Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Notebook Week!

Today in writing workshop, we began using an important tool, our writing notebooks. I have deemed this week Notebook Week because every day we'll be learning how to add to our notebooks.

The writing notebook is used by all kinds of authors, from amateurs and professionals. It's a place for starting ideas or writing complete stories. It can be used to write down anything, from lists to dreams. Or it can be a place to store found treasures, like words or pictures from magazines. We'll be using them all year for writing workshop.

To help make them more special to students, we'll be decorating them on Wednesday. I am asking students to bring in anything (pretty papers, pictures, photos, stickers, etc) they want to glue on to the cover.

Another thing we talked about today is having a notebook small enough to carry around with you at all times. I showed them one I picked up at KMart for 79 cents this weekend. It's a mini composition book like the ones pictured above, measuring about 3 inches by 4 inches. It fits right in my pocket. I'd love to see them become so interested in and dedicated to the craft of writing that they carry one with them, too. I'm not requiring students to have one but I'm strongly recommending it. Anything that's pocket-sized will do.

So encourage your child's writing by encouraging them to write down all their ideas, stories, thoughts, hopes and dreams. I'm looking forward to the writing journey we'll be taking this year.

A note went home today with some of this info, as well as some other stuff. Be sure to ask your child about it. And be sure to check out the website for information about volunteering in the classroom.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News from School for Week of 9/29

Hopefully you were all able to confirm your subscription to the class blog. I think this will be a great way to get information to you on a regular basis. I'm not always able to create a memo to send home during the day when things come up, but with the blog, I can update it from anywhere at any time. If you ever have questions about a post, be sure to email me, or just click on the link at the bottom that says how many comments have been made. That will allow you to leave a comment or a question that gets emailed directly to me.

Here are some other notes about the week ahead...

The class website has been updated with a class photo that I took on Wednesday of last week. I think it turned out pretty well. I've been taking quite a few photos, actually. I'm going to be setting up a page on Flickr (my new favorite photo site) so that everyone can see them.

A belated "thank you" goes out to all the parents that donated supplies to the classroom. (Hand sanitizer, tissues, pens, paper, ziploc bags, etc.) Your generosity is appreciated. We could still use boxes of Kleenex, so if you haven't sent in any yet, that would be great. Other things might come up that we need from time to time. I'll beg for those when I think of it!

Birthday Club
Each year, Ms. Barnes's class and mine have a "Birthday Club." Instead of every family sending in treats on individual birthdays (which can get quite expensive and complicated), we collect $4 per student and have a party together every other month. Our first Birthday Club party will be at the end of this month. Please send in the $4 when you can and then Ms. Barnes and I will handle the purchasing of cake and treats, so you don't have to worry about it.

Writing Update
I've set up writing portfolios for each student. They'll keep most of their final drafts at school. This is a great way to track their progress throughout their time in my class. This is why you don't see much writing work coming home. If you ever want to check out your child's portfolio, feel free to stop in and take a look. I'll be providing more information on our upcoming writing projects in the next week.

One thing that I should mention is that the students will be decorating their Writing Notebooks this week. Check the homework schedule and, if possible, allow students to bring in things to decorate their notebook covers with. (Photos, stickers, etc.)

Speaking of homework, the schedule for next week is posted on the website. I think we got a bit off track last week, but the calendar reflects this. If any changes need to be made to it, I'll let you know.

Thanks for reading the class blog!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Welcome to my blog! Here you will be able to read important information about what's going on in the classroom. I'll also be using it to let you know when we've updated the class website.