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.
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