Literacy Coaching with Mrs. Bush

May, 2021

Reader's Notebook Ideas for May

Reader's Notebook Ideas

Reading is thinking. An organized notebook can help our Stevenson students hold those thoughts and bring them into conversations with peers in a Book Club or with their teachers during whole group or small group instruction. I am working with a group of 5th graders in a Book Club and showing them how to put their thoughts into a Reader's Notebook. Once they set up their notebooks and get busy writing, they can use this method for years to come to write down their thoughts and reflections about what they are reading after each chapter in a novel or any book.


Students can use post its to create four tabs. The four tabs are read aloud, independent reading, Book Club notes, and goals. In addition to the tabs, I like to save a few pages in the beginning of the notebook for a “Books I’ve read” section and a “Books I want to read” section.

(These ideas came from Fountas and Pinnell).


The first tab is the read aloud section. I used the read aloud section in a few ways. When we finish a read aloud, I make copies of a picture of the cover of the book. We use a glue stick to attach it in our notebook, and I give my students time to reflect about what they learned from the characters or the story. We take time to write about how the story has impacted us. I like using it this way because some of the read alouds we share with our students have big life lessons, and I like to recognize their impact when we finish. This helps students relate to characters or situations in the book to their own world.

I also use this section at times during my mini lesson. If I want my students to try a strategy, I usually demonstrate first using text already read out loud. With certain mini lessons, we’ll open to this section in our notebooks to try the same strategy and then talk to our partners. I usually reserve a small part of the notebook for this section.


Our independent reading section takes up the bulk of our notebook. This is where students jot or store post its with jots. We refer to this section in conferences.

The Book Club section holds all of our book club work. We usually read together during book club using a program called Learning Allay. Students then discuss what stood out to them in this chapter. After our discussion, students are given time to write down their thoughts in their Notebooks.

Finally, the Goal Section holds the goals that students set for themselves with their teacher's guidance during conferences. You only need a few pages for it, but I have found this section really helpful to focus students on what they are working on while they are reading.

Writing doesn't have to be difficult or hard to do. We can get our students writing more by using some of these tips for good writing each day.

Remember to read rich literature that students will enjoy and want to write about. Before you know it, your students will be proficient readers and writers.

Those are my thoughts....Let's keep reading and writing!

Your Stevenson Literacy Coach

Mrs. Denise Bush

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