Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Should we Teach Students How to Take Notes?

“Different students might prefer different note-taking formats…it is advisable to present students with a variety of formats.”  -Marzano

Sometimes teachers assume that students know how to write notes to study for exams, but most of the times they do not know the correct way to write notes. Some may write notes verbatim, every word the teacher says. Some may not know how to write any notes at all. 

When I first asked my students to take notes while I taught during my Cahsee prep class, my students were in disarray. They had never written notes before, nor did they know how. Their was only a very small percentage of students that actually knew how to take notes!

students taking notes during CAHSEE prep 

I was torn, because my students were still learning the basics of the English language, and I didn't know what to focus on. Is teaching how to take notes important enough to spend so much time on it?

Well, research shows that the more notes a student takes, the better they perform academically (Nye et al., 1984). I needed my students to perform better academically, so you know that I got on that note-taking band wagon. The following are the many note taking styles that students could learn:

Types of Notes

Verbatim: writing everything the teacher says
teacher-prepared notes: clear and to the point, it models for the students how to take notes.
informal outline: the use of indentation to show the main ideas and the topics underneath it
webbing: students put major ideas in circles and connect those ideas with lines to smaller circles or other related circles.  
combination notes: has various forms of notes on the same page. the left hand side is for the notes (words), the right side is for symbols, webbing, charts, and the bottom is the summary of those two sides.

    My note-taking, note-teaching lessons will continue, so I will make sure to post any updates. Don't forget to share your experiences! Post them down below!


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