Wondering how to use interactive notebooks in your classroom but not sure how to get started? Then you’re in the right place! In my classroom, interactive notebooks are a staple that I use across content areas – reading, grammar, math, and science. Learn more about them below!
FREE Parts of Speech Activity
This free parts of speech interactive notebook activity gives students engaging, hands-on practice with understanding verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, and adverbs.
What is an Interactive Notebook?
An interactive notebook is a tool that teachers use in the classroom to help students have organized yet creative notes about a new skill or topic. To create an interactive student notebook, just have students grab their notebook and glue in the interactive pieces for each lesson on a new page.
Interactive notebooks give students the ability to learn new content in an engaging way. You’ll love them and your students will too! Thankfully there are many interactive notebook resources out there that you can use so that you don’t have to create your own resources from scratch!
Why Use Interactive Notebooks?
Interactive notebooks provide students with the freedom to express themselves and visualize important concepts. They serve as a notetaking tool and a personal resource. Students are able to use their interactive notebooks to practice skills taught and keep the activities as a reference tool that they can refer back to. No matter what you are using interactive student notebooks for, they’re a real game changer in the classroom.
Grammar Interactive Notebook
Grab this grammar interactive notebook resource to keep notes all in one place and make learning new grammar content engaging.
How to Introduce Interactive Notebooks
After using interactive notebooks for many years, there is one major thing I’ve learned:
Set expectations before you get started!
At the beginning of the year, before diving straight into using interactive notebooks, we spend time setting expectations. I have my own neatly-organized notebook that I use for modeling purposes to help students during this process.
We spend 2 weeks doing the following things:
Practicing how to properly cut pieces of paper
Practicing how to properly apply glue to a piece of paper
Modeling how to add headings to our pages
Numbering each of our notebook pages
Adding a table of contents to the beginning of our interactive notebook
Discussing WHY maintaining a neat notebook is crucial
Creating an “Interactive Notebook Rules” page as a class (we discussed the expectations) and gluing it inside our notebook
We were able to get started with interactive notebooks once my students understood why we would be using these notebooks and how they should be properly used.
How to Keep Interactive Notebooks Organized
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Some interactive notebook activities contain multiple pieces, so it’s important to have ways to keep your students organized. Give these ideas a try!
Have each student bring an empty pouch at the beginning of the year to store pieces that have been cut out but haven’t yet been glued.
Get a small garbage can for each table/group. Have the table captain get them from the shelf before starting a cutting activity.
Fill caddies with supplies. This way, students do not have to get up to get glue, scissors, crayons, etc.
Have students record the skills on a Table of Contents glued at the beginning of their interactive notebook. Each time they create a page for a new skill, have them record the name of the page along with its page number.
How to Use Grammar Interactive Notebooks
Grammar is one of my favorite things to teach! Therefore, our grammar notebook plays a big role in our everyday routine. Every week we focus on new grammar skills such as contractions, complex sentences, or types of nouns. On the first day of the week, my students add a page to their notebooks focusing on the new grammar skill.
Students are able to highlight, annotate, and design their page in a way that will help them visualize whatever the skill is each week. We discuss examples of the skill as a class and add them to our notebook page.
On Tuesdays, students complete a paired activity and glue it into their notebooks. Students now have a reference tool that they can use throughout the week and throughout the course of the school year.
Want to try out an interactive notebook page with your students? Grab the ‘Parts of Speech’ activity for free below!
How to Use Math Interactive Notebooks
Once students reach third grade, the basic addition and subtraction problems they are asked to solve have evolved into problems that have a few more steps to them. To help my students understand these new addition and subtraction standards, I decided we needed math interactive notebooks.
Having a Math Interactive Notebook that gives students practice with rounding, 3-digit addition and subtraction, and more in a hands-on way helped my students build confidence in math. Plus it kept their math work organized all in one place, which made things easier on me!
Addition & Subtraction Math Interactive Notebook
If you need hands-on addition and subtraction activities for your 3rd graders, this math interactive notebook has everything you need all in one place!
Want to learn more about using interactive notebooks in the classroom? Check out this post about addition and subtraction interactive notebooks!
I hope you love using interactive notebooks in your classroom as much as I do! Comment below to share what subjects you use interactive notebooks for.