Starting the School Year Right


The Interactive Student Notebook
How will the ISN make you a better student?
In a social studies skill builder , students analyze placards depicting portions of the interactive student notebook (ISN) and begin working on putting theirs together. Preview Students complete a “buddy clock” activity to be used in paired activities for this lesson and future lessons. Activity In a Social Studies Skill Builder, pairs travel to six stations to view important components to the interactive student notebook. Where appropriate, students will begin setting up their own notebook. Processing Students will create a simple editorial cartoon on the topic of the lesson essential question .


•Copies of the Student Handout B1: Buddy Clock (1 per student) •Copies of Student Handout B2: ISN Matrix (1 per student) •Copies of Student Handout B3: ISN Guidelines & Expectations •12 or more folders with copies of Placards B1-B6 inside. •Colored Pencils •Glue Sticks •Scissors OR •Materials consistent with how you want students to put together their notebook.

In the course of this lesson and participating classroom activity, students will • analyze the importance of working in pairs as a way to learn content. • describe the expectations for setting up a successful interactive student notebook in your class. • explain how maintaining a good notebook will allow them to deepen their understanding of content.

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right



Suggested time: 10 minutes 1. Greet Students at the Door. Distribute a copy of Student Handout B1: Buddy Clock to each student as they enter the room. 2. Explain the reason for the Buddy Clock Activity. Tell the students that from time to time, they will be doing activities in class that require pairs to work together. Completing this Buddy Clock activity will allow the students to move quickly into pairs and allow them the opportunity to work with different people throughout the year. 3. Go over the rules for the Buddy Clock activity. Instruct the students to read the directions quietly while you read them aloud.. • Using a projected Buddy Clock, digital, doc-cam, or transparency, walk the students through each of the three scenarios at the bottom of their handout. 4. Give students 5 minutes to get as many signatures as possible. Consider ringing a bell or announcing to the class any time a student completes their clock and brings it to you. 5. At the end of time, have all the students who still have an opening for an hour to come to the middle of the room. Pair these students quickly by finding out what hours people have open, and if students have not signed previously, signing them up. For those that remain, use your professional judgement to allow pairs to work a second hour together or to have a group of three in some circumstances. (note: if you have absent students, either fill one in for them yourself or have another student fill one in for them.)
Student Handout B1 Buddy Clock

Alternate to Clock Suggestion
Instead of a clock, consider a map with selected locations for students to sign. Instead of calling them clock buddies, they would be travel companions.

6. Model how the Buddy Clock is used. Ask students to review their clock. Have them point, from their seats, to their 7 o’clock buddy. Ask them to move together and work together for the lesson. Explain Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right



that for future lessons where students are to be paired, you will use the buddy clock to pair them up quickly. Over time, they will have the opportunity to work with everyone in the class.

Social Studies Skill Builder
Suggested Time: 30 minutes 1. Explain the purpose of the activity. Tell the students in the next activity, they will learn about the interactive student notebook (or ISN) and how it will be used in class and at home. 2. Create 12+ Manila Folders with copies of Placards B1-B6. Pass out a folder to each pair of students to use as they complete each step in the process. 3. Pass out Student Handout B2: Matrix for ISN. Have the students look at each feature on their matrix. Pairs are to complete each column in their matrix, including the last column which must be initialed by their teacher. 4. Have pairs begin work on the first feature. Have pairs begin with the first feature, ISN Setup, and complete all three columns of their matrix. Remind students that before moving onto a next feature in sequence, they must check in with you and be signed off. Pairs will repeat this process until they have completed all six features on their matrix. Once pairs complete the fifth feature, give each student in a pair a copy of Student Handout B3: ISN Guidelines & Expectations. 5. Debrief all six features quickly. Explain to the students that it will be necessary to bring their notebook to class every day unless they are told differently.
Placards B1-B6

Student Handout B2: Matrix for ISN

Student Handout B3: ISN Guidelines & Expectations

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right



Suggested Time: 10 minutes; complete for homework 1. Challenge students to create an editorial cartoon. Have students turn to page 4 of their interactive student notebook. Tell them that you would like to challenge them to create an editorial cartoon. 2. The subject of the cartoon should be on the ISN. Tell the students to use the interactive student notebook as the subject of their cartoon. The cartoon should include things that would explain features the features and benefits of the notebook. 3. Challenge students to use appropriate materials. Students can draw their cartoon and color it, or use other means to create their cartoon.

“Going Digital” Suggestion
Have students use a web tool that allows them to create their cartoon and share it. One possibility is .

“What if” Suggestion
What if you don’t want your students to create their own notebook using a spiral? What if you have a consumable notebook instead? What if you’d like your students to include other features not listed as part of this activity? Teaching is a private practice. This way to set up the notebook may differ from what you like. Adjust your matrix and materials as needed. It is also suggested to review the Social Studies Alive (for elementary) or Bring Learning Alive (for secondary) methods books as a whole section in both is devoted to various configurations of the interactive student notebook.

Basic Training: Starting the School Year Right


Student Handout B1: Buddy Clock

Directions: When your teacher asks you to, circulate the room and get a different student to PRINT their first, last name by each hour on the clock. Here are a five rules to complete this task.

Print Your  Name Here

1. 2.




