Interactive Notebooks

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Aussiegirl, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Have any of you used interactive notebooks in language arts in middle school? I want to create an interactive notebook this summer to use as a model for one the students will use this year. I am somewhat familiar with the idea of interactive notebooks but would like suggestions/ideas that have worked for you.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I have. I can't seem to make it work as effectively in LA as I do in SS. It worked pretty well with Literary terms. On the left we would have the definition and examples and on the right they would draw or write examples. Grammar - Left - the part of speech; right - Sentences using that part of speech correctly. Writing - Six Traits definitions and examples, right - students would write own examples. it worked, but truthfully, the kids did not enjoy it as well as the SS one.

    If you haven't seen this site, it may help:

    http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/instruction/ela/6-12/Reading/Reading Strategies/interactivenotebook.htm
     
  4. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Thank you. I haven't seen this site before. It is difficult to make LA as exciting as SS, but I'm determined to do my best.
     
  5. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2008

    I plan on using them in social studies, but my question is, is it better to grade on a rubric, or can you just give them a stamp for completing the processing assignments and at the end of the week just count up the amount of stamps? I have been saying I want to use them in my class, but something always holds me back. I think the easier I make it for myself, the more willing I will be to use them. I like the idea of not dealing with much paperwork, but, how do you guys collect work to put on the walls? At my school, we are required to post student work. I mean, I can post tests and quizzes up on the wall, but what else do you guys do to make your walls look good? For social studies, I plan on having students make annotated maps and illustrated timelines for each unit we study and turn them in at the end of the unit. This will contribute to some student work. I'm thinking maybe having students on some assignments just do a practice/outline in their notebooks and do the final draft on construction paper for the walls. Any ideas?
     
  6. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 24, 2008

    plan on using them in social studies, but my question is, is it better to grade on a rubric, or can you just give them a stamp for completing the processing assignments and at the end of the week just count up the amount of stamps? QUOTE]

    I use a rubric and I grade each two page spread. I find it gets a better response from my students than the "you did or you didn't" grade. But that's my students and me, every population is unique.

     
  7. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jun 24, 2008

     
  8. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I pick mine up on the day of the assessment (if it is written). Since I teach 4 different SS classes, it rarely happens on the same day. I use a rubric, grading each assignment. It goes fairly quickly. I rarely get my largest class done during that period, but I usually get them done during my planning period or after school. If the assessment is not written, I pick them up at the end of the unit and do it after school. It takes about 5 min. per notebook.
     
  9. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    It takes me about two-3 hours once a week, depending on the assignments for approximately 100 notebooks. If I do a writing assignment, it might take me longer, but I try to balance a longer assignment with a very quick visual assignment. I like to break it up and do 2 classes on Thursday and 2 on Friday. I also like to do a whole class at the time for consistency's sake.
     
  10. AF Mom

    AF Mom Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    Can you explain what a 'interactive notebook' is? Thanks
     
  11. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2008

    Do you guys use a general rubric to grade all assignments, or do you create a rubric for each assignment? Can you possibly email me a copy of your rubrics?
     
  12. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 26, 2008

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

    This link will give you an explanation and many examples.

    They are a wonderful educational tool.
     
  13. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2008

    I use one general one that I adapted from one AncientCiv developed. It is on my laptop which is currently in MAC Hospital having a logic board transplant. SIGH!

    If you check the link above, there is a page on rubrics and I believe one or two on the main page which may be helpful to you.
     
  14. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2008

    Hi, I have done the Interactive Notebooks for my classes, too. I really like that most of the students have it organized correctly. There would be five or six students who consistently do a poor job on their notebook for each class, but that's pretty much it. It really requires that you train them to work on organizing their notebook.

    This year I tried the three-ring binder, but I think that there was a great chance for them to lose their items. My first year, they used a spiral-notebook and glued the handouts in their notebook. I think I will go back to that format--100 pages or more for their notebook.

    One other thing that I noticed is that if you wait too long to grade, it takes forever to get through the notebooks. Grading should be three weeks for me. Every year, I try something different to make the Interactive Notebook more efficient to grade and useful for my students, so I have some questions about its implementation.

    Anyway, the question that I have is do you think it's better to grade the notebooks? Do you just stamp for completion as they complete their assignments? We correct the work in class.

    Last year, I had 210 students, so there were a great deal of notebooks to go through. Do you always grade the notebook yourself? Would you have the students switch notebooks and grade? Do you basically set aside the two hours to grade them? I know I would grade them at school, and not bring them home--too much work and too heavy to bring home! :p

    Last question--I think--do you have the kids glue their handouts in their notebook during class time, or have them do it at home?

