Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Interactive Notebook in the high school biology classroom

I know it's summer "vacation" but teachers never stop working or thinking about their classrooms. Every school year is a fresh start and a chance to revamp the way you have done things in the past. I love that I have that opportunity every year.

For the past couple years we have used some "Brain Breaks" interactive notebook activities that I had created. They worked really well to help the students review what they were learning in class and I've wanted to expand on that this year.

Back in the spring I came across Lee Ferguson and I was inspired by the Interactive notebooks that her AP Bio students create. I highly recommend that at some point this summer you go to her website and check it out. There are some amazing resources and ideas on her site.

Lee Ferguson interactive notebooks in AP Bio
Before you go to her site, let me show you what I have been doing.

I have a belief that as a teacher if I am going to expect my students to do something then I also need to do it. It not only helps me work out the kinks it also helps me realize what it feels like to do it, and if the students will like it or find it tedious and annoying.

Here is my current interactive notebook called "BILL" (Biology Interactive Learning Log). I got that name from Lee...how cute is that?

Here are some pictures from inside of mine:

Each unit has a tab and a graph where students can "Track your Progress" by graphing their grades on quizzes and tests in that unit.

There are Brain Breaks that we have been using over the past couple years.
You can find them here

Because Biology has a LOT of new vocabulary I have always had the students do flashcards but this summer I redesigned them to make them visually more appealing. You can find them here

"Buzzword" Flashcard Template EDITABLE!

And my latest addition...on Pinterest I saw where some really creative math teachers have been using Spiral homework that reviews old concepts and brings in new material so I've been working on those...I'm working on making one page for each week. I have several ideas for using those as homework, bellwork, and/or group work...I'm sure that a post will be coming soon about those.

Spiral Biology Practice, students glue at the top and flip up to put answers underneath.

To give you more information about what is in it...
I plan to send this in an email to all parents and students BEFORE school starts...yep, I look up all of their email addresses and contact them before the first day.

On the first couple days of school we will tape 2 composition notebooks together with packaging tape and we will set it up by numbering the pages (only put a number on the right hand page...then refer to the pages as the number Left or Right...for example: 17R, 17L) glueing the table of contents in (you'll see that these also have page numbers in the top right of each page: 2L 2R, etc)

Here are the Table of Content pages for the whole year:

I hope this post gives you ideas... let me know if you have questions and let me know if you have any ideas or if you have used interactive notebooks in your classes.

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