Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My interactive notebooks!

So about two years ago I was introduced into the world of teaching through interactive notebooks and now I'd say I'm pretty obsessed. I've tweaked things slightly each semester but the main idea I've held on to. The first semester I started using an idea similar to the left hand and right hand pages. Instead of having a student output on every single left hand page I used a student output page for the beginning of each topic. We would right down the learning objective, what they already knew about the topic, and after the topic was taught they would complete the what you learned section as well as proof problems to show mastery of the concept. Well unfortunately I had less than 10% of my students actually completing these pages  and the other 90% thought it was best to copy from those few students that actually put thought into the assignment. It only took one semester to realize that wasn't how I wanted to do my interactive notebooks. So I kept the page numbering and table of contents as high importance along with finding ways to speed up the process of INBs. 

Step 1: Material buckets were a MUST!  
Wish this was my first attempt at supply buckets. Nope this would be attempt 3 I believe. First their were zip pouches (which I now have an over abundance of), then there were unorganized baskets that had little square holes as a design (that several students thought it would be ok to cut them to make bigger holes), to my current solution of baskets with Velcro attached cups for separating supplies. This has truly saved my life this year and so far most all the materials are left ready for the next class and in good condition.  

Step 2: Create printed foldables with specific cut and fold type lines. 
It's hard to tell but the dashed line down the middle is a fold line, the darker lines on the left are actually dotted which I use for cutting, and the grey thin lines on the right are just to separate sections. 

By the middle of the semester most students understand how to cut and fold a new foldable with little to no instructions. Also this cuts down so much time. When I first started I seriously had my students break out the rulers and divide the total length by the number of sections I wanted to have for each foldable. OMG... What was I thinking???Atleast they were doing math while wasting time! 

Step 3: Guided notes make things so much neater and keep students from leaving out the most important parts. 
This is something I'm focusing on this year. I have great foldables but they are not guided. So it takes time but makes things smoother during class and once you save them the first time as guided your all ready for the next time you need it. 

Step 4: Do NOT waste your time or students grading these notebooks. They are notes. They should not get grades based on whether they followed directions or not or if they spent the night before copying someone else's notebook (only to leave that person's notebook at their house). It wasn't worth the time I spent grading or the half class period we spent peer grading. Over the summer I decided this year was going to be different. After reading a blog (I think Sarah's at mathequalslove) where she talked about allowing them to use them on quizzes instead. I thought this was brilliant. It creates the incentive for students to take notes so they get a good grade. Also for those students who really struggle and decide to leave all questions blank maybe they will choose to look back over their notes to atleast attempt the question this time. I've only given one quiz so far but I can atleast say that all my students were engaged and putting effort into taking the quiz and looking through their notes. 

Step 5: I prefer 3 ring binders... Only bc I make mistakes and we can insert a page if I forgot to cover something or taught a topic out of order. Also I like that they can insert their assignments, quizzes, and tests into the binder right after the topic covered on the assessment. 

Well that's how my INBs are done hope you enjoy. God Bless :)

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