Interactive Notebooks

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by smalltowngal, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I know this has been discussed before. Which do you prefer: composition notebooks, binders, or spirals?
     
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  3. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I used binders last year. They worked well, but storage is a problem. They are just too bulky for our space. I'm going to go with composition notebooks this year. Spirals drive me nuts!
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I've been wondering about this too. I am thinking that I want to use these in my classes, but I worry about space. I am sure I will give my students more than one facing page of notes/other information. Right now, I am leaning towards a composition book for labs and a binder for the notebook.

    I will be anxious to get feedback from people who use these successfully.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I've been wondering about this too. I am thinking that I want to use these in my classes, but I worry about space. I am sure I will give my students more than one facing page of notes/other information. Right now, I am leaning towards a composition book for labs and a binder for the notebook.

    I will be anxious to get feedback from people who use these successfully.
     
  6. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    The teachers in my school that use it prefer to use spirals -- usually the 3 or 5 subject notebooks. They have students glue nearly everything in, so a one-subject notebook wouldn't have enough space. I imagine a composition book wouldn't either. But if you aren't glueing everything in like they do, then I would say go with a composition book, because it is harder for pages to come out.
     
  7. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I used binders last year..made the students keep them. Became an issues because they would 'forget' them. This year I'm going to spirals and have containers that slide under a table to keep the notebooks in. The students are still responsible for them regardless.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I have used all 3--I am going back to composition books this year. Last year I tried binders but they lost things and did not have pages that they needed later in the year. I hate spiral notebooks because they catch on everything. I am going to store the composition books in the magazine holders that I bought at Target last year.
     
  9. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Composition books here!

    I like them because:
    - they are relatively inexpensive (50 cents school sales)
    - consistent in size/page count inside
    - store easily
    - fairly durable (I have traditionally used 2 a year)

    About the only issue is sizing the handouts (70% of a full size will do, or word documents printed in two columns) and there isn't as much room to write.

    This year I am going to attempt keeping everything in one notebook - I've gotten a tip to cover the outside in packing tape to make them more durable and I'm going to try that out!
     
  10. glen

    glen Companion

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    Maybe having the kids cover them with book socks will work?
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thanks guys. I don't storage would be a problem. I wanna get the number of periods I have of these:[​IMG]

    and have the students keep their notebooks in there, only taking them out for studying tests. I have a small bookshelf in my room I could use, or store them on a table I have, or on the floor under my whiteboard.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I use a modified ISN in a binder. I however do not do the left/right thing its just in sequential order. I also include all readings in my student's ISN. I would do notebooks, but I hate gluing. Storing the notebooks is a GREAT idea. I store all my students notebooks in my room. It greatly cuts down on the wear and tear.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thanks, Brendan. That was my plan as well!
     
  14. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Is anyone using these notebooks for writing in the language arts classroom? If so, please PM me so I can bombard you with questions. :) :)
     
  15. Teacher_Lady

    Teacher_Lady Rookie

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    I am using them for the first time this upcoming year and I am going to use a binder. I am going to be giving them handouts that won't work being glued in the notebook, so I want them to just slip them in the binder. I am going to have a few shelves set aside for them to keep them in if they do not need to take them home that evening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this works out well...
     
  16. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I store my students too, although they always have the option of taking them home. A class's worth fits well inside a dishpan, which fits nicely on a shelf.
     
  17. dbelmo

    dbelmo Rookie

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    Sorry in advance for the dumb question--- Ancientcivteach--- do you use composition books?

    I tried last year to use the composition books and do the interactive thing--- however I felt that I lost interest, how does every one stay focused and organized? Any hints on how I could do this better, please let me know?
     
  18. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Yes, I use composition notebooks.

    I'm not sure what you mean by lost interest, but as far as staying focused - we do everything that we can in our notebooks, so we use them pretty much daily. Teacher side - any way the students are learning new info for the day, notes, graphic organizer, reading response, questions, articles, etc. Student side - some way for students to interact with the information.

    Organization:
    I like to create a two column table in word to "draft" out my notebooks. In the left column I bullet a description of the content activity, and in the right column I bullet a description of the student processing activity. (some people actually keep a "teacher's notebook" - I haven't had success with it)

    I post a table of contents on my whiteboard so that students can check and see what they are missing.

