Math = Love: Interactive Notebook Dividers 2.0

Friday, June 3, 2016

Interactive Notebook Dividers 2.0

One of my favorite changes from last school year was to make dividers for my students' interactive notebooks.  The year before last, I tried using sticky tabs to separate units.  But, these just got bent up in students' backpacks.  The kids weren't using them, so I stopped handing them out.



This past year's dividers were made out of a letter-sized sheet of paper.  The paper was folded and glued in the notebook so that the title of each unit stuck out of the notebook for easy reference.


The very first divider had a place for students to mark off each unit as they completed it.  I never remembered to remind students to do so, so most of them left it blank.  A couple of students did enjoy coloring in their progress. 

 

Each unit's pages consisted of two parts: a score tracking sheet and a list of skills that doubled as a table of contents. 



A few weeks ago, Shaun started questioning me about these dividers and what I thought about them after using them for a year.  I told him they were a must-have for keeping notebooks organized.  I was able to help my students use their notebooks much more effectively this year because they (and I!) could actually find stuff.  

The dividers made me more organized because #1) I had to know exactly what skills we would be covering in each unit BEFORE it started #2) I had to know exactly what order said skills would be covered in during each unit BEFORE It started.

Then, we started discussing possible tweaks to the dividers for next year.  Since the skills are already written out and in order, we decided that the page numbers were actually unnecessary.  My students weren't using the page numbers to find things, anyway.

They were using the topic dividers that I gave them at the beginning of each unit.


Next, Shaun suggested that we could put quiz scores in place of the page numbers.  This would put the quiz scores right next to the skill instead of making students flip back and forth.

So, what goes on the other side now?  A pretty picture, of course.

Shaun already posted the dividers he designed from his geometry classes here.  I borrowed his new and updated template to make dividers for my Algebra 1 classes.  Here are the finished products:

(If you're straining to read the skills, they're posted here in a much more reader friendly format!)













Files are uploaded here as (editable) Publisher files and (non-editable) PDF files.  If you download the Publisher files, you'll need to also download these free fonts: Righteous and Open Sans.  All clip art images were downloaded from ClipArt ETC.   



46 comments:

  1. Sarah,
    You just saved me weeks of organizing. What do you want from Maui.

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    Replies
    1. I love this idea for my 4th graders! Time to start creating for August. Thank you!

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    2. Hey Elizabeth! Do you have this on TPT for 4th grade? :)

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    3. It is so wonderful to share a resource! I am so used to having to pay for these great ideas. Thank you for your time and ideas!

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  2. As always, Sarah, you are amazing! Thank you for always being so generous with your work. Congratulations on your marriage!

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  3. Hi Sarah, I am actually a 4th grade teacher, but love your idea of the tabs for your notebooks. Is there any way I could get the template from you? It would save me a ton of time!

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    1. I teach 4th grade, also....just replied as well. Would love to see a template that I can edit!

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    2. Her files are posted as an editable publisher file (all dividers are in one document.) She tells you what fonts you need to download to make it look right.
      https://app.box.com/s/kyurd8m07ng3q8ul48idhggtmwkyergl

      Also, her husband posted a blank template on his site as well.
      http://blog.primefactorisation.com/2016/05/24/geometry-notebook-unit-dividers-and-sbg-score-sheets/

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    3. Thanks for posting the links, Kaci!

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  4. I have decided to do notebooks with my Algebra 1 class this year and have appreciated all of the resources you provide so willingly! They have been extremely helpful.

    Before you posted your new dividers, I looked at your old ones. We're trying to make sure that the unit's vocabulary is emphasized more, therefore in the extra space on the left (before you updated them), I added a list of the unit's vocabulary with little boxes so students (in theory) could check them off as they learn them.

    Just a thought of something else that is necessary to the unit that you could add to your dividers in some extra space!

    -Kaci

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  5. Thank you for being willing to share your resources! When we have good stuff we need to share it not sell it to each other! Thank you for all you do on your website! I am already modifying your template to fit my needs! I will be making sure to give you credit for them as well! Thank you!

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  6. You are the best sharer EVER!!!! Thank you!!!

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  7. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I downloaded this and put it in google slides and made it my own. I am soooooo excited for this coming year. Thank you again...

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  8. Hi Sarah--
    Are these shown in the order you'll be teaching them? In past years functions has come before solving linear equations. Can you let this soon-to-be first-year teacher know which sequence you recommend?

    And thank you for being such a great resource!
    -Rebecca

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    Replies
    1. Yes. I tend to change my order each year based on what I think will work best.

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  9. Such a great idea. Thank you!

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  10. Do you have a copy in a different format? I can not get it to open.
    If so send to mradeck@csd.k12.wi.us

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    1. Sorry, I only have them in Publisher format. You could make something similar in Word.

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  11. YOU are a genius! I love this idea and I can use it for all of the notebooks for each of the subjects for my fourth graders. I have a lot of work to do in the next month, I guess. (Just changed grade levels.) I used to have my big kids tape in tabs which worked okay, but these . . . these are actually more useful than just dividing up topics. Thanks!

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  12. Looks fantastic! I teach 3rd grade and would love one for our standards. This might motivate me to make one. Do you have an editable set?

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    1. There is an editable Publisher file in this folder: https://app.box.com/files/0/f/8200144745

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  13. Hi Sarah,
    What is "initial score" and "updated score?" Do you give a pretest?

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    Replies
    1. I used standards based grading (SBG) so students are allowed to retest concepts they struggle with.

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  14. Thanks so much Sarah! We have a variable credit grading system that aligns nicely with SBG, and my big project this summer has been creating my own standards and aligning them with our credit system. Your templates were a great tool in helping me to making this happen, and I'm hoping that by next year, many more classes will get on board. I'll blog about it a few times I'm sure over the next year.

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  15. Wow! I have been trying to change how I set up my INBs. This is great! I teach 6th grade using the EngageNY modules. A great resource but... it needs a little something for students to reference later other than a stack of papers in a packet.
    The tabs are going to get rid of several things that just weren't working for me (numbering pages and the table of contents - my students never kept up). THANK YOU.

    I could not open your generous shared documents so I made them myself in word. I missed the google slides idea mentioned above.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry you had trouble with the files!

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  16. Wow. I LOVE these. I told my principal about them yesterday, and he was enthusiastic about reorganizing how Algebra 1 is taught. I just have to create the Laws of Exponents Unit, so that I can have them. Even though we do not use INB, these are still great for the students to have so they know what concepts will be taught during the unit. <3

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  17. Do you have the documents at the top of this page in an editable form? I did find the new ones that you revised, however, I prefer the first set for my 5th and 6th graders. These are AMAZING!

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing....these are great. I am pretty sure I am going to try INB for the first time this year. Do you have for sale a set for Algebra 2? I would love to see it if you do.

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing....these are great. I am pretty sure I am going to try INB for the first time this year. Do you have for sale a set for Algebra 2? I would love to see it if you do.

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  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  21. Did you post the reference section divider tab somewhere? :)

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  22. Can you tell me what NY, B, and A stand for?

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    Replies
    1. Sarah has a grading scale of A, B or Not Yet. Students that get a 'Not Yet' have to retake their quizzes until they achieve a A or a B :)

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  23. Hi! This is awesome! But I'm having trouble opening the pub file. I wanted to edit it for a 5th grade math class I provide support for. It's saying that I don't have an app to open it with. I've tried a pdf converter and a couple other apps I have but nothing has worked. Do you have any tips on how I can open it so I can customize it? Thanks! -Keri :)

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