In part 1, I talked about how I set up interactive notebooks with my students. Let’s look now at how I grade this stuff. It’s 4.5 weeks into second semester, my grading period is closing soon, and kiddos need grades in the computer. Time for a notebook check!

The prep work I did for this day:

  1. announced a notebook check and posted the list of pages I’ll be grading  I came up with the list based on stuff I wanted to be certain the kids had done (key homework assignments, for example). I didn’t do it this time around, but I also like to open up to have kids nominate 1-2 pages they are proud of.
  2. checked most of the assignments as they were due — enter the date stamper  This is crucial. Otherwise the grading takes forever. You can also distinguish kids who did the assignment when first assigned versus did it just in time for the notebook check (stamp vs no stamp).
  3. use a rubric. I don’t love the one my science department offered up (too bulky), so I’ve Googled around and found a few I appreciate. Have kids gluestick the rubric in the back of their notebooks so they know the expectations in advance. A note on rubrics & the pedagogy of interactive notebooks: I have something about “uses color to improve clarity of the message” in my rubric. Even if we don’t add the color during class, I like the kids to go back to their notes and add color.

A few other pictures of my students’ notebooks:

We love to fold paper, do problems in the boxes, then gluestick them into the notebooks.

A composition book is just the right size to hold a page printed “2 up” on my printer. I save a ton of paper this way.

If you implement interactive notebooks, let me know what you love about them. I’m still learning but I do love the fact my kids always have paper and their other notes in class.