Interactive Notebook Series (Part Two): Grading & Rubric

Using a rubric for interactive notebooks can be a great tool for both you and your students. I don't grade every interactive notebook activity but for the ones that I do grade, this rubric works well. This would be a great resource for first grade and second grade classrooms.

I am often asked the question, “Do you grade your students’ interactive notebooks?”  The short answer is yes and no.  Let me explain.

Before I start, I want to emphasize that I teach second grade so this is what works for me and my primary age students.   An important piece of my interactive math notebooks does include the grading component.  I will start off by saying that I DO NOT GRADE EVERY SINGLE PAGE!  Not only is it time consuming but I also do not feel that second graders should be graded upon how they PRACTICE new concepts.  If I am going to take a grade on an INB page, I am going to choose a page that I feel the students should have a good understanding of, prior to the assembly of the page.  I also tell my students when I am taking a grade on their assignment.

Do you grade your students' interactive math notebooks? This post will help you with tips and tricks to grading and rubrics for interactive math notebooks!

Here is the anchor chart that I display at the beginning of the school year.  I post it on my wall and we talk about each rating in detail.  I have my students come up with why they think each example is a 1-star, 2-star, and 3-star assignment.  When they give me their reasons, I write them on sentence strips with arrows that point to the example on the poster.  This anchor chart gets displayed and referenced all year.

Do you grade your students' interactive math notebooks? This post will help you with tips and tricks to grading and rubrics for interactive math notebooks!

If a student is going to earn 3 stars on their assignment, there are 5 components that I am looking at that need to be their “2nd grade best”.  You will notice that each of these components are labeled in the photo above.

3-Star Criteria:
1.  Title of activity is at the top of the page and written with nice handwriting.
2.  Date is written in the top right corner with nice handwriting.
3.  All flip flaps/pieces are cut out nicely on the lines.
4.  Answers are clear and thorough with multiple strategies displayed (if applicable).
5.  Coloring is done neatly with more than one color (if applicable).

2-Star Criteria:
1.  Title of activity is at the top of the page with legible handwriting.
2.  Date is written in the top right corner with legible handwriting.
3.  All flip flaps/pieces are cut out and glued to the notebook.
4.  Answers are written with a strategy displayed (if applicable).
5.  Coloring is done with more than one color (if applicable).

1-Star Criteria
1.  Title of activity is NOT at the top of the page.
2.  Date is NOT written in the top right corner.
3.  Some flip flaps/pieces are cut out and glued to the notebook.
4.  Answers are basic or incorrect with NO strategies displayed.
5.  No coloring or very little coloring is done and may be messy.

Do you grade your students' interactive math notebooks? This post will help you with tips and tricks to grading and rubrics for interactive math notebooks!

Just the other day I was asked this question…”Why do you only put page numbers on the right side of the notebook?”  Here’s the answer.  The reason that we only put page numbers on the right side is because, unless it is a double page activity, my feedback and grading gets written on the left side of the notebook.

As you can see from my examples above, I do provide feedback with the star rating.  I feel it is important to be specific about what I feel the students do well and what they need to improve on.  When I am providing feedback to my students, I always try to give them a compliment sandwich.  The only time that I find this to be hard is when their is exactly what I am looking for.  The image below gives a better visual of what I mean by the term compliment sandwich.

Do you grade your students' interactive math notebooks? This post will help you with tips and tricks to grading and rubrics for interactive math notebooks!

I feel that if our feedback to them only includes the suggestions or areas that need improvement, it becomes too negative.  At the same time, you can’t only give compliments to what they do well because they will never know what they need to work on.  Make sense?

One more point that I want to make about grading is that if a student receives a 1-star rating, it will always have a comment stating that they need to come and see me so we can work out the struggles.  My math block of instruction time is organized so that my students can choose a math center to complete when they finish their independent assignment.  My centers are independent because they are activities that reinforce the skills that have already been taught.  I mention this because this is a great time for students to come and see me so we can go over an assignment or interactive math notebook page that did not go well.  I do keep a record of students that I need to see so that if they “forget” to come and see me, I can call them over once they finish their independent assignment.

If you are looking for some interactive math notebooks that can get you through the entire school year, check them out HERE or follow my interactive notebooks board for ideas to use in your classroom.

Interactive Notebooks

Don’t forget to pin this post to your Pinterest board so you can reference this post later.  Feel free to use the Pinterest-friendly image below.
Do you grade your students' interactive math notebooks? This post will help you with tips and tricks to grading and rubrics for interactive math notebooks!

