Friday, January 23, 2015

HS ELA Interactive Notebooks

I'm not really sure how many changes a teacher should make in their class each year.  I seem to be pushing it.  Standards Based Grading, figuring out a Standards Based Grade Book, creating my own Sticky Note Lesson Plan book, and beginning Interactive Notebooks have all added to my workload this year. (And then I wonder why I spend every evening and weekend organizing.)

As challenging as this has been, I have really appreciated the Interactive Notebooks.  Daily work assignments that used to be in stacks on my counter, are now neatly tucked away in their notebooks.  I collect the notebooks every 3-4 weeks for a thorough grading, but I stamp or checkmark short in-class assignments when I need to see immediate results.

The notebooks aren't perfect this year and I already have a few changes in mind for next year, but I am pretty pleased with the way the interactive notebooks simplify grading.  The bonus is that students are creating their own reference book and can use it as a resource when they need to locate a format, a grammar rule, or an example. (The Table of Contents that they fill in will assure easy access.) These notebooks also teach students one of the skills that will make or break them in the future: organization!
The only drawback?  To simplify things, I had students add journal writings to their notebooks this year.  I haven't minded it, but my daughter (who was once my student) didn't like that at all.  She believes that the journals should be separate from their class notebook.  She is probably right.  That is food for thought for next year.

As much work as this year has been, I feel like the changes will benefit me in the years to come. I won't be reinventing the wheel every year, thank goodness.  And the interactive notebooks have already simplified the grading of daily work and short writing assignments.

This was just another change in Room 304 this year.

Oh, and did I mention this was a year of new textbooks, too.  Yes, a really fun year.

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