A couple of weeks ago we had a great training session about interactive notebooks. I am still working through exactly what it will look like but I am pleased with the first few days of implementation. Our notebook (pictured above) is simply 20 blank sheets of paper bound together with the paper binding. The first page will be an “about me” page which we have not completed yet. Also, in our training they mentioned having a table of contents at the beginning of the book but I skipped that for this journal. I hope to add that for the next notebook.
Here are the main points I took from the training…
- There should always be input and output for each entry
- Left side is the student side (output), right side is the teacher side (input)
- Students output should reflect their thinking. This is their space to organize thoughts, share learning or ask questions.
- Notebook is not just for science, it can be used for all subject areas
- Messy notebooks are typical, it means they are being used
So I dove into this new learning tool and here are the first few experiences.
The first two examples are about seeds. I brought 10 packets of seeds as well as 8 different fruits and vegetables for the kids to explore seeds. I took a picture of all the seeds we investigated, the pots we planted them in and a simple picture of a labeled plant (for vocabulary) and the kids glued those image on the right side. On the left I asked them to show what they thought will happen to the planted seeds. Will they all grow? What will grow first? Which one will grow the tallest/smallest? Why might they not grow?
The next day I read a big book to the class called Seed Secrets. We glued a picture from one of the pages that showed many types of seeds and also taped six actual seeds to the page. Here are some of their responses.
Today we tweeted with some meteorologists from our local tv stations. I printed out a few of those tweets and we stapled them onto the right side. I asked the kids to share something they learned or a question they had. One of my favorite examples of why I see this format as so valuable is the last picture. The student wrote about green screens because we learned that is how they get the map behind the meteorologist on tv. I love that each child can share what was important to them rather than what I want them to take away from the lesson.
Would appreciate comments or suggestions on how to make this even better. I know I have a lot to learn as we explore this fun way of documenting learning.