Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Interactive Notebooks (I.N.B) in Grade 8: Front Matter & Rational Numbers

     Last year I used Interactive Notebooks with my Grade 8-10 Math classes with some success. My Grade 8 and 9 students used them the most but my implementation lacked direction and I don't feel my students got as much out of them as they should have. I still taught my lessons regularly and then we would do an Interactive Notebook entry at the end of that topic as a type of review activity. So, while useful, I wasn't using them to my full potential and my students could pick up on that,

     This year I was much more prepared and had class sets of notebooks for all student ordered before summer break even started! While I found lots of great ideas through basic Google searches and Pinterest, I spent the majority of my time scrolling through the great resources offered by Jennifer at 4mula Fun! Here is what I recommend:

- Introductory I.N.B Blog Post

- Webinar Video Page (Over 2 hrs of video explanations!)

- The 4mula Fun Teachers-Pay-Teachers store
(I bought the Flippable Template Pack & use it all the time)

     Since I found Jennifer's sharing so helpful and starting my journey, I wanted to return to the favour and share some things that I'm doing too (who knows, maybe someone will find it helpful!). All of the pictures come from my copy of our Grade 8 Math Interactive Notebook which is kept at the front of our classroom at all times for students to reference if they are absent.

     What I like about Interactive Notebooks:
- All students have standardized notes (I know everyone has the
  same information)
- I can easily say, "Check page ___" when students ask a quick
  question
- All of their notes are in one place, easy to find, and don't get lost
   in their binder
- The foldable aspect provides an activity for kinaesthetic learners
- Students have to focus more on the information when making sure
  they are putting it in the right spot
- I have easy formative assessment products through the output
  activities
- Students have built-in flashcards from the foldables for when
  they study
- They headings and organization helps teach note-taking &
  study skills

     We follow the Input-Output rule where, if you open up your I.N.B, the left-hand side is the Input page (meaning the information comes from the teacher) and the right-hand side is the Output page. The input side is what essentially replaces the traditional notes that we would have normally taken. The output side is a short activity or reflection piece that is completed independently by each student. It is completed anywhere from 1-5 days after and is used as a formative assessment tool for me to gauge where the student's understanding is. Here is a copy of the anchor chart I made for our room explaining this system.
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     We are currently finishing up our second unit of the school year but I wanted to start with sharing our introductory pages (Front Matter) and our pages for our first unit on Rational Numbers. I have tried to format this page so that the pictures reflect the input-output style of the I.N.B. Please note that my copy of the I.N.B does not have completed output activities, I include the activity instructions since it is used by students who missed that day.

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We start with our Table of Contents which states:
- Input or Output (along left-hand margin)
- Page Title
- Page Number
*I had students leave 2 blank pages after this to expand their Table of Contents as the year progressed
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I provided all students with a small copy of our Course Outline as an input entry. 
As an output entry I had students list:
- 5 things they learned from the course outline
- 5 resources/supports to assist them in the classroom
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We used the Respect for Diversity program at the start of the year and this Multiple Intelligences Quiz was a portion of that program as an input entry.
As an output entry we revisited page 4 before our first test and reviewed different study tips based off of students' Multiple Intelligences.

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This is the only example of in our I.N.B that broke our input-output routine.
At the start of the year I had student's create their own "S.M.A.R.T" Math Goals.
Now that we are in our second term, students have filled in a second goal on page 6 as well.

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Operations with Fractions (input)
- Definition of a Fraction
- Adding & Subtracting Fractions (different denominators)
- Adding & Subtracting Fractions (same denominators)
- Dividing Fractions
- Multiplying Fractions
- Examples of Each Operation

Working with Fractions (output)
- Least to Greatest Numberline
- Identify Errors in Incorrect Questions

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Operations with Integers (input)
- Definition of an Integer
- Adding with Positive Integers
- Adding with Negative Integers
- Subtracting Integers
- Multiplying Integers
- Dividing Integers
- Examples of Each Operation

Working with Integers (output)
- Equation Practice & Reflection

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Repeating Decimals as Fractions (input)
- 2 Step Explanations
- Examples

Equations with Repeating Decimals (output)
- 3 Equation Practice Questions

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What is a Rational Number (input)
- Definition
- Examples & Non-Examples
*I find it easier to do this definition last instead of first because students have already had lots of practice working with all of the rational number forms

Rational Number Forms (input)
*5pg book foldable: pictures continue below
- Pg 1: Integer or Decimal Example
- Pg 2: Fraction Form of their Integer/Decimal
- Pg 3: Equivalent Fraction of their Fraction Form
- Pg 4: Location on a Numberline

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Whew! Are you picture-overloaded yet?

     This is everything that was included for our introduction and first unit with our Interactive Notebooks. If my short explanations are not sufficient please do not hesitate to comment below and ask any and all questions you may have! I would never have been able to start if it wasn't for teachers helping me so I would be more than happy to pay it forward and help you!

*Thank you again to Jennifer from 4mula Fun for creating great products and helping me get started.

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