WELL, MY THOUGHTS CHANGED WITH THIS LAST UNIT...
In December, I taught a relatively difficult unit on wind and ocean currents and their effect on climate. I had read a blog where the author believed in always allowing students to use their resources (notes) on unit tests, because it will teach them good habits in using resources as adults. I didn't want to believe this because students can't use their resources on state-mandated standardized tests and I wanted them to "know" the content without using a resources. Boy, was I wrong. So back to the wind, currents, and climate unit...because of the difficulty of these concepts, I chose to allow students to use their notebooks on the unit assessment. They were not aware of this until the day of the test, and many of them had incomplete notebooks. I think this is the day the "lightbulb" went off for many. The next chapter, I noticed improvement in student notebooks...notes were complete, more absent students were asking for the notes they were missing, and pages were numbered. I also noticed that many students automatically knew which pages they could find needed notes and references. They were helping each other find items, they knew what specific foldables looked-like, and it seemed as if they were internalizing more and more of the information that we had put in the books.
That next chapter, Moon, Earth, and Sun Relationships, was not as difficult as the prior unit, so I did not allow notebook use on that test, but I did notice drastic improvement in notebook usage throughout the unit and in to the next unit. I have seen more students using their notebooks as they complete class and homework assignments and I think I have finally convinced students that their ISNs are not just notes, but useful in many ways beyond that day of creation.
To purchase my units on Wind, Currents, and Climate and Earth, Moon, and Sun Relationships, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Wind, Currents, and Climate Interactive Notebook
Earth, Moon, and Sun Relationships Interactive Notebook