INTERACTIVE: 1. mutually or reciprocally active
- involving the actions or input of a user
Technically, note-writing, in general, is interactive. Teacher talks. Student writes. But the idea behind interactive notebooks is students interacting with the content. This means engagement, discovery, investigation, mistakes, learning from mistakes, and ownership.
Learn about my interactive notebook notes for Geometry in the FAQ format below.
WHAT MAKES YOUR FORMAT UNIQUE AND WHY IS IT HELPFUL?
One printed page is equal to two student pages, but it is more than just printing 2:1. The pages are designed to include three sections. The main section has guided notes with definitions and examples. The side section has extra material, guided practice, or additional tips/strategies. The bottom section is to be used last and lets students have a chance to attempt the geometry independently. This means no wasted paper. There are no leftover scraps or large sections of notebook paper that don’t get used.
Right brain vs. left brain research is supported. Once the notes are cut, it allows you to organize the layout in such a way that supports the right side of the page learning vs. the left side of the page thinking. This link goes to an explanation of why AVID uses this method. Don’t love the set-up? You have flexibility as the teacher to change it up! Just like Jenn talks about in this post!
Better than Foldables
These notes have the benefits of using a foldable for interactive notes without the time spent teaching students how to fold them correctly. I love foldables and I definitely think they have a place in the classroom and in interactive notebooks, but I will be honest when I say balance is necessary. My students like them too, however, they do get tired of them when I over-use them. This is what led me to develop a new style and format for my interactive notes.
Cutting the notes provides a kinesthetic brain break which keeps learners engaged. It may seem counter-productive to pause teaching to cut and tape, but it gives students a moment to rest, reflect, and recharge. I even let students talk during these breaks to get their brain re-engaged. It may be a structured and purposeful turn-and-talk or I may just let them chat momentarily. When it is time to refocus, I don’t have any trouble getting them to turn their attention back to the lesson.
Gradual Release of Responsibility
They are designed for a gradual release of responsibility. When learning a new concept, students need teacher modeling, whole-class practice, and small-group practice. These all lead to successful independent practice. The old, “I do it. We do it. Y’all do it. You do it.” method. These notes are set up to frame the lesson in this way.
HOW DO I USE THE NOTES FOR GEOMETRY INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS WITH MY STUDENTS?
- Print each student a copy.
- Direct students to cut off the main section.
- Tape or glue to main section on the right-hand side of the INB.
- Teach the vocabulary, skills, and concepts. Work through any examples.
- Cut the right sections. Tape to the left-hand page opposite the notes just taken.
- Scaffold and use gradual release of responsibility as you help students gain independence.
- Do a quick check-for-understanding (Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, for example) to address any needs and concerns.
- Cut the bottom portion. Let students and small groups try to apply their understanding independently. Use this time to help any student(s) that needs it from information gathered during your check-for-understanding. Check work together as a class. Answer questions.
- Follow up with more independent practice, an exit ticket, and/or some short homework.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT MAKES DISTANCE LEARNING EASIER?
I have PowerPoint lessons that accompany these notes for Geometry interactive notebooks. Each lesson is the same and follows the same format with the same questions. These PowerPoints are handy for using voice-record to teach through the lesson for your virtual students. These are also very helpful to have when you have a substitute or if you have an absent student.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR IMPLEMENTING GEOMETRY INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS IN MY CLASSROOM?
If you are just getting started, I have a couple of posts that you will find helpful. Click here to read Interactive Notebooks in the Secondary Math Class and click here to read about why I Love Grading Interactive Notebooks and How I Do It.