Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teacher Lab and Reading Notebooks

In my district, we were fortunate to have a full time Reading Coach that helped K-5 teachers fully implement Reading Workshop this past year.  Part of her job was to hold Teacher Labs for K-5 teachers.  Teacher Labs allowed groups of teachers to enter another teacher's classroom to observe Reading Workshop.  There were 1-2 hosts in each grade level and around 8-10 teachers who would watch the host teacher in each lab group.  We were able to observe our host 3 times during last year.  It was so successful, we are doing it again this coming school year.  I can't wait!  It is always fun and refreshing to go into another teacher's classroom to learn new things and to confirm that you ARE doing the right thing in your own classroom!  : )  Attached to the lab was also some reading assignments from books like Growing Readers and The Book Whisperer.  We would meet to discuss our reading assignment, discuss what we were about to observe, participate in the observation, break for lunch (together at a nice sit-down restaurant...how often do teachers get to do that???), come back and discuss what we observed and made plans for the next lab date.

During one of our lab days, I discovered these AWESOME reading notebooks.  Our coach had one and showed us how to make them.  They are on my summer to-do list to make for my new students this coming year.  The first grade classroom that used them had poems (trimmed to fit) glued in the pages.  They used the notebook at the beginning of independent reading as a "warm-up."  The ribbon made for a great book mark.  I suppose older grades could use them for a reading response journal.  

You will need a composition notebook, fun ribbon, a hot glue gun and some sort of name label for the cover.

Hot glue the ribbon (about 2 inches) to the inside back cover near the spine.  If your ribbon is one sided, glue the pretty side down. 
Bring the ribbon up and over the pages like a book mark.

Add the name label (I used a piece of scrapbook paper and a flare pen).
What do you use for reading notebooks?


Teachers Market said...

What a great idea! Thanks!
A little side note, some of the Mead Composition Notebooks at Target have mead & scotch coupons inside of them, plus we have target coupons you can print off for the same kind of items making some back to school supplies pretty cheap. Just an fyi. I'm hoping the notebooks will go down to $.25 cents sometime this summer at Target, like they did last year!

Cher said...

I love this idea! Thanks! :)

Tracy said...


Melissa said...

Oh that's so smart!! I'll be using composition notebooks for writing journals this year and that ribbon trick will help the kids find their new page so easily! Thanks for sharing the idea.
Also, I'm so jealous of your Teacher Labs. I think it's so beneficial to watch other teachers- it's such wonderful professional development!So your whole group of teachers had full day subs to allow you to do this?

F is For First Grade

Stacey said...

We use these for our science journals, as well. The ribbons work great!

meesabelle said...

Such a simply great idea! Thanks for sharing!
First Grade Frame of Mind

Barb said...

Great idea! In the past I have had my kinders turn the top R corner in just a bit so they could open to the next page easily. I like the ribbon idea and it will be very helpful with our math journals and poetry notebooks as well! Thanks for the idea and pics.
meet me at the zoo...

JulesLynae said...

At our school we take 12x12 scrapbook paper and wrap it around front and back covers and piece the middle so it is fully covered. The kids love it and they are more careful with it. They are super cute too. We also do these between the teachers for people who are leaving our campus as a goodbye gift - we write notes and well wishes, and for the older kids we allow them to write stories on notecards that we glue into the journal. It is a great keepsake.

Just4Teachers said...

What a great idea!! I use composition notebooks for our Poetry Journals, what a great idea for a bookmark! I will be trying them this school year. thanks for sharing!

Just 4 Teachers: Sharing Across Borders

Mrs. Coe said...

BRILLIANT! PLEASE let me post this idea when I make some! I will link to you! We are having a giveaway so come on over!

Tanya Solano said...

Excellent idea! I use this ribbon trick in our writing journals. I used to just fold down the top corner of the page, but the ribbon is a more efficient book mark so the kiddos know where to begin writing {and a great way for me to find where they are too}. I buy several different colors, patterns, and sizes and let the kiddos choose their own marker.

Ms. Solano's Kindergarten

Christa said...

You just saved my sanity! It drove me crazy last year waiting for them to find their next page. Thank you for posting! Putting it on my Pinterest too!


Diana said...

Thanks for the idea! I just blogged about my version.

Jennifer Knopf said...

I love this idea! What a great way to make sure their getting to the next page rather than randomly using pages all over the notebook!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Rachael Hope said...

What a wonderful idea! My grade level partners and I were just talking about the problem of students finding the next blank page instead of turning to some random page in the book. The ribbon sounds like it could help!