Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ISN set up

The first thing I have the kids do with their notebooks is to get them all set up and ready to use.  None of the following are numbered pages, the first page is not what I refer to as "page 1." Numbered pages come after all of the following stuff (or on the twelfth page).  This post is all of the first pages that I have them set up on the first day.

FRONT OF BOOK


First page: ID page (kid's name, class period, my room number, etc.)

Second-Fifth pages: Table of Contents
Keeps everything nice and neat and super easy to find.  I separate different units with the green lines.

Sixth-Eleventh pages: Words Worth Knowing (vocab)
Vocabulary terms.  These are also grouped according to units using the purple lines.




BACK OF BOOK


Back cover: HSPA formula sheet
Last (two) pages: Folder/pocket
The pocket is fantastic to temporarily store papers that haven't been taped down yet or foldables that are still in progress from day to day.  This way kids don't have to throw something into a different folder and risk losing it.

The reference sheet is the HSPA one (for my 8th graders I used the NJASK formula sheet).  I want kids to actually see the reference guide they get as something that can be really useful (not just something to draw on when they're done with the test).
*found the pocket idea here over at math-n-spire and thought it was genius


Second to last pages: Grade Record Sheets
So this may not be as necessary anymore because kids can access their grades online, but I think it's so important that kids know exactly where their grade comes from.  They use this to track all of their graded assignments so they always know where they stand.


17 comments:

  1. I love the pictures you've provided here for your notebooks! I'm trying them out this year (last year was binders and that failed miserably) and looking for every tidbit I can get. How critical do you feel the Table of Contents is? Do you find kids using it to refer back to old sections?

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    1. Thanks! I just hope they can be helpful to people. Composition notebooks are fantastic because when the stuff gets taped in it can't get lost. I personally think the table of contents is crucial. The kids absolutely refer back to and look things up all the time which I LOVE. It's the entire reason I use the ISN. It's really what makes it more of a reference guide than just a notebook.

      I leave 4 pages blank in the beginning and just fill in the table of contents as we go each day. All I have to do is write "7-8 Integer Rules" on the board and the kids know exactly what to do. It's also a nice way to let them know what exactly what it is we're learning about for the day.

      I'm going to try to post everything about single thing about ISNs that I can think of, but if there is anything at all you have questions on or I miss please don't just ask me!

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    2. Hi Sarah, thanks so much for posting these pictures. With my kids, i've used binders to have students create their own "student portfolio's" and the table of contents is one of my favourite parts. I love how you have the students use different colours in the table of contents and vocabulary sections for dividing up the different units, but what I love even more is the back of the book for recording their scores! Thank you again for sharing your ideas.

      Hi Math teacher, one of my problems that I used to have with my students is that they would ALWAYS lose papers and not know where anything was if I needed to refer back to it in class. Needless to say, this used to drive me crazy! To reduce this frustration, I pre-printed a table of contents page and they would keep it in their student portfolios along with any handouts in a protective cover sheet. It makes such a huge difference and is something I would recommend. Hope this helps.

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  2. Sarah how do I follow you? I love your interactive notebooks. This will be my first year using them and this has helped out so much.

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    1. You should be able to click on the drop down menu under suscribe to posts and choose google. Then it you can add it to your google reader or homepage :)

      Hope you keep reading, I've got lots more to say about ISNs!

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  3. Hi Sarah!

    First and foremost, thank you thank you for motivating me to do something new and spice up my classes this year. I am officially going to be using ISNs in all of my Algebra 2 sections this fall!

    My biggest question/issue I'm working through is what happens on the days where information is not going into the ISN. I know you wrote about not "ISNing" everyday, but only when students were ready to summarize or solidify a topic. What do the other days look like in your classroom? Are students working on some type of worksheet/activity that you then collect? Or is it usually group work where each group turns in a final product?

    I am envisioning students having both an ISN and some sort of portfolio (folder) for keeping assessments, etc. Any insight you can give as to how you organize and maintain both ISN and non-ISN days for both yourself and students would be much appreciated. I can't wait to see my kids decorate the covers of their notebooks!

    Thanks again!

    -Caitlin

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    1. Awesome, I'm so glad to hear that! As for the other days, it's totally all over the place. It might be practice, or a group activity, or a lesson out of the books we use (I used Connected Math which is made up of student "investigations").

      As far as the work that they do though, they also keep a three ring binder where they put other worksheets, assessments, some hw, and other stuff that's not going into the ISN. I have a routine set up for ISN days that I described here. When they see this set up they get ready with their ISN, and if not they know we're doing something else.

      As far as organization, I don't spend too much time on the binder because it's all the stuff that I don't really care too much about them keeping. As long as they're doing the work somewhere I'm happy.

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    2. I really appreciate the reply. :) And all of the awesome stuff you are doing with your students and posting about! Truly and inspiration. Happy new (school) year!

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  4. Your blog has been SO HELPFUL to me as I introduce this concept to my middle school resource class. I have a question...what do you do when a student is absent? How can they make up foldables?

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    1. I have the extra copies in a file system and I just give them my ISN to use as a refernece on how to set it up. They're usually really good with doing it on their own.

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  5. Well, I just have to say that I am thrilled to have waited a year to try out the ISN, because I just found your blog today and wow is it helpful!!!!

    Although I learned about the ISN last summer, and tried out elements of it this year (in composition notebooks), I'm finally ready to go into it full force.

    I am wondering how strict you are with left side/right side notebook pages....For example, I teach Language Arts and am wondering what to do with students who write essays (or even just regular notes) that go past a page. Any advice on this would be helpful!


    And thank you again for all of these wonderful posts! Such a great resource!!

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  6. I am a fairly new teacher and have only taught middle school math for one year. I wanted to do a math notebook last year but had no idea how to get started. I tried a few things but none of it worked very well. I do plan to make notebooks this year but i have requested that students buy 3 ring binders with divider tabs. I have seen several posts from people that have said the binders didn't work, but it's too late now to change the supply list. Does anyone honestly think I can use the binders and make this work as well as the composition books?

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    1. I have used binders in the past and it just didn't work for me personally, but my teaching partners use them and love them. They have students keep everything in this binder including class notes, homework, activities, etc.

      I currently am in the same situation as you in that the supply list already went out but doesn't include the composition books I need. I found a great deal at Office Depot of 25 cents per book, so I am just going to buy them this year and hand them out to the students.

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  7. I teach Pre Algebra 5 times a day. Do you have an example ISN for each period or is it the same for all the classes! I am so glad I have found your site! I fiddled with ISNs last year and I have decided to go full out! I love them and I'm very excited! Thank you!!

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  8. This is awesome! I teach Intensive Math for 5 periods, so essentially the lowest 25% of kids who are already 2-3 grade levels behind in math. My one question is how did you conserve paper if you are having them tape paper to different pages? I teach around 160 students, and I definitely cannot afford computer paper to distribute for each foldable :(

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  9. Hi Sarah. My district adopted Connected Math this year and I am struggling with how to fit notes and investigation problems in the left and right-hand pages. If you could give me any advice on how to manage the investigations and still use the ISN the way it is intended, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance.

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  10. Hi Sarah! I'm not sure if my comment posted already (my computer was being funky). The link to make the pocket in the ISN isn't working. Is there another link that you would recommend? I don't want to try and figure it out and then have the whole thing fall apart... This is my first year using ISNs with my 4th and 5th graders! Thank you!!

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