OneNote Class Notebook is the top app in my classroom

Today’s post was written by Marija Petreska, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teacher and MIE Fellow at Hristo Uzunov School in Kicevo, Macedonia.

With the release of the new OneNote Class Notebook add-in, the ability to create a Class Notebook with one click right from my OneNote desktop app has made the Class Notebook the top app in my classroom.

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I could never find a better place to create and share my lessons in an English as a foreign language classroom. The Class Notebook gives me a place where I can add images, videos and clip art; record my voice or my video; add files; and even embed mixes with quizzes to check students’ understanding.

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Things that are a must in a language learning lesson are flashcards, a dictionary, the ability to hear the new vocabulary (whether the teacher makes an audio recording pronouncing the words or the students use the Learning Tools immersive reader), the ability to check if they have pronounced the words right with the dictate option and, of course, the ability to check the spelling of a written text.

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Once I have created my lessons, I needn’t worry if the students may have missed checking for updates or can’t find the lesson activities. All I have to do is distribute my lesson page from the Content Library into their private notebooks. I can create lessons according to students’ learning preferences and even send them individually to different student’s notebooks with just a click.

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When I have new students coming into my class, or a new class, I really need to know their learning styles so I can tailor lessons according to their styles and preferences. To do this, I created a page with a table of learning preferences with some fun clip art. Since I need this same page for more than one class and more than one Class Notebook, I saved it as a template for future use.

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I have this template shared in the Collaboration Space of the Class Notebook so students can write their names under their preferred learning style column—which are customized tags created for each learning preference. Whenever I search for a learning style tag on that particular page, I see the names of my students next to the selected learning style tag, which is especially helpful when learning the names and learning styles of a new class of students.

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I also want my new students to have a profile page to share what they are best at or not so good at, what they would like to learn throughout the course and how I can help them. So I pretty much have a set of pre-made pages that I use for every Class Notebook and a Content Library that I can distribute to all my new Class Notebooks.

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My pre-made, ready-to-use library also includes a behavior chart, self-assessment avatars and badges. The behavior chart is what every classroom has—a chart of students’ performance during the lesson and a space for writing down their names. A good idea is to save these charts as templates and use them for each lesson.

When you need a report on their achievement for the lesson, all you need to do is export the page:

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You can also create customized tags for each behavior chart and create a summary page:

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But the most fun we’ve had so far with the Class Notebook was tagging Star Wars badges with students’ names. When you search for the tags you can see which student has been awarded which badge.

You can even have an exported summary page to display in the classroom:

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The last thing I want to share from my ready-to-use Content Library is a self-assessment legend with monster avatars that my students have created. Using these avatars is a fun way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the assignment they need to work on.

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Obviously this student feels this is too much work:

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—Marija Petreska