Back for a Week (Kind of)

It hasn't been quite a full week, yet--our students returned last Wednesday--but we are going along full steam (English teachers, forgive the cliche; I'm too tired to think of something original). What an (almost) week it's been!

If you read last week's edition, you know I am doing interactive notebooks for the very first time in my world history classes. I was skeptical but had heard so many good things, so I decided to give it a try. I revamped my unit 1, and on Friday, we put together the notebooks. The verdict? Here goes:

- It took a lot of precious time to set up (the history of the world in 18 weeks? No time to spare!).
- 30 10th graders, all waiting for instructions--you know they didn't wait, and there were plenty of mistakes.
- The pictures I took for my blog--they didn't turn out.

So, things went wrong, but here's what went right:

- Today, every student, except for one (out of 60) had their notebook with them in class. This is phenomenal!
- By the time the bellringer was over, most of them had already pasted the handouts I had for them to pick up on the front table when they came into class, on the appropriate page in their notebook.
- When I said, "Turn to page 9 so we can finish your notes on Egypt," everyone turned, and we were on the same page. No time wasted looking for rogue papers.
- They seemed to actually enjoy working on their vocabulary activity in the notebook, as opposed to doing it as a separate worksheet.

The verdict? So far, the pros outweigh the cons. I will keep you posted, but I am definitely revamping the rest of my units to the interactive notebook format. You can get a copy of my unit 1, Ancient Civilizations here.

What's your opinion? Leave a comment below and let me know if you've had any successes (or failures) with the interactive notebook.

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