Interactive Notebooks

My most popular posts seem to be on the implementation of the Interactive Notebook strategy. I decided to create this page to arrange them in the most logical order. 

What is an Interactive Notebook?

Frequently Asked Questions

Interactive Notebooks Assignments (Teachers)

Interactive Notebook Assignments (Students)

32 comments so far

  1. Brandon on

    I love the notebooks. I just am never sure about ggrading. Do you do credit grades or how do you assess using the notebooks. How often

  2. mysciencelessons on

    With a few months of school left, I am starting to think about what to do with the notebooks once the kids are done with them. I would hate for them to hand it to the incoming class with all the “answers” and hate the idea of them throwing it out. Do I just hope that they follow the honor code? What have you done? Thanks!

  3. mrsgannon on

    I give them back to them. The day I do I have a recycle bin, and encourage the students to use that if they aren’t going to keep them. I hate it, but a number of them do. I offer a candy bar for a few that I’d like to keep for examples. Other than that I don’t worry about it – the right side assignments are so individualized I don’t think copying would be an issue, and I often change them up from year to year.

  4. mrsgannon on

    I use a rubric, and grade them weekly. Some people don’t grade them until the end of a unit, but I teach young children and they seem to need more frequent feedback. You might want to check out this wiki: http://interactive-notebooks.wikispaces.com as it has many different rubrics/methods for grading them.

  5. apirl on

    I love the notebook ideas!!! I have a couple of questions though.

    Can this be used for 3rd Graders? I am thinking in Social Studies or Science.

    Do you sit and glue everything in or do your students do it?

    Thanks for all the info!

  6. mrsgannon on

    Thank you! I’m glad you’ve found them useful.

    I’ve talked to elementary teachers who use them in lower grades and they work fine, you just need to be specific and model model model.

    I would pick one subject or the other to start off with, and I would pick the subject that is your greater strength.

    There are two schools of thought on the gluing. I train my students how to appropriately glue, and they do the gluing. I try to have them glue in a week’s worth of material at a time. A friend of mine teaches fourth grade, and she glues in a lot of things for them. Whatever is best of you and your students.

  7. [...] my quest of doing some research on interactive notebooks (save yourself some time and just go right here if you’re a teacher and want to know more about them) I came across some sites on what to do [...]

  8. R Smith on

    Mrs. Gannon,

    I am very excited about using interactive notebooks for the first time this year. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience and resources. I have bookmarked your site and know I will be visiting often throughout the school year. Best wishes for your new school year!

    Ms. Smith

  9. Dawn Sanders on

    I started Interactive Notebooks this year; my first year teaching the social studies. Wow! What a learning tool it has turned out to be. Thanks for this blog. I can learn a lot from you:)

  10. Mary Jimenez on

    I have been researching other interactive notebooks ideas but do not like the teacher input on the right side. It just seems more natural and cohesive to think of it as INPUT – OUTPUT (Left to right); or “Learn-Left/ Reflect Right”
    That just flows for me :) I am so excited to implement this next year!

  11. sseale on

    I use binders since I do not always have a left handed assignment and the kids seem to really like them better. Also, I let them use their notebooks on chapter quizzes so while they are taking their quiz I go around and check their notebooks, I have a premade list of what I’m looking for, takes me about 10 minutes.

  12. Linda on

    This is an abundant resource. Thanks for all of the tried and true tips and the ever changing ways to make interactive notebooks better and better. I especially love the Assignment Table

  13. Julia on

    Question: What have you found to be the best way to hand these out to the kids as they come into your class?

  14. mrsgannon on

    I like to have my students keep their notebooks with them. If not, the first student through the door passed them out.

  15. Kendra P on

    I am getting ready to launch interactive notebooks this year. I cannot tell you how incredibly helpful your site has been in preparing to do so!! Thanks for sharing your resources. Until I get pictures of my own kids’ work, my class is going to be graced with samples of your students’ work to help them get going. :)

  16. New Adventures | Kendra Perry on

    [...] like the best thing since sliced bread for teaching social studies and science!  I’ve found Mrs. Gannon’s resources invaluable in getting my own plans for interactive notebooks ready to launch.  I hope [...]

