Why Use an Interactive Notebook in Your Classroom?

Using an interactive notebook in my classroom has been a great tool for so many different reasons. However, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t intimidated to create and use them at first. If you are hesitant to try one because you aren’t sure of their benefits or how they are used, I strongly suggest reading these quick few tips to get you started!

Using an Interactive Notebook Isn’t as Scary as it Sounds

I always thought an interactive notebook was this intricate resource that only fancy teachers used and I needed some magic wand to get started. This is far from true. While there are many designs that are more involved than others, if you stick to a basic layout, they are extremely user-friendly for you and your students.

The below interactive notebook is a resource I use for grades 1-3. It is designed to teach vocabulary and has a very basic and user friendly layout with vocabulary definitions provided. You can check this resource out here.

This shows an interactive notebook for grades 1-3

Your Students Will Benefit From the Visuals

Students are going to love being able to add visuals to their notebook. The end result will be eye-catching, colorful, and meaningful in a way that regular paper and pencil notebooks are not. I have so much fun designing my models and examples for my students!

The below picture was taken from my Vocabulary Interactive Notebook for Grades 4-6. It is very similar to the grade 1-3 layout but different definitions and words. The layout is simple and easy to add visuals! You can check it out here.

This shows an interactive notebook for grades 4-6

Above All, it is INTERACTIVE

Just as the name suggests an interactive notebook is INTERACTIVE. Students love interactive products because they allow them to color, cut, paste, manipulate, and become involved in the process. You know the famous quote, “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I’ll understand?” This truly holds weight and meaning. Involve students in the process and they will be more likely not only to remember content but to understand it as well.

This shows an interactive notebook in action for grades 4-6

An Interactive Notebook Can Be Used in MANY Subject Areas

My interactive notebooks are used for vocabulary, but my colleague uses them for science. I also know of teachers who love using them for math. They serve a variety of purposes in a variety of content areas.  Once you become comfortable using your interactive notebook in one content area, try it in another. You will be using them in almost every subject in no time!

The below template can be used as an excellent science resource! You can check out this Sun, Earth, and Moon Interactive Notebook by The Teaching Chick here.

This is a science interactive notebook showing the sun and earth relationship

Looking for more ways to teach vocabulary? Check out my blog post on how to integrate vocabulary into your busy day by clicking here. 

Need tips on using hands on task cards with ESL students? Check out my blog post about this topic here.

Happy Teaching!

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