Notes in class

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by wcormode, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. wcormode

    wcormode Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2012

    How do you handle note taking for classes?
    Do you make them start from scratch? Do you give them an outline? Do you print off your Powerpoint slides?

    Most of my kids are just absolutely awful at taking notes. I ask them to do it outside of class because all the research seems to point to the fact that students should not be taking notes when you are teaching. However none of mys students take the notes or they take too many notes or the wrong notes.

    We had PD today on Common Core and the presenter recommended Cornell (two column) notes. But I have no idea what this would look like in a math classroom.

    Then once the students take the notes what do you let the students do with them? When can they use them?
     
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  3. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    Nov 2, 2012

    Cornell notes are also recommended, well pretty much required, to be used in my district. I do think they're helpful to my students for understanding ideas and topics. I have a folder that they store their notes in with some other work in and they use it daily. For math, maybe on one side tell the term and an example on the other side. Or students could ask a question on one side and answer it on the other. Did the presenter give you any math samples? If not, that stinks.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 2, 2012

    I would really model for them the way that you want them to take notes. Scaffolding is the best way. Begin by showing them exactly how and doing everything for them the way it is to be done. Then soon have them do part of it themselves. Gradually, they take over more and more of the note-taking until they are doing it all themselves. How long does this take? It depends on your class. That is something you just decide. It takes time, but my teacher did this for me, and boy it really helped. I never had trouble taking notes ever again.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 2, 2012

    Can we back up to the part where kids are not supposed to take notes while you're teaching??

    Who decided that?? Because, honestly, it makes absolutely no sense to me.

    I have my first geometry class of the day 2nd period, at 9:06 am. The school day ends after 9th period, at 2:48. From there most of my kids have an activity or practice, and most take the late bus home at 5:30.. Then it's dinner and finally homework.

    Are they supposed to remember what I said at 8:45 am??? Really?? To be honest, if you read me your phone number, I wouldn't remember it 5 minutes later, much less 12 hours and 7 classes later.

    Here's what my notes look like.

    I introduce a topic. The topic goes on the board, along with an explanation of how to recognize problems that involve this type of rule.

    We do a problem, with me explaining the rule as we go. Once we have an entire problem on the board, I write the word "PROCESS". Then I ask the kids to tell me, in their own words, what we did first-- as they're staring at the example we just completed. I write down what they say, in their words, encouraging them to make any changes to the notes that will make it more intelligible for them. Then I ask someone what we did next, how we got from the first step to the second, and write down what he says. We continue all the way down the problem.

    Then we do several more problems, with them using those process notes as a guide.

    I don't care whether they use one column or 43 columns, as long as what we do make sense to them at the end of the day. They use those notes to help with the homework, and as a reference when they study.
     
  6. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Nov 3, 2012

    I teach history, so note-taking probably looks different in my class as compared to in other subjects. My AP students take notes while reading every night, and I suggest that they use two-column (Cornell) notes. I don't require this, but many of them find it helpful for studying purposes and do it that way anyway. When taking notes in class, I almost always make cloze notes handouts that students complete. I either print off my PowerPoint slides or make an outline of the notes, but leave blank spaces where students must fill in the missing information. I do it that way for all classes/levels.
     
  7. HTCC

    HTCC Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2012

    I started requiring one of my classes to take Cornell notes after several weeks of them doing nothing. Literally just staring at me with glazed looks as I taught and asked questions. Or chatting off topic in group work. They hate it, mostly because it requires effort from them in my view. But what really shocked me was that most of my students really have no idea how to take notes! It's been a rough process, but I'm not giving up because I feel like once they learn it will benefit them in the future.

    I don't have an Elmo or a transparency projector but I want one so I can model like readingrules does. As far as math, there are lots of Internet resources that might be helpful. I ran across a bunch when I was searching for a way to teach my kids note taking.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nov 3, 2012

    One of the things I always hated was my teachers forcing me to take notes a certain way. So I don't do that. Cornell notes... *shudder*

    What I do with most of my kids is give them ''guided notes''. I have a power point and I basically retype the entire thing leaving blanks. As I go through the powerpoint the kids fill in the blanks. That way they're at least a little activated during note taking. I've found that for low performers the guided notes have to be EXACTLY the same as the power point. They can't read/listen to the powerpoint and then write down or fill out an answer. It must be identical.

    I've also done ''note questions''. I have maybe 5 or 6 questions the kids write down. As I go through notes I highlight the ''answers'' to the questions and they know the sentence to write down.

    But since you're in math, I would just make them copy down everything. In my physics class we do tons of problems over and over. They have to copy it all down. It's the only way.
     
  9. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Nov 3, 2012

    I teach math, and I do use a modified version of the Cornell note taking system (the only part I don't use is the bottom section.) But the 2/3 - 1/3 division of the page, left 2/3 for notes, and right 1/3 for writing little notes emphasizing important notes in the 2/3 section and pointing out extra important notes with arrows and symbols (pointing to some of the notes on the 2/3 side!) really seems to work for my kids, especially the ones who have never taken notes before. I cannot fathom why taking notes during class would not be good for kids, both for remembering the information when they get home to do homework, and for practice for taking notes in college and at work (for example, I take a lot of notes in faculty meetings - keeps me awake, and also reminds me of important things later when I do fall asleep while taking notes in faculty meetings!) I pause and give them time to copy steps, and ask them to come up and do problems on the overhead or computer, and ask them to contribute to the notes in their own words.
     
  10. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    Nov 9, 2012

    I use a variety of different types of notes. I start the year using straight up "copy what you see" notes. Then we progress to "fill in the blank" notes. Eventually we get to the point where I can have my notes projected onto the overhead screen, and they take down the main ideas in point form.
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2012

    What research are you citing? I've seen quite the opposite. As far as Cornell notes for math I recommend 3 columns, not just two. Column one is student interactions (primarily questions), column two is the sample problem, and column 3 is the steps written in words.
     
  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2012

    This is not only hypocritical but a complete misunderstanding of Cornell notes. Cornell format doesn't dictate the form of the actual note-taking in the least. All it does is require students to actually interact with the material which is, after all, how we actually learn. Fill-ins are the opposite of that and are far more rigid than Cornell notes ever possibly could be.
     

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