Your goal in using a reader’s notebook is to help students
extend and express their thinking about reading. Being expected to write about
their thinking places an extra layer of consciousness on readers. They are more
likely to remember details and to store up responses they feel deeply about and
want to include in their writing.
between you and your students are a collection of thoughts over time as
they develop as readers. Think of them as a written conversation about books.
You can help children better communicate their thinking in several ways:
- You can model and demonstrate ways of expressing
thinking through minilessons. Write a series of letters yourself and share
them, letting students notice places where you have written about your thinking
in various ways—noticing the language of the text, critiquing the text, making
personal connections, comparing and connecting texts, and so on.
- You can talk with students about their letters
during conferences, providing specific feedback.
- Students can bring their notebooks to the
community meeting, finding places in their letters where they demonstrated
their thinking and sharing selected paragraphs from their journals with
partners or in small groups.
- You can lift or scaffold student’s thinking through
your ongoing written exchanges with them.
Once you begin using reader’s notebooks, you’ll find that
responding to students is fascinating rather than arduous If you enter into a
genuine conversation, keeping strategic actions in mind, you will inevitably
stretch your students’ thinking.
From Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency by
Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and
Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.