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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leader in Me Mini-Series: Leadership Notebooks

Something big is happening at our school this year!  We are becoming a 7 Habits Leadership School.  If you're not sure what this is, don't worry, I wasn't either, lol.  Stephen Covey wrote the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Leader in Me is essentially the school/kid version of that book.  As a school we won't start implementing the 7 Habits until next month but we have started using Leadership Notebooks regularly in place of our Data Notebooks.

If you use a Data Notebook in your class you'll notice that our Leadership Notebooks are not that much different...  Just a few more things added.  Now, I will be the first to say that I'm not 100% sure that this is how a Leadership Notebook should look/be set up, or if there even is a way to do it perfectly, but this one works fabulously for us!  Here is an inside look at what we have in ours. 
FAIR WARNING:  This is an insanely long post but full of freebies.  Just click on the image to snag yours!

Starting off, every student has a 1" white binder with a page view cover.  You can have your students bring in tabs or make your own.  We made our own using file folders that we cut in half and hole punched! 

The very first thing the students and parents see when you open the binder is a letter to the parents explaining what a Leadership Notebook is and the expectations for both the student and parents.
Next up is a Parent Review and Comments page.  We will send these notebooks home a few times every month.  This page keeps parents updated on what has been added since the last time they saw it and has a section for them to sign or comment and ask questions if need be.
Our tabs are as follows:

My Self: This is where you can find everything personal about students.  Their goals, behavior, homework tracker, contributions, etc.
 Every month students create an academic goal and a personal goal to work on.  The first time I introduce this I only have them focus on their academic goal.  The following month we will write a goal for each: academic and personal.  More on this coming up with Leader in Me Mini-Series: SMART Goals.

Academics is a huge focus in schools, obviously, but you also want to teach your students to be good people!  We talk about contributing to our communities in different ways and keep a log of how they contribute to our school.  We have many opportunities to do so through fundraisers and Kids Care Club and every time they contribute something (time or money) they get to color in a box.  I will tell you that this is what my students gravitate to more than anything!  They LOVE being a part of something and helping in any way they can.  Since they have started filling out this form I have become inundated with contributions from my kids!  Makes for one proud teacher :o)

Reading Data: Here you can find their Lexile scores, fluency graph, graph for Unit Tests, and their Reading DE scores.  You can also keep track of how many books they've read, Reading Genre Challenge, etc.  Add whatever you want!
Math Data: Very similar to the Reading Data section!  Students keep their  Multiplication Masters Fluency Tracking Chart, Math Chapter Tests, and Math DE scores here.

Science/Social Studies Data: This holds their science and social studies tests so far...  Maybe later on I will think of more things to add but that's about it for now!

Writing Data: Samples of student writing and county writing scores are housed here.

The back also has a special cover that we slide in!  Together we made a Class Mission Statement and everyone's Leadership Notebook has their own copy of the statement so they can see it even when they go home.  This was written word for word by them!  If you want to know how to write your own class mission statement, keep your eyes open for Leader in Me Mini-Series: Mission Statements, coming soon!

Whew!!!  You made it!  I told you it was a long post, but click on some of the photos and you can grab yourself a free copy of that document!  Do you implement Leadership Notebooks in your class?  How do you like it?  Anything I should add to ours?


  1. Great post! I look forward to learning more from you. Funny cause I was following you, not knowing you were at my school!


    1. HAHA! Gwen, I saw your blog name in my email and thought, "Oh, we have a Mrs. Brinn at our school!" Small world!

  2. This looks great Sabra! Our school looked into being a Leader In Me school, but we can't afford it :(
    The Seven Habits is going to be our school Book Study this year though.
    I'm looking forward to hearing more about what your school will be doing!
    Have a great weekend,
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  3. My son attends a Leader in Me school (the first Lighthouse school in our state in fact). I see the effects in him as a first grader! Great program!

  4. My school is looking into becoming a Leader in Me School also. The grant application is in place and we are waiting to hear back, to see if we can finance the program.
    This notebook would be a great addition to my already-used portfolio binder that the students use to collect and record data. Thanks for providing me with the pages and extra ideas!
    Mary Kay, Wisconsin