Sunday, April 12, 2009

Damaged Notebooks

Since I decided to use only one notebook this year, instead of starting new ones in January, student books are showing wear and tear - primarily with the binding. To counteract that I have reinforced the binding using clear packing tape, which seems to work. Next year I think I might have a classroom volunteer start out at the beginning of the year reinforcing the binding with clear tape so it doesn't become a problem.
Student do tend to pick at the tape so I told students that any book without any picked tape at the end of the year will get a treat. This has worked well with their desk name tags. I got tired of replacing their names on the desk (which I just use blue thick painters tape - the good kind 3M - and write their name on it - nothing fancy here!). Anyone who has their name still on their desk, and I can read it, on the last day of school will get a treat. My kids switch classes so their table partner (the person who sits at their table in the morning or afternoon) will also get the same treat. Since I have made that announcement I have not had any problems.


Mendy Gannon said...

LOVE IT! I'm considering the "one notebook" approach for next year, and I thought I would go ahead and reinforce the bindings from the get go.

Have you had sufficient room for your content? That is my one concern.

I've heard of some teachers giving "desk fairy" awards - I'm wondering if some kind of "notebook fairy" to help reinforce the idea of neat work, undoodled and unpicked at covers - hmmmmm.

Leave it to you to find a simple solution to desk plates - does the painters tape hold up pretty well?

Great post - great ideas.

Eve Heaton said...

Thanks for the post compliment!

I love the one notebook approach. I have been able to get all the content in and we are doing a year end ABC book in it as well - and there is still space. I love having everything in one location. We were reviewing qualitative and quantitative observations and several students quickly found the activity that we did AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR in the notebook to reference (nothing like having students finding information on their own!). If I start menus I might run into a space problem but I'll cross that bridge next year.

The painters tape holds up very well and does not leave an icky film on the desk when peeled off. I am often rearranging my desks for one thing or another and it is imparative that every student have their name on their desk so I know (or they know) how to move their desks back to the right location. I had started with "cute" name plates with all sorts of helpful things on it - 100 number line, cursive, multiplication table, etc. but those quickly got trashed. I am not even going to attempt that next year. I am going to start with the blue painters tape and leave it at that (use the thick 3 inch kind). Of course students doodle, etc. but as long as I can read the name and it is intact at the end of the year they get a treat (although I might give an end of each quarter treat next year). My students are very concerned and ask me if I would consider their name tag legible all the time.

Mendy Gannon said...

Cool. It would also be nice to have the front pages in and done with for the year as well.

Regarding menus, I'm re-thinking putting them in the notebook.

One - the menu I give my GT class and the menu I give my lowest ability class could look different/require a different number of pages.

Two - many of the "menu options" make great display pieces or are technology centered. One of my largest problems with the notebooks is the lack of display work unless you take pictures.

Just some thoughts.