Not taking notes

Discussion in 'High School' started by newbie1234, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Near Horse

    Near Horse New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2008

    First - note taking is a valuable skill and should be taught, particularly if students plan on attending college. With regard to handing out Power Point outlines of your notes, I think it makes students lazy. They don't have to process information and organize/synthesize anything. Not to mention reading and spelling. The idea that they need time to sit and assimilate information is something from the colleges of education. Sounds good but ain't happenin'. :rolleyes: Students will take the opportunity to do nothing/socialize ..... I guess my point is bigger. What happened in education? We educated kids for decades using drill and kill, or notes or whatever. Now we're told that it's small groups or discovery based learning that works best. Plenty of teachers employ these methods and kids like class better but do they know more? Look at test scores. Sorry about the rant.:sorry:

    Also, contrary to what HMM says, math was the only class I didn't take notes in because it was so much process rather than facts. Either you could do it or you couldn't.
     
  2. newexperiences

    newexperiences Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2009

    This is maybe a silly question, and I could have missed something, but do you put any notes on the board? I find that ALL kids take notes if you put something on the board and tell them to write down the things you put on the board. I suppose you could also do an OHP or power point. Yes, they need to learn to take notes simply from your lecture, but you could maybe at least put the title of the subject on the board and then give the definition orally.

    I like to write things down while class is going on and get interaction from them. I'm a language teacher, so I might also use suggestions from the students.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    I know I'm coming a bit late to this discussion, but (seeing as I don't go back from break until Mon.) I've just recently been re-doing and figuring out a lot of my methods to start the new semester with.

    I also was not much of a note taker in school. Neither high school nor college. I only took notes in a few college classes. I don't require my students to take notes, but I do have occasional open-note quizzes to encourage them. One thing that I'm going to start doing with my Geometry students:

    I've created a kind of lecture notes/outline/presentation for the next chapter, with lots of fill in the blanks and sample problems that we'll work together in class). I've posted this to the class website so that the students have the option of printing out and taking notes on in class, or they can take traditional notes. Because we have a smartboard, I'm just going to pull up this document (it's a .pdf) and draw/teach directly on that.

    This way, the students don't have to waste time drawing figures or writing out definitions, but we'll still all be together working the same problems. Also - I'm putting the responsibility on them if they want to print it out. I'm not going to waste paper for those who wouldn't use it anyways.

    I'm hoping that this works out well - I'll let you know next week! :)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 9, 2009

    I know that kids learn in different ways.

    I'm one of those people who learn best by writing. I can copy down driving directions, then not have to read what I've written; the process of writing them down gets them into my head.

    So downloading or Xeroxing notes won't work for me. I need to take notes.

    I suspect I'm not alone.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    I'm the same way, many of my kids are better readers than I am and learn by reading. That is why all my notes are on power point and they can copy them out if they wish.
     
  6. MathNrd

    MathNrd Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 12, 2009

    I agree that note taking is a very important skill for all students to learn. Yes, we all learn differently but taking notes can't hurt. I also agree that this generation of student will take any opportunity to socialize. I have had to work very hard to train my students that when I pause it does not mean that they can start talking and they still "forget" from time to time.
     
  7. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 12, 2009

    I see at least one person has said my thoughts (I haven't had time to read everyone's). It really opened the eyes of many of my 6th grade students friday and today when I gave them their test and told them if they had their notes they may use them. Many were upset because they never take notes to begin with and others because they didn't feel the need to bring them to class.
     
  8. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 12, 2009

    Did you make it clear that note taking was mandatory and that they should bring them on exam days?
     
  9. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 22, 2009

    I think we have a lot to learn from our students about how they learn. Why would they learn like their teachers? They grew up in a different era? They need teachers to teach in ways that allow them to capitalize on how they learn.
     
  10. larana

    larana Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 6, 2009

    I am in college at this time and I am a little older them most of the students. I see that the younger students(18-21) never take notes. I want to ask them do they remember every thing that was cover in class. But to my surprise a lot of the professor in college will say during an exam that we can use our notes and all those without notes are lost. But they learn from there mistakes and start taking note for the next exam. Surprise them next time.:thanks::)
     
  11. whisperline

    whisperline New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 16, 2009

    Cloze Notes

    None of my students take notes unless they are specifically told. Because of the population that I teach, most of my students really do not know how to take notes. I start every year by providing handouts that require students to fill in the blanks from my direct instruction. As the year progresses, I increase the amount of information my students are responsible to fill in. By the end of the year, the majority of my students take notes with little problems. It does help prepare them for post secondary education since most college professors do not modify their delivery to suit the students.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2009

    As a hard-of-hearing student it was important to me that teachers stick with the book and only add examples in class. Their colorful language/examples helped me make the connection between what I read, comprehending it and remembering it. If it was only in the lecture, chances are I might miss it. One teacher proved this when I couldn't figure out why I was failing her tests in spite of all the studying I was doing until she told my dad her tests rarely come from books.

    I took notes, at least I tried to. In the end though, I relied on books. It was much more important for me to attend to the lecture. In that sense I get why professors provide outlines. They really do help.

