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Home : 2008 : Apr : 10

    Interactive Notebooks
    By wig

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    I teach 5-8 Social Studies. In fifth grade I really walk them through it. It is more teacher directed than anything, but it helps when I get them in subsequent years. Each year I have to do less and less with that. (I am in a small school so pretty much get the same students every year)

    1. After several years of doing left (teacher) right (student), I have gone to doing the notebook sequentially. The page extensions were becoming cumbersome but yet they were necessary because I have some that write so large, that what would normally easily fit on one page was not working. Sequentially has worked great. I still follow the essence of what an ISN is.

    2. We always preview the chapter looking at the headings, pictures, and first lines of each paragraph. Then we summarize what we think the chapter is about and they make the cover page.

    3. History Alive is very weak in vocab development. We spend a day on on the vocab from the book plus whatever vocab I am adding as I do not rely on the book to be my whole curriculum. Definitions are written in the book. The next day we respond to it. I usually give them at least two choices, such as drawing pictures or diagrams, labeling them with the vocab words, making foldables, etc.

    4. From there we have the teacher notes - maybe the first half of the period and then the second half they respond to it. Sometimes I have something specific to do and sometimes they get a choice. As they get more comfortable with the process I will ask for suggestions.

    In the beginning it takes forever to get through a section, but pretty soon it becomes routine. A rubric is important if you are using their notebooks for the majority of the grade.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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