Implementing Interactive Student Notebooks Part 2: Adhesives


Now that you have decided on what you are going to as your ISN, it’s time to decide how you are going to adhere the handouts, foldables, etc. As with the notebooks, your choice of adhesives will depend on what works best for you and your students.


Glue Sticks: Although this is my top choice for adhesive, it is not always the best choice. Why? The glue does not always stick as firmly as needed. If you choose to use glue sticks, I recommend Elmer’s glue (the purple one). I have found that this sticks better than all of the other brands that I have tried.

Liquid Glue: As far as securing documents in your notebook, this is probably the most practical choice. The glue sticks well after it dries and I have not had issues with papers falling out later in the semester. The problem with liquid glue is just that, it is liquid and it makes a mess. Even at the high school level, students have to be taught how to use glue. Most teachers teacher the 5 dot-rule (if that’s a real thing), students place a dot in each corner and in the middle. With double-sided pages or if gluing in multiple pages, I tell my students to fold back one side and place a thin line of glue down that side.

Transparent Tape: I neither like nor dislike using transparent tape. I have found this to be an expensive choice if I can’t buy the tape in bulk.

Staples: I tell my students not to use staples…I hate them. Why? Because when I am not paying attention, my hand or finger sweeps across a staple and the next thing I know I’m bleeding! I also think that the notebooks don’t look as neat with staples because unlike me, my students don’t take the time to make sure pages are lined up before stapling them together. Staples are quicker which is why my students prefer to use them. If you have no issues with staples, use them!

Double-sided Adhesive (what Scrapbookers and Crafters use): If you or your students can invest in cheap double-sided adhesive, this is a great choice. Often times its repositionable and you can easily remove the adhesive off of the sheets if needed. If I had the funds, I would use double-sided tape to adhere all of our pages into our ISNs.

Washi Tape: Washi tape is like a decorative masking tape that crafters use. I LOVE washi tape because it can add a decorative (not really more functional) aspect to your pages. A lot of my female students like to use washi tape to make their pages “pretty”. This option is not really economical but I allow students who purchase their own to use it.

I hope that sheds a little light on adhesive. Let me know if there is something you can add to help out teachers who trying to make that decision.

Happy Notebooking!


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