Thursday, August 11, 2016

H.I.T. Notebooks: A Different take on Interactive Notebooks

BLOG UPDATE: So many people have contacted me for the resources I have for my HIT notebooks. I am more than happy to share what I have... Please click HERE for the link to the Google Folder. This is what I have made and it is yours to use (please do not try to sell it). I have changed jobs this last year and don't have access at the moment to anything other than this folder. I hope this helps keep up with the interest in a timely fashion! 

I used Interactive Notebooks in my social studies class for eight years.  The majority of the students loved them.  I had a serious love/hate relationship with them.  After taking a long look at the pros and cons of the books and my current curriculum, I decided not to continue with the interactive notebooks last year.

While I found a relief not having to keep up with the grading of 60+ notebooks, there was something missing from my class.  I had a number of kids ask me why we weren't doing them anymore, and others who were disappointed that the "hands on" cutting, pasting, and creativity was replaced with more writing assignments.  I felt guilty that my answer was "because I just couldn't keep up with all the grading."

That got me thinking on ways that I could bring the interactive notebooks back without having all the copious grading that went with it.  I talked with our language arts teacher, who uses her interactive notebooks as tool to keep materials and doesn't grade it at all.  I liked that idea.

But I wanted more.  I wanted a way to hold kids accountable.  I wanted them to take pride in the organization and appearance of the book.  And, most of all, I wanted it to be used as something more than a storage device.  I want it to be something they will reference throughout the year.

The Idea:
Then an idea started to take form.  An idea to use the notebook more like a detective's note book when trying to solve a crime.

So this year, we have:  Historian In Training Notebook, or HIT books. (HIT is a cool name for a middle school activity, right? )


The HIT notebook will be designed as sort of a history detective notebook that we'll use to identify historical thinking techniques, analyze primary sources, keep information over specific historical questions, and refer back to skills learned throughout the year.

A few examples of pages ...

8th Grade book.  Pages 6 and 7 -- Review from last year on how to think like a historian.

8th Grade book.  Choosing between two sources as to which is more accurate.  Pages 8-9

7th Grade HIT Book. An introduction into primary and secondary sources.

7th Grade book.  Application of primary or secondary sources.  

The Grading.
This was the difficult part, but I will admit, it is the part I'm most looking forward to seeing how it turns out.  The grading will be all self-assessed by the student themselves.  The reason for this is really two-fold.  1.) It adds in some of the evaluation piece for the students.  They MUST be familiar with the rubric and hopefully start to recognize what "quality" work looks like.  2.)  To make the grading process for me more simple.  The kids are still held responsible for the work, but I don't have to collect and score 130 notebooks!

I created a standard rubric that can be used for each section of the HIT book. (And each grade...) This gets pasted at the start of each separate section of the book.

A very basic rubric that can be used for all grade levels and content units.

When it comes time for their self-evaluations students may reference my book as an example of what "3" scores should include.

Ready for the best part?  Students then briefly meet with me to discuss their self-assessment and explain their reasoning.  We'll discuss what they did well in the book and what they could improve on in the next section.  At the very end, to earn the last point, students must tie something in their book to P.R.I.D.E. our school's core values. (PRIDE stands for Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, and Empathy).

I believe this will be a way to give me the things I loved about using interactive notebooks as well as combat some of the issues I had with grading.  I am excited to see how the student-self-assessments will look and the skills that my kids will gain throughout the year.

71 comments:

  1. What resources did you use to get your graphic organizers for sourcing, contextualizing, bias...?

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    1. I just used Word to create the charts and then filled it in with what I thought I wanted them to know. I "googled" historical thinking lesson plans and pieced together from different sites what I found. I hope that helps.

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  2. hi there - any chance you'd be willing to share the word docs for this with me? No worries if not, I figured it is worth asking. SLNishi@gmail.com

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    1. Sure! You should have an email coming soon!

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    2. Wondering if I could get those documents too. I just found out I am teaching in a week and am scrambling to get everything together. I love you ideas.
      kimberlydness@gmail.com

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    3. Hi Kimberly!
      I have sent you an email with the information :)
      Have fun!

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    4. Hello, Could I also have them? Sorry for the imposition.

