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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tried It Tuesday {Interactive Notebooks}

It's time for another edition of Tried It Tuesday!  I love all the ideas of things "tried" that teachers share each week!  Posts can be about things tried in the classroom or at home!  
My Tried It:
Interactive Notebooks
This year I have completely changed how my students organize their writing journals.  After spending a lot of time reading posts this summer about interactive journals, I purchased some amazing products (during the TPT back to school sale of course!) for transforming my students' journals in ELA this year.  Here are some of the most helpful resources for interactive notebooks that I purchased.
Just look at the amazing Table of Contents for this Interactive Reading Notebook by I'm Lovin Lit!  It aligns to the Common Core for grades 4-8.  I love that this resource has above and beyond what I will need for teaching 4th grade.  
On Saturday, I wrote a post about using her figurative language student pages for similes here.
I love how this product also has editable templates for the interactive lessons!  I edited this template in Powerpoint to include the six types of figurative language that I want my 4th graders to learn.  It was so easy to customize it for my class.  Under each strip, we are recording the definition.  Then, each example of figurative language has its own separate page in the notebook with a further example and song lyrics that incorporate the figurative language.
Students color coded each strip to match the figurative language posters that I purchased from I'm Lovin Lit to display in my room.  This poster set actually included 57 posters on various topics!
I also invested in the Interactive Writing Notebooks but am still exploring this huge resource!

Another set of interactive resources I purchased was the 4th grade Interactive Reading Notebook and 4th Grade Interactive Language Notebook by Nicole Shelby.

 This is the table of contents for the reading notebook:

 I forgot to take pictures of the activities we have used from the reading notebook, but will add some later.  I haven't used the language notebook resources yet.

One more resource that I have tried is the Interactive Language Arts Notebook companion to mentor sentences.  See a detailed post here about how I have incorporated mentor sentences in my classroom.  I also show how I have divided my students' journals into two sections.  The front of the journal is for reading/writing notes and written responses to reading and on demand writing prompts.  The back of the journal is for grammar notes and mentor sentences.  The students use the beginning of the journals for two separate Table of Contents, one for the front and one for the back.
Here are some pictures of the foldable for singular and plural possessives from my students' notebooks.

What is my favorite part of using interactive journals this year?  Students are really taking ownership of their journals and using them as a resource!  They take them out to look up information at random times.  I love that!  The interactive piece really seems to stick with them.  
What is something that I wish I could change?  Time!  The time it takes to cut and glue is getting BETTER but it takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. those first couple weeks!  It has only been seven weeks and there has been such an improvement.  Following directions is also getting better but I still often have that one student in each class who will not listen to directions and cut the paper wrong, therefore, having to start over.  The time is definitely worth it when I see students using their notebooks though!  If you are trying it for the first time, persevere.  


  1. WOW - you have been a busy beaver with interactive notebooks this year! I know it's harder when you teach more than one subject all day like in the younger grades to spend so much time on each subject. AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for the shout-out! ;)
    I'm Lovin Lit

  2. I've started to make the move to interactive notebooks, having purchased some of the same materials. However, your enthusiastic post is pushing me to do more! THANKS, I needed that!

  3. I love using my Interactive Notebooks! I use them in ELA, Math and Social Studies. My class really likes how they are creating their own textbook!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  4. I love your interactive notebook! Thanks for hosting this great kinky every week!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. I love Erin's Interactive Notebooks from I'm Lovin' Lit! I started using them some this year. I agree about loving the editable part. Can you come organize my journals though for me. Yours look better than mine!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. Thanks for letting us take a peek into different interactive notebooks from great teachers out there and sharing how they work for you. Sometimes we don't get a chance to look at these items until we actually purchase them. I'm very encouraged to try these now.

  7. Hooray! So glad all those interactive pieces are making your teaching life better, but especially mentor sentence foldables. :-P hee hee! Thanks for the shout-out!