Science notebooks have come a long way from sticking notes and worksheets inside a three-ring binder. Many teachers are now using a new strategy that makes notebooks more interactive. In the past I've used the three-ring binder method and watched students lose important documents. It may work for some students but it doesn't reach the majority. Two years ago I attempted to incorporate interactive notebooking into my classes. I failed miserably with it! So now I am going to fix my mistakes and offer help to others through blog postings, pictures and examples.
Getting started:Begin by making sure each student has their own notebook. I have used one-subject spiral notebooks and five-subject spiral notebooks. This year I will be using a regular composition book.
To add or not to add a table of contents?A table of contents may be difficult to keep up with the first time using interactive notebooking. It is important to plan out each page very well before adding it into your daily lesson plan. Please take into account that student handwriting size and style will vary. Which could mean that not every student ends up on the same page each time. If you are using the left side/right side technique, the handwriting issue may become a problem for you and the student. Just be sure and have a plan in place if a student requires more space for their writing. Some plans may include to limit the number of sentences used in student responses, attaching a top sheet by stapling in extra paper, or by taping another sheet to the bottom of the page and having the student to fold the new piece up. If you do decide to add this section to your notebooks you should check out the Middle School Science web page for an example.
Setting up the pages:My plan for this upcoming school year is to use a generic notebook paper template to display what should go onto each page. I will simply add a text box to the right side and have the notes and such typed out for my students.
Left Side vs. Right Side:
Here are some ideas for what could go on each side. There are so many possibilities for this type of notebooking. Be creative in the process of planning.