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Interactive Notebooks

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Interactive Notebooks are a fantastic way to get students actively involved in their own learning.
Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:Tammy Legg #80425

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...

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State History Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:Margaret916 #143677

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...

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Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:Lynne in VA #59382

We keep interactive notebooks for science and social studies. On the right hand page we paste pictures and write notes using essential information format straight from the curriculum guides. On the facing left hand page the students make their own sense of the information by drawing and labeling pictures, creating thinking maps, making up rhymes or anything that helps them to remember the info.

For instance, for ancient Rome, we may have them write about the Roman soldiers building roads across the empire. On the facing page they often draw pictures of the Roman soldiers building and marching on the roads. We also have an activity where they can create their own soldier and use tinfoil for shields and red crepe paper for the uniforms. These notebooks are divided into sections by content and are used to review information weekly as well as to review closer to the tests....

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Interactive Notebooks FAQ
Posted by:ancientciv #138748

1. Is there a book I can buy that details more of the process?

Yes. "Bring History Alive" is published by TCI, and there is a chapter in there about the interactive notebooks. The book is about the History Alive program, of which the notebooks are a piece.

2. Do your students glue, tape or staple their entries?

My students use liquid glue - I'm partial to Elmer's Glue All, versus the school glue. I tried glue sticks this year, and you really have to press hard and use a good bit of the glue stick for pages to stick. Also, Wal-Mart generally puts the Glue All on sale for 20 cents a bottle over the summer.

3. Have you thought about what type of notebook you'll use?

People using the strategy use all kinds - binders, spirals, and composition notebooks. Personally, I like the...

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jr high social studies
Posted by:Mrs,C #143678

My students add to their notebooks using a three hole punch. We always try to add entire pages when possible. Two sided tape is great for adding smaller objects.I have found that my students have better recall of facts when we add color pages with notes. I have found hundreds of coloring pages featuring topics addressed in our social studies frameworks. Topics inculding ancient Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages..... These pages are 8x11 and fit perfectly in our notebooks. Students color the pages, add needed information on the left side of the notebook and their colored picture on the right.

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Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:maree #143679

I used the interactive notebooks with my social studies classes the past year and it was a total success and a blast had by all (students, myself and the parents) The students enjoyed coming up with ideas to highlight the notes discussed in class. The parents enjoyed not getting the numerous missing homework assignments telephone calls. I really enjoyed the percentage of missing homework decreasing.

The ideas that the students came up with were awesome. They created gameboards, puppet shows, various graphic organizers, mobiles attached to the folder, skits including props, pictures, poems, songs etc. I allowed the students the opportunity to share them with the class for extra points. This benefited the entire class, a review, the opportunity to stand before the class and express themselves, and the chance to just stand out. I can't wait until next year to continue.


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using highlighters and markers
Posted by:ancientciv #143680

I don't allow the use of markers in my notebooks because of bleed through. It makes the back of the next page unusable for writing.

I use highlighters all the time on my handouts - we look for the answers to certain questions in the text or color code facts for note-taking. If its on a handout, which is glued in to the notebook, there is no bleed through.

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Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:wig #143681

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...

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Interactive Notebooks
Posted by:ancientciv #143682

I teach sixth grade social studes. I find the notebooks are a wonderful organizational tool.

I maintain the left is for learning, right is for reflection. Honestly, it helps me I think more than the children. I look at the notes page as dealing with the lower level of bloom's and the right side as addressing the higher levels, so it helps keep my planning "on track".

I use a composition notebook, and their notes are either handouts that we read and mark-up together, question strips that they answer and we review, or fill in the blank outlines from a mini-lecture. Since these are usually printed and then glued in, I don't have a major problem with keeping everyone on the "same page". If I have a student who writes really big, I teach them how to make "flippy...

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interactive notebooks
Posted by:Elaine McLarty #78144

I use interactive notebooks extensively as part of the History Alive curriculum taught at my school.

I collect the notebooks at least every four weeks and randomly select four or five pages to grade during each review (I'll grade the same selections for one class, another set for the next class). I will collect one period every day until I've gone through all of the classes. About a week before I do these scheduled checks, I send a rubric home that provides the table of contents and a grading rubric. Each student must complete the rubric and I give bonus points for a parent's signature. In addition, I conduct random checks about once a week. I love the notebooks but they are difficult for some kids.

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