Monday, September 3, 2012

Interactive Notebook Woes

Okay, I've gotta come clean with something.  As much as I was pumped to begin Interactive Notebooking in my classes this year, I have not really jumped in with both feet like I wanted to.  I backed off after talking to the other teachers in my department and looking at a few challenges that were going to take a lot of time and effort on my part to overcome.  So I'm doing a form of interactive notebooking called journaling.  My entire department is on board with this endeavour and I'm going to try to blog and reflect on our journaling activities this year.  Next year, who knows, we might be ready to fully jump into the Interactive Notebooks.  In the meantime, we have created a new section of our notebook called "Journal".  In this section, we are pasting in activities we do, foldables, graphic organizers, frayer models, writing prompts, and even warm-ups

These are the challenges that swayed me into staying with the traditional binder:

1.  Our department uses common guided notes for each topic.  These notes were created by us as a department and they are formatted to fit into a 3 ring binder.  The thought of reformatting these notes for a composition notebook or even taking the time to paste them into a spiral seemed like  a precious waste of class time.  Goal for next year would be to get away from these altogether and create my own interactive notes for the RHP of a composition notebook.  Downfall for this goal is in my current system, I am easily able to give out copies of notes to my many students who have special accommodations that say they must be given a copy of class notes.  Not sure how to do INB's with these students.  I teach 2 inclusion classes with kids that have disabilities of everything from blindness, to autism, to severe dyslexia.  Meeting these accommodations is not a choice, but is my responsibility.  My current system is also so wonderful for absent students.  I fill out the notes under the document camera and then copy them at the end of the day for everyone absent.  I am also able to easily upload them our online student website.

2.  Our department has lots of schedule changes.  All of us currently require a binder with the same exact setup so that if a student transfers from one teacher to another, their notebook should work for any class.  If I do composition books and a student comes to me from another teacher who uses the binder system, how will I catch them up?

3.  The third challenge is personal.  Many times, I get this great idea and jump in with both feet.  Often times I learn my great idea will require more time and organization that I was prepared for and my great idea fizzles.  I was so fearful that INB's would become something that I was gung ho about for awhile and then gave up when I discovered they were requiring more than I thought they would.  I think, I am second guessing my ability to stick with something.  I think the approach I am taking this year is a good compromise.  I'm staying with a system that has worked for me for the last few years and adding a piece that will hopefully make student learning come alive and be more engaging.


instillnessthedancing said...

I understand completely! I am trying to incorporate interactive notebooking but it is challenging. We have a limited amount of paper - and a copier allotment. My ninth graders are not adept at taking notes. So ... I'm persevering - just the end of the first week for us - going to keep working at well-organized notes!

Anonymous said...

this all makes perfect sense. i commend you for pausing... I think the concept / idea can still be accomplished within your journal section - getting students to "interact" with the content whether its on a LHP or in a journal section - giving them opportunities to be creative / think beyond the typical assignments. I can't wait to read more about your journaling adventures! I always leave your site having learned something or with a new insight! Thanks for sharing!

Follow Me!