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July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday INB Style

Welcome to another installment of...

How does Throwback Thursday work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Then add the TBT badge to your post and include your link below! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAYBACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!

Yesterday, I posted this picture. But wait, that's not my Throwback; there's more!

If you look very closely at the school supplies, you'll notice ribbon, sandwich bags, sharpies, composition notebooks, and storage bins, and you might have an AHA! moment... Angela is preparing for Interactive Notebooks.

So many teachers are adopting these fun and engaging learning tools in their classrooms, and I am one of them, just getting started last school year. Together my students and I had fun, learned a lot, made mistakes, changed our ideas, and decided INB's were AWESOME and definitely worthwhile!

Susan from Passion in Portable Land is hosting a weekly INB linky where we can share INB ideas and support each others' efforts.

The topic this week is what kind of notebook holder do you use: composition notebook, binder, spiral, or other? I addressed this issue early on in my INB journey. Here is my Throwback Thursday offering that originally appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 on August 29, 2013.

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 more blog posts about Interactive Notebooks. Since I'm just starting out, I'm searching for hints, tips, and tricks to make them more effective and efficient.

Be sure to stop by Susan's blog for more INB blogger ideas. And if you are looking for INB templates, some of the VERY best can be found at The Candy Class where some fresh, unique templates are being rolled out as part of a special milestone!


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! I had to laugh... I'm glad I'm not the only one whose grand plans/visions don't quite turn out as planned! :) I bet this year it will be so much smoother for you to start your interactive notebooks! I just started using them for the first time last year, also, and I loved them. I think it made a difference to have that handy reference for students!

  2. I'm very OCD, so. I hit the back to school sales and make sure I have a class set of each notebook that I want. I use green for science, red for reading, blue for math, yellow for writing, and purple for social studies. Often students don't have the correct supplies or their parents have to wait a few weeks before they can afford to purchase. By having a class set already to go we don't waste time getting started. Students who have their supplies use their own and those who don't use mine. When they finally finish buying their supplies they simply turn them into me to replace what they borrowed! Don't forget to re-link your post. I had to adjust my link up because it wasn't working correctly.



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