Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Smash Books: Year 2

After tackling Smash Books for the first time last year, I decided to make a couple of changes to how I'm organizing them this year. I was really pleased overall with our implementation of these (you can read about my experiences here and here and here), but there were a couple of things I wanted to do to make the Smash Book even more organized.

Here are the three changes I've made (so far) this year.

1. Five tabbed sections - I broke the Smash Book into five sections this year:

  • Table of Contents (T.O.C.)
  • Words Worth Knowing (W.W.K.)
  • Skills
  • Reading Journal
  • References
The little tabs will make it easier to flip through the sections of the book.

2. A references section - I'm going to use this for the non-skills material, such as the syllabus, the student account log, the learning styles and multiple intelligences quizzes, etc. These are things I want the students to keep and reference back to, but I think it might be easier to keep them separate this year.

3. A reading journal - I want to do a better job of encouraging my students to read, so a section of the Smash Book is dedicated to letting students record their thoughts about their reading. The section includes:
  • Books I Want to Read
  • Books I Abandoned
  • Favorite Quotes
  • Book Reviews (short form and long form)

Each year I use a Prezi to walk students through setting up the Smash Book, so I thought I'd share that with you. It's public and editable to your needs, if that's something that interests you. Just swap out your own pictures and instructions, if you like. You can find my Smash Book Set-Up Prezi (with a more detailed look at the guts of my Smash Book) here.

Happy Teaching!


  1. Hi Stephanie, do you have any strategies for helping students who join your class later in the school year set up their books? Last year, I went over each step of the set up sometime at the beginning of the school year, but then it was really cumbersome to go over that individually with students who come in later. Any suggestions?

    1. I also have the same question. The senior level English class I teach is taught as a year-long course, but students are able to add/drop at semester. How do I get those new students caught up? Or do you think it would be better to start a new notebook at semester?

  2. Would you consider adding some more of the References you put in your smashbook? I would love the intelligences and graph.

  3. Hmm. you know I really like this your idea of Smash Books. Seems like it is very helpful. I'll read more about Smash Books year 1. Maybe I should try the same.

  4. A lot of knowledge that can be taken in this post, thank you very much
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  5. you are shared such a great idea but i need some more reference on the preparation in fact

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