    Do I think learning to take notes and organization are important skills. I completely agree with this. As contradictory as it sounds, I believe in teaching this life long skill. I know what to write down, how to develop key words and write in relative shorthand so I can go back and make better notes later. I have learned what is likely to be useful to commit on paper for studying and what I will likely find in the book or is just there for examples. I've watched my middle school child. He hasn't a clue about organization and it impacted his grades tremendously. I did what I can on my part and I expect teachers to help teach this lesson in class as well. Organization and note-taking skills serve us for life even if we don't always realize it. Do you sometimes still take a pad of paper and a pencil to an important meeting or a workshop? I do. Do you have to write it all down to remember it? Of course not. You've developed the skills long ago. Please don't say it is common sense. My 7th grader will tell you it is not. Please don't say it is maturity. Not everyone has this skill and it can be evidently found in the world at large.

    Does this mean that the notes need to be long or really structured? I don't believe they do. Probably more important than note-taking would be the organization part. Note-taking is part of that. Who here writes a to-do list. I promise you that doesn't really occur to many 6th graders. No wonder they struggle trying to remember what's due and when it is due. They have to be taught.

    I see both sides of the coin. I need a teacher that isn't going to give me so much new information that I can't follow up somewhere else at least without providing an outline but I appreciate that I have to be a part of my own learning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2009

    Very well said!
     
  14. Claire23

    Claire23 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 20, 2009

    My husband is a web designer and leads a team of 2 other designers. He comes home and says what bugs him the most about when he gives them instructions or tells them about an upcoming project, they don't take notes. They'll then forget something in the code or design and come back to him asking him tons of questions while he has his own work load. I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents... I think note taking is an important skill that does translate to the "real world" and not just postsecondary education.
     
  15. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    5

    Feb 20, 2009

    I am one of those punks that doesn't take notes. I didn't really take notes in high school, and i didn't really take them as an undergrad either, unless it was a math or science class. I did fine. As a matter of fact, I did great, but I know it really upset other students who took lots of notes, but didn't do as well as me (who hardly took any notes at all). I don't know why I was able to do that, but they weren't. We just learn differently, and have different reserves of information to pull from.

    As a current grad student, I learned a few things along the way. First thing is that making students write notes, and listen at the same time, as well as synthesize all the info while they are doing this is probably not a good idea. It's possible that you may be overloading their working memory capacity. Using notes with blanks in certain spots has it drawbacks too, as students are often just listening for the clue that will tell them what to put in the next blank. They often aren't getting the "whole picture." Handing the notes out in powerpoint form seems to work best in grad school, as the students follow along in the notes (no different than reading a novel aloud in class really), and jot down their own notes when they feel it is necessary. It also allows them to focus completely on the teaching at hand, although you will probably lose a few students to daydreaming, notepassing, etc.

    As a teacher (history, then math), I made my students take notes. Their notes consisted of whatever I put up on the board (in outline form). At first, they had lots of notes, but as the year went by, I would teach them how to break my notes down into smaller chunks (paraphrasing them) that they could use. Towards the end of the year, several students had almost stopped taking notes completely. They just paid attention in class, and wrote down stuff that I said was going to be important, or stuff that they thought they might not remember. Some of them drew pictures in their notebooks, or colored drawings as I taught. As long as they continued to get good grades, I wasn't concerned with what they were doing while I was teaching, as long as they were quiet, and were able to join in on the discussions. As someone suggested, all my tests were open notes, but it usually didn't help. Those who brought their notes never needed them, and those who needed their notes often had incomplete notes, or sloppy handwriting, so they couldn't read their own notes. I helped raise their grades (and knowledge on the subjects) by creating worksheets based completely on the notes. For the students who paid attention and took notes, it was a review for them. For those who didn't take notes, they ended up taking the notes anyway (even though they didn't know it), only in a worksheet form. I also instituted a 5 question quiz everyday. It was a short multiple choice quiz based on the previous days lecture and/or homework. They corrected each others' quizzes as a group, and we quickly went over why each answer was correct. Of course, if there was an answer or concept that most of them were getting wrong on the homework or in class, it ALWAYS ended up on the daily quiz so they would have a chance to discuss it as a class and clear up any wrong information.

    I don't really know what I am trying to say in this post. Take notes, don't take notes, etc. I guess everyone learns in different ways.
     
  16. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Feb 23, 2009

    While I agree that many students can get by just fine without notes, I have also observed good students struggle in some relatively easy classes because they have no note taking skills. When I start teaching, I will make it a priority to integrate developing this skill to a good degree in my lessons. As an example, I will most definitely always bring in current events topics and I will test on those. Kids who don't take notes or don't have perfect recall are going to have some issues with that. I would say that the book was useless/optional in at least half of my college classes--these were usually the best classes too! In other cases, reading the book would cause a great deal of extra work, and you would be diluting your study time and possibly causing a lot of frustration if the material in the book is much more difficult.
     
