Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I need some advice, please!

Like the title says, I'm looking for some advice.  I have a new student joining my class tomorrow (or really, probably not until next Wednesday because the student had the bad timing of registering in the middle of state testing and he will have to take the tests for the next four school days).  In any case, he's the first new student I've gotten all year and with this being my first year of implementing Interactive Notebooks, I have no idea how I want to handle it.  I see the following options:

1. Give the student a composition book, have a place for a table of contents, guidelines, and rubrics, and then start his pages with whatever number we're on immediately thereafter. 

2. Give the student a notebook that I spend hours assembling with the papers that I dig out of files so that his notebook is identical to those of students who have been with me since August. 

3. Give the student a notebook with selected pages that I think would be most helpful (without actually knowing anything about this student's academic progress) and then pick up with the rest of the class.  This would probably include a few reference pages on overarching topics and the most recent things we've worked on.

If we were back in September or maybe even October, option 1 would be my first choice.  Given that we're something like 55 pages into the notebook, I cannot see how it would be practical to do #2 but when I say, "Refer to page 25 for slope-intercept form," I can't very well have this student without a resource. 

What would you do?  I would love to hear your ideas, even if you haven't gone through this particular situation before.  I know what I'm leaning toward, but I'm also more than a bit conflicted. 

Mathematically yours,
Miss B


  1. Every time this year that I have gotten a new student I have done option 1, but you are right in that it makes it difficult to refer back to the old stuff.

    I personally would not consider option 2 at all myself. But I like how you through out Option 3. Depending on the time commitment that would take, I think it sounds great. Might be something to considered next year as I conclude a unit...creating a page to summarize the unit for potential new students. Or better yet having my students create a page!

    However if it is going to take too long just go with option 1 and when this student needs to refer to something else ask one of you students to share with her.

  2. I am currently trying interactive notebooks for the first time, but I think it would be impossible to complete #2. I think I would go with option 1 or 3 and give him your notebook as a reference during class when you do refer to pages that were in place before they were enrolled. That way you are not slaving to find every single page from your notebook, but you are still holding him accountable to do as the other students are during class.
    I always struggle with getting new students...this is a great question to help prepare for next year. I think I will do an extra book or two throughout the year to make sure I am prepared when this does happen, because it seems that it always does. Best of luck!

  3. I've always done option #1. This is also what I do when I have students lose their notebooks. They have to go back and recreate any ungraded pages though to receive a grade for them.

    It's definitely not perfect. But, my students who have moved in are usually pretty good at looking off someone else's notebook anytime we refer back to pages that were created before they got here.

  4. I'm not sure if you have this option, but I will scan the notebook pages on the copier and then send him/her a copy via email. It's not ideal, but would be something where the student would have access to most of what has gone on in class without wasting your time or his.

    1. Thanks for your suggestion. I'll probably do a paper photocopy version since we're not a very digital school!