Where teaching, technology, and simplicity collide.
Guide to Using Interactive Notebooks in ANY Classroom.
Interactive Notebook Bootcamp
Left, left – left, right, left. FORWARD MARCH! Let’s get down and dirty with our INB PREP! Who’s with me? How can you really figure out how to handle the chaos? Well, my advice it to dive right in. LITERALLY. I often have my teacher students ask, “Did you practice before you got started?” No way! How do you practice for the big game? Do you have a trial run? The best tip I can give you is to get all of your ducks in a row, prepare as much as you can, and step up to bat. First things first, let’s just get into the supplies.
I know you’ve probably heard how important notebooks are for Interactive Notebooks, and this is so true. I do beg you to listen to this next statement – If your students do not have a composition book like the one featured, have no fear, this can still work. I think when teachers get really worked up about certain rules, it stresses the students out. It’s a notebook for crying outloud. If it has paper, it will suffice. I have many students who use spiral bound notebooks, and they work just fine. It’s just important that you remember to remind them the importance of taking care of their work. Composition books just help secure the longevity of the notebook. Also, remind students using their composition books to never ever ever ever ever tear a page from it. It will disturb the binding, and ultimately make their notebook fall apart. True story. One more piece of advice – the first day of school I tell my students “HARD WORK PAYS OFF.” I pay one student $20.00 at the end of the year for the best INB. They love it.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. They need crayons – mmmk?
Hello students, today is glue day. Let’s forget Common Core, tests, and comprehensive learning. Today we are going to learn how to glue. CHHEEEER SCREEAAMMMS! YAAAAAY! No, seriously. If you don’t have a day for gluing you will revisit this day every day. No, thank you! I hire a “Baby B B Patrol Team.” These guys are my finest gluers. They inspect what they expect. They make sure we have no wavy pages, and that everyone is adding JUST enough glue. Hate glue?
Tape that can crease. Tape that can make taking notes easy. Tape that can save your life, and your time. That’s my new motto. I have officially gone totally tape. TEAM TOTALLY TAPE. My sixth and 8th graders can’t glue. To put it lightly, they are wonderful at learning complex things, but they totally can’t glue without making a big mess. So I hired a Tape Team. We fired our Baby B B Patrol, and now TEAM TAPE leads our foldable progress.
Prepare your work station.
This is very subjective. How do you want your work station to look? Do you want boxes for each student, or would you rather have “caboodles.” Um, is caboodle a real word??? I use these for my work stations. I number them 1-26 and place them under the desk on our desk rack. Each student from every class has that one box only. It’s their responsibility.
Inside, we have all of the supplies featured above, and these beauties.
For cutting – duh.
We use rulers to help fold our foldables more precisely.
So, maybe I have a problem with students getting up during a lesson. Okay, I have a big problem. So, in order to cut down on distractions, students can sharpen their colored pencils from their desk.
We use index cards to make sure our supplies stay up to par. Each student must sign their index card at the end of class with all of their supplies, If they are in need of something, before they sign off, I ask them to ask me for it. 🙂 It works for us.
I use these to house all of our INBs. I have one bin per class. This is the best and neatest way to make sure these babies stay clean and durable. My students must ask to check out a notebook if they’d like to take it home.
6X9 envelopes. Hellllurrrr??? I hot glue these bad boys to the front flap of the notebook. If we don’t finish an activity, the students place their pieces in the envelope. It’s magical. No more pieces left all over my floor. Can I get an AMEN??? This brings me to my next point.
I’m not sure if you’re a clean freak like me, but if you are – it’s okay. Take some deep breaths. While you are teaching, it’s okay for your students to have a little F-U-N. We play “free throw” time during class. Each student gets two free throw shots at our trashcans all over the room. If they miss, don’t worry – but don’t let them get up. That can be a circus. Instead, hire yourself out a team of helpers. Give these students incentives like tickets or song request options.
Thanks for sticking with me on this super lengthy blog post. For your time, and hopefully for a little fun, I have created an INB freebie cover! What I love to do is print these out, laminate and hot glue them to their INBS! I hope you enjoy!
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