 

15 Comments

  1. Ashley Richardson

    I will start student teaching in the fall and I an excited to use interactive notebooks. We learned about them for science but not for math or language arts. How often do your students use their interactive notebooks? Everyday, a few times a week? Also is this the only math notebook they use or do you also have another math notebook that is not interactive. It would be great to see your interactive notebook schedule and how you put it to use. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Great questions, Ashley! My students use their interactive math notebook (on average) 2-3 times per week. That does change a little bit depending on the skill that I am covering and the activities that I have. My students have 2 math notebooks. One is for their interactive activities and the other is for their Problem of the Day. That being said, there is not a right or wrong answer to this question. That's the beauty in it. You have the freedom to do what works for you and your students! As for my interactive notebook schedule…sounds like a great idea for a future post! Good luck to you!!

      Reply
  2. newagewaiter

    I am so thankful for you and these posts! !!!! ������I've wanted to try interactive notebooks for a while but I never felt like I knew enough and didn't want to use my students as guinea pigs. ���� However you have been a great help to me. I'm looking forward to learning much more from you. Thanks a bunch. �������� Can you please answer Ms.Richardson's questions? I would like to know the answers too.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Thank you! I am glad that these posts are helpful! I also posted answers to Ms. Richardson's questions if you were looking to read my answers! 🙂

      Reply
    • newagewaiter

      Thanks for responding. Do you use interactive notebooks for reading/writing/ELA too?

      Reply
  3. Mrs. Yazzie's Classroom News

    Love your anchor chart. You are quite the artist. I appreciate this information. I have never taken a grade for our notebook work before. I have, however, given my students a list of criteria depending on the work being completed in the notebook. For example, at the end of every month at the close of our calendar time I would ask the students to look at the calendar and tell me facts about the month. After about 3 to 4 minutes of sharing, they'd get their notebooks and put some of those facts in written form (pictures, words, sentences, list, whatever worked for them). I'd tell them for for a "meets" I expected at least 4 facts, but if they wanted to earn an "exceeds" they'd have to articulate at least 6 facts. And for anything less than 4 facts, it would earn them an "approaches" unless they wrote little or nothing. Then they earned a "falls far below." (Those are the grading terms our district uses.) At least a few times a month I'd ask students if they'd be willing to share their completed work with the whole class and to explain their thinking and solving process. I usually choose a variety of students in order to be able to have them model a variety of problem solving strategies. But the truth is, other than me granting stickers or verbal encouragement for work, it was never a concrete grade. Math notebooks went with me to RtI meetings as evidence, but nothing deliberate for grading purposes.

    And until this year, I called it a math journal. Only after I purchased a few of your sets in the spring did our journals begin to make the gradual switch to "interactive." Now that I've built up a good supply of INB resources I am sure they will continue to morph, although I'm also sure I'll still have non-interactive work included as well. So I look forward to your next post in the series, the "why" of it all! This is helping me to grow as a teacher not new to math journals, but very new to INBs!

    Reply
    • Mrs. Yazzie's Classroom News

      Oh good grief, I didn't realize I had written so much until it posted. Sorry to "over run" my comments!

      Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Ha! Ha! Loved your good grief comment! 🙂 Don't apologize for the length…I love it! I love how excited other teachers, including myself, get when it comes to these interactive math notebooks! The interactive piece definitely adds excitement and engagement to it all doesn't it?! It sounds like your system is working for you in your classroom and that is the beauty of it all. There really isn't a wrong or right answer! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and offering your INB insights!

      Reply
  4. Lori Smith

    I used interactive notebooks last year and loved them. There were a few glitches though. Your posts have given me some great ideas for dealing with the problems I had last year. I just love your anchor chart! What a great way to get them to do their very best in their notebooks! Thanks for the posts! I'm looking forward to reading part 3!

    Lori
    The Reinspired Teacher

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Thanks for stopping by, Lori! I'm glad that I was able to help you out with some ideas to get around the glitches! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Debbie K

    I'm not sure how I missed this when you first posted it, but I'm sure glad you had a link to it in your "9reasons" post. It's got so much helpful info. I'm loving the series! I've invested heavily in your 3 Math bundles and can hardly wait to start using them!
    Always Primary

    Reply
  6. Erika Mejia

    You had mentioned that you have independent stations. How do you organize these so that students stay on task and provide quality work? How do you make sure you are differentiating their work?

    Reply
  7. Erika Mejia

    Also, how do you reflect the three star system in your grade book?

    Reply
  8. Ruth

    You had me at compliment sandwich☆

    Reply

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

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