Posts Tagged ‘Interactive Notebooks’

After I blogged about using technology for formative assessment, I received a tweet asking me to post more about Quizizz and how to use it for homework. This post is for you @druinok. Happy to help!

Quizizz is a formative assessment tool most often compared to Kahoot. While the two platforms are very similar, Quizizz has some distinct advantages. I can remove the competition element by turning of the timer and the leaderboard. Allowing students to work at their own pace takes the focus off the solution and places it on the process. I can also choose to assign a Quizizz for homework. I assign a set of Regents practice problems every week called our Weekly Assignment. So creative, I know!! Occasionally I like to change it up and assign a Quizizz instead. Interested? Here’s how!

First things first. Go to and create your free account. You will notice on the home page you can join a game in progress. This is where your students will go to enter the game code.

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Once you have an account and sign in, you will see this page. Here you can choose to search for an already created quiz or create one of your own. I always look to see if someone has created something that I can either use as-is or modify to better suit my students.

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I found a quiz with recent Regents exam questions already created. Once I click on it, I am presented with more options. I can play it live, as is. I can assign it for homework. Or I can modify it. If you are planning to go live, scroll down and check the questions and answers for correctness. Don’t assume anything!

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I decided to duplicate the quiz to remove some of the questions that we haven’t learned yet. I can rename it, adjust or remove any question, increase the time up to 15 minutes per question, and add my own image to the start page.

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Once I click Finish, it takes me to the start page and puts my new quiz in the My Quizizz section. Notice the Print button in the lower right-hand corner? I can print this quiz and hand it out if my students either don’t have access at home or prefer having the paper in hand. Brilliant!

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From here I can decide to play it live. Clicking on the button gives me lots of options. This is where I can remove the timer and the leaderboard. Definitely leave the memes on, the kids love them!

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But what if I want to assign my quizizz for homework? Easy peasy! Clicking on the Homework button opens a similar screen to playing the game live. The difference lies in the date boxes at the top of the screen. By setting the date and time that you want the quiz to close, students will be able to work on the quiz outside of class. The quiz will remain open until the time you told it to close. Everything else can be set just like a live game. I can remove the timer, remove the leaderboard, shuffle the questions and choose to either show the answers after the question is answered or not. (I always turn that option off. I don’t want the answers out there for students to share!)

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Clicking Proceed starts the game and takes you to the start page with the Game Code and the link for students.

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If your school uses Google Classroom, there is a button to push the game out to your Classroom site. Then students can go their Classroom page and enter the game with minimal fuss.

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Back on the home page on Quizizz, you can track student process in the My Reports section.

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Old reports are found under the Completed tab. Below is an example.

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Clicking on the green plus sign shows you how each student answered the question. Reports can be both downloaded and printed.

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So there you have it. A step-by-step guide to using Quizizz for homework. What a great tool!




Interactive notebooks have saved my sanity! I need to send heartfelt thanks to Sarah Carter of Math=Love. Hers was the first blog I found on interactive notebooks and even better, it was about algebra! For the last two years, my students and I have been cutting, folding, writing, gluing and learning as we build our notebooks. It is music to my ears when a student asks me a question and then answers themselves immediately with, “I know, I know. Did you look in your notebook?” I find it less musical when they ask me what page to look on. Um…how about checking the table of contents? Lindsay Perro’s are my go to for this. I use her editable side tab dividers and copy them on brightly colored card stock. Perfect!

So what else is in our notebooks? Here are some of our favorites.

My syllabus comes from Sarah, over at Everybody’s a Genius. I love that it’s one page and chunked into small bites of information. My special education students have no trouble understanding it. It’s editable, and as you can see, I’ve tweaked it a bit. I created a QR code (under the pink square). Create your own free code here! The syllabus goes home the first day of school, and when it comes back with signatures we glue it in our notebooks!

Looking for a great idea for the Real Number System? My favorite is from Chris at A Sea of Math. She found it here and then added her own spin to it. This is one foldable that we use regularly!

If you can time your lesson on And/Or Inequalities to coincide with Halloween, this foldable might fit the bill. The bat template was created by Jennifer Smith of Smith Curriculum and Consulting and can be purchased from her store on Teachers Pay Teachers. One of her readers, Jessica Cleeton, added the Inequality information (the original template is blank). This foldable is my students’ absolute favorite so far. Thanks go out to Jennifer too, for not only her great resources but her willingness to answer my questions. She has gone above and beyond to help me. Check out her blog 4mula Fun, for lots of great ideas!

Do your students struggle with finding domain and range as much as mine do? I’ve tried boxing in the graph and highlighting around it, but this little foldable has helped the most. The biggest problem I see is that when they are looking for the domain, they want to highlight around the x-axis instead of crossing it, so they end up getting domain and range confused. T. Haley, at Journal Wizard, apparently had the same problem. While the concept is similar to highlighting, the words to keep us on the right track are brilliant!

I added the infinities on the inside for a little extra help. The domain and range cards were created in Desmos and then I took screenshots of each graph. You can download them here. Remember to add arrows as you like to each graph. The cute little envelope was originally created by Kathryn of i is a number. Sarah Hagan of Math=Love resized it to fit the cards. Her envelope can be found here (scroll about halfway down the page).

