My class has been working on their Interactive Notebooks, which we now refer to as “Interactive Journals.” “Journal” is the term we use school-wide for composition books. It is a habit and just easier. Same idea.
I am really happy with how it’s going. They are engaged and they are responsive. It’s cute how they remember definitions from last year and suggest we put them under the flaps (as if I didn’t already think of that!)
I have learned that I need to show some of my students the sample I have created – allowing them to touch and lift the flaps.
Others seem to enjoy figuring it out on their own and are pretty good at it. One of my struggling readers is by far the best at this and it is so nice to build his confidence by asking him to help others.
This week I am actually going to post the directions (included in the bundle I purchased) on the SMARTBoard. I think that will be very helpful to a few of them.
There are some things I need to refine and improve on:
- Cutting is difficult for a few of my students and the pieces are really hacked by the time they are done. This morning I decided to trim some the handouts and larger pieces with the paper-cutter. Hopefully this will save some time and some paper. (I’ve also been making two extra copies for major cutting disasters.)
- Coloring might need to be a homework thing or done in study hall – they are really into the coloring, but it is a little time-consuming. I am going to use my Joann’s coupons and try to buy some more Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils because my pencil sharpener is destroying my colored pencils.
- I need to allot more class time for reviewing and using the foldables. Right now, I am not sure they know how to interact with the things we have made. Some are also lacking study skills. I need to do a better job referencing the foldables and encouraging them to use them during lessons.
- On that note, I tried to incorporate more activities that would require some response to the foldables in my lesson plans this week. An extension, I guess you would call it.
- I also want to print out some of their creations from the iPad and glue them in to help make a connection between the two activities.
I will post an update in a few weeks and let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, if you have any tips or ideas, be sure to share them in the comments!
So…I was hurrying through Walmart yesterday and ran into a friend from work. She had a cart FULL of school supplies….glue, markers, notebooks….I love school supplies, so I felt a little sparkle just looking at them. If I’d had more time, I would have backtracked and bought some of my own school supplies!
We caught up on the happenings of our summer and parted ways.
Two little words stuck in my head the rest of the day: “Interactive Notebooks”
By late last night I had pinned several sample pages and was basically convinced that this is the path I need to take this year.
(Remember, I am teaching the same students for the 2nd of 3 years in a row, so I need new material and strategies.)
Last night Ian texted me and asked me what I was doing, “Ummm, I am researching interactive notebooks online. I’m a nerd.”
“No you’re not, Mom.” (Thanks buddy, but yeah, I am.)
This morning I ran out and bought my .29 cent spiral notebooks (although I may consider some other options – not a big deal considering the price and that we can always use paper.)
I spent some more time today researching and looking at sample notebooks. I found a great set of foldables/graphic organizers (with activity descriptions and teacher instructions) on Teachers Pay Teachers (click here to go to her blog, I’m Lovin Lit) Usually, I would refuse to spend money on something I could make on my own.
However, for $12.00, I felt it was totally worth it. School starts in THREE weeks and my calendar is jam-packed. And the content looks really good. I hit the PayPal button.
If only I had some INK in my printer so I could print out some pages and start my notebook. (Isn’t it funny? Kids always say, “My printer was out of ink” and we think, “Yeah, likely story.” It IS a legitimate excuse!)
I am so excited to find ways to mesh the interactive notebooks and my iPads. My students sometimes have difficulty with neatness, creativity, and drawing in general, but I think we can paste in some of our iPad work and I can make some very real connections.
I love when I get this excited about something. This is what it’s all about for me.
I just sent a text to my friend who planted the seed…
“Interactive notebooks???? Really???? Why did you have to tell me???? Why??? I am obsessed!”
And she replied:
“Lol!!! You crack me up! But now that I think about it INB’s are totally your style!!! :)”
21 days until the first day of school…
What are YOU excited about?