Monday, September 17, 2012

Interactive Notebooks 101

As I've mentioned before, I researched a lot of different sites to get ideas on how to run my Interactive Notebooks. On many sites, I found teachers had one side for notes they gave the students with the corresponding (facing) side for student reflection. I struggled to wrap my brain around that. Then I came upon TheMiddleSchoolMouth blog and the light bulb on and sirens went off!!! Bless his dear sweet heart, I could relate to this teacher and how he ran his. Even better...he gave me LOTS of pictures to look at to actually see what he was doing. WAHOO!!!!

So...armed with his wonderful examples, I started putting together my requirements and what I would provide:
  1. Each student MUST have a spiral notebook with the following specifications:
    • Acetate cover (they last MUCH longer than paper ones!)
    • One subject
    • 100 sheets
    • College-ruled paper
    • 2-pockets inside
  2. Glue stick(s)
  3. Colored pencils
NOTE: I found these notebooks at WalMart ($1.97) and Target (on sale for a couple of weeks at $1.00 each!!) before school started. I bought 20 to have on hand in case students couldn't afford them (had about 3 of those...) or bought the wrong size/style notebook (had a lot of those) or who just plain didn't want to go to the store. I had them pay me $2.00 each (unless they honestly couldn't afford it). Within two days, I had to go buy more! They called me the "WalMart Extension!" :)


Before school started, my AWESOME daughter-in-law shopped the ads for  me and found super fabulous deals on school supplies (like the notebooks) so I wouldn't go into debt buying basics to have on every desk. I got little pencil boxes and equipped them with pencils, pens, erasers, WhiteOut, scissors, and a couple of glue sticks. I have colored pencils, Crayola markers, and rulers in a cupboard for use; they just wouldn't fit in the boxes. Unfortunately, even with a LOT of instruction on gluing and not needing to use the entire tube on one paper, I've already had to replace many of the glue sticks. Since I can't afford to replace them every few days, I've told them they are going to have to supply their own! Mine will be used for emergencies only! (We'll see how that goes...)

Pencil box on each table...I created one for me as well.


  1. I really want to try these this year, but I am not sure how I want to set them up. Do you use the right side (teacher) and left side (student) approach or just a single page? Thank you for your help.

  2. How do you grade your notebooks? I thought I read it somewhere in your blog before but I can not find it again :-(