Spark Student Motivation: Writing Notebooks - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Spark Student Motivation: Writing Notebooks

Good morning friends!! I'm linking up with one of my besties, Joanne, from Head Over Heels for Teaching to share an idea I borrowed that worked WONDERS on my students' motivation to write. I wish I could tell you where I first heard of this idea, but I honestly can't remember. I also wish I had original pictures of this idea, but once again, summer makes it impossible. :-P

So here are some examples of the motivational tip I am telling you about today! Personalizing writer's notebooks! We have a registration day a few days before school starts where most students come to meet their teachers, and parents can fill out all the important paperwork. While parents are occupied with the paperwork, I let the students know I am giving them their first homework assignment. Most of them look at me with horror, "really?!? Homework on the last few days of summer??" But then I give them THIS.
Click to download this for FREE!
I promise the clip art looks better after you download it- I don't know why Google discolored it!

As a suggestion from Lori, here is one for "older kids" that need a reminder to be appropriate:

They get very excited about this little "art project" I've assigned them! They REALLY get into it, too. Some of them glue pictures of their family, some use scrapbook stickers, some have pictures of their favorite celebrity, some draw pictures... they are all definitely very unique, which is the intention! When they bring them in, a parent volunteer and I sit down with them and wrap the covers in clear packing tape. This helps hold everything on AND it lasts ALL YEAR!

My students LOVE pulling their notebooks out to write in them. They like to show them off, too. :o) I hope this is an idea you will consider for your writer's notebooks! I promise, your kids will love it!

Before I go, I do believe I promised some winners! :o)
Bubble Gum Day for 3rd and 4th Graders!
The winners of the Bubble Gum Day unit are:
Congratulations ladies! Check your email! :o)

Make sure to go check out the other great ideas to motivate students over at Joanne's blog today! Have a great Saturday!


  1. I love the idea of clear packing tape! I've always wanted to let me kids decorate their covers-but I didn't want to buy plastic covers to keep their decorations on their notebooks so I always just skipped it. I will have to do this next year, thanks for the suggestion.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I LOVE this idea. Only problem is, about half of my students show up for Back to School Night and the other half show up the first day of school. :( What do you do about the ones who don't come until the first day of school?!

    Adventures in Room 204

    1. I have some that don't come too, so I don't make it "due" until a few days in. :)

  3. I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! What a great way to get them excited about writing before the year even starts! :)

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  4. These are awesome! Love the packing tape to seal the covers, simple genius:)

  5. Great idea! Thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to use it, but will have to add something to the assignment sheet about the covers being school appropriate.... teaching fifth grade, there's always that handful who get too 'creative'.

    1. I have added one with your suggestion! Thanks!!

    2. Thanks so much! Thanks for the techy tip as well! I hope I did it right!

  6. L*O*V*E and totally stealing! I always have them decorate their Reader's Notebooks, but since I'll be using my composition books for my mentoring sentences too, I'll have them decorate these too!
    Thanks for sharing your freebie and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. I do this too with math notebooks. The kids have to decorate their math spirals with math related clippings from the newspaper and magazines. They love doing it. I like that you cover their artwork for them. I will have to try that!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  8. Love it! I do a similar thing with their Interactive Math Journals. I think it means more to them once they make it personal.

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  9. This is a super cute idea! Thanks for sharing your assignment card with us. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  10. I love this idea of having them decorate their writing notebooks, it makes it so much more personal. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea.


  11. I love this idea! It gives the students an opportunity to express themselves through the designs of their notebooks! I would have to do something like this in the future! Thanks for sharing! Keep those brilliant ideas coming! :)

  12. Love this idea and will definitely be using it! Thanks for sharing!

    Success in Second Grade

  13. My students decorated their writer's notebooks last year for the first time, and you are right! They loved it!! I blogged about it here last summer if you are interested:
    Thank you so much for the freebie:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Yep, winners chosen already...darn! That is what I get for taking a break:)

  14. I had my class decorate their writing journals this year but I did not cover them - I love that ideas and will be doing that for sure next year. I also like that you make it an at home project too, love it so much I may just be stealing that too (since I have a great parent letter already - thanks for the freebie!)

  15. I really like this idea. We have a meet the teacher night about a week before school starts, so this would be something I could send with them then.

    Literacy Spark

    1. I was also just thinking it would help my students NOT mix up their notebooks. This was our first year departmentalized and the 2nd graders could not keep their things straight...always using the materials that belong to students in the other classes, even though I put their names on them!

  16. I love that you give them 'homework' during meet the teacher. I definitely want to try this next year! I think I'll use it for our reader response journal since I do a writing folder vs. a journal. Such a cool idea. Thank you so much for it!

    Reaching for the TOP!


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