If you haven’t read the first part of this story, check it out here.
In order to know when the next step after Tiny Notebooks was coming, kids had to do some thinking. After chewing on the question of “What’s the right way to do “real” notebooks with my kids?” I asked them a question. It was one I knew they had an answer to, and one that I should have asked them sooner. It was easy: How will we know when we’re ready? And as I expected, they knew the answers:
And so after this conversation, I explained the way my friends had made my head hurt (in that good way!), and how I wasn’t sure what to do. We agreed that it made TOTAL sense that kids would get their notebooks at all different times and they were TOTALLY good with it. They knew that they were in charge of when they were ready and that they simply had to PROVE to me that they were ready. Challenge accepted.
And so later that week, I came into Writer’s Workshop with this pile of goodies:
And these smiling faces were the first round of Rm. 202 friends who were ready for their REAL notebooks! Yippee!
The excitement that then filled the room was contagious!
And so what I was worried about was that kiddos would walk away from this first Notebook Day discouraged, that they would be sad that they weren’t included and just give up. Instead, most everyone else sat down and got right to work continuing to prove that they were ready for the next round:
Since that day, I’ve had many small group and 1:1 conferences specifically answering the question “Mrs. Bearden, when will I be ready?” It’s been so great to be able to use the list we made as well as notebooks of kids that were ready as examples of what they had to do to get to that next step. It’s just the way our standards-based rubrics work: this is what you have to demonstrate to me in order to show me you’re ready. I LOVE THAT! And again, rather than being discouraged, kids are ON FIRE with their writing, working towards the day when they will get that red, polka-dotted gift. 🙂
A few days later…
So, thank you 2nd grade team for igniting a passion I didn’t even know needed to be ignited and for nudging me to rethink the way I’ve always done things. Most times “the way you’ve always done it” isn’t a good reason to do it that way again. 🙂
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