Sunday, March 9, 2014

How do interactive notebooks interact with technology and online learning?

I really don't enjoy going this long between blog posts.  This figuring out a routine for working full time, working on my PhD, and finding time to workout and blog is not exactly ironed out yet.

I am spending my Spring Break studying, resting, and trying to do a little bit of planning for the third quarter of the school year.  It's hard to believe we only have like 2.5 months left. I really want to focus this last quarter on doing a review of the major concepts.  I feel like I tend to try to do so much that sometimes it is hard to fit in the depth and quality needed. I want to really keep working on getting my students to work on effort and quality.  The only way to do that is to cut down and allow time to go deeper and have application.

I am thinking I would like to have my students make a learning portfolio during this last quarter that could be a keepsake of what they learning in 5th grade. I love the idea of doing interactive notebooks throughout the year, but I have struggled with it since my students work more independently.  I work in a a blended learning environment, where my students learn through teacher-led lessons and online curriculum both. I am thinking about using a resource like Learnzillion to review over some major concepts in Math and Language Arts at the end of the year.

They could take notes on the lessons in a specific format and then have an output or reflection just like you would for interactive notebooks.  Here is a link to a really cute note-taking form I found. I might just copy it to a smaller size, so we could glue it in a notebook.  We may also just follow the format.

You can create accounts in Learnzillion for your students and assign them playlists of lessons and practice quizzes.  You also could just copy links to playlists and provide them to your students in Edmodo or on your own website. Here is a link to an example playlist:

I love the idea of the input and output aspect of interactive notebooks, but it gets a little trickier when not all lessons are teacher-taught. Does anyone know of a great list of output ideas to give students for journal reflections?  We have our own online curriculum, but what I like about the Learnzillion lessons is that they are short and very clear.  I want to try them as a review to see how my students respond to them. I think they will be a good supplement to review.  I want them to take notes on the lessons and then do a creative reflection.

I have also considered making a digital portfolio besides just a notebook type portfolio.  For a digital portfolio you could either use: - Creates a digital binder - Creates a digital portfolio in the form of feeds - Students could build their own website detailing what they learned or - Students could make a blog with posts on what they leaned.

I am leaning toward using Weebly to have them build a website. I think it will be more organized and look visually more appealing.  We will probably make some type of physical notebook, too.  I may even have them take regular notes on paper, but create their creative reflections on the computer and post those to their digital portfolio.  Have you tried doing learning portfolios with your students?  What process did you use?

I really want to see how interactive notebooks evolve as more schools embrace flipped learning and online learning.  How would you blend interactive notebooks with technology?


  1. Thank you so much for telling me about LearnZillion! This is such a great resource for me and my students!

  2. Hmmm. You're a little busy. :) I love LearnZillion as well! I have not tried any of the digital notebook ideas you listed, but I love the idea! I'm off the investigate some of these resources. Thanks!


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