I Notebook...Do You?

Do you notebook?? {Is it okay that I just made that a verb??}  Well...all that to be said, I DO.  I notebook.  There.   I said it.   I notebook and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

I started out small this past year.  Dabbled in it, if you will.  I used Deanna's Interactive Reading Journals and they worked out beautifully.  I got my feet wet and I LOVED it.  I wanted to incorporate more interactive notebooking because I saw how much my kids LOVED it...and how engaged they were...and how they seemed to retain SO much more and make SO many connections while learning.  Not gonna lie...it was awesome.  

SO I spent the latter part of the year...in all that "spare time" I had...jotting down ideas to incorporate more notebooking in my little classroom and here's my first addition!  My littlest little who will be in Kindergarten this year has already started his summer notebook....and he LOVES it! 

Our little interactive alphabet notebook!!!  Such a GREAT way to start off the year!  I know my littles will be THRILLED!!!! 

I'm a HUGE advocate for setting a strong foundation in phonemic awareness and success with the alphabet is the first step. Every year my goal is to make sure my kids know all of their letters and letter sounds by November.  It's a very attainable goal when they're immersed in meaningful, hands-on activities that reinforce these concepts.  I know it's not always possible with EVERY student, but that doesn't mean I"m not going to try my darnedest to make it happen!  I had a little friend that came to me this last year only able to recognize 4 letters...none of them in her name...and no sounds.  I LOVE getting kids like that because I LOVE looking back at the end of the year to see growth and progress.  

She was riding the bus down Struggle Street for the first couple of months.  I was SO worried about her.  I worked to get that sweet baby where she needed to be and y'all...I die.  She was independently reading an 8 at the end of the year and knew all of her letters and letter sounds before Christmas break. We worked HARD and she did BIG things.  

I had her in mind when I created this little packet of notebook fun.  She would have loved it.  We would've worked on it together...in small group....a little bit every day.  We would've pulled it out during our Friday tutoring.  We would've worked on it for "dessert".  She would've eaten it up with a spoon :)  

I love that I can use these notebooks wherever I think they fit best.  Whole group.  Small group.  Independent literacy stations.  Morning work.  Wherever.  I know I'll model the heck out of it in the beginning and gradually release control.  I'm sure they'll be a hot mess while they're learning to use glue the right way.  I'm sure I'll even come home and ask my cabana boy to pour me a stiff one after trying to incorporate them in the beginning :)

What I really love is the flexibility it will give me to differentiate instruction.  I can use as many of the printables as I need or modify it to only use a few.  Some of my friends will be utilizing the majority of the printables, some of my friends won't need a lot at all.  I love that I can tailor their notebooks to fit their needs.

And I love that this little notebook will give them LOTS of opportunities to work with letters and letter sounds. I'm thinking of ways that I can even send these home in their guided reading folders at the beginning of the year in addition to their guided readers...thinking, thinking, thinking.  The curse of the teacher...we can't EVER turn it off!!!!!

I'm so excited to get back to the classroom and put these to use!!  But not before enjoying the next couple of months with my own two babies.  There's lots to be done before the start of the new year!  Having fun is first on my agenda :)

Speaking of the alphabet, I also created these fun little handwriting booklets for each letter.

It serves a dual purpose, really.  Obviously, I really want my kids to have legible handwriting.  We incorporate SO many hands-on fine motor activities throughout our days to help build and strengthen their little muscles, but they still need help with handwriting.  I also created these with my little phonemic awareness goal in mind.  These little booklets were also designed to help my kids with letter recognition and letter to sound linking.  I'm thinking about incorporating one-two pages each day during their literacy stations as a dessert...or maybe for a simple homework activity?!?!  Or morning work.  Not sure yet, but these will definitely be incorporated into our daily routine.  Somewhere :)

You can grab the letter A booklet for FREE by clicking on the pic below...

And if you're interested in trying out Interactive Notebooking Alphabet Style, you can check it out by clicking on the pic below.  There's even a little freebie in it for you, too!!


  1. Super cute! Would you be willing to share the order you introduce letters in at the beginning of the year and then how you review as the year progresses? We are changing from letter of the week to something that sounds like what you do, but are a little lost as to how to go about doing it. Thanks!!

    1. Absolutely! I follow the McCracken order and I formally introduce 3 new letters a week starting on week 3. Formal introduction takes place at the teacher table during our guided reading time. I might only formally introduce 2 letters a week to my lower babies. Starting on day 1, I introduce the ABC linking chart and motions/signals that go with each letter. We go through the entire chart...motions and all...every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day {whole group}. We also go through the linking chart and motions before each guided reading lesson...even though all of the letters haven't been formally introduced. They pick up on it SO fast!!!

  2. WOW! This interactive phonics notebook of yours is sooo useful! I incorporate Saxon for phonics in my class and since it is a whole program, it doesn't leave room for this type of notebook. But I love how you incorporate this in your classroom....thanks for sharing your wonderful tpt products!
    -Lovely Nina
    Lovely Nina Designs

  3. I love the interactive alphabet notebook!!! You are amazing! Can you please tell me more about the ABC linking chart and motions?

  4. I love love love interactive notebooking! Your packet here is AMAZING, I forwarded it to my elementary instructional coach! If they don't use it in my daughter's class I may use it at home :)

  5. Holy cow, I love this! I totally want to notebook (as much as I love turning nouns into verbs- for real). This will help my sweet little kinders so much. Thank you!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  6. I have to say... YAY!! I am new to interactive notebooks....Where have they been all my teacher life?? I can't wait to get started this is like a breath of fresh air.. not easy to come by after 16 years in first! Bravo and thank you for sharing your work!

  7. Love this! Couldn't love it more. I notebook with big kids and even the 5th graders give me the heebie jeebies when they get those glue sticks going in the beginning of the year. Sometimes, I can't look. For the little ones, will they glue everything in themselves?

  8. WHY weren't you a K teacher when I was a K teacher?!?!?! The year I looped up to first, you went down to K. These notebooks look so fun. I can just see the kids eating it up!!!

  9. I am buying this unit since it is one sale for you birthday! Happy Birthday! Do you have a celebration when all students learn their letters? I think it would be fun to allow the students to dress up like their favorite letter or something that begins with that letter. You should totally create a unit for it and I would be the first to buy it!
    Ke'Andra Davis

  10. These are amazing!! I introduced "notebooking" (love it! ha!) during guided math this year and loved it! I am glad to see others using it- guided reading is a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Miss Peluso's Kindergarten

  11. This looks amazing! I have been wanting to create something for my firsties to use to learn their sight words and incorporate their interactive notebooks! I also "dabbled" with interactive notebooks this year, but only in science. Next year, sight words and math. I already have your "Math Missions" prepped and ready for the year! :)

    Friendly Froggies

  12. I wasn't able to get the freebie, or try the free letter Aa Book. When I click on the picture, it takes me to your TPT store, but it has a price next to the item.

  13. This looks absolutely great! What does your guided reading time look like, if you don't mind telling me?

  14. I can't wait to use this next year! After 5 years I'm looking for something new! Do you have the students assemble the notebooks as they go, or do you assemble them before the year starts? Thanks so much!!