Interactive Notebooks

What is an Interactive Notebook?

  • An interactive student notebook includes class notes, drawings, diagrams, timelines, class work, opinions, reactions, and homework.  In a nutshell, the notebook becomes the student’s personalized [insert subject matter] text.
  • If you do a simple Google search you will find that History, Science, and Language Arts classes use this concept the most but there is no reason that Family Consumer Science courses couldn’t do the same!
  • Interactive Notebooks Guidelines for Teachers (PPT)

Why are Interactive Notebooks so special?

  • Interactive notebooks are special because they require students to process information for themselves. They way this is done is that on the left side a of a notebook there are class notes, quizzes, handouts, etc. On the right side of the notebook there are student generated content such as pictures, advertisements that fit the theme, cartoons, reactions, responses, questions, etc.
  • Notebooks are graded, keep students engaged and require students to process the content in content heavy courses.
  • When students are absent, the teacher keeps his/her own notebook for classroom reference so that students who are absent can see what was done while they were out.

Interactive Pages

Do you have your students make an interactive notebook? Leave your response in the comments below!

15 comments for “Interactive Notebooks

  1. Alison
    July 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Hi: I've used interactive notebooks to teach science for a number of years. This year I was reassigned to teach FCS, and of course utilized my trusty notebooks. It is a wonderful tool. I could not teach without them. I especially appreciate the templates you have published.

  2. Raine
    July 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Alison, PLS HELP!! This is my first time teaching fcs and I don't know where to start! I would love to use IN in my class!

  3. Laura
    July 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This is also my first year teaching FCS and if anyone could give me some pointers or tips I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!!

  4. Serina Gay
    July 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you for posting this information. I just finished our Georgia ACTE Conference and was fortunate to get to see some examples of interactive notebooks in person. They had adapted some of the common foldables to use within the notebooks. They also created opportunities for students to sort information. They would have the students label the categories and create very small pockets under the categories where they could slip in a small sheet of paper with a term, photo, definition, etc shown on it. They kept all the part in an envelope on the opposite page. The envelope then had a small piece of velcro on the tab to prevent the loss of pieces. This sorting activity is something that we might do as a group effort, but when done on a small scale for the notebook, it allows the students to take it home to study, too.

  5. op59
    July 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @Serina, I attended the GACTE conference as well and that is what prompted my interest in the interactive notebooks. I am searcing the internet for all of the information that I can find as I plan to use this tool in my classroom this year.


  6. Christie
    July 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Ditto with Alison's comment! I used interactive notebooks originally to teach earth science, but realized I could not teach without them and so I introduced them to FCS and health students as well. They worked wonderfully and the students had a lot of pride in them which made me happy.

  7. Maggie
    August 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I would love to use this technique of interactive notebooks but need some ideas. Please help. I teach middle school child development, sewing and interior decorating.

  8. Amy
    August 18, 2012 at 3:27 am

    Thanks so much, I have been looking into these wondering if I should start with one of my preps this fall and didn't see much in FCS…I should of know to come to your site first. Thanks so much for all your great resources all year long! I am always promoting your site in Idaho:)

  9. Serina Gay
    August 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Well, I'd say that the interactive notebooks are a huge hit in my nutrition class. The majority of the kids, really seem to enjoy the hands-on appeal of the notebooks. I even have some students competing to see who will have the best notebook at the end of the unit. I will have them create a new notebook for each unit out of loose-leaf notebook paper bound in a bright colored paper. A huge benefit of the notebook is that the kids have everything they need right there.

  10. Mandy Byrne
    November 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Would anyone be willing to share some of the materials you use for your interactive notebooks? I have middle schools FCS classes. Just at a loss of where and how to start…

    I would be more than willing to share the IPad resources I am creating to use with a classroom set of I pads.

  11. Christy
    October 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hi there, do you know how I can access the interior design interactive notebook you have pictured? I would love to be able to use those resources if possible. Thank you so much!

  12. Kyshia
    July 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    If ANYONE knows where I can start with the interactive notebooks for Fashion and Interior Design?

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