notebook is an excellent way to organize and respond to the vast amount of
science content. As described by Bayerl (2007), the notebook is a functional
tool that allows students to document what they are learning in an input column
while responding to and organizing that information in meaningful ways in an
output column. The interactive notebook allows students to learn to take better
notes, respond directly to the text, and to form a consistent method of
- Establish the guidelines. Give each
student a copy to put into the front of his or her notebook. (The
document below is editable through Microsoft Word.)
- Give students the rubric so that they
will understand the expectations and how they will be scored. (The document
below is editable through Microsoft Word.)
- Use the notebook constantly.
Everything goes into the notebook: lab notes, lecture notes, warm-ups,
reviews. For each activity of input, students should create an output
that summarizes, visually represents, or demonstrates their thoughts on the
topic. Students may trade notebooks to critique one another's entries.
- Provide students with choices for output.
Students may start to develop patters of output because certain styles may
come more easily. Encourage and scaffold students to use other
varieties to expand their thinking.
- Use the notebook to guide instruction.
Collect notebooks frequently to assess student learning. Informally
check their work during class. As students develop their output, their
understandings and misconceptions will become apparent.
- Create summative assessments and projects
from the notebook. Don't allow the notes to become stale. Create
tasks that require students synthesize and summarize their understandings.
(Bayerl, 2007, p.2-3)