Please Take Note!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at a new study skill: note taking. We’ll There are many ways to take notes, but before we look at those, we’ll look at why note taking works. Some of you’ve already worked on this; for you, I’ll adjust things, but a review is good.

There is a lot of research about note taking and how it can help us learn better. Taking notes basically does two things. First, it helps us store information so we can review it later. But it also does something else: by taking notes, we don’t just write things on paper or type them into our I Pads–we actually write (or ‘encode’) things into our brain. So note taking is good for storing information and for encoding information.

There are a lot of ways we can take notes. To get us thinking about note taking, I’m posting a list of note taking tips from Texas Tech University. I went ahead and took notes on the page about note-taking…I used highlighter and I wrote on the text electronically using good reader.

First read the tips below. (If the embedded file is difficult to see, you can try this link.) Then in the comments section, please list one or two ways in which you take notes and how your note taking helps you.

Note taking conferences

On Thursday and Friday this week (days 7 and 8), I’ll be conferring with you about the notes you have taken in other classes. If you’ve already conferred with me, you’ll have a little extra flexibility to plan your study time. If you’ve not got two sets of notes (at least one from a lecture or video), we can talk about a plan forward. It may be you have notes but don’t realize it. If you don’t, then I’ll give you some time to practice your note taking skills in class, and you can take notes in another class today or tomorrow.

For those looking for extra practice, you can try watching and taking notes on one of the videos we watched last semester. Here’s one on what motivates us. Here’s one on procrastination.

Note taking assignment expectations

This Monday and Tuesday (day 7/8), we’ll go over the expectations for our big  note taking assignment. I’d like you to bring in two or more examples of your notes from another class. First you, then I will assess them using the note taking scoring guide you should have in your Notability. If you don’t, you can find it here. It would be helpful if you could review that guide. In addition, here are some things to remember:

  • You need two sets of notes. One may be notes on a reading, but at least one should be notes taken from a lecture or video that requires you to take note on information given verbally (through talking).
  • You may put a copy of your notes in the google drive folder for this class, but you should also show how you would keep them ‘filed’ in your system; science notes should be put in your science file or notebook, whether that is electronic or real-life.
  • Remember to organize information in your notes systematically; a list or just sentences are not enough. You remind yourself of five good note taking methods by looking at the video we saw last week. Or you can check out some student notes on that video here.

I’ll start conferring with students about their notes on the next days 3 and 4 (Friday,February 5 and Monday, February 8. I’ll expect everyone to be finished by Day 7/8 (February 11/12). If you have questions in the mean time, do let me know!

Note taking: learning from others

Today, on day 3 and day 4, we’ll be looking at the notes others have taken. I’ve chosen some of the notes students took last week to share with you. I didn’t choose all the great ones–there were too many for that. I chose notes that show the variety of ways you chose to take notes. Look at what other students did and comment on the blog below. No need for negative feedback–notes are not about being perfect. Instead, tell us something you found surprising or interesting about the notes!

Note pema

Pema used a mixture of pictures and words



Jason typed big ideas then went back and added details.


Jayshree Notes

Jayshree illustrated her methods using different methods!


Oscar used a combination of pictures and bullet points!