Life Science

Science Notebooks

How have you incorporated science notebooks into your life science classroom? Do you have any suggestions for future teachers about science notebooks? How have you found these helpful?

Sayde Anderson
Sayde Anderson
285 Activity Points

When doing my field experience hours, I have found that many of my cooperating teachers use a science notebook for each new experiment they do. One of my teachers had their notebooks broken down into sections for each part of the experiment. So, for example, she would have the students write all the vocabulary words used throughout the experiment in one section, their hypothesis for the experiment in another, their claim, their observations and evidence, their results and reasoning and then there would be a section for a reflection. The students seemed to enjoy it because it made them feel like "real scientists" and it kept things super organized!

Kelly Anne McKinley
Kelly Anne McKinley
2935 Activity Points

Hi Sayde, I find it extremely beneficial to keep a science notebook/journal. I am studying to be a teacher and in my teaching science class we keep a science journal. I think it is a great way to stay organized and reflect, because in our journals we take class observational notes on experiments and activities we do in class, we write down any questions that our professor wants us to respond to, and we write a reflection after each class on things that we learned, enjoyed, and would use in the future as a science teacher. I have also observed science classrooms that use science journals and the kids seem to really enjoy working with them because they like to write down their predictions, collect data, and write down their results. The students use these journals throughout every science lab, but they also use it during their science lessons to write down vocabulary words, or to take notes throughout the lesson. I find that if the journal is divided into sections it's easier for the kids to use the journals and stay organized. Hope this helps. :)

Sabrina Castro
Sabrina Castro
4185 Activity Points

Sayde, I am currently in my student teaching year, and in the science teacher's classroom she uses science notebooks when they complete activites and learn new vocabulary. What I would love to do in my classroom is use a science notebook as their main way to write things down and create things. I want my students to use their notebooks to write down observations during experiments, questions, diagrams, vocabulary and activities. I find that this may be easier with students who are older, but this is what I would do. Megan

Megan Bradburn
Megan Bradburn
490 Activity Points

I have always used science notebooks, I personally find it very helpful just having an organizations will allow the students to have great material to rely for exams, test and overall a study guide. For teacher it is beneficial in my opinion because it allows the teacher as well as the students to keep track of what they have done so far. Until this day, I keep all my notebooks and I enjoy going over vocabulary and assignments that I did during that particular grade level. Overall, it is helpful even after the school year is over because it allows you to go back and just re learn/study everything that was once taught to you. I will definitely be using science notebooks as well as notebooks for other subjects in my future classroom.

Luz Alonzo
Luz Alonzo
340 Activity Points

In this NSTA blog, a teacher shares her experiences: Interactive Science Notebooks http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2015/08/05/interactive-science-notebooks/ Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
7915 Activity Points

Hello!
I am currently student teaching in a 2nd grade classroom. My CT uses science notebooks just as a person would use notebook paper. Anything the students do related to science, they will paste in their note book; anytime they need to record something (thoughts, data, etc.), they will do so in their notebooks; or any thoughts the students have, they will jot down in this book. It works as a way of organizing the students learning process. I have even seen some teachers divide the book into sections by merely putting a tab on a new page whenever a new unit is started. It really depends on what works well for you and your students. 

Sara Gerke
Sara Gerke
770 Activity Points

I love the idea of science interactive notebooks, but I am concerned with at what grade to start using them effectively?

Jamie Fingleman-Soileau
Jamie Fingleman- Soileau
835 Activity Points

Any grade level can use science interactive notebooks effectively. The key to using them effectively in the classroom is knowing how to implement them effectively. 

Maria Isabel Carrillo
Maria Isabel Carrillo
800 Activity Points

I also like the idea of science notebooks as I think writing is a powerful tool and can be integrated with any subject but I am also concerned at what grade level they would be developmentally appropriate for students. I have seen people say that they can be implemented at any grade. If so, can anyone give an example for kindergarten or 1st grade? 

Jorge Armenta
Jorge Armenta
780 Activity Points

I have the same question. My CT used them last year and she said she didn't like it because it was just a place for them to keep their things. I thought well if all it does was hold their assignment why would I use them in my own kindergarten class, wouldn't it take up time to have them cut and paste (especially at this grade). I would really like to know if it is developmentally appropriate for Kinder because what I've heard doesn't sound good! I need a lot more convincing, at least for the lower grades, because I can see how beneficial they can be in the higher grades if used correctly, we use them in our own college courses and not just in science, and they worked great.

Jessica Martinez
Jessica Martinez
930 Activity Points

I've only seen the notebooks being used in second grade and above, but I think they could be incorporated at any age. The point is to get the students accustomed to using the notebook for studying or refreshing their memory about certain topics. It depends on what the teacher wants to put in the notebooks. For younger grades I think having notebooks for centers is pretty beneficial. If the students have their centers notebooks for science, they can briefly reflect on what they learned during the center or even any questions they have. For lower grades, I would expect shorter answers. 

Kayla Luna
Kayla Luna
635 Activity Points

Many know that regardless of the age, individuals tend to rely on some form of anecdotal recording in order to understand and recall it in the future.  An example is college students writing notes on sheets of paper or index cards, versus scientists through numerical and symbolic representation on computers.  Science notebooks are nearly a handy tool that students can easily use for their learning. Therefore, treat it as you would if yours; let them write their notes as desired, but that notes must be taken in some manner or another.  Allowing free-choice personalizes the decision in enriching information however to make it more interesting and meaningful to them.

