One of the important components of the interactive math notebook, while not highly interactive in itself, is the basis for learning and organizing math skills. This part of the notebook needs to be developed prior to moving to the higher level of interactive elements of the notebook. For example, to build upon an idea in math you may need to know vocabulary, basic facts, or a process. These would be written in the book before the interactive element is implemented so that you child could refer back to the facts.
For example, for an upper level student you might start a page on probability. First, have your child describe what probability is and define the terms of certain, likely, unlikely, and impossible. You may want them to list examples in real life that use probability including weather, flipping coins, or batting averages. These facts would be the basis to support an interactive element. To move from facts to an interactive element for the probability topic, you could have them create a spinner in their notebook and then record the outcomes that create a “hands-on” example of probability. To create the spinner, you will draw a circle on the page in the book and divide it into as many segments as you prefer (2,3,4), then you can create a hand using construction paper, and attach it with a brad.
Even the process of writing down facts such as vocabulary for a specific topic can be made interactive by using a three-column method. In the first column, have them write the word. In the second column, have them write the definition and use it in a sentence if it is appropriate, and in the third column they can draw a picture that represents the term. This method helps children to remember and build connections as they move from a written word to demonstrating understanding with an illustration
“Getting down the facts” is the first important component of making an interactive math notebook. What elements do you have your child add to their notebook? Check back next week for more tips on making the notebook more engaging with more interactive elements.