In my classroom, I have found that through the support of notebook work, students can grow their writing and strengthen their ideas. With strong ideas, they can write better first drafts. The work we do in notebooks before rushing into a draft gives us time to envision our work, to find mentor texts we love, and to study those texts. In doing so, we actually are doing a lot of the “revision” on our “vision” before we write the draft. — Nonfiction Notebooks
Aimee Buckner has introduced writer's notebooks to hundreds of classrooms through her popular book Notebook Know-How, thereby helping students everywhere learn to improve their overall writing by focusing on essential prewriting strategies. Now, using the same format, Aimee explains how writer’s notebooks can help students improve their nonfiction writing—reports, articles, memoirs, essays, and so forth—which has taken on even greater importance because of the emphasis the Common Core State Standards place on informative/explanatory writing.
As Aimee explains, the prewriting work a student does is particularly important when writing informational pieces. Writer’s notebooks help students capture their thoughts, develop ideas, explore mentor texts, refine a research strategy, and play with multiple outcomes—all of which lead to stronger concepts and better first drafts. Greater emphasis on the front end of the writing process also saves time and energy at the revision and editing stages. From exploring topics to gathering information to assessment, Nonfiction Notebooks takes teachers step-by-step through the process of how best to use notebooks for informational writing. Helpful reproducible forms are included both in the book and as downloads online.