Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interactive Student Notebook! The Case for Common Core!

The Case for Common Core!

This year more than ever before the Interactive Student Notebook makes is what you need to kick of Common Core the right way. 
Whether you are still using the old basal, moved on to novel studies, using a brand new curriculum your school just purchased, or just trying to navigate your way through the chaos, 
This tool is the ultimate organization tool for both you & the kids.

Students from previous years have I've taught referred to it as their "classroom bible". 
I've asked several of them to leave me their copies at the end of the year as future samples and they refused. They wanted to take it to high-school with them because they were so PROUD of their work and  knew they had everything in it to be successful in English & Language Arts.

The interactive Student Notebook is the ultimate differentiating & alternative assessment tool! It can be used across the curriculum - 
in all subjects and from the upper elemtary grades all the way through high school. An interactive Student Notebook serves as a live journal, personalized textbook, and a dynamic working portfolio 
for your students. 

If you've been following my blog you already know that my
 Interactive Student Notebook is my pride & joy!!!

This is a product I worked very hard to develop as I could not find any other resource like it.
When I moved to middle school I found myself with no curriculum,
 was told it was up to me to just figure it out. It was me & the state standards!
WHAT?!?!?!!?! I was only a 2nd year teacher!!!
I knew the ISN was what I needed!!! At the time, there were no resources available for it online, and slowly but surely, I started to develop it with my students to the product it is today.

It is truly my students' mini bible and they take so much pride in their work.
My now high-schoolers call me back EVERY year thanking me for this resource.
For my it's the perfect differentiation & alternative assessment tool.

In the past years that my students & I have used this tool it has greatly evolved.
I know use a combination of notebooking (a style of note-taking) and reflections.
In this packet, I created 100 templates for you to choose from and mix & match
 to work for each of your lessons.

You will see your students & lessons transform and blossom 
as you begin using this resource.

Below are pictures of STUDENTS SAMPLES.
(scroll to the end of this post to see my students' original notebook entries)

I also presented my Interactive Student Notebook in the fabulous 
Everything Intermediate Teaching Expo
where I share my "how to" get started, organize, and use across the curriculum.

(click the images above to purchase this item at a store of your choice )
The file is a zipped PDF. file.
You will need to unzip it to view it. Download WinZip (safe & free) to access the file.

This notebook resource is classroom tested & Common Core aligned!

This file contains an interactive student notebook packet with cover pages, a "how to" mini lesson, and 100 pages worth of templates to help you and your students get started with using this wonderful strategy. 

a cover page for the notebook (with the STARS)
A title page (for student information)
A guide to an Interactive Student Notebook for students to glue into their notebook.
A rubric.
A mini lesson to teach the students how to interact with the notebook. (Let them glue it into their notebook as well)
A Table of Contents for the students to keep track of their mini lessons.
A cover page template to use with the beginning of each unit.
100 Templates for both the right side (teacher input) and left side (student input).
*Mix and Match the templates to make them work for you, for each lesson, and for each student.
Use a variety of reflections to differentiate instruction for your students.
I print out the lessons for my ELL & ESE students while the other students handwrite the notes for differentiation (with some exceptions)

The Interactive Student Notebook nurtures all learning modalities & multiple intelligences.
It is the ultimate authentic assessment tool.

To read feedback, reviews, questions & answers others had about this product visit my

I'd love to hear from you!!!!!

Any questions, ideas, and feedback are welcome!


  1. This is fantastic! Thank you for compiling all of this. Amazing! ~Amanda

  2. Oh my goodness Mor, I am just catching up on everything and saw this---it looks nothing short of amazing!!! WOW!

    1. Thanks!!!!! It's really the kids who are amazing! They pur their hearts into it :)

  3. I'm intrigued, but I couldn't figure out how or where to access the tutorial to see how the interactive notebook works. When I went to the Expo site, I couldn't find a link.

    1. Here's the link
      It will soon be available as its own presentation via Teachers' Notebook. I will post the link when it's up.

  4. Just watched your presentation from the Everything Intermediate Expo and loved it!

    1. Thanks Julie!! So glad you won it toady!

  5. I use notebooks in my classroom but this just seems to be something that takes it to the next level. I would love to incorporate this in my language arts classroom. I already pinned this so I can remember to use this idea. Love it.

