Category : Seventh Grade

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

Learning about the American Revolution

History is really interesting to me, but I know some students get bored in history classes. My kids really enjoy learning about history with interactive notebooks. It combines history with hands-on activities and a bit of art.

Here are few picture of my American Revolution Interactive notebook in use.

I think it’s great to actually get the students excited about History and present it in a different format than they are used to. If you’d like more information you can check out my American Revolution Interactive Notebook on TPT.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Interactive Notebooks with Higher Level Math Classes

prealgebra interactive notebook

Some people might think interactive notebooks are only for younger students. Some people believe that learning pre-algebra, geometry and algebra should be taught through worksheets and videos and other means. I think that Interactive Notebooks have their place with these upper grade classes as well. Here are my three reasons why I think you should use higher level math subjects.

1. Many students today are young when they take pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. When I was in school students didn’t take algebra until they were in high school. Today, students start take algebra as young as 11 and 12 years old. They are still young and would enjoy learning in a fun and interactive way.

2. Even students in high school are still young at heart and would just love some school work outside of the norm. Sure, there might be some students that might roll their eyes at the work, but they probaly would roll their eyes at anything.

3. It gives students a sense of accomplishment. Students can reflect on what they’ve learn and can also study for test using their interactive notebook.

Here are some of my own Interactive Math Notebooks for higher level math classes:
8th Grade Math
Pre-Algebra
Algebra
Geometry

math

interactive algebra

Four Reasons Why Interactive Math Notebooks are Beneficial for Older Students

Interactive notebooks have been the rage for the last few years, mainly for younger grades. I think they are actually beneficial for students from Kinder through 12th grade and here are my reasons.

#1 – Students can take the time to reflect on what they’ve learned and come back to the concept at a later time to review. When I was in middle school and high school, math was easy for me. However, it wasn’t easy for everyone in my class. (And I have to admit I had other subjects that were difficult for me, but that’s another post in itself). Fractions and algebra are really difficult for some students to grasp. Once they do grasp the concepts, they are golden, but the initial hook can be difficult. Because of the difficult concepts taught in middle school and high school, I believe that interactive notebooks can help students to grasp the concepts. Many of my interactive notebooks have activities where students can review what they’ve learned and that is key especially when they are studying for end of the year (or course) tests.

interactive notebook prealgebra

#2 – Visual learners can learn quicker with interactive notebooks because they are so visual. Not everyone is visual, but many students are and interactive notebooks will help them to learn the concepts quicker due to the nature of interactive notebooks.

interactive notebook prealgebra2

#3 – Interactive Notebooks give them a sense of achievement. At the end of the school year students empty out their backpacks and look at what they’ve done. They will probably just toss out worksheets, and they may even toss out their interactive notebook, but I guarantee that they will take a second be proud of what they’ve done.

interactive notebook prealgebra4

#4 – Older students are still kids and like to have fun. Who likes to do boring worksheets? Not me and not my students, but they sure do love to do interactive notebooks regardless of their age. It’s fun to have a foldable or a cool cut-out that hides the answer or helps them to solve the problem.

interactive notebook prealgebra3

Here are my Interactive Math Notebooks for Older Grades:
Interactive Math Notebook for 6th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 7th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 8th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for Pre-Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Geometry

Have a great school year everyone!

Around the World Interactive Notebook

Learning about countries is fun to do with an interactive notebook. It’s something you can work with your students several times each year, adding a country each time you use it. Each country has facts, foldables and cute graphics to color.

world int 5

My daughter loved learning about Japan. She’s really been into Japan and learning Japanese lately, so it’s been fun to provide her with activities that she loves.
world int 4

The passages about each countries provide lots of useful facts and students can refer back to these as well in this interactive format.

world int 2

My favorite country is Russia and I love teaching others about Russia and all of the great culture it has to offer!

world int 6

A variety of foldables add to the uniqueness of this packet. It’s truely interactive with flaps, foldables and more!

world int 1

This interactive notebook is designed to work with a variety of age groups.

world int 3

There are 30 countries in this packet so you can either use all of the countries or select the ones that you’d like. Countries explored include: Italy, France, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Japan, China, India, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Portugal, Turkey, Albania, South Korea, Ukraine, Tunisia, Finland, Morocco, and the Netherlands.

world int 7

To find out more about my Around the World Interactive Notebook click here: Around the World Interactive Notebook

Interactive Notebooks for Middle School

A lot of people think that interactive notebooks are only for elementary students because older students don’t like to color and cut out things, but I have to disagree. I think we need to remember that even if you students are in middle school or even high school they are still kids. Interactive notebooks are a good time to get away from technology and go back to the basics of cutting, pasting, and creating their own learning masterpiece.

