I spent yesterday afternoon putting together my primary class' notebooks. Because I've been homeschooling for 18 years, I have lots of tools on hand to do this easily. I'll list the things I used to put these together and give you other options if you don't want to invest too much into these notebooks.
Supplies I Used
Before I explain how I put the notebooks together, I want to share with you the benefits of using a Pro-click binding tool. I've been using this tool in my homeschool for 10+ years. One great benefit to the binder is the reopen so you can add additional pages, if necessary. You can also cut the spines down and use them for booklets, landscape notebooks or whatever other project you may have. The spines also come in a variety of sizes so you can hold anywhere from 25 page to 100. Another nice thing about the Pro-click is it is small and stores easily. I've used my Pro-click to create notebooks for my kids, as well as, planners, cookbooks and so many other things. I've found this to an invaluable tool in our home. But especially in our homeschool.
Assembling Your Notebooks
I first printed enough copies of each activity for each child in my class on 20 lb. paper. Next I used the paper cutter to cut them all out and scissors to get to the spots the paper cutter couldn't get to. I kept each lesson and mini-book separated to make assembly easier.
Next I printed all the cover pages onto white card. I then punched the holes with the Pro-click for all the covers. I also punched holes in card stock for the back covers of the notebook. Next I took 24 lb. paper and punch holes in them and added about 30-40 pieces of paper to each notebook.
Once the notebooks were ready, I the lesson titles to the top of each lesson, glued the mini-books into place, and added some of the inserts. You can have the kids glue in the inserts, but some I've found to be easier to do myself and then have the kids fill them out. Do what works best for you. I never have the kids do any of the cutting or adding to the notebooks. This takes too long and it would take away time for teaching.
Alternative Ideas for Notebooks
Before I had a Pro-click, I used binders, composition notebooks, sketch pads, or papers using rings. Any of these would work great for putting together the kids notebooks.
I do want to mention that my plan is to fill one page 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper for each lesson. So make sure the paper/notebook you choose is at least that size.
Just a Few Others Things to Know and Consider
I'm planning to add the activities on a weekly basis or sooner. Most likely I'll be a few weeks ahead. I just got called, so I'm just getting started and should have a few more lessons done soon. If you have a specific request for a lesson, please feel free to contact me and I'll see what I can do.
I'll be keeping the lessons for the kids. They will get them at the end of the year. If there is a handout mentioned in the lesson that the kids should take home, I'll most likely add one to the activities in that weeks set.
I've found that construction paper is not a good paper option to add mini-books too. Construction paper is very light weight paper and can't really hold the weight of the mini-books. It tears easily and just plain... awful, in my humble opinion :)
If you want to, you can share with me how you put your notebooks together and I'll feature them on my blog so others can see other ideas.
I hope these work nicely for your class! Enjoy!