Do Yourself and Your Students A Favor and Give Them A Notebook!
This is tip #17 & my 100th blog article! We will be celebrating our 1st-year anniversary at the end of next month!
You can click on the writing notebook ideas separately or click on the entire packet at the end. Enjoy!
My young Fives will see a writing notebook all too soon as they progress through the elementary grades, but to get one at this age is really a big deal.
Since most of the chain supply stores and even Target, have them as huge loss leaders in August for their back-to-school sales, I can pick them up for as little as .10 cents, so for the small investment of $2.00, I can light up the faces of 20 children in a few seconds!
For a few dollars you can use a notebook for a variety of writing skills for your students.
Mine is at the introductory level of simply practicing how to write their name.
Get parents on board and work as a team and you will definitely see improvement.
I buy an assortment of colors and give them a choice. It doesn’t matter that they don’t stay on the lines. What I want them to do is just practice holding a pencil, crayon or whatever they can take delight in holding, and practice writing their name once each night. I want it to be fun, not a hassle.
You can see the “My Writing Notebook” sticker in the photo. I print these off on large Avery labels on my printer to add a bit of pizzazz.
Each time they bring their notebook in to be checked they get to pick out several stickers to decorate the front of their notebook as an incentive to bring them back.
Since writing their name on everything we do in class can be labor intensive, I need parental help in getting these little ones over the hump ASAP and the notebook has been key in accomplishing that.
Their hands “poop out” or “run out of gas” as one of my students so adorably put it!
The notebook is a great At-Home connection and is easy, quick and fun, especially if parents buy some glitter or gel pens or some goofy or wiggly fun pen to make writing time more exciting.
I include due dates in my newsletters as well as post them on my monthly calendar.
Students get an award certificate for a great-completed notebook and a trip to the treasure box.
To practice verbally expressing themselves, I have them share their favorite page of their notebook with their classmates.
Parents often ask me: “How can I help my child learn how to write?” So I typed up a list of fun things they can do to help strengthen their muscles. I tuck this list in the notebook. Click on the link to view/print hand-muscle building tip list. I also include a diagram of how to hold a pencil correctly.
The other thing I tuck in the notebook is a tracing guide of the alphabet. Click on the link to view/print the alphabet-writing guide.
I include a letter explaining the notebook to parents and asking for their help. If you’d like to see mine, to use it as a guide to tweak and develop your own, click on the link.
Since I started using the notebooks I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in my students’ penmanship, muscle coordination, and self-esteem.
What used to take me ‘til the middle of November with some of my little ones is now accomplished by the beginning or middle of October. Some really diligent students (and parents) who had no preschool, are set by the end of September.
If you have older students, decide what you want the notebooks to be used for, and make it a daily or weekly writing assignment that is simple, short and fun, so they will WANT to write. I give my college students ideas for them to journal about in their notebooks each week.
The notebooks can be kept in their desks to work on during free time, or kept at home like a “secret diary”.
I hope this idea is one that you can use and gets you excited to plan for your new class.
A quick and easy handwriting activity for you to do the first day of school is simply a Welcome To School "Trace & Write" Click on the link to view/print several different kinds.
If you want the entire writing notebook packet click on the link to view/print it.
Staples started their back-to-school penny sales this week. Click on the link to check out the deals! Every week they offer new things so start watching for the notebooks to go on sale! Staples allow teachers to buy 25 of their penny items here in MI. I imagine that would be a National thing.