Interactive notebooks

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Rabbitt, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2016

    I am completely new to interactive notebooks.
    What are they? What is the purpose? How often does a student make a page? Do you use them with all subjects?
    On TPT I see examples. To me the math ones look like one lesson and then kept as a resource for students.
    The sight words looks like practice.
    Any information would be appreciated as I've never seen one used.
    Grade 2
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  3. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 30, 2016

    I thought this would be a popular topic. Hahaha
    Maybe these notebooks are used as much as I assumed...or beneficial.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I've seen them, heard about them, and even done some in professional development, but just can't get myself to do them. Part of that is because I have so much else to focus on and learn right now, but it also just doesn't fit my teaching style. I think that they can be highly helpful if it's taught to be used as a tool/resource and not just as fancy-fun activities that artificially are trying to grab engagement on a temporary basis, and thus I try to find ways to incorporate aspects of them without straying from my own style.

    From what I know of them, the purpose is to increase engagement while simultaneously having them develop a resource that they can look back to. It could vary from one thing a day for math, to one thing a week for reading (perhaps one comp. strategy a week)...depends on the teacher and how they're using the notebook. Math seemingly is the most common one, but I've seen people use it for reading/writing/SS a lot, too.
     
  5. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I am considering phonics as well. It is important in grade 2 to review short vowels and CVC words but for some that seems too simple. I'm thinking an interactive notebook that shows how letters and sounds build from each other may help.
     
  6. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I tried to use them this year (6th grade science) because we don't really use textbooks and I wanted the kids to have a resource to look back on. I don't think I ever really figured them out though and I found them to be *really* time-consuming with all the necessary printing, cutting, and pasting. Some of the kids took FOREVER to do that stuff so I started pre-cutting and pasting a lot but that was just more work for me. I don't know, I know a lot of teachers who love them, but I never seemed to crack it. I've been debating whether to try them again next year or not. Being middle school and teaching multiple groups, I did have 80 or so kids though so you wouldn't have that problem.

    ETA: The kids did really like them which is why I'm still debating trying them again next year.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I see them as more of an organization tool to keep teacher provided hand-outs and worksheets together with student notes, maps, ideas, homework, or practice. Unlike regular notebooks or sheet paper, the use of interactive notebooks using the left side for student work tends to limit the space the student has before the provided teacher information.

    I don't see interactive notebooks as a helpful tool for younger grades. It started as a MS concept when students were taking notes, and it has slowly moved its way down in grades notably because teachers were wanting to prepare the kids for the next year when they would be used.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I taught only math last year. We used ours almost daily. I had a program I was forced to use but wasn't very good, so I used the notebook to teach a topic the way I wanted before using the book. I didn't do much cutting and gluing with mine but I think they were very useful.

    This next year, I'm teaching reading and plan on using one as well. In the past, I used one for word study and another for reading lesions. I have not decided how I'm going to set mine up this year.
     
  9. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    I used them for 4th grade Science this year and it seemed to go well. I would introduce a new concept to students and they would create a foldable to put into their notebook that would help them to understand the concept. It was very important for them to complete the table of contents properly so they knew what page the new concepts/terms were on.

    I also used the notebooks for students traveling to learning centers. They were sometimes required to reflect in their notebooks.
     
  10. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I've never used them as I don't see the appeal in them. Too much time spent cutting and pasting in my opinion. I'm sure they can be quite helpful or they wouldn't be so popular on places like TPT, but I don't see myself using one.
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I used them in 5th grade for American History. The kids loved them. I used them as a way to teach organizing information and note taking. I haven't had much luck incorporating them in ELL classes. I don't know how they would be used in grade 2.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  13. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I don't think people are 100% dismissing them, but saying that for many of them (i.e. those that it doesn't connect with their style as much), doing that all the time wouldn't be authentic, and when teachers aren't authentic, students see right through that (especially as they get older) and their teaching becomes less effective. My kids know that I'm being 100% authentic (though perhaps goofy) at all times, and it pays dividends.

    bold: added for clarity + italics for emphasis
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Re-read what I wrote - I didn't say that doing interactive notebooks makes all teachers less authentic. Interactive notebooks aren't authentic / not authentic. Yes, they are another way to teach the materials and for them to take notes, you are completely right, I wasn't denying that.
    (I edited the post, bolding a few words, and adding a few words after that, to hopefully better clarify.)

    It was referring to authenticity within the realm of what a teacher's style is. It may work better for some, it might not work as well for others - that's highly in the individual's court to decide. Outside of what pedagogically is necessary (there are other ways other than interactive notebooks, for example, to do the same thing), staying true to yourself as a teacher while still meeting school/team/district/standard requirements I feel is extremely important...not to mention something I drive the kids to understand as well.
     
  16. John Lee

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    Jul 6, 2016

    IIRC, there are youtube videos of teachers who use and sell (TPT) interactive notebooks. In researching it last year, I remember watching as a way of getting familiar.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Sometimes the obvious never occurs to me. THANKS!
     
  18. otterpop

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    I've done elements of interactive notebooks before, but usually it is easier just to have kids write in their notebooks. They do get excited about making foldables or flaps that they get to glue in, so I do it sometimes. Usually, though, something like this:
    [​IMG]
    can be created in a lot less time by just making a T-Chart or a bulleted list.

    Sometimes we'll do doodle notes (they'll draw a picture, or we'll draw fancy arrows, or put fun shapes around important words), and sometimes we'll get out colored pens. These options are generally quicker and equal in fun to getting out the glue and scissors.
     

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