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Grading Interactive Notebooks

Grading Interactive Notebooks

Sometimes I hear people say that they do not use the interactive notebooks because the grading is so difficult.   I would agree that it can be challenging but I have devised a few ways to keep it manageable.

First of all I would give students a very clear rubric of what you are looking for.   A sample rubric will be included later in this post.

I have the students select an area of best work and write a reflection on that.   Having them tab the following sections will make it easier to grade.

Reflection for Interactive Notebook
Please tab the following sections
-Table of contents
-Best Work Activity
-Reflection including rubric
 This is the reflection I am having them complete.   It could be modified easily for the specific needs of the students.  
Paragraph One
Choose 1 assignment (topic or section) from the notebook that represents your BEST WORK and write a paragraph about it. For elementary and secondary students you may want to have them select one entry from the unit you are assessing.    Please state the specific reasons for why you chose the items and why they represent your best work. Please tab this section.    Ideas to write about include:
  • What you learned
  • How you learned
  • What aspects of the work were high quality
  • What you would do differently and why
  • What makes you proud of the work
  • What made the activity worthwhile
  • For pre service teachers I have them also comment on what they have learned about teaching social studies.
You should also write about how the assignment chosen demonstrates your skills as a student. For example, skills you might write about are that the assignments show that you are organized, you are good at analyzing, you were very thoroughcreative, your information was very accurate, you made connections from one assignment to another, and so on.
*Make sure that you cite specific examples from the assignments you chose.  
Paragraph Two
Evaluate your notebook according to the rubric.  How would you score yourself?   What could be improved? 
 Here is the rubric I am currently using for my pre-service teachers:  

Complete Table of Contents
All Entries Included
Articulation of Learning
Notebook Includes at least Five Foldables
Notebook Includes at least 3 Thinking Maps of Graphic Organizers
Teacher Tips Included
Reflection Included and all Prompts Given
50 Strategy Chart
Paragraph Three
For pre-service teachers: General thoughts, feelings and opinions about interactive notebooks…Will you use them as a teacher?  
For Elementary and High School, I would suggest keeping notebooks in the class.   The should stay in class so that they are always available when needed.   I would collected them once or twice during a unit, glance at all the entries and then grade one assignment more deeply.   This assignment can either be assigned by the teacher: I am going to grade your sensory Image today.   Be sure you have at least 6 complete sentences and that they really illustrate how the person felt and what they saw or heard.

Or you could have students select their best work from a unit of study.
For your convenience, have students tab the sections you want to look at.   I like to look closely at Table of Contents, Best Work Entry, and Reflection. 

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