Interactive notebooks are divided into two parts:
I call this the Information Side or the Learning Side. This side is teacher directed. It includes the new information the students are learning for the lesson. It can include class notes, notes from a reading or class discussion, handouts, graphic organizers, or visuals (diagrams, charts, graphs, etc.).
I call this the Thinking Side. This side is student directed. It allows the students to take the new information from the input side and apply it in their own way to demonstrate understanding of the new content. This is where the word "interactive" comes into play. Students use thinking strategies to "interact" with the new information. Some activities include: graphic organizers, foldables/flip-flap activities, problem solving, written reflections or opinions, or illustrations.
Here's an example of what my notebooks look like:
|Science Interactive Notebook: click HERE for the phases of the moon wheel|
Some people like the notebooks to work left-to-right, so the input (information) side is on the left and the output (student thinking) side is on the right. The middle school teachers in my district actually don't have a left side/right side. They like to merge the two together. So their kids take notes on both sides of the paper, and when they do the output (student thinking) activities, they draw a box around it. It works for upper grades, as they can't always contain their lesson notes to one page. In my second grade class, I plan my lessons so that I will only need one input page and one output page per lesson. But more on lesson planning in later posts :)
I think there's a common misconception out there that interactive notebooks are simply flip-flap books or foldables glued into a notebook. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Classroom Instruction that Works; Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock). When you allow students to take that new information and apply it in their own way, it "cements" the learning in their brains. So do some notebook pages have foldables or lift-the-flap tabs? Yes they do. But they're not the only teaching tools I use to encourage my students to interact with the new content.
You don't need to cut and glue a million tiny pieces to effectively use interactive notebooks in your classroom! Flip-flap activities are fun, but let's be honest. If you can achieve the same effect with a worksheet, then why not shrink down the worksheet, trim it, and glue it into the notebook? Example: Math. We just don't have the time for our students to cut out 12 flip-flap practice problems, glue them in their notebooks, and then solve them by writing the answer underneath the flap. In this case, there's nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned worksheet for students to complete to apply the new skill they've learned.
|Math Interactive Notbeook. This activity is in my Geometry IN product|
You don't need even need glue and scissors to use interactive notebooks in your class! Observe:
|I'm sorry this pic is so blurry...|
So what do you think? Have I convinced you to give interactive notebooks a try?
Stay tuned, because in my next post, I'm going to explain how to start planning for your first interactive notebook lesson or unit!
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