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Interactive Notetaking with New Five Star® Notebooks


If you've been following trends in education at all, you'll be familiar with the term interactive notebooks. Essentially, interactive notetaking is a fun and engaging way for your students to record and refer back to important information. I used interactive notebooks for every subject in my classroom for many years and saw student engagement and information retention rise as a result. In short: I'm a believer! :)

Interactive notetaking includes foldables that the teacher creates (or purchases) and the students glue them into a notebook, onto a file folder, or a piece of paper. I would normally have the students use file folders for each unit/topic, but those quickly became cumbersome and difficult to manage. And large pieces of construction paper worked well - for about 15 minutes. Then they would get scrunched, bent, lost, or thrown out. I was looking for a way to keep the students' notes organized and easy to reference all year long. So I switched over to using journals for each subject - and there was no going back!

Interested in trying out interactive notebooks in your classroom this year? Well I'm here to share about something that will make your life a little easier - you're welcome :)

This post was sponsored by Five Star® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

There hasn’t been a “ready-made” Interactive Notetaking product in the market, until now. Five Star® has created a new line of Interactive Notetaking items that address teachers’ needs, support various learning styles of students, and ultimately saves time for both students and teachers throughout the school year.

There are four different notebook options provided by Five Star® - you can pick the one that best meets the needs of your classroom. 
  • Interactive Notebook (College Ruled)Table of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pocket for quick and easy paper storage, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Interactive Notebook (Wide Ruled)Table of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, 3 closure pockets for loose cut-outs and small supplies, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, wide ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Customizable Interactive NotebookTable of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pockets for quick and easy paper storage, plus mid-size closure pockets for loose cut-outs and small supplies, durable, clearview plastic cover for customization & quick paper storage, fold-out quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
  • Customizable Interactive Composition BookTable of contents, page identification and custom pages for topic organization, interior pocket for quick and easy paper storage, durable, clearview plastic cover for customization & quick paper storage, quick reference guide for frequently used materials, 100 pages, college ruled, no binder holes. Non-perforated pages.
You can purchase all of these notebooks at your local school supply store on online at the FiveStar website.

For my fifth grade classroom I chose the Five Star® Interactive Notebook, College Ruled because I liked the spiral feature and my students can write fairly small and neatly (when they want to!)

I like how the notebook has a designated Table of Contents:
And one of my favorite features is the flaps in the front - I had my students keep their spare foldables in there to work on coloring/cutting/gluing when they had time:
The first unit we do each September is an interactive Author Study. The students choose an author to research and complete a mini interactive notebook unit on that author. It helps me to introduce the concept of interactive notetaking and gives them an easy guided research project to start with. Plus it introduces them to new authors to check out as each student presents their findings. These Five Star® Interactive Notebooks will be perfect for this project - and many others that we'll complete throughout the year. 

I know these fantastic notebooks will become a staple in my classroom. Add them to your school supply list today! You can find them at many of your local school supply stores or online here.

Motivational Posters - Perfect for Testing Season!

Standardized testing season coming up? 
Brighten the walls of your classroom with these fun and functional motivational posters! These print-and-go posters are perfect for encouraging your students to work hard, make the most of today, and be true to themselves!
A variety of options are included:
*Full color posters that will brighten up any classroom wall or bulletin board

*Black and White posters: Copy these on colorful paper to make the posters POP
*Black and White coloring sheets: Hand these out to your students to color and keep or display in your classroom. Perfect for morning work or when students finish their testing.
*Black and White cards: students can fill these out and send to their classmates as encouragement or you, the teacher, can leave them on your students' desks to motivate them to try their best!


Make your students' day and encourage them to put forth their best effort on the standardized test with these print-and-go motivational posters, coloring pages, and cards.

Click the picture below to visit my TPT store:

All Aboard the Titanic!

In April 1912, the RMS Titanic set off on her maiden voyage from England to New York City. The third day at sea, she struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Every April my students and I did an in-depth unit on the Titanic - and it was a hit! My students LOVED learning about all aspects of the incident - building and furnishing the ship, the passengers, what life was like on board the ship, the crash, and the subsequent sinking.

Here are some of my favorite resources to use when doing a mini-unit on the Titanic with your elementary students:

Recommended videos:
History.com has created these phenomenal short videos. There are 14 of them to choose from and each one is 3 or 4 minutes long. I showed one or two each day in our unit.

Here's a kid-friendly yet comprehensive overview of the Titanic from Simple History on Youtube:

Recommended books:
  • The Story of the Titanic for Children is a fantastic book that shares short snippets and important facts on many different topics. It also includes real-life stories that will intrigue your students.
  • Titanic: Young Survivors (10 True Tales) tells the story of ten boys and girls who were aboard the Titanic. Written from the children's perspective, it is a really interesting take on the tragedy. 
  • If You Were a Kid Aboard the Titanic is a great book that follows two British children - one from first class and one from third class. While it's written for young children (early-mid elementary) it includes a lot of important factual information.
  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic 1912 is an excellent chapter book for your students who want to study the Titanic further on their own. It's a fictional book that tells the story of the Titanic from a 10-year-old's perspective.
*Note: these are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sharing the links at no cost to you :)

Activities:
To simplify your lesson planning I have created a print-and-go resource that you can use in your classroom. Engage your students with this fun, ready-to-print activity packet, chalked-full of reading comprehension passages, graphic organizers, and critical thinking activities that will enrich any study of the Titanic.
 Here's a complete list of what's included in the resource:
Click here to purchase the Titanic unit from my Teachers Pay Teachers store - you'll thank yourself later!

