Monday, August 24, 2015

Ideas and Resources for Using Interactive Notebooks in the Classroom

Yes, interactive notebooks can be useful in middle and high school classes too! If your students are anything like mine, you know they love all things interactive. So, why not try engaging them in a different way from the norm? I decided to start using interactive notebooks with my students because, quite honestly, I was getting tired of teaching them the various English Language Arts skills in the same old way, and they were tired of reviewing the skills in the same old way. I am a firm believer that if these ELA skills aren't reviewed a few times throughout a semester, then students just won't grasp the skill and be able to use them in future classes. For this reason, I created an Interactive Notebook Bundle for teens.

What skills are reviewed?
This growing bundle encompasses a variety of elements important to any middle school or high school classroom: essays, punctuation, parts of speech, grammar, point of view, and figurative language.

interactive ELA notebook
The goal of the various types of foldables, in all shapes and sizes, was to keep learning about these important skills interesting and fun. Reviewing and practicing these skills can be quite monotonous for students. Thus, engagement is the issue many teachers have with students at this age. These interactive notebook activities will grasp your students' attention, as they encourage students to evaluate each element and its definition.

Keep it interesting:
ELA interactive notebook
As I mentioned, in order to really grasp the information and remember it, students need to review the skills they are learning. For this reason, I have included a variety of skill-building tasks that could be used to review this essential information. Maybe the interactive foldable worked for some students, but others needed something different to keep their attention, try using the mix and match task cards. The mix and match cards can be used to assess comprehension, as students match up the correct term with its definition, or they can be printed out and used as study flash cards.

Hold your students accountable: 
Should you choose to assess your students with their comprehension of
these skills, you have the option of giving your students a quiz at the end of the concept being reviewed. (Quizzes included in the bundle)

interactive notebook middle school

The ultimate writing stations:
If you really want to delve into interactive notebooks in your classroom, you might consider using these interactive foldables, mix and match task cards, and quizzes, in the form of writing stations; each station offering a new task for the students to complete.
Station 1: Cut and paste responses
Station 2: Take notes for each fold
Station 3: Sort out the flash cards (or match them up)
Station 4: Use the handouts provided (or ones that you have used in  the past) for further comprehension and understanding
Station 5: Take the quiz

Is time a factor?
No worries here, each foldable comes with printable responses for each fold. If there's just not enough time to write out the answers to each foldable, simply cut out the responses and have your students cut and paste each to its applicable fold. This will ensure students have the necessary information, but no extra time was taken from your lesson. This method also ensures that each student completes the task (that is, they will have to actually read each of the definitions, as opposed to if they were to get a printout of the notes).

interactive notebook high school

I hope this post gave you more insight on how you might use interactive notebooks with your students, whether it be in the form of individual lessons through a semester, or as one big unit to assess individual student skills. The bundle itself offers the best deal for all of the foldables, but should you be interested in just one activity to try out in your lesson, the links for each individual foldable are included below:

Click here for a direct link to the Interactive Foldable Bundle.

Do your students love interactive notebooks?