Scientific Research and Interactive Notebooks
There hasn’t been any research specifically done with Interactive Notebooks. However there has been a significant amount of research done on the brain and how the brain works, functions and learns. It is up to each teacher to interpret how the scientific research and interactive notebooks coincide. Any doctorate students out there looking to do some research? Here is a great topic for you.
The first thing that attracted me to Interactive Notebooking was the active engagement in the learning.
I had a curriculum I was expected to cover. I knew the objectives that needed to be addressed. I even used the text books provided. That’s about all I used from the provided curriculum. The foldables and mini books I made myself. Sometimes we would take notes in the Interactive Notebook. It all depended on the information from the chapter.
When I used the Interactive Notebooks I taught in second and third grade. We would read the chapter,discuss the important points made, and go through all of the questions at the end of the chapter. That would give me an idea of what the book thought was important. We would then make a foldable or mini book for each objective. The students would be able to complete what they needed on the foldable which covered information from the chapter . If they couldn’t find this information, we would go back into the book and reread that section until they found the information. Or perhaps they could ask a friend to help them.
To make the mini book they would need to first color it and design it to make it look nice or go along with the theme. Then they would need to cut it out. Then comes the folding. I would be demonstrating each step of the way. They could stay at their desks or they could come up to the table and do it by my side. I also had a projection device that I could put it on the smart board. They could always ask if they needed help. Gluing it into the notebook was the next step. Cleaning up was the last step.
Depending on the subject, sometimes we needed to respond to notes. For example, in our grammar notebook, if we were learning about common nouns, I would print out the definition of what common nouns are. The children would paste this in their notebooks on the right side of their notebooks. On the left side (the back of the previous page) I would ask them to give examples of people, places, things, and ideas. They can then always look back if they have any questions of what nouns are.
Their minds, their hands, their bodies are always moving. Even their mouths were moving, and even moving about the content. Active engagement. Their minds are all processing information at different rates. They are moving throughout the classroom retrieving bits of needed equipment and information to put their notebooks in order. They are talking and enjoying time with their friends making fun memories as they learn. Active engagement. What more can a teacher ask for.
The more senses a child uses to learn about their environment, the more they know. Touching, hearing, smelling, tasting and seeing are the five modalities we learn with. Of course their are the more scientific terms- kiniethetic, etc. I’m not feeling scientific today. Touching the papers, glue, scissors, book, any examples of content are all ways the students will be learning. Hearing how all of this comes together, seeing how it all works together. Many times tasting may not come into play a lot, or it does when we don’t know ( eating the glue or the paper). Smells play a powerful role in learning. I can remember the smell of may science experiments from my elementary school days and have performed them in my classroom because of them. What more can a teacher ask for?
Gardener and his research came up with Multiple Inteligences. To tell you the truth my school district never really bought into this theory. If teachers did their own research and wanted to follow it, it wasn’t squashed, but we never really had to follow it. So I really don’t know it completely. I just know the basics. There are some intelligences that we learn by. Some are more dominant. Using Interactive Notebooks will help students of all intelligences.
I would ask you to comment below if you use Interactive Notebooks in your classroom. I want to know your thoughts and feelings. The general reaction from my colleagues is you do your thing, but I don’t have time to cut and paste. I would rather cut and paste and have kids actively engaged than waste my time and theirs unactively engaged. Doing Interactive Notebooks is one thing I miss about retirement.