Sharing my journey as science teacher, creator of elementary and middle school science lessons and projects, mom of teens/ young adults, widow, & NGSS expert.

6 Solutions To Problems With Interactive Science Notebooks

 I love interactive science notebooking but there are a few things I really really don't like. So here are some solutions to the problems that come up with interactive science notebooks problems that arise.



1. Students have misnumbered their notebooks

We have all been there...It is the middle of the year, and you ask your students to go to page 42-43 for an activity that is a two page spread and some students have misnumbered and 42-43 aren't a two page spread but a front and back. What do you do?

Have students go to the next two page spread. Hold up your notebook so they see that you need to see both pages at the same time. Have them number these two pages how you'd like. This is important so that when you say, "Study pages 42 and 43 for the test," they have pages with these numbers. 

Slowly numbering at the beginning of the year can help. Just have them number to page 20 and have them to slowly. Have students check each other. Let them know that every year this is an issue and you know they can conquer it!

2. Pages are falling out

Tape to the rescue. I keep tape out for students to access. I show students how to do a long piece of tape on the front and back of a page to secure it to a neighboring page. If the front cover of the notebook is coming off, I get out duct tape and tape it around the spiral part.

3. It takes a long time for students to trim pages

I have found that trimming pages with a paper cutter before handing them out saves tons of time.

4. How do I grade interactive science notebooks?

I stamp pages, copy a grading sheet with the page numbers and page titles listed, and I have students fill out the grading sheet. Students earn 5 point for each stamped notebook page. I have the grading sheet FREEBIE here and a blog post HERE.

5. What do I have students write about?

For each unit, we make a title page with an essential question. At the end of the unit, I work to have students write their answers to the essential question. 

I have students glue sketch notes pages into their interactive science notebooks.

As we work through a topic, I like to have students write about what they have learned about a topic. We brainstorm first and I write their answers on the board. This helps students review and get ideas about what to write. For example, I might ask students what they've learned about matter or photosynthesis. They can use the ideas we write on the board and information from their notebook. Students will read what they wrote and others can add to their writing as they hear something they want to add.

6. A New Student Joins the Class- where to have them begin

I keep some blank notebooks for new students that arrive. Any beginning of the year info pages we add are already glued in and ready to go. I have them start numbering their pages wherever we are and get started. 

What problems have you run into with interactive science notebooks? Do you have a solution to share with others? Please share in the comments.

I have a bundle for 5th grade science and 6th grade science interactive notebooks.

Would you like a FREEBIE about the greenhouse gas effect? This freebie includes sketch notes, a CER, and a digital and print quiz. Click HERE to get this FREEBIE!


Are you interested in sketch note bundles? I have them for 5th grade and 6th grade.