Ah, functions… Anyone else’s students try to include the f(x) when they simplify, thereby turning it into some demented-looking equation? This foldable won’t help with that, (will anything?? Seriously. Let me know!), but it will help students understand where to find the x-value. Kathryn Freed, of Restructuring Algebra,  tweeted about her creation and one of her students told her to blog about it. So she did. Here.

I love Scaffolded Math and Science’s stuff. All of it. Choosing one to put on this page is a challenge. We both teach algebra to special education students, so her materials fit my classroom like they were made for it. Her Difference of Squares foldable (she calls them flippables) from Factoring Flippables was a huge hit. Everything we needed to successfully factor the difference of two perfect squares was right at our fingertips. She has many more great materials on her website and in her store. Check her out!

Need a foldable for the coordinate plane? I use Jennifer Smith of Smith Curriculum & Consulting’s Ordered Pairs and Graphing Flippable . It’s easy to read and understand and has everything on it that I need.

My last two must-haves are both from Sarah Carter of Math=Love. The first is a graphic of a TI-84 graphing calculator. I am firmly in the camp that teaches calculator skills to our students. Each skill gets its own page, complete with a calculator and step-by-step directions. You can find the link to download one here (two on a page) or here (three on a page, link is in the last comment). Need an Inspire? Check out the fourth comment.

The small screenshots are my own, created courtesy of the TI-Smartview program I won at the state math conference last fall. If you don’t have this program, I highly recommend it. Shout out to my TI rep Dana Morse. Couldn’t ask for a better one. He’s amazing.

My students figure out slope by using a number line. The old Integrated Algebra Regents exam had the slope formula included on the reference page. The new Common Core exam does not. Knowing my students are not going to remember a formula like this, I stopped using it. They are very good at figuring out how far apart two numbers are using a number line. Without one? Not so much. Enter Sarah Carter’s number line foldable. I tried the vertical version two years ago, and the orientation completely confused my students. This year she added a horizontal version. Thanks, Sarah! Find her post and the link to both versions here.

So there you have it. McLeod’s Crowd’s favorite foldables. What are your go to foldables?




So you’ve decided to try interactive notebooks with your students. Great! But now what? Here are some thoughts to get you started…


Must Have

  • Notebooks – I prefer composition books because the pages don’t fall out.
  • Colored paper – the brighter, the better
  • Glue – your choice here, my preference is glue sticks. They cause fewer headaches.
  • Tape – for those students who will refuse to use glue
  • Scissors – everyone needs a pair
  • Markers/Colored Pencils/ Highlighters


  • Big rubber band – we put them through a hole punched in the back of our notebooks and use them to keep them closed and secure.
  • Ribbon – stapled to back of notebook and used as a bookmark
  • Document Camera/Projector – I build mine with the class under the document camera so everyone can see what they need to do.
  • Flair Pens – these colored felt tip pens are my favorite
  • Tabs – some way to mark the start of a new unit so it is easily found


  • Organize your supplies. I have a different plastic container for everything and they sit on the filing cabinets in the back of the room.
  • Decide how you want to set up your notebooks. Often the right side is for foldables and notes, and the left side is for students to process their learning, but do whatever works best for you and your students.
  • Where do get your foldables? If you are uber-creative, you can make your own. I’m not so I do a lot of searching online. Just google whatever topic you need and add the word foldable at the end. If you click on the images link on Google, you can scroll through the pictures pretty quickly. I also use the same type of search in Pinterest.
  • Make students write. While the foldables that are already filled out are easier, I find students retain the information much better when they have to write the words.
  • Once you choose a foldable, build it before you teach it! My most spectacular failures have been when I found something cool right before class and tried to run with it.
  • Build your own notebook with your students. I have created mine under the document camera so everyone can see what I am doing, but if my class is really small, I have also pushed the desks together and sat in a group to build them. Not only will you have a notebook to refer to next year, but you become part of the class when you join your students. The best conversations happen when we are all at the same level.
  • Create a table of contents for each unit and mark that page with a tab so it is easy to find. My students found a full table of contents at the beginning of each notebook too overwhelming.
  • Make extra copies!! Someone will cut something wrong, despite your repeated explanations. My favorite?  Don’t cut the tabs off your table of contents foldable. Someone does, every single time.
  • Make your copies the right size. The magic number for composition notebooks is 85%. Reduce a full-size foldable to 85% and it will fit perfectly.
  • Take a couple of minutes at the end of the day and jot down notes on a Post-It and put it right in your notebook to refer to next year. Did something work really well? Or not at all? An idea to make it even better? Write it down. Trust me; you won’t remember next year until you are halfway through the lesson.
  • Make your students use their notebooks. Every time a student asks me a question about something they have a foldable for, I tell them to look in their notebook.
  • Don’t assume students will understand how to use their notebooks. Model it! I refer to mine during every class and talk my way through finding the resource I need. Then model actually using the foldable.
  • Check their notebooks! Create a quick rubric or find one online. USE IT!! I admit, I get lazy and don’t check them often enough. If I let them use their notebooks on a test, I end up spending hours helping kids rebuild their entire notebooks the week before. My goal is to check them at the end of each unit.
  • Plan for absent students. I have a crate with folders for each day of the month. Extra copies are filed in the folder on the date they were handed out. Students must come in on their own time and use my notebook to complete the foldable they missed. I also take pictures of every page and upload them to our Google Classroom page. I never let my notebook leave my classroom!
  • Save your scrap paper. I toss mine in a basket, and we use the pieces if we want to add emphasis to something or if I have them create their own foldable.