Monday, October 8, 2012

The One and Only Ivan-Our Reading Notebooks

During Read Aloud time, we have our notebooks open. Several times during our reading, Mrs. Sibberson stops to give us time to jot our thinking. When we were looking at other people's thinking about the book for Global Read Aloud, we saw this notebook from Mr. Hong's class and some of us wanted to try new things and columns in our notebooks. We thought we'd share some of our notebook work on our blog.
Student 1: I'm writing in two columns. One half is thoughts and predictions. The other is questions and answers.  It helps me understand and organize my journal. I have 2 questions that I have a prediction that might answer it.  The first one is, "How does Ivan talk to Stella?" The 2nd one is, "How does Ivan talk to Bob?"  The first prediction is they have cages, not glass separating them. The second prediction is about  the bat and baseball Mack gave Ivan and Ivan used the bat to make a hole in the corner of the glass part that lots of humans see Ivan. I think Bob went through that.

I think the epigraph is important.  "It is never too late to be what you might have been." I think it means you are _________ right now but you could be _________. Right now we are at the part where Stella has blood trickling down her leg and Stella backed Ruby into the cage.  I think Stella does this because #1 She had blood trickling down her leg. OR #2 We watched a book trailer that said friends are made and some are lost.  #3 Stella said old age is a good disguise so I think Stella is old.

Student 2: While Mrs. Sibberson is reading The One and Only Ivan, I write down in my journal if I have any questions.  I write questions in the questions column and if there are any answers to the questions, I write that down next to the question in the answer column.  If I find something important or interesting, I jot it down on the other page.  Sometimes I sketch something on that page so I know what they look like or just have an idea of what it looks like.  It helps me because I can just look back at my questions and answers and the other page/pages to remember what happened in the last couple of days.  Also, because I write all of the important parts, that sometimes leads me to my main question, "What does the epigraph mean?"  I chose that as my main question because it didn't make sense to me and I think the question is a question that will last a long time.  I think that the epigraph means that he will live out in the wild because the epigraph is, "It's never too late to be what you might have been."

Student 3: I am writing questions on one side and answers on the other.  I have answered one question and the question was, "How many keepers did Ivan have?"  The answer is 6. This helps me because I understand the book better when I ask questions. I understand that Ivan is sad because he is the only one in his cage. When I want to tell about the book, I go to the next free page and write down my thoughts. We are trying to figure out what the epigraph means.  The epigraph is, "It's never too late to be what you might have been?"  It goes through our head every time we read it. The epigraph helps us understand how the story is going as we try to figure it out.


  1. So happy to read these students' comments. I love the thinking that is happening when they are listening this wonderful book. The two column method seems to be working well for each of you. Keep up the good work and enjoy the book.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thinking! I look forward to showing this to my students and maybe they will get some new ideas to try too. : )

  3. I am a teacher learning from your blog!! These are wonderful ideas for ways to organize your thinking in your notebooks. I'll share your wonderful strategies with my students :) Thank you!

  4. Just heard your teacher speak here at the NCTE Conference in Las Vegas, NV. She is wonderful, but you already know that. Your two-column approach above is like our Cornell Notes that we use. Take care and thank you for your blog. Can't wait to look at some of the other topic strands.