    Extra copies go on an "assignment board" - you can see pictures and a description here: http://mrsgannon.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/organizing-materials-for-notebookschoice-projects/

    I hope that helps! :)
     
  19. ekk5968

    ekk5968 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    ancientcivteach----Your organization is awesome. I am so envious. I hope you don't mind me stealing a few ideas.
     
  20. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Please do! And share yours - the sharing is what makes this such an awesome place.
     
  21. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I've debated over doing the left/right thing. I'm not sure if the students will 'get it' but then I think, I have sophomores..they SHOULD understand it.
     
  22. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    I use interactive notebooks (in my 4th grade classroom) where the kids take notes or glue information on the right hand pages and then draw examples or illustrations of their notes on the left hand page. I've used spirals in the past, but I hate them because they stick together when I collect them for grading and the kids tend to pull the spirals out. This year I purchased compostion books to use because I think they will work better.
     
  23. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I use the composition notebooks for reading & writing journals. The journals serve for reflection, notes, grammar & writing passages. I do have them paste some reference notes & graphic organizers but the still have room left. Some of the things I have the glue or stick Parts of speech (Dollar Tree has some great stickers that are the perfect size for the comp notebooks, story elements, cause & effect, rules of grammar, etc.

    This year I imagine that I will have to add 2 more for math & science. I'm not sure yet.

    I use the binders for classwork. I have them include folders for various areas & subjects. This year I'm thinking of having them have 2 instead of one. Some students have a hard time in keeping their binders neat.

    As for room, I have cubbies & the inside of their desk for storage. Last year it was a problem seems they switch classes & I needed the space for the class coming in. This year since I'll be self contained that won't be a problem.
     
  24. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    One thing that I am trying to figure out is space for school supplies easily available for the students. Last year for every 5 group table, I had this cute bamboo hut caddy in the middle. This didn't work out very well because when they were working on their desk the caddy would be place on the floor & eventually everything would end on the floor. The student desks are just too small to have this.

    I'm thinking of picking up a customized alpha shelving on wheels from the container store as a solution to this. This would serve to house school supplies & notebook paper so that all they have to do is wheel it to their table, get their supplies & push it to the next table & so on. Hope this makes sense. Any better solutions out there? I know this will cost money but as my dh calculated dividing the time will end up costing me less than 30 cents per day to avoid the aggravation.

    BTW, Container stores offers 15% discount to teachers.
     
  25. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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  26. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I tried it and it was confusing for me lol.
     
  27. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I like the left hand/right hand thing. I just have my students number all of their pages from the get-go and then I just tell them page numbers for things. My sixth graders adapt pretty well.
     
  28. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I use alllllot of supplementary readings and I am not sure how they would play out it they were multiple pages if I used a notebook.
     
  29. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    The notebook police won't come and get you, Brendan ;) I really like it as a self-check to make sure I'm taking processing time

    When I have a multipage handout I:

    sometimes take more than one left hand page for it and let the kids react on some to all of the right hand pages

    format it into a booklet using that function in Word (some do Publisher, but I like Word)

    tape/glue each page over the other, flippy style

    give them the handout, then have them summarize or do a written activity (questions or such) as the left hand side, then proceed as usual (I do this a lot because that way I can use a class set of the longer readings)

    a friend of mine used cornell notes and did a 3-1 ratio, left-right-left (notes, or in your case readings) and the next right the processing activity

    wig actually prefers going sequentially like you do - it's whatever works best for you and your kiddos
     
  30. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    I think I'm going to try it and give the students some time in class every other week or so..especially at the end of the grading period to organize their notebooks, ask questions, and get all the ducks in a row.
     
  31. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I teach science and social studies, so I have the students keep two spiral notebooks. In science we use cornell notes, although I think I am going to have my students do more of an outline this year in that 2/3 of the page. In social studies we use an interactive notebook of sorts (I changed it just a tad to fit my brain).

    We keep table of contents in each notebook, and I check them once a quarter and a project grade. I just staple in an 8th of a sheet of paper with their grade.
     

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