Now, I don’t know about you, but the pandemic changed so much of how we did things in the classroom. One of the things that I felt was sacrificed was hands on, cutting activities in favor of digital activities. I am really, really looking forward to bringing these back to our classroom routine. Even in second grade students still need fine motor and cutting practice. I feel like cutting and glue skills really suffered with the pandemic.
So how are we going to address this in the classroom? The interactive notebook! Now the interactive notebook isn’t for everyone…and that is okay. We will talk about another option in a later post!
How can we make this as EASY as possible? This will be a three part blog series with tons of ideas and tips to help you get set up! Let’s start with the brainstorming and decision making before we really start interactive notebooks.
Check out these decisions you need to make before ever breaking out the scissors!
Make some choices.
First, choose a type of interactive notebook. There is the great debate between spiral notebooks or composition notebooks. There are pros and cons for both. Spiral notebooks have a larger amount white space to work with on the page and are often cheaper during summer sales. However, the spirals can become undone and are very pokey. The pages also tear out easier. If you want the interactive notebooks to be a compilation, this could be a big issue. Composition notebooks are typically more expensive and the page size is a bit smaller. However, composition notebooks have sewn binding and pages are less likely to fall out. The covers tend to also be sturdier.
***Please note that if you DO choose to use composition notebooks, then make sure you don’t copy full page activities. They most likely will not fit. It you reduce the page to about 80% on the copier, then it should fit perfectly.***
Another choice to make is glue sticks or bottles of white glue. Glue sticks are so much easier for kids to use. However, the pages will not stick forever and may start to fall off over time. White glue bottles do have a longer stick time but are so.dang.messy. I prefer the ease of glue sticks, but that is a personal preference.
So what do you prefer? Spiral or composition notebooks? Glue sticks or glue bottles?
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught Kindergarten- 4th grades in both the general education and inclusion settings. She is currently a 1st grade Special Education teacher. She is the owner and creator of Mandy’s Tips for Teachers website (www.mandystipsforteachers.com) and has over 13 years of teaching experience. She is married with two beautiful children.