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Interactive Notebooks. Kristen Hellier Middle School Science Coordinating Teacher, WCPSS [email protected] What is it??. On the surface, it is just a spiral or composition notebook. It is actually a tool for helping students process the information they learn in class.

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interactive notebooks

Interactive Notebooks

Kristen Hellier

Middle School Science Coordinating Teacher, WCPSS

[email protected]

what is it
What is it??
  • On the surface, it is just a spiral or composition notebook.
  • It is actually a tool for helping students process the information they learn in class.
  • It gives a structure for organizing thoughts and personalizing information.
  • It is like a closet organizer!
what is it not
What is it not??
  • A place for lab reports only
  • A “gotcha” for unorganized students
  • A tool that is rarely used in the classroom
Left Side

Right Side

  • Reorganize new information in a creative way
  • Preview and review information
  • Express opinion, reactions, and feelings
  • Graphically process the information on the right side
  • Ask questions about new ideas
  • Use charts, poems, diagrams, and artistic pictures to show me you understand the information on the right side
  • Class Notes
  • Discussion notes
  • Reading notes
  • Handouts with new information
  • All testable information

A diary entry from a person that lives in a world with no ozone.

Class notes on the effects of the ozone layer.


A summary of the “beak size” lab.

Book questions on adaptations and natural selection.


Design your own resort that incorporates at least 3 “green” features.

Class notes on a video about “green construction”.

table of contents
Table of Contents
  • Use the front and back of the 1st page and the front of the 2nd page.
the first few days
The first few days
  • You want to allow time for the students to properly set up their notebook.
  • Have them complete an “About the Author” sheet and paste it on the inside cover. Have them include pictures of themselves, family, and friends (this makes them less likely to lose the notebook).
  • You will also want to include your name and room number on the front cover for a quick return if it is misplaced.
the first few pages
The first few pages
  • These pages should help the students become comfortable with the process.
  • Include information about grading, ideas for activities, etc.
how to incorporate technology
How to incorporate technology
  • There are many “digital notebooks” available.
  • is a great option.
  • This would require a 1 to 1 laptop/iPad situation.
  • On the left side, students could include a
    • Link to a voice thread (
    • Link to their own website or wiki
    • Link to a self made comic strip (
    • QR code (
how to incorporate literacy
How to incorporate literacy
  • Any left side page could be a literacy activity!
  • Literacy is not separate from content, it is the vehicle to understanding the content.

Think about

  • RAFTs
  • Comic strips
  • Stories
  • Poems
  • Journal entries
but what about
But what about…
  • Students that lose EVERYTHING!
  • Pages falling out
  • Kinesthetic activities
  • Students that write too large
  • Running out of pages
  • Using foldables
  • Large lab reports
  • Copy limits
  • IEPs/504s
  • What else ya got for me???
the hidden benefits of inbs
The hidden benefits of INBs
  • Portfolio of work to use during conferences
  • A way for students to communicate with parents about what they are doing in science class
  • A place for students to find what they missed if they were absent
  • A teacher portfolio
  • What should a grade represent?
  • Content knowledge grade
  • Work habits grade
  • Allow students to use their notebook during a test or quiz
your turn
Your turn

Now that we have talked about Interactive Notebooks, what questions or concerns do you still have?

available resources
Available resources
  • Google the term “Interactive Notebooks”
any questions
Any questions?

Kristen Hellier

[email protected]


so how would this look in the classroom
So how would this look in the classroom?
  • You are now going to be my “students”.
  • I will present the next slides as if I were in the classroom.
  • Be kind!!
on page 3l
On page 3L
  • Write the following on the top of the page:


At the end of this unit, you will understand the structure, classification, and physical properties of matter.

  • Write the word “Matter” in the center of the page.
  • Draw any pictures or write down any words that come to mind when you hear the word “matter”.
  • Write the following questions on your page. You do not have to answer them right now.
    • What is matter?
    • How and why does matter change?
    • Why does matter matter?
foldable time
Foldable time!!
  • Cut on the dotted line and fold on the solid line.
  • Write the following words on sticky notes. One word per sticky note:
    • dependent
    • the amount you have
    • stay the same
    • Independent

Put them where you think they belong on your foldable.

We will do the definitions later this week. We will check our answers in just a few minutes.

6 p 2 3
  • You will compare the physical properties of pure substances that are independent of the amount of matter present including density, melting point, boiling point, and solubility to properties that are dependent on the amount of matter present to include volume, mass, and weight.
in other words
In other words…
  • It does not matter how much of a pure substance you have, the density, temperature to boil or melt, and the ability to dissolve stays the same.
  • Volume, mass, and weight will vary depending on how much you have.
  • This helps when identifying unknown substances.
go back to your foldable
Go back to your foldable
  • Let’s check you answers!
  • Paste your foldable onto p. 3R
  • Write 6.P.2.3 on the top of the page.

We will start with a lesson on density


Density is the mass per unit of volume. If you know the mass and volume, you can calculate the density.



  • … two objects can have the same volume but different masses. The object with the lower mass is less dense. (New York City vs. DeKalb County TN)- Can you think of other densely populated cities in the world?
  • … two objects can have the same mass but different volumes. The object with the greater volume is less dense. (pound of feathers, pound of lead). Can you think of other examples?
  • Lets try this activity
on p 4l
on p. 4L…

3 things you discovered while using the simulation

2 things you already knew

1 question you still have

If you don’t have a computer or the site is not working, try to answer the following question:

“How can you change the density of a pure substance?”

on page 4r
On page 4R
  • Paste the lab notes
re visit p 4l
Re-visit p. 4L
  • Make any adjustments in a different colored writing utensil.
how can this help in the real world
How can this help in the “real world”?
  • If you know the mass and volume of an object, you can determine the density and possibly identify the substance.
let s go back
Let’s go back
  • On p. 3R- write the definition of density
  • On p. 3L-Draw some pictures to remind you of this activity.
table of contents1
Table of Contents

Partner discussion notes on INBs……………..1L

My Ideas for output activities….…..….….2L

6.P.2- Matter Intro….…3L

Simulation 3-2-1……...4L

So What is an Interactive Notebook?................1R

Left side Reflection Ideas……………..….2R

6.P.2.3 foldable……….3R

A Date with Density…..4R

good websites
Good websites