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    Interactive Notebooks
    By Tammy Legg

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    I have used Interactive Notebooks for the past few years, and I love them! They are the answer to lost/misplaced assignments/homework and/or unorganized students! I teach middle school currently, but plan to return to high school--and I will use them there, too! They've spread since I and a couple of other folks at my school started using them after the History Alive training. We have modified them to some extent, though: we don't stick to the hard & fast rule about what goes on each side. I find it's more efficient to use whatever is next, though it isn't strictly the official way.

    There are a few things I've learned the hard way too: You MUST stress the size (8 1/2 x 11); keep glue in your room & make it a routine procedure for passing out, gluing in, and taking up the glue; give them written instructions on your table of contents & how to fill it out, how to number pages, and how & when you plan to check notebooks; require their names and your name on the front, minimum (that way it gets returned to you if lost in the hallway or wherever); keep a sample notebook of your own for them to refer to; cover the front with clear packing tape OR contact paper, and use elmer's glue for regular photos or glue sticks for computer printed (elmer's makes the ink smear); glue sticks will NOT hold the pages in for long; & use color coded table of contents. Everyone in my school who has tried them has LOVED the notebooks--this includes every level from special ed to gifted teachers (I've taught gifted and collaborative--it works for both, IF you make it part of your class routine to glue pages in during class!).


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