Margin Notes



In Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher’s newest joint publication 4 Essential Studies: Beliefs and Practices to Reclaim Student Agency, they share a great idea for writer’s notebooks. The idea is borrowed from William Stafford, former U.S. poet laureate, who suggests starting each day by returning to the last line written the day before and asking if there is more to say about what was written. What Kittle and Gallagher recommend is: after students have had a few weeks of notebook writing they can be invited to underline the last line of each of their notebook entries and choose one to copy onto a new page. They then use this line to write what more they have to say. As they remind us, part of the writing opportunities that a writer’s notebook opens up is the ability to go dig into what is already writing and find, “…the inspiration needed to move a writer forward.”

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