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Showing posts from June, 2009

Studying for Tests

Someone had a question about using the notebooks to study for tests. Good question!
As mentioned in a much earlier post, I generally do not let the notebooks leave the classroom. I worked with a group of students my first year who did not take care of their supplies and often things that went home never came back. This was extremely frustrating so I stopped sending the notebooks home.
Instead I adopted the study guide above from a co-teacher (thanks Ms. Gannon!). The children, parents, and I love it. Basically you create a two table grid in a word document (see first picture). You put a question on one side and the answer on the other. You can leave the answer part blank and students can fill that in during class. I only had about 45 minutes with my students last year and for the sake of time I would only leave a few blank that they would either fill out as we reviewed the study guide or I would give them a set amount of time to fill in the blanks using their notebook and then reviewed…

Substitute Teachers

I had a really good question about what do you do when you have substitute teachers and you notebook. Normally I do not have them do anything in the notebook while I am away. I may have them work on something that might be put in the notebook once I get back but as far as actually taking the notebooks out and working on them...no.
If I am only going to be gone one day I sometimes make up close notes using the textbook (that I rarely use) and format the notes (using Word, landscape, two columns) so they can be cut down the center and glued in upon my return. My close notes are a combination of fill in the blank, draw and label a diagram from the book, answer questions, etc. Enough to keep the students busy but still be able to tie it into what we are learning. If they are done early I have the substitute play vocabulary bingo (see previous post) or I have another activity planned.
If I am going to be gone several days I will put together a booklet using publisher (catalog template - whi…

Grading - Again

I know a lot of folks ask about grading and I have confessed a love/hate relationship with it but I am happy to report that Mrs. Gannon has just addressed how she grades in her social studies blog. This might be of more use then my post, as she has been notebooking for years with her middle schoolers and was my "go to" person my first year of notebooking. She is moving down to teach fifth grade (social studies) in our new intermediate school so I am excited to see her post her adventures notebooking with upper elementary. Her blog is also on the right of this screen under "blogs I am following."

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer. I recently attended Space Camp for Teachers on a scholarship from Honeywell (applications are due early December and are for math and/or science teachers who teach children ages 10-16...even though it says middle school teachers on their webpage it does not indicated that on the application). It was a great experience and I posted a vide…

End of Year Blues

We are near the end of the school year and today I had to give back my student's science notebook. I had a few that said I could keep theirs but, as you can guess, the really good notebooks were claimed proudly by their owners. This is a far cry from the sixth graders I taught last year that let me all keep their books. I'm glad I got to keep a few because I was not that faithful with keeping up with my teacher version.

Overwhelmingly students loved the solar system accordion book with velcro assignment the best (although as stated in an earlier post they play with it constantly). I had a child bring in his visiting aunt and uncle and that was the page he showed off to them.

Next year I would like to:

- Incorporate a popup or two in the book
- Do a full page picture that has flaps students have to write under (I'm thinking water cycle)
- Have some kind of menu activities for students to work at the end of a unit.
- Create BINGO for each unit (the kids loved playing it)
- Give s…

Site Visitors

I just checked my blog counter and found out that over 2,000 people have visited this site since January of this year. That is very exciting!

It is entirely possible that people were directed here accidently and just as quickly moved on but still....I was excited about the interest in notebooking. I am happy to write that a friend of mine is moving into the fourth grade and is going to start notebooking in science. Another friend today grabbed a book that one of the students didn't want. She is planning to notebook in the third grade. A teacher I met at a training asked me to send her a book to show in the classes she runs for other teachers. We are all pretty close so I should be posting their experiences and ideas as we get together to discuss what works and what doesn't in our science classrooms.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this site...even if it might be as a result of an accidental mouse click :)