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Posted on August 9, 2014 12:47 am
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Aslihan Unal
Aslihan Unal
Reps: 435
Interactive Notebooks-Completion Problems
This year I decided to have my science classes put together interactive science notebooks. They took spiral notebooks and created a table of contents in the front and then numbered each of their pages. Any notes that we took in class were glued onto the left side of their notebook. The right sides of their notebooks I asked them to basically summarize the notes from the left side. They could do this in a variety of ways, draw picture, write a story, create a concept map, etc. I don't care HOW they summarize as long as they ARE summarizing. We started out okay, but now I can't hardly get any of my students to complete their notebooks! I grade them every two weeks and it's rapidly becoming a waste of time to even collect them. I still like the concept but what can I do differently to encourage them to complete this? I take it as a homework assignment in my grade book.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 14, 2014 11:22 pm

 Richerzhagen
Richerzhagen
Reps: 145
A possible solution is to make them more interactive. Having the students create a foldable is a good way to spark interest. Students can also complete an interactive experiment to log data in the notebook. The experiment will be a way to spark interest, while the notebook can still be used for an investigation. You can also try peer grading. Peers can exchange notebooks, and go over each other's notebook together. This will enable interactions with others, and peer feedback.
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XeQymy
XeQymy
Reps: 102
I believe the added activities and peer grading would increase motivation with the journals.
  Posted on: October 17, 2014 1:13 am

qaWeBu
qaWeBu
Reps: 125
Agreed, the more hands on the notebook is, the more motivated students will be to complete.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 3:27 pm

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Solution 2
Posted October 14, 2014 2:07 am

MaZyjy
MaZyjy
Reps: 122
One possible solution would to have the students work in partners to complete the work. This involves summarizing still but gives a new spin on it. Students can share their ideas with each other to summarize it. You could even add stipulations that even though the students are working with a partner, they can share ideas but they cannot use the same idea in both of their journals.
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Solution 3
Posted October 15, 2014 1:57 am

Amber Bowling
Amber Bowling
Reps: 111
Utilizing interactive notebooks can become more hands on! Don't limit students to just note taking on the left side. Open it up to any type of activity. Vocabulary webs, visual representations, foldables, and timelines are just a few things you could have students complete. There are endless ideas for foldables, especially for science classes! Another idea is for students to use the right side for quizzes and reflections. That way they are always on their toes with what kind of "check" you are going to do!
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syQase
syQase
Reps: 118
This sounds great. It allows the student a choice and it also provides additional activities to include in the notebook that would be helpful for the students.
  Posted on: October 16, 2014 11:45 pm

Danielle Brock
Danielle Brock
Reps: 100
I agree with this case study. I will utilize this information once I become a teacher.
I enjoyed reading this idea.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 10:49 pm

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Solution 4
Posted October 19, 2014 3:30 pm

qaWeBu
qaWeBu
Reps: 125
A rubric would be one possible solution to set expectations for students regarding their grade on the notebook. Also, setting up a time limit for completion will allow students to self monitor their progress.
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Solution 5
Posted October 18, 2014 1:48 am

JepyBe
JepyBe
Reps: 101
I had a similar problem with 10th graders and a writing journal. I turned it into a competition. I gave the students a specific length of time as the "qualifying dates". They had to have the best written, organized, executed, etc... journal for that length of time. The kids really cleaned it up and tried to win! Forgive my lack of science knowledge, but maybe you could challenge the students to create the best atoms unit. The winner for each of my segments (usually two weeks) got to hold onto some ugly frog wearing a feather hat. They loved it. Kids are weird.
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Solution 6
Posted October 18, 2014 10:00 am

BuqeNu
BuqeNu
Reps: 100
We also use the interactive science notebook. A quick buddy check daily with a thumbs up or down is a way to see who has completed their notes for the day. I would have the buddy give a thumbs up for the table buddy rather than for their own work. Then, perhaps set aside a time every so many days where students who completed their assignment can move on to computer activities or allow them to work on a project or a short presentation for the class. Those who need to complete their notes or other work can do. Students make the adjustment to complete their work on time because they realize they will be held accountable to complete all tasks. Hopefully, fewer to know students will have to get notes at a later time due to a lack of time on task. Another thing I find helpful is creating assignments where students need to use their notes. This helps them see the relevance of keeping an up-to-date notebook.
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Solution 7
Posted October 19, 2014 4:17 pm

