Keeping notebooks- your process

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Cyndi23, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Hi all!

    This year I would like to keep notebooks w/ my 7th grade LA classes.

    I was thinking along the lines of a 3 ring binder w/ 6 divider tabs (for each 6 weeks) and each 6 weeks having a table of contents.

    That's all I know to do. How do you do notebooks? What has been successful? What hasn't?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Mrs.Goble

    Mrs.Goble Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Hello Cyndi!

    I do a 3 ring-binder with 6 dividers as well. I divide it differently. I do Literature, Grammar, Homework, Writing, Notes and Misc.

    This year I am going to add to things brought up at a work shop I attended. I want the welcome letter/class rules at the very front along with a grade-keeper. That way there are never any discrepencies in their grades vs. mine.

    I really find that dividing my subject matter helps us out. That way the kids know exactly where to look for what they need.

    Good Luck!
    Florangel
     
  4. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I agree

    The most important thing is to choose what the purpose of your students' notebooks is. I know that for me in my first year, I didn't give myself a concrete reason, so my students just kind of threw stuff in there and some didn't even use them. The next time I use them, I want them to help students stay organized, which means that I will be having them use a table of contents, and they will be turning them in.

    You can also split it up so your students have a writer's notebook and a reader's notebook. That way when they are doing creative writing - you can be grading the reader's notebooks and vice versa. I don't know if this is helpful or not. It is something I am trying to figure out myself!
     
  5. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I have two purposes:

    1. Is to teach organization. I feel that that is the KEY to being successful and that a LOT of 7th graders are clueless on how to keep themselves in order.

    2. I want the kids to be able to keep track of their grades at all times.
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Most of my teachers in Jr. High made us keep a binder for their subject, or at least a folder with brads plus a spiral. I think it's the main reason I was always able to keep my school stuff organized even though my bedroom wasn't (my lockers were almost spotless!)... I would suggest like Mrs. Goble to divide it up for specific areas of the curriculum rather than by grading periods, and keeping their grade sheet in front is a GREAT idea. My teachers would often do "notebook checks" and flip our notebooks upside down... anything that was loose would fall out, and we "lost it" for a period of time... mean, but effective!
     
  7. E Bunni 99

    E Bunni 99 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2006

    I attended a great conference in March and learned a great deal on Interactive Notebooks (INB). I plan to use these next year with my classes and keep one up for students who are absent. It is a 8.5 x 11 spiral notebook. I am keeping one with 5 sections:

    1- Notes and Activites on Unit of Study
    2- Vocabulary
    3- Homework Practice
    4- Kansas
    5- Journal

    On the right hand side of the spiral students take notes, and on the left hand side they do practice activites using the notes. It looked like a great way to keep kids organized. They use a new spiral for each unit you complete (we only have 5 units in L.A.). :)
     
  8. busyteacher

    busyteacher Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2006

    notebooks

    We follow a workshop model in my school. We keep three notebooks which are marble composition. They include : readers, writers and a journal. Each has a different color label that I make in printshop. For example red is the readers, I also use a piece of red oaktag which is lined and has a title readers notebook table of contents. Each day I log in the title of the minilesson on this chart. I also say take out your red label and they know we have a reading lesson. I also store these in the classroom in crates. We have nine groups of four children. Three sections in each row, I keep my notebooks in big storage crates, the stackable kind. Each class has three crates. Rows 1-3, 4-6, 7-9. It has worked for years! It keeps the kids organized and materials are easil accesibke. Good Luck
     
  9. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 16, 2006

    Great. I taught 4th departmentalized and I've never done something as specific as this, but with my 7th graders this is the plan I have so far. I haven't heard of using a table of contents. Do you simply maintain a list that the students copy from a chart tablet? Or is there some other method?

    Anyways, here is my plan (math):

    Your binder must be organized at all times. You must only have assignments from my class in your binder. There should be 6 dividers. The tabs of the dividers must be labeled with the following.
    Section 1: Forms–assignment sheets, grade keeper, this syllabus, and reference charts.
    Section 2: Classwork–notes, in-class assignments, and reflections.
    Section 3: Vocabulary–words and definitions
    Section 4: Homework–keep returned homework here.
    Section 5: Assessment–quizzes and tests.
    Section 6: Book–your unit book.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2006

    I use a binders in my social studies and english classes. I also keep a TOC for each section and find it easier for me and the students to keep organized. Each paper in each section is given an assignment number (that is noted on the TOC) and the assignments are kept in numerical order.

    One thing I have noticed is that if you don't check and grade the binders the students will not bother to keep them organized. Binders are worth 5% of my kids' grades.

    My tabs are setup dfrently for each of my subjects.

    Social Studies:

    Section 1:Keepers-Syllabus, Grade Keeper, Grade Print Outs, and Important Handouts.

    Section 2:Classwork-All work completed in-class, besides tests and quizzes, should be kept here.

    Section 3: Homework-All work completed at-home should be kept here.

    Section 4: Class Notes-All notes taken and given to you should be kept here.

    Section 5:Assesments-Tests and Quizzes.

    English:

    Section 1: Writing

    Section 2: Vocabulary/Wordly Wise

    Section 3:Grammar/Puncuation

    Section 4:Literature

    Section 5:Other (Grade printouts, syllabus, and grade keeper.)

    Section 6:Group Work/MCAS Prep.
     
  11. DotyMath

    DotyMath Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2006

    In addition to a copy of my rules and procedures, I require my students to keep a calendar in the front of their notebooks. I added things to their calendars on a daily basis - then if I have an absent student, we can look at the calendar and see what they missed. In science class, I gave them a notebook test once a week based on the things they should have in their notebooks - always listed plainly on the board at the front of the classroom.
     
  12. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2006

    I love the binder idea and have used it before but I found that keeping it organized was almost an impossibility for some kids. Then I'd have parents coming up to school to try and track down old papers the kids had lost ("could you please make another copy of the 3rd week's vocab practice paper for Michael?"). UGH.
    Anyway, the science teachers in my grade have used composition notebooks instead and it seems to me that they have better success keeping kids from losing papers and staying organized. I'm switching over to them for next year (I'm keeping my fingers crossed).
    The only major difference will be that I have had to scale down my handouts so they'll fit on the page of the smaller notebook (this was pretty easy, actually on my word processor).
    I'll have one for vocab and grammar and one for literature. Student writing will be done in a folder with brads.
    I'm hopeful about this switch...we'll see how it turns out.
     
  13. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Aug 1, 2006

    there are advantages to both the binder ones and the spiral ones. I think the binder ones are neater looking for the ones who use it properly. I had far too many students - especially seventh graders - who just jammed things in the folder. I went back to using spirals. The down side is that the the easily affordable ones are slightly smaller than the handouts so I have to trim them. We usually use one per quarter (approximately - depending where a unit ended.) but at 10 cents a notebook, it is pretty affordable.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 1, 2006

    My students have two spiral notebooks and two folders with prongs. One notebooks is for their daily focus, which is a topic we cover at the beginning of class every day. All 7th grade LA students cover the same topic on the same day. We refer to these notebooks throughout the year. The second spiral notebook is their writing notebook. I use writing workshop. One folder is their writing folder. The prongs are for color-coded reference sheets and notes. The back pocket is for final copies, and the front pocket is for working copies. (They bring writings from ALL classes, which is why not all of them are in their writing notebook.) The second folder is a classwork folder. That's where they keep graded papers and classwork. I have a grading system for the daily focus notebooks and the writing notebook. The folders are not scored, although I do random checks on them. All of our students have planners/agenda books, which is where they keep their reading logs and assignments.
     

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