Interactive Notebook Questions

Thanks to @druinok for the shoutout and motivation to get going on this.

What questions do you have about using interactive notebooks (IN) in the math (or science) classroom? I’ll be presenting at Twitter Math Camp in July, so your questions will really help improve that presentation. And of course you know I’ll be publishing the results here.

–> Submit & vote on interactive notebook questions you have <–

Modifying the Interactive Notebook from a science to math tool took some doing. There are definitely different concerns — for example, left page reflection is a different animal in mathematics. (Or maybe it isn’t and I’m really missing the point…)

Here’s one really cool page my kids and I made this year in our INs. It’s a foldable glued into the interactive notebook.

Interactive Notebook Foldable

Weird little side note: You may have seen me asking a lot about Evernote on twitter recently.

(you see, like that one)

My goal is to figure out a way cool way to integrate all the awesomeness about the web (linking, video, lolcats) and all the awesomeness of interactive notebooks and smoosh them together. Evernote may be the tool for that job.

Truth is, I’m not convinced online notebooks is the right way to go…that is, fully ditching the paper. So, I’ll be digging into it over the next few weeks to see what I can do with Evernote and interactive notebooks. Meantime, let’s continue to talk about the paper variety, mmmkay?

Didja submit your questions for the interactive notebooks yet? They’re not gonna submit themselves, so get to it:

–> Submit & vote on interactive notebook questions you have <–

6 thoughts on “Interactive Notebook Questions

  1. I use Evernote for organizing myself and keeping track of things I want to use later, but I’m not sure the technology is ready at my school district for using it with the kids in class.

    • Why do you say that, Patti?

      I’ve decided on a hybrid approach: kids will use paper composition books and transfer some of it to an Evernote notebook. The end result should work and feel like a personal textbook.

      • We have a few computer labs, but it’s hard to get a spot in them. There might be a mobile laptop cart this year, but nobody’s sure. Last year, when we did get to the computer lab, I had everyone bring a book to read because it took that long to get logged in to the network. The kids love going to the computer lab mostly because they know is a work-free time because everything’s so slow. Unfortunately, not every kid will have their own technology or access from home. Even if most kids had tech they could bring, school policy still forbids it, though that’s being worked on.

        At any rate, I’m moving from elementary to middle school, so while I really like the interactive notebooks I feel like adding one layer of complexity each year is probably best for me. But I love that I’ll be teaching math exclusively this year. I also love technology but have decided against wrestling with it until some of the dust settles on our proposed one-to-one plan (iPads for all, someday).

        Thanks for posting all the information about interactive notebooks. I love them for science and am still figuring out how I want to work them for math.

  2. Ah yes, I understand now. That was my experience the last 3 years — little to no computer access at school. The good news is that an interactive notebook is computer-free. We had a great experience with them last year.

    There are definitely some differences between a science IN and a math IN. Left page activities, in particular, are tougher to assign. Getting kids to write questions about their learning is one place to start. I wrote some question starters for math here:

    Good luck!

  3. Just sharing my experience here, though of course YMMV.

    My biggest problem with online notebooks is the lack of kinesthetic interactivity, and not just for the predominantly kinesthetic learners. There is something powerful about integrating the sense of touch into the process of processing new information. It taps into a body sense of knowing which all people have. My second biggest problem with online notebooks is that they encourage a sense of “finished-ness.” When something is typed and onscreen, I find that kids often experience it as “done” because it looks typeset. Because I am interested in creating an experience of flow in mathematics for students, I want to involve them in as many different active sensory capacities as possible. Onscreen materials are harder for students to handle physically and sometimes encourage a sense of passivity.

    – Elizabeth (aka @cheesemonkeysf on Twitter)

    • Thanks! I have been thinking about exactly the issues you describe. Literally handling your notes was something I discussed at TMC. It was silly of me to think I could just skip that step I described as so important.

      I’m 2 weeks from kids walking in the door and have tentatively decided that I’ll use a hybrid approach: composition books for a “draft” and Evernote for the “finished-ness”.

      Feedback like this is exactly why I blog and tweet — I think I would have charged ahead with my idea of 100% online notebooks and run into trouble. I’m really enjoying learning from others.

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