Lab Notebooks (INB tweak)

I’ve been trying to implement INBs (Interactive NoteBooks) since about the very beginning of my teaching career, and every year it’s been kind of a disaster.

The most compelling part of INBs for me (and the attribute that I think differentiates it as an INB instead of just a notebook) is the idea that the right- and left-hand sides have different purposes. Personally, though, I don’t often use foldables and the like, or plan out beautiful, layered notes pages for my students like Sarah (@mathequalslove) or Elissa (@misscalcul8) because I’m a pretty crappy day-to-day planner. Also, at my current school, we do a lot of Project-Based Learning, so students are regularly working with math on things that aren’t necessarily practice or notes, per se.

Because of all of this, I re-worked my procedures for INBs this year (finally) and renamed them as Lab Notebooks to try to imitate the lab notebook of a research mathematician (something I have only 2nd hand knowledge of, so you can tell me how far off I am, which I’m sure is far).

Anyway, it’s still in it’s infancy stage, but I thought I’d share it here. Below is the list of procedures we use for them (that I used to practice coding with LaTeX).

lab-notebook-guidelines (pdf)

I want this notebook to be indispensable to my students; for it to be the place they go if they need to work something out, so that they have a full record of their thinking throughout the year. For a few weeks at the turn of the quarter, they really got away from me, so right now, I’m just trying to remember to implement them regularly, which means reminding my students (a) that they exist and (b) what they should put where.

I’ll try to post again at the end of the year.

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