  17. Cindy Gray on

    I have been using the interactive notebook for 4 or 5 years. I am always impressed by the depth most of my students go to complete the assignments.

    I have greatly enjoyed and found several new ideas for my students. Below is an activity we do in my class.

    I teach American History from the late 1800′s to present, and one of the activities we do is to use music. One song the students truly enjoy is the ‘Song of the Appaloosa’ .We listen to the song so the students become familiar with the sounds. At first they find it funny sounding. I have the words printed out and I give each student a copy. We listen to it again and the students hi-lite phrases that refer to the Native Americans. nd discuss what they mean. Once the song ends again, we discuss the events. After the discussion, stdents glue the lyrics into their ISN and illustrate several of the hi-lited parts.

  18. Reyna on

    Do Notebooks ever go home?
    I have 7th Graders this year and organization is a big deal. I have students who would benefit from having extra time to work on their work at home, but am not sure if I trust them to take them home. We will actually be starting the use of notebooks next week. Do you usually allow students to take their notebooks home or let them work on them only at school. If we use them everyday I dont want students showing up and saying the all too familiar “I forgot my notebook.”

  19. mrsgannon on

    It all depends on the class. Believe it or not, once the notebooks are well underway it is rare for students to lose the because they take such pride in them. Try getting them started and keeping them in the room. After you feel they have “got it” they could have the “privilege” of taking them home. I usually let mine because they needed to be able to study or finish up notebook assignments.

  20. Nikki Valine on

    This is such a wonderful page about the notebooks. I am new to using them. I would like for this to be my first year with them. I teach 5th grade and this will be great for them. I teach all core subjects to the same class each day, would you recommend that I keep a separate notebook for each subject, i.e. one for math, one for science, one for SS, etc..? How would you recommend me begin with using them?

  21. Barbara McKelvey on

    I am going to begin to use interactive notebooks in my 7th grade social studies classes this year. Your sight has given my invaluable input, ideas, and confidence. Thank you so much!

  22. mrsgannon on

    I would really recommend starting with only one subject, or in your case two – science and social studies. You should have a different notebook for each subject you do though. Good luck!

  23. Ms. Sloan on

    I plan on having interactive notebooks in my 7th grade social studies class. Could you please explain how I would introduce the “right side and Left side” work? I have looked at many samples and I can’t seem to see the difference between student side and teacher side. I guess I am still unsure how to assign it and need more clarification. Thank you for all your ideas and help!

  24. amypack on

    Thanks so much for sharing! I saw things o Pinterest and kind of picked up on the Interactive Notebooks. No one at my school uses them, so I’m totally in the dark with these. You blog is really helping me out! Thanks again!!

  25. deb mcclenny on

    I’m a 6th grade writing & social studies teacher. 19th yr teaching. I use interactive notebooks. Wud luv to connect & share ideas! :)

  26. mrsgannon on

    Sure! First quarter is always crazy, but I’m starting to be able to pull my head up from my grading and look around!

  27. mrsgannon on

    I’m glad it has been helpful. Remember, they are a process like anything else. How are yours going?

  28. mrsgannon on

    I would tell my students, when I was doing notebooks, that “left is for learning”. Those were my teacher directed notes/activities or the “stuff” that they had to know. “Right is for reflection” was their page to process or “work out” the information and show their understanding.

  29. Ashley on

    These are amazing ideas and really answered some important questions I had on how to implement this in my classroom. Thank you so much!

  30. Katrina Rouse on

    I wanted to do a presentation on interactive notebooks in my district. May I share your website with other teachers in my district?

  31. mrsgannon on

    Absolutely! I hope it helps!

  32. mrsgannon on

    You are welcome!


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