We're now four weeks into school and I've been using interactive notebooks with my students for the last three weeks. They are new to me and to my students, so I expected some growing pains.
Today, two of my students told me that they prefer the way they took notes last year (copious notes on looseleaf). I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't a little crushed. I left out my disappointment when I talked to them about it. I asked why they preferred the notes last year and it seemed to boil down to the fact that they like direct instruction with lots of examples. I thanked them for their input, said I would take it into consideration, and told them I appreciated them talking to me about it because I know it takes a lot of courage for middle school students to have that kind of conversation with a teacher.
I have to say that I don't disagree with the girls that a few more examples over the most recent topic (solving systems of equations) would have been helpful for some students. The thing I'm now trying to figure out is how I make that work with the interactive notebook. I don't want to have students take lengthy notes only to later condense them in the notebook because that would take so much time. I also don't want to do a few examples on a foldable that is saved and a few others on a sheet of looseleaf that won't ever be seen again.
My other issue with this comment is that my school is trying to ever so gently move away from direct instruction. While it has its place, we know that there are lots of other ways that students learn and express their knowledge that are much more dynamic and engaging.
If you use Interactive Notebooks, how do you find the right balance between overly condensed notes and lengthy notes?