How to fix the way your students take notes, the way they feel about note taking, and the way they remember the material
Sometimes students just need some teacher explanation in a lecture setting. Even with inquiry lessons, everyone still has to come together to sum it up, share the properties they discovered, and clear up any confusion. Kids need a written guide to reference later.
So, I have broken down the areas in which we need to improve note taking for you to take into consideration and make note day a day the students (and you) look forward to!
Make Note Taking More Effective
Note taking is so essential to your students’ educational success, especially when done in the most thoughtful, effective ways. There are some concepts you should think about incorporating in your lessons to make note taking the most efficient for student learning and retention!
Visual connections make a huge impact in note taking and retention. The key to creating good visual notes is incorporating what I like to call “visual memory triggers.” These triggers are graphics or other images that contain or represent an analogy that helps the student understand and retain information.
Click here to read a post all about How to Create Visual Memory Triggers.
Explicitly Teaching Note Organization
Note taking does not come easily to some students, so it’s necessary to teach some organizational skills in taking notes. Students should be able to understand what information they should write down, and what information is okay to skip.
Secondly, it is helpful for them to be able to go back and easily find a certain piece of information. We want note taking to be helpful for learning during the lecture, but we also want them to be able to refer back to clear, cohesive notes.
Teaching your students to take highly organized notes is so important, especially if they are planning on attending college!
Incorporating color in some way during your lectures is so beneficial for students! Different colors, their combinations, and their placement can have an effect on attention, memory, feelings, and behaviors of students. Check out one of my recent posts, How Color Affects Student Learning.
Notes by Hand
There is a lot of research out there that shows notes are so much better when taken by hand, rather than digitally. Scientific American tells us, that even though people generally type faster than write, more notes aren’t necessarily better.
In three separate studies that compare students taking notes by hand vs. students taking notes by laptop, they found those who wrote out their notes had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material.
Specific Strategies for Note Taking:
For example, if they use blue for all vocabulary words and definitions, they can better recall the words and definitions, or efficiently find it in their notes, later.
The perfect way to get started and decide if Doodle Notes is right for your class is downloading this FREE “Engage Your Brain” Doodle Notes! This page is a perfect way to introduce your class to a new strategy for taking effective notes and how their brain works! They can learn a little about the way the brain reacts when you integrate the left and the right hemispheres.
You will quickly realize all of the benefits and your students will be begging for more Doodle Notes!
Cornell notes have been proven to be effective in student learning. This method involves recording notes during the lecture, asking questions after the lecture, reciting notes aloud, reflecting, and then reviewing.
Make Every Note Day a Great Day!
Make note-taking fun for the students and let them use any of their coloring utensils; this actually helps them remember better! As mentioned earlier, color helps students materialize the content.
Another perfect, simple solution to livening up note day for you and your students is to implement Doodle Notes! When students use doodle notes, the two hemispheres of the brain collaborate to increase focus. They become excited, engaged, and attentive, so their retention is increased.
Students interact with visual triggers that boost their memory for the lesson material. They become proud of their creative work on their page and suddenly begin pulling out their notes sheets consistently to review, show them off, and reference them as a study guide.
Added bonuses include relaxation, coordination, and a boost in problem solving skills. Once students, try it they will be excited to try more! Doodle Notes Days will be days to look forward to. You can download a free handbook on Doodle Notes,here!
Make it a goal of every note-taking day to engage student brains just as much as you do on an activity / practice day. Be sure that they make solid mental connections and then walk away with a clear, colorful graphic organizer that can become their reference guide to look back at later.
I hope you gained some valuable information from this post to help make note taking days as awesome as possible! Do you have any foolproof lecture or note day strategies? Please share in the comments below!
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