Interactive Notebooks

July 20, 2013 - 1:39pm -- megan H.

I teach 2nd Grade and have started exploring interactive notebooks.  The students loved it last year when we did a comparison/contrast unit with The Gingerbread Boy stories.  It makes them more engaged and interested in what they are learning.  Does anyone have experience with those?

 

Submitted by Carla Jean S. on

Yes, and no.  When I first started teaching, I only had one class of 7th Grade history, with 27 students.  I used interactive notebooks, in which the students used to write notes, questions, answers to questions I gave them, etc.  I would then collect the notebooks each week, and read their questions to me.  However, the last three years I've had between 170 and 180 students, which made the interactive notebook far too time consuming for me to grade.  This year, I turned to a "lesson log", which has 10 open ended questions, only 3 of which the students answer.  The questions are as follows:

  • Today I learned…
  • I was surprised by…
  • The most useful thing I will take from this lesson is…
  • I was interested in…
  • What I liked most about today’s lesson was…
  • One thing I’m not sure about is…
  • The main thing I want to find out more about is…
  • I might have gotten more from today’s lesson if…

I would then collect these as "tickets to exit", and then design the next day's introduction around the lesson logs.  I also found this useful when I had a substitute for the day. Sometimes, rather than collecting them and reading them, I would have about 10 random students read what they wrote.  This helped me pinpoint trouble areas very quickly.  And if these are collect anonomously, it helps the "to cool for questions" students indicate where they need more help.

Submitted by Dianne F. on

Last year in my 8th grade math classes I used a "modified" interactive notebook for the first time. I found they were a great tool to help my unorganized students keep track of hand-outs and returned papers.  I have always had students take notes in a spiral, but some students have a difficult time keeping track of loose papers.  By including them in their interactive notebook, students had all of their papers in one place for easy reference.

By "modified" I mean I adjusted the notebook to work for my classroom.  I would have students take notes and put examples/questions on the front pages and glue completed and graded homework on the back page. At the end of the unit I would identify pages for students to glue in quizzes and tests. 

I like the "tickets to exit"  suggested by Carla Jean S. ... I can use these and have the students include these in a section of their interactive notebook as well.

Submitted by Lynn M. on

I teach second grade and have used interactive journals with my students in math and reading.  We do response to stories in our reading journals as well as predictions and comparisons.  We also use them to make diagrams of non-fiction literature.  We begin each day with our Math Journal.  I give them a number of the day or a problem of the day.  I also use it to have them explain-- maybe with pictures or words, how they answer addition or subtraction problems.  I have them share their answers with their group and then each group shares one.

Submitted by Vanessa C. on

I use interactive journals for both English and reading.  At times they are more "note books" used to take notes but students like when they are interactive.  I teach sixth grade and have given an open notes pop quiz each quater to ensure students are taking good notes. Teachers Pay Teachers website definitely has a ton of things available for true interactive notes.  I love that I can find things others have created - and not have to do it myself!