Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interactive Notes

In a few posts I have mentioned that my class "does" interactive note taking. For those of you that are not sure what interactive note taking is a quick definition.

The purpose of the interactive notebook is to enable students to be creative, independent thinkers and writers. Interactive notebooks are used for class notes as well as for other activities where the students will be asked to express his own ideas and process the information presented in class. The set up of interactive notebooks and note taking can vary from teacher to teacher and school to school.  

Okay so now that I got the technical definition out of the way let me give you a brief overview of how I use interactive note taking in my classroom. *Small disclaimer...due to the fact that I was displaced and moved to a new school in September my students came with the supplies of their previous teachers. Therefore some students in my class have three prong folders, some have composition notebooks, some have spiral notebooks...I find for interactive notes a spiral notebook is the easiest to use. Don't get me wrong I LOVE composition notebooks for guided Math and Reading, but it makes it very difficult to squeeze things onto the smaller pages when interactive note taking. I also have a HUGE dislike for three prong folders...I hate having the papers EVERYWHERE and they fill up really quickly!

I found it easier for me to start using interactive notes with Science and Social Studies. This is where my students usually take the most notes. The students seem to grasp the concept easier in these subjects as least they do, in third grade....well at least to me.

So here are a few pictures of interactive notes in my classroom.

Okay so I always use this student's journal as my example because he is possibly the most organized, neatest students I have ever had. Again my students came to me with various notebooks, he has a prong folder. I usually have the students glue the notes on the left and they write/draw on the right side of one sheet of paper. Well this student LOVES to draw and again is very meticulous therefore he usually uses two sheets of paper.

Here are a few close ups:

Okay so the student chooses a colored pencil. They box around the paragraph using that color. Within that paragraph they will underline the main idea, bubble important words, and box words they may not know (these can vary from teacher to teacher)...again using the same colored pencil they boxed the paragraph with. On the right side the student will then draw pictures, maybe write words, diagrams, word splashes, etc. of anything that will help them to remember what was in the paragraph, once again using the same color that they picked to box the paragraph with (this way they know that everything they did in that color goes together.

This is the very edited, quick version of interactive note taking. I had a few readers ask what it looked like in my classroom. I do have plans on sharing in more detail, possibly even a video on how this is and can be done in your own classroom. For now enjoy the pictures!

Math can sometimes lend itself to interactive notes as well.

This is not exactly interactive note taking but it was a whole group experiment we did in class. As you can see it can be done in various ways.


laughinbrunette (Jennifer) said...

This is great! =)
First Grade Blue SKies

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing!!! I have been wanting to try this for awhile!
Teaching With Style

Anonymous said...

Love to see new ideas! I use them daily for math, but experimented with science this year. Please continue to share your science and social studies ideas!!

travelingteacher said...

Love to see this in the classrooms!!!

Tales from a Traveling Teacher

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I've been wanting to try this. I like your same colored pencil idea for boxing and also drawing.


Anonymous said...

Just FYI Jim Burke (A pretty decently known teacher around the country) has published work on Interactive Notes that are vastly different than this version that are based in the three step (Before, during, after) reading theories. See his books, especially Tools For Thought.

Patti Wilson said...

I want to start ISNs with my 3rd grade class this year. I have a few questions. Do students complete the right side page during class or for homework? What choices do you give for completion of right side page?

Thanks for sharing!

One Class, One Sound

Dandelions and Dragonflies said...

They complete them during class, they read the paragraph silently and do some of their own underlining and such, we then go through it together discussing their thoughts, after we go through each paragraph I stop and give the 30 seconds to a minute to complete the right side. Once class is over they can use extra class time to finish their notes or even take them home to add to them. It takes a little time, but they do get it and get a little faster with it.

Patti Wilson said...

Thanks for the info!


Ruby said...

I am going to use ISN this year in all my subjects. This is the first time I have ever used them. Please keep posting your ideas. Love them. I am teaching reading, science, and geography.