Reading Notebook Inquiry

A lot of kids have been asking about reading responses:

  • What makes a good post-it?
  • What should an entry look like?
  • How should I be using my notebook?
  • What if I don’t have a lot to say about what I read on a particular day?
  • What are other kids doing in their notebooks?
First, I want to clarify that we (601, 602, and I) agreed that students should write four entries each week. We didn’t think there should be a page, time, or days-per-week requirement.
Today students found entries in their notebooks that
  • helped push their thinking or showed a change in thinking
  • showed a new or interesting or new way of responding (to the writer)
  • helped them as a reader
  • were fun to make
  • they just liked
They spread the notebooks out and took a “gallery walk” to notice and comment on what other readers in the room were doing.
Here is a selection of the kinds of entries they shared:
There’s a lot of variety here, and I was so excited to hear them talking about what they noticed and admired in each other’s work!
But it wasn’t all self congratulatory- they also talked about what they hope to do more of in future entries. Many of them expressed a hope to show deeper and richer thinking in their notebooks.
This led us to the questions:
  • What are the purposes of our notebooks?
  • How can they help us to read more deeply?
  • If we are already reading more deeply, how can we use our notebooks to help us keep track of it?
We’ll be returning to these questions over the next few weeks.
This is the kind of day that makes me feel lucky to have my job!