The interactive notebook debate

interactive notebooks
Nicole at Apple Tree Resources
The interactive notebook debate

When it comes to interactive notebooks, there are two schools of thought on how they should be done. One belief is that interactive notebooks should only contain notes - no student work - while the other believes that a little bit of everything should be included. 

In this post, I unpack both types of interactive notebooks and share my thoughts and experience on each. Tune in to learn more and get started on your own interactive notebook journey!


Resources Mentioned:  

Interactive Notebook Templates - Free Resources Click to Download


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Hey there, amazing educators! Welcome back to another episode of "Let's Chat Teaching" with your host, Nicole Sanders. Today, we're diving into the heart of a heated debate in the teaching world – the great interactive notebook showdown.

Now, if you're not familiar with interactive notebooks, don't worry. I'll break it down for you. At their core, they're a tool to keep students engaged and organized. Imagine a notebook filled with interactive templates, notes, handouts, and all the good stuff that makes learning hands-on and fun.

But here's where the plot thickens – there are two major schools of thought on how these notebooks should be used. Here's the first camp – the Information Interactive Notebook enthusiasts. According to them, these notebooks are solely for information – notes, examples, and handouts. No student work allowed. These notebooks are often used for specific topics or units. I've used this approach for a poetry unit and spoiler alert: my students loved it and found it super helpful.

Now, let's shift our focus to the second group – the Unit Interactive Notebook advocates. These teachers believe in creating a notebook for each unit of study, where students actively contribute with worksheets, reading responses, and even stapling in quizzes. What I love about this approach is that it keeps the class organized and boosts engagement through the roof.

Having tried both, I have to tell you that I'm not here to pick a side. Instead, I'm waving the peace flag and saying, "Hey, both approaches are fabulous!" The key is to keep students engaged and organized. And let's face it, that's more than half the battle won right there.

As a seasoned teacher, I encourage you to trust your instincts, know your students, and embrace the approach that works best for you. Whether it's the Information Interactive Notebook or the Unit Interactive Notebook, the goal is the same – creating an environment where students thrive.

I'm excited to share that I'm actually wrapping up an Interactive Notebook mini-course that spills all the secrets of making these notebooks work like magic in your classroom. You can check it out at

So, dear teachers, if you're ready to up your teaching game, dive into the world of interactive notebooks. Head over to for some free templates to kickstart your journey.

Thanks for hanging out with me today, and I'll see you next time!



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