March Slice of Life No. 29.
In My PD Journals, Part 1, I share about the notebook I create when planning a workshop and another notebook I create during and after the workshop. In the comments of that post, I was asked, “How do you use them once the workshops are over?”
1) I use these journals when I plan workshops. Sometimes I copy pages from journals to put in a new journal. Sometimes I just glean ideas and restructure activities.
2) Often I return to a school–sometimes several times a year over several years. In such cases, my journals are a valuable record of the work we’ve already done.
3) Sometimes I am asked by a campus or district to repeat a workshop for another group of teachers. My journals make it easy for me to do that.
4) I also use my journals to create teacher resources.
Pages from my Crafting Sentences PD Journal
(This is my planning journal, created prior to the workshop.)
This page (snapshot 6) has a snippet from a second grader’s draft writing. The writing trigger was “The party was…” In my planning Journal, the yellow strips are cues that can be used to prompt thinking about “developing details.” I’ve also noted a “cut and paste” strategy to physically add the details. Using the “cut and paste” strategy honors the writing that the student has already done and makes space in appropriate places for developing details. It also reduces the dreaded recopying that stifles student writing.
This page (snapshot 5) contains a snippet of a second grader’s writing and notes of what craft move can be used to revise it. In this snippet, the student has three very short sentences about weather. The small craft move: combined into one sentence using the pitchfork strategy.
This page (snapshot 7) has copy of a second grader’s writing. I cut the writing apart, sentence by sentence, forming sentence strips. I made notes of small craft moves that can be used during revision. Separating sentences like this help students work on sequence in their writing. They also can more easily identify unnecessary repetition. And they can compare sentence beginnings and sentence lengths. They will more easily see if there are short sentences that can be combine to craft a longer single sentence. This student had used “am/is going to” three times. The student was able to notice this in the separated sentences and make a better word choice — swapped “will” for “am/is going to” The student also reduced and combined sentences 3, 4, and 5.
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Absolutely superb and so much information. Thank you so much for sharing this. I do have one question, how do you file everything and know where everything is, you must have an excellent filing system?
Thank you again for your generosity in sharing this. I am fascinated by your planning – and already thinking about ways to use this, to tweak my practice, to think about how I share my ideas.
I love this peak into your notebook and into your thinking. I will be storing some work for a new project, and this gives me some ideas to try. Now I am off to read part I.
I have never used this strategy before with the kids. This is definitely noted for future use. I appreciated that you focused on the writing process instead of the product. This is such a powerful reminder for me! Thank you!
I like the added information about your journals. So much useful and practical information here. The composition books are one of my favorite things to use instead of the spiral bound notebooks where the pages can be easily torn out.
Thank you! You nailed my main reason for preferring composition notebooks. Also, I’ve had sweaters ruined by the wire in the spiral notebooks… usually from a student’s notebook. 🙂 And, I’ve found that the size of a composition notebook works better than a spiral or binder in my carry-on luggage (on the plane) and my shoulder bag (on the way to school) and in my hand as I work (for note-taking, modeling lessons, etc., debriefing sessions).
Do you keep a separate journal each time you present, or do you keep adding to the same journal each time you present on that particular topic?
Great question, Samantha. Yes to both. For my planning (presenting) notebook I frequently use the same journal for one or two years and update it with stickies and paste in pages if I run out of blank ones in that part of the notebook. Sometimes, part of a training is expanded into a larger piece and then it requires a new notebook. The PD Journal that I create during the actual workshop is new every time. I document dates, location, and even participants. If it is a contracted PD and I return to that school, I use it for planning the next PD.
I’m leaning so much here that I read your post several times. Thanks so much for sharing your craft. I’m going to share this post with many.
Thank you. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions. You can do so through my site or message me on twitter @jcsnine
Thank you for a look into your PD Journal, Alice. I found it interesting how you cut up sentences.
We don’t do this every time nor with every student. It is a strategy I use when a student is writing weak sentences and is struggling with revision. It helps to see each sentence as a component, a building block. They we can work on improving each building block (sentence) first, rather than being overwhelmed by trying to improve the entire paragraph or composition. And it lets us be very purposeful in choice of crafting moves. After all, the whole cannot be any better than its components. Improve the sentences and the composition improves.