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Calling all 1st and 2nd Grade Teachers!

Blog Posts, Interactive Math Notebooks, Math

Do you use Interactive Notebooks in your classroom?  Are you interested in using them this year but not quite sure how to get started?  Maybe you have been using them but would like to learn some new tips and tricks?  I have a few tips that you might find helpful to get you up and running smoothly!
Let’s start with the notebook.  Some teachers prefer the spiral notebooks and some prefer the composition notebooks.  I say, there is no right or wrong answer to this question as long as they are being stored correctly.  The biggest complaint with the spiral notebooks is that they don’t hold up and the pages fall out.  Personally, I prefer the spiral notebooks because of their size.  Composition notebooks are smaller.  I mentioned storage…if you plan to use the spiral noteboooks, don’t have the students store them in their desks!
 So, where do you store them?  I store them in these containers.  Each student has a tub number for the entire year and that is where they store their spiral interactive notebook.  I have conveniently placed these tubs near my desk because I do like to go through them, occasionally grade, and leave feedback.
 At the beginning of the year we always spend some time preparing our interactive notebooks.  One of the tasks we do is glue down some Table of Contents pages.  Each time we complete a page in our INB’s we add the name of the activity and page number to the Table of Contents.
 Another management piece that I have found to be beneficial are these tabs.  Some teachers like to make sections for each chapter/unit but I like to make sections for the skill.  I find that this makes it quick and easy for students’ to reference if they are looking to check back on a previous skill/activity.
 One of the biggest complaints that I hear about interactive notebooks is that students don’t work at the same pace and that there are always a couple of students who never finish and therefore have loose pieces laying around that eventually get lost.  Well, I have a solution for this problem!  Introducing…the EXTRA PIECES POCKET!  All that I do is take an envelope and tape it to the back of the notebook.  Yep, it’s that easy!  No more missing pieces and it’s a quick and easy spot for your students to access when they do have the time to finish their page!  If you want to learn more organizing tips or if you want to see how I grade these INB’s click on the images below to take you to these blog posts.Slide1




  1. Kelly Harrison

    Great idea about gluing an envelope to the back for extra pieces not yet finished! This will come in handy with my kindergartners this year! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mrs. Bergmann

    I wanted to implement interactive notebooks so badly this year but I wasn't able to manage it. This is my first year in 2nd grade (I've taught 4-5th). Two questions I have that may help me 1) isn't the constant cutting and glueing time consuming and distracting? 2) do you use them everyday? Every lesson?
    Thank you for any help you can give

    • Karen

      I teach second grade also & I started using interactive notebooks this past year. I love them. Yes it does take time for gluing & cutting; however it’s worth it. I often do the initial cutting/gluing activity on Mondays – that gives the students time to finish & add to it through the week. I teach everything in small group/rotations. While I’m working with one group, another group is usually on the computers, the next group is working in their notebooks.

  3. Jennifer Figueroa

    Could you write a blog on how a lesson look in your class? Example: pacing for the week. Like Monday introduction, Tuesday development of the lesson ect. I’m just curious on how this would look in the class. I’m assuming you don’t create a page everyday so how would you use this throughout the week?

    • Angie Olson

      Hi Jennifer. Thanks for the great suggestion! Yes, I will add this to my list of topics to blog about, great idea!


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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