Interactive notebooks (INB) are a useful tool to help students interact with course content, and show them the flow and evolution of a course - particularly in courses that may not have a textbook. On July 11, 2022, Nora Walsh shared tips and advice for integrating interactive notebooks into chemistry lessons. Nora has been using interactive notebooks in her chemistry I classes full time since 2015. In this ChemEd X Talk she spoke on everything from organizing your classroom for notebooking to how to plan layouts, general and specific ideas for input and output, and some ideas on grading/scoring interactive notebooks. This Talk builds on the ChemEd X posts Nora has been sharing outlining each of the units in her course notebook. Nora plans to share her entire year's curriculum for a Chemistry I interactive notebook on ChemEd X.
After Nora's district went textbookless, she needed a way to control the flow and organization of content to provide structure for students while still allowing space for them to be creative and make their own connections. Interactive notebooks have worked well for her. If you are ready to try it, you will find a wealth of information and resources in this presentation and the other content she has been publishing here on ChemEd X! But, even if you aren't quite ready, as Nora states in her first INB post, "You could always give 'interactive handouts' if you aren’t ready or don’t want to commit to full-blown notebooking for the entire year, or you can pull isolated activities, diagrams, foldables, or handouts to use in your classes."
ChemEd X Talk Recording: Edited video of Nora's ChemEd X Talk, ChemEd X Vimeo Channel - (7/12/2022)
ACCESS TO RESOURCES & MATERIALS
We recommend you watch the recording above for the most benefit but you can also view Nora's Google Slide Presentation.
The periodic table that Nora uses inside the front cover of her notebook is from the homepage of PTable.com. (Scan the QR code at the right to access if you like.) She also references both her Table of Contents page and the Blank INB Page she uses when students forget their notebook in the presentation. They are available below. The image above is also available as a Google Slide to help students set up their notebooks.
In her first ChemEd X post about interactive notebooks, Using Interactive Notebooks in Chemistry - Stoichiometry, Nora provides some backstory on her process. Below is a complete list of the units she has published so far (we will continue to update this list as she adds more). A grading rubric and templates for foldables are included in each of these units.
Nora Walsh teaches on-level, honors and AP Chemistry at FJ Reitz High School in Evansville, IN. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Emory University and a master's degree in secondary science education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She began teaching in Chattanooga, TN in 2004 and moved to Evansville in 2006 where she continues teaching at Reitz. She has been an AP Reader for the past two years, and has presented webinars for the American Association of Chemistry Teachers in the past. She is active on the AP Chemistry Teacher and National Chemistry Teacher Facebook groups, and enjoys sharing resources that other teachers find helpful. (You may be familiar with her document Write This, Not That on the AP Chemistry Exam). She also has a TikTok account that she uses for bite-size chemistry review (follow her @reitzchemistry).
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