Robyn Davis
Robyn Davis
Reps: 85
Another solution to ensuring that students are more engaged with the output side of the interactive notebook is to provide choices for the students. One way to do so is to assign clock assignments. 12 generic assignments can be given that students can complete to demonstrate their understanding of the notes. This provides the students with choice to show they understand what has been covered for the day, and they will be more willing to complete the output side. The assignment does not become redundant for students, and it's still structured for the teacher.
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Solution 8
Posted October 19, 2014 7:58 pm

ejeSaq
ejeSaq
Reps: 103
You could give them some examples of your own summarization of notes so they do not feel that they are doing the same things over and over. You could also offer some more interactive ways for students to summarize the material.
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Solution 9
Posted March 11, 2015 10:43 pm

aNuLyB
aNuLyB
Reps: 103
I use an interactive journal for my Kindergartners in their guided reading groups. I only currently do interactive journals with my high readers, who can complete the work independently. Obviously, Kindergarten is very different from high school, but it is such a effective learning tool! To keep my students engaged in doing their interactive journals is to "spice" it up. I truly make it interactive. My students use sticky notes to answer questions, use glitter pens, cut and glue materials in their books, they also take pictures with the class ipad of different work they are working on and print it out and glue it in their book.

I also allow my students to check their classmates' journals and they can give them a skittle, sticker, high five, etc. if they completed them correctly.
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Solution 10
Posted March 11, 2015 10:43 pm

aNuLyB
aNuLyB
Reps: 103
I use an interactive journal for my Kindergartners in their guided reading groups. I only currently do interactive journals with my high readers, who can complete the work independently. Obviously, Kindergarten is very different from high school, but it is such a effective learning tool! To keep my students engaged in doing their interactive journals is to "spice" it up. I truly make it interactive. My students use sticky notes to answer questions, use glitter pens, cut and glue materials in their books, they also take pictures with the class ipad of different work they are working on and print it out and glue it in their book.

I also allow my students to check their classmates' journals and they can give them a skittle, sticker, high five, etc. if they completed them correctly.
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Solution 11
Posted March 15, 2015 3:14 pm

ByHuSu
ByHuSu
Reps: 102
I agree with all the solutions posted above about different types of activities. I would also use it as an incentive... if they receive a passing grade on it, they are allowed to use it on a random "pop" quiz. They can't use it every time, and maybe it is just an extra credit quiz or something of the sort, but I'm sure a lot more will be motivated to have theirs complete for next time.
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Solution 12
Posted October 11, 2015 12:52 pm

deRudu
deRudu
Reps: 82
I use an interactive notebook often in Language Arts. I have found that the key to student completion and interaction is to make it interesting. Often I have students create Frayer model out of their vocabulary words. Those models are created on index cards and decorated. The cards are put in Ziploc bags and stapled into the IN. Students pull them out to study. They have created flashcards, AND they have a way to keep up with them. Recently, we created a monopoly game with commas-that was a lot of work, but the students loved it. The IN was truly interactive after that activity. I don't use it for a lot of free writing as I use a journal for that. Double entry journals area great activity for IN's as are things like body biographies and open-minded portraits, and KWL charts. I realize that these are all Language Arts activities, but IN's are great for all content areas. For example, a unit on plate boundaries can include sketches of volcanoes and effects of earthquakes. Weather units can includes sketches of weather map with front boundaries, pictures of tornados, earthquakes, etc. I believe that the idea is to give the information on the right side and have the students show their understanding on the left side. Make them interact with the content that you've delivered. Encourage them to make real world connections on the left side. A well developed IN is a great study resource. Of course, a grading rubric should always be our guide for grading. I teach gifted students, so the IN is perfect for them, but it can easily be adapted for all levels of learners.
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