Want to try it before you buy it? Here's a FREE sampler of the unit:

Interactive Research Project: Missionaries

Calling all busy Christian school teachers, Sunday school teachers, or homeschooling parents! Looking for something to depend your students' research skills and enhance their understanding of Christian missionaries around the world?  If so, I've got the just-right project for you!


Engage your students with this print-and-go research project that can be completed about any missionary. Everything you need to assign, complete, and assess this interactive research project is included!

The print-and-go resource includes components for a missionary research project. Give your students each a copy of the foldables and then let them choose (or you can assign) a missionary for them to study. As they research they can record their findings in their Research Log. Then they can take what they’ve learned and compile what they’ve learned into this fun keepsake/display.



I had my students glue the components on a manila file folder, but you could also use construction paper, scrapbook paper, poster board, or a journal.

These projects are excellent for oral presentations, open house displays, bulletin board/hallway displays, etc. They also store easily for transport.

Full student directions and teacher rubric options are included.


Simplify your lesson planning today - Click the picture to check out the resource in my TPT store:

Pin this idea for later:

We're LUCKY to Have Books - Project for ANY Book

Looking for something FUN to do for St. Patrick's Day without compromising important learning time? Engage your students with this cute project that puts their understanding of story elements to the test and reminds them that we're LUCKY to have books at the same time!

We're LUCKY to have BOOKS is a fun and festive print-and-go project booklet can be used around St. Patrick's Day/during the month of March to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills after they read any book.

This fun and engaging resource includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book)

The project asks your students to create a shamrock-shaped booklet that assesses their reading comprehension and understanding of basic story elements. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

The pages include:
1. Cover
2. Setting
3. Main Characters
4. Retelling: Beginning
5. Retelling: Middle
6. Retelling: End
7. My Favorite Part
8. Problem/Solution
9. Theme
10. Something New I Learned
11. My Rating of the Book (1-5 stars) and Why

The packet also includes full student directions and a rubric for the teacher to use when grading the project.




Note: There are two versions of the shamrock booklet – small (2 to a page) and large (1 to a page)


This would make an excellent bulletin board display! Also, it can be a wonderful way for the students to get book recommendations from their classmates.

Living History Museum


This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey
One of my all-time favorite things I did with my fifth grade students every year was the Living History Museum! What is a Living History Museum, you may ask? LHM is a phenomenal event that challenges your students to develop their research skills and oral communication skills at the same time. 

Here's how it works: It’s an event that your class hosts (in the classroom, gymnasium, cafeteria, etc,) where you can invite parents and other classes to come and see your students’ hard work on display. Your students will research a famous person who contributed to society in an important way. They will take their research and turn it in to a short speech (written in the first person). On the day of the event they will stand around frozen in place and the visitors will come and press the "button" that will bring each student to life! The students will then present their memorized speech (as the historical figure) and then go back to their frozen position. This was one of the most memorable and profitable activities I did with my students all year and I’m passionate about making it easy for other teachers to do it as well.

Sample speech:
This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey
Sample pictures:
Can you name all of these famous people my students presented as?
This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey

Interested in trying out the Living History Museum with your class? I'd love to help you out! Because I'm so passionate about seeing the project done (and done well!) I have created a resource for busy teachers like yourself! This packet includes all of the resources I used to run this event with my class each year. You can pick and choose which elements you want to include or to save yourself time by hitting print, passing out the pages, and go! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 
This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the JourneyThis print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey
This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey

This print-and-go resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully run a Living History Museum with your students. Created by Jessica Lawler - Joy in the Journey

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to purchase the complete print-and-go resource --> Living History Museum

FREE Valentine's Day Grams

These “Valentine's Day Grams” are a fun way to spread kindness this Valentine's Day! These note cards will brighten anyone’s day – and with so many templates to choose from, you will be able to spread cheer everywhere!

Here's how it works: In my classroom I had the students draw the name of a classmate and fill out a Valentine's Day Gram to give them on Valentine's Day. It was a special way to make each student feel appreciated and valued. I also had them fill one out to bring home – for either a parent or a sibling. With all the excitement of receiving candy on Valentine's Day, it helped spur a discussion of how the people in our lives are important - they truly are a "sweet treat!"


Template options include:
Classmate
Student
Friend
Mom
Dad
Sister
Brother
Fill-in-the-Blank

Tips:
*Print on colorful paper for a festive look
*Add a piece of candy with the note for an extra sweet treat




Click here to download your FREE resource --> FREE Valentine's Day Kindness Grams
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