FAQ – Tips and Tricks to Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

“Mrs. G, what do I do when I run out of room on page 10?”

Now, if you had your students number the pages in their notebooks, this will happen the first time you give a handwritten assignment. Here are some possible answers:

  • “Use a flippy page”. Everybody being on the same page is important to me, so I keep a stack of precut “flippy pages” – some that are exactly notebook page size and some that are just half sheets of notebook paper. Students grab these as needed to continue writing, and then we tape them in. I prefer tape for flippy pages.
  • Just go on to the next page” This will work if you have done one of these things:
    • You have decided to ignore the left/right orientation and just work sequentially. A notebook user that I admire greatly does this and it works just fine for her and her students.
    • You have planned for additional pages for this assignment using a 3-1 ratio. For example, you knew you were taking notes, and decided to allocate pages 10,11,12 for the notes, and 13 for the student assignment. Or, you were using an article for the notes and were asking for a written student side so you allocated page 10 for the article, and pages 11,12,13 for the written assignment. This works well for me.

Why do I care?

For me, and for my classroom, it is easier if we are all on the same page for the following reasons:

  • Ease of communication – I can say, turn to page ___ and everybody’s page ____ is the same. I can tell a parent that we worked on pages _____ to _____ this week. If there is nothing on page 12, then the student is missing an assignment. It is easy to post on my website, instructions for substitutes, etc.
  • Notebook walks – I do these every week with my students before I collect notebooks. I walk them through the table of contents. Turn to page ____, that should be ______. Turn to page ____, and that should be ____.

Another way of avoiding the issue is to useĀ teacher-side assignments that are designed to utilize a set number of pages. I’ll talk about things I use as teacher-side assignments in another post.


3 comments so far

  1. Tanya E. Tenturier on

    We are using spiral notebooks housed inside of a binder (we are a departmentalized elementary class). Is it feasible to use loose leaf paper for a “flippy page”? Based on your experience, what are your thoughts?

  2. mrsgannon on

    Yes! That is what I use.

  3. Joi Martin on

    I find it helpful to have the students number the pages as we go. For example if page 13 is for notes, students will place 13 at the top of that page. However if they need to go to the next page, they may label it 13b and so on. So, if the next assignment is for them to illustrate something from these notes, that page is still page 14 for all students. However if you want to keep up with the left/right organization this will not work. But it will work for students having the same info. on the same labeled pages. If you ask students to refer to note page 13, some will have more than one 13 but all will have the same information. I hope that this helps!

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