I'm going to admit right now that I have a cool summer learning activity planned for myself. As you must know by now if you're following this blog, I've been keeping my first writer's notebook myself this past year, and about half of its pages are currently filled. When I've shown my model to students as part of a demo lesson, I have an amazing response. "Do we get to do that too?" is the most common question I am asked. "Tell your teacher you want to!" I respond. I've helped a lot of teachers add writer's notebooks to their pre-writing tools this year.
Meet Austin (at left--an old picture from a few years back is all I have); he's a colleague's son who's going into seventh grade in September. Since third grade, he's been featured at WritingFix because he's been a participant in our NNWP's TWIST Camps. This summer, because he's now too old for the TWISTs, he and I are working on a project we're calling "Corbett & Austin Keep Writer's Notebooks."
He and I will be chatting (over Skype) about funny ideas we have about new writer's notebook pages; he's just starting his, while I'm adding new pages to mine. We will then be getting together--face to face--and creating our pages with a shared set of pencils, pens and crayons. Then, we'll both be using our pages as inspiration for longer stories or poems or whatever. I'll be turning each idea into a web-page at WritingFix, and next school year, our Writing Lesson of the Month network will be featuring both Austin and my pages and the stories/poems they inspired. Our hope is to inspire whole classrooms (all grade levels!) of students to create similar pages and to share the stories/poems they eventually write.
To make sure we're both on the same page, Austin and I will be doing several pages together right at the beginning of the summer, and these initial notebook pages will be based on lessons already posted at WritingFix that we'll be modifying with our work this summer.