Interactive Notebooks

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by carrieSAtoUSA, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. carrieSAtoUSA

    carrieSAtoUSA Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2008

    I was reading some previous posts from this time last year about interactive notebooks and wondered whether anyone who had been trying them for the first time had any comments on how they went? I am interested in using them this coming school year but am not a very organized person (my biggest downfall in teaching). I was hoping that by doing this, both myself and my students could become more organized. Any comments / ideas / tips etc???:)
     
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  3. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I started using the notebooks six years ago because I am not organized, my students weren't organized, and this was a move made in desperation.

    I love them. They helped me and they helped my students!

    What in particular would you like to talk about:

    How to set them up?
    How to use them in class?
    Late/missing work?
    Grading?
    Other stuff?

    General information can be found:
    http://interactive-notebooks.wikispaces.com/
     
  4. carrieSAtoUSA

    carrieSAtoUSA Rookie

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    Yes, yes and yes to the above. I looked at the link, but some of the url's with examples don't open (on my computer anyway). I would love to know how to set them up and use them up in class. Anything that would help me get going. How many would I need for each child? One per subject?

    Thanks for replying. I appreciate the help!
     
  5. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2008

    I'd also like to know answers to the above questions!
     
  6. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2008

    Woohoo! Notebook talk! Remember, you asked for it :lol:

    IANS can be used successfully with any subject, but if it is your first year using them I would pick one subject to get started with - I'd suggest social studies, but science works great too.

    The basic idea of the notebook is that you think of any topic as a two page spread. One side is the "teacher side" - your notes, article, questions to answer - anyway you would normally deliver the content. I think of that side as the lower levels of Bloom's taxonomy. The other side is the student side - the side where they "interact" with the information. These assignments tend to be creative and colorful in their application of the content - think higher levels of Bloom's.

    I and many others use the left side for the teacher side (Left is for learning) and the right side for the student side (Right is for reflection). No law against doing it the other way. :)

    Read more about the two-page spread here.

    OK - so here are your decisions so far:
    What subject will I use my notebooks for?
    Which side will I use for the teacher side and which for the student side?

    Now, let's think about the vehicle for the notebook. What should you use - spirals, composition notebooks, or binders?

    There are staunch supporters of each of these. I personally don't like spirals, because I dislike the wires getting stuck in my clothes. I also don't care for binders, because I started these for organization and binders, for me, don't carry the same benefit. Some people love them. I think the biggest positives for these is that they can accept full-size handouts.

    I like composition notebooks - they are sturdy, relatively inexpensive, and easy to store. I ask my students to buy two each -one for Fall semester and one for Spring. I also stock up at Wal-Mart when they are .50 cents over the summer. The big down side here are handouts - handouts need to be reformated. It's not hard to adapt to, but it throws some people off.

    Ok - Subject? Sides? Type of notebook? Then we'll move on! :) Wig and a few others should be joining us shortly - we can't resist a notebook conversation. :up:

    In the meantime, here are some other sites, and handouts I've used before - some I've made, some I've collected.
     
  7. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Jun 8, 2008

    This past year I made two changes that worked out well for me. My students decorated the covers (we used spirals) and they kept them in the classroom unless they checked them out for the night
    . The criteria I set was to cover the front with pictures that fit into these three categories:
    1. place(s) outside the US that you would like to visit or have visited (our class is world cultures and geography)
    2. something(s) you are proud of about our country (could be anything they choose)
    3. something(s) they like
    The kids cut out pics from magazines, their own photos, and from the internet. I liked the way these categories made them think. In the top right-hand corner we affixed a label that had their first and last name and their class period so it was easy to identify the spiral's owner quickly. (I have six classes so it was important.) Students could enter their spiral into a contest if they chose. Then I had a parent volunteer "laminate" the covers using rolls of clear packing tape. It worked well and only took about three rolls for 150+ spirals.

    It has worked out well to create a title page on the first page with colorful illustrations, the name of the class and the name and period of the student. We do a title page for each unit we study and some students like to et their illustrations from places other than drawing them. By the end of the year, the students are usually very proud of them.
     
  8. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I used them for a while earlier this year. I loved them. I found the kids who benefitted the most were those kids who were chronically disorganized and some of the special ed students. Once those kids got going with the notebooks their classroom performance improved.
     
  9. fort worth gal

    fort worth gal Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2008

    I am interested in how well this works with the younger kiddos. I teach 3rd and am thinking of how to make it work in my class.
     
  10. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2008

    AncientCivTeacher did a great job of answering your questions. Start with only one. It is a lot of work until you get into the swing of things.

    Thanks for mentioning the dead links. I will try to get them fixed ASAP. I am packing my classroom for a move to another location, but once that id sone I will check all of the links.
     