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    5. I would love to use this notebook idea this year! This is my first year in Social Studies coming off of teaching Math. This is right up my alley. Can I jump aboard and ask for these resources also?
      amillz932@gmail.com

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    6. me too please!
      mwilliams6@k12albemarle.org

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    7. Love this lesson, could I get a copy of the documents? shana.trimble@paintsville.kyschools.us

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    8. could I get a copy of the documents too? this lesson series is exactly what I was looking for!
      niamh.stapleton@psd150.org

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    9. Are you tired of emailing the docs? I hope not :) Would love to check them out in their entirety. redrunner01@gmail.com

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    10. I would love a copy of the Word documents for this as well. My email is imhof@oswego.edu Thank you so much!

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    11. Hi Jill! If you're still emailing the docs I would SO appreciate a copy. I'm consistently revising this lesson and yours is exactly what I've been shooting for! My email is nccannavo@gmail.com. Thank you so very much!

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    12. Hello! I love this idea! Could I get a copy of the resources also - my email is sarah.mertens@bold.k12.mn.us Thank you so much!!

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    13. Hi! I am struggling to come up wit my own resources for social research, I appreciate if you could send me a copy of your resources. My email is humaimransadiq@gmail.com. Thank you so much!

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    14. Would love these resources as a first year teacher! Thank you! email: geislerant@gmail.com

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    15. Hello, thank you for all your creative lessons. Could I trouble you to send your resources to me as well? lisa.odonnell@clevelandmetroschools.org

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    16. I know that this is an older post, but if you're still active I would super appreciate these resources. Trying to spruce up how I teach historical thinking skills this year.
      kayleighcrowe@propelschools.org

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    17. Hi there. If you are still active, I would also appreciate these resources. This will be my first year teaching seventh grade and find your ideas to be fabulous! Thank you.
      abarbuto@schools.nyc.gov

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    18. Hello! I hope this reply reaches all of you. Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  3. Hi Jill!

    I just came across your lesson for the HIT books and absolutely love it! I can tell that you are an awesome teacher. I have been looking for a new and creative way to teach historical thinking.
    Would you be willing to share your word documents? If not, I totally understand. Thank you! 1126la@gmail.com

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    1. Sure! I'll try to send them this weekend!

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  4. Hi Jill, I too have 7th graders and absolutely love your idea for HIT notebooks! Could you please share the word documents? Thank you! imawhirter@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Iric! I just sent what I have to your email. Have fun!

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  5. Hello! I'm teaching social studies for the first time this year. I love these HIT notebooks, it reminds me of what we were doing in science. When you get a chance, if you're willing to share your documents, will you share with me?

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    1. Sure, I'd be happy to! Do you have an email address you can give me? If you don't want to type it here, you can PM me on Twitter @JillWebs or Facebook Jill Weber :)

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  6. Hi Jill, I love your idea for the HIT books. I was thinking of doing a "Historians Survival Guide" Book this year and have them keep it at the front of their binders as a reference for all year. If you are still willing to share your documents, I would love to use some of them. I have several resources to put in this at once so I can copy it as a book. My email is millera@gpschools.org

    Thank you so much and I love your posts/ideas!

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  7. Jill, I want to try something new this year and love the idea of the HIT books. I would love to get a copy of your documents and try them out with my students this year. My email is swarren@necsd.net.

    Thanks so much for your posts and your ideas.

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  8. Hi Jill, I love your ideas and wondered if I could get a copy of your documents I came across your posts and can't wait to read them all. If you are still sending your documents - thanks vkrehely@stjaneschool.org

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    1. Sure! Just sent an email, let me know if you have any question!

      Have fun :)

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  9. Hi Jill,

    I just found your blog and am so inspired. Thank you for sharing your creative ideas here! If you're still sending out some of your templates for the HIT book, I'd love copies. I just started teaching middle school (like three days ago!) and would so love to implement this in my class. My address is leahjharrell@gmail.com

    Can't wait to read through all your posts! Thank you again for all the new ideas! I'm so excited to get planning.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Leah! An email should be in your inbox! Have fun!

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  10. Hello, I am an ELA teacher and would like to do the stations for Bias with my honors 8 class. What web sources did you use?

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    1. I used an activity from Stanford History Education Group. This is the link to their version of the lesson... https://goo.gl/F6ftD8 If you want the activity I created I'll be happy to share it with you if you are willing to give me your email.

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  11. Absolutely! I appreciate it! lpbradley@fcps.edu

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  12. Can you send the documents to me 2? monty.graber@usd373.org?

