Monday, January 23, 2012

Living a Writerly Life

I love that Writer's Workshop isn't just about learning how to write but learning how to think and act like a writer too.  Lucy Calkins is all about that.  Because of her wise words, my writers are learning to emulate writing mentors, taking on some of their habits.  This post is all about our Tiny Topics Notebooks, and how they help young writers live a more writerly life.

Since writing mentors are always prepared to jot down potential writing topics, my kids made their own place to hold those ideas so that no matter where they were, they'd be prepared.  A Tiny Topics Notebook is perfect, because it's small and quite mobile, since it lives around the writer's neck.  

How did I make these cute little things?  I bought small memo books that are bound on the side.  I took them to Office Max and asked them to cut each memo book into thirds.  (First they have to remove the metal binding comb.  They replace it with the plastic one after cutting, I believe.)  The kids then decorated a small piece of white paper which was then taped onto the front of the memo book.  

The Tiny Topics Notebook goes home and returns to school each day.  (I found that a parent letter lets parents know how to support me in this.)  When it's time for Writer's Workshop, their Tiny Topics Notebooks sure do come in handy, and what's more, they're learning that writers are always on the lookout for stories from their lives that are begging to be written about.  Thanks Lucy Calkins!

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  1. This post just made me smile! Love the fat lip idea in the tiny topics notebook. :) It is great for students to learn what we do as writers and be on the lookout for topics. Great idea!!
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. I loved the fat lip topic too! That one definitely sounds like it must become a story. Thanks for always commenting Lori. I can always count on you to think my blog is a-okay. :)

  3. Cute!! I love the idea of being able to record ideas when they pop into your head - I carry around a notebook too!


  4. Cute!
    Come on over and check out something sweet!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First
    Do you have a blog button? I couldn't find it! ;)

  5. Thanks for coming by Amanda. It sounds like you are much better about living a writerly life than I am!

  6. Sandra, I don't have a blog button. I hope to have one once my blog gets a new look. Thanks again for thinking of me.

  7. Ok! I just wanted to make sure!! I want to make those little notebooks! Such a great idea!

  8. I love this idea. I am starting this unit next and always am struggling to find a better way to do the tiny topic notebook. So thanks!

  9. Thanks Jennifer and Jessica for dropping by and commenting. I hope the tiny topic notebooks work well for you!

  10. These are so cute! I love how your first graders are taking control of their writing! Inspired!

  11. Thank you Julie for the comment and for dropping by.