Using Notebooks in Writing Workshop by Elisa Waingort

Using notebooks in writing workshop image

Writing workshop and writing notebooks are staples in my classroom.

However, I rarely had a plan for how I would introduce notebooks or what we would do with them after that initial lesson.

So, it should come as no surprise that most of my students had no clue what to do with their notebooks other than what they’d used them for in the past: a place for writing whatever the teacher assigned.

I haven’t been successful at teaching my students the purpose of the writer’s notebook: to support them on their journey to becoming more effective writers.

I tell students notebooks are for jotting down writing ideas, trying out new techniques, doing quick writes, playing with language, and capturing small moments they might later develop into a writing project. Notebooks are a holding place for writing ideas and daily practice.

However, telling and demonstrating aren’t the same thing.

No matter what my words say, my actions are what matter.<