Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer Kickoff: Notes from Amy LV & Kimberley Moran

Dear Readers of Sharing Our Notebooks,

So many summer welcomes to second grade teacher Kimberley Moran from iWrite in Maine.  I am excited to share that Kimberly wrote to early in May and suggested a Summer Edition of Sharing Our Notebooks. She was kind enough to kick off the fun, and there are now already almost seventy great ideas.

Would you please consider adding to this collection?  To do so, simply photograph a notebook page - written or drawn by any age child or adult (parent permission required for student notebooks) and write a brief (no more than one paragraph) Try This! of how a writer/artist might try this on his or her own.

Simply e-mail me with your notebooking idea at  All are welcome - children (parent permission), teenagers (parent permission please), teachers, authors, all.  

You need not be a teacher or writer...but simply remember that Sharing Our Notebooks has a youth audience, so please keep it clean and healthy.  If you have already posted here, I would love to have you again!  If you would rather e-mail your paragraph and photograph/scan to me, you can find my contact information here.  I have created a new page for all Try This! ideas, this page will continue to grow here.

It has been a joy to host this project so far, and I hope that it will inspire many writers.  Please help yourself to the bookmarks on the sidebar - they might come in handy for students' summer notebooks.  Thank you, Kimberley, and welcome, all!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Host at Sharing Our Notebooks

And now, kicking off our Summer Edition...welcome to Kimberley Moran!


After making myself a cup of coffee, I grab for my favorite blanket and head to the screened in porch with my current book and my writing notebook.  It's spring, and this ritual is as familiar to me as climbing out of bed in the morning.  When I was seven, I would have been drinking fresh squeezed orange juice, and the porch would have been our sunroom, but the book and writing notebook would have been in hand just they are today.

When I got my summer reading list each year, I was thrilled.  My mother would buy me every book I wanted on that list.  There was so much choice allowed in what I read, but I usually read 75% of the list.  I loved all kinds of books, so there was no forcing necessary.  I think the most wonderful part about my summer reading was that there was no required list making or reading response requirements.  I was just supposed to read...and read I did.

Very soon after my second grade year, I discovered journals.  I found an old blue batik journal in a special store in the town where we spent our summers. I had always identified with characters I read about, but with a journal I began thinking about my reading and my summer world of independence in a way I never had before.

When I read the ALL-OF-A-KIND-FAMILY series, I tested myself by writing all of the children's names in my writing notebook.  I never thought about my writing as educational, I never judged what I wrote, I just wrote about whatever I wanted.  These journals show how books transformed me each summer.

Every year as a teacher I get asked what kids should do over the summer to avoid the summer slide.  I always tell them to read.  Read all summer.  It's the easiest and best way I know.  Recently I started thinking about how to give a more complete answer because I never JUST read. I experienced what I read and wrote about that in my notebook.  We each experience reading in our own ways.  So shouldn't we all have the opportunity to process and save how we think about our reading and our summer lives?

Enter Sharing Our Notebooks: Summer Edition.  Here is one way you can write in your summer journal, and we hope you'll come back for ideas from other teachers, readers, writers, adults, children, and friends.

You can find the home for this just-stated list of Try This! exercises for summer notebooking here.


  1. I love this....will try to share!

  2. It's a great idea, Kimberley and Amy! I'll try to come up with something for you.

  3. I'll see what I have. This is a great idea!

  4. Hope to work on this once I unveil the new site for #eduheroes.

  5. I love this idea!! My students are starting to gather ideas for summer reading and writing this week. We will be sure to share!!

  6. Amy & Kimberley, I love everything about this! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Perfect timing as we are reflecting on our year and planning our summer reading and writing! You will be in our classroom Monday morning!

  8. Thanks for the invitation! I just added one quick idea -- making your own notebook. Would love to add more. Thanks, Amy!

  9. Hello Kimberly. Thank you for being such a creative teacher. Appreciations Amy for introducing Kimberly & this gre8t summer eyedear.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.