Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Interactive Spirals

I started using interactive spirals from the very beginning. Over the years I have tried different systems but always come back to the spiral. I learned about the interactive spiral (IS) at a TCI (Teachers Curriculum Institute) training. An interactive spiral, is a binder, spiral or composition notebook (I let students pick what works best for them) that becomes a working portfolio of their learning. In the beginning I was much more rigid with pages but over time I have adapted it for my own teaching style. The basics are: One side of the the spiral is for the teacher (notes, handouts, the learning), the other side is how the student processes that information (analogies, poems, mind maps, thinking maps, drawings, speaking bubbles, and creating something from the information that is provided.)

Every interactive spiral starts with a cover page, a table of contents and each unit needs its own cover page. I tell my students that unit page - it needs
  • A quote from the chapter (I usually guide students to pull what looks like an important sentence)
  • Images to represent the topics you see
  • 3 key vocabulary terms
  • Essential question (I provide)
  • 3 or more colors (No white, black and blue don't count)
  • No white spaces

Resources you may want to check out: 

Note taking ideas: 

The key is to have the students make it their own. Student at the end of the school year have this beautiful, and personal story of their learning that has meaning to them.