Are you wondering whether to introduce interactive notebooks into your classroom? Below we’ve listed five reasons why you should!
1. Interactive notebooks teach organization
Every interactive notebook should begin with a table of contents that establishes a timeline and chronology for the semester or quarter. Teaching students about the table of contents is a valuable lesson in organization and foresight.
When everything in your lesson plan for the year is noted up front, students can foresee their progress and have a clear marker of their efforts throughout the year. For more advanced students, interactive notebooks are a way to teach color-coding as well.
2. Interactive notebooks are artistic
Interactive notebooks can be dynamic, fun to create, and a way for students to explore their budding creativity. Titles and illustrations should feature different colors and materials and you should encourage doodling in the margins. Opportunities for students to use crayons, colored pencils, pastels, and markers should be embraced.
3. Interactive notebooks allow for individuality
Give students every opportunity to personalize their notebooks with their name and information. Have them write their name at the beginning of every project and decorate the exterior of their notebooks. Though all of your students will be doing the same projects, each one should be able to identify their notebook easily in a stack.
4. Interactive notebooks develop ownership
Since the interactive notebook is generally a year-long teaching tool, it’s important to hold students accountable to the upkeep of their notebook. Check the level of organization of students’ notebooks throughout their projects and encourage them to keep their projects in the order of the table of contents. This can help you identify which students are more organizationally challenged and show them the relationship between organization and success.
Organization and executing a plan are just as much a part of this assignment as the material.
5. Interactive notebooks are easier to grade
Lastly, interactive notebooks keep students’ work in one place. This makes projects easier to grade, and students can see their grades and monitor how their work reflects their results. Always leave comments when marking down a student’s notebook, as it’s vital that they understand why they received the grade they did and what steps they can take to improve it.