Teachers Write is Here
Today is the official start of Teachers Write Camp. To find out more click here. Join the Facebook group here. You can find the first mini-lesson here. Today's mini-lesson was about the use of a writer's notebook. I have to say I've been addicted to notebooks for years. A couple of Christmas's back I let everyone know that I wanted notebooks, pencils and sticky notes for a gift. My daughter kept saying she didn't know what to get me. I took my husband shopping and pointed out what I wanted. I told him to tell everyone. He later shopped and purchased several notebooks and other writer type items and gave them to my daughter. He told her to wrap them up for me. When we opened presents I didn't feel anything that felt like notebooks. When I got to my daughter's box I figured it was some sort of bath item because of the size of the box. She looked so disappointed as if she was afraid I would not like what was inside. I opened it and was in writer's heaven. She couldn't believe I was that excited. The only other thing that gets me that excited is books. So tell me, do you have a writer's notebook? What do you keep in yours?
Here is how I use them. I get a project type notebook (think Cornell notes) . My favorite size is 7 x 9. The first thing I do is put a label on the front of what the project is and the year I started it.They have a section at the top for you to title what is on the page. The left side has a column labeled project action notes. I use this to write questions about things on the page or notes about other things I need to research for that page. The center section is the project planning notes. This is where the bulk of my information goes. It also includes pictures, maps and drawings. I've attached some pictures.
I have a section for my characters. (Left pic). I always leave a front and back for each character. I try to find pics to go with them and glue them in. If needed, since this is historical fiction, I glue in maps. (right pic). If they are full page 8.5 x 11 then I will fold in half and glue top half sideways into notebook. I have these to mark up with markers, highlighters and to take notes.
I include sections for research. This is a little more difficult to plan. I try to make a list of all of the things I will need to research, and plan about 10-20 pages for each topic. I then have a section of pictures that will help me visualize the time period or anything else I need to know.
I keep notebooks for my ideas, story starters, comments I hear, pictures that inspire me. Once I get started on a project I try to keep everything together in one place. Notebooks are the best, easiest and cheapest way to organize yourself. I even keep one with me in the car in case I hear something on the radio or see a sign, I am able to jot down my thoughts.