Unlocking the Secrets of Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebooks seem to be the rage in classrooms across America right now. In fact, there are resources for them for all subject areas, grade levels, and they are in designed for differentiation. Every teacher I speak to who uses them absolutely loves them! But there may be someone out there who is still on the fence, so why would I choose to use it in my classroom?

Here are some reasons every teacher would want to use Interactive Notebooks.

1. Student-Centered

The focus of using Interactive Notebooks in a classroom is because it is student-centered. Interactive Notebooks do not take the place of teaching, but rather they reinforce the skills and content taught by providing students an opportunity to record information learned and research additional content to include. The student decides what information is recorded in the notebooks.

2. Hands-on Learning

How many students do you know who need movement incorporated into their classroom schedule? For this reason, Interactive Notebooks provide a good balance of hands-on learning as they allow for movement instead of just sitting and listening to a lecture. Students actually enjoy cutting and assembling the notebooks.

A few years ago, I shared one of my Interactive Notebooks I created with a co-worker. At first, the co-worker was unsure if the students were going to be receptive to the idea because they were 8th graders. The students loved it so much, she decided to use Interactive Notebooks with every content area she taught.

3. Provide a Working Product

An Interactive Notebook is not completed in one day; it is a work in progress. The students can add to it daily or once a week. They are designed to meet the needs of your classroom and can be tailored to meet the needs of your students. By providing a means to look at work from the beginning of the year to the end of the year in a single notebook, the teacher and students are able to look at student growth. It is amazing how differently a student responds to some questions at the beginning of the year compared to similar questions at the end of the year.

4. Built-in Study Guide

One of my favorite reasons for using Interactive Notebooks is because it provides a built-in student guide for the students. This study guide is ready for test prep at any time of the year for quizzes, chapter tests, unit tests, and even standardized tests. I always have the students leave the first several pages in the notebook blank to use as an on-going 'Table of Contents' to help make it easier to find certain topics when students are reviewing or studying.

5. Ownership

Students are proud of their Interactive Notebooks. They spend a tremendous amount of time working on them, and I have found that even students who have a hard time staying organized are able to keep an Interactive Notebook. I believe this is because it is THEIR personal INB. I always smile when I see students paying close attention to detail in their drawings and illustrations, because I know this is when it has clicked with them the notebooks is theirs.

If you are looking for Interactive Notebook Resources click HERE!


Thank you to Graphics from the Pond and KG Fonts for the use of their talents in the title image!