Sunday, August 24, 2014


STUDENTS, WELCOME TO YOUR INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOK PAGE within Mr. Hatfield's course blog.   This is an extremely important page for you.  Not only will your Interactive Notes be graded, but on exam days you are allowed to use your Interactive Notes . . . but only if they are reasonably complete.   

Since that's the case, it's critical to your success that you learn what is expected with your Notes, and begin immediately to develop the habits that will lead to success.

Interactive Notebooks in this Biology course will:

  • have a TABLE OF CONTENTS maintained by the student:

  • employ specific COLORS to identify specific items or activities:

  • typically work with two pages open simultaneously; the right side (INPUTS) will contain your actual Notes and other items given by your instructor, while the left side (OUTPUTS) will contain YOUR individual and thoughtful responses to whatever 'input' is on the facing page:   

  • Graded with this NOTEBOOK RUBRIC:

Friday, August 22, 2014


What would be some of the differences between the kind of Notes that students may have taken in a previous course and the Interactive Notebook that we want students to commit to in Biology?

To REALLY understand the difference, of course, students need to actually do the Interactive Notebooks as instructed.   "Intentional" means that there is a purpose for doing things a certain way.  Hopefully, the student knows what the purpose is!   "Structured" means that there will be deliberate things that will be done on certain pages at certain times to organize and develop the material.   "Structure" doesn't mean that all students will do things exactly the same way, however!   In fact, students are expected to personalize much of their work in the Interactive Notebooks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The Interactive Notebooks and the strategies used to complete them being used by BHS Biology instructors are based on the premise that students who continuously interact with their notes in multiple ways are more likely to recall content and do well in the course than students who don't.   

This is really nothing new in one sense, in that it is compatible with the widely-used practice of 'Cornell Notes' first developed by Ivy League law school students nearly seventy years ago:

Students who are accustomed to using Cornell Notes and have had success with them can incorporate this structure into their Interactive Notebooks: