I'm working with two teachers in a content literacy project. They are planning to use an interactive student notebook approach to notetaking in their math classrooms. One has used the concept with her science classes for the last two years and has a wonderful foundation of understanding. She is already pushing our thinking, but wants some more specific examples of the reflection pieces in a math class. We are making connections to multiple representations, real-world connections, acronyms, etc. but are looking for some thinking outside the box. Does anyone have any insights or would anyone like to pursue this 'adventure' with us?
It's June and we are planning for use in August so this is a rather time sensitive question.
We know math teachers value note taking because we all do it with our students, but we also know that many teacher (almost ALL) will also say their students don't use their notes for anything. This approach to notetaking is an attempt to make the notes functional for our students. We are working with seventh grade teachers but would be really interested in sharing our thinking with others.

I look forward to hearing from others

Tags: interactive, note-taking, notebook, student, summarizing, synthesizing

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Thanks to you too Wendy. We are looking at adding an online component to the notebook, so hopefully this will give us an idea or two or three!
Roland, what sort of online component do you have in mind? I've been looking at these, but worry that the freeform-ness of the right hand page would make it a very expensive software project that still fell short of the flexibility of paper.
Ian, I'm working through several strands. the first piece is to have the teacher save the notes she takes on the interactive whiteboard as a slideshow and upload everyday to slideshare. This would provide a good start to the left hand side of the notebook. Each student would be responsible for adding information to the left hand side, some summation, and/or an 'example' of the right hand side of the notes daily. This is the difficult thing, creating an environment that would allow students to share their 'reflection' openly, especially in middle school. It's a pretty simple approach so far, but I think there is merit.

The second piece is creating assignments that encourage students to 'see' math and utilize the nature of the online environment. For example the flickr assignment that Darren Kuropatwa uses with his students is a great example. As another example, using acrostic poems. We are trying to provide alternative ways for students to respond and process their learning of math. Megan has a great handle on providing all students the opportunity to really experience math.

I see the idea of an online ISN as very appealing. Since Megan and Dianne are going to be introducing the idea to their students for the first time, the online version allows students the chance to revisit the concept anytime, to provide an opportunity for the teachers to very explicitly provide models and think alouds, and to create very high expectations. My experience tells me that providing an outside audience will 'kick up' the output for many. Since students won't have to respond daily to the online notebook there should be less burn out and more opportunity to showcase.

Additionally, I like the idea of providing assignments that have to be turned in online as a way of creating multiple reasons to go to the online environment.

Right now I envision using wikispaces, slideshare, and possibly a blogging utility regularly. I'm not sure what Megan and Dianne think about having students respond to peer posts, but if they are in favor of that then the blog makes sense for tracking all of that work. I also, envision limited use of: polling widgets to show students how to gather data and represent, use Flickr for sharing where the students 'see math' (although there is a problem with Flickr being blocked, but we are looking for alternatives), graphing software like fooplot, Google notebook and docs to share online information.

Anyway, here are my latest thoughts. Love to hear some feedback.
could you give me some info on slideshare? I will google it to see how it works, but could you tell me how you use it?
Phyllis,
I skipped over this reply with the intention of coming back to it, and am just now finding it, sorry. When I was in the classroom, I saved my SmartBoard notes as a pdf, ppt, or open office file and uploaded to slideshare. They were translated into slides that mirror static PowerPoint slides. Students were then able to access the files so that they could use the information in their blog posts. There are other things you can do now, like insert the slideshow into a blog post (I wasn't that good three years ago) making it even easier for the students to access, annotate, insert as graphics, etc. I was trying to get the students to add what they got out of the classnotes to intentionally get them to make connections/reflect/summarize. I loved it! They made fantastic progress of the course of the year, but it took a long time and consistent referencing in class. I know I'm off topic of slideshare, but it's the tool I used to achieve my goal.

Now I use slideshare to keep PowerPoints in front of teachers that I work with. I upload the PowerPoint to slideshare, and insert into discussion pages that I'm having with teachers. The non-profit I work with does a lot of pd with teachers all over the state of KY and the online capabilities allow me to work with teachers when I can't physically be there.

I hope that helps address your question.
Wow, that's huge in scope! If this is always going to be led by you, it could be fantastic. If you want other teachers to run it, you may want to simplify it considerably. There is so much in there that I felt quite confused by the end and I fear teachers would too.

My background is educational publishing where we have the KISS rule drilled into us from Day One. IMHO if you apply that here too, you will have a real winner.
Almost there but not quite. There is an ASCD publication by Donna Ogle et al -- Building Literacy in Social Studies -- that contains some excellent activities lending themselves for use Teachers of social studies may find this really helpful. Thanks for the site
Thanks Phyllis, and very well timed. I have two hours set aside this morning to work on this. I'll check them out and get back to you with some more specific requests/questions.
Hi,
Here is a great ppt on the basics and relating to math. www.classwithsanders.com/powerpoints/MISN_intro_for_web.ppt

At a high school, we recently used interactive student notebooks in science, language arts, geography, and math classes. From our student survey, students strongly agreed that when using interactive student notebooks they were actively engaged in class and that the ISN aided with organization and notetaking.

The math teacher taught Algebra I. She really got involved with the ISN and loved them. This year, she is planning on using them for all of her math classes. She had an great idea on how to add pages to the ISN by taping papers to the sides and making the paper expanded. As a group, we preferred Mead notebooks because they seemed to hold up better and papers didnot hang out. Composition notebooks were too small. Our special education math classes, also utilized the ISN and they aided in notetaking and organization. Good luck with the ISN.

If you come across data relating to high school classes, please pass it along.

Carla
Caroline C. Wist wrote a great paper entitled:
Putting it all Together: Understanding the Research Behind Interactive Notebooks

Has solid information in it.
Carla
Thanks for the article. We are hoping to publish one when we get done. I haven't found a good discussion about ISNs in the math classroom yet, so I'm hoping we can keep finding pockets of math teacher who have used it. Do you think your math teacher would be willing to share some of her insights, ideas?
I will ask her and she if she is willing.
Carla

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