Helping too much

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 10, 2010

    This is a piggyback thread from the note-taking thread.

    I got beyond frustrated with my on-level class today. First of all, I teach in a department where it is expected that everyone follows pretty much the same plans and uses the same powerpoints for instruction. We can tweak things but overall the students should have the same notes available to them. I was given a CD with powerpoints, guided notes and the tests when I started working. It has its pros and cons.

    Well, twice this semester I have copied the guided notes to give to my on-level students and they did not match the powerpoints completely. I usually check them against the notes but for today's lesson I did not. My students are quite lazy and refuse to work for their learning. Today they whined and whined about the guided notes. I explained to them in the beginning that the guided notes were to help them. If they were confusing, a font they didn't like, too small, etc. they were welcome to abandon them and take notes in a format they prefer. If my notes do not help you, then do not waste time on them. So after being told I should just fill in the notes and hand them to the class I announced that I was no longer going to provide guided notes. And I won't.

    I also announced to the class today that I am no longer working harder in the class than they are. Whine, whine, whine. Grumble, grumble, grumble. It is apparent that the more I give to them in order to help their GRADES the less work they are willing to do to LEARN. Why should they bother to work if I keep making it easy to replace this or that?

    Very few students bring supplies to class. Very few do their homework.

    So, I need some advice on how to get these students working toward their own goals in the classroom. I would love to see how some of you actually teach the art of taking notes. I taught them how to outline their chapters during the first week of school and haven't really referred back to it. It was a huge mess in my on-level class. I cannot wait for them to write every single word down from the powerpoints. How else can I make them more responsible for their own learning? I told them today to prepare for a quiz everyday on the previous day's notes and/or homework. But I have to refrain from dumbing that down too.

    Any help?
     
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  3. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Have you considered giving students notes with some of the words/concepts left blank? I find that fill-in-the-blank notes with certain lessons work with students who have a hard time organizing their thoughts in note form.

    I agree that you shouldn't try to dumb down your instruction or assignments for students. I probably would have done the same thing if I were in your position. I find that mini-quizzes like the ones you have planned are useful as a both review and a scare tactic. I used mini-quizzes last year and absolutely terrified my students into studying (their grades were not ultimately affected by the mini-quizzes, but it improved their study skills immediately).
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2010

    I teach my sixth grade students how to take notes. We learn SQ3R, Cornell, Two Column notes, graphic organizers, and outlines. They are so efficient by the end of the year.

    We start whole class and slowly I turn the control over to them. By this time, my students are taking notes from their textbook or other source completely independently. Are all students excelling--no, but most are!

    Notes from lecture is a little harder. When I use PowerPoint, I color code my notes. I use red for this is important (stop and look), yellow for this is important if you need more information (slow down and decide) and green for everything else. My students quickly learn what to focus on and write down. I don't start taking away the colors until after March. Then I begin to phase this out to make them focus.

    I use the mini-quiz method, but it is an exit slip on the student's way out or an entrance slip on their way in. It gives them something to focus on at either time.
     
  5. shannie5460

    shannie5460 New Member

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    Nov 10, 2010

    .....................
     
  6. shannie5460

    shannie5460 New Member

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    Nov 10, 2010

    ...........
     
  7. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2010

    This is a tough one. I don't know what will work for you, but here are some things that work for me:

    My students have a spiral notebook for note taking. We spend the first few days setting up their notebooks. I then do note checks throughout the year (I just look to see that they have them).

    I don't use Power Point too often, but when I do I emphasize that they need to learn to paraphrase. If they do not paraphrase they will have a lot to write, they will miss what I say, and their hand will hurt. They usually need a little help here, so the first few times we will look at a slide and discuss how it can be paraphrased.

    At the begining of the year I often have to remind them that something is important and they will want to write it down. As the year progresses I will remind them that they need to write notes so that they make sense to them, as they are the ones that will be using their notes (not me).

    Sometimes if there is an extra five minutes at the end of class I will have them write lines of learning - a paragraph explaining what they leared today. If there is enough time I will have students share what they have written.

    I know another teacher who does Cornell notes with success. You can also do interactive notebooks.
     

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