Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Interactive Notebooks and Back to the Basics


There are so many GREAT resources out there for different pages and how to use them in your classroom. I still have kids come back and tell me how grateful they are for the notebook because they use them in high school! That, in itself, is a reason to do them! Yes...they may whine and complain while putting them together...but...if they USE them the way I intend, it becomes an amazing resource!!

This year, I plan on starting with them the second day of school. Rather than having the students purchase them and have to wait until everyone is prepared (or supply them out of my own funds), I asked the office to get one for every student. THEY SAID YES!!! So...we'll start the second day!

I'm going to do the first few pages just like I did last year. You can find the information about that HERE. I'm also going to post a copy of our school's plagiarism and cheating policy as I explained HERE. That takes me through the first nine pages and, I figure, two days.

Then...I'm taking them BACK TO THE BASICS!!!!! I'm really surprised at how many kids either don't know or don't remember how to find the main idea, supporting details, how to summarize, author's purpose, text structures, etc. So...we're going to HIT THOSE HARD!! I've got to pound these concepts into their heads to help with the "end-of-year-testing"!!

Last spring, I purchased the "Interactive Reading Informational Text Notebooks" packet from Erin Cobb ( through TeachersPayTeachers. I didn't do anything with it until this week. HOLY MOLY IT'S GREAT!!!'s written for grades 4-8 but I think it's going to work as a review/reference for their Interactive Notebooks. After we review, I'll start working them through more difficult texts and will refer back to these pages often.

Interactive Reading Notebooks Informational Text: Nonficti

My plan is to work on one concept per day which will include creating the page(s) in the Interactive Notebook and an easy practice.  Then, I've found some "age-appropriate/interest-level" articles on the Smithsonian TweenTribune website (for grades 7-8) and Smithsonian TeenTribune (for grades 9-12). What's great about this site is you can get the same article written in different Lexile levels! You can pass out the same article in a lower level for the ELL or struggling readers and they'll be able to work with the "at-level" or "advanced" kids using the more difficult version. I'm really excited about this find!! There are SO MANY different exercises you can do with each article...from main idea/supporting details to author's purpose to text structure. I can't wait to use them!!

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