Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Month of Using Interactive Notebooks

We have spent a lot of time working on the Interactive Notebooks so far this year. I look back on previous years' and realize how much more I'm doing now. It's GREAT!!

Even though I teach Honors English 8 and regular English 9, I have found Erin Cobb's "Interactive Reading Informational Text Notebooks" such a fabulous resource!! (It's written for grades 4-8.)

Interactive Reading Notebooks Informational Text: Nonficti

I've followed along with her suggested lesson plans and my kids are really getting it! I think we assume they learned different things in previous years so we don't need to teach it. Or...we assume they remember what they were taught but they don't have any resource to refer to that will help jog their memory. This is it!!!

Throughout Erin's pages of information, I've added some of my own supplemental information. For example, I thought they needed more details on the "SUMMARIZING NON-FICTION" pages. I know I searched Pinterest and gathered the information but can't find it for the life of me! (So frustrating!! So...if you know where I might have found this, please leave me a comment so I can give credit where it's due. I don't want to be accused of plagiarizing or violating copyright!)

I also added more information to the TEXT STRUCTURES pages. I wanted some definitions and key words. For that page, I purchased Deb Hansen's "Nonfiction Text Structures" packet from TeachersPayTeachers and tweaked the graphics to fit what I needed. I LOVED coloring them with my many colored pens. (Don't you just hate seeing everyone using "adult coloring books" and/or "Colorfy" on their phones and you don't have time? I took a picture of the things I color at school and sent it to my daughters who all love to color. I captioned it with something to the effect that while they are making pretty pictures with Colorfy, I'm coloring school stuff. One daughter commented back that my stuff was "much more satisfying." I hadn't thought of it like made me feel a lot better!!) Anyway, here are the pages I put on the left side of my notebook then put Erin's practice page on the right page; the two pages created a "spread" of information for each structure.

This is on the left side...Deb's graphics added to a WORD document I created.

Erin's page from her packet.

We did quite a bit of simple practicing with Erin's examples which helped solidify the ideas in the kids' minds.

Then, I needed to figure out a way to teach NON-FICTION TEXT FEATURES. Erin has a little "toolbox" in her packet but I wanted something a little more detailed and more age appropriate for my kids. I couldn't find anything designed specifically for the Interactive Notebooks so I created my own by putting two different sources together with my own design. Here's what I came up with...

(Sorry...I couldn't get the stupid picture to rotate!)

First, I downloaded Tangstar Science's fabulous "Interactive Notebook Templates FREE Sampler Pack" from TeachersPayTeachers. I used the "Hexagon 7 panels" template. I enlarged it 155% on our copier and cut it in two sections: one section of four panels and one section of three panels. I added a tab at the top of the three panel section so they could glue them together. 

Then, I downloaded Deana Kahlenberg's FREE DOWNLOAD of "Non-Fiction Text Features Posters" from TpT. They're GREAT!! I printed them nine to a page and then reduced them another 85% on my copier. This made them the PERFECT size to glue on the panels foldable. I made the header using WordArt in Word and printed it all out. The kids had a fabulous time cutting, gluing, and singing to Pandora. (Whatever makes the little dumplings happy, right??)

Honestly, I don't know what we did before TeachersPayTeachers, Pinterest, and Google. I've only been teaching for 14 years but, seriously, how did we survive without being able to share ideas with anyone who cares to search? You all should get on TpT and check these talented ladies out! They have wonderful stuff to share. Even though a lot of it is written for lower grades, I'm able to adjust it to fit the needs of my junior high kids. They LOVE IT!!! (I've had some of my honors kids from last year come back and tell me how much they wish they had me again this year. Their friends in my regular 9th grade classes are showing them what we're doing and how much it's helping them. They're jealous!! makes my heart happy!!)

On to the practice activities now!!