I was intrigued by the exploration of note-taking styles described in the post "The Official Scribe: It's All About Learning Styles & Collaboration" by Silvia Tolisano. We (the 4th grade teacher and I) decided to try a similar lesson while watching a movie about the Geography, Culture and History of Florida.
What We Did:
We began with a discussion about note-taking. Why and how do students take notes? Some of the students shared their own note-taking strategies; other students had little or no experience with note-taking.
We talked about how different people think in different ways, and took a few moments to think about and share the way each of us thinks we think best (in words, in pictures, a combination of words & images).
We generated a list of ideas of different ways to jot down key ideas, as well as the tools we might use:
• paper and pencil-words
• paper and pencil-doodles and drawings
• computer keyboard using mind-mapping software (Inspiration)
• computer using art software (Pixie)
• iPad using the app Doodle Buddy, and a stylus or iPad keyboard
We also showed a the beginning of the RSA Animate Ken Robinson video as an example of using doodling to take notes.
Each student chose a tool and a style to use to take notes during the video. Most were given paper/pencil as the tool; we had one iPad and two computers. One student was selected to stand by the SMARTboard to pause to the video to use Skitch to take screenshots at important points. Those screenshots were put into an open Word document.
What I Noticed:
The students seemed highly engaged in the video and in their note-taking. They were vocal about where the video should be paused for screen shots. The student doing the screen shots was slow at first with the tools and process but very quickly became proficient.
I wonder if the emphasis on the different styles of note-taking impacted the way the students watched the video and, if so was the impact positive.
This afternoon, we will finish watching the video. We plan to compile the notes and reflect with the students on the pros and cons of the different strategies. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts on taking notes. Did taking notes help them pay attention to the video? Will their notes help them review and process what they learned?