Interactive Notebook for Math Class


This week’s post is about the Interactive Notebook.  I have been doing some form of an interactive notebook for 4 years now.  I started it when I was teaching 7th grade math and now that I teach 5th grade math, I brought the idea with me.  My whole reason for having my students keep a notebook is so they can refer back to it later in their school career to help them.  I have had many students come back to tell me that they have used their notebook that we made in my class to help them remember lessons so they can be successful in their new class.I am realistic and know that not all of my students will keep up with them, but if a few do and it helps them, then that is all I can hope for.

I use the spiral, mainly because that is what my school has listed on the school supply list.  It specifically says they need a 3-5 subject spiral for “Math”.  So we will use it.  In the past we have taken notes in it, put in foldables,  and kept a TOC.  It was a very basic notebook. 

This summer I have been looking into how to make it better.  I have spoken with other math teachers in my district and now I have found so many online and have gotten a ton of ideas.

Here is what I am going to try to implement this year…

1) Since we use the spirals, and the covers do like to fall off after so much use, I am going to have the students decorate their cover with pictures or drawings or whatever they want.  The thought here is that they make it special to them so they take better care of it.  Then we will use clear packing tape and tape it all up to make it a little more sturdy.  We’ll see if this works or not, but I have seen other teachers use this and it was still in tack at the end of the year.

2) We also use the front and back of the covers to put the STAAR Reference Material.

3) The very first page of the notebook is used as an Author’s Page.  Another place for them to make it their own and tell a little more about themselves. 

4) Next will be the Table of Contents.  I am not great about remembering to update this, so I usually find a student who is and give them the task of reminding me to update the TOC.  They love to tell the teacher what to do. 

5) When we take notes, I use the two-column Cornell note style.  At the top of the page we give it a title and then write the student expectation out  as an “I will” statement.  I use most of the words from the TEKS and tell them upfront that this is what is expected of them to be successful in math class.  This cuts out the “why do we have to learn this.”  We then do vocabulary and example problems in our notes.  This year we plan to also put a sample test problem (word problem) at the end of our notes so that when it is time for them to study they will have a test question that is in the correct format.

6) On the LHP we will have them work more problems, write questions, ect.  This page is not one I have done well with in the past and I am glad to see so many suggestions out there. 

7) I plan on grading the INB this year.  I want to hold them more accountable that I have in the past.  I have gotten a few grading rubrics that other teachers use.  If I can figure out how to put those documents on here, I will.

8) Finally, I have got some new ideas that I plan on using from the Video Conference on Tuesday.  I really liked the pocket and using tabs.


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Math Coach's Corner

Heather Simmons


Searching for the answers to education excellence

Megan Hayes-Golding

Still learning.

I Speak Math

Integrating Technology and Mathematics

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