Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interactive Math Notebook Setup

I've been working on setting up my Interactive Math Notebooks tonight.  If you're interested in utilizing this as a learning resource in your classroom, I highly recommend going to Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes to read her series on math notebooks.  I also watched this great video on YouTube that helped me visualize the concepts I'd been reading about.  It also explains how to attach double sided handouts, more pages, etc.

The Plan!

I'm meeting with my math team next week and they want to hear more about my ideas for the Interactive Math Notebook.  I've read a lot about them this summer and done a lot of thinking about how I want to implement them in my classroom.  I know I'm definitely using this approach for math; I'm considering it for science as well.  The general idea of the interactive notebook is that teachers can "give" information to students on the right side (right brain) and then students process/practice/explain/reflect/and more on the left side (left brain).  The right side is where students keep all of their handouts but they use the left side for vocabulary models and graphic organizers.  Students can get creative with left side; it appeals to their different styles of learning.  If this seems confusing, watch the YouTube video!  

I'm planning on using 3 subject spiral notebooks.  The first 2 subjects are for the right side/left side notebooking while the final subject will be for their warmups.  I'm going to let my students decorate their covers however they want so that they take more ownership of their interactive notebooks.  The first few pages will be designated for the Table of Contents.  Pages are numbered as a set.  The left page is #L and the right page is #R.  Each page must also have a title and date at the top.  If students are absent, they are responsible for obtaining whatever they need for the right side of their journal and then adding something to the left side.  

I've created a set of guidelines for students which they must keep in their journals for reference.  You can download this for free from my Teacher's Notebook Shop by clicking on the picture.

After the guidelines, students must paste in the grading guidelines.  PS-They are only allowed to use GLUE STICKS for pasting things in their notebooks......NO LIQUID GLUE!  *This can also be downloaded for free by clicking on the picture.

The left side of the journal will often have a Frayer vocabulary model.  I'll be using this when a key word is introduced.  You can download this 2 per page form from my Teacher's Notebook Shop for 50 cents by clicking on the picture.

I've never used an Interactive Notebook before so I'm sure I'll be making changes and getting more ideas as I go.  I do have some concerns.  One of my concerns deals with new students.  How do you catch a new student up with this model of teaching and learning?  I also don't know if I'm going to have a document camera in my classroom.  It is extremely important to model with these and I don't know how else to do this quickly and easily.

Your Turn

Have you ever used Interactive Notebooks in your classroom?  How might you deal with my concerns?  What are your concerns?



  1. Hi, I am your newest follower. I have used interactive notebooks for fifth grade science and social studies. I really liked this format! I think that the kids enjoyed it as well because it is so interactice. I felt the my students picked up the procedures very quickly. My students were also happy to help students who had a little trouble with to organization/formatting of the notebook. It also helped to keep my own notebook that I could easily use as a model to help struggling students or students who missed a day or too.I used chart paper to model most of the time. Sorry for such a long comment! :) But once you start interactive notebooks you'll love it! :) Lattes and Laughter

  2. I have never done an interactive notebook before and I'm a little hesitate to start this year since our district has just change completely to Common Core standards. I would like to try the simplest version so I don't get too overwhelmed. Does anyone have suggestions about doing this?