is such an important component to create a writing workshop that hums and buzzes with writing and talking about writing. You have your student writers’ respect. They know you are a writer, too!

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  2. Love seeing all these writing samples, Shelly, from a fellow K teacher. I’m curious if you also use free-standing paper and booklets in K. We use Calkins’ Writing Units of Study and after reading Matt Glover’s amazing Already Ready and Engaging Young Writers, we moved out of “journals” and use loose paper booklets only. I’d love to also have them use a notebook on the side to collect ideas like the ones on http://www.sharingournotebooks.amylv.com/.

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    • Yes, I moved away from journals after being introduced to Katie Wood Ray’s book, About the Authors, and Lynne and Rose’s Mentor Texts series. These books changed my writing workshop drastically. I give my writers lots of choice from paper to size to writing tool to topics. I use the writer’s notebook for fluency practice and writing ideas. I also allow the students to take home their writer’s notebook to live like a writer. I always tell them that you never know what you get a writing idea! We write in our writer’s notebook right after lunch to calm down and ease back into our afternoon. I play classical music in the background. Definitely a highlight of our day! :o)

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  3. These are so great! My friend was just placed in Kindergarten next year after teaching 2nd grade for three years and she has the same fears you did. In fact, we were in a class today on the new Writing Strategies book by Jennifer Serravallo and she was so worried that some things wouldn’t apply. I will have to share this with her!

    Liked by 1 person

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