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Strategy used to prevent notebooks from being used as a place to write occasional notes, stuff
handouts, and perhaps refer to before a test when all other options failed. Interactive notebooks
promote organization, engage students, and encourage students to process information, combine
words and visuals, become a working portfolio, express creativity, and demonstrate critical thinking.
8.5 / 11 spiral notebook (one that an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper can fit into without any
writing instruments (pencil, pen, colored pencils)

glue stick

Page Set-Up
Left PageOutput
Student Involvement
(Showing Understanding and Creativity)

Right PageInput
Teacher Involvement
(Given Information)

Assignment reflections

Classroom discussion notes

Procedural notes


3-2-1 Exit statements (3 points of new

learning 2 ideas you are square with 1
idea you are still circling)

Basic Knowledge Questions

Concept Maps

Reading Notes

Venn Diagrams

Movie, Video notes

Task Worksheets

Class work / Homework Assignments

Process Description (Written steps used

to solve a problem situation)
Balanced Literacy Strategies including:


Frayer Models

Plot Relationship Chart

Wanted Posters/ Advertisements

Eulogy Finish this . . .

Flow Charts

Stop and Jot (Using balanced literacy

sample sentence starters)

Cartoons, Caricatures

Get the Picture!

KWL Chart

Anticipation Guides


Newscasts/News clippings

Paraphrase or clarify items

Enter a drawing, photo, sketch, or
magazine picture that illustrates the
concept, ideas, or facts
Pose questions about the information
AVID Strategy
Form and express an opinion
Predict outcomes or next steps
Create a metaphor that captures the
essence of the information/issue
Formulate and record a contradictory
Write a reflection on the information or
Find a quote that connects to the concept;
record it and explain your rationale
Make connections between the
information/text and your own life,
another text, and/or the world
Create a mind map that captures the main
topic and key concepts and supportive
detail (Schema)
Create an acronym that will help you to
remember the information covered
Make connections to the
content/processes of other courses

The Process
Leave several pages at the beginning of the notebook for the table of contents.

Number the pages --- odd numbers on the right and even numbers on the left. Students
should never continue a right-side page onto the back but should rather staple, tape, or
glue on an extra sheet to extend a page.
Keep a master Table of Contents with dates and points possible. It is imperative that all
students are on the same page for the same work. This can be referred to as an
Assignment Log
If a student is absent, s/he must get the right-side input from the teacher or another student.
The left side of the notebook is used solely for the purpose of the students individual
interaction with the information on the right page. This interaction should not be directed
by the teacher in any way other than a list of recommended options for the various methods
from which a student may want to choose. While first introducing the concept of an
interactive notebook, teachers may choose to limit student choices to three or four options.

Sample student page:

English sample obtained on-line at:

These interactions can be done using the Engage Explore Summarize lesson strategy.

As students become more comfortable with this type of processing, it may be a useful tool
to help each of them examine and reflect on their metacognitive skills in relation to
processing information. This reflection may even become a part of their final reflection for
portfolio assessment.

A portfolio may be used as a tool for students to revisit, reflect upon, and revise their work in a
variety of ways, furthermore, the portfolio will provide for a management system for samples of
student work which the teacher may be asked to produce throughout the school year by the
Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The student portfolio is an important tool that is used to
organize student work in this course. The portfolio will provide direction as you REVISIT student
work and REFLECT upon what your students have learned throughout the year. The curriculum
guide will offer suggestions for inclusion in the portfolio that illustrate a wide range of work.
To give students a specific place to feature their work and a means to share it with others.
To provide evidence of students mathematical growth over the course of the year.
To allow students to review the mathematical content and processes they experience in the
instructional unit and to reflect on the new concepts learned.
The Student Portfolio may be maintained in a two-pocket folder, file folder, or three-ring binder and
may contain:
An initial Student Reflection Sheet or student autobiography with goals for the year.
A cover sheet for each instructional unit that includes general student reflections and
identifies Embedded Assessment Questions in the unit.
Completed instructional units, arranged in order that the units were completed.
TAKS Talk documentation forms.
Assessments scored by the teacher using a rubric to indicate growth.
Reflections on the instructional units regarding students experience with specific
mathematical content or processes.
Periodic diagnostic assessments including benchmark exams, semester finals, etc.
A year-end reflection on students mathematical growth during the course, both in
mathematical content and processes.
Projects and assessments made by the teacher.