Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Notebooking With Younger Children

Is It Possible To Use Notebooking With a Pre-Reader?

Notebooking is a great way to learn and there is no reason why it can't work just as well for younger children as it does for the older ones. There are many ways to include early learners in the notebooking experience. Here are a few tried and true methods we have used in our own homeschool, as well as some links to additional resources you may find helpful as you begin this adventure with your own little ones.

Use Visuals To Record Information

Items like maps, diagrams, and photos are important additions to any notebook, but they tend to define notebooking when dealing with the younger crowd. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to children who are just learning to control a pencil. Drawing pictures illustrating the information being studied is a fun form of narration which allows your child to review what they have learned and gives you an opportunity to see what you might need to go over again. Copying the shape of a country to create their own map helps a child to learn that country's shape and recognize it when it is seen again. In the same way, making their own version of a work of art or drawing a plant or animal being studied causes a child to take a closer look at that object. If your child has difficulty with this type of exercise or if you'd like to add some variety to their notebook, try using some pre-printed coloring pages. There are many sources online where you can print off free pictures to go along with your science, history, and geography themes. Simple outline maps and diagrams can usually be found by doing a Google search. You can  include coloring pages from a purchased coloring book. Dover has a nice selection which would work well for this purpose. You can also have your child create a collage or scrapbook page with photographs or clipart of the topic being studied.

Sources For Free Coloring Pages

Edu Pics
Educational pictures for primary schools
Pics 4 Learning
Copyright friendly images for education
Clipart ETC
Free clipart for teachers and students
Dover Sampler
Sign up for the Dover Sampler get a weekly email with links to free Dover coloring pages. These images can be added to your notebook pages.
Ivy's Coloring Page Search
Coloring book search engine. Use this to find images to add to your pages.

Give Them A Model To Work From

Copycats have gotten a lot of negative publicity, but there's no denying that we all tend to learn better by example. There's nothing wrong with letting your little ones copy from the notebook pages of their older siblings or examples you find on someone else's blog. After all, this isn't a test. If the only thing holding your child back from creating their own notebook pages is their limited ability in the areas of spelling and penmanship, try typing out what they want to say and letting them transfer it into their notebook. Copywork is a great way for a child to practice their writing skills and it is a wonderful addition to a notebook on almost any subject. An occasional worksheet or fill in the blank sheet also provides a child with the opportunity to show what they know, without becoming overwhelmed by a large amount of required writing. Adding minibooks to their notebook pages allows them to make a big statement with a few words.

Notebooking Sets For Young Learners

Famous Composer Notebooking Pages
This set of 286 notebooking pages contains 10 notebooking layouts in primary and regular-lined formats for 28 famous composers. The variety of pages for each composer allowed me to use these with both my older and younger children.
Patriotic Songs Copywork
Your children will enjoy creating a copywork notebook with the songs that make this country so special. This set would be a great compliment to any study of American History.
History Crafts for Kids
Free Notebooking Printables and Resources, many for pre-writers

Make It Interactive

Think of your child's notebook as a journal which they can use to record the adventures of their learning experiences. What types of things might an adventurer include in this type of record? A study of birds might lead to a collection of feathers. Add these to the notebook. A study of botany can involve pressing leaves and flowers to glue into a notebook. A study of the water cycle may end with an afternoon spent playing with the hose in the backyard. Take pictures and add them to the notebook. Are you studying sheep? Add a small sample of wool to a notebook page. Try making felt and add that too. Paper models also make great additions to a notebook. There are many books which include directions for studying the human body by creating paper bones, muscles, etc. If you are studying the layers of the atmosphere, you can create multi-page books showing each layer and glue these in your notebook. Paper dolls made to show clothing from around the world can be stored in a pocket in the notebook. Pop-ups showing famous buildings can be folded flat in the notebook. Cut and paste activities are also great additions to an early learner's notebook.

Free Minibooks, Pop-ups, and Printables

Homeschool Share Level 1 Lapbooks
Lapbooks for toddlers and preschoolers
Homeschool Share Level 2 Lapbooks
Lapbooks for prekindergarten and kindergarteners
Lapbook Lessons
This website is full of Free Lapbooking Resources! Great for Homechooling!
Tot-Books by Carisa
A Tot-Book is simply a small lapbook for a tot!

Carl's Corner
Lots of great free printables including some alphabet miniboks which would be great additions to a notebook.
1000s of FREE teaching resources for Foundation Stage and Early Years practitioners. Add extra spark to your classroom!
Danielle's Place
While much of this site is subscription based, there is still much available for free and lots of great ideas. Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make!
Instructions and templates.
Dynamic 2 Moms
lots of free minibooks

Ideas And Examples On The Web

Bookmaking With Kids: The Littlest Bookmakers
The link to this blog post was sent to me by my friend, Jimmie. It explains why and how to teach pre-reading, pre-writing kids to make books of their own. It includes some great ideas, and the blog itself is full of even more great ideas which could be incorporated into a young child's notebooks.
Notebooking Exhibit
You've heard about notebooking. You know it's a flexible tool that can be used with most any curriculum or homeschooling style. You've read a bit about it, but you're still not quite sure. What is notebooking? What does it actually look like, and how does it work? This page, put together by my previously metioned friend, Jimmie, has lots of great examples.
How Do I Start Notebooking?
This article explains noteboking in simple terms and gives some suggestions on how to start the notebooking process.
25 Creative Notebooking Ideas
In case you find yourself in a rut, here is a list of creative expression.
Shepherding the Lambs
Tips and notebooking style resources for preschoolers.
Journal Writing - for pre-writers
Writing a journal is a great pre writing activity that promotes creativity, literacy skills and self expression. Rebekah Patel shares how to do it even if your child can't write yet.
It's Never Too Early to Begin Notebooking
Homeschool Mosaics
Notebooking for 1st and 2nd
Our Busy Homeschool
Examples of Narration Letters from Nebby
Letters from Nebby: examples of notebook pages done by different ages.
Kindergarten Kindergarten: Science Notebooks
pictures and free printables for a rock unit
Our {BFIAR} Lap Journal
The lap journal is: a lapbook, a scrapbook, and a portfolio ~ a record of our learning time together.
His Grace To Me: Our Math Journal/Notebook
A homeschool mother shows how she uses math notebooking with her young son. "It's just a simple inexpensive composition book that we use to record our math experiences."

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