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Lesson Ideas: Teach Students How to Take Notes

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 2/14/2012

Improve student achievement by sharing these secrets about taking notes in class. These tips will benefit you and those you teach as part of an introduction to a multiple part series on taking notes in the classroom.

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    PART 1: HOW TO DELIVER NOTES EFFECTIVELY

    Long gone are the days when the walking Encyclopedia at the front of the room droned on and on for hours as uninterested students doodled in the margins of their notebooks hoping to hear enough to pass the test on Friday. Today's students are much more demanding than their predecessors. Here are some tips to engage them in the process.

    PART 2: OUTSIDE PREPARATION

    Note-taking involves more than just coming to class, taking out some paper and a pen, and copying down what's on the board. Tell students what they should do outside of class to make them better in class. The best way to teach this principle is to set the example by keeping up with the material and being organized. These suggestions will help.

    PART 3: RECORD

    Teach students different strategies for making the most out of their note-taking. Notes out of context and out of chronological order confuse students and frustrate teachers trying to move forward with their curriculum. These suggestions for students will help them link learned knowledge to new knowledge.

    PART 4: REVIEW

    Many students don't take notes because they do not see the value in note-taking. Showing students how to review will create value for them and motivation to take better notes in the future. Once a student realizes good note-taking increases achievement, teeth pulling stops and learning begins.

    PART 5: CORNELL NOTES

    Students learn in a variety of manners. Different note-taking methods cater to different learning styles. Facilitate understanding by sharing different note-taking methods. This section deals with Cornell Notes, a systematic approach to note taking that facilitates interactivity and higher level thinking skills.

    PART 6: OTHER NOTE TAKING SYSTEMS

    Cornell Notes isn't the only effective method of note-taking. Find one that works for your class and watch your students learn.

Teaching Students How to Take Notes

It's an important skill that teachers falsely assume students can do, but there's more to taking notes than rattling off a few facts and hoping students learn it. Note-taking is a process that requires outside preparation, in class listening skills, and systematic review for teachers and students.
  1. Lesson Ideas: Teach Students How to Take Notes
  2. Helping Your Students Take Great Notes: Teaching Techniques
  3. Teach Your Students to Take Great Notes
  4. Teaching Students How to Review Notes
  5. Make the Best of Class Time with Cornell Notes
  6. Cornell Notes Rubric