Jasper Roberts - Blog

Writing Notebook: Finishing up "Write Ideas" and first Invitation: AAAWWUBBIS!

Happy Monday!!

Today I am continuing on with the Writer's Notebook! Last time I left off, students had just finished their "100 Things I Love". After that, students completed their writing territories, which I got from Nancie Atwell's book Lessons That Change Writers. We spent the first day discussing writing territories out loud, going through the list in detail, so that students had ideas of what to write about. I told them to think of it like the caption for a picture. One to two sentences that could become something more. Students had to complete this for homework.

We also completely numbered our table of contents so that we could add in sections and start working in other parts of the notebook.

 Students wrote their writing territories on these pages.

Then we moved on to the Writer's Eye (I). Students had to place terms that described them within their "I" or around their "Eye".

I created my own sensory writing activity by having students do "Amazing Places". I asked students to draw their ultimate amazing place in the middle and then write places they love and have been or want to go around it. They had to have a minimum of twenty-five, and they had to be real places. 

 Finally, we are ready to WRITE! Cue cover page.

So then I jumped into a lesson I had seen on a TpT item, and it turns out I was going out of order from the Jeff Anderson book, Mechanically Inclined. I was under the assumption that the writing notebook kit I bought would go in order, which is not a huge deal, but is at the same time for me, because I like being sequential, ergh. 

Anyway, students brainstormed a list of memories from when they were little, and shared with each other. Then, I found an online reading of "When I Was Little" by Jamie Lee Curtis on YouTube, and played it for the kids on Friday. We discussed what we noticed in the book, and then someone said, there is a comma. Yes, yes there is. Why? They didn't know, so I said, that's what we will figure out Monday and the bell rang. 

Today, the fun began! I wrote "AAAWWUBBIS" on my objective board, and nothing else. Of course they asked what it was. "What is Triple A, Double W, U, Double B I S?" one student asked.

We discussed our "Mentor Sentence" from last week "When I was little, I cried a lot" and pointed out everything we saw about it. We wrote this in our notebooks next to the brainstorming from Friday. Then we created our own sentence that was just like the mentor sentence. When that was done, I put up the sentence Jeff Anderson recommends, "If there were an Olympic contest for talking, Shelly Stalls would have sweep the event" from Flipped. We talked about the sentence, and one student even knew that it said "were" because it wasn't a real contest. Yay!! We made our own sentence for that one as well, and then we moved on to AAAWWUBBIS!

I said it very weird. They looked at me funny. Then they laughed (phew!). I had one of those moments that John Mulaney talks about: 

Middle schoolers can be very....blunt, so it really could have gone either way! Thankfully, they started shouting AAAWWUBBIS right back at me. :) We talked about them being "Comma Causers" and how when you see one of those words at the beginning of a sentence, you will need a comma. When will you need the comma though? After the phrase, which will have a subject and a verb. Geniuses!

Students went to page 69 and made a cover page for Grammar Invitations. 

Then they picked up the handouts I had made (I didn't want to spend time writing them all in) The student handouts are blank after the AAAWWUBBIS words.

We also put in the Complex Sentences chart I made for them (based off of Jeff Anderson's anchor charts).

Tomorrow, students are bringing their silent reading books, and we are going to find examples for each AAAWWUBBIS word and write them down. Before they left today, I flipped around in Thirteen Reasons Why and found a quote using "After" and wrote it down so they know how to model their citations. 

Until I got into it, I felt very unsure as to how this all would go. I am not a fly by the seat of your pants type of person, so jumping into this with no set outline caused me a bit of anxiety. Now that I have the hang of it, I think we'll be good to go!

Today was probably the only time I'll spend the entire time on this, especially since we also have Word Within the Word to do. The rest of the week will probably be 15-20 minutes tops. 

Here's our rest of the week:

Tuesday: Invitation to Compare and Contrast
Wednesday: Invitation to Imitate and Celebrate
Thursday: Invitation to Write
Friday: Invitation to Edit


  1. BRILLIANT! And I'll bet they remember aaawwubis for life!

  2. Do you give your students your handouts in color? I love them, but we don't have color available at my school. Just curious :)

  3. Would love to get a copy Of your handouts!

  4. Love this idea! Are your handouts for sale on tpt? If not would you be willing to send a copy?

  5. Love this idea! Are your handouts for sale on tpt? If not would you be willing to send a copy?

  6. Hi, I am a primary school teacher in NZ and I love your AAAWWUBBIS sheet with examples. Is there any chance you could post a link to the document as a reply to this comment as I would love to use it in class. Thank you so much!

  7. Now you're probably considering what's so bad about looking for a write-up that was designed in a globally country? Moreover to the apparent invest of an possibility to improve educationally, as well as the apparent invest of your higher knowledge training, a information released by someone else living in advice from best essay service another world usually cannot indicate the your capabilities and information of the topic, nor can it stay up to your teacher's goals.

  8. I think a lot of people when they were students doing exactly the same. For example, I just ordered this writing from book report writer, so I certainly did not write about my memories.


Thanks for stopping by! JW