Interactive Notebooks

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeachTN, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2014

    For those who use them, do you prefer composition books or spiral notebooks? I had the opportunity to use one during a week long PD session and really enjoyed it, but was not sure if a composition notebook could hold up for a semester or school year.
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2014

    I've tried both, and while I like the fact that composition books are easier to stack, I really prefer the bigger size of the spiral. Plus, spirals are way cheaper... I do pair it with a duo-tang folder though, for them to keep some foldables in. We don't use a lot of paper though because we're a 1:1 school.
     
  4. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I use composition books and for about 95% of my students they last the entire school year. Last year WalMart and Target had plastic covers for the composition book and several students had them and they helped. I copy everything at 75% and with a little trimming the pages fit perfectly in the composition book. I also make them number every page on the first night for homework. I take points off of their notebook if they are missing pages when I check them throughout the year. Once they pull out pages, the composition book starts falling apart.
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I plan to use a 1" three-ring binder with loose-leaf. Has anyone ever tried that? I always run into problems with kids tearing out pages if they don't like how their work looks. Little perfectionists in the making....I find loose leaf helps with this problem and takes the stress off those who worry about "doing it wrong."
     
  6. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I found this to be a horrible idea for 4th grade. Was very inefficient, sloppy and time consuming.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    My son used pronged folders for his last year. Worked wonderfully.
     
  8. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jul 7, 2014

    I want to do this for my kindergarten class. I saw some things on pinterest, but everything on pinterest looks great. Has anyone done the notebooks with younger kids?
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    TnKinder, when I was student teaching in kindergarten, the class used math notebooks. They were a great learning tool. The kids enjoyed them.
     
  10. NC Teacher 4

    NC Teacher 4 Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2014

    I've used both marble and spiral, and my personal preference is spiral, because they are easier to lay flat, and you can get more content on the pages.
     
  11. Linzi

    Linzi Rookie

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    I use composition notebooks. They worked really well- I think they really do help to keep students from thinking that they can just tear something out and do-over or just get rid of something.

    Like someone else said, I just copy on 75 on the copier (or 78% on the riso) and it fits great after they take off the margin.
     
  12. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    What types of results did you get? How was it inefficient and time consuming? Were all of them sloppy or just some? Was it inefficient as compared to using composition or spiral notebooks? How? Also, for time consuming...was that for you or for students and how so? I'm really trying to get an understanding of the challenges and successes others have faced with the different types of IA NB's. Thanks!:hugs:
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 7, 2014

    Composition books work great for lab journals. I keep tape handy and it's a really easy repair.
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I had high hopes for the binder. I would say there was at least 6 of us that tried them in 3rd and 4th grade last year.

    The issues we had were no matter how much we modeled, showed, guided. Students struggled figuring out which section to put the papers in. Many students just really had a hard time with it, would never get the papers in.

    I had a parent helper to help with them and she was shocked how the same 10 kids just couldn't keep it up. Students would open the binder to put in a paper and everything would fall out. Papers would just get ripped and fall out.

    Now, no not all of them were sloppy, many students binders were very neat and organized., but for over a third of the class it was not close to worth it.

    I have used notebooks before and they were no where near as time consuming, they worked much much better even though the allure of a binder still tugs at me.

    I am sure some teachers could make them work well, I can tell you none of the teachers that used them last year will be using them this year.

    It was mostly time consuming for the students and the class time that it just took to get papers into the binders and in the right spots. helping students clean up the papers when they all fell out, helping students rearrange them to get them in the right order...etc.

    IMO, binders worked really well with very high achieving students and was an utter disaster with the lower and struggling students, it just became a management issue that I did not see the pay off in.
     
  15. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I hadn't even thought about the mess if they all fall out and having to help get them all back in order! Yikes! Thank you so much for the heads up! I can see why composition notebooks or spirals are most often used now. I think I will be skipping the binders. I seriously hadn't even considered any of those possibilities.
     
  16. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2014

    Ahhh! Is there anyone who has used binders who can offer any suggestions? I am changing schools this year, so I didn't get to have any input in regards to the supply list. The previous teacher didn't have notebooks at all, just a binder. I HATE binders, but I've also taught lower grades, so I was hoping now that I'm moving up they wouldn't have such a hard time with them but this is making me worried!
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ 6th Graders can handle binders but it's better if it is one large binder then they can use dividers and loose leaf paper for each class. One binder a class is too much for anyone, especially at my school where kids cannot carry book bags around.

    I hate binders because the looseleaf paper eventually falls out, students lose things, folders often fall out, etc. Just a hassle.
     
  18. MsDouglas

    MsDouglas Rookie

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    My 1st semester using interactive notebooks, I used 3-subject spiral notebooks with 2 classes and a 1" binder with my other class. My binder was difficult for the students to understand where papers were supposed to go. The entire left page - right page concept was lost on them. The 3-subject binder worked a lot better. The first section was used for vocabulary and the second and third sections were for the interactive notebook. The students ended up needing an additional binder or folder to keep their worksheets.

    My second semester with interactive notebooks worked a lot better. I started having the students use 5-subject spiral notebooks. The first section contained important information and the words worth knowing. The second and third section contained the interactive notebook. The fourth and fifth sections contained all of their class notes and classwork.

    I teach upper level math in a public high school. The spiral notebooks were a lot less messy. Everything went in the notebook so nothing could get lost. The students didn't need to keep track of a notebook and binder.
     
  19. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Jul 9, 2014

    My 6th graders were terrible with binders. Paper was always falling out, and they wouldn't bother to take the time to put notes into the rings to keep them in place. I know this is not something that students just KNOW how to do, they need to be shown. I started my year out like that, and modeled, set up expectations, and helped them set their notebooks up. They had one binder for all four core subjects. Students had dividers, and two folders (one for homework and one for graded work) in the binder. Most of them threw out notes days after the test, if they waited that long.


    If you can do binder checks, that might motivate them to keep it together.

    I like the folder idea...since your students will already have binders, folders are something cheap that you could purchase for them depending on how many students you have (like we don't do enough of that!)

    I also read on here or pinterest of students moving notes from binder to a folder after every unit.
     
  20. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2014

    Yeah, it looks like each teacher wants a binder JUST for that class. Oh well, I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not that bad. I can handle it for a year and then put notebooks on the list *yay*.
     
  21. Mrs. Rader

    Mrs. Rader Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2014

    I am very interested in using an IA NB for my classroom this year. :D So thankful I found this thread! I love reading everyone's input. This forum has been a great blessing. I am considering the use of IA NB's in two subjects. I would like to have one for both Science and Social Studies. I am experienced in setting up a Science journal but plan to research new ways to organize it.

    From what others have said, it may be safer in the elementary classroom to use a composition book. It sounds like it is easier to organize and repair.
     

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