Interactive math notebooks are revolutionizing today's classrooms.While some school districts have made them a mandatory tool in the math classrooms, other teachers are using them independently and seeing results. I was one of those teachers who wasn't happy about implementing an interactive notebook in math, but once you "fold and flap" the fun doesn't stop! If you want to create an interactive learning environment where all students can learn and grow, it might be time to invest in interactive math notebooks. Whether you need to buy actual the notebooks or you need to "buy-in" to the reasons you should be using them regularly, this list is for you! If you believe in any of these 10 things...take your sign and own it!
10 Benefits of Using Interactive Math Notebooks in the Classroom
1. Helping students organize and synthesize information, interactive math notebooks promote learning to diverse students. Note-taking allows students the ability to organize information on topics or subtopics.
3. Interactive math notebooks engage the brain's hemispheres that control processing visual information, auditory information and memory, and feeling and touch. All of these processes are applied when using interactive math notebooks. Students see information, hear the teacher talking, and touch the folds and flaps used in math notebooks. Decision-making planning and problem solving are also integrated as students have to space things out and decide how to organize pieces of information too.
4. The teacher has an important role in the effectiveness of the interactive notebook. So...if you hate them...you know what that is probably going to mean for your students. It's time to give a try and see the results. I do not think you will be disappointed. Once I started using folds and flaps, my students were so happy and excited to "get out" their notebooks. The groans were no longer echoing within my four walls.
5. Students are able to personalize the content knowledge. It is important that teachers allow students to be creative in this process, even though we all want each notebook to look identically beautiful. (I'm sooooo guilty of doing this in the past. Perfection is not the requirement for this notebook.) While all of the students should have 2-D shapes on page 14, the way the students can record the information can vary.
6. The interactive math notebook can be an important tool to help students remember and review information needed for assessments. Many of the pages in the interactive math notebooks contain vocabulary and important concepts that are often needed to be successful on assessments.
7. There is a special way that an interactive notebook is set-up. The left side pages are for students to demonstrate learning while the right side pages is for the teacher to provide content knowledge. The right side is where most of the folds and flaps I use go, as they are directly provided to the students. Anything that the students complete on their own, without my guidance, is placed on the left side pages.
8. There are many special activities that you can do within an interactive math notebook because of it's unique set-up. (See images.) There are designated items that can be placed on each side of the notebook. Try using a different one each time for a while and note your students' favorites!
9. Interactive math notebooks provide a home-school connection. Teachers can provide a quick overview of the notebook at open house, parent night, or conferences. By taking the notebooks home, students are able to study and review the concepts and parents have an aid when assisting with homework.
10. Long-term memory is important to you in the way your students learn. Two main questions should be answered when planning a lesson for an interactive math notebook. “Does this information make sense?” and “does this have meaning?"
If you are interested in providing a learning experience where students are encouraging to remember and apply the content knowledge, interactive math notebook are right for you! Teachers can clearly see if students are understanding information and can attach a meaning to it right inside those two covers. Many teachers use the interactive math notebook as a tool to formatively assess students through a math unit as it gives insight into their thinking about a particular topic.
I hope this post has inspired you to use interactive math notebooks in your classroom and if you would like to use my interactive math notebook resources they are in my TpT shop.
What is the most important sign to you that you need to invest in interactive notebooks in your classroom?