Something that I really enjoy using in the classroom are interactive journals (also called Interactive Notebooks or ISNs)
In short, if you are not using Interactive Journals in the classroom, you and your students are missing out!
There are so many benefits for both you and your students, and they can be used for EVERY subject! Here are some reasons why you may want to consider implementing Interactive Journals into your classroom:
Everyone uses both the left and right hemisphere of the brain, but there is a theory that we use one side more than the other – this is known as brain lateralization. Students who are left brain dominate are considered more analytical and logical. Right brain dominate students are thought to be more creative and artistic.
An interactive journal fosters both our logical and creative skills.
While using an interactive journal, students are doing so much more than just writing sentences. They expand upon their reading by filling out graphic organizers and organizing their information in a fun, creative way.
3. Students keep their work organized and neat.
Interactive journals have a table of contents and numbered pages. Students are required to place each page in the correct order and take ownership for their notebook if pages are missing. You can even have students color code or use colored sticky notes to organize information. Students will love the final product of having an organized, well designed notebook.
And what teacher would argue against not having to deal with free floating papers inside desks?
4. Interactive Journals can be used for every subject!
Interactive journals are often used as reading notebooks and math journals, but you can literally use it for any subject! An interactive journal to write down your scientific observations is great to have for lab activities during science!
5. Foldables and flaps are just plain FUN.
Seriously! Who doesn’t love creating hidden messages? :)
6. You can easily align student notebooks with Common Core.
7. Students will actually enjoy the note-taking process!!
Note-taking can be so mundane... You don’t want your students to just zone-out during a lesson and not absorb the information being taught! With interactive journals, students are active in the learning process.
8. Students take ownership and care for their notebooks.
Most of us care about the things we put hard work and effort into. Creating an interactive journal is a process. Students will take pride into their work and won’t want a single page missing from their notebook!
9. Students see the final product and can take pride in their work. Students can use this work as a portfolio too!
10. Multiple Intelligences are at work!
Interactive journals incorporate multiple intelligence (Howard Gardner’s theory) into your teaching. Get the other parts of the students brains working!
Intra-personal Intelligence - students looking within themselves. Journaling is great for self reflection
Naturalist Intelligence - use themes and topics related to nature
Musical Intelligence - explore different types of music using a journal
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence - organizing interactive journal in a logical manner
Existential Intelligence - exploring philosophical ideas
Interpersonal Intelligence - communication and working with other students
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence - combining movement and learning
Linguistic Intelligence -using language
11. Last but not least, here are FREEBIES to get your students using an Interactive Reading Journal!
Cover of notebook:
Reading Log/Table of Contents:
Character Development: Adjectives
Fun Flaps to get you started!
Are you ready to jump right in?!
Here are resources to keep an interactive journal throughout the ENTIRE year!