Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Slice of Life: Student-Made Bookmarks

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

At the beginning of the year, one of our district's Language Arts Consultants and I set a goal to work together and commit to having a book group with fidelity. It's hard. Other meetings get in the way. Busy lives get in the way. We haven't rushed it, and we've managed to keep the group going, reading and trying out some of the strategies and tools in the fabulous DIY Literacy by Kate Roberts and Maggie Beatty Roberts. At our most recent meeting, we didn't assign specific chapters to discuss; instead, we invited participants to bring shares. It was really exciting to see some of the tools these teachers have been inspired to make and use with their students. 

Ginger Bowes is a third-grade teacher, and she had students make bookmarks to use as goal-setting tools. She introduced the concept to her students by showing them the charts from the Reading and Writing Project about retelling and envisioning. 

Chart that was used to demonstrate how to make a bookmark

From there, she showed her students the bookmark that she had made, having chosen the specific elements of the charts that she wanted to remember to practice as a learner.

Ginger's model bookmark that she created
Once Ginger shared her work, she asked students to design bookmarks that would specifically help them, telling her students that they were free to add pictures and use their own words so that their bookmarks would be useful to them. 

I loved seeing some of the tools her students created!

As with any other instructional strategy, the true value of these bookmarks will be determined if we see them lead to student growth. I'm betting that these bookmarks will be effective tools for growing readers! Thank you to Ginger for sharing her ideas and her students' work.

Happy Slicing!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I teach 3rd grade and plan to share your post with my team. I think we will soon be having our Arlington, VA kiddos creating their own bookmarks reminding them of the steps expert readers follow as they read!

  2. What great ideas. Thank you for inspiring me to think about getting students to own their goals.

  3. These are fabulous, Melanie! I love that the kids personalized their bookmarks with the strategies they use. Congratulations on keeping the book group going. I know what a challenge that is!