In this blog post, I talk about four ways a math interactive notebook (if used correctly) can support your instruction. Teachers have a love hate relationship with interactive notebooks, and most teachers are in one camp or the other. Some swear by them, others despise them. I have been in both camps and have tried using interactive notebooks different ways. For me, the simplest pages were the most helpful for my students.
Instead of sitting and watching the teacher model, students are given a part of the lesson to glue in their notebooks. This page may (or may not) include the standard and an I can statement. For some students, this student friendly language really helps them understand what the lesson is about.
2. Give students a visual reminder.
When you erase your white board, the lesson is gone. For some students, that might mean it is completely gone from their minds! With an interactive notebook, part of the lesson is always right in your students’ desk. Here’s a tip: Talk about it again within 24 hours. Whether it is later that day before dismissal, or the next day before your new math lesson. Review the page again, even for just a minute.
3. Give students something to think about and write about.
Teachers can use the blank space around or beside a math interactive notebook page to have students take notes, try more problems, write vocabulary terms, write a helpful clue, etc…
4. Give students a tool to promote independence.
Students are able to look back in their interactive notebooks to refresh their memory, see samples of how to solve a problem, or look back at their own notes. Teacher tip: When later modeling how to solve a problem, you can also model how to look back in the interactive notebook for help! Seeing you do it will help students realize how they can use this tool.
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