Saturday, June 21, 2014

Revisiting Interactive Notebooks

I haven't been writing in the blog much as I just haven't had the time.  Between a full-time teaching job, a part-time home based business and a rambunctious two year old, I'm surprised I even found time to start the blog, let alone keep up with it.

Anyway, I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about the Interactive Notebooks I mentioned in my last post.  I knew I was onto something when I first starting seeing information all over the net about them, but I never knew they'd turn out to be something my students took seriously and some even cherished.  I've said before that I work in a very blue collar town and, unfortunately, education isn't necessarily the most important thing in many of my students's minds.  I had several students tell me these notebooks not only helped them in my class, but some even told me they liked them so much they plan on using them in the future...even in college!

Here is one of my Spanish II student's notebooks.  She took pride in this and it shows from her cover art.
I haven't worked out all the kinks yet and I know I could do so much more with them, but for the second half of the 2013-2014 school year, I used them and I have noticed a change in retention and an improvement in my students' grades.  I do think the Interactive Notebooks are the reason why.  Let's face it, not every high school student is a good note-taker and not every high school student cares enough to bring materials to class, learn from those materials and then succeed in class and outside of class.  To combat that, I began using the notebooks and I intend to use them next year as well because now my students know where to look for information, notes, vocabulary, etc. (in the Table of Contents).  

I still have one more day left of school this year, but over the summer I'll be working on revamping the notebooks and I'll be sure to post a lot more on this subject.  Let me know, are you using Interactive Notebooks in your classes?  If you are, what are you doing, what do you like, what don't you like?  If you're not, what would you like to know?

Until next time...


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