DigiLit Sunday: Remembering the Notebook


Today I’m joining in with Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche for a DigiLit Sunday link up.

On Monday my students will be invited to our classroom Kidblog site.

They love blogging for many reasons. It’s social; it involves technology. But mostly because it is theirs.

There is no grading associated with the site.
Students can post their units of study work on them as a way to publish, but that is not required.
The only rule in blogging is that they are kind.

I read them; monitor them for appropriateness; showcase examples of excellence; use them to understand my writers; occasionally comment on them. The blog is their space. Students love the space to write. In fact, many don’t see blogging as writing.

Blogging has been a way for my students to find joy in writing.

But, there is a problem. My students are so digitally inclined, once we start blogging, notebooking becomes only a tool for gathering ideas for units of study. Notebooking becomes a must do. Students don’t choose it when the blog is available. The blog becomes their playground, and the notebooks lay fallow.

One could argue the blog has become a digital notebook. Student blogs could contain seeds of ideas. And they do. Still, I don’t believe the notebook can be replaced in a writer’s life.

The notebook is a private space. The blog is quite the opposite.

Tiny, silly, potentially embarrassing ideas won’t show up in a public space. They need to live elsewhere. These ideas need time to grow. In class. They need a little bit of guidance, outside the Writer’s Workshop.

So this year, notebooking is going to be given space. Just like I give myself.

It won’t be a natural thing for kids to do.I’ll have to nurture it. They may need inspiration. So here’s a plan.

The rule.
You write. About anything.

The understanding.
That writing can take many forms. Lists, pictures, poems, whatever is in your mind.

The time.
Mondays after music.
Wednesdays after checking out Wonderopolis.
Fridays after book recommendations.

This year, writers have and use notebooks.And perhaps writing will have a new place to live in students’ minds.