Interactive Notebooks and Absent Students

Friday, August 14, 2015
A Tip for Interactive Notebooks
Interactive Notebooks are a big item in the classroom today. The notebook is a great place to keep notes and have students practice a skill. They can look back at their notes and examples when they forget how to do something. How wonderful!

A Tip for Interactive Notebooks

When I have a student ask me how to do a certain problem, I tell them to look back in their notebook first if it is something we've covered. 

Johnny: Mrs. Miller how do you find the area of a triangle?
Mrs. Miller: Look up the formula in your notebook.
Johnny: What page?
Mrs. Miller: Use your Table of Contents.
Johnny: It's not in my Table of Contents.

By now Suzy has joined in to tell Johnny it's on page 24. So Johnny opens up to page 24 and there's nothing there. Johnny was absent when you had the class do the notes and examples in their notebook. Now you are scrambling to find the materials so Johnny can have a complete notebook.
A Tip for Interactive Notebooks
Does this sound familiar? Or is this something you fear with Interactive Notebooks? What about students who join your class after the year has already started?
A Tip for Interactive Notebooks
You probably have a Suzy in your class. Suzy is always willing to help, has good handwriting, takes the exact notes you want, and always gets it completed first. 

1) Have Suzy complete her notebook and one for an absent student. 

2) She'll always get her work completed in a timely manner along with the "early finisher" material. Then Suzy will ask if you need help with anything. Yes, you do! Have Suzy complete an extra copy of notes and examples that you've just gone over. You can then make copies for students who join your class once school has started.

3) Be sure to create a place to file notebook copies so you know where to find them.
A Tip for Interactive Notebooks

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  1. Great idea! I need to remember to do this!! Without fail, someone is always absent!

  2. Or ... have Suzy make a copy of her notes and example problems or practice activity, then place in in a page protector in the 'classroom notebook'. When the absent student returns, have that student copy the page into their notebook. This puts the responsibility on the absent student to make up their missed work.


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