Interactive Notebooks – First assignments
Filed under: Interactive Notebooks | Tags: how to use interactive notebooks, interactive notebook assignments, Interactive Notebooks, notebooking, social studies, social studies notebooks, social studies teaching strategy |
- New information = use a familiar strategy.
- New strategy = use familiar information.
This is my mantra when introducing the notebook assignments. My students come to me used to reading the book, doing some worksheets and answering questions, spiced up by the occasional project. While the notebook assignments are not revolutionary, they are different, and I find I’m more successful if I take the time to model them. I like to start with assignments that we’ll use frequently. I use the most familiar information they have – information about themselves.
This year I have dedicated the first ten pages of my notebook as a “mini-me” unit. It serves two purposes – a great get-to-know-you and models those frequently used assignments in a concrete way. Let me say I do not plan to do this for all 50+ assignments in the assignment table – just the most common ones, and just to help them “get it” initially.
The first assignment we do is a personal title page. The students set up the first page with their name and class period, then decorate it with six pictures about themselves and the things they like. It is a “high success” activity and helps personalize their notebooks. They will do a title page at the beginning of each unit we do, and this will teach the the procedure and give them a sample. I will post pictures later this week.
I like to start with a fairly straightforward and multi-purpose assignment for their first content assignment, the Illustrated Outline. I wrote about these in a previous post. Today I had them create a four column one for themselves first – school, favorites, friends, and family. Then we read a chapter (3 pages) in Reconstructing America, and created an Illustrated Outline based on the text. It went really well because the students had a solid understanding of the requirements of the assignment.
Our first right hand assignment will be a poster. The requirements are simple and straightforward – a title, five pieces of information on the topic, and an illustration. My recommendation is build comfort and success at first, and don’t be afraid to repeat the same assignment 2 or 3 times in a row at first. Choice and the more complicated assignments can wait – you’ve got all year!