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Interactive Notebooks – Best Practice

July 29, 2014

I’m using interactive notebooks as a strategy in my current class. It is a new tool for me, but I am enjoying it and I think/hope my students are too. I’m giving my students a lot of choice in how they use it. (Think learning style, differentiation, and Best Practice.) It’s a work in progress. So far we have used it in these ways:

  • We begin each class with the Precept of the Day which connects to the objective/focus of the lesson. (See previous posts.) I prepare a foldable with the Precept of the Day. Students create their page and add their reflections both written and graphically.
  • We end each class with a reflection. What have we learned? Do we now have a deeper understanding or appreciation?
  • During class students are encouraged to add any ideas or information they want to remember or learn more about. Students have added sections and organized in the way that is most meaningful and useful to them.
  • We have shared our pages and talked about them with classmates.
  • We have taken pictures of our favorite page and emailed/texted it to the instructor as an Exit Slip/formative assessment.


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I want a rationale for the strategies I employ in my lessons, and I want to share the supporting literature with my students. The Interactive Notebook connects well with principles of Best Practice.

From the Cognitive Cluster of Best Practice:

Constructivist: Children do not just receive content; in a very real sense, they re-create and reinvent every cognitive system they encounter, including language, literacy, and mathematics. Students’ work in school building knowledge through inquiry, not simply listening to someone else mention information.

Expressive: To fully engage with ideas, construct meaning, and remember information, students must regularly employ the whole range of communicative media–speech, writing, drawing, poetry, dance, drama, music, movement, and visual arts.

Reflective: Balancing the immersion in experience must be opportunities for learners to reflect, debrief, and abstract from their experiences what they have thought and learned. Putting that reflection to work, students set goals for themselves, monitor their progress, and take responsibility for their own growth.

(Zemelman, S., Daniels, H.., & Hyde, A., 2012, 8-9)

Effective teachers are continually trying new ideas and adding to their toolbox.

Zemelman, S., Daniels, H.., & Hyde, A. (2012). Best practice: Bringing standards to life in America’s schools (4th Ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jjfontanini permalink
    July 29, 2014 11:56 am


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