This year I ventured into the world of interactive student notebooks– and I am sold! Funnily enough, back when I was teaching in Perú I noticed that the school had a color-coded system of notebooks, and red was the color for my English classes. I have no doubt the parents were horrified by the sad red notebooks that came home, because frankly I didn’t know what they were for. I was used the the system of random worksheets being sent home in a folder at the end of the week, and messy binders by middle and high school. I caught glimpses of the Annie Soper students’ other subject notebooks, neatly written in and organized, with pictures and graphic organizers carefully pasted in.
Now I know what they were doing! ISNs are a new trend here in the U.S., but they have at least been around in South America for a while. You can read more about the ISN here, or here for a Spanish-specific one. I like them because instead of getting information passively and primarily from a textbook, the students are creating their own summary and guide to the course they’re taking. It gives them quite a bit of ownership, makes note-taking more hands-on, and provides the structure they still need. Next year my goal is to make mine ahead of time for each course, and be super-organized. We will see.
I first created these verb flapbooks as part of my game packs, because I noticed students were still depending on the textbook for conjugations during games or activities. It’s a bit cumbersome looking for verbs that way, so I made the reference flapbooks as a way to help the students get organized and be able to access the verbs quickly and easily. I plan to use them when introducing new tenses or reviewing previously learned ones.