Interactive notebook output strategies don’t get enough action if you ask me! I am willing to bet that when you think of an INB you are likely thinking about cute fold and cut activities that students use to take notes on. Don’t get me wrong, these are great, but they are only one-half of an interactive notebook. They are the input.
What I want to talk about in this post is the other side of things, the output strategies.
Simply put, interactive notebook output strategies are the thinking part. With the input, we are pouring information into our students. Using output strategies, students respond, synthesize, and process that information. This is where those higher-order thinking skills come in. Isn’t that what we are really looking for?
Traditionally, you find the input on the right side of a notebook and the output on the left side, but this is not a hard and fast rule.
Output strategies may seem like a major undertaking, but they don’t have to be. Below are three of my favorite, low prep strategies.
Output Strategy #1
I call this strategy simply, a social media post.
Using the information from the input side of their notebooks, students create a social media post about the event, person, or era they are studying. It is up to them to decide if they want to create a Facebook post, Instagram post, Tweet, or post for whatever new social media channel has popped up.
The important thing is that students understand what a post on that social media channel looks like. For example, a Facebook post is going to be heavy on text and may or may not have an image, where an Instagram is going to focus on the image with a caption, and a Tweet is a short piece of text.
Along with having the proper format, students must include relevant information about their topic. This strategy is usually very engaging and allows students to show off their creativity.
If you wanted to take this strategy one step further you could include multiple points of view. An example of this would be social media posts from the colonists and the British soldiers present at the Boston Massacre.
Output Strategy #2
This next strategy I call, “One Thing.”
In this output activity, students must determine what the single most important thing about a topic is and finish the following sentence stem.
If you only know one thing about ___________ it should be ____.
This strategy really encourages students to get to the heart of the matter and determine its importance. It is always interesting to see what aspects students zoom in on.
Output Strategy #3
Another crowd-pleasing output strategy is two truths and a lie.
This activity is completed in the same manner as the game by the same name, but the statements should be about the topic being discussed in class.
After students write their three statements, they can quiz their classmates.
Pro-tip: Model this strategy extensively, especially how to write a believable lie.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
Output strategies can make for deep thinking without a lot of work from you, the teacher. While it is up to you to determine which activity works best for each topic, students should be doing the heavy lifting here. Don’t overthink it!
Ready to Get Started with Output Strategies?
Want more interactive notebook output strategies? Check out this Ebook with all my favorite strategies along with examples and editable rubrics to make assessment easy!