I was reading the social studies board earlier today about the use of interactive notebooks. I was intrigued since I'd never heard of these. The posts about them made them sound like something I would be very interested in doing with my kids.
The reason I'm calling you out is because I opened the following link you suggested had a good student sample.
(BTW, this was from 2006.)
Not only was there a good sample (I'm very visual. I needed to see one.), but I found the entire site extremely useful! Mr. Saunders has a similar social studies curriculum, so I found many of his attachments are ones I could use in my class. I can absolutely see myself using this for the upcoming school year. I'm excited! The processing activities/writings the kids do will be very beneficial for them, and it will help me in assessing their understanding of the content/units we cover.
I do have a question for you (and/or for anyone else who reads this): Do you think it wise, since I'm an interactive notebook virgin , to do this with science at the same time or will that be too much?
Last edited by trexteach; 06-13-2009 at 03:33 PM..
I am in the same boat. I will be teaching 7th grade Science and World History next year. I had already planned on using notebooks in Science...not sure how they will be set up. Originally it wasn't going to be an interactive notebook, but now that I have discovered them... I might be using them.
Either way... I am doing notebooks for the first time in both classes. I know that it will be a lot of work. I just feel like they are a great tool and that a little extra work in the beginning will make the entire year better.
I used them for the first time this year in 4th in both science and s.s. I thought they were beneficial and did not feel it was too much, in fact students knew the basics, organization & purpose and applied them in both subjects.
I did not use contents pages like some do, instead we had the standards/indicators typed up and glued into the beginning of each unit. We simply checked off when it was covered.
I know next year I'll use them again and model more and make sure I emphasize this is such a good study guide if they've taken good notes and personalized as a way to remember important material.
Is'nt Mr. Saunder's site great? His is one of the best!
IMO, doing it for the first time in two different classes could be a bit of a challenge, but certainly not an impossibility as Linda has indicated. You may want to consider setting up model notebooks this summer. In the beginning you have to model a lot and have suggestions for the students to choose from for the student portion of the notebook. The younger they are I found, the longer it takes before the majority of the class can work on thier own.
What I love about the ISNs is you can actually set them up in any way that fits your teaching style and the needs of your class. I like the idea of the indicators being glued to the front of the notebook. One year I went sequentially in my notebook for one of my classes because the "flippy pages" were a real pain for most of my students and a frustration for me. I liked it so well I converted to that for all of my classes.
I was reading through this and was very intrigued so I did some searches on the net because I wanted to know more.
I came across this wiki that on the surface looks wonderful.
You that know more about them would be able to offer a better opinion.
Here is the site
That is the site i started. I was trying to gather all suggestions for ISNs in one place. Many have added to it since then. It was a public wiki until some of the links posted were porn. So it is protected - meaning you have to ask to be a member. I always say yes, but at least if porn is posted I have a way to trace it and report it. As a member you can add links also, or if you do not know how, you can send a message through the wiki to me if you would like me to post it.
The links on the home page are all ISN links. On the side under content is something with stars that I do not quite understand and was posted by a member who asked to become an organizer. I think it may have something to do with her school because there was an increase in traffic at that time.
Well just write a big DUH on my forehead!!!!!
I apologize. I have been reading and reading. I would like to use these in my social studies class. You have a great site. Thank you for compiling all of these resources.
How on earth do I actually get this started - what I mean is, from the teacher side of things.
We implemented a new curriculum in Soc St. 2 yrs ago and my colleagues and i are still struggling with the way our govt wants it taught. It is very inquiry based with critical thinking and our gr 4 classes seem to struggle with this approach (perhaps its us oldies who just don't get it and can't teach it the way it's meant to be taught).
I am thinking that this may give us (or particularly me - (the others in my team really resist change) some direction.
Any advice would really be appreciated.
I teach older grades, so some of what I do may mot be appropriate for 4th graders. For teacher input, I may use that for teaching outlining and summarizing of the material in the book, guided notes, vocabulary, informative handouts, etc. For student output they do one or more of the following: Ven Diagrams, Word Gram, maps, illustrated timelines, charts/graphs, Cause/Effect Charts, cartoons, flow charts, illustrated definitions, pictwords, poems, anagrams, foldables, brocures,etc.
When I first introduce ISNs, I model different ways of responding, and they all respond the same way. Once I have modeled many different ways of responding, then we move on to suggesting ways of responding to a specific lesson. They do not have to use the ways suggested, but it helps those who have no clue what to do.
