Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gearing Up for Interactive Notebooks

As we're gearing up to start a new school year, I'm getting ready for interactive notebooks (INBs) for my middle schoolers in ELA this year!

Today, I'm going to let you know a little bit about how I'm getting ready. There are so many blog posts out there about how to create an INB - my recommendation is to look at Erin Cobb's stuff (I'm Lovin' Lit on TpT, and you can visit her website HERE). She's amazing, and she has INB products available for ELA for 4th-8th grades.

If you're looking for math INB products, check out Jennifer Findley (find her TpT store HERE). She has math products for 3rd - 5th grade.

I do a little combination of cut-and-fold interactive items and some creative artsy designs in my notebooks. I do like the foldables, but sometimes, if we need something quick (and you know some days are like that), we take notes and I allow students to draw pictures, comics, or diagrams that help them process and understand the information.

So before my kids come in, I make INB kits. Last year, I had them in clear plastic shoebox bins with lids. This year, I'm putting them in zipper pouches. I like these because you can see in them. I purchased these at Walmart for $0.97 each. I have 14 of these, so in a class of 28, they can share a pouch for every two students.

I've included skinny markers (or do we call them "thin" in this day and age?), colored pencils, and scissors. I will include glue once I purchase some. Walmart and Target both have Crayola skinny markers for $0.97 a box. At Walmart, you can get the 12-count Crayola colored pencils for $0.97, or you can get the RoseArt brand for $0.50 a box. At Target, the 12-count Crayola colored pencils were more expensive (I don't remember the price - sorry!), but the Target brand for 12-count was $0.74. Maybe you're like me and you price shop!

I have a great Thirty-One bin that I'm going to put these in. I'm hoping I can swing by Home Depot and Lowe's to grab some paint stirrers for free so my students can use those for straight edges when needed/wanted. I'll toss those in the bin along with these kits. On days we need the kits, I'll post a note on the board, and kids can grab a kit and have a seat, getting ready for class to begin! I think the zipper pouches will be easier to grab than the plastic bins, and they take up MUCH less space.
*I actually have multiple of these bins. You can view them on the Thirty-One website HERE. I love these because they are really large, and if you buy the lid, they are stackable! I also like the fact that you can see into them. Visibility is huge in the classroom so you (and the students) can easily figure out where things go. (If you don't have a Thirty-One consultant, just let me know and I'll hook you up with mine - Kaitlin is awesome! Visit her page HERE.)

For the covers, I love to have students decorate their notebooks and make them their own! You can see mine above, and my son made this one this summer. (This is not a school INB for him - he just wanted to make a personalized notebook!) I purchased full-sheet labels off Amazon for $11.64. (HERE's the link.) You get 100 labels in the box. For ours, I printed out logos or pictures of the things we love. We colored them, cut them out, peeled off the back, and had instant customized stickers!

When the students decorate their notebooks in class, I'm going to give each student a half of the label page. They can draw, write, or decorate to their hearts' content! Then they can cut and peel too, and they will have beautiful, personalized notebooks. I really believe that if they make them specific to their interests, they take greater pride in what they put in the notebooks.

If you look closely at the picture of my INB, you can see a ribbon coming out of the bottom. It's so easy to tie a ribbon to the top of the coil, then let it be used as a bookmark for their notebooks.

So that's how I'm setting up my INBs for this school year. Do you use them? Feel free to share your tips below!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to comment. We love feedback!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.