Interactive Notebooks in High-Tech / Low-Tech Classrooms

I haven’t run into many middle school math teachers who *love* their math textbooks. We often lament that we could do a better job creating our own, and this summer I decided to look into it. I read up on the topic through blogs and professional articles and attended a webinar on creating e-books. I’m fortunate to teach at 1:1 laptop school, but my sixth graders would have PCs while I (and the 7th and 8th graders) predominantly use a Mac or an iPad. What I wanted to do wasn’t going to work with my sixth-grade class. I googled “interactive notebooks” and somehow came across a couple of amazing blogs that described how they were successfully using old-fashioned composition books in their math classes.

Composition books? Pencils and real paper? But we’re practically a paperless school? How would this look if I went back to a traditional spiral? The more I read about these “interactive notebooks” (or INB or ISN), the more I fell in love with the idea. I am a traditionalist, but I love technology and integrate it often; my students are on Schoology and I use Socrative when I want to gauge how well (or not) they are grasping a new concept. I flip lessons with Show Me, Voice Thread, or Explain Everything, and students use their spirals to take notes, ask questions, or work on a few practice problems I had posed in the video.

How are these spirals fitting in? Is it possible to coexist in a tech-driven community? Join me Tuesday to find out! I will have my students’ notebooks for you to flip through.

Here is an example of one of my student’s pages. What I love about these pages is that he did not understand how to solve these equations. He looked at his notes on the right-hand side and saw that he had highlighted the words “inverse (opposite).” The lightbulb went off, and he continued to color-code and use stickies to successfully complete the assignment.

How to solve one-step variable equations

How to solve one-step variable equations

Below is a Voice Thread of one of my flipped lessons. Caution: I sing at the start. And I do not sing well. At all.

Flipped Lesson on Solving Inequalities (Multiplication/Division)

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This entry was posted in Classroom Management, Best Practices, Math, Middle School, Teachers Helping Teachers 2014 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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