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Biology Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebooks?
Bell Ringers?
Exit Slips?

Whatever you want to call them, they are a great classroom management tool and a wonderful way to teach, review, and reinforce vital concepts in biology.
A few days ago I wrote a lengthy blog post about my success in using "warm-ups" for my biology classes last year.  Click this link to see that blog post.   In this post I described the materials I used in my first unit of the school year.

This blog post is about my second set of interactive notebook inserts or warm -ups.  This set covers a unit on cell structure and physiology.  This ended up being a set of 59 warm ups or pages that cover cell structure and function, photosynthesis, respiration, and mitosis and meiosis.

As discussed in my previous blog post, these activities turned the first few chaotic minutes of my class into a time of meaningful learning.  But the absolute best thing to come out of this was that it created a fabulous study guide for my semester exam.

The content that is covered is evident from the titles:
Cell Structure and Function Titles (16 pages):
·    The History of Cell Studies
·    Cell Structure 101
·    The Animal Cell
·    The Plant Cell
·    The Size of Cells
·    Surface Area to Volume Ratio in Cells
·    Internal Organization of the Cell
·    The Cell Membrane
·    Ribosomes and the Endoplasmic Reticulum
·    Mitochondria and Chloroplasts
·    The “Other” Organelles
·    Plant versus Animal
·    Cellular Organization
·    Transport Across the Membrane 1
·    Transport Across the Membrane 2
·    Thinking Critically About Cells

Photosynthesis Titles (11 pages):
·    Energy Flow
·    Chemical Energy and ATP
·    Introduction to Photosynthesis
·    Light! Pigments! Action!
·    The Chloroplast
·    Electron Carriers
·    Overview to the Stages of Photosynthesis
·    Light Dependent Reaction
·    The Calvin Cycle
·    Alternatives to the 3-Carbon Pathway
·    Thinking Critically About Photosynthesis

Cellular Respiration Titles (14 pages):
·    Chemical Energy and ATP
·    The Relationship Between Photosynthesis and Respiration
·    Overview of Respiration
·    Glycolysis
·    The Fate of Pyruvic Acid
·    The Mitochondria
·    Overview of Aerobic Respiration
·    Krebs Cycle
·    Electron Transport Chain
·    ATP Accounting
·    Respiration Recap and Review
·    Fermentation
·    Comparison of Photosynthesis and Respiration
·    Thinking Critically About Cellular Respiration

Cell Division (Mitosis and Meiosis) Titles (18 pages):
·    Introduction to Cell Division
·    Chromosomes
·    The Cell Cycle
·    Let’s Draw the Stages
·    Name That Stage!
·    Interphase
·    Prophase
·    Metaphase
·    Anaphase
·    Telophase / Cytokinesis
·    The Mitotic Spindle
·    Differences in Animal and Plant Cell Mitosis
·    Results / Importance of Mitosis
·    Asexual versus Sexual Reproduction
·    Cell Division and Chromosome Number
·    Meiosis
·    Comparing Mitosis to Meiosis

·    Thinking Critically About Cell Division

The above pictures show the student pages.  Each is also accompanied by a teacher answer key.

Click above picture to see my product listing on


  1. Wonderful ideas and work. I cant wait to buy and use them in my biology classes

  2. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

    1. I love your first set of warm ups. I cant wait to start a warm ups spiral with my students. We teach Ecology after Nature of Science. Do you know when you might be making a set of warm ups for Ecology? Thank you!

  3. I am working on the ecology warm ups right now, and I am about half way through them. I hope to have them posted in my TpT store within the next two weeks. What unit do you teach after ecology? Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. After ecology we teach biochemistry/biomolecules, cells and transport, then photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Next is DNA, protein synthesis, genetics, evolution, taxonomy, animals and finally plants.

    1. Perfect! The biochemistry is included in the first unit. Cell structure and physiology is already completed. As soon as I finish ecology, I will be starting on Genetics and DNA.

  5. Will you be making a set for all the topics I mentioned above? I just need to know so I can plan appropriately for the year. For animals and plants we focus on body systems and their interactions. With plants also the tropisims. So sorry for all the questions. I just don't want to get stuck. Your work is amazing and will save me more time than you can imagine. I really want to use these as a warm up but also mini checks for their understanding on the concepts we have covered. Thank you!!

  6. Yes, my intention is to cover all the topics in a typical high school biology text. It is a time-consuming process though! :)

  7. Thank you! I appreciate all your hard work.

  8. How do you get students to attach these to notebook? My fear is we take up to much time cutting and pasting them in that i will lose instructional time. Also do you procedure you could share. Glue before or after

    1. Hi Nancy. For my warm ups, the students do not do any cutting. You print them out before class, and cut the pages in half. I have the stacks of already cut pages available to my students as they enter the classroom. The student picks up the page, grabs a couple of strips of tape, tapes it into their notebook and gets to work completing the warm up. All of this is done in just a minute or two. The actually completion of the work may take 5-7 minutes, but getting the page into the notebook only takes seconds. It takes a few days of training at the beginning of the school year, but within a few days the procedure becomes automatic to them.

      I try to avoid glue! Too messy. I prefer tape. The students could also staple the warm up into their notebook. I don't feel I lose instructional time. The students are already working on the warm up while I am taking role, answering questions, dealing with problems, etc. I think the review and reinforcement of the concept is invaluable.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you have a wonderful school year.

  9. These are so nicely done! Any chance you'll do any for Earth science?...

    1. Earth Science is not really my area of expertise. I am a biology/chemistry geek! But I will put your idea on my to-do list.

  10. Hi, I saw the link to this post in the forums, I LOVE these for older students. If you have a few minutes in the next few weeks, can you please email me at I have a few questions for you about these and maybe sending a custom job your way. Thank you SO much!!!

  11. Hi, I am considering buying. I am interested in using them as an insert into an interactive notebook.
    Does any page can be used as part of interactive notebook or only specific ones? Do you have any examples of using your pages as part of interactive notebook? Thank you.

    1. Hi there! Take a close look at the photos in this blog post. All of the pages are this size and can be used in interactive notebooks. I have a sample pack of the pages that you can download for free.

      Here is the link:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, and good luck with your teaching!

  12. Will you be working on some Chemistry topics...thats what I teach and by the looks of your bio work..I'm sure Chem reviews would be awesome too

    1. I have been thinking about doing these warm up pages for chemistry. They are very time consuming to make and I have no idea when I will get to them, but I have added this idea to my to-do list!