My 10th grade Geometry students come from many different math backgrounds, with many transfer students from the Islands. Most students cannot afford school supplies but really like having crisp, new notebooks and fresh markers to create their personalized math notebooks.
In Hartford, 100% of our students qualify for free lunch and getting supplies proves to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to "needs" vs “wants" within a family budget.
Working in an urban environment definitely poses challenges, but once students "break" their barriers in learning math, the look on their faces says it all!
Interactive Student Notebooks (ISN) allow students a way to organize their notes and examples for one class. Students build a personalized resource over a year-long class. Students take pride in their work and are able to build their own interpretation of the material (with some guidelines). All students begin with the same item (composition books) that students may use as a resource in upcoming years. The benefits for me as a teacher are that it allows me to easily differentiate between classes and student. My students need thin colored markers, rubber cement and colored folders to continue creating their Interactive Student Notebooks!
The first couple weeks of school, students complain about cutting and gluing but by the end of September, they are hooked!
Students quickly develop preferences between types of writing utensils and adhesives. Now that we are entering our second semester, our supplies are dwindling and students have realized having neat notes and examples helps immensely in their classroom.
ISNs offer a lot of choice for students so they can customize their Algebra experience. Students are able to use their ISNs to complete homework, classwork, and on quizzes and tests (as necessary). They like having neat and orderly notes, despite having initial opposition to gluing and coloring!
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