Sunday, November 30, 2008

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.

3 comments:

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 squidoo.com 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!!!

Br Arnold 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....

Kyra Beris 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!