A page from an interactive notebook showing how to compare and contrast

Enhance learning with interactive notebooks

Educators: have you tried interactive notebooks to enhance learning in your classroom?

Interactive notebooks are a fun way for students to learn the art of note-taking. This innovative way of taking notes helps students organize information in a way that makes sense to them. It goes above just writing information from the board. The best part – they can go back to their notes whenever they are stuck on a class assignment. 

How to begin?

  1. Have students find a notebook (or even folder with prongs) that can be used for their notes. You can use one notebook per subject to keep it more organized, or add tabs to one single notebook. 
  2. Label your notebooks or subject tabs. You may even add covers to each subject. You can find these online or even create them yourself!
  3. Set expectations. When it is time to take interactive notes, will you have 1 person from each table get supplies? Will they all just use their pencil boxes? Interactive notes typically require: pencil, highlighters, scissors, glue, and sometimes crayons. 
  4. Find or create the notes you need! There are many websites out there with interactive notes already created for you – you just need to print them out. If you want to get creative or can’t find what you need, you can always create them yourself. I like to use Google Slides to create mine. Here are a few examples.
  5. Model, model, model! I have been doing interactive notes for a while, and I still have to model it each time, and be VERY descriptive verbally on how to cut out notes or fold them. I typically demonstrate each step under a document camera. Therefore, I have my own set of interactive notebooks that I complete with my class.

Any time my students see me pull out my interactive notebook, they get very excited! I also see them reference their notes all of the time. The best part is these notes can be altered to any age group!


About the author

headshot of woman smiling with brown hair wearing a green lace blouse.

Marissa Will is the mother of two, Olivia (5) and Logan (3). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past eight years teaching third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

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