Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tried It Tuesday - Interactive Math Notebooking

Well, today is another snow day. The FOURTH snow day of the year! Can you believe it? Wind chill in the negative twenties is no treat. As much as I think everyone enjoys a snow day, I wish there was a way to catch up on rest without losing any instructional time. On the bright side, snow days have made me super productive!

With my day off, I figured I would finally join in the fun for a Tried It Tuesday with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper!

Lately, one of my personal goals has been to focus a lot on revamping my literacy components of teaching. On a larger scale, our school's goal has been looking at new math programs. So while I've been exploring curriculum books for the past few weeks, I've also been exploring some resources in bloggy world, which are teacher-tested, and kid-approved. One of the trendy topics right now seem to be interactive notebooks, so I decided to give those a try.

One of the techniques that I fell in love with, is inspired by Jen from Rundee's Room. I have been doing two pages of notes with my students. We've done this for the past week, as we started our Geometry unit, and I'm honestly really digging this little routine. We open our notebooks to two blank pages. The left side of their notes is their thinking. They rewrite the learning goal in their own words, talk about what they know, what they learned, and then answer a question I leave them with at the end of each lesson by providing proof and a reflection.
Day 1: Exploring Polygons (Left Side)
We talked about 2D polygons and their properties.
For their proof portion of their notes, I asked: "Is a circle a polygon?"

Day 3: Types of Angles (Left Side)
For their proof/reflection portion of their notes I gave them
a challenge. I asked: "What polygon contains all four angles
(right, obtuse, acute, and straight)?" Answer - a right trapezoid.

Day 3: Types of Angles (Left Side)
Another example of our notes that day. This student got the
right trapezoid without using trial and error!

The right side of their notes is the information I am teaching them. They start by writing their learning goal according to the PA Core Standards, any vocabulary terms, and then create some sort of manipulative.
Day 1: Exploring Polygons (Right Side)
In pairs, students had to create as many polygons as they
 could think of from two pieces of paper. They used rulers to
show straight lines, and then named the shapes. We stored
them in this envelope so we can use them again when we
compare and contrast various quadrilaterals.
Day 3: Types of Angles (Right Side)
We used two pieces of construction paper to cut arrows
and attach them with a brass fastener. I got this idea directly
from Rundee's Room.  I loved the colored paper so I could
easily see who could make an obtuse and versus an acute angle
as a quick formative assessment. 

Underneath our arrows, we created this foldable for notes on each
of the four angles. We drew a diagram, defined the term, and then
wrote down some classroom examples of each angle. 

I'm so excited to continue this fabulous notebooking idea! I'm trying to branch out with more ways for students to look at math differently - especially since what they're asked to do with the adoption of Common Core. 

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, friends! Stay cozy! 


  1. Love your notebook idea! I am excited to start thinking about how I can start this with 3rd graders. Writing in notebooks is hard enough at the beginning of the year, but learning how to write things down that are helpful for them and how to take notes is so important! I think you're off to a great start!!! So glad I found you with "Tried it Tuesday!!"
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard

  2. I love seeing all of your pictures. I have purchased a bunch of interactive notebooks, but haven't implemented all of them. My goal is to tackle that this summer!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. I love all the pictures of your interactive notebooks! The question at the end of the notes each day is so valuable too! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. Love those interactive notebooks girl! It's on my 14/15 list to figure out how to implement a few I've bought next year!!