Interactive Student Notebooks

Happy Saturday!

It’s been awhile since I have posted, and that’s nothing new to most of the readers of this blog.  I’ve learned to stop apologizing for taking much-needed breaks.  We are all human and need self-care.  The holidays are over, life has returned to “normal” and I’m ready to return to Within the Numbered Pages.

What’s New?

  • It’s 2015 and I’m keeping up on my goals of taking care of myself, listening to my body, and being more present.  I’ve also been writing in my gratitude journal on a daily basis, which I think has motivated me to stick with my 2015 goals.  I’ve gotten past the traditional family, friends, shelter, and health topics and learned to appreciate the smaller gifts.
  • I’m staying crafty and enjoying my time in my little haven.

Craft Room

In my professional life, I have become interested in learning more about Interactive Student Notebooks (ISN) and how they can support my students and their learning.

What is an Interactive Student Notebook?

The purpose of the interactive notebook is to enable students to be creative, independent thinkers and writers. Interactive notebooks are used for class notes as well as for other activities where the student will be asked to express his/her own ideas and process the information presented in class.  (interactive-notebooks)

Everybody is a Genius is another great resource for establishing an ISN.

What drew my attention to the ISN system were pins on my Pinterest dashboard that featured lessons or inserts that had been used in other content areas.  I know how important the role of connection to and hands-on interaction with manipulatives and content is to student learning, and what a clever, manageable method ISNs can be!

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.55.00 AM

Interactive Notebooks – English

Why use an ISN?

Interactive Student Notebooks is a research-based learning strategy that supports all student learning.  It incorporates:

  • High level of verbal communication between teacher and student, and among students
  • Integration of basic skills instruction with instruction in other subjects
  • Organization of instruction around themes
  • Use of collaborative learning groups

These strategies are impactful for all learners at all levels, including exceptional, gifted, those with IEPs, and ESOL/ESL students.

Additionally, ISN can be easily adapted to authentic assessments, which include:

  • Generally developed directly from classroom instruction, group work, and related classroom activities and provide an alternative to traditional assessments
  • Can be considered valid and reliable in that they genuinely and consistently assess a student’s classroom performance
  • Facilitate the student’s participating in the evaluation process
  • Include measurements and evaluations relevant to both the teacher and the student
  • Emphasize real-world problems, tasks, or applications that are relevant to the student and his or her community

ISN are one way to include peformance-based assessments:

  • Use meaningful, naturalistic, context-embedded tasks through hands-on collaborative activities
  • Show what students know and can do through a variety of assessment tasks
  • Support the language and cognitive needs of ELLs
  • Allow for flexibility in meeting individual needs
  • Use criterion-referenced assessment for judging student work
  • Provide feedback to students on strengths and weaknesses
  • Generate descriptive information that can guide instruction
  • Provide information for teaching and learning that results in improved student performance

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