Setting Up a Writer's Notebook

Hey there! Today I'm going to to be talking all about setting up a Writer's Notebook. This is something you could easily implement at the beginning of the year or anytime throughout the school year. I've been using this particular system in my classroom for a few years now and really like how it keeps all of my student's writing organized. 

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Each student will need a three ring binder. I use 1 1/2 inch binders. I realize that binders can get expensive. I've worked in a district where we were lucky to have them on our school supply list and then I've also worked in a district where I had to purchase them myself. If you are purchasing these yourself, here are some places I've found to be the least expensive. 
1. Sam's Club:  They come in an 8 pack for around $10-$11 a piece. I bought 3 sets. 
2. Amazon:  This is a 4 pack for around $10. I've bought these and they've been fine. 
3. Dollar Tree: You can get them for $1 and they honestly do fine if the child takes care of them. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

Each notebook is divided into 8 sections. You can get them for FREE in my TPT store by clicking here. I run off a class set of each section onto Astrobrights colored paper. The bright colors help students easily distinguish each section when it is needed so it saves time from flipping through all the pages. 

The 8 sections that I have in each binder are:
1. Spelling Dictionary
2. Vocabulary Journal
3. Pre-Writing
4. Rough Draft
5. Editing & Revising
6. Final Copy
7. What Can I Write About
8. Work on Writing 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

The first section in the notebook is our Spelling Dictionary. Each Monday when new spelling words are introduced, they add them to their dictionaries to reference throughout the year. Their copy of their spelling list goes in the pocket of their notebook. I use these spelling lists


My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.


My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.


My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.






Grab this FREEBIE! 

Want this spelling dictionary? Sign up to have it delivered straight to your inbox! 
Then you will find our Vocabulary Journals. We write in these as we are learning about new vocabulary words each week. We do not complete ALL sections for each word in one day. Here is an example. 
Monday: Introduce word and write definition (kid friendly).
Tuesday: Draw a picture.
Wednesday: Synonyms & Antonyms
Thursday: Use it in a sentence. 

Once my students become familiar with this process they can do this independently in a word work station. You can get these journals here

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.


My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

The next four sections are for the writing process. Students can keep their writing behind each stage of the process that they are on at that time. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

All pre-writing pages where they collect information and ideas are always kept behind this section so it never ends up sucked up into the vortex of lost papers (most of the time). 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

Setting Up a Writer's Notebook My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

All rough draft copies are kept in this section. I don't always use pre-made sheets. Lined notebook paper works just fine. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.


My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

Once their rough draft is complete, they place it behind the editing and revising section. This makes it easy to find when we have writing conferences. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

The steps we use to edit our writing shared on the anchor chart. They use the same colors for each step when editing. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

All final copies of  their writing that aren't displayed or sent home go in this section. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.


When it comes to independent writing I want students to have choice. In this section they keep their monthly writing calendars. They are allowed to pick any topic from the calendar. Once they've written about that topic, they color in the picture to show they've already done that particular one. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started. These monthly writing calendars are kept inside to allow student choice when working on writing.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started. These monthly writing calendars are kept inside to allow student choice when working on writing.

I love these calendars because they match the real photo task cards that are kept in our writing center. You can get the calendars and matching cards here. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started. These monthly writing calendars are kept inside to allow student choice when working on writing.

Every writing piece they do during work on writing goes in this section. I don't use any kind of fancy paper for this. Last year, I ran off sheets for lists, stories, letters, etc and it was a lot to keep up with. I keep blank notebook paper at my writing station. They grab a sheet of paper each day and get to work. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started. These monthly writing calendars are kept inside to allow student choice when working on writing.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

I love this set up because I can quickly grab their notebooks to check their work. Then at the end of each year, all of their writing will be in one place. I love looking back to see how much their writing has grown. 

You can get these section dividers as a FREEBIE in my TPT store

Want to save this idea for later? Pin the image below. For more writing tips and tricks you can follow my writing board on Pinterest. 

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started including this free spelling dictionary.

My writer's notebook is one of my favorite tools my students use during our writing block. This blog post walks you through how to set up your notebooks and is full of free resources to help you get started including this free spelling dictionary.

Have a blessed one,

Marcy





6 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! This is a great idea! I love hearing about what you do in your class. I enjoy following you! Thanks again! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the writing calendar idea! Did you create this?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. You let your students pick whatever they want for the week, or do you pick the topic and if they have extra writing time they go to the 'Writing Calendar'?

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    Replies
    1. They get to write about anything that is on their writing calendar.

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  5. Do you have a link where i could see your writing calendar?

    ReplyDelete

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