Tiny Notebooks: Notebook Day is HERE!

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:
Screenshot 2015-09-27 16.55.16And 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:

IMG_5335And these smiling faces were the first round of Rm. 202 friends who were ready for their REAL notebooks!  Yippee!

IMG_5336The 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:

IMG_5342Since 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…

IMG_5344And just Friday…

Screenshot 2015-09-27 17.28.53So, 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. 🙂

Notebook Day! (a.k.a. SepChristmas)

We had a special day on Monday!  It was Notebook Day!  I wish I would have taken a pic of the big ‘ole pile of wrapped up notebooks, but I was so excited to give them out that I forgot. Boo. 😦

But just like last year (and for many years, actually) my friends got a special gift wrapped up all special, with an even more special note attached.  Here’s this year’s note:

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 8.36.28 PMThe paper they were wrapped in was covered in moustaches!  (On a side note, what is it with kids loving everything moustache lately?!)

Then it was time to pass them out.  So each kiddo, one at a time, came up to sign the pledge (which I’ll share soon–it’s at school. 😦 ), get their secret package AND a new pen!  The smiles on faces where SO GREAT!!  Here’s a little bit of how our “signing ceremony” went:

Yeah…somehow I got cut off there at the end, sorry.  🙂

I love that DeShala was the one who coined this special day SepChristmas, since it was like Christmas in September!  Yep, love it.

So once everyone pledged that they were going to do their best to grow and learn as writers this year, it was time.  And so on the count of 3…

Here’s to a great writing journey this year, friends of Rm. 202!  Let’s get this party started!