Howdy! I’m Elizabeth Hodges from Hodges Herald.
I am so excited to guest blog today for Jennifer. We both seem to be obsessed with interactive notebooks. I am starting my 20th year in August. I have taught kindergarten, first, second-fifth math, and now I am a middle school math teacher. I have used math notebooks with all ages. Recently though, the extent of my use has flourished.
I started the second semester of my first year in middle school. I had to do something, middle school and middle schoolers were kicking my butt. INBs made teaching fun again for me.
I started slow. We made some resource pages, and then used them for notes and warm ups. We did a lot of foldables which the students really enjoyed. That was about the extent that first try.
Then I found blogging and found so many more resources on line.
My second year in 6th grade, we used them daily. My students knew the routine and we rarely waivered from it.
That’s not to say we made something everyday, that is not possible. But, they had it on the desk everyday. This way they had a reference when working on things. If I asked a question and someone couldn’t answer it, my next question was “where can you find the answer?” I would wait until someone opened their notebook and found the answer.
I teach 6 classes a day, 50 minutes in length. That time flies by. To successfully incorporate the interactive part of math notebooks, the key is to be prepared and organized.
I spent some of last summer stalking, searching, no stalking is accurate, blogs and finding so much out there on this topic. I took what I could and made it work for me.I truly think this is key. Do not try and be the super teacher you see on the Internet.
Planning: My planning starts with this. Just a good old fashion yellow pad. I listed subjects I teach. Then, I went through my notebook from last year and jotted stuff down. I also keep this handy when I see things on the Internet. I have also learned to revisit all my pins on Pinterest. I just pin away and forget about some of the great stuff I want to try.
I plan the actual notebook layout with these two documents.
The evolution of my INB’s:
Year 1 (half a year actually):
We used 97 pages. Student notebooks were much thicker because they kept their completed work inside them.
For year 3:
This upcoming school year, I am trying binders. I want larger paper for my kids. I also want to include different type pockets. This was an issue when keeping loose papers in the composition notebooks. Not sure how it will pan out, but I will try anything once.
The cover is my first Math activity with my students. I want them to love numbers. Click here for a free copy of it.
I hope that you will love note booking and if you haven’t started, I hope this will give you some place to begin. Make it work for you! Be sure to check out Jennifer’s INB’s link parties as well. There are some fantastic ideas for all subjects there!