Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interactive Notebooks in Language Arts

I went in to school today for a couple of hours and took several pictures of my teacher interactive notebook that I use in my language arts classes.  I have not found a specific website to use interactive notebooks in language arts.  I read any and all information that I could find online before I started using them in my own classroom.  I have modified them from their original setup to fit my own style of teaching. 

I guess I should start at the beginning.  Much debate has been done about what type of notebook to use.  I prefer a one subject spiral bound notebook with a poly cover, 100 sheets, college ruled, with a pocket in the front.  Other people prefer to use a composition notebook or a binder.  I have found with a binder that pages tend to get lost no matter how careful you are about putting items in the notebook.  With a composition notebook, the pages do not fall out, but space is limited.  I have only had one or two pages fall out over the years and we just tape to the next page - problem solved. 

My notebook of choice is from Staples.  It is the Accel brand.  They can be found on sale during the school year and especially during the summer for $2.00 each.  The Mead Five Star ones work and are similarily priced.  I like the Staples ones better because it has a clear poly folder in the front and a thicker spiral that does not get snagged on stuff.

Here is a picture of my choice notebook and a link to them at Staples.  But...make sure they ARE on sale!  Click on the notebook to find them at your local Staples.


Here is part of the table of contents page in our interactive notebook.

26 comments:

  1. After going through all of your IN posts, I have to say, this is fantastic (oh, and thanks for sharing)! I used something very similar with my 8th graders, but we didn't use all the neat foldables and colors that you did. Several of my students told me that their notebooks were useful throughout high school English. Without a doubt, your students will find their IN's useful in the future, as well. Best wishes for a successful rest-of-the-year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Could I get a copy of all your table of contents for your Language Arts Interactive Notebook? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can scan the table of contents and upload them to google docs...but it will be a while. We are locked out of school until the floors are done AND I have loaned both of my notebooks to a co-worker for her to figure out if she is going to use them. I will do it as soon as I can.

      Randy

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing. I am transitioning from teaching English language learners at elementary to high school. I know, big jump. I've done it in the past. I wanted to start using interactive notebooks. I will continue to check back here as I begin the implementation once school begins. I'm excited.

      Delete
  3. Would you be willing to share some links for some of your ideas as to what you put in the interactive notebook?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can we see student examples of the content inside the interactive notebooks? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will try to remember to snap a few pictures this year of students notebooks. I do not have any from this past year as students took them all home with them.

      Honestly, student notebooks look almost idententical to mine with the exception of better artwork and more color.

      Randy

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Seldy! Glad you posted this. I started teaching last year--8th grade ELA. And this year I've moved to 6th grade. I really like the neatness of an IN and want to implement it myself. Do you have the students label and number the table of contents at the beginning of the year or as you go? I feel as if we may get off track if we label ahead of time as plans change, things take more space than expected, etc.

      I was planning to leave a page for the table of contents, have them number each page and block of a certain amount of pages for each section--one for warm-ups, notes and classwork--each having their own tab. (An idea I borrowed from a science teacher who uses IN in her class.)

      What do you think? Any advice would save my teaching life. :) OK, save my first attempt at IN.

      (Had a typo before. Reposted.)

      Delete
    2. I do have students number each page and then number the table of contents for each page, but leave the title of the page open until we actually put something on that page. You are so right...I never know what I am going to put in there until I get to it. I am a little planned and organized, but get an idea in the middle of something and change my thinking/plans.

      I do not section off my notebook, but am planning to do that this year and see how it goes. I found a cool tab punch that I use to make divider tabs with.

      Check out this site...it has some great information to help you get started: Interactive Student Notebooks

      Hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions. My email is rseldomridge@gmail.com.

      Randy

      Delete
    3. Thanks a lot, Randy. I appreciate the resource and will definitely get in contact if I run into a wall--which I surely will. I attended a session this morning on Interactive Notebooks and something I saw that I know I'll use (and perhaps you can, too) is envelopes glued within the notebook as pockets. These pockets can contain anything from the standards you're covering to hand-outs, graded papers, and manipulatives. I'll let you know how it works out! Thanks again!

      :)

      Delete
    4. J.M.

      I should have mentioned that somewhere. I do have my students glue two letter size envelopes on the inside back cover of their notebooks for index cards, sorts that we may do...for anything that I may get a wild hair about and place in them.

      I do require my students get a spiral notebook that has a pocket page inside the front cover, which works really well to hold all of that extra stuff.

      If you have your students get a spiral notebook with a page page, I would suggest taping the edges of the pocket part before students get anything crammed in there...it will make them last longer and be easier to tape now than 3/4 of the way into the school year (can you tell I speak from experience).

      Thanks again for reading my ramblings!

      Randy

      Delete
  6. I just found your blog via Pinterest, and I am loving your ideas. I'm pretty sure YOU need to be the person to write the book on interactive notebooks! :) I've been teaching for three years and once had a teacher who used interactive notebooks. I can't believe I forgot about that!

    I have some logistical questions. Is the notebook the only paper supply your kiddos have? Or do they also have a separate source for writing projects? Do you prefer to have students leave the notebooks in the classroom or take them each day?

    Thanks! You ROCK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindee,

      My students do have separate paper that they use for any assignment that I want them to turn in for a grade. Most students leave them in my room. I gave a dishpan labeled for each class (I teach 4) in which they get them out of at the beginning of class on their way in the door and then back in the tub on their way out of the room. I do have a few "nerdy" ones who keep theirs with them.

      Hope this helps!

      Randy

      Delete
  7. Thank you for sharing. After reading your blogs I decided to get it a try this year. Wish me luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will love them as will your students! Good luck and let me know if I can be of any help.

      Randy

      Delete
  8. Could I see the complete table of contents for your language arts notebook? I am going to try to use interactive notebooks this year for the first time. Wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angel,

      My notebooks have been in high demand and I do not currently have them in my possession. As soon as I get them back, I will scan the table of contents pages and post them. You will see there really is no real organization to my thought pattern in the notebook. If I thought something important should go in the notebook, I added it. If I found something cool or useful on pinterest or a freebie on TpT, I added it.

      Randy

      Delete
    2. Angel,

      My notebooks have been in high demand and I do not currently have them in my possession. As soon as I get them back, I will scan the table of contents pages and post them. You will see there really is no real organization to my thought pattern in the notebook. If I thought something important should go in the notebook, I added it. If I found something cool or useful on pinterest or a freebie on TpT, I added it.

      Randy

      Delete
  9. Do you have a "resource" or black line for the "things" you've added? I am looking for a good resource because I WANT to do this... but am needing help to get started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melba,

      I am sorry, but I do not have any thing that I can provide. Most stuff I have found that was created by others or activities that I have adapted to fit in the notebook. I seriously just did a lot of research and adjusting.

      Randy

      Delete
  10. How do you handle the children who truly struggle to take down your notes? I teach 6th grade Reading/LA and there are some children who can take 30 minutes to copy something from the smartboard while others are done in 5 minutes. Also i noticed two pages in particular on your Table of Contents that I would love to see. Can you post the pages on the 12 Most Powerful Words and the page in your notebook on the story, Eleven?
    Thanks so much,
    Helene :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helene,

      Check out my post titled Interactive Notebooks - Again. There you will find a picture of the 12 Powerful Words and on the story Eleven. There is also a link to the 12 Powerful Words website.

      Hope this helps!

      Randy

      Delete
  11. I LOVE the outline!!! Have you made a digital copy yet?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do you have a copy of your table of contents for your language arts interactive notebook? I would like to start doing this with my 6th, 8th, 9th grade classes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this! Were you able to make a copy of it yet? I would love to see it!
    thanks!

    ReplyDelete