PROBE Notebooks are a creative yearlong ELA research project to address the Common Core research standards. The standards incorporate research throughout the grades, and the PARCC test will specifically ask students to write research essays based upon articles presented to them.
The premise is simple- they receive a topic to briefly research, and complete a short report on the topic following a basic template in a composition notebook. They must write a fact page (in their own words), draw a border that is relevant to the topic, include 4 illustrations with captions, and sum it up with a sentence or two stating what they have learned. The kids love it because it involves coloring and decorating, parents love it because it is a predictable assignment, and I love it because I have the opportunity to work with students on their research and report writing skills regularly. As a bonus, the students have a composition notebook full of their writing and they can reflect on at the end of the year. It is so fantastic to see the kids recognize their own growth!
The PROBE notebook activity bundle is the complete one-stop shop that you need to set up and start using PROBEs in your classroom! The file contains a a rubric, completion checklist for students, exemplars, research graphic organizer to prevent plagiarism, a poster for your classroom, a sample schedule, and an editable schedule. Colorful and blackline versions are included.
For information about how I use the PROBE notebooks in my classroom, check out my blog entry!