August 29, 2013

Interactive Notebooks... Learning as I Go and a FREEBIE

I'm linking up for the first time with 4MulaFun for the monthly Interactive Notebook Linky {INB}. Interactive Notebooks are something new to me. I've used foldables for years and recently started constructing lapbooks for particular Science units and Novels. However, I am breaching new territory with the notebook, and I'm doing it for fifth, sixth, and eighth grade Language Arts.

After seeing all the great products offered on TpT about interactive notebooks and reading so many blogs about them this past summer, I decided interactive notebooks would be a good learning tool for my students and a way for me to be able to assess their learning. I wanted to include Mentor Sentences (Collaboration Cuties and Ideas by Jivey) in them as well as various other activities: Daily Grammar Glitch (photos of grammatical mistakes that need to be identified), Spelling work (Latin/Greek roots), and novel responses, not to mention Common Core Vocabulary words.

As part of their school supplies this year, I decided then that I wanted my students to have a composition notebook. I thought this type of notebook would eliminate the problem with students tearing out paper and having nothing left in the notebook by Christmas. I contacted our school secretary prior to the parent mailing that would include the supply lists and asked her to add this item.

Everything was set. I was ready (I thought). Except, not all my students got the list with the composition notebook on it... sigh! My fifth graders came to school with a spiral notebook, my sixth graders NEVER got the message so they only had binders with paper, except for four of them with siblings in the eighth grade. These four had composition notebooks. My eighth graders did get the message and ALL of them had composition notebooks!

I had planned to have my students set up chapters/sections for the different activities we would be doing as well as a general table of contents. Fifth and eighth grade are working out fine after one week. We've set up our table of contents, numbered our pages and made chapters. Sixth grade is a horse of a different story... sigh! Because some have binders and some have notebooks, the set-up has been less than ideal. It's no one's fault, and we are being patient with each other. Next year should be smoother with the supply list. I've already asked the secretary to update ALL the lists.

Here are a few photos of my fifth graders as we are working with our notebooks. They are doing a "making words" Spelling activity to determine the secret word that contains the root we will be studying. They had no idea that the root was AQUA; all they know are the 11 letters (in alphabetical order) that comprise the word. Once the word SEMIAQUATIC was discovered we began work on a foldable that contained all ten spelling words, each with the root AQUA, for which they must provide the words' definitions. This lesson will continue tomorrow and into next week with doing some writing, connected to their Mentor Sentence and the novel we are reading.

HERE is a copy of the foldable for the root AQUA if anyone would like it. It's in Word format so that it can easily be edited. The students cut them out (cut on all solid lines), glued them into their notebooks, then wrote the definition for each word under its flap.

I am really looking forward to reading through the rest of the blog posts in this linky. Since I'm just starting out, I'm searching for hints, tips, and tricks to make them more effective and efficient.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6
Freebie Fridays


  1. I love this activity with the flippy words! Makes a lot of sense and looks really easy to do. Thanks for sharing!
    The E-Z Class

  2. My students had an interactive math notebook last year. (This was my first time using them.) We used the spiral notebooks because they go on sale for ten cents each at Walmart every year and the composition ones are quite a bit more expensive. The spiral notebooks held up fine with my grade 4's. I hope yours do too. Thanks for the great freebie! I'm going to use interactive reading and writing notebooks this year too! Let's keep in touch. :)
    Grade 4 Buzz


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