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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Keeping Students Engaged With An Interactive Notebook

Keeping Students Engaged With An Interactive Notebook

At a workshop I attended the speaker asked what we did for “hypo-active ” students (as opposed to hyperactive students). This refers to students that seem tired, uninterested, and bored. It takes more effort to keep them engaged.

One solution I am trying this year is Interactive Notebooks. Instead of most of the teaching being on the whiteboard, where my back is turned and students easily tune out, teaching is placed in some form in the notebook. I have been putting the teaching part on the left side and leaving the right side for practice in our math interactive notebooks. This has been great for numerous reasons:
* kids keep their hands busy adding colour, folding, filling in blanks, etc. (I usually cut stuff out ahead of time so that we don’t use up our time cutting)
* practice can be individualized. One student may practice three questions and another may do seven questions. The difficulty of the questions can vary.
* you can come back to the concept at any time and review
* student notebooks look neat, easy to refer to later (for my students a neat notebook with complete notes is something they feel really good about).
It is a real challenge for me to come up with ways to present information in the notebook but I feel it is affective. Here are some pics of our math interactive notebooks:

20131127-212301.jpg    Packing tape over our number charts so that we can circle patterns, etc

20131127-212311.jpg  Foldables with definitions and examples inside.

20131127-212320.jpg  Charts.  This one is a factor chart.  Students investigated to find prime numbers.

20131127-212328.jpg  This lesson on area went on to include perfect squares and exponents.

20131127-212335.jpg  A student that loves colour and uses colour as a memory tool.


Defining  a power, base, and exponent.

There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest.  You can get many free templates for foldables here. In my classroom we also use an interactive notebook for literature.

Website Helpful for Reviewing

pocket folder for flashcards

pocket folder for flashcards

20131114-194223.jpg – a free website for quizzing and testing. I like it for students to independently practice something while I need to spend time with another student.  (They can also practice skills from home.)  Also good when I have a student that finished early. So far I have used it for vocabulary review and math fact review.


I Don’t Like Bribery But….

20131113-080606.jpg             20131113-080622.jpg
I don’t like bribery…. external motivation sounds much better.
When internal motivation, the ideal, is not there and probably will not show up anytime soon, then I feel I need to move onto external motivation. Thus, my little store. (I don’t start this is in September, it would be too expensive.)
My math students were challenged yesterday to do daily homework 4 days a week (not Friday). Notes about how this will work is outlined in my letter below. So far everyone has 100% completion!


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