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Citation: Buckner, Aimee. (2005). Notebook Know How: Strategies for the Writer's Notebook. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Title: Notebook Know How: Strategies for the Writer's Notebook
Year: 2005
Publisher: Stenhouse
City: Portland, ME
Medium: Book
Author(s): Buckner, Aimee
Grades: Third Grade to Eighth Grade
Category: Writing Folders and Writer’s Notebooks Mentor Authors and Illustrators and Mentor Texts
Annotation: If a writer’s notebook is to be a useful tool, it must be useful first to the writer and the then to the reader (or teacher). In the long run, the creation of each notebook belongs in the hands of the writer. Aimee Buckner knows this from personal and professional experience and shows intermediate teachers how to implement writer’s notebooks in their classrooms in concrete ways that will ensure success. Even though this is a small book, it is filled with specific strategies teachers can try.

Her chapter on launching the notebook has more details about this process than many other books on this topic. Aimee helps you to think through all the details and lists many different strategies to get your students launched into using their notebooks. She also includes examples from her classroom instruction and specific directions to make each strategy successful.

Aimee also provides the same type of classroom specifics about helping students to expand their topics, how to study literature as mentors, how to use notebooks to understand genres, and how to teach conventions. The highlight of this book is that all of the ideas are right from Aimee’s own classroom and the book is written as if she were sitting right beside you, sharing her gems of wisdom. She wraps up her book by explaining why and how she assesses her students’ writer notebooks. She writes, “Keeping a notebook isn’t something you ‘get.’ It’s not a science, there is no one right way. Keeping a notebook is a process. It’s something that ‘gets’ you – leads you from one thought to another until you, too, experience the writer’s joy of discovering something you didn’t know you knew” (p. 7). Whether you are an intermediate teacher who is just beginning with writers’ notebooks, if you have dabbled a bit with them in the past, or even if you have incorporated writers’ notebooks, but sense that there might be more you could be doing, you’ll want to grab this book and settle in with your highlighter because you are in for a treat!