interactive notebook strategies

I LOVE using interactive notebooking!  Seriously, I am smiling right now just thinking…  Although notebooking can be used with any subject, reading has always been my favorite.

When students create foldables and interactive pieces, they are easily engaged in practicing reading comprehension skills and strategies!

Your kiddos will organize their thinking and synthesize their thoughts while having FUN!

I do have a FREEBIE for you today, but first I want to share…

My top 5 tips for Reading Notebook success:

Teach expectations and model, model, model!
To save time and your sanity, pre-teach students the expectations you have for using the reading notebooks in your classroom.  Spend some time pre-teaching procedures and expectations.  Here are some things you might want to consider addressing:
  • How to gather supplies such as glue, scissors, crayons, etc.
  • How to retrieve their Reading Notebook from where stored
  • Expectations for coloring / neatness
  • How to apply glue without waste and mess
  • Where to put their Reading Notebook while the glue is drying
  • Where to turn in the finished notebooks
  • Clean up procedures
  • Rubric expectations
  • What to do when you run out of room to write on a foldable
Plan to spend a good amount of time modeling the strategy and then constructing the foldable.  The more you model, the better results you will have with comprehension and organization as well.

Use pictures and anchor charts to give your students a visual.

Glue: this is a biggie!
Believe it or not, glue actually is a pretty big issue when it comes to creating Interactive Reading Journals.  I highly suggest using traditional Elmer’s Glue for the foldables.  Glue sticks work great to start with, but after a while many of the foldables will fall out of the notebook.  Also when it comes to glue, spend some time and train your students how to effectively use the glue without wasting it or making a huge mess.  Even older students will benefit from this extra instruction.   Model how to put a small dot of glue in each corner.  Model this over and over again, and then some more.  

Still Working Pocket:
Include some type of pocket or envelope inside of your Interactive Reading Notebook to hold the pieces of unfinished activities.  Copy the pocket on cardstock to ensure that it will last all year.  Glue the pocket on the inside cover of either the front or back of the notebook.  Here is an example of the pocket that comes in my notebooking kit.  

Fitting it all into your day:
Using foldables is not just one more thing to add to your already too busy day.  The interactive foldables will replace regular written work. Instead of using traditional worksheets, use the interactive pieces to learn new strategies, practice previously learned skills, or assess learning.

Built-in bookmarks:
To assist your students with being able to quickly find the page they are working on, you can add a bookmark.  Cut a piece of yarn about the length of a typical bookmark.  Open up the Reading Notebook and on the very back cover, on the inside of the composition notebook, tape the piece of yarn to the top.  Allow the length of the yarn to hang outside of the notebook.  Students may then use the yarn as a placeholder.  Using thick packing tape works well and typically lasts for the entire year.  An alternative is to use a ribbon and hot glue it into the back in the same fashion.

Now you are ready to get started!!!  Here is a FREEBIE that is included in my new Interactive Reading Notebook Kit.  This Book POPS!  

The FREE reading interactive is a popcorn themed book report that can be used with any book.  This Book POPS!  Click here to get your freebie.

In the full download, you will find the following:
  • book reports to use with any fiction book
  • reading strategies
  • comprehension skills
  • over 100 interactive foldables
  • Grading rubrics
  • 30 page teacher guide
  • organizational materials

If the free foldable is a good fit for you and your students, please take a moment to look at my 171 page full-product download.  You can click here or on the graphic below to check out the Reading Notebook.

I would LOVE to hear your tips for using Interactive Reading Notebooks in your classroom.

Best wishes!


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