How to Set Up an Interactive Notebook


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned.

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement

Interactive Notebooks can be a very beneficial asset for all your students, especially those who prefer a less traditional approach to note-taking and assessments. By using an Interactive Notebook in your classes, you will provide your students a central location for depositing all information, project ideas, questions, responses, and reactions. By using the circular format detailed below, students can design and decorate a binder that will not only organize their knowledge, but help them to retain it beyond the initial assessment. 

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Students should start with a binder. Though it isn't necessary, the white clear-view binders are best so your students can customize the cover, helping to distinguish between different courses. By labeling the class on the front, inserting dividers or other accessories to organize and divide, and decorating the binder to their liking, students can provide a space that is welcoming and comfortable, encouraging further learning.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The circular layout of the daily spread encourages students to move readily from the objective and bellringer, to the day's class notes or activity, to the homework assignment, and finally, the LSA: left side assignment. These four components require students to tie the parts of the lesson together, and allow for a more creative method of obtaining and gathering knowledge. By embracing different learning styles and including activities that cater to brains working in all different ways, students can flow freely from left side to right and back again, forming a strong hand-eye-brain connection with colors, shapes, illustrations, and more.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The top of the left page is the space for the day's objective and bellringer. Consider the bellringer a sort of tease, which wakes up the brain and induces critical thinking and learning. Students generally respond to the bellringer during the first few minutes of class, often without much prior knowledge, and will continue to build upon their bellringer answer as they obtain more knowledge.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The top of the right page is the 'meat and potatoes' of the day. This includes any notes taken during class, graphic organizers used, and can even expand beyond the page. If you do paper activities, such as guided note-taking exercises, projects or activities, these can be hole punched and inserted between the two daily pages, or can be taped directly on the upper right section. This critical section is what moves the Interactive Notebook from a note-taking tool to a component of the Interactive Classroom, and the contents of this section are critical for review and retention.

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Below the notes section, homework is listed and explained if necessary. This way, students can easily view their assignment alongside the day's activities, providing an efficient reminder of what they learned and making it easy to apply their knowledge to their assignment.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Lastly, the left side assignment or left side application is at the bottom of the left page, just below the bellringer/objective section. This is a wrap-up assignment which allows students to process what they learned. Also considered the formative assessment, the LSA ties all components of the day together and allows students to comprehend on a deeper level.

Bonus! For the free resource pictured in this daily Interactive Notebook spread, check out Where Do Goods Come From? Geography Mapping & Bulletin Board Activity!


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement

Together, these four components of the daily Interactive Notebook layout are designed to help students form connections between parts of the lesson, form a deeper understanding of the knowledge they obtain, and keep everything organized and accessible in a practical manner that makes review easy and unintimidating. When used in conjunction with other engaging lessons and activities, and when used in an effective Interactive Classroom, the Interactive Notebook is a great stepping stone for improved learning and retention in all classrooms. 




Happy Teaching!




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Brittany Cloyd
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