Developing and Organizing a Reader's Notebook

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SWBAT daily organize their post-its in their Reading Response Notebook.

Big Idea

Students will set up their reflective and evidence based journal of their reading called a Readers Response Notebook.

My Lens

The student Reading Response Notebook is pure gold.  The students do not know that yet, but they will after today.  Initially it is the place for them to stick their post-its after they have written them during independent reading or outside of school reading. But very soon, I will having students showing evidence of their competencies in meeting the CCSS for 5th grade Reading Literature by quoting accurately from a text when explaining what the text explicitly said and when drawing inferences. (CCSS RL5.1),   Determining Theme from a story from details in the text, (CCSS RL5.2), compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events drawing on specific details in the text (CCSS RL 5.3)  Determining the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text including figurative language such as metaphors and similes (CCSS RL 5.4) etc.


 My goals today are:

1. Impress on students the importance of their reading response notebook by saying "Your reading response notebook is to your mind as food is to your body!

2. To teach the students how to organize their post-its on the page, leaving room next to each post-it to add comments at a later time.

3. Demonstrate how to label the top of the page with title of the book , chapter number and pages in the chapter


10 minutes

I will bring the students to the rug with their books, post-its, and reading response notebooks.  I will ask them to set down their materials for now and watch my demonstration of how to organize a response notebook.

"Readers I know you have been writing lots of post-its everyday in class and when you are not in school.  I want to make sure you know how important your reading response notebook is to your learning. Think about this metaphor:  Your reading response notebook is to your mind as food is to your body."  Let's read it together.  Point to anchor chart that has quote.  Read together.  Take a minute to think about what this might mean and be ready to share and explain your thougths with your reading partner.  OK turn and talk about, "Your reading response notebook is to your mind what food is to your body."

Listen in,  coach students and ask them if they will share what their partner said this means to them.

Call on two partnerships to share.  Capture their thinking on the anchor chart.  

Since we now understand how important the reading response notebook is I want to explicitly show you how to set it up so it is useful to you and helps you grow as a reader.

The first thing you want to do is always put your post-its in your notebook.  Don't skip pages.  Start at the front and turn each page one-by-one and place your post-its on the page.  Leave enough room around each post-it so you will have space to write about your post-it when you reread them and add to your thoughts.  Ok What is the first thing you do to organize your post-its?  Turn and talk. I want the lesson to move quickly here so I will ask for volunteers to raise their hand and share what is the first thing you do to organize your notebook?   Where do you put your post-its in the book? What is the important thing about how many post-its per page? Why is that?  What are we going to do with our post-its?  That's right- we are going to reread them and add on to our thinking in the space next to the post-it.

Let's try it out.  Open your notebook.  Find your first post-its.  Place them a few to a page leaving room around them to write later about them.  Keep going until you have all of your post-its organized in your notebook with out skipping any pages and leaving room next to them to write.

Give students about 3-5 minutes to do this task.  

Students, I want you to look at the screen at my notebook.  See how I have only so many post-its on the page so I have room to write next to them?

The last thing we are going to do here on the rug is get started labeling each page with the title of the book the post-its are from.  Some of you might have to shop again in the library to get the book back to copy the title at the top. Let me know if you need help  with this job. Look at my notebook so you can see how I did the first couple pages- watch as I continue to write the title and chapter number at the top as a heading.  Headings in our notebooks are very useful.  Turn and talk why are headings useful?

From now on always write the title of the book you are reading at the top of every page.  Also I want you to also write what chapter the post-its are from at the top.  It will super helpful for you to get into the habit of writing the page number from your book in the corner of your post-its so when you want to find the exact place in the book where the post-it came from you can do it easily.

In a minute you will go to your seats to read silently with STAMINA! Stamina means how long you can do something hard with out stopping.  The more you read the better you get at it and the more fun it is.


Strategy group

I will keep the students on the rug who need to build book baggies of levels J books.

See lesson J Readers Focus on Stamina 

Independent Reading

35 minutes

During Independent Reading meet with one strategy group for 10 minutes.  I meet with different strategy group during independent reading to monitor their post-its, listen to their thinking, or teach them a skill.

Then circulate coaching table groups on how to set up today's reading response notebook page.

Say, "Readers, I want to remind you to right now make a heading at the top of your reading response notebook.  Write the title of your book, the chapter you are on and the date.  If you are reading in book levels IJK, LMN,OPQ use this Anchor Chart.  If you are reading in books that are levels RST or above you can use this Anchor Chart to guide your post-iting  As you write your post-its from the ideas on the anchor chart  for your book level, place your post-it on the page.  Remember to leave room next to your post-it for you thinking you'll add later.  Don't crowd your post-its.  Make sure they fit just right on the page.

Partner Share

7 minutes

The Partner share will be very important today because it is another opportunity for students to analyze their skill of capturing ideas as they read and responding to their reading with the purpose of sharing their ideas orally.  Sharing orally ideas from books will support students when they write about their ideas using evidence form the text.  

Bring students to the rug with readers response notebook.  Tell students to turn and talk about how they organized their notebook.  Listen in.  Call on two partnerships to share.

Second prompt:  Ask students to think about what they did different today with their post-its? This is important because I want students to be intentional about what they are post-iting. 

Give them think time.  Turn and talk.  Listen in and have group share what their partner said.  Expand by rephrasing student talk and add, "An important skill you are developing is determining importance! Authors drop gems through out a story for readers to help you envision, make predictions, and push your thinking.  As you read, I want you to be aware of main events, dialogue and details that are important to the plot of the story. These are some of things you are capturing on your post-its."  


Wow!  The analogy I came up with as a lesson opener- "Your reading response notebook is to your mind as food is to your body" was not that effective.  I spent entirely too much time on the beginning of the lesson.  I videoed the mini-lesson and it was 12 minutes long- so it wasn't the length that was the problem is was that the focus was on the wrong part of the lesson.  I needed to have kids generating ideas as to why their RRN is important. Most of the lesson was concentrated on the analogy instead of teaching how to organize their post-its on the page and why- and how to write a heading for each page and why.

For fun I'll add a little snippet of the end of the lesson to give you a peep into how things were going.  As I think back, the school psychologist was behind me off to the side observing a student for an evaluation.  I was uptight, and not enjoying the fruits of my labor- that was the problem- I had worked hard on this lesson and it wasn't hitting the mark.  I retaught it the next day and included a video clip of the mini-lesson. I started with a different connection at the beginning and quickly moved to the heart of the lesson.