Alexsandra Batard
Alexsandra Batard
965 Activity Points

I found this awesome blog on how to use interactive science notebooks in the classroom. She also has a Teachers Pay Teachers link where you can buy the interactive science notebooks that she created! http://thesciencepenguin.com/2013/04/thinking-about-starting-interactive-science-notebooks.html

Jaclyn Lawrence
Jaclyn Lawrence
655 Activity Points

I have seen interactive notebooks used in class rooms that I have done field hours in, and loved them. I have also experienced an introduction to them and hands on practice in one of my early childhood college classes. I feel they are a great resource for students to use, look back on to remember information, and great to study from. Plus the hands on approach, I feel, helps students retain information better. My daughter is 11 and this past school year she had one in science and social studies. She frequently referenced them while doing homework and studying. There are many great online resources to get you started in your own classroom. Pinterest has many templates based on subject and topic, as does teacherspayteachers. The website http://sciencespot.net/Pages/ISNinfo.html gives you help for hints, resources, examples, and frequently asked questions. Great resource!

Brooke Copeland
Brooke Copeland
1270 Activity Points

I have used science interactive notebooks with students as young as kindergarten. While we used them for a series of three lessons and not the entire school year, I am still sure that they would have been a beneficial aspect in the classroom throughout the whole year. I think that the key to using science notebooks, and any classroom materials for that matter, is consistency. I remember being very excited in elementary school as I was preparing all of my notebooks for each subject. At the end of the year I would only have ten pages of my science notebook filled out and it simply felt like a waste of a notebook. I definitely plan on using notebooks and interactive notebooks with my future students. I am currently taking classes to teach fourth and fifth grade and can really visualize what a great resource these would be with the older elementary grades. Good luck!

Jane Brooker
Jane Brooker
1045 Activity Points

Your thinking is right on! Science notebooks can be an important tool in science instruction. Consistency is also important. I taught grades 4-6 for many years and it was very exciting to see the growth in students' scientific understanding . the evidence of that growth is right there in their science notebook. The science notebook is also a great tool to share with parents to show them how their child is progressing in science . I have attached a few resources people might find helpful. Kathy

Attachments

Kathy Renfrew
Kathleen Renfrew
33445 Activity Points

Kathleen, Thanks for sharing the resources on notebooking in science. In the powerpoint you shared, there are two slides that contain the following: WDWWWWWH? Could you explain what that means? I'm thinking maybe it starts with "What Do We Want . . ." but I can't figure out the rest of it, and googling the phrase didn't turn up anything. Thanks!

Rita Hulsman
Rita Hulsman
215 Activity Points

Hello!
I am currently a pre-service teacher and have just started my Teaching Science course. One of the very first topics we discussed was science notebooking! I immediately fell in love with the idea of letting students informally record their thoughts and findings during class! Some of the key aspects of a science notebook we talked about were things such as creating a table of contents in the first few pages of the notebook. This allows students to easily find a specific lab or assignment they did without spending forever flipping through pages. Another great idea we talked about to include in the notebooks was a 'Line of Learning.' At the end of a lab or assignment after the students have made predictions and then made their conclusions, students are asked to draw a line across the page and write what they have learned that may have been different than what they had originally predicted at the beginning of the lesson. This allows the students to reflect on their prior thoughts and their new knowledge.
Good luck!!

Meagan Johnson
Meagan Johnson
180 Activity Points

Hello, I am currently doing my first semester of student teaching and my partner's CT uses notebooks for science. I think that it is a great way for students to have a place to put all their work in without losing it as well. Most of the students seems to enjoy it because when it is science time they know to pull out their green journal. All of their work is kept in one journal making it easier for the teacher to grade as well. As long as, students are able to keep up with their journal and know where most things are. It should be easy for both the students and teachers.

Susan Nguyen
Susan Nguyen
930 Activity Points

I started using interactive notebooks in class last year and I have grown to love them. Teaching at an alternative school I have a high occurrence of absenteeism and students who simply lack resources. By using the notebooks the students have a consistent source of paper to complete tasks with, they have all their notes and pertinent work in one place, and the students can easily see what tasks are missing when pages are blank.

Jasmine Anderson
Jasmine Anderson
445 Activity Points

Interactive notebooks are beneficial for students of all grade levels and they can also be used in almost any content area. Students can keep their interactive notebooks throughout the school year to go back and reflect on covered materials. In their notebook students can complete assignments, write down observations, and keep their written reflections.

Anisa Cummings
Anisa Cummings
1025 Activity Points

Hello Jessica, I agree that the interactive notebooks are more productive with higher grades because it involves a certain level of independence keeping up with the entries. I am student teaching a fourth grade class and the students often have to write their own responses and make study guides. The students are responsible for making entries as study guides for tests, and it means that students have to be on top of their notebooks. Without a certain level of maturity and understanding it might be harder for younger students to keep up with one. Instead of having an interactive notebook for younger kids, a folder with all the work samples might be better.

Farah Aziz
Farah Aziz
1035 Activity Points

I would agree with using notebooks with older grades

Diane Soto
Diane Soto
845 Activity Points

Hi Sayde, I believe journals are extremely beneficial to a classroom. You should divide it in sections and have sections for labs, class notes, reflections, etc. and allow the students to write all their information on there. This is an easy way to collect data and have class information at the same time same place.

Rachel Chaple
Rachel Chaple
610 Activity Points

Science notebooks from what I have seen have been very useful to students. It keeps their thoughts organized and helps them have everything they have learned about science throughout the year in one place. The students have a table of contents and if kept up with is very successful. However it is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure the students are keeping up with their ISN's. Also, keeping an interactive science notebook also teaches students responsibility!

Aleena Naqvi
Aleena Naqvi
320 Activity Points

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