Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Teacher's Guide to Interactive Student Notebooks



I was asked to present Interactive Student Notebooks at our Gulf Regional Innovative Teaching Conference. I have used them in my classroom for 4 years and was super happy to share all of the things I have stolen from other teachers! I only had 50 minutes to talk about something I could talk for days about! What better way to teach teachers about interactive notebooks than to have them create their own! This is also my love letter to Math Equals Love for putting her amazing ideas out into the math world. I actually do have some of my own ideas but I am sure they originate from hers!



I put all the handouts together, in order, for each participant so I would not have to use precious time passing things out. I think this saved time. That and me talking super fast! I wanted them to leave with a product and something tangible they could refer to. My classroom model notebook that I keep through the year is helpful for me the next year to look back on.



It was important to me that they experience the "interactive" notebook like students do. A couple of the staple activities used in my classroom were easily adapted. There are not enough adjectives to describe how happy using Math Equals Love's Unit Dividers make me! You can see the green one in the notebook above. If you do interactive notebooks, you need these in your life!





The next thing was to show how important color with meaning is to the interactive notebook. I first saw the idea of a coloring page from Math Equals Love for translating expressions. For the conference, teachers color coded "Why Should My Classes Use ISNs?" into three categories.



These are all of the reasons I love using interactive notebooks with my students. My students answered a survey at the end of the year about them and the overwhelming theme of their answers were that the notebooks were fun and made it easy to keep up with their stuff. Students take ownership of their notebooks and are proud of them.



Pockets or envelopes are a staple of interactive notebooks. They are great for holding flash cards, task cards, any kind of cards you have! For the teacher's notebook, I put cards of all the supplies they would need.



Card sorts and matching are two activities that you can use for everything. This matching activity had the teachers match the word with things they needed to think about in setting up their notebooks for their classes. A shutter foldable had them talk about the administrative things when using notebooks.



My favorite page was the mini foldables! They turned out super cute! But it also gave teachers practice in folding and taping as well as ideas of what foldable to use for which notes.





How could I not show them POOF books? They are one of my students' favorite foldable. I first saw these at Math Equals Love where she had made it for exponent rules. Inside, teachers found advice about using interactive notebooks.



To show how to layer pages and how the tape makes hinges, the last page had a couple of pages of resources for them. Bloggers that do interactive notebooks and things to ask Google, especially MTBoS, were on the pages along with a place for them to write notes.





It only took two trips to haul the supplies into the building! I think I won for most stuff required for a presentation! Teachers seemed excited to take interactive notebooks back to their classrooms and that makes me excited!

Find all the things here!

10 comments:

  1. Love this! You've inspired me to think about how to an interactive notebook with my preschoolers! Thanks!

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    1. Yay! I can think of a thousand ways with littles! They would love shape sorting. Maybe you could have them cut (do they use scissors?!) the shapes and glue them into the notebook? Anything they could manipulate inside the notebook would be fun! Thanks for reading, BIG!

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    1. The files are at bit.ly/jrichisn or Math Equals Love!

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  3. Jacqueline,
    I've been using ISNs in my math classes for years and love them for the same reasons you do! I also love Math Equals Love as much as you do!
    I must say the way you created your workshop was FANTASTIC in helping teachers see the options open to them with foldables, pockets, and even the use of tape in an ISN! Great ingenuity used to get the info across while giving them the experience of putting together parts of an ISN! Keep up the great work and have a FABULOUS school year!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! I wanted them to leave with something hoping it would make it easier to jump in! Hope you have the best year ever!

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  4. I am considering inb this year and wondering how do you manage printing. Do you always have to resize the paper? Do you always have to cut the paper ahead of time for the students?

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    1. Kianna, I agree with everything njoyteachn said! If you have something full size, I make 2 copies then depending on your copier, lay them both on the copier and 64% or duplex mode does 2 to a page. Otherwise, I use PowerPoint and just do landscape and put 2 on a page and make one cut. You will get the hang of thinking in half page size. It won't be perfect the first year or the 5th because you learn as you go! Just jump in, you will love it and so will your students! The link for some of the templates and examples are here bit.ly/jrichisn and if you need anything at all just email me! Good luck! Hope you have the best year ever!

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  5. Hi Kianna,
    I hope you decide to try INBs! I've used them for 7 years now and don't see giving them up any time soon! Many of my inserts are created in landscape mode with 2 columns to easily halve the 8.5x11 inch paper as I'm creating. Microsoft Word does a nice job with this as well as Power Point; depending on the insert, I sometimes get 4 or more sections on a page...I find Power Point to be easier to use then because it has guidelines that will display to show your sections are equidistant apart (this is true of Google Slides too)! Precutting or having students cut depends on your flow of lesson, time you'll have in class for the lesson plus INB "construction", your students'ability to cut quickly (even my high school students struggle!) :), etc.
    Hope this encourages you to give it a try! Remember, every page doesn't have to have an insert or foldable. Use them when they help students visualize the information better than straightforward notes or when they will help them interact with the content. An INB is a resource book they build so it will be fabulous even if all they do is use color and hand-drawn graphic organizers as learning tools, make connections, and reflect on their learning. The inserts are gravy to make the meal taste a little better. ;)
    Have a great school year!

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    1. Thank you for replying! I agree with everything! Hope you have the best year ever!

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