Tips for Taking Notes

Before the school year began, I hosted a note taking class for middle school learners. I offered this class in response to a parent request. It was a wonderful way to welcome students to the studio and help them begin middle school with note taking tips and resources. Below, I share some of the note taking tips from the class along with some video resources that I shared with the students.

Note Taking Methods

Note taking is about recording essential information from a source, like a video, lecture or textbook, and putting it into your own words. There are different formats for taking notes but it really comes down to recording the information in a way that is clear, concise and that makes sense to you. In the class we looked at four different note taking methods:

  • Cornell Method
  • Outline Method
  • Mapping Method
  • Chart Method

We focused on the Outline and Cornell method for taking notes since they are the most widely used. For more information about different note taking methods check out Oxford Learning.

What to Write in Your Notes

The students practiced taking notes from textbooks and a math video by combining the Outline and Cornell note taking methods. We went over the kind of information that is important to record, like topics, subtopics, vocabulary, and formulas as well as the importance of summarizing information in your own words and stating how or why it is important.

Note Taking Class 2019 ~ Sticky Notes, Highlighter, Colored Pens and Resources

Color Coding

To make information stand out for reviewing later, the students used colored pens and highlighters to practice color coding information in their notes. Learners can use sticky notes to mark important information, list questions, or record reminders.

  1. Highlight Key words & Vocabulary
  2. Use post-it notes for questions, reminders, & extra examples.
  3. Use different colored pens for subtopics or diagrams.

Studyquill has excellent note taking & study videos. The note taking image below was created by Studyaholic.

Note taking guide by Studyaholic.

Note Taking Resources

Colored pens & pencils are great for adding diagrams and examples to your notes.

Learning to take effective notes takes time and practice. The most important part of note taking is to actively listen and process the information. Notes are records of important information, problems-solving techniques and vocabulary. They are used to review the topics learned in class and to signal concepts or topics that require further study, review, or practice.

I am following up the note taking class with a “Study Tips” class focused on using notes to study for a test and other studying methods. I’ll post date and time for the class on the Guided Learning Instagram and Guide Learning Studio Facebook pages.

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