B is for Binder-Builder by Betty Eisenhour

B is for Binder-Builder by Betty Eisenhour

Have you ever tried lapbooking and notebooking with your upper elementary and junior high students? Our daughter (almost 12-years-old) loves to incorporate Binder-Builders into her core studies. Binder-Builders are a unique fusion of notebooking and lapbooking. You simply use a few materials such as a 3-ring binder, cardstock, tabbed dividers, and a Binder-Builder resource, to create a portfolio-style keepsake as a record of learning.

One of our science courses we are working through this spring/summer is Dr. Jay Wile's new Science in the Beginning.

Science in the Beginning is the first book in a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduces scientific concepts using history as its guide. Because each lesson is built around an activity or experiment, it is engaging for all K-6 students. In addition, there are three levels of review for each lesson, so the parent/teacher can choose the depth at which each student is expected to grasp the material. The course contains roughly 90 hours of instruction, 35 of which are composed of hands-on activities. The beginning of history is given in the Bible's creation account, and this book uses the days of creation as a way of introducing a wide range of scientific concepts including the nature of light, energy conservation, the properties of air and water, introductory botany, our solar system, basic zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology. As the students learn about these scientific concepts, they are constantly reminded of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying. 

As we work through this course, we are using the Science in the Beginning Binder-Builder from A Journey Through Learning to create a record of our learning activities.  Each Binder-Builder is made up of approximately 32 sheets of cardstock in each 3-ring binder. The cardstock pages provide space to place the mini-booklets for the lapbooking components for each lesson. Writing prompts are given to correspond with the text to comprise a written component. The Binder-Builder is further organized with tabbed dividers to keep notebooking pages on specific topics. These topics for the tabbed sections include:

  • Key Person
  • Vocabulary
  • Experiments
  • Books
  • Memory Work

Key Person - This form is used to research famous scientists, inventors, and inventions.

Vocabulary Words - This form is used to log vocabulary terms from each lesson.

Experiment Sheet - This form is used to log experiments conducted in the lessons.

Memory Work - This form is used to copy the memory verse.

Book List - This form is used to log additional books read for the lessons. 

The Binder-Builder helps our daughter have a method to document all of the various items she studies in the Science in the Beginning text. It is a streamlined and organized resource which results in an impressive portfolio at the culmination of the course. Do your students enjoy the creativity of lapbooking and notebooking? 

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