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Science Notebooks in K-12 classrooms


Science notebooks can be used to help students develop, practice, and refine their science understanding, while also enhancing reading, writing, mathematics and communications. On this site you will find examples of student work from science notebooks - many from common used commercially developed science instructional materials, information to support the use of science notebooks, and strategies to use notebooks to integrate reading, writing, mathematics, and science.

In 2005, the North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership (NCOSP), a National Science Foundation funded Math and Science Partnership project, convened a group of education leaders from across Washington State. This group discussed the current state of science notebook use and reviewed hundreds of actual student notebooks. Analysis of the student work revealed many commonalities and suggested some patterns in the way teachers were asking students to record information into their notebook, each with a slightly different purpose in mind. This website reflects the analysis of these student "entry types" and offers teachers an operational definition of each entry type and a purpose for selecting that particular type. These definitions and purpose statements are further illustrated by samples of student work stored in a searchable online database.

Though the description of entry types and samples of student work form the core of this site, additional tools like classroom lessons, research citations, and frequently asked questions about science notebooks are also included to provide teachers a robust resource. In almost every section there is a means for users to submit new samples of student work, notebook assessment tools, templates, and other resources so that the site can grow and evolve. We hope this site enriches your use of science notebooks and we look forward to the contributions you will make based on your own experiences.