  11. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Wow! Thanks for the detailed information on what you need to consider when using IN with your students. I did a little with them last year when I co-taught with my Instructional Coach, but we weren't always consistent with their use because of the science program we were required to follow.

    I was thinking of using them in several content areas this year but I'm afraid that I'm biting off more than I can chew. If I were to choose one subject in particular, I think I'd go with writing because that's the one subject that we're going to be required to integrate into ALL content areas. We have about 30 minutes for direct instruction each day, so it would be nice to spend that time on the 6-traits, writing process, writing applications, etc. and then have my students use their IN when we use those skills in reading, math, social studies, and science.

    As far as organizing them, I like the idea of using binders because (idealy) they can hold all of the information for the school year. However, I like the fact that with spiral notebooks/composition books, everything is in one book and there isn't a fear of pages getting lost, torn out or whatever else seems to happen to my student's work.
     
  12. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2008

    I have a powerpoint presentation I put together about Interactive Notebooks. I used mine for science this year. The PP is for a presentation I did at the GSTA conference. It has tons of info and some good links at the end.

    It's a pretty big file. If you'd like a copy, please PM me with your email address, and I will send it to you.
     
  13. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Another plus for spiral/composition notebooks is that it is really obvious when students are missing assignment because the blank pages are there. It is a wonderful visual in a conference. :whistle:
     
  14. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Good point, ancientcivteach. How many composition notebooks do you think one kid would go through during a school year? How many pages are in a composition notebook?
     
  15. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Next steps . . .

    More things to consider . . .

    What will go in your IAN?
    All of my student work goes in my IAN except for projects, bigger artwork pieces, and tests. I find that the more often I use it, the more organized I and my students are. Now, of course we have loose work - homework, the occasional classwork assignment. I put a 6 x 9 catalog envelope in the back for holding those assignments. We clean it out at the end of each unit.

    To number, or not to number, that is the question . . .
    I like number the pages. I have all the students do it at the beginning of the year. Right sides end up being odd and left sides even. A 100 page notebook will have 200 pages. This way I can create a TOC, and everyone is literally "on the same page".

    Some people just like moving sequentially, skipping the whole numbering process. I have a notebook buddy who organizes by lesson #. Whatever helps you and your students.
    How will you deliver your teacher side information?
    I use a combination of fill in the blank, articles, questions and answers, and notes they copy down. I'm moving to a cornell-style of note-taking this year.

    How will you deal with handouts?
    I use glue. I like Elmer's Glue All - it has a better consistency than the school glue. I train the kids the first few weeks of school "A dot is a lot, a glob is a slob", and show them what happens to the side they'll have to write on when they use too much glue. I buy a ton at Wal-Mart when they sell it for 20 cents a bottle. 40 bottles more than gets me through the year including other projects.

    Some use glue sticks - and while I like the non-messiness (hmmm, pretending that's a word ;) ) of it, it doesn't seem to have the same "sticking" power. Also, those caps can make wicked projectiles . . .:eek:

    Some people are fond of tape, some of staples. I have a friend who is trying to completely adhesiveless (hmm, again) this school year. It depends on what your comfortable with.

    Also, this year I started having the students glue in their handouts for the entire next week on Friday. This was a huge time saver!
     
  16. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Did you ever have problems with students writing too big or writing too much information on the student side so they ran out of room? I'm thinking of several students I had last year where this could've be a potential problem.
     
  17. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    100 pages, which translates into 200 notebook pages.

    For most folks I'd say two notebooks, but it depends on what you are using them for - I use one for Fall and one for Spring, and I have a number of pages left over. My LA teacher does the same thing, but all of her longer writing pieces are done on loose-leaf.
     
  18. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Only occasionally on the student-side, and I generally have them attach a flippy page (extension) at the bottom of the page. I'm planning on having the students write more of their notes - for that I'm going to do a 3-1 ratio. Left-Right-Left for the teacher side, and the next right for the student side. I guess there is no reason you couldn't flip that if you wanted the student side to be a significant piece of writing . . .

    My favorite thing about the notebooks is that they are sooooo tweakable!!!!
     
  19. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2008

    Absolutely!!! This year I went sequential because the flippy pages were always flopped and torn. That too worked very well.
     
  20. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    is there somewhere i can see an example of what one looks like?
     
  21. mrs_thompson

    mrs_thompson Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Is there a way to use these interactive notebooks with Reading, Language, or Spelling? I like this idea, but I only teach these subjects. Any ideas?
     
  22. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Check out the links on this website: http://interactive-notebooks.wikispaces.com/

    I'm pretty sure there are some examples of what interactive notebooks look like.
     

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