I honestly do not know what I would do without interactive notebooks. These notebooks are so much more than just cutting and gluing.
If you are using interactive notebooks, you have probably figured out by now that your students are always 100% engaged during your lessons. They take great pride in their notebooks and they are a valuable learning tool.
If you haven't read this blog post yet, please click on the link. It is filled with many helpful hints to ensure success.
The RIGHT side of the notebook is meant for guided learning. This is where we work together, with our students, to learn new concepts. For young students, who are not quite ready for typical note-taking, this is where they will cut and glue fun shapes that contain valuable information. They'll fold, lift flaps, and stick stuff in pockets.
Your students will quickly learn that they need to pay close attention to the directions or they will risk cutting off a valuable piece of information. They will not be happy if this happens!
Once you and your students have completed the activity on the RIGHT side of the notebook, it is time for them to interact with this new information on the LEFT SIDE. This is where they will show their understanding of the concepts just introduced and give them an opportunity to apply it. Older students should come up with their own way to interact with the new information. Younger students need a bit more guidance.
Here are some examples of how my students process the new information on the LEFT side of their notebooks...
Students defined the characteristics of a fable.
They had to find this information in the text.
Students chose their favorite character from the story and wrote why they liked him/her.
This is the same as the activity above. However, it was completed later in the school year, so the children were asked to cite specific evidence from the story. (The word men is actually the word mean! LOL!)
Students used color and number adjectives to describe a noun.
They were told to come up with their own adjectives and not to just copy them from the right side.
Students wrote and illustrated their own verb.
Student's came up with their own possessive noun phrases.
Students used one of the words from the right side in a sentence. We learned about complete sentences the same week, so they were also applying that new knowledge in this activity.
I dictated the words on the left for the children to write. They used the words on the right to help spell them correctly. For example, in the second one, I said "Rack. Change the vowel sound in a word on the right to make rack."
So, as you can see, there are many, many different ways to help your students process their new knowledge. Without this crucial step, interactive notebooks are just cutting and gluing. This is definitely fun to do, but certainly NOT what makes an interactive notebook interactive.