Monday, September 2, 2013

Interactive Math Notebook Materials

 A middle-school teacher friend of mine, who teaches in a different district than me, has been using interactive science notebooks in her classroom for years and loves them.  In July, I helped her moved classrooms and came across these interactive notebooks as I was moving boxes.  I opened the notebook and was instantly in heaven!  I mean, talk about serious organization!!  Let's just say, I spent the next 20 minutes drooling over how AH-mazing these were.  A few weeks later, she invited me to go to a STEM notebooking training with her.  I of course said yes.  Although I teach math, I found the entire concept interesting.  I took copious notes and knew this was something I would be implementing in my very own classroom come September. it is!

First step in implementing interactive notebooks...gather all materials.  Beware...there's lots of them, but don't worry, many students will have these supplies or families will donate.  This is the first year I am doing this, but I am anticipating each student needing 2 notebooks.  I bought a total of 300 notebooks at 52 cents each at Target.

Although spiral notebooks are MUCH cheaper, they are cheaper for a reason---they fall apart :(  Last year, I had my students use spirals and the spiral bends and twists to the point where pages can't be turned.  I also wanted something sturdier so that students could keep it for reference all year long.

Below are the materials I either purchased or already had in my classroom:

Here is what a cart full of 300 composition notebooks looks like...

Here is what a trunk full of 300 composition notebooks looks like...

 Because I teach 7th grade, I like to keep my desk arrangement in rows, but they do work in cooperative groups often.  I needed to think of a way of allowing students access to a variety of materials that we will be needing for note-taking, problem-solving activities, and completing homework assignments.  If my students were in groups, I would put one supply bin in the center of the table and let students go to town.   I decided that I would place pencil pouches at each student's desk and fill each pouch with necessary supplies.  Supplies needed include: glue bottle (lasts longer than glue stick), protractor (or ruler; I had protractors, so I will have students use that as a straight edge), post-it tabs, highlighter(s).  I also threw in a dry erase marker, since we use whiteboards daily in my classroom.

First step, gather all supplies.  Stuffing supply pouches would have been a fun job for a student helper, but I need them right when school starts, so I had to do all of this myself (with a little help from my mom and sister!).

I add a little "flag" to my highlighters.  This will hopefully limit the number of highlighters that magically disappear!

I am such a huge fan of post-it tabs!!  They are sold in a pack of three, but they are quite pricey, so I cut them up and place one in each supply pouch.

One thing I do NOT go cheap on is glue!  Believe me, it is worth it!  Wal-mart has Elmer's glue for 50 cents (thanks mom for buying these for me this year!).  Again, I do not use glue sticks because they will, without a doubt lose their stick and papers will be flying out before you know it.  I also write my last name on each glue bottle in hopes that these do not disappear as well.

Here is a pile of my finished supply pouches :) YIPPEE!!

I keep one supply pouch at each student desk and check each desk before they are dismissed.

Follow my blog for more updates on how my interactive notebooking is going for my 6th and 7th graders!