/>Let’s talk Interactive Notebooks! Do you use them with your students? I did for several years and really loved many of the aspects — the colors, the way everything was in one place and the way they support student ownership. In partnership with Five Star®, I wanted to share 5 benefits to using Interactive Notebooks and why you should try them in your classroom.
This post has been sponsored by Five Star®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
5 BENEFITS TO USING INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS
1. Teaches Student Organization
In my experience, I have seen quite the spectrum in middle school student organization. There are the students who love planners, notebooks, and colored pens and seem to keep track of everything and then there are other students who are very disorganized. Interactive Notebooks are wonderful for teaching students how to utilize classroom content in a systematic and useful way.
I love Interactive Notebooks because of the natural way student organization can be incorporated into the classroom. From keeping important papers to reference at a later date, to keeping an organized system for notes and learning, Interactive Notebooks can be easily incorporated into a 45-minute class period. The new Five Star® Customizable Interactive Composition Book has a handy table of contents page already set up with date, topic descriptions and page number headings to make implementing Interactive Notetaking that much easier.
I have found that when you give students who aren’t naturally organized a system, they are much more successful!
2. Keeps Everything in One Place
If you didn’t quite relate to the disorganized students, then you might relate to papers being left behind on the floor, missing notes and the handful of students who can’t seem to find what they are looking for. Interactive Notebooks are so nice for keeping everything related to your classroom in one place! I loved having students glue in activities and cut-and-pastes, in addition to student handouts. The full size clear pocket in the Five Star® Interactive Notebook (College Ruled) are perfect for anything that doesn’t get finished before the end of class.
I think my favorite thing about the Interactive Notebook is that they will fit a full-size 8.5” by 11” page. No more having to reduce pages down on the copier! Wahoo!
3. Teaches Student Ownership
Now, everyone has their own preferences on Interactive Notetaking, and there might be two separate camps. Some teachers love to have student notebooks match a classroom notebook page for page. There are often notebook checks to ensure that students are keeping up with the content. I personally have used the notebook as an opportunity to teach student ownership.
I helped students to set up their table of contents and page numbers. Then, as the year progressed, I gave them a minute or so to glue in their pages and add their information to the table of contents. I wasn’t specific about page numbers because in reality they were headed to high school, where I doubted teachers were going to do notebook checks. Instead, my notebook check consisted of: Did their table of contents correspond with the pages in their notebook? Essentially, were they using the notebooks appropriately so that they could be referenced when needed?
I personally did this with 8th graders and really enjoyed giving them freedom over their notebooks. With 6th graders, I think I would lean more towards the structured pages and expectations.
4. Makes the Content Orderly and Easy to Reference
As I mentioned above, Interactive Notebooks make the content orderly and easy to reference. Isn’t that the goal, that our students would actually USE the material we provide and reference it when they have a question or are stumped?!?!? Amazing!
5. Incorporates Brain Research
Lastly, and most importantly, when used properly, Interactive Notebooks can incorporate both sides of the brain, which supports brain research when learning. By incorporating the multiple learning styles and different sides of the brain, students are more likely to retain and synthesize new information!
If you can’t tell, I really think the new Five Star® Interactive Notetaking items could be a game changer in the classroom. Larger sized pages, a premade table of contents and a handy storage pocket are just a few reasons. If you decide to take the plunge into Interactive Notetaking, be sure to add these Five Star® Interactive Notetaking items to your classroom back-to-school supply lists. What are your favorite Interactive Notetaking tips?