Science Notebooks K-12 - This
site offers the basic information about using
notebooks in the science classroom along with a
wealth of resources to help you make the most of
them, such as a database of student work samples
and lots of tips in the Frequently Asked
Check out this website for samples of student
worksheets that have been formatted to use with
This site provides information and resources
related to using interactive student notebooks
in science as well as for other subjects, such
as language arts, social studies, and math.
Vocabulary Strategies -
A great collection of samples that will help you
find new ideas to teach and reinforce vocabulary
from your lessons.
Taking the ISN Plunge -
Visit this site to learn more about implementing
interactive notebooks! Lots of great tips
NSTA Interactive Notebook Blog
- Take a few moments to check out this blog for
more ideas to help you make the most of ISNs in
Need more ideas? Check out
ISNs on Pinterest!
Worksheet Works - One of my favorite
resources for making graphic organizers, charts,
and graphs. Easy to use and free!
Teach-nology - Worksheet Generator - A
collection of templates you can customize for
your class activities.
Interactive Graphic Organizers & More - This
website offers a variety of interactive features
as well as links to webpages with more
information on a variety of topics, such as mind
mapping, learning logs, and more.
Science Graphic Organizers - A collection of
organizers on a variety of science
Examples from my
Invertebrate Organizer - Students use this
organizer to list the importance of each type of
SpongeBob vs. Sponges - Venn Diagram for use
with a lesson on sea sponges; students compare
and contrast SpongeBob with real sponges
NOTE: SpongeBob SquarePants and all related characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
Math & Science Foldables - An assortment of
foldables (and graphic organizers) for math and
Foldables in Science - A collection of the
best resources for finding foldables for your
Foldables - The best spot to find examples
of foldables for every subject and grade level.
Browse her site for free examples and strategies
for making the most of foldables in your
Teacher's Domain Writing Prompts - This site
provides video clips and writing prompts on a
variety of science concepts.
RAFT Prompt Builder - Build your own writing
prompt using their easy-to-use format.
Prompts for Journal Reflections - A list of
ready-to-use prompts that can be adapted to
almost any topic.
eThemes Writing & Journals - A collection of
links with strategies and other resources to
help your students become better writers.
Self-Assessment Resources - Help your
student learn to monitor their own learning
using these resources.
My Favorite Books:
Teaching Science with Interactive Notebooks
by Kellie Marcarelli
Notebook Foldables for Spirals, Binders, &
Composition Books by Dinah Zike
Big Book of Science by Dinah
3D Graphic Organizers by Daniel
Our Tips &
Introduction to ISNs
- This is
the presentation I use at the beginning of the
year to introduce ISNs to my students.
ISN Cover Pages
CSI - Students cut this page down and use it as a
cover for their ISN. They are allowed to
decorate it with any science-related items
(1) For regular
worksheets (glued on all 4 corners or top) I set up my worksheets
with a 1” margin on the left side and
bottom as well as a 0.5”
margin at the top and on the right side.
For existing worksheets (or ones that
already fill a page), I change the copy ratio to
90% on the school copier to shrink the pages to
fit on the notebook pages.
- To fit them on a notebook page, I create a
“fold-a-flap” page by setting up my worksheets with
a 1” margin on the left side and a 0.5” margin
at the top and then cut off the bottom of the
Students fold the left side back to
create a flap and then glue it to the correct
This type of format allows me to use the
2-sided worksheet plus leaves room for more
items/extra space under the worksheet.
Also available ...
Gluing Guidelines - I display this
page on my board and use the codes to help
students figure out how to glue their pages in
Tap & Glue caps
– Love these caps for my
Saves on glue as well as making things a bit
neater for the students as they don't have glue
I do have to remind them not to use a lot and
often say, "Dot, dot, not a lot!"
Supply Crates –
I used small plastic crates from the dollar
store to set up supply crates at each set of
Each crate has enough space for 4 bottles
of glue, a cup with 4 scissors, and a pencil box
with colored pencils and pencil sharpeners.
I snapped a picture of the correct way to
organize the baskets and glue a copy on the
front of each crate, which helps keep them from
getting too messy.
Want an easy way to
fill your glue bottles? Purchase
glue by the gallon along with a
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do you
grade the science notebooks?
collect notebooks once per quarter to check the
units we have completed.
I don't grade each page individually, but rather
look for specific items - organization, page
completion, etc. I have also used an
organization quiz, which is a half-sheet quiz
that asks students to record page #s for
specific items to see if they have the notebooks
organized and completed. I don't usually
count it for a grade, but rather use the results
to reinforce the need to stay organized!
Since I supervise the
students as they add worksheets, quizzes, and
tests, I can ensure they are placing items on
the correct pages. I do give notebook
quizzes (usually 1/2 page) once or twice per week with questions
from the lessons completed in class.
Students use their notebooks to find the
answers. Some questions may be the same as
those included on their worksheets, while others
require students to use the information to
answer new questions about the topics/concept.
students lose their notebooks?
the four years I have used ISNs, I have only had
one student lose their notebook. I always
have a few who forget them at home, but use "excuse
cards" in those cases (as well as for
forgotten pencils, textbooks, etc.)
Students earn a detention after 5 excuse cards.
Another bonus to using ISNs ... the amount of
lost homework has decreased significantly since
all class worksheets are glued in the notebooks.
Do you use a table
I don't use a
table of contents, but I do have a master
notebook that contains all the worksheets,
quizzes, etc. so students have a reference if
they have missed class. I require students
to write a date on the top of each page to help
them remember what we did each day.
I also post a list of worksheets and page
numbers on my chalkboard to help students who
have been absent or just need to reorganize
questions? Send me an
Science Notebooks Resources
Want to explore
the research behind ISNs or find more information to
help you make the most of them in your classroom? Check out our list of resources we used for our
action research project.