The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!

Interactive Reading Notebooks

In Interactive Notebooks, iPads, Lesson Ideas by Jen17 Comments

Interactive Reading Notebooks seem to be all of the rage. Its no wonder because Common Core State Standards require students to read, examine, and discuss a variety of texts. The reading notebook is a tool to aide comprehension, write about thinking, and provide evidence from text. So, we as teachers, should provide students with many opportunities to examine and discuss them. However, I worry sometimes there is too much emphasis on always having students WRITE about their thinking. We never seem to give students a chance to really “think and talk” about their reading. When students have to write they spend a lot of cognitive energy on composing the message. Because of this, many students tend to choose to write what is easy rather than going deeper. Therefore, why not allow students to record their thinking using video, audio recording, and finding evidence by highlighting text.

The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in the reciprocal nature of reading and writing. I think the more students write the better readers they become. However, I have to ask myself when I am planning my lesson, “What is my purpose?” If my purpose is to guide students to aide in comprehension then I may want to spend some time allowing students to choose how they want to share what they know about the text. That is why I created my own version of the “Interactive Reading Notebook” using the Book Creator app and other creation apps. So here is how it works:

The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!

 

First, begin by aiding comprehension through the use of graphic organizers. This will scaffold students’ thinking when they are exploring texts. If students need to recount stories or analyze character traits the graphic organizer will help keep them organized. I usually create my graphic organizers as png files and add them to my camera roll via Dropbox.

Once students have created their page, I like to have students share. This will allow students to see examples of what a good response looks like or have discussions about how they can make it better. Time usually doesn’t allow for all students to share so I like to have students share their page to the Showbie app. This is a great way for me to check students’ work to help students the next day during small groups, one-to-one conferencing, or share time. The great thing about Showbie is I can record voice notes for an even better way to provide feedback to each child.
The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!

Now if you have 1:1 iPads it works great but if you only have access to one iPad or a small group of iPads, then what? I really think it works the same way. Students would just have to work as a group. If there is only 1 iPad, use this app to create a reading notebook as a whole class and in small groups. Here is a screenshot of a lesson I did with a classroom. I walked around the room and videotaped or recorded them discussing the text. This can then be shared to iBooks and students can use it in centers to help them fill out graphic organizers on their own. Now this example is procedural at best. I hope to get more examples of how students are thinking deeper about text. If you use any of the ideas I’d love to see what your students come up with when working with text.

If you would like to learn how to create your own Interactive Reading Notebooks check out the videos below: (Sorry for the long videos.)

As I said earlier, I believe that students should still write about their reading but this type of interaction with text gets students to think deeper so that when it is time to write they have something to say.
 
UPDATE: I’ve had a lot of people request more information about the graphic organizers I use for the Interactive Reading Logs. Here is a link to my K-2 and 3-5 graphic organizers. I am working on my informational organizers and will add them as soon as they are ready. Hope this makes it easier for you to get started!
What do you think about this idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!
The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!
The Interactive Reading Notebook is great for students of all ages. These digital journals allow students to respond to texts through video, audio, and other creative ways. Use them with or without graphic organizers. Awesome sauce!

If you are interested in learning more about INB’s using iPads be sure to join me for my webinar. Click on the picture below to sign up.

Taking INB to the Next Level Webinar, June 30 at 8:00 pm.

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Comments

  1. This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it! I want to try it out and can see LOADS of ways for the kids to share their learning using this.

  2. Jen this is amazing! I have 3 iPads in my classroom and want to use them to their full capacity. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of tech support in my board so I’m on my own. Do you share the organizers you have already made? I see the great possibilities for my grade 2’s and especially those that struggle to get their words down on paper.

  3. I bookmarked your blog when it came out and it’s taken me a couple weeks to find some time to look over your Interactive Reading Logs. I’m amazed by all you do with your kids! The Schools Without Walls presentation showed so many different ways to integrate technology and allow students to share what they learned. Your step-by-step directions were helpful- it seems manageable, I just need to get rolling on making the organizers and trying Book Creator. Thanks so much for sharing!

    paula.rushia12@gmail.com

  4. Hi Jen! I LOVE this resources and have purchased your graphic organizers. I am a 1:1 teacher and am excited to use them with my students. I am just curious – we already have Explain Everything and my students can use it well. Do you think that would be an okay format to have all of them on? Or, do you feel strongly that it Book Creator would be better? Thank you for your feedback!

    1. Oh I am so glad you like the graphic organizers. I would think that Explain Everything would allow the kids to do the same thing as Book Creator. I have not tried to add artifacts created with other apps in Explain Everything before but I would think if it can go in the camera roll it would work. The only negative would be that students would not be able to have a book at the end. Think about what you would do with all of the videos students would make and how they can have access to them for reference later. Wouldn’t want to keep them on the iPad because you would end up running out of space. Hope this helps. Enjoy the organizers. I’d love to see what your kids make!

    2. That makes total sense. I never thought about it like that. It would be nice for them to have a book at the end. Thank you for pointing that out to me! I will definitely share what we do!

  5. That would be awesome! I’m about to write a guest blog post for Book Creator. I will sharing examples using the graphic organizers so if you have any in the next week or two let me know.

  6. Thank you Thank you!!!! I deal with students with executive functioning issues and have had difficulty balancing – wanting to use IN as well as figuring out how to make it tech friendly!!!! This is Awesome!!!

  7. Jen,
    I am in a one to one ipad school and I am trying to figure out how to create interactive notebooks that are completely digital. Your blog is the closest I have found to what I am looking for. I am wondering if you know a way to make the equivalent of a foldable on the ipad and add it to the notebook? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Rani

    1. I usually just make a template if I have specific things I want the kids to add to the notebook. They use Book Creator and other apps to specific places on the template to explain each skill, vocabulary, or strategy.

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