    By the way, I had a student comment (who finally got on the ball had his notebook organized) say that he was grateful that he had a interactive notebook because it kept him organized. :) So they do find it helpful--eventually. :)

    Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm still trying to tweak the notebook, so any suggestions would be helpful!
     
  15. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2008

    The teacher input section is done as whole class, partner or small group. When it is not whole group, I will quickly go over it with them so they can "fix" anything that is incorrect. Very occasionally I may have to assign a section as homework. When I suspect or no some are not completing that portion of a notebook, I will give a notebook quiz and that will be recorded.

    I understand what you mean. I teach in a private school and so I teach four different social studies classes so I rarely have notebooks due the same day, so that helps. When they have a written assessment I collect them and start grading them while they are taking it. I have a rubric so it goes fairly quickly. I keep whichever notebooks I don't finish and complete them before the next class period. (I NEVER take them home). When their assessment is not written, I have to set aside the time to make certain it gets done before the next class period. Those are more difficult and I have to be disciplined. Because the student response section is so individualized, there is no way a student could grade it. Even if they could, I have a philosophical problem with students grading other students work, so that would not happen anyway.

    I do. But I have them pre-cut to fit their notebooks and in the beginning of the year we actually practice the gluing process. Swipe left top corner to bottom right hand corner, top left hand corner to bottom left hand corner, top center to bottom center and center left side to center right side so it looks like a star. If they have white glue instead of a glue stick, they do something only go dot dot dot instead of a stream of glue. We actually do it together with me (eventually us) chanting the directions during the first unit. It takes very little time.
     
  16. helpinghand

    helpinghand Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2008

    Language Arts Interactive Notebook

    I use interactive notebooks in LA. One year my teammate that taught Science was having such a successful time with our students that I used it to review during the last semester right before the state test. For the remaining years, I started from the start of the year.

    I use it for notes pertaining to literary terms, reading strategies, grammar notes, and the writing process. The notebook has four corresponding sections. We place our notes on the right and student interpretation/interaction on the left.

    This past year, I not only used a rubric to grade the notebooks, but I did open notebook quizzes on selected pages at a time. The quizzes helped the students learn how to study from their notebooks. That is my biggest problem each year....getting more students to review their notebooks regularly.
     
  17. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I've been out of town, tomorrow I'll update my webpage and post the link for the myriad rubrics I've used on this IAN journey . . . ;)

    Yep. That's why I grade every week.

    I never, never bring notebooks home. I used to - it was an insane practice and I stopped. I grade the notebooks myself. I do two classes (50 kids) on Thursday, which takes about an 1 to an 1/2 depending on assignments and I grade the other two classes on Friday. Really, its the same as grading everything everyday for about 30-45 minutes, and this way I have Mon-Wed to focus on other tasks.

    We glue in our assignments once a week - either on Monday, or if the planets are in alignment ;) on the Friday before. It seems to go faster that way. This year I'm trying to do less gluing and more note-taking. Its summer, and all things seem possible! :woot:
     
  18. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Isn't THAT the truth!!! LOL!
     
  19. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Rubrics posted

    I'm still working on the page, but the rubrics are posted here
     
  20. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Thank you - all of you for your replies. BTW: I had notebooks for the past two years and we did writing entries from the front to the middle and grammar quick checks from the back to the middle. I graded them once a marking period; the writing ones were graded for complete paragraph that answered the prompt or picture as a response, etc. so it was quick. Grammar was graded based on mistakes being corrected or not because we reviewed each grammar entry so all corrections should have been done.

    That said, I really don't feel we used the notebooks all that well, and that is why I was thinking of switching to an interactive mode. I kept the books in baskets by class for the past two years and am toying with doing that again. If I have them carry them to class each day, I know I'm going to run into the kids who lose it, forget it, etc. If they forget it in their locker, I'll let them go get it but they get a tardy slip.
     
  21. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 8, 2008

    I used the interactive notebooks for the first time last year for U.S. History. Boy, did my 'what not to do list' ever grow!!! But, I think that's one of the things that has to evolve. You keep tweaking until you have a system that works for you and your students.
    For this year I am conflicted between the spiral and the binder. The glue-ins took more time than I wanted and it became a hassle with supplies, etc. Probably need to spend more time getting this down to a routine like Wig. Many of my students don't have pencils let alone glue sticks no matter how many times you insist they have one everyday. A fellow teacher in my building uses the binders and when she copies the reading notes handouts she hole-punches it for them and it's a simple as putting it in the binder and getting started. So I'm leaning toward using the binders rather than spirals this year.
    One thing I've noticed is that students get better at studying and organization with the use of these notebooks. Students realized that highlighting, underlining, and organizing notes such as in outline form or bullets are important skills that help them learn the content. These skills will go a long way as the students go on to higher grades and many courses revolve around note-taking, etc.
    I agree with the previous posters...NEVER take them home. I sometimes graded individual assignments or a once a week grade on several sections/pages. I usually tried to do this during class time. If they were working on something I'd pop by a student or group and ask to see what I was looking for. I also kept a notebook myself. We called it the class notebook. It was a great motivator for students to see that I completed the same thing they did as well as a resource for students to check their notebooks.
    Last year I offered space for students to keep their notebooks in the classroom. This was their choice except for my AP group and they carried theirs with them everyday. I haven't decided if I will do the same this year or not. There's pros and cons to both. I like the idea of students earning a tardy if they have to do back to lockers for something. That seems fair and a great motivator to bring them everyday. Then again, like I said before I have students that can't manage to get to class with a glue stick!
    Sorry so long, just wanted to share some of my experiences with the IANs. Thanks to all for your ideas and comments on this!
     
