Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jumpstart January

Well, that break was nice, wasn't it? Now we get the fine privilege of wrangling our students after two weeks of sleeping in and staying up late. The first few days back after break can be defining moments for our class, so let's make the best of it! 

This hop is all about jump-starting the learning after a long winter holiday. The sooner we get these young minds engaged and instep with the program, the happier they will be (and the happier we will be also).

So, how do you do it? How do you take your students from this:

 To this: 

For me the answer is simple, it's what is the hands of the group of students who are happy and excited. Interactive Student Notebooks, we've come to call them ISNs or INBs. This note taking strategy is effective for many reasons. 

First: When given the opportunity to get creative with the display of the content, kids think about the material. They make it their own. This creates inroads to their stored memory and makes it easier to retrieve the content later.

Second: It is SO much more fun than boring old Cornell Notes! Don't get me wrong, there is a definite advantage to the basic Cornell Notes, however, adding interactive elements brings those boring T Charts to a whole new level.

Finally, and certainly not the least significant: Interactive notebooks are easily differentiated to meet the needs of all at least most of our students. A simple template with blank lines to fill in helps our struggling students make sense of the content. Most creators include another version of the same template with more room for the student to write out their own responses. To add difficulty for our advanced learners, simply provide them with the paper, scissors, and markers, and they can get creative making their own flips and flaps. 

If you are new to notebooking, or you've been at it for a while but want some new ideas, I have a page for that! Click on the tab "INB Hacks". I'll be adding new items to this page regularly. You will find videos, links to free templates, shortcuts, and more. If you have a great resource you'd like to share on the page, post a link in the comments below, I'd be happy to put it up for you. 

Would you like the opportunity to win $10 worth of resources from my Teacherspayteachers store? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is one of many included in the Jumpstart January Blog Hop, so click on that sled below and take a peek at another teacher's tips to help you jumpstart your January! Make it all the way to the end, and land on our collaborative blog The Lesson Deli for an opportunity to win a $50 Target gift card. 

Happy Hopping!

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