Interactive Student Notebooks!
(Also known as the ISN.)
Every student is required to complete an Interactive Student Notebook through the course of the school year.
It is the basis of learning in this Science class that will enable students to be creative and independent
thinkers. The ISN will be a valuable tool in every student’s success. An astonishing 90% of the
information given throughout the year will be contained in the ISN so remember its importance.
Requirements: Your ISN can be completed in one of two ways. First, a spiral bound notebook can be
used. The notebook used must be an Exceed or Mead 5-star brand notebook (5 subject), as it will allow for
handouts and extra pages to be added in without trimming. It will be the only notebook needed for the
entire year. The other choice is a 3” 3-ring binder. If using a binder all pages are required to be held
in sheet protectors to prevent individual pages from being torn out accidentally.
Aside from some projects, most of your classwork and homework will be done in the ISN. The ISN should be
neat and organized!! An important part of every ISN is visual appearance. Each entry should be titled and
dated. An artistic touch should be visible throughout the notebook as it will help to attach the content to
The ISN will be an important piece of the success in science class because:
Writing down lecture notes does not mean that you have learned the information.
You must actively do something with the information before you really understand it.
You will organize as you learn. You will record ideas about activities that you engage in during a
unit. You will use organizational techniques such as topic headings, colored highlights, and different
writing styles to synthesize concepts.
It gives you permission to be playful and creative in your responses without "messing up" your
notes. When you are creative, you will remember more.
BOTTOM LINE: Your notebook becomes a portfolio of what you actually learned throughout
the entire year.
Time-Out Activities and Reflection: Occasionally there will be a page in the ISN reserved for
Time-Out Activities (TOAs) or Reflection. TOAs are an activity of each student’s choosing in which
information related to the class is processed in a new way. Examples of this might be: a news article that
has been attached with a summary relating the information to science, a poem that organizes information from
a recent lecture topic, a graphic organizer that demonstrated the pro and cons of a controversial event in
science. There are so many things that can be done and if there are questions, a TOA idea can be approved
before you do the work. Reflection pages are a way for you to write questions or ideas about the class. For
a reflection page, each student will write about what has been happening in class. The student can write
about what activities they have enjoyed and why, what might not be going well, what questions they have, or
what they might like to see happen in the future of the class. The last 6-8 lines of a reflection page are
left empty so that I may respond if necessary. All TOA and Reflection pages are due the day that ISNs are
collected for the quarter grade. The TOA and reflection pages are one way to earn extra points on the ISN
Grading: Notebooks will be collected and graded once a quarter. A student who expects to earn an A on the
notebook will be one who has taken the time to consistently include their best work. Students should strive
to add color to highlight or organize important information. Some assignments will require the use of color.
Markers should not be used because they bleed through the paper. All class notes and notebook assignments
should be included even for the days you were absent. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to
obtain notebook assignments from a classmate or Mrs. Stanley. Every quarter grade will count as an EXAM
GRADE using the following rubric:
VISUAL APPEARANCE / ORGANIZATION (10)
Table of Contents completed to date (3)
Work is Neat and Organized (4)
Effective Use of Color (3)
QUALITY AND COMPLETENESS (37)
Specific assignments complete and show processing of the information requested (30)
Handouts attached and all instructions followed (3)
No missing work (even if you were absent) (4)
Effort and quality of work are exceptional (3)
Please read and sign this page. It will be attached into the ISN in the first week of school!
Student signature Parent signature