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Sunday, June 22, 2014

First Grade Interactive Notebooks


Like most of you, I am already thinking about what I'll be doing next school year. Yes, I am enjoying my summer vacation, but, there is always that part of my brain reserved for school, the part I cannot shut off or ignore. I stopped trying to ignore it years ago!

The BIGGEST change for me next year, will be my use of interactive notebooks. I have always been intrigued by the idea, and I decided to give it a try towards the end of this past school year. My first graders enjoyed being interactive notebook guinea pigs!

For several weeks, my students completed numerous activities in their notebook and we all loved the experience SO much, that I decided to dedicate my life to making interactive notebooks that align with our 2014 Journeys reading programAND since I know many teachers do not use Journeys, I also made a set of grammar and phonics notebook activities for first graders who are not using the series. I have been working for MONTHS on this endeavor, and I am happy and relieved to say, that I have finished them! It's taken me a LONG time to get to this point!

If you are like I was, and are on the fence about whether or not to use interactive notebooks, I am going to tell you why it's time to jump off the fence and dive right in!



During the weeks that my students were guinea pigs, they were ALL so attentive and eager to participate in the activities. There were no moans, no spaced out looks, and definitely no complaints. Adding in the interactive component REALLY made learning the skills WAY more interesting. This type of learning and these types of activities involve so much more than just listening to the teacher. They are also using their creative side, and cutting, gluing, coloring, writing, thinking, and planning. They learn really fast to tune into the directions and follow them carefully, so they don't cut off something important or put glue in the wrong spot. 

When I first introduced the activities, we did them all whole group. Once they got the hang of it and I saw how much they enjoyed it, I put some of the activities at their stations. Not the reading activities though. I will always do the reading activities as a whole group lesson.

Here are some pictures I snapped while my students were working. I couldn't take too many photos because I was completing the activities at the same time. 


Since I took these pictures, I have changed the labels at the top of each page and fine-tuned some other things. My students were very helpful in telling me what worked well and what needed to be changed. I listened to them and used their ideas when I created my activities. I made sure not too have TOO much cutting and gluing of small pieces because it's hard to cut and they could easily lose them. Also, it's way too time consuming to have to cut such intricate designs. I also repeated a lot of the activities throughout the lessons. Although the skills change, the template remains the same. This is helpful because it allowed them to complete the activities on their own during station time and they didn't need me. If they forgot how to do something, they just looked back to a previous lesson for assistance.

Using interactive notebooks is a great way for children to learn and interact with new information, as well as, review and practice skills already introduced. In addition, having all of this important information in their notebooks served as a very useful and necessary learning tool. My students were able to refer back to their notebooks if they forgot something and needed a refresher. They really took pride in their notebooks, and were very proud to share their work with others. Whenever we had downtime or free time, a lot of my students enjoyed reading through their notebooks and sharing them with their buddies. Unlike completing worksheets or other printables, which go home right away, these books are always available to the children. 

And now, I am VERY proud to share my work with you!


I made interactive notebook activities that align with ALL 30 lessons in the 2014 Journeys reading program. This means that the ENTIRE year is already planned for! 


For each lesson, there are sight word, phonics, grammar, and reading activities that will definitely excite and engage our students.









Each activity comes with a label that includes an I can statement. All lessons are labeled with the lesson number to help keep you and your students organized.
  

Also included, are explicit instructions on how to complete each activity and the common core standard it covers. I also have photos of the completed  activities to show you what they should look like. In some cases, the photo shows a different skill being taught, but the interactive template is the same.


There are also quite a few different notebook covers for you to choose from. I plan on keeping all of the activities in one notebook, but I know some teachers would prefer to have separate notebooks for sight words, grammar, phonics, and reading.

If you want to try these interactive notebooks, you can purchase them separately, by unit, or you can purchase all six units at once. I bundled them together at a discounted price.


