So, with all of the craze about gluing things in a notebook, I decided I would give it a try. I must admit, I was skeptical at first. To me, it seemed a waste of class time; cutting and pasting can really eat away the clock. I decided to try it with a spiral five subject notebook rather than a composition notebook. I'm here to tell you that it is February, and our notebooks still have covers. So far, my classses have created three sections in their notebooks:
- Grammar Gremlins - We cover one pesky writing problem a week and call them gremlins. The notebooking is working perfectly for these lessons and foldables, and I LOVE that the kids have all of the lessons to look back at when needed. It's like their own little handbook.
- Literature - In this section, we glue handouts on literary techniques and any handouts that we complete when reading a short story or novel. Right now, we are completing Jane Yolen's novel The Devil's Arithmetic, and we are having fun adding to our interactive notebook!
- Writing - This is where students have glued their four square prewriting guide, types of grabbers, and other lists and lessons that they can refer to when writing.
The following is what I have found works and helps when using interactive notebooking in my ELA class.
- Set up stations with glue and scissors. I bought pencil boxes and glued them to every other desk. Inside, I put two pairs of scissors, colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, and highlighters. I have a shelf in the middle of each row of desks with baskets of glue. Use the bottled glue, not the sticks or tape.
- Tell the students to put dots of glue, not strings of it. I once read another teacher's blog that said "Do not toaster strudle your glue." I now say that too. All they need to do is put a dot of glue in each conrner. This takes practice, and I repeat it every time we work.
- Keep a notebook yourself for each of your classes. I have four classes, so I bought four different colored notebooks and labeled them first period, second period, third, and fourth. This helps in so many ways. First, as we cut, glue, and fold, I do my own. The modeling really helps some students.
- Glue in, complete, and write everything that the students do. This is an awesome way to know how far you got with each class. If I am not sure how far I got in second period, I can just look at my notebook to see. Also, it's easy to let a student who was absent copy somethign from your notebook. As my students are cutting and gluing, so am I. Once I'm done, I announce, "I'm finished cutting and gluing, so you should be close to finishing too." This seems to help the slow pokes hurry it up.
- You don't always have to do a foldable! Sometimes, my students just glue in a handout or take notes in their notebook. We don't always color either. I mean who has time for that all of the time? Eary finishers usually have more colorful pages.
- Do at least one notebook check each nine weeks and give your students a grade. This will help ensure that they are keeping up with the work!
I really like interactive notebooking! Students are actively involved in every lesson, and that's what I like the most!