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    State History Interactive Notebooks
    By Margaret916

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    We did a VA interactive notebook to teach state history (from 1607 Jamestown settlement to current events). It's a lot of info for the kids to learn and reading it out of the book won't cut it. A couple teachers in my school have used what the county gave us as a resource and changed/added/removed and made our notebooks unique. Here's how/what I did:

    We keep everything glued into the notebook, we used marble composition books. Our covers were decorated as a collage -- I picked up a ton of travel brochures from Virginia from a rest stop and the kids cut and glued and we covered them with book tape. Some of our pages are workbook pages, some are notes -- most are more fun then that. Everything from illustrations to flow charts of goverment power to pages we glue in that are cloze type paragraphs to word searches and vocabulary matches. THey have 200 pages, this year we used about 160 pages. By the end of the year the kids had to treat them gently because they were so full the bindings would break, but they are so proud of their notebooks. We kept them in ziplocs or folders to protect them.

    I think I reversed these from the actual model. But anyway I use the model where the right page is for WOW (Words of Wisdom) and the left page is split horizontally. the top part is RAP (Review and Preview) and the bottom is WIO (Work it out). The WOW side is for notes, information they should learn. RAP is to review what you learned before and ask them to predict what should be learned. WIO is the most fun -- they draw an illustration or a diagram or something of the sort to make their ideas stick. Not every page was RAp/WOW/WIO but that's what made it vary from page to page.

    We did specific chapters, had a table of contents in the beginning and created illustrated and colorful "coverpages" (The kids' favorite parts!) for every chapter. I used Post it Durable tabs (the thin ones wear out) for each chapter coverpage so it was easy to use as a reference. At the end of every chapter we glued in, highlighted and reviewed the chapter study guide. This was AWESOME because our parents knew just where to look EVERY TIME it was time for a test.

    We even worked on cool foldables (civil war, famous people, contrast and compare cultural landscape through the years, famous documents) and put some of them into the book.

    We did this for VA and our district has a lot of information pre-made. It really made it more fun for us! I can send you photos of what our book looks like to give you an idea -- it was a lot of work, but totally worth it becuase EVERYTHING stayed put to be a reference for later.

    Lastly, I found a great way to grade it -- every day that you work in it, or they have homework, they get a stamp. Right side up if it's done correctly, directions followed, etc. Sideways if it's partially correct. And upside down if its not complete or done really wrong. At the end of each "chapter" you count the number of stamps up ,sideways, or down to determine their grades. IT's quick and easy!

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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