My summer to-do list just got a bit longer as I attempt to rap my head around how I want my students to use INBs in the classroom. Thanks to this past weeks #msmathchat, I am considering using INBs for my students next year. If you're like me and a newbie to the INB, here is a good place to start. Sarah offers 5 tips for beginners.
"Tip #1: "Understand WHY you are using an ISN and be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. I have seen people use them because other people are doing it and that's not a good enough reason" I find tip number one to be vital for anyone considering using Interactive Student Notebooks (ISN). I want my students to have organized notes so that they may be able to use their notes as a resource.
"Tip #2: Take the time before school starts to come up with a routine for HOW this is going to work in your classroom." So I've learned that INBs can be however you want them to be as long as the purpose of it is fulfilled. This is also where one needs to plan for templates and what goes into an INB. Foldables and graphic organizers are one way to go about this. @RockStarMathTeacher uses her INB as color coded guided notes and has blogged how she uses INBs in her classroom. In addition to notes, Matt Coaty (@mcoaty) points out that reflections are a useful addition to INBs. He offers students reflection templates. Allana Gilliam (@AGilliam) uses color coded mind maps to allow her students to make connections between concepts.
"Tip #3: Don't get overwhelmed trying to plan out every single foldable and page." Be prepared for things to change and your INB to evolve.
"Tip #4: Don't drive yourself crazy if you don't always come up with phenomenal pages." I foresee this one being a little hard for me, but if I spend time implementing tip #2, the possibility of me going crazy reduces greatly.
"Tip #5: Teach your kids how to use their ISN." If students have never done this before, it's going to be a big shift for them. Treat this like any other routine. Implement it early on. Give students time to get used to the routine. And if your students are anything like mine, be prepared to have a model/exemplar.
For additional resources or to add your own, check out this wikisite dedicated to INBs.