Interactive Notebook Setup

20 August 2016
Before I started using interactive notebooks, I always wondered how other teachers set them up and got kids started.  I’ve read on other blogs that some teachers take up to a week (!) to set them up.  So, I thought I’d share what I did this year.

I told kids at Open House that they would need a composition notebook by the second day of school.  I reminded them on the first day of school as well.  On the second day of school, I had a notebook check.  For the kids that didn’t bring their notebook, I had them follow along on blank notebook paper.

First, I explained that all of their notes will go in their notebooks.  They should never do warmups or homework in their notebook.  Also, their pages should look exactly like mine.  The vast majority of their notebook will be teacher directed, so I don’t want them going off-grid and doing crazy stuff.

I passed out Sharpies and had the kids write their name and class period on the front cover somewhere (inside or outside).  Then, on the first page, they wrote their name at the top of the first page and below that wrote “Unit Table of Contents”.  I decided that they would have a table of contents of the units only in the front.  At the beginning of each unit, we will list the specific pages in the unit.  I made this decision on the fly, because I accidentally forgot to skip the first few pages when I started explaining things to the kids.  Oops!

The second page explains the “rules” of the notebook.  I stole most of the wording from another blogger, but I can’t for the life of me remember who.  Sorry.

interactive notebook set up for high school students

The third page is my favorite of the beginning pages.  It’s my subtle way of getting would-be whiners to shut up.  Again, I stole parts of this page from others, but I don’t remember who.

interactive notebook set up for high school students

The fourth page I threw in for good measure.  I thought I should include a little study skills reminder at the front of their notebooks.  Maybe they will actually read it one day.  After they glued in the page, I had them write in the margin the study skill they thought they were best at, and the one they struggled with the most.  I didn’t plan it, but I had a couple minutes to kill and came up with it once I saw the clock :)

Math Study Tips for an Interactive Notebook

…And that’s all I did.  The next page starts Unit 1.  It took about 35 minutes to talk to them about all of the information in the pages.  I gave them the last few minutes of class to number the pages.  However, I don’t think I will have them number the pages ahead of time next year - too many of them messed it up.

Link for the pages about notebook "rules"
Link for Tips for Studying Mathematics

As far as supplies, I just have a small pencil pouch under each of their desks.  In the pouch is a pair of scissors, a highlighter, a glue stick, an extra pencil, and a red pen.  They are free to use anything in the pouch, as long as they put it back at the end of class.  I told them that if things start to go missing, they will be responsible for bringing their own supplies.  We will see how it goes…

6 comments:

  1. Love it! Are these documents on your site for downloading?

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    Replies
    1. I added the links! You can download them now :)

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  2. I would love to get copies of your introduction pages, if you have them available! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. I love the idea of being able to only take 1 class period to introduce the INBs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I added the links! You can download them now :)

      Delete
  3. This is a wonderful post. I am a first year teacher, and I am teaching algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. I instructed my students to also purchase a Composition Notebook. However, I did not really know what I should put it in other than foldables. I love the idea of having these pages in the front of the notebook. It gives it a definitive beginning. I am going to follow you. I love all your foldables. Thank you so much. You are an inspiration.

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  4. I love the tips for studying and will be sharing with my students. Thank you so much!

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