Update (6/14/13): I have a complete version of this notebook for download here
After my post on Integers, I received a few emails and comments asking for more pictures on the "math notebook". So I've put together a step-by-step walk through on how I use composition books in my classroom to help train my students to take notes, use their notes, and of course not lose their notes. :)
At the beginning of each school year, I have my students but two composition notebooks (wide ruled and graph paper) instead of trying to keep track of loose-leafed paper for notes. I collect them at "Meet the Teacher" night and mark off everyone who has brought them in. I also have spare one incase someone is new, can't afford one, etc. They're really cheap during back to school shopping. Then I set up the first few pages for them to cut down on time in class spent and to ensure that it's set-up the way I want it. It doesn't take long. here's what I do:
Page 1: This is the cover page. I leave it blank so that students can use their creativity and decorate it (appropriately!) Here's mine:
Page 2: Page 2 is folded in and taped to page 3 to create a "pocket". I do this for students as some of them have trouble doing this step and it's faster for me to just do it for them. I color the pocket opening so that it's easily visible. This is where any papers that we tape/glue into our notebook, etc. can be placed for easy transport to and from school.
Page 4: Pages 4 - 8 are used to set-up the table of contents. This is a great tool to help kids not only take better notes, but to help them learn how to use their resources when they get stuck. I mark off along the margains and title them in order "Date", "Title" and "Page #" (my date is left blank b/c I use mine from year to year). I made each chapter a different color so that it's easy to see where chapter breaks are.
Page 9 Page 9 is where the students will actually start their notetaking, so I start their numbering by writing a "1" on the bottom right corner. Here's two examples of some of the notes I give. The pen is what I write on the board, the pencil is what I lead students in "teaching each other" (I like to interact with my students)
This has worked WONDERS for me. I created each chapter's notes just before I started teaching that chapter. It makes giving notes for absent students easier too, as I just have to go down to the copier and copy it. Students that are absent then don't feel as if they missed too much and they copy my notes into their own notebook.