Only Unit 1 and the bundle contain the sight word dictionary. The dictionary consists of six different pages, all containing the sight words for the year. My students will glue this into the front of their notebook during the first week of school. As I introduce the new words each week, the children will highlight them in their notebook. This will help them remember which words were taught and keep them accountable for spelling them properly. If they forget how to spell a word, they can refer to their notebook. The last page contains blank lines for them to add in words that are important to them and that they want to spell properly.









As mentioned earlier, in addition to the interactive Journeys activities, I also took the SAME grammar and phonics activities and made interactive notebook pages for those who do not follow Journeys, but are looking to use interactive notebooks with your first graders. If you click here and here, you can see all the grammar and phonics skills included in these packs. It's in the product description and, if you download the preview, you can see it again, plus a lot more images of some of the activities included.



I urge you to give interactive notebooks a try! You won't be sorry! Your students will definitely benefit from keeping these notebooks. They'll learn to listen more attentively, and they'll be engaged and stay engaged during learning time. In addition, they will learn valuable organizational skills. They'll be able to refer back to skills already taught, and you can easily use these notebooks to scaffold and asses learning. 


Once again, here are the links to ALL my Interactive Notebooks...
The only prep work for you is to print and copy.
Imagine not having to plan your daily grammar, phonics, sight word, and reading lessons? Ahhhhhh! Sounds good to me!

Journeys Interactive Notebook Links




Now is a great time to purchase them because they are all on sale!



56 comments:

  1. Wow...I LOVE your interactive notebooks. Would you ever consider making these for kindergarten?
    craigheada@floyd.k12.va.us

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I am definitely giving some serious thought to making one for kindergarten. Stay tuned... ;)

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    2. Great! I would love to purchase a Kindergarten one as well!

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  2. I second that! I would absolutely buy a Kindergarten interactive notebook set! Pretty Please :)
    Rachelbailey419@gmail.com

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    1. Since I teach both grades, and I know my kindergarten students will be jealous of the first graders, I am most likely going to make notebooks for kindergarten. Stay tuned... :)

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  3. Oh wow these are great! I was totally going to ask about kindergarten too! ;) but it looks like a lot of the skills can apply to kinder

    Sarah
    Teachingiscolorful.blogspot.com

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    1. I am probably going to make one for kindergarten! :)

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  4. I got mine! Now to put them together with CA Treasures...:) Thanks! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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    1. How exciting! Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you!

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  5. These look wonderful and exactly the type of interactive notebook I wanted to do with my class next year as well! Great job! How about making one for Journeys for 2nd/3rd grades????? That's what I'm teaching next year. I would definitely buy it! Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Mary! I am collaborating with The Bubbly Blonde Teacher, and she's going to make one for second grade. Yay!

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  6. This makes me wish I was back teaching in the primary grades instead of preschool! I can only hope my little boy has a teacher like you for his first grade experience this fall.!

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    1. You are so sweet! Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope your son has an amazing first grade year. I taught Pre-K for several years and loved it!

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  7. These are awesome!! I'm using Journeys for the first time next year (so excited!!) and wanted to use Interactive Journals after experimenting with them at the end of this past school year!! So...this is perfect!! It looks soooo good!! Thank you for creating and sharing!!!

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    1. Thank you so very much! These activities go splendidly with the series, so you should be all set for next year! Happy Summer!

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  8. This is something I've been interested in doing myself. I would love a Journeys Kinders kit. Now to figure out how to do interactive notebooks for Texas Go Math! ;-)

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    1. I am going to get started on kindergarten right after I take some time off. These activities were a HUGE challenge and I need a little break! LOL!

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  9. Thank you for all your hard work! I sure hope you make one for 2nd grade ASAP!! :)

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    1. You're so welcome! The Bubbly Blonde Teacher will be making the one for second grade. I'm certain it will fabulous!

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  10. WOW!!! This looks absolutely AMAZING! This must have taken you forever! I am so glad you put this together. We are moving to Journeys next year. perfect timing. :)

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    1. You're moving to Journeys? Fantastic! I adore the series! Yes, it did take several months to put together and it was very challenging on my brain! LOL! I'm glad it's done and incredibly pleased with how it turned out. Thank you so much, Sarah, for your kind words. Enjoy!

