Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.
Do you use interactive notebooks in your math classroom? Do you want your students to take better care of their notebooks? Make your students more invested in their math notebooks by making them more user-friendly and a little bit ✨fancy✨ with these 3 easy tips!
#1: Add a rubber band
Adding a rubber band to the back cover will allow students to neatly close up their notebooks when not in use. Not only is this kind of fun, but it will prevent the pages getting bent when shoved into lockers, backpacks, etc! If you’re worried your students will just shoot the rubber bands at each other, let them know that if they do, they will lose their rubber band and will not get another one! It hasn’t been an issue in my experience.
See the video below for a super easy how-to! You’ll need a size #117B rubber band for each student.
#2: Add a ribbon
Ribbons make a great bookmark so students can easily find the page they left off on! Just tape the end on the inside back cover – regular Scotch tape has always worked well for me! Make sure you cut the ribbon long enough that it will stick out of the bottom of the notebook when marking a page. I usually offer a few different colors of ribbon for students to choose from so they can personalize their notebook a little!
#3: Add tabs
Tab dividers on the side of the notebook will allow students to stay more organized and find what they need easily! After trying many different styles of tabs over the years, I’ve settled on using simple small rectangles printed on colored cardstock and taped along the edges. If you’re concerned about them falling out, you could also use one large strip of packing tape wrapped around both sides of the tab on the page.
I add these tabs to the notebook one at a time as we reach a new unit because it’s hard to know exactly how many pages you’ll need for each unit! Much easier to just add them as we go. I usually have them pick up a tab as they enter the classroom on the day we start a new unit, and then I go around the room and tape them quickly while they’re working on their warmups.
Speaking of warmups, I also add a tab in the back section of the notebook for students to work on their warmups!
You can download a free set of tabs with the 6th-8th grade Common Core main topic strands here if you’d like to use the same style tabs I use! There’s also an editable PowerPoint file in the folder if you’d like to add your own tabs – you can customize it with your own fonts and text.
Those are my 3 favorite easy ways to take your math notebook to the next level and increase student ownership! I’d love to hear your ideas for math notebooks in the comments!