Thursday, January 1, 2009

Notebooking Everyday

I don't think I mentioned this before but I feel strongly that if you are going to start notebooking in the classroom you should use the notebooks everyday.

If you only use the notebooks every once in awhile they become less meaningful to both you and the student.

It is pretty easy to get into the mindset of using notebooks everyday. I start my weekly planning asking myself:

What do we have going on for the week? (Elementary schools have so many programs, special events, etc. that it affects timing)

Where are we in relation to the standards and the long range plan?

What are the main things that students will be learning this week?

I take the last question and then start planning notebook assignments. For example, when students return to school next week they are going to make their title page for the the next unit in their notebook and review the standards and possibly do a book walk through the chapters. They are going to learn about the characteristics of life that all organisms share and do a notebook activity. We are going to discuss how organisms are classified and do a notebook activity and so on for the rest of the week.

By using the notebooks everyday you become better at notebooking and the students become better as well.

I have a friend who started notebooks but didn't use them everyday. She was commenting on the work of my students and how she needed to be better at pulling them (the notebooks) out more often. She started on her next unit and made it a point to use them everyday and the quality of work her students were producing went up and now I am the one commenting on her notebooks. So it doesn't matter if you haven't been using them effectively you can always restart and move forward from where you are at now.

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