Sunday, November 10, 2013

Interactive Notbooks - Update

 UPDATE: Hello everyone!  I have been at a new school with nearly 3x the students!  Eek!  Interactive notebooks haven't been feasible here, so I haven't been keeping up with them.  I do have some of the things I've use available for free (see the links below) and I'm working on uploading more!

I know that a few of you are on the "interactive notebook" journey with me.  I haven't been "journey-ing" very well in October, because, well, Halloween songs and activities are my absolute favorite and my students and have been busy!

However, I'm hoping to get these updates into my students' notebooks ASAP.  Check them out!

This easy foldable can be used for logging "new rhythms".  The rhythm is drawn in the middle.  The flaps read: "real name", "word with same number of sounds", "number of sounds", "number of beats".  You can see below how I answered these for "tika-tika".

Here's another rhythm foldable - this one is cross-curricular.  Check-out how the kiddos have to identify the rhythm and then create a bar-graph:

Isn't it convenient that the lines on the music staff equal the number of fingers on the human hand? :)
I can't wait to add this little picture in as we go over absolute pitch:

The foldables are for basic listening vocabulary words.  I'm thinking about introducing one type (say "tempo") per lesson, paired with interesting listening examples (I love Eric Chapelle's "A Tale of Two Cities" for loud vs. quiet - Half the class is the "loud city" and they stomp around the room with big movements, the other half is the "quiet city" and they tip-toe around with small movements - lots of fun for any age).  After we listen or move to some of the terms, the students can complete their notebook pages (see below).  The students can find the answers on various posters, anchor charts, etc around the room.

Now, anytime we listen to a piece, the students can uses these pages as a reference.  I think this will be very engaging because they'll get to flip into their own work, check out pictures, and read what they wrote as the definition.

I'm literally slapping myself for not thinking of these pages sooner.  My 4th graders are going to an orchestral concert on Thursday, so I've been very busy with them reviewing the instruments of the orchestra.  We used a few charts in our notebooks already to log in notes about each instrument, but, had I had these printables glued in for them to use, I think their work would have been much better organized (and the pictures can't hurt either).  I'll definitely be using these with my 3rd and 5th graders.

I'd suggest teaching one family per lesson (I love to use SFS Kids when teaching the instruments).  Students can take notes under each flap and add extras (such as other family members, playing techniques, etc) around the edges of the foldable.  Supplement their note-taking with discussions and video-clips from Youtube.

Looking for more instruments of the orchestra activities?  Check out these FREEBIES from my TPT store:
Brass Family Matching Game
Woodwind Family Matching Game
Percussion Family Matching Game
String Family Matching Game
Turkey Instrument Family Game

How are your notebooks going?


  1. Emily, I am using them in 4th and 5th grade only. I have created a melodic data chart that my students use every time they come to class. I do a "singing roll call" and they grade themselves based on a rubric they created and then they set a goal for the next time. This week I am going to try to have them sing to their learning partner and let their learning partner grade them and then they goal set together. I want all of this to take about 5 minutes top. I love your new ideas for the journal. I need to add paper to their folders since I use folders for their journals. Next year, I will use the journal books instead. What a growing process this is! Thank goodness I have you to work with!

  2. Thanks for your update! Do you mind explaining more about the "singing role call"?

  3. Every class period I sing a greeting to students, varying the greeting to include pitches I am working on or snippets of a song I will use. The students have to sing it back to me, matching the pitch. I use this time to quickly reinforce good singing skills or remind them to use a particular singing strategy. Students self assess themselves, show me their score based on the 4,3,2,1 rubric we created and I agree or show them the score I would have given them. I have now added the data graph for them to track it and to set a goal for the next time. Soon, I will also have them sing to their learning partner and have their partner grade them on the student created rubric and discuss their goals with each other. All of this lasts about 5 minutes but has greatly improved the student's ability to sing on pitch!

  4. I would love to be emailed the pages!

  5. I too would love to have the pages emailed to me, I just now am catching up on things I have been saving to do, I have purchased many things from you on TPT and I and my kids love them all. Thanks so much

  6. This is the first time I've visited your blog. You have some great ideas. Do you keep the notebooks in your room, or do the students bring them every week? Do they create a new notebook each year?

    I would love to receive pages you are sending out.
    Thank you!

  7. Hi Babs!

    I just emailed you the pages you requested.

    The books are kept in the music room in shelves labeled per class. We practice passing them out and putting them away for the first few times and once the system is in place, this goes quickly.

    The students received their book in 3rd grade and it leaves with them in 5th. They do not get new books each year.

    Hope that helps!

  8. I would love to have the pages emailed to me. I would also be very interested in a complete set on your TPT store! Keep up the greet work, you are incredibly inspiring!

  9. I would also appreciate these pages emailed to me.

  10. I would appreciate these pages emailed to me thank you!

  11. Not sure if this is posting it twice or not, but I would love a copy of the pages and also a huge shoutout to the first commenter for her idea for student data tracking!


  12. These are such fantastic ideas! Thank you for sharing. I would love to receive the copies of the pages, if you are still sharing.


  13. Hello Emily,
    My name is Zsa Zsa and I love the interactive music notebooks. I think they would be very helpful for my 4th graders because they are taking a music assessment in December. I love the things that you are doing with these journals and was wondering you could send me some of the pages that you used. I have pictures of instruments but they too big for the notebook. My email address is Love your website!

    Zsa Zsa

  14. I would really love a copy as well Emily. I've been looking for something like this to start with my classes. can you email me a copy too?

  15. I would love to have a copy of anything you have done with your interactive notebooks. I hope to implement them this year with my 3rd graders. My email is Thanks

  16. Hi Emily! I found most of your interactive pages on TpT. I would LOVE for you to share the instrument family pages w/pics and flaps! Thanks for a great blog!

  17. As a homeschool parent I have recently discovered Interactive notebooks (which are similar to Lapbooks). I would love to have a copy of anything you have done with your interactive notebooks. I hope to implement them this year with my kids. My email is Thank you in advance for your love and passion for teaching and music.

  18. Love the idea of them keeping the books year to year.
    Do they take them home during the summer and bring them back or do you keep them?

  19. Hello! Just found your blog through Pinterest and I'm so glad I did. I love the idea of the interactive notebooks for my younger students, since I also teach middle school. I would love to get a copy of anything you have done with your interactive notebooks. My email is Thanks so much!

  20. Hi. I would love the pages for your interactive notebooks. Thanks!
    you can send them to

  21. I would LOVE these template pages. I'm just getting started this coming year with interactive notebooks and your information is SO helpful! Thank you :-)

  22. I would love them e-mailed too thank You

  23. I would love to incorporate your interactive notebook in my classroom, but I have a very transient population (70%). Any suggestions on how to make it less of a permanent fixture? (I don't want to be purchasing tons of books each year).
    I would also love to have the pages emailed to me. Thank you!

  24. Would you mind emailing these pages to

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your work! I have just discovered interactive notebooks and I think they are wonderful! I am interested in your interactive notebook pages for my recorder classes. Would you be willing to send them to my email - Thank you so much!

  26. i am new to the world of teaching music in the classroom. would love a copy of your interactive notebook pages. will tell you how they go. email is
    hope the new year is a good one. i still have 4 weeks hols being in australia our holidays go till february so am busy getting familiar with my new role.

  27. Thank you so much for sharing your work! I have just discovered interactive notebooks and I think they are wonderful! I am interested in your interactive notebook pages for my recorder classes. Would you be willing to send them to my email? And/or point me to your TPT page?- Thank you so much!