Thanks, Wig, for the suggestion to make a model notebook this summer. That's probably a good idea. I would like to do this in soc. studies and science, but maybe I'll hold off a bit with science, or begin it later in the 1st quarter, once I feel I have a good grasp on the soc. studies notebooks.
Mr. Saunders does have a great site. I emailed him to make sure it was okay to use some of his work for my class. He had no problem with it.
Thanks, all, for your additional suggestions/info. I'm ready to "dig in".
I love notebooks. I found a math interactive notebook recommended from a PT member about 4 years ago and have used it in my classroom ever since. The first year was skeletal but the next years it's gotten better and easier to implement.
Unfortunately the site that I got it from stopped posting their book. I emailed the ladies and they said they were creating a professional one to sell. Haven't seen it yet.
I was going to start using them in math this year. We use some Fosnot units- they are mainly investigations and the notebook seemed like a great place to write about the strategies they use to solve the problems.
Groovy Gal- is the site you were talking about one that was 2 6th grade teachers posted? I have looked several times for that site- when I found it originally 2 years ago I got some good stuff - cowboy method of dividing & Dr. Pepper method of converting decimals to percents made me smile.
ancientciv posed good questions and mentioned +/- to choosing the medium as well as deciding how to attach handouts, but aren't handouts too big for comp books and even spiral notebooks? Don't they hang out over the edges and get all crumply? And what about 2 sided or multipage handouts? I was thinking I could print the reverse side so it could be seen if glued across the top and flipped up? It also seems like a binder would be better if I decide to combine the writer's notebook, reading journal, and grammar all into one ISN and need sections. I do love the idea of a small, compact spiral versus a clunky binder. Especially if they are kept in the room, I would have to store over 120 binders and spirals would be sooo much better. Thanks for any help. Maybe I just need to spend the time to study all the online resources which have been provided.
Wig, you're too kind! You know I say the same thing about you!
choosing the medium as well as deciding how to attach handouts, but aren't handouts too big for comp books and even spiral notebooks
There are tricks to handouts in the composition notebooks - my favorite is to either reduce (using a copier, or printer options) so that you can get two handouts to a page. This not only saves paper, but fits nicely in a comp. book.
For two sided handouts you can format a word document as "book fold" and get up to 3 side easily. You can also glue across just the top, and the handout can be flipped.
The Mead Spiral notebook is the "holy grail" as full size handouts will fit in it and they are darn near indestructable, but they are pretty pricey. Regular spirals can handle handouts with just a little trimming, or folding.
The reason I like notebooks versus binders is the whole tearing out and being lost thing. In a notebook, if page 100 isn't done its there - blank and beckoning. In a binder, page 100 could just be not there.
That being said, I know people who swear by binders.
I also have used composition book ISNs for three years. I tried spirals for two years, and they're not for me. I agree with ancientciv regarding binders, but it's a personal choice.
As for handouts being too big, I frequently will edit a word document to be landscape with two columns. Then I put one copy of the handout (with slightly smaller font) in one column and a second copy in the other column. Then I print it and copy half as many full pages as I need, cut them in half with a paper cutter, and voila! They fit perfectly in the composition book this way. Also, you can reduce a full size page on the copier to about 70% and it will also fit. I do this for handouts I do not have a digital copy of.
Another idea I use for putting handouts in the ISN is envelopes. I have envelope templates that I copy for the students, they cut them out and put them together, then glue them to the page and tuck in their handout/assignment.
With two-sided pages, I have the students fold the page "hamburger" and put a strip of glue at the top on the back of the page. Then they glue it down and are able to life up the page to see underneath.
This summer, I've been teaching Summer School math and I have been experimenting with a math ISN (I normally teach social studies). I will try to upload a few of the pages we've done in there to the wiki. There are some neat examples of putting handouts in creatively that are hard to describe in words.
Attached I have an example of one of my handouts that are edited to be two-to-a-page.
Ancientciv and Swtogirl:
Wow thanks so much for the detailed explanations, examples and attachments! I am still in a quandary, vacillating back and forth, but believe me this helped so much to understand how a comp book would be workable. I did explore all of the resources on the wikispace. I am ready to launch the concept, no matter what medium I settle on. I even emailed some excerpts and links to the 6th and 7th grade social and science teachers I work with and one SS teacher already responded with enthusiasm. If they buy in, this will be the first interdisciplinary activity we embark upon. Yahoo! I am indebted.