Sunday, March 8, 2015

Time Saving Tips for Using Lap books in the Classroom

Hi Dear Friends!

Today, I wanted to share with you some tips on using those lap books and interactive notebooks in the classroom.  I ABSOLUTELY love the end results of lap books and interactive notebooks!  It's the process that can sometimes be frustrating and just plain time consuming.  I've used lap books and interactive notebooks for the past couple of years, so I've learned to streamline the process with my kiddos to make it quicker and less frustrating for me.

Let me give you a little glimpse into what using a lapbook in my classroom used to be like.  We would discuss the lesson, and then it was time to work on the fold-it that would go with the lesson.  Students would spend 5 minutes looking for their supplies or asking to borrow glue and scissors because they had lost theirs.  In the meantime, I have asked my students in several different ways to quiet their voices so that they could listen to instructions.  They would until another student or two began asking for materials they had lost.  Agh!!  Then we would get back to task.  Some students could spend 10 minutes just cutting out the fold-it.  Then the folding....   Yikes!  For some it was so difficult.  AND we haven't even written any information down in our fold-its yet!!!  By the time the lesson was over, I was exhausted and oh so frustrated.    There had to be a better way.

What kept me going???  I received so many positives from parents.  They LOVED seeing these finished lap books!  Most of our curriculum books for science and social studies are outdated, and these lap books are a great way to show parents what their children have been working on.   I think they are a great way to introduce my students to researching for information as well.  My admin. loves to see the lapbooks too!  AND I love, love, using lap books as study guides for tests over the units.


1. Complete 1 fold-it at the end of each daily lesson.  I never save the lap books for a project to do at the end of the unit.  It gives me too much frustration. 

2.  ALWAYS pre-cut the fold-its before passing out to students.  SUCH a HUGE TIME SAVER!  This cuts down on students getting scissors or looking for lost scissors, and etc.  I have parent volunteers that come in on a weekly basis to help.  This is one of the items they are willing to help me with.  

3.  ALWAYS have fold-its prefolded.  This makes it easier for students to already see where to make the folds.   It cuts down on all those hands raised about how and where to fold.  Again, I have my parent volunteers help with this.

4. Have a basket of glue sticks for each group of students.   I always have a basket of glue sticks for each table of students.  I have a designated leader for the week in each group that knows where to get these glue sticks.  It cuts down on time significantly, when the materials that all students can use are  readily available to them.

5.  Have a designated place that all lap books go.  Each of my students have a cardboard book box at the back of the room.  These boxes are numbered to correspond with each students number.  At the end of each lesson, students know to place these in their cardboard book boxes. They also know where to quickly get them before the lesson begins.  It keeps the mess out of their desk and prevents them from getting all bent up or torn up if kept in a folder in their desk.

I would love to hear your tips on using lap books or interactive notebooks in your classroom!

If you are looking for lap books for social studies, science, or literacy units please stop by my store.  I have many to choose from! Just click on the photo below for the link to the social studies and science lap books.

Click HERE for the link to my literacy units with lap books.
Thanks for stopping by Friends!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Awesome post! I've done lap books a few times and they're always so time consuming! I may try another one toward the end of this year. Thanks for all the tips!
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