Using Interactive Science Notebooks for Inquiry-Based Science by: Robert Chesbro

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Tired of finding students' work overflowing from the garbage can on the last day of school? Try using an Interactive Science Notebook approach to help students make connections to their learning. This approach emphasizes the process of focusing, exploring, reflecting, and then applying as a systematic means of students conducting inquiry-based learning.

  • Middle
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 597 Libraries

Reviews (5)
  • on Sun May 26, 2019 2:29 PM

This article is a great read! It discusses how Interactive Science Notebooks are great tools for students to use to access knowledge. I love how it is stated that teachers should take their own approach when it comes to implementing ISN into their own classroom. I have seen many teachers use ISN throughout the year and I find that students always have a great time working through them. Assessment of an ISN should be up to the teacher. There is no right or wrong way to assess an ISN but feedback is crucial on a regular basis when students are working on ISN. Robert Chesbro does a great job at explaining how he implements ISN into his classroom and how he assess and uses them throughout the entire school year.

Alexandria Brubaker
Alexandria Brubaker

  • on Mon May 20, 2019 10:39 PM

This is a great article to learn how to implement interactive science notebooks as an assessment tool in the classroom. I have seen some teachers consistently use ISR at the beginning of the year, to only use them less and less as the school year continues. Robert Chesbro does a great job at explaining how to continually use ISR throughout the year. ISR can be both beneficial to the students and teachers if used correctly.


  • on Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:15 PM

Reading this article one learns some really interesting ideas. First one learns about “student-thinking interviews” and what they can generate. Secondly this article provides insight into the three types of strategies that help support this technique. A simple chart names them, describes them and provides an example of each. The interviews are performed to understand student thinking not change them. Using these interviews as preassessment an educator can them decide how to best approach new information about any topic. This is an excellent idea.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:39 PM

An outstanding resource for students that models best practices in its organization and design. I am a big fan of using interactive notebooks in the classroom not only as a 'one-stop study shop', but to encourage scholars to take more responsibility for their own thinking and learning. This article provides quality inquiry-based instructional strategies (and evidence of success) for integrating science notebooks into the classroom.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:36 AM

Great way to help students organize ideas and major concepts. Interactive notebooks are great for sharing with parents, too.

Dat Le  (Springfield, VA)
Dat Le (Springfield, VA)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.