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Science Notebooks Science Notebook What are Science Notebooks? A student thinking tool And organizer for inquiry question and what I learned… A way to access and process the learning utilizing various modalities (writing, drawing, and discussion)

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Science Notebooks

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science notebooks

Science Notebooks



what are science notebooks
What are Science Notebooks?
  • A student thinking tool
  • And organizer for inquiry question and what I learned…
  • A way to access and process the learning utilizing various modalities (writing, drawing, and discussion)
  • A means for all students to work at their level
  • A place for writing rough drafts based on hands-on learning
  • A formative assessment tool for teachers

TUSD Science Resource Center

impact of hands on science science notebooks on student achievement

Impact of Hands-on Science & Science Notebooks on Student Achievement

Research shows that student understanding and literacy skills improve when students do hands-on minds-on science and use science notebooks to make sense of their science investigations.




Science Notebook Setup

why are we using science notebooks
Why are we using science notebooks?
  • Record data
  • To study for tests
  • Record progress
  • Communicate with others…

Notebooks help us learn!

example of communicating with others reflection questions
Example of communicating with others:REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

What are you curious about?

What would you like to test?

What was the main idea?

What are the important details to remember?

How does this relate to your life?

What don’t you understand?


Science Notebook Supplies

glue sticks


(No staples or white glue)

pens & pencils

composition notebook

colored pencils



Getting started -Step 1:

My Name

My Grade

On the cover,

write your name and grade.




Step 2: Page Numbering

  • Starting with the first page, number the first 50 pages. Numbers should be small and at the top outside corner of every page.






Step 3: Table of Contents

At the top of pages 3,4,5, write “Table of Contents"




Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

(Skip pages 1 and 2)

Students will add to it systematically as you proceed through the module. The table of contents can be organized based on the names of the units and lessons, the specific activities undertaken or the concepts learned.


Table of Contents

Investigating Rocks ……………………… 1

Taking Rocks Apart ……………………….5

Observing Crystals …………………………9

How Rocks Form …………………………. 10




Table of Contents - Example



Step 4: Set Up Glossary

Glossary/Index. Scientific academic language is important. We

strive to have students use precise, accurate vocabulary at all times

in their writing and conversations. To assist with acquisition of the

scientific vocabulary, students should set up a glossary or index at

the end of their notebook. It is not usually possible for students to

enter the words in alphabetical order, as they will not be introduced in alphabetical order. Instead, you could assign a block of letters to each of several glossary pages (A–E, F–K, etc.); students can enter and relocate words and their definitions easily. As an alternative, students could use a single page blocked out in 24 squares, and assign one or more letters to each square (see below). Students write the new vocabulary word or phrase in the appropriate square and tag it with the page number on which the word is defined in the body of the notebook.


Set Up Glossary - Examples



Glossary/ Index


Glossary/ Index

Element – a substance composed of atoms having an

identical number of protons in each nucleus. Elements cannot be reduced to simpler substances by normal chemical means. Page 12

Amino acid 23

Adaptation 31

Amino Acid – of a class of about twenty organic compounds which form the basic constituents of proteins and contain both acid and amine groups

Page 23


Density – the mass of a substance per unit volume

Page 27

Physics 41

Neutron 13

Niche 19


Step 5: Documentation

Documentation. Each time a new entry is made, students should

record certain information. At the very minimum, they should

record the date. More complete documentation might include the

time, day of the week, team members, and if appropriate, weather

conditions. Some students start each new entry at the top of the next available page. Others simply leave a modest space and apply the documentation information right before the new entry.

  • Notebooks are an important tool for scientists
  • Remember that each lab or activity should be followed up
  • by a notebook entry reflecting on what you learned in the course
  • of completing the activity.
  • Each experiment should include, at a minimum the following
  • information recorded in your notebook:
  • 1. Table of Contents entry with page number
  • 2. Documentation ( date etc. of lab/experiment)
  • 3. Lab write up with testable question, research,
  • hypothesis, experimental method (how you
  • did the experiment), data collected, analysis of
  • data, conclusion, a report of your results, and a
  • reflection on the experiment (see reflection
  • questions on slide #6)
  • 4. Record any vocabulary words in your Glossary