Interactive Notes and Notebooks - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Interactive Notes and Notebooks

I love this idea from First Grade Parade! As my followers keep growing daily, I want to make sure you're "in the know" on some of my favorite things I've shared in the past. Hence, Throwback Thursday!

But my good friend Erin from I'm Lovin Lit is starting a new linky, too, and I couldn't pass up my chance on linking up with her!
So the post I'm bringing back is part of a Friday post from January, and it's about interactive notetaking! There are a lot of different ways and ideas to do interactive notetaking... I'm sharing how we use it in my room during Social Studies and Science in this post. :o)

Social Studies was the one thing I was able to keep on track in my busy week this week! Partly because I love the unit we are in now (American Revolution) and partly because I am able to pass off a lot of my lessons as Reading and Writing, too, so I can "double dip." :)  We actually finished our unit today! I taught the Battle of Yorktown through interactive notetaking. (We always read the passage together and pull out the important information. Each paragraph gets its own color, so then the "notes" match- they can find where that information is by looking at the color it's written/drawn in. The "notes" are just key words and phrases, and picture clues to jog their memory. It's been wonderful for my kids to help them study because they aren't just re-reading "stuff" I give them... they are reviewing what THEY wrote and drew. The student below should be able to tell me, based on her notetaking, that Washington's troops traveled from New York to Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis and his troops were in Yorktown, which is a peninsula. They were trapped by land, and also by sea because of French ships. Washington had many more troops than the British, and they fired cannons at Cornwallis and his troops. The British finally surrendered. Pretty cool, huh?)

...and the Liberty's Kids episode about the battle. I was so excited last year when we were able to access YouTube as teachers, because ALL of the Liberty's Kids are on YouTube! We took advantage of cold or rainy days inside and watched a few episodes, as well as having "Liberty Lunches" where we brought our lunches back to the room and watched some episodes.

I have a Causes of the Revolution Interactive Notebook in my TPT store, too! Check it out! It makes it so much easier to teach such a BIG topic!

I also love to use Interactive Notebooks for Science!
I LOVE the website to get great passages for our Science and Social Studies topics! You can search between the grade levels and find passages on most everything you teach. The passage in the picture above came from this website, and it is what I used to introduce the forms of matter. You can see, they boxed each paragraph with a different color, and then on the left, all of our notes from each paragraph are color coordinated. It's a great tool for studying! I also have them fold their notebook back so that they can't see the passage, and then "read" their notes to a partner. They must turn their pictures and phrases into complete sentences to tell their partner all about the topic.

We also LOVE foldables in my room! Here is one we worked on about precipitation:
 They drew the precipitation types on the right flaps:
...and then they defined the types of precipitation under the flaps:
Of course, I let them use their resources to help them!

We also made a foldable for the Water Cycle:
If you teach weather, these foldables came from my Weather Interactive Notebook Foldables resource that you can get from my TPT store! I used Erin's awesome Interactive Notebook Foldable Templates to create these! She is so awesome for allowing us to use them in our products. :o)

Thanks for stopping by! :o)


  1. Do you give them all of the reading passages to glue into their notebooks?

    We use a combo of articles, leveled texts, textbook (seldom) and things I've adapted from books, so I don't think it's always logistically possible, but it would make an awesome resource for them to come back to.

    I love the color-coding idea!

    1. I'm hoping to share more very soon, but yes! I give them the article or passage - I have a variety of sources I get them from, and sometimes I adapt them to include what they need to know. :)

  2. I love your interactive note taking idea! Great way to teach summarizing and determining main idea too. Thanks for sharing your always awesome ideas! Have a great 4th!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. I've used interactive note taking with Social Studies as well. I really like that it incorpoartes all those great reading skills into the content area and it has a little something for every kind of learner! Great post!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  4. We would love to have you join another blog hop and enter an awesome laminator giveaway!
    A Teacher Without a Class

  5. As you know my Social Studies curriculum is changing a wee bit next year :) so I really like the idea of going to an Interactive Notebook system focussing more on making connections and comparisons. Can't wait to read more!

  6. Wow. You are the POSTER teacher for integrating reading into every subject with the Common Core. I'm responsible for training and supporting the implementation of Common Core in my school for grades 4-8 this year (my school is always about a year behind the rest of the world, minimum) so I'm going to be sending some 4/5 teachers STRAIGHT to your blog!
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit

  7. Love the color coding idea! So easy to refer back to!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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