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LadyGriff LadyGriff is offline
 
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LadyGriff
 
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Note Taking Strategies?
Old 05-31-2017, 02:37 PM
 
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Does anyone have ideas or links for best note-taking strategies in upper middle school? I teach seventh and eighth grade history, and in my last evaluation this year, my department head and I agreed that I needed a better system for notes.

My classes tend to be convinced that the way to 'take notes' in class is to write down everything on my PowerPoint robotically. I've tried putting up my notes after class on our website, but this led to some smart lads not taking notes in class at all.

I don't really like Cornell. I'd like something that gives them some guidance and is something I can fairly easily keep tabs on. Best of all would be if it could somehow be fused with taking notes from the text.

What do people do? My own biggest concern is that they don't seem to find their own notes at all useful. When I give out a study guide, their first instinct is to look everything up in the book all over again, even though by that time they have an outline of the chapter they did, plus notes on class lectures and discussions.

Thoughts? Also, happy almost end of school!



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Mikhail Mikhail is offline
 
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might as well discuss
Old 05-31-2017, 04:10 PM
 
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Hey, thanks for bringing this up and I'm glad that you brought up good points for consideration. First of all, I think we need to consider the motive behind making and taking notes. Obviously, it's about research. I think that it becomes more effective if students use their notes for some purpose like presentation about their findings, observations, and the like.

First, I don't think there's anything wrong copying notes word for word especially if students are language learners. However we want students reading and paraphrasing what they're reading and identify the correct main ideas, details and such.

Next, I pre-write notes for my students. And here's what I mean, I'm liking the idea of cloze notes and here's a reference http://classroom.synonym.com/use-clo...l-7799125.html. What makes the biggest impact is what they do with these notes: make summaries, talk about their learning using the correct vocabularies, and making appropriate connections about what they learn.

And then I would encourage students to use Cornell note taking just to get the essence of what they had to take notes using cloze notes. Not all students appreciate this because it's so "unguided" or unstructured and then they begin asking how long it's gotta be and so on. Once they start wondering about this, I know I've failed at having them be more independent. I also try to incorporate appropriate thinking/mind maps at this stage.

Maybe I should try to reverse this method. The point being is that they're using the information and organizing the information so they make sense of what they're learning. I'm finding that the more you have them discuss the content and the structure in which this content is presented, the more they use the vocabulary as part of the note taking process. It takes too much time though and sometimes, I would rather just have them copy things word for word.
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Graphic Organizers
Old 06-10-2017, 11:25 AM
 
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Our schools using the Learning Focused format for curriculum planning/lesson plan writing, so graphic organizers are a large part of this program. These allow students to organize their ideas, hoping that the teacher has also organized the lecture/presentation into a similar format. My students really like them. I emphasize they should not copy the notes as it, so we often spend some time discussing what from the slide they gather as the larger point or I bold specific information I believe they need to know.

I also use the format of "Thinking Maps" to also have students organize their own information. We are shifting more to an inquiry focus this year, meaning students gather info to answer the essential question on their own. I always make sure to include some type of summary piece for students to gather their thoughts and provide feedback about their own learning.
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Middle School/Jr High (6-8)
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