Yesterday, we started a new semester, meaning all new classes (except for one). I started off my new classes the same way I have for the past few years…with my Interactive Notebooks! I really believe in starting these on the first day. It sets a tone from the start that this is what we do here, and there is no arguing. The best way I have found to do this is to hand out composition notebooks from the start (then students owe me one in return). And the beginning of the notebook is all about the class. I have taken a lot of ideas from some great notebook blogs, especially Everybody is a Genius as far as the start of the notebook is concerned.
Even though I don’t start my courses with content on the first day, the notebook is still an integral part of the day. I have also noticed that the word is out on my class. Students are starting to expect my “scrapbook” (as some refer to it) when they see I’m their teacher. And the fun in my math department is, a few more teachers are using Interactive Notebooks in their classes to help keep their students organized and to give them a tool for studying!
I need to remind students each day next week the purpose of their notebook…to be used! I started using them to help students with their assignments, but a lot of times they get put away once the assignment or any class work is started. This semester, I hope to do a better job of encouraging my classes to have the notebook out and open while working on math problems…to utilize the notes they take! What a novel idea!