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  13. Hello! Am wondering if you are still willing to share the Word/editable docs for your Historian in Training notebook. I realize I'm late to the game (Aug 2018 request) and that you may not be sharing any longer, but like so many others said, it is worth asking! If yes, my address is mward@rockfordschools.org

    Thanks, in advance, either way!
    Maria

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  14. Well, I guess you know what I´m going to ask! :) Could you please share your docs for the HIT notebook? I love the idea and can see the value in the hands on/personal responsibility/ detective-like ¨in training¨concept! Oh yes, and of course the grading and self evaluation process. Thanks for your sharing your ideas!
    mfoege@uas.edu.uy

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  15. Hi Jill. I love this! Would you be willing to share these organizers with me? Thank you for writing about HIT. melissabelote@gmail.com

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  16. I love these ideas! Could I also have a copy of the documents? They are perfect for my classroom!

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    1. Sure! Here is the link to the Google Drive :) goo.gl/L9Jy6X

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  17. Hi Jill,
    This is wonderful. I love these ideas. Would you also be willing to share your HIT notebook organizer ideas with me as well? Thanks so much!!

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  18. Hi Jill,

    I love your ideas and your take on the HIT notebooks. I know I'm late to the party, but could you share your HIT docs with me as well?

    Thanks so much!
    Andrea
    Andrea-Ruedas@scusd.edu

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  19. Hello Jill,
    like the above writer I have come upon your work late. Is it possible to get copies of you HIT notebook organizer ideas? I love the idea of getting students into historical thinking. My e-mail address is gigi.gransden@esc2.us
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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  20. I was wondering how the notebooks work for your classroom now? Throughout the year what kinds of documents and activities are the students putting in the notebook? I am teaching 7th grade Texas History as well as 8th grade US History and would love to get some feedback. The first unit we teach is called Thinking Like a Historian and this is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you!

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    1. Hello! I really liked using the notebooks like I did throughout the year. Basically anything that was "evidence gathering" in a unit we would put in the notebook. Many times I would allow the kids to use their notebooks on tests or essays because evidence we studied throughout the unit would be in there. Most were graphic organizers that would have information pulled from primary and secondary sources. Kids could reference those as needed. I hope that helps!

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    2. Would you mind sharing your docs with me? Thank you!

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    3. At this moment I don't have easy access to those documents because of a job change and shifting over all of my Google stuff (it's a pain)! Any graphic organizer you use will go great in the notebook...that's mostly what I had kids put in there :)

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  21. What other things do you include in the notebook?

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  22. Jill, You are a HISTORIAN Saint!! Thank you for sharing your google docs.

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  23. I am so excited that I happened upon your Historical thinking boot camp. You are all of the creativity (combined with rigor) I have been wanting to create myself. I would be very appreciative if I could also have your HIT notebook docs? Thank you so much for all of the great ideas!
    amie.ostmann@imagineschools.org

    ~Amie

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  24. Thanks so much! I doubt you are able to anymore, but if your docs are still available I would love to have access to them or purchase them! kzack@stellamarisacademy.org

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    1. Hello! I hope this reply reaches all of you. Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  25. Same! I would love a copy if possible of the files. Thanks in advance! mrshindshistory@gmail.com

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  26. I would love to have these HIT notebook docs. Thank you so much in advance! susan.martin@hartselletigers.org

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  27. PLEASE share your docs with me. I am so excited to try!!! TY!

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  28. Please share docs with my school email at kpeterson@ncolonie.org. TY again!

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  29. Hello Jill! I'd love a copy of the documents too. I tried Interactive Notebooks last year and was ready to ditch them until I came across this.
    Thanks Tina
    tina.reckamp@icdschool.org

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  30. Hi Jill, I stumbled upon this and love it. I would love if I could have a copy of your docs if you don’t mind sharing. My email is eppleys@bronsonschools.org. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  31. Hello! I was wondering if you would share these with me as well. I have a hate/loath/love relationship with interactive notebooks and would love to try something else. this sounds like what I am looking for. Thank you so much in advance! nbartholomew@sjnra. org

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    1. Hello! Thank you for commenting. I am still active on the blog, however this year I moved to a new school and am now teaching HS. I have updated this blog post to include my Google Doc that has the files included. Please check the top of the blog post for a link to the Google Folder. I hope this is a more efficient way to share it with you all. Best of luck with the new school year!

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  32. Will you share with me please. Ninasooner@yahoo.com

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