Notes on Notes

I’m all for note-taking.  As I learn, I always jot a few things down so that I can make sense of my learning.  Note-taking focuses me and lets me access new ideas that I have just seen for the first time.  When it comes to my students, I think note-taking is a window into their minds.  It’s a meta process.  It shows their thoughts.  Consequently, keeping the process free and loose is important.  Note-taking is personal.  

Here’s an example of how I do it in my class.

Today in class I wanted to help the students with a photo essay that they’re working on.  We watched this video:

We watched it once “just to watch it”.  We then watched it two more times and the students were asked to write, draw or represent anything that they thought was important.

Students’ notes helped them participate in group conversations (think, pair, share) and  a whole class discussion that finally lead us to this class note.

Obviously this type of writing is not pretty. It doesn’t lead to the kind of pristine notebooks that I had as a child; however, it does get the brain working… and that’s job 1.


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