7 Benefits of Interactive Notes

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Featured, Interactive Notebooks, Writing | 0 comments

Teachers often ask if interactive notebooks are worth the time they take to set up. In my opinion, yes.

My students went from moaning and groaning during social studies to absolutely loving it!

I create my own interactive notebooks, and I use guided reading questions to help students identify the important information in the text. Some students liked cutting and gluing, while others really appreciate the reading support. Other students just loved seeing how big their notebooks became (seriously, this was a big motivator for some of my reluctant students.)

However, teachers and parents are right to questions whether or not interactive notebooks are worth the time it takes to cut and glue. Here are seven benefits of using interactive notebooks I saw in my own classroom.

The Benefits

1. Overall Retention/Improvement on Assessments

Using interactive notebooks become a class review assist of previous work. Students can use them to prepare for essays and other assessments. Research shows from that the pathways to the brain are activated when the student is actively learning, or translating the work themselves. Interactive notebooks help to put the responsibility of learning back in the hands of your students.

 2. All Learning Styles Involved

As teachers, we all know that students have a wide range of learning styles. It is our job to accommodate these learning styles and create assignments that help all students learn. Interactive notebooks can appeal to students of many learning styles with their use of graphics, charts, words, and the moments you create for conversation.

 3. Student Ownership

Using an interactive notebook also gives students ownership over their own learning. It is their job to write or draw things out in such a way that they will understand it. By giving your student’s ownership, you are teaching them the importance of motivation, a lesson they will need not only in your classroom but in every classroom of their future education.

 4. Student/Teacher Organization

The reality of having your students’ work organized in one place, all year long, seems too good to be true. If you are like me and tend to go off in tangents, using an interactive notebook might help you stay focused as well! Personally, I found that using an interactive notebook improved both my and my students’ organizational skills. Adding a table of contents to the notebooks also makes it easier for the students to find information later in the year.

 5. Easy Way to Track Student Growth

Interactive notebooks show students’ growth in one place. If you use interactive notebooks for an entire year, you can see the improvement in your students’ comprehension. I found that this was a huge motivator for some of my students. I had reluctant students buy into using interactive notebooks because they liked seeing how big the notebooks became. I had a few boys weigh and measure their notebooks!

 6. Communication Between Parent/Teacher Increase

Another benefit to using an interactive notebook is the potential for more open communication between teacher and parent. With an interactive notebook, parents can see and understand what their students are learning in your classroom. This leads to easier parent-teacher conferences as well as day to day communication.

 7. Differentiation

Having one side of the notebook dedicated to your students’ work is a great way to encourage creativity. Some students really need a creative outlet to process their learning, while others prefer more traditional forms of output. After students learn a few ways to do output, teachers can use the output as student choice – allowing differentiation for students’ learning needs.

Be Flexible

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Using an interactive notebook has a lot of benefits. I saw a lot of growth and improved retention in my students, as well as an increase in their overall confidence and willingness to work together. However, an interactive notebook cannot be used as a replacement for all other methods of teaching and learning. It is just one tool in your toolbox.

I use my notebooks as an organizational tool and for guided reading comprehension. I had students glue everything into their notebooks – even worksheets from other activities (fold them in have and glue the top.)

Some students might not learn well with the notebook. Maybe you have a student who just constantly loses their notebook, or perhaps a student struggles with fine motor skills. Be sure to help your students on an individual basis and be aware that not everyone will love the changes. I often made individual changes to meet the needs of different students. The interactive notebooks made it easier for me to see who needed more support or accommodations.

Creating Interactive Notebooks

If you’d like to get started using interactive notebooks but either don’t have the time to create your own or aren’t sure how, I have interactive notebooks for many subjects in my store.

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7 Benefits of Interactive Notes
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