Interactive Notebook Discussion Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rebecca1122, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2012

    For those of you who notebook with your students...
    let's talk about it! :)

    Last year was my first year teaching middle school science and we used science notebooks heavily. I am always looking for ways to improve how my students and I use them so that they become an invaluable resource in my class. I am the first teacher in the middle school to notebook so I have no one to bounce ideas around with.

    One thing that's been on my mind lately is keeping a notebook for each class myself to have a complete record of what we've done. Do you do this? I didn't last year but I think it might be a nice way to hold students accountable (not saying, oh I was absent when we put this in here etc. if they have a place to go look for it).

    So... how do you set up/use your notebooks? Share what works and what doesn't and any other thoughts you have!!
     
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  3. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I teach to sections of social studies to kids on IEPs and we used an interactive notebook this year for the first time. I started out keeping a master notebook for my own records, but since all student work was done in the notebook, I found that it was not necessary to keep a master copy. Since I do not have large groups of students, I found I could do this. I did ask one of the kids, whose notebook, was done really well, if I could keep his for my portfolio. He did agree. If you are not using the notebook for everything, I think I would go for having a master copy. My set up was fairly simple. The right side was teacher driven information....lecture notes, readings, etc. The leftside was student work, projects, etc. There were days when the assignment might have been from the book, even this was done on the leftside. Given the population that I work with, I could not always have them demonstrate their learning in a "grey" way. So, in this sense, it was sometimes a "true" interactive notebook and sometimes not. Some kids needed more help with the organization of the notebook, while others picked up on it right away. I thought it was a great way for students to show their work and learning over the course of the year. Hope this helps.
     
  4. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2012

    I don't have any experience with INs, but I'm interested to see what others say.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Is there a great book that details interactive notebooks. Specifically for Social Studies if possible, or specifically middle school.
     
  6. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I keep a master notebook for each class. I use it all the time and don't know how I'd do without it. I usually glue a printed version of the days notes in my teachers copy. Or I write down some indicators of the days work. I also keep the table of contents up to date in my master and on a wall chart. Keeping a master copy makes grading much easier - especially because each class progresses at a different pace.
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Also, I don't call mine interactive notebooks, I call them "structured notebooks." I do this because my notebook style does not fit the classic interactive notebook technique.
     
  8. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    I actually don't either, we just call them science notebooks. I can't really wrap my head around the right side left side thing so I decided to just put things in as we go along. I think it works okay.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2012

    This book has some great info on INs.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15...=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1583710078


    I'm not a true believer in the concept since I think the organization is a bet of a mess (don't like the One Notebook to Rule Them All idea when my kids can't even keep track of a pencil...) but the idea behind them (forcing kids to interact with material) is wonderful.
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Doing it that way just freaked me out since I like a more linear note-taking, so I don't do it that way either but I've been using science notebooks since I started teaching. I do a lot of sketching with my students and I'm starting to add more graphic organizers into our notebooks. I love graphic organizers, but I just don't always have the time to find the "right one" for the types of notes we're taking.

    I start off my notebooks by having the kids do a treasure hunt where they have to find pictures online of the topics we're studying that year and then decorate the cover (I'm asking parents to buy the sticky laminate paper to put over the cover so its protected). Students can also personalize it with stickers, glitter, scrap booking paper, etc.

    And this year, I'm making the inside of the cover an information directory with my contact information, homework policy, helpful web-sites, etc.

    I also do the traditional cover page, table of contents, and glossary/index in the notebook. Parents LOVE LOVE LOVE that I do that-- it helps them study with their kids so much easier.

    My favorite site for science notebooks (because it has real examples of what entries look like for each grade): http://www.sciencenotebooks.org/

    My favorite two books for science notebooks:
    http://www.google.com/products/cata...sa=X&ei=d-LQT-zqOYKg6QGGgN18&ved=0CKcBEPMCMAI

    http://www.google.com/products/cata...&sa=X&ei=6eLQT8q2O4Hl6QHr2d19&ved=0CHUQ8wIwAQ
     
  11. MathEqualsLove

    MathEqualsLove Companion

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    Jun 7, 2012

    I'm loving all these ideas! I'm planning on using interactive notebooks in high school math.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Love that website! I found one of the books in our library system and placed a hold on it. I used INs when I taught 5th grade S.S., but I'm thinking I'll use them in science next year.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Are you still teaching 3rd grade? I use them in 3rd grade too-- I would love to swap ideas :D Right now I teach my 3rd graders geology (rocks, the earth layers, rock cycle, erosion and weathering) and a solar system/earth, sun, moon unit.
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I am in third. We already do some notebook work, but I want to incorporate it more and I know I need to add in more inquiry/analysis.

    We do units on the scientific method, plants, light and sound, simple machines, and rocks and minerals (but we really only cover the types of rocks and the properties or minerals and how to sort them).
     
  15. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Would the ideas in this book lend themselves to other content areas such as social studies?
     
