Note Taking Strategies (pages 4-5 Workbook)

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1 Outline (50 minutes) Note Taking Strategies (pages 4-5 Workbook) 1. Note Taking Explanation 10 minutes 2. Lecture Activity Script 5 minutes 3. Questions in the Margin Activity 20 minutes 4. Homework Review 10 minutes 5. Weekly Feedback 5 minutes Materials: Workbook: Lecture Activity Sheet (p. 4) Copy of the lecture for students to compare their notes to (optional) Assignments To Be Collected: Copy of SBI Copy of Course Syllabus Homework: (Write on board) Bring in questions in the margins from selected course. Create a Summary Question on p. 5 in workbook. Goals/Outcomes: To learn the Master Student note-taking strategy Activity 1: Note Taking Explanation, 5 minutes To teach students an effective way to take notes To help students become active listeners To help students increase the amount of information they can recall and utilize from lectures To develop a feedback mechanism for self-evaluation To increase students understanding of the Learning to Learn Thinking Improvement System Directions: I am going to teach you an active and effective note taking and strategy by giving you a short lecture. Take out your workbooks and turn to page 5, you will notice that there is a 3 margin on the left side of the page. As you take notes, leave the margin blank and write only on the right side.

2 If you fall behind, draw a blank line for the missed information. You can fill it in later. If something sounds confusing, put an asterisk (*) in the margin. Abbreviate wherever you can. Discussion: Before I begin the lecture, I d like to review the three steps of note taking: (Write the following on board) 1. Be a recorder 2. Generate?s 3. Self-quizzing During the lecture, you are going to take notes as a recorder, writing down as much information as possible. (As they get better at note taking they will record fewer words, but for now, tell them to write as much as they can.) Any questions before we begin? Are you ready? Ok, here we go, start taking notes. Activity 2: Lecture Activity Script, 5 minutes (Read the following lecture SLOWLY word for word. Make notes on the board as you lecture. The underlined words are key words that could be written on the board.) In the 1960 s, a group of graduate students from the University of Michigan decided to research how successful students learn. Previous research about learning had focused on poor learners and what they were doing wrong. The U of M researchers interviewed over 1,000 successful students and found that they all utilized four key strategies as they learned. 1. They programmed their own learning, breaking down complex ideas and tasks to make them manageable and understandable. 2. They asked questions about new information; constantly carrying on an internal dialogue about what they already knew and how it related to the new information they were learning. 3. They tested themselves to see how well they were learning to make sure they understood the new material. 4. As they studied, they focused on the learning objectives of the class. They zeroed in on what the professor was thinking and what was relevant to the course objectives in their notes and their reading. From this research, the Learning to Learn Thinking Improvement System was developed. It is based on what research validated about the four strategies of successful learning. This system takes the internal thinking process of successful students and provides concrete tasks to develop thinking skills. It assumes that learning is a skill and, therefore, can be learned.

3 The strategies in the Master Student class are based on the four learning strategies, as well as on current research on learning. Master Student will also focus on the stages of the learning process. Simply put, there are 3 basic stages in the learning process: INPUT, ORGANIZATION, and OUTPUT. The INPUT stage involves taking information in from external stimuli (lectures, textbooks, research). The ORGANIZATION stage is the memory stage. This involves arranging material to see how it all fits together, practicing, moving it into short-term memory and then to storage in long-term memory. (Question charts, time and task management, key word diagrams, and memory techniques are some of the techniques we ll be learning to organize information.) The OUTPUT stage is the retrieval of information from long-term memory to take an exam, write a paper, give a speech or a presentation, or participate in a class discussion. The Master Student class will help you to actively work through all of these stages and gain the most solid understanding of what your professor will be requiring of you in the OUTPUT stage. The organization stage is the one that students often skip, spend little time focusing on, or don t have effective strategies for. The methods you will learn will help you improve all three stages of your learning. STOP! Activity 3: Questions in the Margin Activity, 15 minutes Part A Generating Questions To practice generating questions from lectures Directions: Work with a partner, or work alone if you re more comfortable. Look at your notes as the answers to questions. Working alone or with your partner, you will come up with the questions. Generating questions is the second step of note taking. The questions you are generating are questions that ask for the details in your notes. Write the questions in the wide margin on the left side of the paper next to the answer on your notes. Make sure your questions reflect the information you have in your notes. For example: If you wrote in the 1960 s, U of M students studied how successful students learn, your question might be, what did U of M students study in the 1960 s? Try to fill in all missing information with or without your partner s help.

4 Take 5 minutes to generate as many questions as you can. (Walk around and monitor their progress. You can give direction as they go if they need more clarification. Make sure you keep track of time and let them know when there is only a minute left.) (If you made copies of the lecture to distribute, distribute it now) Discussion: Now we are going to share your questions. I will record them on the board as we go. (After each question is recorded, ask how many people have the same or very similar question. They will all have pretty similar questions.) You have now completed the first and second steps in the note taking strategy, taking notes as a recorder and generating questions. As you practice this, your notes will begin to take on more organization. Soon you will be generating questions in the margins as the lecture goes along. It is really important for you to draw a 3 margin in your own notebooks before you take notes for your courses. The margin will give you the room you need to generate questions. (Some students do not like losing 3 inches of space in their notes for the margins. These students may want to consider leaving the left page of their notebook blank for questions and taking notes on the right page.) Part B Self-quizzing To move information into long-term memory To help students learn the self-quizzing technique to ensure that they understand their notes Discussion: Self-quizzing is the third and final note taking step. When you are working alone with this strategy, cover your notes and JOT DOWN the answers to your questions or ANSWER OUT LOUD. If you answer in your head, you will get a false sense of security. You should generate your questions and quiz yourself shortly after each lecture, and definitely before you go to the next lecture. This will build your knowledge as you go along in the course and help you with your reading and studying. If you can t generate a question for a chunk of information, it s a sign that you don t understand it. You should make a point to visit your professor for clarification when this occurs. Remember to get information you missed from a classmate or your professor to clarify anything you don t understand and to make a habit of using your notes as soon as possible after each lecture. With time, you will be thinking like your professor and predicting most of his/her exam questions. Like any skill, this takes practice and coaching.

5 As a homework assignment, bring in a copy of your notes from your chosen class with questions in the margins to hand in for our next class. Don t forget to draw your wide margin in your notebook before the lecture. (If time permits, have students work in pairs and practice self-quizzing using the questions they generated during the in-class lecture) Any questions about what we covered today? You just learned one of the most valuable study strategies for college success. Please practice this in at least your chosen class. For greatest success - do this in ALL of your classes. Activity 4: Homework Review, 10 minutes (write on board) 1. Take notes in your selected course with the new strategy. For greatest success do this in ALL of your classes. 2. Today we learned a valuable Master Student strategy note taking. For our next class, review the notes you took today and try to create an essay question that summarizes the lecture. Refer to p.5 in your workbook. Pretend that you are the professor and write the essay question you would ask. Try to make it sound official by using the common terms on p.39 of your workbook. I will be asking you to share your questions with the class. Activity: 5 minute Assessment To better understand what students learned and what still confuses them. Directions: (hand out 3 X 5 note cards) Jot down the most valuable thing you learned this week and the thing that was the most confusing. Discussion: Next time we will discuss anything that was confusing.

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