    1. Thanks Jennifer. It really does take it to the next level. It's amazing how much more they retain this way.

  6. What a GREAT idea! I have used some of your templates, ie. Four Corners, different venn diagrams, but to have them all in one place that the kids can use over and over again is so great! This is one of those tools they can take with them to the next grade and refer back to. I love it! I, too, started four years ago teaching middle school English and reading. Boy! What a shocker! I had taught only 5th and 6th graders and thought, "How hard can they be? They are only a year or two older than what I've already taught." Eye Opener!!! Needless to say, I had to start from scratch, too. I didn't put things in a notebook and I love yours. I live and teach in Idaho. I LOVE teaching and can't imagine doing anything else. Thanks for your great ideas! I'd love to have a copy of your notebook!

    1. Cheryl, you would be amazed!!! My now high schoolers constantly send me emails & texts telling me how helpful their notebook is now in High School! They refer to them all the time. They tell me that their English teachers & classmates want to make copies of their notebooks. I actually had several of their English teachers over the last 2 years contact me about the notebooks. The notebook is a one stop shop for me :)

    2. Well, since I didn't win one, I'll just have to purchase it. lol! It's too good not to have one. Yes, I can see how they would do that. I did try a notebook for them with all the grammar rules. I'm not sure if they still have them. I'm in touch with some, as well, so I'll have to ask them. :)

  7. This is wonderful! I can see so many uses with my kids. I struggle to find meaningful ways to discuss literatures. This has so many great ideas.

    1. Thanks Monica! Glad you can find a way to incorporate it.

  8. I teach third grade and think this would be a great tool to pull it all together and add such a personal dimension to reading and writing.

    1. Agreed!!! It can easily be adapted to every grade level & subject :)

  9. Wow, I am a first year teacher and would LOVE to use this!!

  10. I just purchased the presentation on TN...I love your ISNs! One the video, it said that there was a link to the forms. I did not see this link on TN, but I think it is because it was not from the original presentation. Would you be able to send these to me? Or where can I find them?

  11. I just came across this blog today and am very interested in the ISN. I will be teaching 9th grade (and possibly 10th grade) math this coming school year. I would like to receive more information before purchasing the ISN. I would like to have more details on how it works.

  12. I can be reached by email at Thanks.

  13. I actually plan on using something similar to this in my internship as a social work major (I plan on working with youth)

  14. Hi- I came across your blog on TBA and became your newest follower. I also ust realized that we are in the same FB group- Top Teachers...I am pretty new in there so I am still pretty much at the stalking stage.. trying to absorb it all. I loved this post on your blog! I started using ISNs in my classroom this past year on a specific unit in SS. It worked out pretty good but I would like to expand it in the upcoming year. I will be looping up to 5th with my 4th graders so they will be semi-familiar with this.

    Well, I just wanted to say Hi...if you get a moment, hop on over to my blog and check it out.

    Tales from a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher

  15. Just discovered your site as I am starting with interactive notebook in a few weeks. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SOME GREAT IDEAS!!

  16. These look absolutely fabulous!! Thanks for sharing!
    Science for Kids Blog

  17. I'm looking for the link to purchase just your presentation on interactive notebooks that you presented at virtual teaching expo, but not able to find.

  18. Hello I'm going to be a first year middle school language arts teacher next year and have been reading up on interactive notebooks the past couple of weeks. I downloaded your video and handouts and was impressed. I cannot wait to start this in the fall. My question to you is, you mentioned you spend the first 9 weeks of school teaching the students the different reflection strategies, do you have specific lesson plans for these? I downloaded the packet with the 100 templates but was just curious as to how you go about teaching them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jenny, thanks!!! No lesson plans for these just implementing those reflection strategies in my mini lessons so the students learn how to do them on their own.

  19. What do you think about using this as a homeschool portfolio?

  20. wow! amazing!! You are the the queen of INBs! :)
    ♥ Jen
    Teacher by the Beach

  21. This is great! It can open ways for students to use their creativity. With some modifications, I think an interactive student notebook will also work well for our preschoolers at Bumblebees R Us.

  22. I love this! Do you have students do different assignments in the journal for the differentiation aspect?

  23. I can't find where to watch the video. Both sites don't have options. Any direction on where to find it would be much appreciated!

  24. Hi, I'll be teaching 6th grade language arts this year and wonder if your ISN information comes with specific mini lessons for each of the standards. Thanks.

  25. First of all thanks @ Mor

    Love the student writing on Anchor "Notebook". The best what to get kids to use anchor charts is to give them an authentic reason for using them. This independent activity is perfect.

    Amit | Laptop


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