Our school district is urban and high-poverty; every student in my school is qualified for the federal free lunch program. Our district and school lack many of the tools and opportunities that wealthier schools take for granted: textbooks for every child, working lab equipment, computers and Internet access for all students, transportation when trying to attend after school tutoring... yet, we somehow still find ways to make the best of our limited resources!
My students are motivated and WANT to learn - most of them will be the first in their family to go to college, and many of them will even be the first to finish high school.
These kids have risen to the challenges that life presents them, and I am determined to help them meet their academic challenges, too.
This year, our school doesn't have enough Biology textbooks for each student to get one; we will only have one classroom set. Many of our students won't be able to use any online resources, because they don't have Internet access at home! Our students also deal with huge transportation problems when trying to get to a city library. BUT interactive notebooks can bridge these gaps!
Interactive notebooks will let my students engage with Biology concepts on a deeper level, create an invaluable learning and study tool that could compensate for their lack of textbooks, and help them gain a true sense of ownership of their own learning.
Interactive notebooks will give my students a unique, self-created learning tool that they will use use in class each day, and take home each night as a study resource. I've already purchased out-of-pocket markers, crayons and colored pencils, and composition books for the notebook skeleton. Now, my kids need a LOT of tape, glue, and paper for continuing to make their concept maps, vocabulary lists, and Biology models and manipulatives!
We use these interactive notebooks all year, adding class notes, labs and writeups, handouts, and activities each day. Students will essentially be creating their own personalized "textbooks" for Biology! These notebooks will help my students learn new concepts, review content, and pass their state standardized tests.
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