The three articles and slide presentation had the following commonalities regarding the use of notebooks in the classroom:
They are a thinking tool, a way for students to process information in a more engaging way. It allows students a place to document their learning, ask questions and make a list of ideas they want to investigate. It documents student growth over time. The left side of the notebook is for student output. The right side of the notebook is for teacher input. The notebooks serve as a way for the teacher to assess student learning.
I am not currently using science notebooks in my classroom. However, I can see how they can be a great tool. I often give my students paper so they can draw what they have learned during the lesson. This would give me more freedom to say, “hey! Let’s draw this in our science notebooks.” I could just hand out their notebooks. This means no time is lost looking for and handing out paper!
The two new things that I learned about science notebooks are (1) they are easy to implement and (2) I don’t have to use them the same way as another teacher.
We would have one place to organize thoughts and ideas about science
The notebooks would show student growth over time (both in science topics and writing skills)
Can be used as an early finisher activity (go look through your science notebook and let me know if you have any new thoughts or ideas about what we learned on those pages)
at five years old most of my students struggle with reading and writing
I would need to create a picture bank of questions I assume they would have about each topic. They would just need to mark it as something they want to know.
Might require more prep work on my end
The notebook might have to be used more as a whole group consensus of learning rather than an individual documentation piece.
We have learned that students learn science best when they are given the opportunity to explore, make observations, and have productive discussions about their ideas that will help them work toward ideas that might offer solutions to the problem or question at hand. The notebooks give students a way to share their thoughts and ideas with their peers in both small group or whole group discussions. For example, if a student is not good at explaining their thinking with words, then he or she can use his or her notebook to help explain what he or she means.