Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Envelopes for Interactive Notebooks that hold index cards

This week, I've been working on Common Core implementation with my school's transition team.  I'm our STEM representative, so I've been working on the STEM standards and looking at how we can integrate these across the disciplines.  It's an exciting idea for me because I remember most of my schooling was project-based and I'm glad we're heading back in that general direction, but with a bigger focus on student-led inquiry.  It's an amazing time to be in education!

Changing gears somewhat, I wanted to share a template with you that I'll be using this year in my students' interactive notebooks.  I love card sorting activities.  One of the best I've done I blogged about here back in May.  I won't asking my students to store stacks upon stacks of cards in their notebooks because it will grow way too quickly, however, I know there will be at least a few that they'll want to keep.  This envelope is large enough to store 3"x5" index cards.  Shrink it down to fit two to a page (somewhere around 65% worked for me) and you can make two small envelopes that will hold mini cards. 

So, how can you use this?  I've got three ideas for you!

1. Store cards for a card sort, vocab cards, and the like.  Simple storage.  Have students write a reflection, analysis, etc. on the other half of the page to extend a card sort beyond simple matching. 
2. Shrinking notecard!  If you've never heard of the shrinking notecard, check it out!  It's an activity to help kids get to the most important information they're learning and is an awesome left side assignment for kids to synthesize information and reflect on what elements are the most critical to remember. 
3. Two envelopes= card sorting location.  Put two envelopes on one page and write categories on the envelopes so the students can sort a pile of cards into the two envelopes.  Choosing whether a graph, table, or equation is a function would be an easy way to apply this activity.  If the students make an answer key, they can practice again and again.

Next time I do this, I'll color code everything to do with a function one color (probably green) and everything that's not a function another color (probably red).  This was the result of picking up nearby writing materials after midnight! 

I really, really wish I could direct you to the cards.  I have the worksheet as a pdf and there's no clue to who the author is in the file.  Unfortunately, several Google queries turned up nothing either.  If you happen to recognize the sheet, please leave me a comment so I can give credit where it's due!  It's a great little card sort. 

I love asking kids to justify a particular card they've sorted.  Here, it would make sense to ask them to choose one from each set to analyze specifically. 

One of my left side assignments is to make a set of cards for a card sort and I'm about to add the shrinking notecard to the list, so I know I'll use this envelope frequently.

Now, I like an envelope that seals.  A bit of masking tape made less sticky by adhering it to cloth and removing it a few times will make a good resealable closure.  If you're crafty or follow trends, washi tape would be even better for this, though more expensive. 

Lots of people are having trouble viewing the document to download it.  Please try this link if you can't use the embedded box.com file.  

What will you have students put in this envelope? 

Mathematically yours,
Miss B


  1. I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Find out more at: mrshester.blogspot.com/2013/07/thanks.html

  2. Love the envelope! In third grade, I would use the envelope for vocabulary words, fact triangles, or digit cards that we use for our Marcy Cook centers (they are always losing these in their desk!).



  3. Absolutely love your blog. Thanks for all the great ideas. I am having trouble downloading the envelope. I can print it -yay-, but I would like to download it. Is there anyway you could email this to me at screenan@aoths.net

    1. Can you open docx files? If so, you should be able to download using the arrow in the bottom right corner of the box window. If that doesn't work, please let me know. Thanks!

  4. Is there a download available for the pdf of the graphs you used for this activity? If not, would it be possible for you to send them? I am going to begin interactive notebooks and have really enjoyed your blog!


    1. Hi Allison. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I have no idea where these graphs came from; I've even lost them on my computer and didn't get to use them this year. Hopefully someone else recognizes them! I've also used this one for function card sorting; perhaps it will be helpful to you. http://mathtalesfromthespring.blogspot.com/2012/06/determining-whether-relation-is.html

  5. I love your envelope idea to store items in notebooks. I can't see where I can download your template. Can you email it to me? Thanks!


  6. I can't find the download for this envelope. Can you email it to me? Thanks!


  7. I too am looking for the envelope to store cards. Can you email it me as well. Thank you for all your great ideas.


  8. I don't see the download either. Would you be willing to email it to me as well?