Below is a table containing routines to help the teacher get her students ready to use their notebooks for each entry type. Suggestions are also given on how to give students feedback and how to use the entries for some productive post-writing activity. Many of the routines are similar, but the whole process can be summarized in general terms by the following guidelines:

Getting the students ready:
It is essential that clear instructions and expectations be stated by you before any notebook work. The students should know what they are supposed to do and why they are being asked to do it. Early in the year, before the students have acquired much experience with the various entry types, it will be especially important for you to scaffold the first steps and display examples of what final products look like. It may also be useful, depending on the entry type being used, to define a midpoint product as a way for students to gauge their progress.

How to assess and give feedback:
Circulating as your students work is an efficient way to assess how well your students are using their science notebooks. Check their methods of recording and organization as well as their use of process skills. Also, listen for clues to their thinking, ask probing questions, and provide verbal feedback. If you are repeatedly seeing something that needs attending to (e.g. confusion regarding the procedure, misunderstanding of expectations, etc.), pull everyone together for a group "self-check" in order to get everyone back on track. While the class at large is working, inviting small groups of students (3-4 at a time) to conference with you about entries is also a good way to assess current and previous student participation, and it provides them with an opportunity to share examples of their work with other students in a setting less intimidating than in front of the whole class.

Regularly collecting notebooks (or staggering collections) offers you an opportunity to provide individualized feedback to students. When providing feedback, always comment on what the student has done well or what target she is approaching. Then, discuss what she needs to work towards by probing for explanations and asking for elaborations. Making these comments on sticky notes or writing them in the margins offers a way for you to provide feedback without overly defacing the students work while also leaving room for the student to make any requested changes.

Post-writing activities:
The specific post-writing activity that follows notebook work depends on the entry type, but, in general, these activities should involve opportunities for students to share their work with others and then reflect upon what they learned.

Entry Type
Purpose
How to get students ready
How to give feedback
What comes next
Drawings
Elicit ideas

Make thinking visible

Develop vocabulary
Establish drawing conventions

For explanatory drawings, provide outlines. Students just draw in the details and labels.

Provide checklist or visual rubric

Have guiding questions for explanations
When collected:
-sticky notes in notebook
-comment on details, labels, descriptions
Self-assess

Students provide written descriptions of drawings and include questions they have

Use sentence frames to scaffold descriptions or explanations

Summary table
Tables, Charts & Graphs
Record & organize information

Analyze data

Display patterns & trends
Model using an example

Determine what information is to be collected and how it could best be represented.
While circulating:
-check for clarity & organization
Make sense of information:
-What do these data show us?
-What patterns/trends do you see?

Think-pair-share

Summary table

Claim-evidence-reasoning
Graphic Organizers
Organize ideas

Illustrate connections

Develop vocabulary

Make sense of data

Plan investigation
Model using an example

Provide checklist or visual rubric
While circulating:
-check for clarity, detail, organization

When collected:
-sticky notes in notebook
-write comments in side column
Make sense of representation

Partner check with “gotta-have” checklist

Summary table

Revise models

Plan investigation to explore gaps or to substantiate claims

Think-pair-share
Notes
Activate prior knowledge

Record & organize information

Make sense of data

Serve as reference
Provide focus question or purpose

Writing prompt

Ask for predictions
When collected:
-sticky notes in notebook
-check for details, completeness
-ask for elaboration
Quick writes

KWL

Revise models

Summary table

Think-pair-share
Conclusions, Reflections & Extensions
Make sense of data

Produce evidence-based explanations

Ask questions

Clarify and revise thinking

Think critically

Make connections to big science idea

Explore gaps in understanding
Activate prior knowledge:
-use sentence frames or writing prompts
-think-pair-share
While circulating:
-press & probe

When collected:
-write comments in margins
-ask for elaboration
Revise models

Summary table

Plan new investigation
Investigations
Test claims & predictions

Record data & observations

Do calculations

Graph results

Draw conclusions
Determine what information is to be collected and how it could best be recorded.

Model procedure
While circulating:
-press & probe
Generate charts or graphs from data

Make sense of data or observations

Summary table

Claim-evidence-reasoning

Draw conclusions

Revise models