Picture1

Not only does it help students learn without technology, it also helps them to be more confident. They can look back and reflect throughout the year to see all of the skills they’ve accomplished.

Picture2

They can look at things differently than they would normally look at it. It brings out the creativity in students.

Picture3

Also some activities can be done in pairs or groups to help students learn to work cooperatively.

Picture4

Allow your students to be kids again and try out interactive notebooks in your class.
Here’s my newest interactive notebook: Interactive Writing Notebook for 7th grade

Picture5

Celebrate diversity for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.I’ve just completed work on a new product – Martin Luther King, Jr. Close Reading. I would love for you to check it out, because I think it is one of the best products I have completed to date.

To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the month of January, I’ve created a Celebrate Diversity worksheet available as a free download for you to do with your kids. You’ll find it after the following information about my new Martin Luther King, Jr. product available at our online store.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Close Reading

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month, here is a book containing nine different non-fiction informational texts about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. There are chapters about Rosa Parks and President Barack Obama included as well, so that young readers can get an idea of the works of some of the African American leaders in our past and present.

Here are some pictures of some of the stories and activities being completed. Please note that if you have any pictures of your own to send us of kids completing any of our activities, I’d be glad to feature them!

Writing about personal civil rights:

civil-rights-activity

Sorting events in the story of Rosa Parks:

rosa-parks-activity

The completed Rosa Parks activity:

rosa-parks-activity-completed

Reading about the works of President Barack Obama:

obama-close-reading

Completing a civil rights vocabulary word search:

civil-rights-word-search

If all this looks interesting to you, and you would like to check out the product, here it is. I’m hoping that it will serve as a comprehensive introduction to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Close Reading

Click here. Covers Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades.

Celebrate diversity in the classroom

Here is a fun and free activity for you to use in your classroom or homeschool group to celebrate the diversity of the group. Have students take these printables and interview the other students in the class. They can find out which languages those students speak, what religions they follow, what countries they or their parents come from, and what interests and future aspirations they have. When they’re done, they should have worksheets full of interesting diverse answers from the kids in the classroom.

I hope you have a fantastic month of January, and a fun and educational Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Classroom Computer Rules Poster

Computer rules poster

Using the class computer

If you’ve got computers in your classroom, when you’re teaching your students how to use them, you’re also going to want to teach your students how to respect them. Computers are sturdy machines, but the right sort of abuse – soda spilled on the keyboard, or too much banging on the keyboard or mouse – can destroy the hardware. You’re also going to want to teach the kids in your class when they can use the computers and what they’re allowed to do while using them.

Stay SHARP!

Here is a free, colorful poster that you can display on your classroom wall or bulletin board behind your computer corner or center. The poster shares five important classroom rules using the slogan, “stay SHARP!”

The acronym SHARP stands for:

  • Share the computer (let everyone have a turn)
  • Help other classmates (not everyone is computer savvy)
  • Stay Alert when surfing the net (only go to permitted web sites)
  • Respect the computer (no eating or drinking allowed)
  • Get Permission to use the machine (don’t use it without asking first)

I hope that you find that this poster comes in handy when it comes to teaching your students the dos and don’ts of proper computer usage! If you have any other rules or guidelines that you instruct your students to follow when they’re using your school’s computers, please let me know!

Flags of the World Matching Game

Here’s a free download of a flag matching game for kids in sixth, seventh and eighth grades (during their final years of elementary school or in junior high school). It might also be used by high school students.

There are lots of countries in the world, and each one has its own special flag. This game gives but a taste of the various countries and their flags that exist throughout the globe – but it’s enough to help build an appreciation of geography and of the countries interspersed throughout the world and the flags that their peoples choose to represent them.

Cut out the flag cards and the country name cards, and then shuffle them up. Match the country name cards with their corresponding flag cards, and place them together under the correct continent where the countries can be found (North America, Europe, Asia, and so on). The continent cards in turn should be placed under their respective hemisphere cards (Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere).

Playing this game may require some studying beforehand – most students are unlikely to know all of the flags included in this game before playing. However, they might be able to guess at some – it might be fun to see how many they are able to get right before studying them! – and it will give them an impression of how vast the world is, how many different countries there are, and where on Earth they’re located. While you’re at it, you might also want to teach them a phrase or two of the languages found in the countries they’re learning about. Where different countries and their languages and cultures, there are lots of interesting things to teach and learn.

Have fun with it!