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Interactive Notebook

Elementary Science

Dr. Aida Alanis

Dr. Barbara ten Brink
InterActive Notebook
Elementary Science


The purpose of the InterActive Notebook is to help students learn and remember
important scientific concepts and to interact with their data.

Why Do They Work?

The InterActive Notebook uses the right and left brain hemispheres to help students
sort, categorize, and be creative with the content they are learning.

Setting Up The InterActive Notebook

• The first four pages are left blank for the Title and the Table of Contents. Starting
on the fifth page, the student numbers all the pages on the left side with EVEN
numbers and on the right side with ODD numbers.

• Students design a cover to define their individuality.

• Students create a Title page.

• Students insert a Table of Contents.

• The Interactive notebook will contain:

- Classroom safety contract

- Scientific processes
- Rubrics
- Data charts of student progress over time
What Goes
on the
Input Goes
on the
Right Side.
Right Page =
Input and Odd
numbered pages

ALWAYS start the

page with the date
and subject title at
the top of the

Students interact
with information
on the right by:

● Writing down
information given
in class.

● Taking notes
on the right side
as the teacher

● Taking notes
about textbook,
video, quest

● Inserting

● Defining
vocabulary words
and listing
concept facts.
● Taking notes for labs and lab instructions,
procedures, materials, and textbooks.

● Entering teacher questions and

sample problems.

● Inserting worksheets stapled or

glued into the notebook.

● Asking questions and finding


● Providing any other type of INPUT

from class.

What Goes on the Left Side?

Output Goes on the Left Side.

Left Page = Output and even numbered pages

The left spiral page demonstrates the students’

understanding of information from the right side
page. Students work with the input, and INTERACT

with the information in creative, unique, and

individual ways.

ALWAYS USE COLOR…It helps the brain learn

to process information. Students use highlighters
or underline the important information with color pencils.

Students process information through:

● Brainstorming ● Commentary
● Pictures ● Concept maps
● Writing prompts ● Diagrams
● Charts/tables/graphs ● Flow charts/timelines
● Mind mapping ● Venn diagrams
● Drawing/sketches ● Significant statements
●Questions generated ● Reflections

The following questions will help students

understand what goes on the left side of the
What’s my
purpose for
reading this?
How does this What do I already
information fit in know about this
with what I already topic?

What’s the big

What’s my hook for picture here?
remembering this

What’s the author

How can I picture going to say
this information? next?

What are the “expert

How can I
organize this

How can I What questions does

paraphrase and this information raise
summarize this What information for me?
information? is important

Samples of 3rd Grade InterActive Entries

Left Page = Output Right Page = Input

2 9-21-02 9-21-02 3

Magnet Poem Write down the following definition:

Moves stuff around
Attracts like material 1. magnet: A magnet is any piece of
Gets you around the world (compass) certain kinds of materials, as iron, that has
Never put near computers the property of attracting like material.
Electromagnets are made with
Two are on our refrigerator

28 1-2-02 (Homework) 1.2.2 29

Interview Response Question for Ms. Tuts, Animal Trainer

Q: Why do some animals not like people?

A: Animals may seem like they don’t like
us because they run away or growl. They
are just protecting themselves because
My turtle, Myrtle, likes me but she has to that is an instinct.
make sure she’s safe. That’s why she
hides in her shell sometimes when I want
to play with her. She was born with
instincts. It’s like when I try to stay near
my Dad when we go to a ball game. My
instincts tell me to stay safe.

42 1-14-02 1.14.2 43

Understanding what a Hypothesis is!! First 3 Steps of the Scientific Method:

I understand the first two steps of the 1. State the Problem: Will I be able to
scientific method but I always forget what taste different flavors of Kool-Aid if I
the hypothesis is. cannot smell well?
2. I know that smell and taste are
connected. I also know that your
Hypothesis sense of smell can help you taste
An educated GUESS about what I THINK 3. I think that I will not be able to tell
will happen in my experiment. My GUESS the different flavors of Kool-Aid.
or HYPOTHESIS does NOT have to be

Sample Cornell Style Notes

Student Questions Factual Information

1. Why are plants green? Scientist note that plants are green.
Many ideas have been proposed to
Understand plant color.

2. What’s photosynthesis? Photosynthesis means “to put

together with light” meaning that
plants use a process to produce
food and energy from light.

3. What does transmit mean? Plants are green because they

transmit green light.
Name ________________________________ Unit ________________________

InterActive Notebook

Table of Contents


2 3
4 5
6 7
8 9
10 11
12 13
14 15
16 17
18 19
20 21
22 23
24 25
26 27
28 29
30 31
32 33
34 35
36 37
38 39
40 41

Science Laboratory Safety Contract

• I will act responsibly at all times in the laboratory.

• I will follow all instructions about laboratory procedures given by the teacher.
• I will keep my area clean in the laboratory.
• I will wear my safety goggles at all times in the laboratory and protective clothing
when necessary.
• I know where the fire extinguisher is located in the laboratory and have been
trained on its use.
• I will immediately notify the teacher of any emergency.
• I know who to contract for help in an emergency.
• I will tie back long hair, remove jewelry, and wear shoes with closed ends (toes
and heels) while in the laboratory.
• I will never work alone in the laboratory.
• I will not take chemicals or equipment out of the laboratory without permission
from the teacher.
• I will never eat or drink in the laboratory unless instructed to do so by the teacher.
• I will only handle living organisms or preserved specimens when authorized by
the teacher.
• I will not enter or work in the storage room unless supervised by a teacher.
This contract is to be kept by the student.

