5 Reasons You Can’t Do Interactive Notebooks in School Counseling (and why you really can)

.Have school counseling interactive notebooks been flooding your Pinterest feed? Do you see the beautiful colors, flaps, and pockets and think, “Ugh, we could never do that at my school!”? Well I’m here to counter all your doubts and tell you that you CAN do interactive notebooks in your school counseling program! I promise they aren’t as daunting as they seem, and you truly can put those beautiful colors, flaps, and pockets in the hands of your students to create a unique learning experience in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling sessions!

5 Reasons You Can’t Do School Counseling Interactive Notebooks (and why you really can)

We don’t have time for all the coloring.

Coloring can be time consuming, especially with the younger students! BUT! I’m sure you’ve met my friend, the amazing Mrs. Astrobrights! If getting all the crayons and colored pencils out will take up half of your lesson time, not even including the actual coloring time, just print on Astrobrights! Your pages will have instant pop and they look great in the notebooks. Problem solved. You CAN do school counseling interactive notebooks.

Look at those bright colors! See? No need to color 🙂

There’s just way too much cutting involved.

Valid concern! Like coloring, cutting is time consuming, especially for students with low fine motor development. BUT! You know those moms, dads, grandmas and aunties who really want to be at school all the time to help? Or what about those students who love to help their teachers and favorite counselor? Cutting is a perfect task for them! You could even ask a student who is slow to open up to help you cut out some pages – maybe even pages that might also happen to help them with whatever is going on – while you chat. They might just see something on the page that sparks their interest. Win-win and… Problem solved. You CAN do school counseling interactive notebooks.

I don’t have a counseling budget for interactive notebooks.

Truly, I understand this concern. And I will tell you that I purchased with my own money my first set of composition books to try out interactive notebooks with a small group (6 notebooks). If you are in this position, I suggest asking to add one composition book to your school supply list during the summer. Another viable option is to use Donors Choose. I have several friends who have posted their DC projects on their personal Facebook accounts and had them fully funded by their peers (who are reasonably compensated for their jobs…) within hours. The PTA at your school is another great option for seeking funding for this kind of project. You can also call around to some local businesses and ask for donations! There are also probably some parents who would be willing to purchase a few extras to donate to the counseling department. Hopefully one or more of those options can get you the supplies you need to have a… problem solved. You CAN do school counseling interactive notebooks.

The kids have no idea how to make these.

I’d be willing to bet they do. So many teachers are already using interactive notebooks across subjects. Ask around among your faculty and see which teachers are already using interactive notebooks. Pilot with one of those classes! And even if not one single teacher in your building is doing INBs yet, I definitely bet your students know how to cut, glue, color, and draw or write! That’s all it takes. Problem solved. You CAN do school counseling interactive notebooks.

 It’s too much to keep up with.

If this is your reason for not doing them, I would ask: are you using worksheets or making crafts with your students now? What happens to all of those papers or crafts after you’re done? Maybe they’re on a bulletin board for a month or so but then what? Trash, floor, or stuffed in a folder? With interactive notebooks, everything is in.the.notebook. There’s nothing to keep up with! No loose papers. No month-old crafts floating to the floor as they’re pulled out of the desk where they were previously shoved. All you’ll need is a place to store the notebooks, your cutting, gluing, coloring/writing supplies, and your print-outs. So basically everything you’re already using 🙂 Problem solved. You CAN do school counseling interactive notebooks.

See how it’s all contained inside the notebook! No loose papers FTW!

So are you convinced that you can do it yet?! I for one am convinced YOU can do it. If you’re ready to get started, check out this post on 4 tips to get ready for your first school counseling interactive notebook! I promise it’s not as hard as it may seem right now.

Happy Counseling! -Counselor Keri

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