  22. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Yep! It's an ever-evolving process! :) Good for you, for sticking with it!

    I provide the glue for my guys - I buy about 40 bottles of the Glue-All when it goes to .20 cents at Wal-Mart. Two bottles for a table of 4, and train them in a routine. It goes pretty fast and I usally have some glue left at the end of the year.
     
  23. wig

    wig Devotee

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    It is a constantly evolving process. Just when you feel you have it down pat, you will get one of "those" classes where you have to rework the entire process. I am constantly tweeking, but it is gets easier every year.


    I toy with that idea occasionally, too. But I am concerned about pages getting misplaced. I find the MEAD notebooks to be the best, as you don't have to trim down the pages, but they are more expensive. But the great thing is, you can try it, and if it doesn't work, don't do it again, OR it may work beautifully for your situation.
     
  24. stody2

    stody2 Rookie

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    I used interactive notebooks this year for the first time. My training with interactive notebooks was that your input goes on the right side while student processing goes on the left. What I liked about this was that for every activity where I was giving students information, such as notetaking, I had to make sure there was an activity to help them process. What I really didn't like was that it was difficult for them to know what went on the left vs right side and sometimes the input would take up 2 pages. I think next year I am going to keep some concepts but do away with the whole right side left side aspect.
     
  25. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2008

    Next year will be my first official use of INB's. At first, I was all for requiring my kids to get Mead 5-star notebooks. However, these things are so expensive and just not realistic for my clientelle. I think I am going to go with the folders with the brads and just have them put paper in it. It's much cheaper, no need to fuss with spirals, etc. However, I think I'm also going to require that they keep a 1/2 inch binder for my class only. They will store their INB's in it, as well as returned tests and quizzes. At the end of each trimester, they take out the paper in their INB's and place it in their binders. They then put more paper in it the folders.
     
  26. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Many of us found the original right (Teacher input) and left (student processing) confusing so switched them around.

    Last year I went to sequential for my youngest classes 5th/6th and used the side by side with my 7/8s

    But the nice thing about the ISNs is that you can use what ever works best for your students as long as the processing still occurs.
     
  27. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2008

    Thanks, ancientcivteach, for answering my questions. :) I appreciate everyone's feedback on this topic. I was just talking to one of the teachers about this very subject, and I told her that I would go to the spiral-bound notebooks this year. She seemed to agree that the kids tend to lose things with the binders. I had used spiral-bound previously, and I did realize that they didn't lose as much with the spiral-bound than the binders. However, there were times where we had to glue things in, so that took some time. I guess you'll have to see what works best for you. :)

    I had to admit that the binders (1" or more) took a lot more room than the spiral-bound. I had to devote a few bookshelves to leave their binders behind in class. It was a lot to carry around for the 7th graders in their backpacks as well--they had to carry other stuff. :(

    Wig, I have about 30-35 glue sticks in class, so I think that's a great idea to teach them the process on how to glue it. I also like the "star" pattern of gluing things. I will use that. We're starting school next week (year-round), so it'll be another procedure to teach them. :p

    Many thanks to all!
     
  28. ancientcivteach

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    Jul 9, 2008

    I'm piloting a "spiral notebook inside of a pocket folder" combo with my homeroom reading assignments (these don't leave the room) If that stands up pretty well, I may switch to that next year across the board.
     
  29. stody2

    stody2 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Interactive Notebook Spirals

     
  30. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008

    How do you set these up? What do they look like?
     
  31. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008

     
  32. ancientcivteach

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    I'm going to put one of the 5 cent spirals inside the brads of my 1 cent pocket folder. That will cover the metal that tends to bend and catch in clothes, and provide pockets for works in progress. I'm going to put a strip of packing tape on the outside along the fold to reinforce it a bit.

    I haven't used these yet, I'm really curious to see if they hold up. Morning reading notebooks never leave the class so it'll be a pretty decent test.
     
  33. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Wow, this sounds like a good idea! The spirals actually fit inside the folders?
     

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