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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Hello! I am one of the teachers that Roland is working with and would love to have a conversation with your math teacher. I have some experience with the interactive notebooks with science content. However, this will be my first year using the strategy within a math classroom. The other 7th grade teacher and I are accepting all the advice we can get, and would love to discuss/ask questions with a math teacher with ISN experience. Does she have an account with classroom20, or another way I could get in touch with her?
I will send her the information for Classroom 2.0 for her to sign up. She is one cool teacher.
Hi Megan,
I will also be using interactive math notebooks this year and would appreciate it if you could share any advice/ ideas/sources you receive.
It seems that math interactive notebooks is an area that is beginning to be explored more. I am thankful that I found this forum.
Patricia, I'm interested in finding out more about your plan for using/implementing the ISNs. We have lots of ideas we've been sharing (Megan, Diane and I) back and forth. We are also, giving the students a brief survey to find out how they are currently using their notebooks for studying to help identify needs. Are you interested in giving your students the survey? Also, if you are interested in the ideas, I'll forward them to you in an email.
Patricia,

Sorry about such a late response. This school year is, well any other normal school year for me. PURE CHAOS! LOL But I have to say that the ISN are going great! I love it, the students love it, and the administration is loving it! My principal has actually jumped on board and is interested in getting the four core classes using ISN next year Did you receive the email from Roland with activities to use in the ISN? If not I will send that and some other information (rubric, student examples, etc.) that I have on ISN and mathematics. I would love to share notes, ideas, and our personal reflections on the ISN strategy within a math class. I know Dianne, my co-worker, would be interested in this conversation also.
I spent last school year attempting to build my ISN for 7th grade math. It went really well and my students and parents appreciated the engaging activities. As far as literacy activities, my students enjoyed RAFT (role, audience, format, topic). For example, a student created a propaganda poster (F) presented by a travel agency (R) to convince residents of Decimal Land (A) that life is better in Fraction Land (T). Also, students were asked to write and illustrate word problems based on equations and graphs.
We team teach at our school and we have implemented the ISN approach in all of our classes in order to maintain consistency in our classroom management. We also aligned our pacing guides to develop themes. In North Carolina, DPI published a document supporting Balanced Curriculum and my team presented our work at the state Middle School conference this past March. This ISN was a big attraction and it helped students see the connections among our classes. While working on a PBL, one of our students stated "we studied mapping in math, body systems in LA, poetry in science, and weighted means in social studies--outsiders would be confused". We would love to be able to combine our notebooks into one 7th grade curriculum notebook, but I am still having some difficulty letting go of my separate math notebook.
Thanks for the information Teri. I will be responding to your post again soon. I am very interested in your thoughts on how the use of ISNs effected your students understanding of the material. Also, I am wondering have you ever thought about using the bar model with your students as a problem solving tool? It is the model used in Singapore, and lends itself to easy (relatively speaking) representation of problems. I do not want to take away from this discussion, but I may email you if it is a topic that you might want to discuss, or I may just start another discussion.... Anyway thanks for your input.
I've been using Interactive Science Notebooks for three years now, and each year they become better. I am still working to make the note-taking more meaningful for students. Sometimes I let them use their notebook to create a mind-dump that they can use on the test. The seem to add to the importance.

RT
Edification
Wow...I can't believe all the resources out there for notebooking. I started doing it in science last year (6th grade) and am doing it this year in science (4th grade). I had never heard of notebooking in grad school and really think it is an awesome way to engage students with the material. I started a science notebooking blog that details my ups and downs with notebooking and I've posted pictures of some of my notebook assignments www.sciencenotebooking.blogspot.com . I am extremly interested in a math interative notebook as well...as I think my students could benefit from having a place to organize what they are learning, take notes, and interact with the material.
Eve: Your site is fantastic. a couple of years ago I started a wiki to compile ideas for ISNs. It grew from me to about 40 other members and another organizer. It is protected, because during the very brief time I decided to make it public, someone posted porn on it so I have it protected again. Would consider joining it and posting your blog, or allow me to post it?

http://interactive-notebooks.wikispaces.com/
You are more then welcome to post the blog to your site. FYI - Mrs. Gannon was my team teacher last year (my first year of teaching) and really got me off the ground notebooking (she was the schools Teacher of the Year...not sure if she mentioned that or not). I had one of those "It's a small world" moments when I saw that you had posted her website information on notebooking. Her student notebooks are AMAZING. I am running on the trial and error method in the elementary school and hope that I can develop the elementary ISN's like she has done with her middle school ISN's.

I just joined your wiki but wasn't sure how to post my blog...can I leave that up to you? I've already passed your site on to a couple of teachers who are trying to get elementary school notebooks off the ground in social studies.
Thank you!

Isn't Mendy great? I have never met her but we have corresponded quite a bit in the past. I think doing the elementary takes a lot of patience because it requires SO much modeling, But what you have done is wonderful.

ISNs are always a work in progress. I am constantly tweaking them to fit my student population or when I find something I though was tried and true no longer works.

In the end it is well worth the trouble.

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