Fantabulous Fourth Grade!!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reader's/Writer's Notebook With a CUTE Twist or Notebooks to Use for WHATEVER You LIKE!!

Okay guys, I couldn't wait to share this fun, cute, creative, individualized notebook idea that I got from a district staff development a few weeks ago. Our district is making Reader's/Writer's Notebooks mandatory for all classrooms this year. Presenters have been spreading this creative way of decorating those simple composition notebooks throughout the summer and turning them into handy FANTABULOUS creations that will be created by each of our students! Instead of the teachers doing all of the work, making tons of copies, and covering the notebooks with contact paper (needing parents volunteers to help...yikes), students can use their creativity and take more ownership over their notebooks.
                              Two of my notebook creations

Materials needed:
~ tape
~ scissors
~ a pencil
~ Velcro
~ 1 glue stick
~ 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper (any two from a STACK will do)
~ stickers, stamps, adhesive jewels, letters or (anything that will accessorize the notebook for creative flair)

Step 1
Gather two pieces of (stack/decorative cardstock) paper and place one on top of the other. Then place the notebook (opened) in the center of the two pages. Measure so that there's  an even amount of paper left over on each side of the notebook. After you have measured the notebook, remove the notebook to tape down or glue the two sheets together to form one sheet.

edges taped/glued together

Step 2
Trace the outer edges of the notebook. Once you trace the notebook, cut off the top and bottom edges along the traced lines.

Step 3
Take the front flap of paper and pull (as tight as possible) and tape down on the inside cover. After you tape the front flap down, close the notebook. Take the second flap and pull over the closed note book. Place your velcrow under neath the (2nd) flap and voila! You are done with the hard part!

                          2nd flap with velcrow
Additional components-

Table of Contents- this can be very helpful for teachers and students by cutting down the time it takes students to sometimes find their work from previous lessons. The first couple of pages can be dedicated for this section (use front and back) to have students log each page of the note book. This way they know exactly where to find specific activities or information regarding a specific topic. For example, "Students in your notebooks refer back to the (Craft) lesson on using Figurative Language".

Tabs- these can be used to make multiple sections in your notebook
(e.g. vocabulary/writing territories/poetry/craft/generating ideas/word study)

Once you have finished you can do the following to jazz up your notebooks:

~ add pictures, names, quotes
~ add stickers
~ use decorative scissors to cut the overlapping flap of the notebook
~ use scraps to make columns, funky designs/shapes, stripes, etc.
~ use foam letters (best to do after lamination because they won't fit through the laminator)
~ scrapbooking kits

**** Most importantly laminate your notebooks to last throughout the entire school year!

I hope you like the new twist on the notebooks and can find this to be a useful idea to use in your classrooms.


  1. This is SUPER creative! Thanks for sharing! I am now a follower. I am a fourth grade teacher as well! :)


  2. Well hello there fellow 4th grade teacher!! I am glad you like it! I thought the same thing when the idea was introduced to me. I can't wait to see the creations the kiddos come up with!