  17. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 13, 2009

    I took over for a teacher in January. I was told that the majority of the students were failing the class, Earth Science. To me, since most of the students failed, this means the students don't have a foundation in the material. So I told them that every quiz and test is open note. This really helps my students. But I can see from the posts that I need to teach how to take notes and how to be organized. My cooperating teacher spent several days at the beginning of the year helping her students set up a binder with tabbed dividers and checked on their binders every quarter.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 14, 2009

    Since January?

    So they don't have to actually know any of the material, just know where to find it??
     
  19. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,321
    Likes Received:
    12

    Apr 15, 2009

    I never required my students to take notes, but often during the course of the year, I allowed students who DID take notes to use them during tests. After a few tests, most of them started taking notes.

    At the college level, I don't require note-taking, either, but in the syllabus, they're told that they're allowed to use their own notes for Midterm and Final exams. It still comes as a surprise to some of them, but I don't feel sorry for them. I mean, it's RIGHT THERE on the syllabus!
     
  20. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 15, 2009

    College students don't read the syllabus. ;)
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 15, 2009

    I rarely read my syllabus because the teachers always go through them with us. I haven't met a teacher yet who didn't go through it paragraph by paragraph. Seriously.
     
  22. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 15, 2009

    I do that every semester (read the entire thing to the class), but I still get a lot of questions throughout the semester that can be answered if they would just look at their syllabus
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 15, 2009

    If I heard the teacher and remember that it was on the syllabus, then I do go back and look there instead of bugging the teacher usually just because I'm at home when it happens. I will admit when I first started college there wasn't a "blackboard" where teachers commonly save their stuff online. I would lose my syllabus a lot. Now if I have a question I know it is online and that works much better.
     
  24. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,321
    Likes Received:
    12

    Apr 16, 2009

    Whether a student reads the syllabus or not, having a policy of any kind on the syllabus covers the teacher's a s s when it comes to finals week and the inevitable whining that occurs. I go over my syllabus pretty thoroughly that first class, but the students who come to me at the semester's end, whining and complaining, are inevitably the students with attendance problems. The students who come to class every time, pay attention, do the readings, take the occasional note, and check the syllabus regularly, do very well. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, though. :)

    My GOODNESS, the poor students who choose not to do things properly. . . . their SELF ESTEEM! Dear me. Not.
     
  25. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2009

    I encourage but do not require my students to take notes. I post outlines online that they can choose to print or access on the computer during class. It is their choice. Some students do well without needing to take notes whereas other ones have to take notes in order to do well.

    As a student, I always took notes. Just going through the typing motions was enough to make the information stay in my head. I mention to my students that for some learners, even if they don't intend on reviewing their notes, sometimes they can learn kinesthetically through note-taking.

    I put everything on my syllabus and go over it thoroughly on the first day of school. That way when they come to me about "Mr. BT I didn't know this!" all I have to say is: "Did you read the syllabus?"
     
  26. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 26, 2009

    I'm having an issue with note taking. I have students that just won't do it..In a class of 22, almost 1/2 don't take notes-do the I'll just get them from my friend later or want to talk. I wonder why am I discussing, talking, and creating the powerpoints if they don't use it? I started putting the PP on my website but stopped because the students were not taking notes and waiting to print them out when they got home. SO they just sat in class or tried to sleep. Some liked it when I wrote on the board, but after doing that 6 times a day-it grew weary for me and I'd tend to forget some things to write or talk about. (I don't do well with lecture notes to follow along with) I tried the fil in the blank and as one person said, they 'listen' for that one word then ignore til the other words come up. Many have a hard time trying to write and listen...there has to be another way, my goal this summer is to devise such a plan.
     
  27. english_bulldog

    english_bulldog Rookie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 11, 2009

    I can definitely see the benefit in taking notes. Not only does it aid students who are not strong audio learners and teach students organizational skills, it also helps keep their attention where it needs to be - in the class.

    During five years of college, I worked as a GearUp/AVID tutor. I worked with many teachers and a variety of students. My general observation has been that, given the opportunity, most students will choose to just sit back and listen and not take notes. Yes, there are definitely students who can learn without writing down a single word. My husband was a perfect example of that - he used a single 70 page spiral throughout his high school career and graduated among the top of his class. However, one cannot assume that this is the norm.

    This is why I am in favor of spontaneous (or even announced) open-notes quizzes/tests. Students that have taken notes will benefit from it, and those that didn't take notes - and don't need to - won't be affected by it.

    Historyteaching, if you are having problems with students staying awake in class, maybe you should try a more interactive approach? I worked with one group of students in a US History class where the teacher divided the class evenly between lecture and jeopardy-type questions. After about fifteen minutes, he would stop for a pop quiz sort of thing to recap what was going on...he would use a combination of higher level questions and basic fact recitation to "wake up" any students that might have started stray.
     
  28. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    233

    Jun 21, 2010

    I'm willing to bet that in addition to not reading the syllabus, they're also not keeping the syllabus.
     
  29. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 21, 2010

    Probably, but I keep a copy on our class Web site so they can always download it.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. miss-m,
  3. catnfiddle,
  4. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 289 (members: 4, guests: 261, robots: 24)
test