Recently I received a question from a follower; “Is the assumption that if kids glue the stuff in and follow the directions, they understand?” This is a great question that I can see as something that not only concerns teachers but also parents and administration.
With interactive notebooks our students are spending time in the classroom taking notes about a specific topic as well as reflecting on what they have learned (output) in some way. Just as with any other form of taking notes there is no guarantee that comprehension is taking place. Granted with the interactive nature of Interactive Notebooks it does create a depth of knowledge when students are actively engaged but that alone doesn’t guarantee they understand the material.
As with any other lesson that you teach in your classroom you must follow up what you have taught with activities and assessments to determine understanding. Typically in my class each lesson was followed up with an exit ticket. Exit Tickets allowed me to immediately determine the level of mastery based on the learning that day. Each of my students were able to use their notes from that day and therefore they were reading over the material once again. With the follow up on output activities for each lesson it allowed students to connect with their learning. These output activities were regularly changed and allowed students to build their personal connections to the learning.
Exit Tickets and Output Activities aren’t the end to determining student’s understanding. Spending time to incorporate interactive learning (interactivities) within your classroom allows you to monitor and assess informally the learning of students. These interactivities can span from task cards, learning games, project based learning, and more.
Some resources for Project Based Learning can be found via the links below: