How do Interactive Notebooks Keep Students Engaged?

INB sample page

How Interactive Notebooks Keep Students Engaged


INTERACTIVE

It's in the title! They are interactive and kids are not just reading and checking things off or writing a one word answer. Let's peek at an example. Here in this activity for types of sentences, students cut out the flap book, cut the flaps and use their knowledge of what each type of sentence is (or turn back to the previous INB (interactive notebook) page that reminds them). Then they find a sentence in their text that matches and record it under the flap. Students are reading, referring, cutting, glueing, remembering, searching, and writing!
Types of sentences INB page

VARIETY


Yep, interactive notebooks have a good amount of variety compared to traditional "seat work" (as Ramona Quimby calls it in Ramona the Pest). Look at the options: flap books, cut and sort, brainstorms, hunts/searches, and foldables!

INB samplesINB samples

ENGAGING

Simply put, INBS are pretty engaging! I saw it for five years with my own second graders. They got to work faster, stayed on task longer, and were more engaged with activities like these fun foldables which kind of fool them into working, when it seems just fun! Also, the sentences and option included are often interesting to students, such as sentences about relatives visiting, Halloween, sports, school, and cats and dogs!

capital letter hunt INB page


VISUALS

For more a visual bang, you can copy them on Astrobrights like I did for my second graders, or even using white paper, the visuals are clean and clear. Some pages are coloring friendly too and explicitly say to color in something after you fill it in. INBs can vary in style, but for the ones I create, I like to keep the font easy to read and use simple shapes and borders and avoid clip art that clutters the visuals. Students can get distracted, and though I love fonts, we don't want them to lose focus because of a font, cluttered page or crazy border.

setting INB page

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

INBs are a fun change for student compared to a traditional print-and-go worksheet like the one below from my Now and Ben supplemental resources for Journeys week 30. For the nouns / not nouns flap book, students cut out words and glue then under the correct label. Possibly more interesting than the activity on the left.

Adjectives and adverbs page from Now and Ben resourcesnouns and not nouns INB page

Do you think those characteristics of interactive notebooks would keep students engaged, too? If so, check out these 5 INB options (or comment and let me know a favorite you have seen!).







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