Day 1: Interactive Notebooks (Language Arts journal, as it’s becoming known to my students).
I started out having my students write Table of Contents on the first page of their notebooks. Although I downloaded the amazing Interactive Student Notebook pack from A Teacher’s Treasure, I didn’t really feel like using up some of my precious white paper supply on printing off 170 copies of the table of contents in the pack. Paper is extremely limited in our school this year due to budget issues, so I’m having my students do as much as possible one their own paper. Even if I don’t end up printing off the templates for the students from the pack, it has tons of great ideas that I will definitely be using. That alone made the pack totally worth its $15 price tag. I’m all for giving back to teachers for great products, and this is worth every penny. I wish, sometimes, I was an elementary teacher so I’d have fewer students and I COULD print off each and every single page. Class notes and personal reflections go hand in hand to create in depth and engaging interactive notebooks.
Anyway, after we used the first page to write our table of contents, we did the questions in the Start Math Class Out on the Right Foot (but of course, adapted for L.A.). The students enjoyed these questions, and we had fun discussing them with their neighbors and the class as a whole. Passing out textbooks, completing the ToC, and answering the Introduction questions took up about 45 minutes, so plan a whole class period around this.
And now, a few shots of the process on Day 1.
This photo is all of my ISNs. I set up an ISN for each of my classes. One of the posts I read on ISNs recommended you do the notebook along with your students. This serves several purposes. First, it allows you to be a model for the students as to what they should be doing. Second, it keeps a permanent example of an ISN for the students to refer to later. Third, it is great when students are absent to grab your ISN and catch up on missed work.
This photo is how we set up our table of contents. Very simple. We just had some discussion about adding to it as we add things to our journal and to make sure you write page numbers on the bottom of each page.
The next few photos are from the questions that we answered together from the post I linked. The photos in orange ink are the ones I did with my inclusion students. Instead of writing down five things, we wrote down three. The blue ink is from my other classes’ books.
So there we go! Kicking off Language Arts journals right!