#TMC14 Interactive Notebooks

Presented by Jonathan Claydon

  • Color each class with colored duct tape on the spine.
  • Manila folder pocket in back notebook to keep assessments
  • Write grading scale on pocket
  • Track progress throughout year, first attempt, second attempt; two 4's equals a sticker
  • The level of organization  is up to you, match your notebook to YOUR style 
  • Flips the culture of the class to everyone is doing something
  • Let's them use them on tests to motivate ownership
  • Students use their genius to hide their lack of skills: literacy, organization, note taking, etc. We can unlock the "mystery" of note-taking and organizing for students through interactive notebooks.

  • 10% notebook
  • 20% problem sets, class work; makeshift spreadsheet on clipboard, checks more than one thing at a time
  • 10% projects
  • 60% tests
  • Health inspection: Shake test, check assessments, check tracking sheet
  • Can grade during tests 
  • Spot check: choose a few problem towards the end of an assignment and write answers under a time limit
  • First notebook check is usually the worseNotebook checks are not up for reassessment 
Take Them Home? HW?
  • Doesn't give homework
  • Subscribed to the idea that math is done better with people to bounce ideas of
  • Goal is more student engagement, not necessarily 100%
  • 16 quart tubs from Target
  • Holds over 30 notebooks 
  • Each tub has same color of tape as notebooks per period
  • Usually one student per group gets the notebooks for the group
Don't Have It?
  • Mostly they keep it in the room because they don't have homework and they can use them on tests
  • On the off chance they don't have it, they usually create their own system by borrowing paper and adding it in to the notebook
  • Can create handouts in the notebook more than running off handouts
  • Do we send the message that everything of value has to come from us?
  • Print half pages
  • Have students write more than you print
  • Students can work problems on whiteboard and then chose 3-4 to record in the notebook
  • Condense your old handouts by deleting space because they have space in the notebooks
  • Supplies needed: scissors, glue sticks, clear tape, staples; check bulkofficesupply.com
  • Keep extra copies 
  • Check their notebook if you know they were there for the activity
  • With unpredictable absences, it's hard to micromanage
  • Organize hanging file or crate
  • Put extra copy in absent student's notebook


  1. These are good reminders for the Interactive Notebooks. I like the idea that the tape on the notebook matches the tape on the storage bin. Tape is easy enough to remove and replace when students transfer from one section to another. I love it that even though I'm a social studies teacher that I can still get wonderful ideas from bloggers in different content areas. Love the blog world :o) Count me as your newest follower.
    Jackson In The Middle

    1. Thanks for sharing and that's a great thought. I'd love if you could share something you do that could also apply to math!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I attended another session but am leading the flex session today at 4 on interactive notebooks, so this will give me some insights into what people may have heard already. As much as I color code, it never dawned on me to put colored tape on each notebook. Neat!