Friday, September 12, 2014

Top 10 Things I've Learned as an INB Newbie!

The creators of some INB (I’m saying some not all because obviously I’m only using a few) packs do not necessarily care about saving paper…which results in you feeling guilty, which results in you spending lots of time shrinking, cutting, and taping to create new paper-friendly originals. Seriously.

Up Side: All my originals are ready for next year...unless I change packs or something crazy like that.

Also, INB activities can be created for both spiral bound and composition notebooks. If it doesn’t tell you which in the description, ask and if the answer isn’t what you’re looking for CLICK AWAY from that page immediately before you fall in love with it! Or you could be spending a ton of time reducing originals to fit in your composition notebooks.

Up Side: All my originals are ready for next year...unless I change packs or something crazy like that.

The cutesy covers that come in the packs will not stick to the cover and you will spend time taping them on with packaging tape. Besides some kids will be sad you’re covering up their cutesy composition book anyway.

Solution: Next year I plan to just write Math, Reading, and Science/Social Studies in sharpie. Forget the covers.

Composition books are not all the same. Pictures are from the K-2 Science Bundled INB Set from Primary Graffiti—which is not the ones I am talking about above with wasting paper and not fitting my composition notebooks. Hers have truly been print and go! THANK YOU!

WORST--flimsy and not as many pages!

BETTER - Sturdy, but still not as many pages. Notice the cutesy cover we covered up. :-(

BEST (and cheapest I believe)--sturdy and the most pages!

Solution: Use some of my classroom budget and buy them. Not sure I will do this, but it would help with a couple of things. I could get the ones I wanted AND I could do some prep work in them before they kiddos actually show up to school.

Too many INB activities in the first weeks of school result in a lot of cutting and gluing and not a lot of interacting.

Solution: SLOW DOWN next year and not plan as many INB activities for the first of the year.

Second graders writing in the Table of Contents is just something I don’t have time for.

Solution: My para suggested I just type it up, print it, and glue it in. Problem solved.

With no incentive to be quick, the cutting and gluing can take FOREVER.

Solution: Team points! My kids are seated in color teams. When I make it a competition with points at stake, suddenly everyone gets faster. Imagine!

Coloring should be last after all directions have been followed to encourage being speedy.

Up Side: Lesson learned for next year!

Storing the notebooks presents a challenge of its own.

Solution: Add a tub to my team shelves and each team can put all their notebooks in it for easy access. Not quite there yet because I need to go buy the tubs, but that is the plan.

All numbers from Graphics from the Pond.

Interactive notebooks truly are engaging and the students absolutely love them!

As I look around the room when they are doing an activity, all students are engaged--even if it is a facts page in the math notebook. There is just something about it that makes it much more exciting than a worksheet. 

And that makes all my work and time worth it! :-)


  1. I did my first page of our INBs this week with my firsties. Adding to your list: 11.Although they need cutting practice, cut crucial pieces out for them. Cuts time in half and teacher isn't having to recut pieces for them.
    12. Be specific where to glue pieces!. I found in the beginning having a background page with blocks where to glue might be easier. Then they can glue pictures in or just the flip up page. Again cuts down on cutting and or glueing. Or just plan on an afternoon to do one page! LOL

  2. Yes, Pauline! You are right! I figured that out after the first day or two also. Now anything that can be cut with the paper cutter, I do ahead of time. Speeds things right along. :-)



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