I'm joining in with Kelly from My Fabulous Class to our first "What Worked Well Wednesday" Linky Party.
I am excited to share something that worked well for me last year and I can't wait to implement it into my classroom this year!
Have you tried Interactive Notebooks in your classroom? I gave it try last year with my Kindergartners and it was a HUGE SUCCESS. Interactive Notebooks is a fantastic, fun way for students to learn and interact with new information as well as a great way to practice and review skills introduced. By adding an interactive feature, learning becomes more meaningful and will spark interest. This type of learning involves so much more than just simply listening to the teacher and then filling out boring worksheets. Keeping interactive notebooks in the classroom helps kids to be more responsible and take an active part in their learning. Unlike worksheets that go home and often don't ever get looked at again, interactive notebooks stay in the classroom as students work in them to build upon and review skills. It is also great for all those paras and incoming teachers that come into the classroom because they will have a better sense as to what topics you are learning about and what needs to be reviewed and taught.
When creating my interactive notebooks for kindergarten, I thought about being sure that my activities did not require a lot of complex cutting skills. I made sure that there was not any complex folding or the notebook did not contain too many flaps. I also thought about not having lots of lose pieces that can easily become lost. I've seen some really cool interactive notebooks with pockets to keep pieces in, however I think that this may cause a problem with little ones, as pieces will just fall out and get lost. If you teach kindergarten, then you know how upset students can get if they lose something. They can cry so easily.
So far, I've created five interactive notebooks. Last year I introduced my Alphabet Notebook and Number Sense Notebooks to my students. Students used them in small groups during either literacy center time or RTI time. At first, you need to slowly show students where to cut and fold. My interactive notebooks are very simple and easy for students as they are asked to cut only on the dotted lines and fold on the solid lines. After they fold, there is a large enough area for students to paste down in order to make simple flaps. lt is so important to provide an example of what your expectations are before the kids get started. Once they get the hang of it, they can work more independently. Once they finish a page, they can work on the next one until literacy or RTI time is over. "NO MORE, I'M DONE, NOW WHAT DO I DO NEXT." I love interactive notebooks because it keeps students busy in a meaningful way while you are able to give your attention to other students who may be struggling. You also get a chance to run a small group for guided reading or RTI instruction. My groups are never more than four or five students to keep things manageable.
This spring and summer I've worked hard on creating Interactive Notebooks for Kindergarten Literacy and Science. In these notebooks, I've tried to be creative and include many things that students need to know by the end of kindergarten.I worked very hard these past few days putting these together and I can't wait to share them with you and the students in my classroom. I plan on making more Interactive Notebooks and continue to update them as needed.