When I started this blog back in June, I thought I needed a focus. Just one topic (OK, maybe two) to write about, and I would only write about that topic. Well that quickly changed, as I started following other blogs and seeing that, hey, I can write about whatever I want!

I haven't actually written much on my blog about that topic. Mostly because I'm dragging my feet. I started this blog so I could document my journey of implementing interactive notebooks in a second grade classroom. I attended a district sponsored conference on Interactive Notebooks and the Nine Thinking Strategies (from the book Classroom Instruction that Works) this past summer, and I was asked to pilot the IN9 (a term my district is using, referring to the using the 9 strategies in an Interactive Notebook. Make sense?) in a second grade classroom. I've never done anything like this before. And I'm nervous. Scared. FREAKING OUT!! And to make things worse, there really isn't a whole lot out there on Interactive Notebooks at the primary level.

TOMORROW we will be starting our very first science unit of the year (I alternate teaching science and social studies units). I chose to do an IN9 in science for a few reasons:
  1. I start with social studies, and I didn't want to start a brand new notebook routine along with all of our beginning of the year class routines.
  2. I only teach 5 science units
  3. My science units are VERY high interest
  4. I thought it would be the easiest thing to do.
My first unit is Health and Human Body. This unit is a hodge-podge of health-related learning goals: nutrition, exercise, medicine/drugs, teeth, digestive system, and skeletal system. To be honest, it's my least favorite unit to teach because it's kind of random. Oh well. Today we started by getting our notebooks ready. I was so, so, SOOO nervous because there were a bazillion directions that needed to be given.

Page 1: We skipped it. We will use that page later on as a title page for the entire notebook. I'm envisioning the bunnies writing "Science" in big letters and then decorating the page with science drawings.

Page 2: Table of Contents. The bunnies cut and glued a "Table of Contents" label in the top margin. Here students will list each unit we will be learning about, as well as what color the tab is.

Page 3: Skipped that one too. We will be using that page similar to the first page, except it will be the title page for our Health and Human Body unit. One thing we did do to the page was make a tab on a sticky note. Each student wrote the name of the unit on the sticky note, and then I had a parent helper use packaging tape to tape it down. This will keep it in place, as well as "laminate" the sticky note.

Page 4: Table of Contents for the unit. On this page, we will write the goal from the lesson and what page it is on. We will also be using this page as the closure to the lesson, where students will rate their understanding of the goal using a 1-3 system, 1 being the best. Again, students cut and glued the label in the top margin. 
Page 5+: This is where we will take notes. Students' interactions and thinking will take place on the left side, and the information will be on the right. I made the "My Thinking" label red (actually it's a cherry pink) because I want students to STOP and think. The "Information" label is green, keeping with the stoplight theme, because we will go, go, GO when taking notes. Students put these labels on the next five pages so that we would be ready for the upcoming lessons. We ran out of time, but I would also have had students number the pages, 1-10 in the top margin as well.

The Back Cover: I actually had my parent helper do this. She taped a piece of yarn to the back cover. Students will be using the yarn as a book mark to keep track of what page they're on. She also taped in an envelope to keep any small pieces. For example, there are extra "My Thinking" and "Information" labels in the envelope right now. Being that this is our first unit, we will be doing a lot of cutting and gluing until students get the hang of note taking.

I was SOOO impressed by how well my students did when we were setting up our notebooks! I hardly had to repeat steps/directions; they were so ON today! It was very reassuring to see this, and also to see their excitement about writing in a notebook. I don't know what it is, but primary kiddos LOVE notebooks LOL! I think this might actually work! I'll be updating our progress with the notebook as we add more to it.


  1. Yay! Congrats!! Just found you through Rikki @ The Hive. I'm a new follower!

    Second Grade Sparkle

  2. Hey! I wanted to let you know that I just love your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check it out HERE!

    The Price of Teaching


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