My Interactive Notebook Set Up and a Few Free Interactive Notebook Resources

Interactive Notebook Set Up and a Few Free Resources

My Interactive Notebook Set Up and a Few Free Interactive Notebook Resources

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I started out having students use paper notebooks in a pretty traditional interactive note taking style. I was green and everyone else was doing it. As technology changed I ventured into the world of Hyperdocs, student blogs and other digital tools. I always seem to come back to the classic paper composition notebook. I also started breaking things down into unit chunks. This makes it easier for a student to recover if they misplace their notebook.

Each unit has the following components:

  • Here is a slide deck I use to help with student organization.
  • Table of contents - this contains the page number, date of entry and the name of the assignment. This makes it easier students and teacher to find what they need quickly.
  • Title page - this has the name of the unit, the learning targets and usually five or more colorful/creative images that connect to the topic. When we kick off a new learning target I’ll share a few video clips and resources that they can use to preview the material and also get image/symbol ideas.
  • As we move through the unit all of the notes, graphic organizers, lab work, etc. will be placed in the notebook. Each of these assignments also comes with a creative reflection portion where students choose how to connect with the material. Sometimes I pick what they do and often they get to choose. You can see a list of options I give them here.
  • The notebook becomes a great form of assessment. Sometimes I just grade for completion and other times I use a rubric. You can see my simple rubric in the slide deck download below.

Here are some reasons I prefer for using paper interactive notebooks. I know there are also some compelling cases for going digital. Paper is just my current preference.

  1. They are more tactile and don’t always require a screen. Creative notebook work often has a calming effect in the classroom.
  2. There is a built in activity where students are asked to think about what they just learned and then make connections. Sometimes I want to skip over this part because we always seemed pressed for time, but it really helps the learning stick.
  3. Notebooks are easy to turn on and off. There is not a battery that can be drained.
  4. They are much faster to look through. I don’t have to wait for documents to load. They usually save me time.
  5. Using a paper notebook places responsibility on students to keep things organized.
  6. There are many benefits to taking notes by hand.
  7. Paper is one of the best forms of technology. It’s versatile. Each page is a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities.

Here are a few of my documents that you mind find useful.

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