Saturday, August 8, 2009

Starter Pages

In my first year of teaching I was given these starter pages from my team teacher, Mrs. Gannon, who maintains a social studies blog for the Interactive Notebooks (IAN). There are about 16 pages of "instructions" on various notebooking activities from how to write an appropriate acrostic poem to how to put together a storyboard in the notebook. Students can use these instructional pages to refer back to how an assignment should be done. Over the years I have modified these instructional pages, deleting what I don't use, clarifying something I might use a lot, or simply revising it all together. I've seen some other revised starter pages that also include Cornell notetaking strategies.

I have always pre-glued these pages into the notebook, skipping the first page (which is the notebook title page). As stated above this takes up 16 pages of the notebook. It hasn't been a problem for me, as I have always had enough space.

Last year both Mrs. Gannon, and another notebooker in the district Mrs. Moore, moved their instructional pages into a booklet form, which I thought was very clever. Not only does it reduce the amount of space being taken up in the notebook, waste less paper, but it would be much more efficient to manage (just fold and staple). One could glue the booklet right into the notebook but I think the two teachers mentioned above used a small catalog envelope glued to the back cover of the composition book to store it in (students could take out as needed).

As it stands, I have copied all 16 pages (using the good side of a bad copy run the office made), cut them in half, and have started to glue them into approximately 70 books. In hindsight I should have modified the starter pages into a booklet but I'll just chalk that up to a "lesson learned" this year and make plans to do it next year :)


Hayley said...


Thank you for sharing the booklet in the envelope idea! I haven't started my notebooks yet and was REALLY concerned about space with only a 100 page notebook. This will make a BIG difference! I love that the instruction pages set the expectation, take away excuses, and set students up for success. I'm SO thankful to have your experience and blogging to guide me as I try this for the first time!

Eve Heaton said...

Hayley - Thank you for the nice comment. I spent the weekend gluing my starter pages in and wished I had made the booklet. On the plus side I did watch many hours of backlogged TiVo :)


5th Grade Science said...

Eve - if you send me the pdf, I can post it for you on my site for storage. I have unlimited disk space. You can place a link from your blog to it directly. Let me know if you are interested. Liz

mary chambers said...

I was wondering if you could send me your starter pages? I was not able to find them on the site. I am so excited to get started/developing my "Plan." I am grateful to you for all the background info I am finding on your blog.

Eve Heaton said...

Mary - Sure. Send me a message and I'll get you the pages.


Gwyn said...

In the fall, I will be starting my second year of teaching, and first year of teaching science. I am so grateful for seasoned teachers like yourself that are willing to share their ideas! Can you please send me your starter pages for the science notebooks, along with any other attachments that you feel my students and I may benefit from. Thanks SOOO much!

Darlene said...

I found your site via a link from Pinterest. I would love to have pdf copies of your starter pages. I can't get them to download from your post.
Thanks for sharing!