Print your name in the middle of your clock on the line provided. You may only get another students name on your clock ONCE. When asking someone to sign a particular hour on your clock, you BOTH have to blanks by that hour. If you are having trouble finding someone that has an opening for a particular hour on the clock, ask aloud, “Does anyone have an opening for __ o’clock?” Take your completed clock to your teacher when all twelve hours are filled.

Want to be my 2 o’clock appointment?

I’ve already got someone there, can we do that?

Can you also sign my 6 o’clock appointment?

Are we allowed to sign more than once?

I’m open at 10 o’clock, are you?

Let me look. No one has signed my 10.




Student Handout B2: ISN Matrix

Notebook Feature

Two words to  describe feature

Why is this feature  important?

To Do List for You
Create a Table of Contents  inside the front cover like the  example. Number the TOC page 1 Create a bag with a glue  stick, pack of colored pencils,  and a pair of scissors from the  supply area. Cut out the Buddy Clock Glue it onto page 2 Add the title to your TOC

Notebook Setup Materials Used Previews Reading Notes Process Pages

Fold this matrix in half Glue it onto page 3 Add the title to your TOC.

On page 4 of the ISN, create  a large rectangle on the top  half of the page. Add the title, “Cartoon  About ISN” at the top and TOC. Glue the “Notebook  Expectations and Guidelines”  to the inside‐back cover of the  ISN.

Notebook  Assessments

Student Handout B3: ISN Guidelines & Expectations

INTERACTIVE STUDENT NOTEBOOK GUIDELINES What is the purpose of the notebook? The purpose of the interactive notebook is to enable the student to be a creative, independent thinker and writer. Interactive notebooks will be used for class notes as well as other activities where students will be asked to express their own ideas and process the information presented by this class. What materials will the student need? *Spiral Notebook: Spiral bound, College bound preferable 70 sheets to 100 11 x 8 ½ in. Three holed punched *Highlighters *Blue or Black Pens, Pencil, Colored Pencils or Crayons *Glue-sticks

How should the notebook be organized? Students will get detailed instructions in class the first week of school, but what follows is the basic premise. The notebook will be organized into a left side and a right side. What goes on the Right Side of the Interactive Student Notebook? The right side of the ISN is for class and reading notes. As students take notes, they will structure them so that key ideas are clear and supported by examples from class instruction, discussions, or reading assignments. What goes on the Left Side of the Interactive Student Notebook? The left side of the ISN will be used for a variety of different activities, including homework. This side should be the place where all of the creative and artistic inklings come busting out! Left side activities will ask the student to demonstrate understanding of new ideas. The kinds of new activities for the left side are listed as follows: “PREVIEW”: is an activity where the student will be asked to preview new material that will tie into the content of the lesson. This activity relies on students’ prior knowledge and is meant to be something that EVERY student can answer. “PROCESS”: an activity in which the student will be asked to present new ideas they learned from the lesson in a way that is meaningful. For example, a student my show their understanding of new ideas by writing a poem or a story, drawing pictures, making diagrams, drawing political cartoons, or writing a eulogy. How will it be possible to earn an “A” on the Interactive Student Notebook? A student who expects to receive an A- or higher grade on their notebook will be one who has taken the time to consistently include thorough, neat, accurate, and colorful work. How will the Interactive Student Notebook be graded? Notebooks will be checked quarterly for neatness, accuracy, and completeness. All class notes and notebook assignments should be included, even for days in which the student is absent. Students are personally responsible to check the MASTER ISN I keep or MYSELF for work. Students can expect to have their notebooks checked twice first quarter and once a quarter thereafter. Where will the ISN be kept? For the most part, the ISN will never leave the classroom. Only on days where there is an extended Process activity for homework. A box to hold ISN’s for each period of American History will be left in the classroom. What happens when the 70 page notebook runs out of paper? Students will use one notebook per quarter. This eliminates the cumulative damage from day to day use over time.

Placard B1: Notebook Setup

Setting up the Interactive Notebook is extremely important. It’s also important to be consistent. Notice that the Table of Contents allows the student to find their place quickly. What other features in the set up of these notebooks allow students to find and know what is on the pages?

Placard B2: Notebook Materials

The materials used to maintain the Interactive Student Notebook are critical. Look at the following pages. What did the student use to create a good looking notebook? Some of the pages look like handouts. What tools will be needed to get handouts inside the notebook?

Placard B3: Notebook Previews

The first part of every lesson will begin with a preview. This part of the lesson is usually 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes students recall previous information. Sometimes students share a thought on a possible scenario. When you hear the word “preview,” what role do you think this plays in the lesson? Why would it be an important part of the notebook?

Placard B4: Reading Notes

When the class moves into learning new content from an activity, textbook, lecture, or other source of information, students take their notes around graphic organizers. Note how both words and images are used to help the student to remember the key information. Remember that this portion of the notebook is testable.

Placard B5: Notebook Processing

The class will engage in processing assignments at the end of each lesson. This is the students opportunity to show what they know. Look at these examples of process assignments, what are some characteristics? Would a student just be able to memorize facts and complete these assignments? Why will these assignments make you a better tester?

Placard B6: Notebook Assessment

From time to time, notebooks will be collected and assessed. The expectations and guidelines for keeping your notebook will help you to be ready for these assessments. While every page in your notebook may not be reviewed, all are fair game.

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