It's Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog, writing to you from balmy Ontario, Canada. The weather is not normally this nice during the fall season. Well I have survived a month of school and am excited to share a new to me strategy for taming the paper monster in my classroom.
I have serious interactive notebook envy. I am slowly trying to update my teaching style to incorporate more purposeful and interactive use of notebooks.
I cannot believe it has taken me seven years to finally discover how to effectively and neatly store worksheets and photocopied papers in notebooks. The best part of this new discovery is that it came from an eighth grade student in my homeroom class. I had previously asked students to fold the paper in half and glue half of it a whole page in their notebook. Eek! I always felt guilty because the glue made their notebooks messy and it used up a whole page.
This year I suggested students keep a binder for math and use loose lined paper instead of a notebook. The majority of my class has switched to this system and are enjoying feeling more like high school students.
I have a few students who love their notebooks and won't make the switch. This past unit I handed out a few practice sheets or lessons on photocopied paper. These notebook students had the papers in a few different states:
- in their lockers
- shoved into their notebook in no order
- hole punched and put into a binder with no connection to the lesson or unit
- stapled neatly into the notebook
The last student had stapled the sheet into their notebook only at the top of the page with two staples at either corner. This meant that the paper could easily be lifted up and the work could be completed underneath - loosing no paper space.
The student completed their work in their notebook and when they were finished they stapled the paper into their notebooks only at the top. This meant that the student did not have to keep flipping the paper back and forth during practice time AND their notebook stayed neat. I am so excited for this idea. When I checked everyone's binders and notebooks before our first unit test, I used this notebook and staple strategy as model for the rest of the class.
What tips do you have for making students keep neat notebooks? How do you tame the paper monster? Please leave your ideas in the comments below. I can't wait to read them.