Save 10% today on your lessons using the code GIVEME10


Tips for Using Interactive Notebooks

Useful and practical ideas to manage interactive notebooks in your classroom from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

We had a great discussion on our #2ndaryELA Twitter Chat about how to best use and manage interactive notebooks in the classroom. Teachers who joined the chat had great ideas to share. Here is a quick summary, followed by a detailed summary.

Interactive Notebook Top Tips 
  • Teach and model routines, expectations and material management to make INB’s an independent task 
  • Always keep a model INB for students to reference or to help absent students to catch up 
  • If you decide to grade your INB’s use pre-printed label rubrics to speed up the process
  • Skip the colouring or save the colouring for early finishers
  • Use the $0.15 spiral notebooks you can find on sale during the back to school rush
  • Engagement is the big focus for using INB’s – if students enjoy using this method for note taking they will want to use them as a study and reference tool 
  • Keep frequently used supplies in bins on each table group or at a central location in the classroom. 
Have you tried interactive notebooks in your classroom? Describe your experience with them. If not, what is holding you back? 
  • Using ISNs for the 1st time this year. Total success! Helps me structure lessons and guide learning
  • Finding it hard to balance the lesson with the cut/paste aspect
  • Starting this year with interactive journals. So far they like them.
  • Save coloring for “early finishers”
  • Sometimes, you can get away with a staple or tape instead of glue
  • Use the $0.15 spiral notebooks- each class one color all same size
  • Set a timer and reward anyone who finished before the timer went off or by the time it went off
  • Teach “superior kindergarten gluing skills” during the 1st week & threaten to take away gluing privileges for over-users
How and why do you use interactive notebooks in your classroom? What questions do you have about using INB in your classroom?
  • I use my interactive notes during centers so my students are actively engaged in their learning!
  • I use INBs for reading and grammar. I’ve enjoyed them better than conventional notes, and I think the students have too!
  • My goal with ISNs it to create a reference tool, something super usable that they’ll WANT to use
How do you manage all the supplies required for interactive notebooks in your classroom? What supplies do you recommend?
  • Keep a model and take a picture of each page for the Google Classroom for absent students
  • Each table has their own supply caddy with glue, scissors, colored pencils, markers, crayons refill as necessary
  • Use small manila envelopes to glue in back cover for pieces
  • Use bottled glue rather than glue sticks because it holds better. Students need to use dots of glue. Too much will cause pages to stick.
  • Provide scissors, glue, spiral notebooks, etc. I put in supply buckets for each group @EatWriteTeach has lovely smash books she uses
  • Keep scissors, glue sticks, tape, colored pencils & markers accessible in my room at all times
How do you assess student output in their interactive notebooks? 
  • I love them because they make my grading load easier.
  • Assessment is done 2x/trimester. I check for neatness-coloring, notes; and correct information on pages
  • I use mine for walk around quizzes with each other, so they feel foolish if they don’t have a completed notebook
  • Allow students to use their INBs on quizzes so it’s important they have the correct notes and they’re organized well
  • Create rubric for each unit, score per page. Sometimes have students glue rubrics next to an entry.
  • We only take notes in our IN, so I don’t assess them. I assess weekly center work and our weekly CFAs

Related Posts


2 thoughts on “Tips for Using Interactive Notebooks”

  1. Great question – there are digital versions of ISNs that teachers can use for certain students or the whole class. Another option would be that the student transcribes the content for their ISN on their computer and then glues it into their ISN.

Leave a Comment

This FREE persuasive writing unit is

By using highly-engaging rants, your students won’t even realize you’ve channeled their daily rants and complaints into high-quality, writing!

FREE persuasive writing unit is