For this week's blog post I'm going to talk about 2 ways that I help keep students organized in the classroom when dealing with interactive notebook. I love interactive notebooks but they are definitely something that needs some managing and organization. Where are materials kept? How can students access them? What if a student is absent on the day of a new page?
First I want to share a method of organizing materials that I implemented last year to great success. Students already receive numbers in my classroom for calculator use. So, in addition to using their number for a calculator, the number also corresponds to a pencil pouch on the wall.
Each pencil pouch contains one of the following: scissors, glue stick, pencil, eraser, highlighter, 6-inch ruler, dry erase marker and dry eraser. Items that are easily lost (pencil, eraser, ruler) are labeled with their number. Even though the pencils were labeled with a bright pink or green duct tape flag, I still lost many. It's a never ending battle, right?
Besides the loss of pencils, this system worked fabulously. I had four classes (this year, 5) so the pouch itself is shared among 4 or 5 students which makes tracking down lost materials very easy. It also helped solve the problem of my desks eating supplies. Some students even got into the habit of grabbing the pouch every day as they walked in, regardless of whether we needed them or not.
The second picture shows what the wall looks like after all the pouches are removed (in use). I found out the hard way that these labels are necessary after the first use last year when 24 students were all trying to hang up their pouches on a blank wall. The numbers give each student a place and makes putting them back easy.
I'm trying something new to help organize extra INB copies especially when students are absent. Last year I used these hanging folders to hold worksheets/notes pages for absent students but the problem was that the INB pages would slide down and students had no idea they were there. Take two:
Sorry for the slightly blurry picture!
I'm still using the file folders but I'll be using Sarah Carter's "While you Were Out" template. These forms will be filled out by either myself or another student and stuck in the corresponding folder. Full size worksheets will also be housed in these folders. All INB pages however, will go into these binders, one for each prep. This also helps out my co-teacher and paras looking for extra copies of INB pages.
I'm also going to try to keep a master copy of the table of contents for each prep to help students stay organized. Since this is something new I'm trying, I'll post an update with how it goes.