I am so glad that you could join me for another trip "Down River!" I have been using math and science notebooks in my classroom. First, this began as a school-wide initiative, but then, became a passion of mine. I have muddled through the water with them each year, but have improved the process each time.
In second and fifth grades, students are more independent and can manage folds and flaps AND flaps and folds with great ease...but, in kindergarten...this can be a bit more difficult. Then, add a teacher who wants everything to be perfect (haha) to the mix and you've got trouble!
Most years, I would use handouts/worksheets and shrink them down on the copier so they would fit nicely (in early elementary classrooms). In fifth grade, the students created all of the pages in their notebooks from the foldables to the data tables they'd draw. I realized that most things in this world are NOT TEKS-aligned (hence, Kindergarten Down River was born), so I began creating my own things that were.
|Kindergarten Math Notebook|
BONUS TIP 2.2: School glue (liquid) keeps the pages bonded longer than glue sticks, but on the other hand, are more messy. I use school glue (cringing).
BONUS TIP 3.2: If you store the notebooks in a basket grouped by tables, they are much easier to access when you are ready for them!
Tip 4: Always have a teacher model. Get a student notebook for yourself. Glue the pages in the order, just like your students. As you model the section on the document camera or on the easel, they see what the notebook looks like and what is your expectation of it. My notebooks are setup in the WE DO, I DO model. The right side of the notebook is done together as a class: WE DO. I model the page while the students are following along in their notebook. WE think aloud and talk through it together.
Then, since the students have seen the WE DO, they are sent off to complete the left side of their notebooks independently at their desks/tables: I DO. This is where I can see if they are understanding a concept or what they are struggling to understand. THE NOTEBOOK BECOMES A FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT--but it must be checked to be used as such!
BONUS TIP 4.2: Have students keep their notebooks open to their last entry before they transition to P.E. or some other break time where you can allocate time to review them. Set-up a system, such as a star in the corner or a sticker, so you and the student know that their notebooks have been checked. This is an original record of their work and are great to show at parent-teacher conferences.
I hope that these four tips (with three bonus tips at no extra charge) help you this school year. Keep your chin up and your glue cap on!
Oh, I almost forgot, the bundle that I will be using in three weeks to start my class on their math notebook is now available on the resource store: Kindergarten Down River.
|Kindergarten NEW Math TEKS Notebook Bundle|