A couple of years ago, I really enjoyed having students use spiral notebooks to record their ideas and learning. I loved how it provided a way to reinforce what they were hearing, a resource they could use to help them problem solve, and a place to record their creative ideas.
I did come to also find some drawbacks with the physical notebooks. I see my students on a rotating basis, either once or twice a week. The notebooks stayed in my room. I created an organized way to store them, but that also meant the students couldn't access the notebook outside of my room. At the end of the school year, students did take their notebook to use as a resource.
This year, I decided to try having students keep learning notebook using Google Presentation and I am loving it! I decided to start with my 2nd graders who are learning to use Google Drive and Google Classroom. I am having them create coding notebooks to record ideas about Computer Science and Coding.
I thought about giving them just the first two slides and having students create each slide as we added concepts. Ultimately, I decided against that for my second graders. I don't think it makes a huge difference, but with the school year quickly coming to a close and many concepts I would still like to introduce, I decided to give them a notebook template containing several slides with simple headers for topics. The first topic we added was "Event".
The students talked about what an Event in coding is, added a simple definition, and then used word art to add reminders of events they have used or seen.
Adding Word Art to a Google Presentation:
Go to Insert - Word Art.
A box will appear. Type in the word or words you want as word art. Press Enter or Return on the keyboard.
Your word art will appear in the center of the slide. You can then select fill and line colors, line weight, line dash, and font.
Word art can be resized by clicking and dragging the corners in a diagonal direction. It can be rotated by using the circle found at the top of the word art.
How could this same technique be used in other learning areas?
Math- use word art to highlight words dealing with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or any other math concept.
Language Arts- use word art to illustrate figurative language, such as, onomatopoeia.
Word art could really be used in any type of learning notebook.
I assigned the notebook using Google Classroom. For now, students are not turning in the notebook after each page. In the future, I might ask students to periodically turn in their notebook for grading. However, I LOVE that I can access their notebooks to check for learning at any time, whether they have turned them in or not.
I am planning to share notebook ideas as I have students add new pages to their notebooks. Have you tried learning notebooks, either paper or digital? What worked for you? I would love to hear your ideas!