Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Moon Phase Box

I happened to walk into a fourth grade class the other day and they were hard at work making moon phase boxes. They were totally adorable and the kids were completely into it. The teacher very kindly let me take some pictures (thank you Mrs. Parker!) and add to my blog.

Students would need a shoe box and they need to cover the inside and inside lid with black construction paper. Using fishing wire they would hang a ping pong ball in the center of the lid so it is suspended in the center of the box. They then take a flashlight and trace the light end on one of the short ends of the box and then create viewing flaps in the middle of every side (including the one with the light bulb (but that might be slightly off center). It is important that the viewing areas are flaps and not cut directly out (you need to keep the light coming into the box blocked as much as possible).

The teacher used a box cutter to cut the flaps and flashlight hole for the children. I probably would have had studen…

Google Classroom Headers (and Bitmojis)

I recently taught a class on how to use Bitmojis in the classroom to increase student engagement and help with classroom organization and management.

One fun idea was to use them to make custom Google Classroom headers. The idea came from Alice Keeler's blog and she even provided a template for her header.

My computer settings weren't the same as hers so I had to tweak my version.

This got me thinking about how the headers could be changed out frequently, as something new for students to look forward to, when they opened up Google Classroom. In my head I was thinking they could be changed out weekly (38 total headers needed) if time permitted. 

I have several other ideas, templates, and instructions linked in this presentation.

I would love to see other custom Google Classroom Header ideas! Please feel free to post a comment or tag me on Twitter at @techcoachlife.

Cookie Moon Phases

I've seen these cookie moon phases before (click here for a description of the activity on Science Bob's Blog) and wanted to share my "Moon Phase" cookie story.

After seeing these online I thought it would be fun to do it in class as part of our Astronomy unit. I decided to make these at home. They turned out adorable. Then I decided to eat them (justifying that I would let my kids eat them in class :) It quickly became apparent that 8 Oreo cookies was way too many to eat (I definitely felt queasy). I went back to the online directions and found out that I was suppose to use "mini Oreo cookies" (which made much more sense).

A note of caution, the mini Oreo cookies may not be as cost effective with large groups of children (when I taught middle school I had 80+ children). It is definitely cheaper to buy the generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I would just provide a snack or sandwich baggie so the kids could take the leftovers home.