Jun 28, 2013

In Lieu of a Table of Contents...{Interactive Notebooks}

Happy Friday Teacher Friends!  Today I'm joining 4umlaFun
to talk about Interactive Notebooks.  Click below to find a party with lots of LINKS to TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS for Notebooking. :)
Over the years, I've tried many different methods of organization for the notebooks in my classroom.  It is inevitable that I will need more pages for something in each section, or worse, decide that a particular section isn't effective, and then not use it.  I sure hate to see blank pages in a notebook.  Grrr....

The way I've resolved this problem for myself is to set up the format, or table of contents so to speak, at the beginning of each unit rather than at the beginning of the notebook.  We still have organization, and they can still find everything they need, but I still have the freedom to change things up on a smaller scale and more frequently, as I monitor and adjust what is needed each week for my particular students' needs.
We use a newsletter as a cover page for each unit.  The newsletter must be signed by the parents so that they know what to expect and can participate when appropriate.  We tab the top of each newsletter so that it can be found easily for reference.  I display a table of contents model on the board, like you see in the pic above, and they mark their pages for the unit in their personal notebooks.  Each unit typically takes about 25 pages before we are done, and has an abbreviation written with the page number, to further organize and separate each unit from the others.  As we start a new unit, we start over with page one and a new abbreviation.  In the example above GNS stands for GRAPHIC NOVEL STUDY.  If you are interested, you can read a bit about our GNS in a previous post. :)


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  1. I love this idea! Definitely great for those kiddos who are constantly on the wrong page! I might just try this with my resource classes. Will show them there is end in site!

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane

  2. Making a table of contents in my notebooks is the BEST THING I've ever done as far as organization goes!! :)
    I'm Lovin Lit

  3. Really love this idea! Great organizational tool! I have the kids keep notebooks but I'm not good at the organizational part! Thanks for sharing.
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  4. I definitely need work on organizing our notebooks!

  5. Such a great idea, Brandee! I had a hard time keeping up with a table of contents page last year in our notebooks. I love the idea of a signed newsletter on the first page of each new unit. I think I'll be "borrowing" that idea next year :)

    Fun in Room 4B


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