Do you have your students writing in interactive notebooks? You should!
It’s no secret that writing across curricula and subjects is a big push in many school districts.
Why? Well, writing is one of those activities that allow students to think critically and develop their metacognition, all while reinforcing content vocabulary and communication skills. How many other activities can you think of that cover all these bases?
Writing in Interactive Notebooks Makes Connections
When we learn new information, we need to make connections between new learning and what we already know, or schema.
Fortunately, writing allows students to flesh out their thoughts and create a framework to insert their new knowledge.
One of my favorite strategies for writing in interactive notebooks to build connections is through Silent Conversations. This strategy allows students to work with a partner to form those connections. By completing this activity in their INBs, students can then refer back to it throughout the unit. Afterward, they are able to add information or clear up misconceptions they may have included.
Writing Builds Content Vocabulary
Content vocabulary is one of the toughest areas of learning. It’s no joke, but by writing with their newly learned vocabulary, students are able to start building their contextual knowledge around the words needed.
Keep in mind, not all writing in interactive notebooks needs to be at the same level. A great strategy for developing and using content vocabulary is through labeled drawings. Students can create a quick sketch representing a topic and then use their vocabulary and descriptive language to label their illustration and explain their learning.
Writing in Interactive Notebooks Encourages Critical Thinking
It has been proven that writing improves your thinking process and encourages metacognition. In turn, this builds critical thinking skills and allows students to think more deeply about the subject matter at hand.
Every time a student writes in their interactive notebook they need to have a plan, carry out their plan, and clearly communicate their ideas to the appropriate audience.
Writing Supports ELLs
For all of the reasons above, writing in interactive notebooks supports English language learners. The use of schema to build connections, the ability to practice vocabulary words, the low-risk opportunity to apply critical thinking skills, and the ability to communicate with an audience is the holy grail of learning.
Writing Builds Stamina
Furthermore, whether you are writing in interactive notebooks or elsewhere, writing is a tough activity that takes practice to build stamina. The stamina built while writing allows students to feel success in not only their writing but also when it comes to doing tough tasks outside of the classroom.
By including regular writing sessions, students feel more confident in their abilities and are better able to take on challenges.
Ready to Start Writing?
Are you ready for your students to start writing in their interactive notebooks, but still not sure where to start? Check out this Ebook with strategies on interactive notebook output ideas that will have your students writing in no time!