Tiny Notebooks: Why Do We Write?

I shared the very beginning of our 2nd grade writing journey here.  Since that first day, we’ve done many amazing things as 2nd grade writers.  Let me share them with you. 🙂

For this first unit of writing in 2nd grade, we’ve been working to establish our writing community, helping every writer to see their part in it.  YES, you are a writer!  YES, you have important ideas to share with us (and the world)!  YES, I want you to like it (but it’s ok if you don’t yet)!

The first big, essential question that we’ve been chewing on and answering (over and over again!) is:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 6.14.00 PMSimple question, right?  I’d say not really.  It’s kind of easy to make a list of the kinds of writing we do, or to tie our reasons to things we want to do with our writing (i.e. make a shopping list), but to really dig down to the REASON for writing is a little harder to do initially.  So when Rm. 202 writers came up with these ideas on our first try, I was super impressed:


Please apologize for the “ugliness” of this chart. It has not been beautified as an anchor chart for our wall yet, and so it a work in progress. We can up with so many great answers, and then tied them all to the idea that we write to communicate. The pink parts are sentence starters they could use with their partners when they discussed the question for the first time.

We had a great conversation about the communication idea, too, when I suggested that it is how I would answer the question.  Someone said, “So that’s the RIGHT answer?”  Someone else said, “No, there is no RIGHT answer!”  We talked a lot about how there is not ONE right answer, that there are MANY right answers, and that I DO NOT have all of those answers.  Love those kinds of chats. 🙂

So as a means of tackling this question, we began to look at how writers use their Writer’s Notebooks to collect stories.  As I mentioned in the first post, I connected their Tiny Notebooks to the idea of a scrapbook; they would begin filling it up with things they wanted to remember in 10 years (which just happens to be when they go to college!).  It was lucky that my first notebook is 10 years old, and so the time span only made sense. 🙂

For the next part of the Tiny Notebook story, check this out.

3 thoughts on “Tiny Notebooks: Why Do We Write?

  1. Pingback: Nudge, Nudge | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

  2. That conversation your students had about “right answers” is amazing and show a great deal of teaching you have done to help create a safe environment for learning.

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