I love the idea behind a writer’s notebook. I like the idea of getting kids to do daily writing. I like the idea of students writing about what they want and wanting to share, hopefully. In theory, writer’s notebooks are fabulous!
Unfortunately, my brain immediately goes to worst-case scenario mode when I start planning things. Though this default mode that my brain tends to go into is sometimes useful, it usually brings on an onslaught of doubts and questions. This is why I have many concerns using writer’s notebooks in the classroom. I have many questions and concerns about writer’s notebooks.
How do I grade writer’s notebooks? Do I grade them based on whether the students did them or not? Do I even grade them at all? What do I do if or when a student writes something inappropriate and/or illegal in their writer’s notebook? Am I supposed to read the notebooks? If I am not grading or reading the notebooks, how can I be sure that the students will actually write in them? What do I do if they refuse to write in them? Does it violate the integrity of a writer’s notebook if I give my students writing prompts and then have a Friday free-write?
These are just a few of my questions and concerns for having writer’s notebooks. I know most of these I will just have to sort out myself, but I cannot bring myself to decide. I do want to use writer’s notebooks because I am a fan of them (minus the part that I am not accustomed to writing in mine daily, yet). Also, a part of me wants to use the writer’s notebook as a diary for the students to let go of many issues they have and then we can get focused on our work. Gah! I just don’t know what do to right now.
So on top of these concerns, I am concerned with the contradictions I am hearing in my methods course and in block. I hear one thing in methods and then another opposing thing in block. I like certain aspects of each class. I feel like that taco commercial, “why not both?” Perhaps that will be how I will start organizing my classroom, by incorporating each.
On a different note, I did not think Twitter would be as useful as I am finding it to be. Seriously, there are tons of resources out there and Twitter helps make them come to light. Furthermore, I can keep up with news, even educational news, on Twitter. For example, I learned that more Special Education students are going to have to take the standardized tests. The reasoning for this is that the Special Education students are not being held to the high standards and therefore are not being of value to America. I am struggling with this reasoning. I would like the Department of Education to take a look at real schools, real students, and real teachers before determining some of the things they do.
There’s my Twittle^^
As usual my pictures are from the following and in order of appearance: