February 11, 2015 @ 1:23 AM

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!