Here's the deal, using tabs to organize student OneNote notebooks is just NOT enough! Until OneNote catches on and starts letting you create section groups during the first steps of your notebook creation, an alternate route will have to be taken!
Current Class notebook set-up
Currently, each student notebook can be set up with a set of TABS. Some label these tabs according to type of page. For example; HANDOUTS, NOTES, ASSIGNMENTS, and QUIZZES. I have seen teachers also label these tabs using Unit numbers; Unit 1, Unit 2, etc. Either one you pick, you could end up with large amounts of pages only organized by time-frame. See below.
Above: Tabs are labeled by type of assignment Below: Tabs are labeled by Unit
a better way of organizing
A better way of organizing student notebooks is with section groups. Each section group represents a unit of study and then inside the section groups are tabs for items like: NOTES, HANDOUTS, ASSESSMENTS, etc. See below.
Above: The picture above shows the sections groups. In this case, the units are labeled. Below: The picture below shows the tabs that each section group is split up into.
WE KNOW THIS IS A BETTER WAY OF ORGANIZING! (I'll rephrase, not to offend, WE KNOW THIS HAS BEEN A BETTER WAY FOR OUR STUDENTS!) We hear it from students everyday. Don't let the frustration of an unorganized notebook keep your students from reaching our ultimate goal, which is learning. So here is how we do it! :)
How to create the section groups
I will first start with this, this strategy was created by the amazing Alyssa Butler who teaches English 1 at Sulphur Springs High School. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrsbutler209
STEP 1: Create Your Classes
You cannot distribute section groups until your class notebooks are created. During your class notebook set-up, it will ask you to create TABS. ONLY create tabs that you do NOT want in your section groups. For example, an Important Information Tab or Syllabus Tab. You can click here to set up your notebooks.
Steps 2-4 will have to be done for EACH class notebook. You could do it ALL before school starts or just add a new section group before each unit starts. Now, I know this may seem like a pain, but it is well worth it!!!! If you don't want to do this, vote HERE to voice our opinion to OneNote! Changes won't be made unless they know their is a need.
STEP 2: Create Your Section Group
Click on the Class Notebook tab and select Distribute New Section. Then select Distribute New Section Group. Title your section group. In my example, I will title it Unit 1.
STEP 3: Create Tabs Within Your Section Group
Click on the Class Notebook tab and select Distribute New Section. Then select Distribute New Section. You will need to check the More options box in order to create your tabs under your Section Group. I am titling my first tab Notes and placing it under my Unit 1 section group, which I can get to by selecting the + by Student Name and expanding the selection.
STEP 4: Create the rest of your tabs
Repeat Step 3 until you have made all of the tabs you want to have under your Section Group. In my example, I created 3 tabs: Notes, Assignments, Assessments.
Make sure that you create the section groups and tabs EXACTLY the same for each class. That way when you go to Distribute Pages to students, the correct Section Groups and Sections will be pulled up. Spelling errors will cause this to not work.
Create a Master Notebook to distribute your assignments from. It would be much like an old-fashioned less plan binder. Simply edit and create as you have time and then do a Cross Notebook Distribution when your assignments are done. You can do them beforehand or as you move along through your unit.
Hope you found this blog helpful! Love to hear you thoughts in the comments below.