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  11. Just wondering how long you are running these special prices??? Definitely will have to buy! This will be my second year with the series.

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    1. My second year too! I love it! The sale is running through Tuesday of this week.

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  12. Oh my goodness! So excited to give these a try. My kids will love them! :)

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  13. Wow! These are awesome! I can't even imagine how much time it took to complete. I taught 1st grade for 7 years, and I would have been scared to try IN, but yours looks so handy and user friendly I may have actually given it a try! I'm moving up to 3rd next year and we use journeys. I want to use IN with my 3rd graders so maybe I'll try to make some!

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    1. Thanks so much Jackie! Good luck to you with your grade level switch!

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  14. It reminds me of a pop-up book :) These are great memory books to look back on. :)

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    1. Totally agree! We all enjoyed those types of books as children. Still do! ;)

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  15. I really love this and am definitely getting it! We love our Journeys Series too but it is almost impossible to do everything in the books! This is a great way to make sure you cover the most important stuff!! I have one question for you: What type of notebook do you use? Is it a composition book? That is what I think it looked like but I know the pages are a little smaller than a regular notebook so I want to make sure I get the right size for them. Thank you and keep coming up with these great ideas and products for us!!

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    1. Andrea, I use the marble notebook. All of the activities I made fit perfectly in a marble notebook. Thanks for the kind words!

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  16. Wish I used Journeys.....but alas I am Houghton-Mifflin Reading. But I can make the phonics and grammar work for our program, I'm sure! Great product! :)

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    1. Thanks Joan!

      The grammar and phonics components in each reading series is usually the same. You should be just fine! :)

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    2. That's what I figured, too. I'm sure Journeys teaches pretty much the same skills HM does, just in a different order. I hope my kids love it as much as I will! :)

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  17. Those look awesome! I might be able to use some of those for my 2nd graders! I saw where you said you were collaborating with Bubbly Blonde to make one? That totally filled my bucket! :)

    Haley
    Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

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    1. Yes! I can't wait to see what she comes up with! I'm certain it will be perfect!

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  18. I just purchased the first grade year! WOW! I can't wait to use these with my little ones.I have been using Journeys for the last 6 years. This will be a nice addition.

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me know Jeanine! I hope you enjoy it!

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  19. These look great, I will be teaching 4th grade ELA next year and am looking for ideas( moving from Pre-k)... Do you know of a 4th grade teacher who has this type of thing...I want to keep the kids engaged and l make learning fun

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    1. Leigh Ann, I wish I knew of a fourth grade version, but I don't. I'm so sorry!

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  20. So excited to try your Grammar and Phonics Interactive Notebooks! We are still in school for 3 more days in NJ, but am looking forward to using them in September. Can I ask, do you use workbooks from the Journeys series? We didn't order any of our workbooks for the first time. (We use Treasures.) I'm really happy to use your engaging activities to replace them! Thank you Lori!

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    1. I hope you enjoy your last few days of school. I only use the workbooks sometimes. They are not very exciting!

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  21. I use kindergarten Treasures ...when you develope the kinder notebooks how does Journeys compare to Treasures? Did they change all that much?

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    1. Barbara, I don't know enough about Treasures to know how they are different. I'm sorry!

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  22. Wow! These look amazing! I wish you taught second grade...lol. We use Journeys and I plan on using INB this year. Thanks for the great pictures, though.

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  23. I love these!! I am adding them to my wish list!!

    April
    Wolfelicious

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  24. I just purchased this unit and printed off lesson 1 to put together a teacher version. Other than the different options for sight words, do you use all the other pages every lesson? There's so much good stuff to choose from every lesson!

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    1. Leslie,

      I probably will not have time to use them all. But I included lots of different activities to choose from. Thanks for the kind words!

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  25. Do you know what differences there are between the 2011 Journeys and the 2014? I know the 2014 is the new common core, but in as far as your interactive notebook activities? Our district is still using 2011.

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    1. Linda,

      Some of the stories are different. Not many of them. I've been told that there are not any major changes. I don't know if there are any other differences.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love to read them!

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