Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here's some more good ideas for writing at the 6-8 grades from Corbett Harrison. Enjoy!

Once again, the simple-to-use "Mr. Stick" proves his worth to me as both a writing teacher and as a keeper of my own writer's notebook.  Check out these newly-posted notebook pages from my 6th-8th graders:
Each May, I sponsor a "Mr. Stick of the Year" notebook challenge.  Only students who've earned a "Mr. Stick of the Week" award from me can enter; all year long, I give out three or four weekly "awards" to students who self-nominate a special page they've been working on in their notebooks.  If they take the time to add a Mr. Stick to enhance their notebook's writing (, then they can self-nominate themselves with a Post-it note and by placing it in my special basket at the front of the room.  This inspires them to make their writer's notebooks more visual, and all it costs me is some dime-store prizes from my extra credit prize bucket.  Each  May, those students who've practiced being visual and won one time in the school year are invited to go "all out" and create a one- or two-page spread that uses Mr. Stick alongside a short, new piece of writing they're proud of.
Each year, the quantity and quality of the entries I receive just keep getting bigger and better.  I give out nine total prizes (I have about 160 total students) and one GRAND prize.  When we start up with notebooks again in the Fall, I show these pages off, and my students' eyes light up.  "We can make our notebooks look like that?" they ask.
It was hard to narrow it down to just ten victors this year, but it's been done, and they are posted at Pinterest:
If you've never used the "Mr. Stick" ideas I freely share (and constantly add to) at my website, I hope these images will inspire you to consider adding it next year.  It's truly the simplest technique I've ever used to help my students LIKE maintaining their writer's notebooks for me.
This is the last week of school for us!  If it is for you too, I hope it runs smoothly.
I'll be posting new ideas throughout the summer.  Keep in touch about them, as I always enjoy hearing from you.
--Corbett Harrison (
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