Students should sign in the appropriate space below and return the bottom portion to
the teacher.

I, _____________________________________ have read each of the statements in

the Science Laboratory Safety Contract and understand these safety rules. I agree to

abide by the safety regulations and any additional written or verbal instructions provided

by the school district or my teacher.

________________________________________ __________________
Student Signature Date

________________________________________ __________________
Parent Signature Date
InterActive Notebook : Student Self-Reflection


1. Open your notebook to a concept of your choice. In several REFLECTIVE

paragraphs, write specific reasons why you chose the items, why they are your best
work, and what these assignments reflect about your skills as a student.

Consider the following skills in your reflection: organization, analysis, logic, creativity,
thoroughness, and accuracy of information, ability to put new information together, and
understanding new concepts, etc.

2. According to the rubric, indicate your overall rating of your notebook.

3. Answer the following:

• What information did you learn that was new to you?

• Was the notebook easy or difficult for you? Explain.

• Has the notebook helped you organize the material? Explain.

• Has your notebook improved? Explain.

4. What are your goals for improvement in this class?

5. What improvements or areas of change would you like to see in the class? Explain.

NAME________________________________ DATE__________________

InterActive Notebook Scoring Rubric

Contents are complete.
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

20 pts 16 pts 12 pts 8 pts 4 pts 0 pts

Table of contents is complete, accurate and up to date.

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

5 pts 4 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts 0 pts

All pages are dated and titled and numbered correctly. Left pages are even. Right pages are odd.
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

5 pts 4 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts 0 pts

Right and left-side topics are organized correctly.

always consistently sometimes never
5 pts 4 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts 0 pts

Use of color and diagrams is effective, helpful and appropriate.

The most important information is highlighted or colored.
Very effective good somewhat helpful ineffective minimal use none

20 pts 16 pts 12 pts 8 pts 4 pts 0 pts

Notebook is neat and shows attention to detail.

Pages are trimmed and glued accurately. Handwriting is neat. Coloring and diagrams are well done.
excellent good fair poor messy sloppy

20 pts 16 pts 12 pts 8 pts 4 pts 0 pts

Notebook shows excellent understanding of content and impressive self-reflection

of the work done.
Meaningful objectives are written for every page. Mistakes are corrected. Unit self-reflection is
done well. Parent review is completed. An understanding of the material is demonstrated.
excellent good fair limited
understanding understanding understanding understanding understanding

20 pts 16 pts 12 pts 8 pts 4 pts 0 pts


InterActive Science Notebook Scoring Rubric
6 Excellent
• Notebook contents are complete, dated, and labeled
• Pages are numbered (odd: RIGHT-side even: LEFT-side)
• Right-side/Left-side topics are correct and contents organized
• Textbook notes/writing goes beyond basic requirements
• Uses color and effective diagrams
• Notebook is neat and shows attention to detail
• Shows impressive, in-depth self-reflection about the work

5 Above Average
• Notebook contents are complete, dated, and labeled
• Pages are numbered (odd: RIGHT-side even: LEFT-side)
• Right-side/Left-side topics are correct and contents organized
• Uses color and effective diagrams
• Most areas meet requirements, but don’t go beyond
• Includes most of the traits of a “6”, but lacks excellence in all areas
• Shows in-depth self-reflection

4 Average
• Notebook contents are complete (at least 90%), dated, and labeled
• Pages are numbered (odd: RIGHT-side even: LEFT-side)
• Right-side/Left-side topics are correct and contents organized
• Uses color and effective diagrams
• Information shows a basic understanding of content topics
• Some areas meet requirements, but don’t go beyond
• Shows limited, but real, self-reflection

3 Below Average
• Notebook contents are complete (at least 80%), dated, and labeled
• Pages are numbered (odd: RIGHT-side even: LEFT-side)
• Right-side/Left-side topics are somewhat organized
• Uses minimal color and few diagrams
• Information shows a limited understanding of content topics
• Few areas meet all requirements
• Shows some real self-reflection

2 Inadequate
• Notebook contents are incomplete
• Some attempt at dating and labeling of entries is made
• Right-side/Left-side is inconsistent and contents are unorganized
• Information and concepts show only a superficial understanding of the subject
matter and/or show serious inaccuracies
• Notebook is not neatly written, sloppiness prevails
• Shows little real self-reflection

1 Incomplete
Notebook turned in, but too incomplete to evaluate

InterActive Notebook
Elementary Science

Parent Review

Dear Parent,

Your child is keeping an InterActive Notebook in Science this year. Please look through
the notebook and respond to the following items. Thank you for your time and support.

1. The work I/we found most interesting

2. What does the notebook tell you about your child’s learning

3. Comments, questions, or concerns?

Student’s Name: _____________________________ Date: ________________

Parent’s Signature: ___________________________ Date: ________________