Why use interactive notebooks in Algebra 1?

So now that you know what an interactive notebook is and what goes in them, your next question is probably:

Are Algebra 1 students too old to use interactive notebooks?


If you teach Algebra 1, odds are you have 8th graders or freshmen. In either case these are students in a major transition period. Either at the very end of middle school or the very beginning of high school. 

Typically, these students still majorly struggle with organization and need to be explicitly taught several soft skills like how to take good notes, how to use notes to refer back to if they get stuck, how to study, how to stay organized, and so on. 

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How to Set up an Interactive Notebook for Algebra 1

Getting started with interactive notebooks? Here’s what to do!

The logistics of starting an interactive notebook is one of the most dauting barriers for math teachers. Here’s a set of simple 3 steps to take to get started!

1. Number the pages (If nothing else, do this!)

You will want to be on the same page as your students, quite literally, when using interactive notebooks. Being on the same page allows you so many opportunities to promote study skills and refer students back to a particular topic to help them get “un-stuck.” Promoting study skills is one of the biggest benefits of interactive notebooks so don’t skip this step.

WORD OF CAUTION: Make sure to number the pages as the very first thing that you do! Interactive notebooks get very thick over the course of a semester, and it will be difficult to write in the corners by the time the notebook is almost complete.

If you want more tips on choosing a notebook, read this post about What notebook should I use for an Algebra 1 Interactive Notebook?

2. Make a Plan

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