Thursday, September 18, 2014

Breaking In to Our Interactive Reader's Notebooks

So... We starting to put some nice, meaty pages into our ISNs. We use the Holt Literature series in my district and our first unit covers plot, character, setting, and conflict. I start by giving the students some notes on these elements.

Taking notes is a fairly new concept to my 6th graders, so in the beginning I provide them with the notes they need (I created these on Photoshop). We talk about being a good note taker and I let them play with the highlighter a little bit. As the year progresses, I can hopefully make them become more and more responsible for their own note taking, so that by May, all their notes are in their own hand.

Next, we read a short story and use some foldables to analyze its story elements. We do this all together, and I basically tell them what to write so that they have an excellent model to use when they need to do this on their own.

I just bought this for some inspiration and new ideas for the interactive pages. It's got some nice stuff and I think I'll use quite a few of her foldables.

Over the next few weeks, my kids will read four or five short stories and/or poems, analyzing their plots, characters, settings, and conflicts. We will also work on answering some of the (dreaded!!) open-ended questions, using the texts to support our thinking.

I'm glad we are finally rolling through the curriculum. I am not a fan of the beginning of the year and teaching the routines. I'm much happier to be settled in and working!

Anyone else use ISNs in ELA?

Happy Teaching!


  1. Where do you get your reading interactive notebooks from?

    1. Hi! I order the composition books from School Specialty (it's the company our district does its order through). All the notes and foldable organizers that I use I've made over the years. They are available here:

      Hope that helps! Thanks for reading :)