What is an Interactive Notebook?
As a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, I had little exposure to Interactive Notebooks until I noticed them in the regular ed classrooms that I’m frequently in. There they are used across many subjects. Why?
For my purposes I see two important reasons. First, they are brain-based learning activities where the teacher uses interactive and engaging instructional methods to captivate students with the content, assess their understanding through self reflection, and help them visualize and demonstrate understanding.
Second, Interactive Notebooks emphasize the idea that every learner is different and that all students benefit from multiple ways of learning. Students work at their level using their multiple intelligences to make their learning experience fun and exciting.
An additional benefit is that Notebooks enhance general learning by involving writing across the curriculum, personalization and metacognition strategies.
As I saw the widespread use of Interactive Notebooks in my school district, I began to think of the benefits they would have for self-advocacy skills for students with hearing loss such as:
- Serve as a resource for students to use and refer to during one or more school years.
- Be a concrete record of facts, reflections, assessments, guides and connections that can be viewed, discussed and referred back to on multiple occasions.
- Serve as a Self-Advocacy Portfolio or a culmination of work and knowledge throughout a school year.
- Serve as instructional lessons for designated units.
- Source of activities that have immediate connections to the “real” world.
- Source of recommended books to be read with the students and where to find them.
Last summer I set to work on creating a Self-Advocacy Interactive Notebook for Kids with Hearing Loss. I had no idea the amount of work that would go into its creation. AND I am still working on it. I decided to start releasing the units that are completed so the Introduction-Unit 1 is now ready to go and it is FREE.
As many of you know, I absolutely love the book, “I’m the Boss of My Hearing Loss” by Amy Kroll, AUD.
This book will set the tone for the Self-Advocacy Interactive Notebook. In the book a little boy describes how he proactively deals with his hearing loss daily. The drawings are cute and the story is informative and fun. You must have the book to complete Unit 1. You can easily pick it up on my website. I suggest taking a photo of your student holding the book up in a #Bookface pose and using that photo as the front cover of their Interactive Notebook. (I prefer using composition books for my Notebooks.)
Each unit is designed to stand alone. Consider whether this unit is appropriate for your student(s). Think of the units of the Interactive Self-Advocacy Notebook as a menu. You can choose the units to focus on and the activities to do for each student. However, I do recommend starting with Introduction-Unit 1 because it primes the mindset for the remainder of the Notebook.
AND if you like this book and want more ideas on how to use it, check out my Book Booster. It contains 25 literacy activities based on the content of the book that are appropriate for Grades K-5 in the areas of vocabulary, phonological awareness and comprehension. It is available as a download from TeachersPayTeachers.
Please let me know what you think of my first unit and anything you think I forgot!