  17. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jun 8, 2012

    Yes you can apply her ideas to other subjects. Another book I use a lot is Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldables.
     
  18. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    http://interactive-notebooks.wikispaces.com/

    This site ^^^ has an area for links that explain how to use IN in social studies and other subjects too.

    :)
     
  19. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    I :love: Dinah Zike Foldables! I was fortunate enough to attend two of her workshops at NSTA and they were fabulous!
     
  20. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I am wondering how you go about grading the notebooks. I am seriously thinking of going this route with my middle school math classes and I am wanting to make sure I can be consistent with the upkeep and grading. When they do classwork in the notebook, how do you grade it? I have between 150 and 200 students so any input would be great!
     
  21. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Wow, this thread couldn't have come at a better time. I am going to be co-teaching 8th grade math this upcoming school year, and I'm really interested in trying interactive notebooks. I think it would be great for my kids with learning differences who needs hands-on activity, but it would also be great for other kids who tend to "zone out" during traditional lecture.

    Any links, resources or ideas that anyone can post would be great! I haven't seen many foldables or interactive pieces that would fit with 8th grade math (lots of them are for lower level math concepts), so if anyone has examples, point me in that direction!
     
  22. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Ive had INs for the past three years in language arts. I too don't follow the strict left/right process, and I've had to change my format based on how it worked year to year. I tried grading the first year but haven't since. This is their notebook. If they want to keep it up to date, they have to take that responsibility. I do keep a master notebook up to date and the students have complete access to it. I have used the notebook for open-book quizzes from time to time. If they don't have the notes, it is more difficult but not impossible.

    I have them paste in diagrams/notes/cloze notes. They create foldables which are incorporated into the notebook. The students also do their freewrites in the notebook.
     
  23. MathEqualsLove

    MathEqualsLove Companion

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    I'm also interested to hear about how to manage grading the notebooks.
     
  24. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I use a rubric every 2-3 weeks that covers 4 areas with 16 points possible: completeness, table of contents, condition/neatness, depth. I also grade certain assignments or note taking sessions individually. I weight the notebook rubrics as heavily as tests.
     
  25. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    So do you collect all of them and just have a marathon grading session? It's not that I am afraid of hard work...far from it...I just don't want to take on something that i won't be able to manage. I need to hear some experts in this area tell me that I won't wont to kill myself by the time I have looked at notebook number 200. :dizzy:

    I have also seen some people say that they give notebook quizzes that are very specific to what should be in their notes. The quiz is open book so if they pass it, they did the work. Thoughts anyone?
     
  26. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I grade all my notes in a single class day. I find a day when they are doing some type of independent work (usually a choose your own day for me) and call each student up one by one. I tell them very specifically what I am looking for that day. I put the points into the grade book right then and don't have to take the notes from the students (that is the point right? That they have their notes?)

    All that matters to me is that they are doing the interactions. As long as I can spot check that the assessements in the class will tell me if they are taking the notes well.
     
  27. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    As to grading, I do notebook checks once or twice a unit(which I want to do more frequently next year). But I try to space my classes out so I do 6th grade one day, 7th another and 8th another depending on where each is at in their particular unit. I have a checklist and they get a point for having the items I am looking for and for them being complete.

    I also do a lot of informal checking where I walk around to see that a particular assignment (one they may have had to finish at home usually) is complete and give them a couple points for that. They also partner check notes to make sure each person has the right information and if there is a discrepency they check in with me.

    Also, if I do a notebook check and the student's notebook is a complete disaster... they have to come to the notebook hospital :) They stay in for recess one day and organize/complete everything they need so they can get back on track.
     
  28. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Just to throw this in, I have tried notebooks with limited success. I had the kids take 5 sheets of over sized typing paper and fold them over, then staple them together at the crease. I then have the kids create a table of contents, and complete assignments for the unit in their folded booklets. You can use 1 booklet per chapter, or 1 booklet per unit, or one booklet per teaching goal. I had fewer kids lose them that way, and I avoided the slackers constantly crying that they forgot to buy a notebook or could not afford a notebook (though the carried the latest smartphone).
     
  29. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    How many students do you usually have?
     
  30. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    33 on an average day when considering kids out for the day. It really doesn't take long at all if you know what you're checking for.
     
  31. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Several questions for those who use these notebooks:

    1) Do any of your other teachers use them? I plan to use them this year, but I will be the only teacher in my grade who does.

    2) Do you still do some assignments outside of the notebook?

    3) Do you ever send the notebooks home? If you do, how do you guarantee you'll get them back?

    4) In some of my research, I've seen people mention the use of colored pencils where each color means something specific. Do you use this method? It seems sort of complicated to me.

    5) Language arts teachers, do you journal in these notebooks too?
     
  32. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Science teacher here, out LA teacher doesn't notebook :)
     
  33. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    That was very helpful. Thank you!
     
  34. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    Thanks everyone!
     

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