Make Journaling Fun with Washi Tape & a Straw!

www.peasinapodlessons.com

This post was originally written as a guest post on the blog Minds in Bloom.

Hi! It’s Melissa from Peas in a Pod. I am currently in my 11th year of teaching. I’ve taught kinder – 8th, thanks to a few combo classes. Writing is one of my favorite subjects to teach! There are so many ways to make it fun.  Today I’m going to guide you through personalizing super cute DIY journals with pencil holders!

Learning how to organize our thoughts on paper can be hard! Writing can turn into a chore. Because of past difficulties, many students just shut down at the mere idea of it.

These easy DIY journals can help reluctant writers get excited about their ideas again. After creating their own journals, students become more invested in what goes in them. It’s personalized and belongs to them, inside and out. For this reason, I like to use them for poetry and personal journaling. Feel free to check out my Peas in a Pod Store for more dynamic writing ideas and resources.

 

What you’ll need:

www.peasinapodlessons.com

Scissors

Notebooks (not spiral bound)

½ of a straw (I have found the fatter straws for smoothies work the best. I also recommend testing different straws with the pencils you have available to make sure you’ll have a nice fit.)

Wide Washi Tape or Duct Tape (It’s nice to have a few color / design options for students to choose from.)

Directions:

  1. Cut the straw in half or to the desired length.www.peasinapodlessons.com

2. Cut 1 piece of duct tape 1 inch longer than the straw.  Fold over the top end of tape.  Place straw on the tape, lining up the folded end with the top of the straw, leave the bottom end of the tape extending beyond the straw.

3. Align the straw on the binding of the book and tape.  Be certain to have the folded tape facing the top and secure the tape that extends below the straw to the book.  This will keep the pencil from falling out of the bottom of the holder.

www.peasinapodlessons.com

4. Attach more tape from top to bottom of the spine on both the front and the back.

www.peasinapodlessons.comBOOM! You have a notebook with a handy dandy pencil attached!

www.peasinapodlessons.com

 

If you are so inclined, you can further personalize it with artwork or a wordle (wordle.net). It’s a free program that creates art from typed words. You can have students use words that describe themselves, or better yet, use positive words their classmates have used to describe them!! To attach the art, simply use clear contact paper and fold it over the edges. (If you chose to add artwork, I would suggest using the contact paper to secure it to the journal first. Then, follow the taping instructions above, so the tape will secure that edge of the contact paper.)

www.peasinapodlessons.com

These notebooks are blank slates just waiting to be turned into interactive notebooks, daily journals, or math notes that correspond to each daily lesson. They become so much more than just a notebook. They are special. When I use them to teach poetry, I systematically guide students through many different forms: rhyming poems, non-rhyming poems, Haiku, Cinquain, and Limericks. After practicing each type, these journals are the perfect place to write down our final drafts.

*A note of warning: Tape, especially wide tape, can be trickier than it looks. In 4th – 6th grades, I would recommend constructing these notebooks with students in small group rotations, so you are available to help those with less “tape experience”. In grades 1st -3rd, I suggest bringing in a parent volunteer. After a whole class demonstration, the volunteer could then call the students over one by one to help them construct their notebooks.

I’d love to know how you see yourself using these notebooks. Do your students love them as much as mine? I would love to hear all about it. Happy Teaching!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Peas-In-A-PodWho am I? I’m a super friendly, very talkative, teacher in CA who loves the Lord, cute new office supplies, and a great thrift store find!

You can find more in my ~ Peas in a Pod ~ Teachers Pay Teachers store. I’m also on Instagram @peasinapodlessons, Pinterest, and have a Facebook page, too! I like talking about new projects and creative ideas! I’d love to see you there.

5 Ways to Teach a Growth Mindset

It’s possible to consciously change your mindset from fixed to one of continual growth. Once you have seen someone embrace a growth mindset, you can see its value. People will begin to take on challenges beyond what they might have otherwise. They push themselves with language like, “What can we learn from our mistake?” and “What are we missing?”

Continue reading

How I Survived My First Year of Teaching

Overwhelming! It’s the perfect word to sum up my first year of teaching.

 

It’s not all doom and despair though. It is exhausting, but your first year teaching will also be full of discoveries and excitement! I’m reflecting back and writing this post with the hope that my experience makes the transition a little smoother for other teachers.

Here are the top 7 things I wish I had known going into my first year:

Continue reading

The Giving Classroom ~ Promoting Generosity & Gratitude

It’s always a good time to teach about generosity & gratitude, especially when kids are hyper-focused on ‘getting’. This is one of the best times to teach them about the joy of giving. As always, take it easy on yourself! If your days are jam-packed and you don’t have time to add this concept into your teaching schedule, no worries. Just make a mental note to tackle it at some point during the year.

Gratitude is a life skill.

Practicing gratitude for the smallest blessings chases away discontent. Learning and practicing this skill early on teaches children how to lift themselves up emotionally when life gets hard. This type of metacognition can equip students to better deal with depression. Academics are surely important, but social emotional skills are must-haves ! Continue reading

New Perks for Teachers!

library-blogpic2

The reading specialist in my district recently let us in on a little known “secret”! Teachers can now apply for special teacher library cards! The card lets you check out double the items, for twice as long, and they won’t accrue overdue fines. All you need to get one of these bad boys is a current teacher’s id badge. Continue reading

Tips on Structured Student Conversations

 

Welcome! I’m joining up with a few of my favorite teacher bloggers for a book study of Jennifer Serravallo’s book, The Reading Strategies Book. Join us as we focus in on a few of our favorite reading strategies.kids-talking

When our principal walks through our rooms she leaves a little note with a few compliments and a suggestion. The last suggestion she left me was to increase student talk. Knowing that this is an area I need to work on, I’m excited to take a deeper look at a few of the ideas presented in “The Reading Strategies Book”. Deepening comprehension through speaking & listening is part of the 12th goal. Here are 3 “gold nuggets” I especially liked from this chapter: Continue reading