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Why Start Notebooking?

There are many reasons to start notebooking.

- It becomes a permanent record of student work
- It acts as a portfolio
- Creates an active learning environment (where students have to interact with the information) as opposed to a passive learning environment (where students simply receive the information)
- Organizes material and thinking
- Allows students to express their creativity
- Creates multiple opportunites for students to process information
- Personalizes the learning experience
- Teaches organization and structure
- Creates opportunities for students to improve reading and writing skills across the curriculum
- Encourages students to express their understanding of concepts being taught
- It is easy to glance at a student notebook and know what they are missing
- Encourages children to take pride in their work
- Parent conferences are much smoother when you can show them all their child's work in one location. If you have a child who is not keeping up with their notebook you can easily show a parent how the book should look as opposed to how it actually looks.
- Encourages teachers to think about how students can engage with the material daily.

I notebook for all the reasons listed above, however not every student is going to embrace notebooking. When I taught in the middle school I had students who took a lot of pride in their work and I had students that clearly did not. It is the same in elementary school (although, I have observed, that reaction normally is a reflection of their interest in creativity then just general apathy toward education).

I feel that the benefits of notebooking outweigh the negatives of notebooking (time consuming to get started in your first year, finding an assessment tool that works for you). I encourage anyone interested in notebooking to try it. It does not have to start on the first day of school.


Devon Milling said…
Hello!!! This is Devon Milling from Science PLUS. I was doing a google search for science notebooking info to include in my first days of school packet. I was reading this article on and I saw your name and the link to this blog. That is great!!! You are doing awesome things and people get to read about it. GREAT JOB!!!
Unknown said…
I never was a fan of note booking because of the gluing aspect. I've attempted binders but unless I check them constantly, nothing ends up in them. I am going to give the composition notebook a try this year, but I am curious, what do you do with tests, quizzes and other practice worksheets? Throw them away? I don't think I'd like them glued in....
Unknown said…
Last year, I began notebooking with my Biology students and I found they love it, are engaged, and the class climate is phenomenal. So enthused, I am doing it with my Senior Anatomy students. Most of them love it but I have about 5 students who have a hard time with the creativity piece (I believe) and they do not want to do it. I found them sitting, starring, and unengaged. I gave them the option to do other assignments instead, but I'm having difficulty creating lessons for them while everyone else is engaged in notebooking. What would you recommend that I do for students who are disinterested in notebooking? I want them to learn according to their learning style, but I need some ideas...please help!

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