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Left Side/Right Side "Rule"

The basic "rule" of the notebooking that I was taught is that the left hand side is for learning (this is teacher driven material and makes up the lesson of the day or the concept you are teaching). The right hand side is for student reflection of the material. This can come in a variety of ways:

Venn diagram comparing and contrasting material
Concept Map
Comic Strip
Labeled Diagram

I generally keep this "rule" in mind when planning my notebook activity for the day. I like it because it does makes me to ask myself how are the students going to interact with the material or lesson.
Above are some pictures of the left side/right side rule.
Picture #1 - We discussed/read about hurricanes and watched a video (Left Hand Side). Students then tracked a hurricane (Right Hand Side).
Picture #2 - We read and highlighted information about roots, stems and well as looked at them during the lesson (Left Hand Side). Students then created a foldable using the information on the right hand side.
Picture #3 - I made a presentation about the five characteristics of organisms, then we read and highlighted the information (Left Hand Side). Students then had a choice how they wanted to showcase that information on the right hand side...the student above choose to use their hand to model the characteristics (other students did posters, some did concept maps, etc.). This was in a middle school where students had a lot more practice using notebooks. My elementary school students would need more modeling of all their choices before they could translate information into something on their own on the right hand side. At this point I direct them to what I want them to do on the right hand side with the understanding that I am going to make them more independent as the year goes on.
Picture #4 - (Middle School Student) - We watched a video and then read and highlighted information about endo and exothermic animals (Left Hand Side). Then students created a table on the other side where they were instructed to list at least four facts about each and then draw a picture of how an animal in that category would react in both warm and cold weather.


Unknown said…
Although I don't use our textbook on a regular basis with my fifth graders, there are times when we read a section out of the textbook (or read a nonfiction leveled reader). How do I approach givng the students information for the left side of their notebook? Do I type out the highlights/gist of the lesson for them to paste in?
Unknown said…
What does a day look like in your science class? I know it will vary, but do you start out whole group, read/do a lab, then complete the notebook? Are there days when you have to carry over a lesson to the next day?
Eve Heaton said…
My day in the science class usually starts out with a review of what we did the day before (students telling me what we learned or the objective from the day before). Then I go over what the objective of today's lesson is. I then teach a whole group lesson on the subject. Then I usually have independent work related to the lesson or a lab (that is when they will work on the RH assignment). There are times when I have to carry the lesson over or really use Friday as a make up day (that is when they would finish their coloring or get with someone to make up missing work).

Hope that helps!

Eve Heaton said…
Nonfiction Leveled Readers - When I plan my lesson I always look for material that will be a resouce for students and matches the objective. It doesn't matter where it comes from. If I have a great leveled reader on the water cycle I might put together a little "cheat sheet" using the leveled reader that will be pasted on the left hand side. You could reference the leveled reader at the end of the cheat sheet...example "for more information reread The Water Cycle by ....." You could also require students to fill in information as they read on a left hand sheet. You could create a question/answer sheet on the RH side and they could get with their clock partners to answer (or do it independently).

Jennibell said…
I discovered your blog this morning (don't know from what link b/c I find things I want to look at, open it up, then go back later to read what I had opened). This stuff is terrific!!! I'm learning so much. . .thank you for taking the time to journal all of this information down and help me to learn new ways of teaching. I'll be interested to hear how you grade once you have a good system figured out.
wonderwoman50 said…
I just discovered your blog through Pinterest and I'm SO happy I did. I am going to teach 5th grade science this coming year and haven't taught it before. I think this will be a great strategy to use. Thank you SO much for sharing all this wonderful information. I love the idea but wouldn't know where to start without your help. Thanks again!

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