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Tips for Using Interactive Notebooks in Kindergarten

I love seeing all the creative ways teachers use interactive notebooks in their classrooms but I’ve always felt that they’re more for older students because of all the different pieces and specific places to glue. (If you’ve ever used glue with kindergarten, you know what I’m talking about – total mess!) But this year, I was determined to make interactive notebooks work for my kindergarten class. For my first interactive notebook experience, I chose to use them in science however, these tips would work in any subject!

Want to use interactive notebooks but stuck with getting started? Check out these tips to using interactive notebooks in a kindergarten classroom.

Tips to Making Interactive Notebooks Work in Kindergarten

Setting Up Your Interactive Notebooks

  • Use a full-page label sheet to for the front cover. (This tip comes from Ashley at Teach Create Motivate.) I designed my cover to say Science Notebook with two scientists and a place for students to write their name. When I was ready to put these covers on my student’s notebooks, I printed them on these full-page labels which you put in your printer just like a regular paper. Then I trimmed the sides to fit and stuck it on the front, just like a giant sticker!
  • Glue a front cover for every unit or sub topic. My science curriculum has multiple units so each unit has different cover inside the notebook and that’s how we know everything after that cover page belongs to that unit. Some teachers use tabs to separate units or subtopics. I don’t do this because once we’re done with a science unit we don’t come back to it so there’s no need for students to tab back.

Want to use interactive notebooks but stuck with getting started? Check out these tips to using interactive notebooks in a kindergarten classroom.

General Tips

  • Trim the actual interactive notebook pages that go in the notebook. This makes one less step for students and saves a ton of time!
  • Give your students one page at a time. If you give them the background page plus any other pages where you need to cut and glue or fold, things get jumbled and at least one kiddo is going to cut something that shouldn’t be cut.

Want to use interactive notebooks but stuck with getting started? Check out these tips to using interactive notebooks in a kindergarten classroom.

 

  • Model, model, model! Of course this goes for literally everything in kindergarten but especially for the tricky interactive notebook pages.
  • Help your students find the next page. You wouldn’t believe how many interactive notebook pages I’ve had to pull out because a student just opened his notebook and plopped it down wherever it opened.

Want to use interactive notebooks but stuck with getting started? Check out these tips to using interactive notebooks in a kindergarten classroom.

Although interactive notebooks can be tricky to navigate with the younger students, it’s totally possible with these tips and tricks! What would you add to this list?

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Community Helpers Unit: Tips and Resources

Each year, I look forward to teaching my Community Helpers Unit in social studies. Students learn so much about important people in the community and even get to visit a certain community helper through my end of unit project.

Community Helpers Unit: Tips and Resources

The Hook

I love introducing units with a video clip or a hands on activity. This gets students interested from the beginning and it helps create anticipation for the subject.

Ideas to hook your students for your Community Helpers Unit:

 

Community Helpers

 

Community Helper Freebie!

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Community Helper Book

I teach community helpers through multiple books and online resources. Each lesson, I focus on a different community helper. We read a book about that helper or watch a YouTube to learn exactly what this person does in the community. Then, students discuss the most important part of this persons job and brainstorm two to three sentences that they’ll write in their own community helper book. By the end of the unit, students have written 11 pages about community helpers. I turn these pages into a book with my binding machine. (Affiliate Link)

Check out These Books to Teach Each Helper

(Affiliate Links)

Community Helper At Home Project

One of my favorite parts of this unit is the project that I send home. For this project, students get to choose one community helper that they want to learn more about. Many times, my students pick a job that they want to be when they grow up.

For the project, they research their helper, develop questions and go into the field to see their community helper in action. Then, once they’ve become an expert, students create a poster about their helper to share with the class. My students get so excited to tell their friends everything they learned!

What do you love teaching about community helpers?

Resources

Community Helper Student Book    Community Helper Project

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Projects: An Alternative to Homework

 

Projects: An Alternative to Homework

Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class.

Calling all teachers: do you give homework? I’ve been giving weekly packets since I became a kindergarten teacher 4 year ago. I do like that while students are doing their homework, they are practicing what we’ve been learning in class and are given an opportunity to show their parents what they’ve learned or what they struggle with. However, I feel that students should be exploring the world and using their hands to learn instead of completing worksheet after worksheet. That’s why this year, I’m sending home monthly projects.

Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class.

Monthly Projects

Monthly projects are given in place of one of my weekly homework packets. They are designed to reinforce certain skills or concepts we’re learning but in a hands on way and so parents get involved. After each project, students present to their classmates about what they did and what they learned. It’s so precious to see kindergarten students get excited about their learning and put on their grown up voices to share what they did with their friends.

Projects By Theme

I created these projects to go along with a theme depending on which month the project is assigned in. For example, this September, my students completed an “All About Me” project so we could get to know each other on a deeper level.

This chart shows the name of the project, theme and what content area students are working on while doing the project.

Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class.

Projects and Family Involvement

What I love most about projects is that they involve my students’ families. In our “All About Me” project, parents helped their child by finding pictures of them as a baby or as a family. During the “Great Candy Investigation”, families worked with their child on different activities revolving around candy. This type of “homework” is more engaging than the typical pencil and paper work. It’s something students will remember as they grow older. They won’t remember the worksheet, they’ll remember the activity.

Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class.

Resources

My Monthly Projects Resource is a growing bundle, meaning if you purchase now, you get a deal because it’s priced low and as I add more projects to the resource, the price goes up. Check out my Monthly Projects Resource here.

Or check out the Monthly Projects I’ve already created through clicking the pictures!

Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class. Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class. Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class. Need a more engaging way to get students working at home? Read here to find out how projects work in my kindergarten class.

Do you send home projects in your classroom? What types of projects would you and your students enjoy?