Setting up interactive notebooks is one of the most important things you can do to ensure organization and success throughout the year! Taking the time to set up interactive notebooks allows you to dive into deep learning and critical thinking skills with a solid base.
Gather Your Materials
You can save yourself a lot of time setting up interactive notebooks by gathering your materials ahead of time. I would recommend having students use the same notebook. I prefer the traditional composition books because they seem to hold onto their pages better than spiral bound, but that is up to you.
Additional materials to gather:
- white glue (sticks better than glue sticks)
- colored pencils or crayons
- I do NOT recommend using markers in INBs, but you do you!
- large envelopes to hold extra or unfinished pieces
- I have students glue these into the front of their INBs
Create a Table of Contents
The very first part of setting up our interactive notebooks was creating a table of content. This was on the first page and includes spaces for the topic and the page number.
Personally, I chose to only have students enter the first page of each unit on the table of contents for simplicity’s sake, but you could also choose to enter each activity.
Number the Pages
This is a laborious task, but doing it right off the bat saves endless time in the future. I choose to have my students only number the pages on the right hand side of the notebook where the input will go.
This serves two purposes. One, there are less pages to number. Two, it is less likely to get in the way of output on the left hand side of the paper.
Not going to lie, when setting up interactive notebooks with my fourth grade students we would flip one page at a time and number them together. This seemed like it took forever in the moment, but saved us endless amounts of time throughout the year.
Get Started Setting Up Interactive Notebooks
A great way to get started is with this Interactive Notebook Start-Up Kit. You can grab it for free from the slide in box!
Keep Going with Your Interactive Notebooks!
Check out more about interactive notebooks in the video below, and then grab your Texas History or U.S. History interactive notebook for a whole year of low-prep, high-engagement interactive notebook activities!