Interactive Student Notebooks!

So this week flew by in a blink of an eye! I have been working so hard to get everything set up and ready to go for meet the teacher on Monday and for our first day with my new second graders on Tuesday! I can't believe it is already time to start a new year. I am ready to go {almost}!

One thing that I am changing this year is my student's reading notebook. I met up with on of my long time friends {since 7th grade} and fellow teacher Jenna Silva a few weeks ago.

We started talking about school, I don't think teachers know how to talk about other things =) This is when I found out about ISNs. Over the summer she went to an Interactive Student Notebook (ISN) training and was telling me all about it. Needless to say I was hooked in an instant. So of course we had to get all the supplies that day! After our trip to Target I got busy putting all my ideas together and doing a little research of my own. Basically ISNs are a wonderful tool to track student learning and progress. There are a bunch of resources out there to teach you about them and how to get started. Before I got started Jenna sent me some inspiration pictures of her notebooks so I could get a clear picture in my head of what they looked like. Here are some pictures of her ISNs, I am sure you will get some ideas as well.

This is what the pages can be used for. Above is an example of a math interactive student notebook. She taught 3rd grade last year and will be teaching 4th this year.

Basically, you can decorate the student notebooks however you would like. You can use them for several subjects or for one. You can let the students decorate them or you can do this part for them. It is all up to how you want to implement it.

I think this is one of my favorite parts about ISNs. You get to put Duck Tape on the spine of the notebook. This is great for two reasons. The Duck Tape keeps the spiral in tack and stops other things from getting hooked on it. The tape also keeps the little paper frays from coming out everywhere. I am going to be honest here, I also love this because I get to buy the patterned Duck Tape which just makes this so fun! Aren't her notebooks cute?!

After looking over as well as reading up on the ISNs. This is what I created for my students this year. I hope you like my idea!

I am calling my ISNs their HERO (Having Excellent Reading Organization) Notebook. I can't wait to use this because it goes with my Superhero Unit! I have made so many strategies to help students use the strategy of clarifying only with the superhero theme.  This will fit in with this unit perfectly.  If you are interested in creating your own HERO Notebook you can pick yourself up a copy at my TpT store. Just click on the project preview below.

I am keeping it pretty short here today. I am almost done with my classroom so I will be back to share all that with you pretty soon! It is so different this year! There are so many things I have changed, I can't wait to show you! I also made my daily 5 wall! I am so pleased with how it is turning out and that I finally have the posters i have created up and ready to go! I am also putting finishing touches on the Spanish version of the Daily 5 as well as starting a new writing unit! I am really trying to finish this one up for all of you!

I hope you all have a great week! In celebration of all things superhero I will leave you with a little poster I found on Pinterest!


  1. Hi! I love this idea and have tried something like this in the past. But you got me thinking again!  Your pages are really great! Question- are you thinking of sectioning off the notebook? For example, a section for reading strategies and or skills, a section for read aloud responses, a section for vocabulary strategies or word work items, a section for the students to write interactive letters to you...? Was just curious how exactly you are planning on using. Thanks so much!




  2. Bridget, thanks for the question. At the front of the notebook you will have a table of contents that would make it easy to allow for sectioning your notebook. I am thinking about making reading skills almost like chapters in their notebook. This way all their work for a certain skill or strategy will be in one spot. It will  be a great source of assessment and data. The question part of the pages (right side) I plan on using the Common Core Standards to show they have or have not met that standard. Then towards the back of the notebook I am planning on placing photos of the anchor charts I provide the kids with during the year. This will provide wall space for other things as well as allow my students to always have access to anchor charts we have used. I hope this answers your questions. I will be posting photos for how I used it once I implement it. Thanks.


  3. Any chance you posted the table of context for your reading ISN. I would love to do this this next year but I reaqlly want it to be use as a text book and only needing to teach each strategy once ( maybe) and then they could look back and see what a certain stategy is all about.


Follow on Bloglovin

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe to my RSS Feeds
Favorite Blogs

© 2013 The Teaching Reef

Web Design by Mark Moyer

Web Elements by Trixie Scraps Designs