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What are Interactive Notebooks?

There always seems to be a new, bright idea popping up into the teaching world. If you spend any time on Pinterest, you know you can quickly get sucked down a rabbit hole. Trying to keep up with all of the new trends can be exhausting and not beneficial to your students. However, interactive notebooks are one of those bright ideas that are here to stay. Some of you may be wondering, “What are interactive notebooks?”

find out all about interactive notebooks and how you can use them in the upper elementary classroom

All About Interactive Notebooks

What is an interactive notebook?

Interactive notebooks come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. Essentially, they are put together in either a spiral or composition notebook where students can easily organize their notes. They can be as simple or complex as you would like, and they are appropriate for students of all ages.

An example of a simple, interactive notebook could include a student’s written notes on the left side of the page, and space for drawings or extra information the student wants on the right side of the page. Encouraging students to make the right side of the page their own is as simple as asking them to create drawings, cartoons, or visual note-taking with added graphics. So, let your kids get creative with markers, colored pencils, and bright pens.

A more complex interactive notebook may contain pop-up handouts that students will cut and paste into their notebook.

Examples of what can be added to interactive notebooks can include:

interactive notebook
  • Timelines
  • Vocabulary sheets
  • Foldables
  • Sequences
  • Diagrams
  • K-W-L Charts
  • Brain Maps

and so much more! Interactive notebooks are a great learning tool to help with any lesson you teach.

They will look different in every classroom and for every student. Interactive notebooks don’t have to be fancy or complicated to be a successful tool in your classroom. One of the main benefits is you can use them for any subject area. You can even create an interactive notebook for one skill or unit. The versatility

Benefits of Interactive Notebooks

There are TONS of benefits of interactive notebooks. Think of them as the new learning portfolios from back in the day when we were in school. Do your research and find the best format that will benefit you and your students the most while aligning with your scope and sequence. Here are a few benefits…

Interactive Notebooks
  • Personalized Learning: Students are able to fully “own” the lessons with their interactive notebooks. They often times think of them like a learning journal where they can elaborate on their thoughts and be creative at the same time.
  • Students are learning and studying at the same time: While learning new information and adding it to their notebook, students are essentially creating their own study guide for upcoming assessments. Teachers also love to use the notebook itself as a powerful performance assessment.
  • Differentiated Learning is taking place: Interactive notebooks allow you to differentiate instruction and expectations based on your student’s personal needs. Therefore, making them super beneficial and keeps students actively engaged throughout the learning process.

Interactive notebooks don’t have to be intimidating. Just set your routines and procedures up at the very beginning of the year. Having clear expectations for your students will help make these a successful part of your school year.

Looking For Some Ready to Use Interactive Notebook Resources?

Check out these amazing resources from the Appletastic Learning Store.

U.S. Constitution Interactive Notebook
3D Shapes Print and Digital Interactive Notebook

Pin it!

Be sure to save these Interactive Notebook Ideas by pinning them to your favorite Pinterest teacher board so you can come back whenever you need more interactive notebook ideas.

find out all about interactive notebooks and how you can use them in the upper elementary classroom
Shelly Rees

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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