The Scary, Scary Output of Science Notebooks: Advice for Teachers

I get loads of questions about the Output aspect of notebooking.   {Learn more about what Output is.} If you read no further, read this:

Be flexible.
Allowing time for student output is a crucial part of science mini-lesson with notebooks.  Here is some advice I have about Output.
  • You don’t have to make your students say, “I’m going to choose Acrostic for today’s output.”
  • Teach them the different options for a few weeks, then set them free.
  • Model output at first.
  • Show examples of what other students are doing.  Those ideas will stay in their heads and you will see creativity increase over time.
  • Provide specific verbal feedback as you walk around.
  • Many students will do a combination of things.  Maybe they draw and write.  Go with it!
  • Meet with students during your 10-minute Output time to check for understanding.
  • The easiest Output to start with is providing a sentence stem.
  • Drawing and doing a Quick Write about what they learned was the most popular “I Learned” page for my students.
  • You may want to encourage individual students to mix it up a bit, but forcing an Output on students doesn’t end well.
  • Remember this is their time to CHOOSE how to process and apply new learning.
  • Be flexible!
Output Idea Examples
Four different students will have four different ideas about how to process their learning.  Output is automatic differentiation!  If the students just learned about how sedimentary rock is formed, here are four ways they might process it in their Output.
Personal Connection and Comic
Circle Map

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