Interactive Student Noteboks

In my class we will use what are called "Interactive Student Notebooks" or "ISNs." These are notebooks created by students that when completed will serve almost as a textbook for our class.

Interactive Notebook FAQ:

What is an interactive notebook and what does it look like? 
An interactive notebook is a more creative, innovative way of learning new material. Rather than traditional notes that may be very linear and cater to one type of learning style, interactive notebooks provide a way for students to truly use both sides of their brain. ISNs use color, graphic organizers, and foldables to sort information.

How will this affect my student's learning? 

Students will, of course, still learn all necessary standards and skills required for their 7th and 8th grade year. One of the main differences they might find is that THEY are responsible for synthesizing all of this information on their own, which forces them to practice higher-order thinking skills on a more regular basis. This practice comes from the "left side" or "out put" side of the notebook.

What are the benefits for teaching and learning?
Students who are already organized will find that they love the inherent organization of the notebook and its table of contents. Those who are not so organized may struggle at first, but will learn how to keep things organized, which is an important life skill!

In my experience students are more engaged in learning new material because they are able to make their notebooks their own and be creative! They seem to be able to recall old information much easier because they have put in the time to really "create" while learning.

As a teacher, I love when we are reviewing and I can tell my class, "Turn to page 36 of your notebook." and everyone has the same graphic organizer or foldable to remind them of a particular topic. This is much more efficient than saying "Everyone find your theme notes from September."

It truly becomes such a resource that students will start to refer to their notebooks without me even mentioning it. When they need a refresher on a particular concept, the notebook is there!

Check out this link to see a great teacher-made Prezi about ISNs:
ISN Prezi

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