It's a record of student thinking. It's an assessment tool. It's a style guide. It's the Patterns of Power Student Notebook and it is essential to your grammar instruction. Find out more in this video with authors, Jeff Anderson and Whitney La Rocca.
Jeff Anderson: One of the things that I like to say about the notebook is it's to record your thinking. It's like as if the child is building a style guide. So in the inner flaps we have information and things a writer might need. And in addition to that, there's a place to kind of keep the lessons in order, which is helpful to people because you know which day to do what and the kids know where to go. But the spaces that are most exciting to me are the ones that people have the most questions about.
Whitney La R.: Well, I think the student notebook is really powerful because, even though it comes inside that Patterns of Power Plus kit, it doesn't have to be used with just Patterns of Power Plus. It can be used with the Patterns of Power Resource book, the lessons from there, or if teachers create their own lessons, or if students go and find sentences that then they turn around and create a lesson for, the notebook can be used for any of that. And so it's really a place for students just to record their thinking and their growth over time as a writer and what they learned about themselves.
Jeff Anderson: Well, that's the awesome part. It becomes an assessment tool.
Whitney La R.: It does.
Jeff Anderson: So you can pull it out when parents come in for a conversation. You can see this is where we started the year, this is where we're going. And kids go back and forth when they're encouraged to. They'll go back and forth and add something new that they learned, maybe under a celebration thought because people a lot of times ask, "Well, what do you put under celebration thoughts?" Well, what don't you put under a celebration thought?
Jeff Anderson: Let's think of it this way. It's a joyous box. It's open ended for them to either write a friend's imitation sentence that they liked or something they learned about themselves that's good as a writer. Anything that they can actually celebrate is what deserves to be on that page. And I think that if you want your notebook to be perfect, don't. Just don't, don't do that. Remember, progress not perfection. Explore, discover, create. Start thinking about possible ways that you could use those sections rather than what's supposed to be here. Because remember patterns of power's not about what's right or wrong. It's about meaning and effect. It's about composition. It's about connecting, reading and writing together.
Whitney La R.: And it's a process and so also the implementation of the notebook can also be a process. If you are overwhelmed at the beginning to try to get all of the pieces in, don't worry about that.
Jeff Anderson: Start with conversation.
Whitney La R.: Start with conversation.
Jeff Anderson: End with conversation.
Whitney La R.: When your students are ready to start adding things into that notebook with your nudging, with your time that you provide for them to begin to do that.
Jeff Anderson: Got to nudge them, got to nudge them.
Whitney La R.: This is the student notebook, it's not a workbook. It's not a place for them to do what worksheets and practice and all of that.
Jeff Anderson: Fill in the blanks.
Whitney La R.: Fill in the blanks. It becomes their personal style guide, their interactive style guidance and their place for them to find out how they're growing as a writer and also to set goals for the future. They can reflect on what they've done in the past to set goals for the future. Even just when we think about writing notebooks in general, they are a place for students to write their thinking. They're not normally writing final copies and publishing in there.
Jeff Anderson: No, it's a draft.
Whitney La R.: It's a place for them to collect their thoughts, to draft their thinking.
Jeff Anderson: To exercise.
Whitney La R.: To explore, and so we want them-
Jeff Anderson: Experiment.
Whitney La R.: -to have the student notebook as a-
Jeff Anderson: I'm just going to keep saying E words.
Whitney La R.: -as a place to explore, to experiment and to reflect on their own writing, and see themselves as writers in the conventions of language.
Jeff Anderson: So I guess what we're trying to say about the celebration thoughts, the apply it section, the apply it can actually come from the lesson but it doesn't have to come from the lesson. And I think some people are still trying to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday this. It's not a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday thing. There's six steps in the process. Whitney and I have really found that the people who have the most success with it allow about two weeks per lesson cycle when they have a set of lessons that they're going to go through, invitation to notice, invitation to compare and contrast, invitation to apply, invitation to celebrate.
Whitney La R.: We always have interruptions in our day.
Jeff Anderson: That's true.
Whitney La R.: And so if we try to cram something into one week, then something's going to get left out. And as teachers we tend to cram, cram, cram, cram, cram, and then we leave something out. And we have invitation to notice, invitation to compare, contrast, invitation to imitate together and then imitate independently, celebrate those invitations, apply and then the editing conversation, which is between six and seven steps. Well, if we have two weeks to do that, we have some extra days in there for flexibility, which we can bring in the collect and create further inquiry.
Jeff Anderson: More application.
Whitney La R.: More application time to go back and teach them how to go back into their writing now and move this into their writing and think about themselves as writers in the choices they're already making and what new choices can they make now.
Jeff Anderson: And reflect on that.
Whitney La R.: Yes.
Jeff Anderson: I think I like that idea of it being a personal style guide. That's what it's most useful for, and I love that they can go back and return and go back, and three weeks from now I can flip back to the page and I can add something because it's mine.
Whitney La R.: Right. And they can pull it out at any time they need it. If they're working in writing workshop on something and they want to use commas in a series, for example, they can be like, "Oh yeah, we did that in my notebook. Let me pull that out." And if they own it and it's personal, they know exactly where to go to find it. They don't need the teacher to come and show them where it is.
Jeff Anderson: So it's just like writer's workshop. Ownership, choice, not everybody's is going to look the same, it's developmental and we care about what they're doing in there that they're actually doing something, that they're experimenting, they're playing, they're growing, not perfect. It's not going to be perfect, nor should it look perfect. The less perfect it looks, the better. And if you want to skip a day, or they might come back to it later, they may not. Just give yourself that breathing room of two weeks. And if you want to start on Friday, but think about what that communicates to kids when you don't just go on Friday, "We're done with that," and move on. We're going to what? We're going to go into the next week. Anyway, we're too rushed in this world. Let those 10 minutes a day be a glorious space of thinking and breath and time and learning and exploration and discovery.