Interactive Notebooks: The Personal Section

This post in the series will cover the first section of our notebook: personal.

This is one of the nine tabs in our notebook. This section is approximately 7 pages long. The “personal” tab is attached to the front of page three. You can let your student decorate this page, provide a pre-printed divider for the page, or leave it blank. However, I choose not to put any assignments/information on my divider pages.

The items my students house in this section are specific to them.

      1. Reading Log: I teach English. For ease of record keeping, my students keep an independent reading log in this section. You can have them draw the chart or supply them with a pre-printed one. My pre-printed log has a spot for the title of the text they’ve read, the author’s last name, and the number of pages.

      2. Assessment Log: This is where my students keep track of their pre and post test scores. Again, you can have them draw one, and save paper, or you can supply them with one. Simple does it: assessment title, pre-test score, and post-test score.

      3. About me: You know that cute, or not so cute, surveys you have students complete in the first couple of days? They go here. I usually just a have them complete a thorough double-sided form. The one pictured below is great for upper grades and is from Kacie Travis' tpt store: Managing and Motivating Math Minds. You can click here to access this resource, or click on the picture. (Pssst. I'm not affiliated. It's just a great resource for a great cost.)

4. Clock: We use clock partners throughout the year. The premise is easy. Each student gets a printed clock. Then, they spend a couple of minutes during class setting “appointments” for each hour. For example, Sally walks up to Johnny and says, “Do you have a 12 o’clock appointment?”. Johnny replies with, “No.” So, they set an appointment for 12 o’clock. Johnny writes Sally’s name by the 12 on the clock in his notebook. Sally write’s Johnny’s name by the 12 o’clock in her notebook, and the appointment is set. This allows for variety of partners throughout the year. When you need students to find a partner, just tell them to meet with their x’oclock appointment.

      5. Plickers: Plickers is a nifty little website that you can use for a lot of different things. The way it works is this. Each student is entered into the plicker website and has a unique plicker “card”. The plicker “card” is a qr code card. Each side of the card represents a different multiple choice answer. If the student holds up the card right side up (as taped in their notebook) it represents an “A” answer. If they rotate the notebook left, it represents “B”, and so on. You enter questions into the website, display them on the board, and the students hold up their Plicker cards to answer. The super nifty part? All you have to do is scan the room with your phone or tablet to gather their answers and see who it right. Just go to the website. It does a much better job of explaining this. Anyway, students keep their plicker cards in this section.

      6. Tickets: Part of my classroom management includes a raffle style drawing at the end of each month. (You’d be amazed what a kid will do for a pack of fruit gushers.) Anywho, my student tape an envelope into this section to keep up with their tickets. The tape the envelope in as a flap, address side up. Then, we just use a paper clip to keep the envelope closed after we insert tickets. Envelopes can be used for a variety of things and don’t necessarily have to be for tickets. However, this is what our envelope in this section is used for. (Excuse the big black box, I didn't feel the need to display my school's return address.)

You don’t have to limit your students’ personal section to these items. This is just a list to give you an idea of what I do in my classroom. Anything you want can be housed here. Remember that you can always lengthen or shorten your sections based on what works best for your students. 

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below or email me.

Keep an eye out for the next installment in this Interactive Notebooking series: the skills section.
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