Here at A Page Out of History, it’s no secret that I LOVE interactive notebooks. The organization, engagement, and flexibility that they offer have transformed my social studies classroom, and I just KNOW that they can do the same for yours.
So, what’s the big deal? I’m glad you asked!
Interactive notebooks are the perfect solution to all of your social studies problems. They keep all of your students’ notes and work organized, so there’s no more searching through folders (or through papers shoved in desks… the horror!). They increase student learning by making them active participants and, most significant of all, students love them!
Setting up your interactive notebooks might seem a little intimidating at first… but it doesn’t have to be! Still, it really helps your students to be successful when you take the time on the front end to both set expectations and spend time getting everything set up. A little bit of time spent at the beginning will pay huge dividends as your students successfully use their interactive notebooks all year long.
Best practices for set-up include creating a Table of Contents, setting up sections, numbering pages, and modeling expectations so that students know exactly what they should do for success.
From notebook type to choosing a glue, there are all kinds of decisions to be made about interactive notebooks! And trust me, I’ve tried them all.
Spiral notebooks are super cheap and perfect for gluing in photocopies, but their durability and lack of uniform size can make things a bit challenging at times (not to mention those pesky metal rings). Composition books are all the same size and easy to store, but their smaller size can sometimes pose some challenges.
Glue is another hotly contested material in the interactive notebook world (ha! But really!). Liquid glue provides the best stick, but drying time (and mess!) can be an issue.
Glue sticks are popular for their lack of mess but dry out quickly and their stickiness can wear out over time.
Those options are both fine, but glue sponges are my jam! With the convenience of a glue stick and the superior stick of liquid glue, these sponges are the holy grail of glue!
Tips and Tricks
With the engagement and interaction of interactive notebooks does come the trade-off of a time investment. Luckily for you, I know some fabulous time (and sanity!) saving tip and trips to make your journey into interactive notebooks a smashing success!
Whether you have students prep unit components on the front end, set time limits, or even get creative with when students complete their notebook components, interactive notebooks prove their flexibility once again with tons of creative possibilities for working them into your packed classroom schedule.
Interactive notebooks can be such an engaging way for your student to experience social studies, I hope you’ll give them a shot! And if you want to know my very BEST (and most specific!) hacks for successfully incorporating interactive notebooks into your classroom, you’ll find them in my Interactive Notebook E-Course!
Have questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your burning interactive notebook questions (or your best tips + tricks)!