We start the year with Science Safety Rules and make sure to include a copy in our journals. This year after discussing the rules on this sheet we completed the Where's Safe-T activity from AIMS Education.
Then students are required to write a letter to me with 3 reasons why Safety Rules are important and explain.
We also go over what kind of activites will go on the right side pages of the notebook. The right side of the notebook (the "input" side) is used for recording class notes, discussion notes, or reading notes. Typically, all "testable" information is found on this side. The right side is an excellent place for teachers to model how to think graphically by using illustrated outlines, flow charts, annotated slides, T-charts, and other graphic organizers. You can find a copy of this Right Side page here.
After discussing input/output I go over what type of activities and materials will go on the left side of the notebook. I also introduce the activity clock shown above. As we move on through the year I can tell my students to "Do a 6 o'clock activity on pg. ##" and they know that they are going to be writing a cinquain. You can find a copy of this page here
When we first set up our notebooks in class I like to talk to my kids about why we use these notebooks and how we are going to learn from them. I found this great input/output explanation from Teaching Science with Interactive Notebooks by Kellie Marcarelli. This is a great resource for teacher who are new to using interactive notebooks in their classrooms.
Your table of contents is on pages 2-4 in your Science Interactive Notebook. Make sure that each day as we add a new lesson or activity to our journals that you are updating your table of contents. Please see my electronic table of contents here.