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The nice thing about this journal is that it includes 53 pages of activities for you to use with your class. I combine this into a book with my book binding machine and double sided copies to save on paper.
You will find many simple writing warm ups like editing, bubble maps, making lists and an opinion piece.
The activities become more complex as you go through the packet with items like all abouts, letter writing, small moments, and how tos. All of which are writing techniques taught in writer's workshop. I love being able to see just where my students are in writing while also allowing them to be successful at the beginning of the year.
Here is where the fun comes in! My students must complete the packet in order to "earn" their Writing Notebooks! I make a huge deal out of this. I tie ribbons around the journals and add toolkits to the top. I keep them in a tub in the front of the classroom and refer to them often while we are "earning" them!
Here is what out journals look like without the ribbon and fan fair!
The best part is what comes on top! It is our Writer's Workshop Tool Kit. They all start out pretty much the same way. There is a matching label, inside you will fine 2 new pencils, a red pen, a green pen, and a spaceman. As the year goes on I may add the following:
A highlighter for kiddos that need to highlight their punctuation.
A ruler to help with writing on the lines.
A diagram of the Writing House for letter formation.
Here is a picture of their Tool Kits!
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FREE copy of my Tool Kit Labels!
I got the little cases at Target. The are made of super sturdy plastic. I laminated the labels and then taped them on with book tape. I love that with these tool kits my students have pencils, erasers, red pens for editing, green for revising, and a "spaceman" or popsicle stick for remembering to leave spaces at their fingertips. The cases are then velcro-ed to the Writing journals and stored in tubs in their table group work stations.
I have found that since the students "earned" their journals that take much more care to do quality work in them. I even let the journals take a field trip home after each writing unit. My students love sharing their work with their families.