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A Professional Development Project: Summarizing and Note Tak
Transcript of A Professional Development Project: Summarizing and Note Tak
Summarizing and Note Taking
Cornell Notes are useful when learning new vocabulary words or new material. Cornell notes use a blank piece of paper in a specific way. One margin is for key words, essential questions, vocabulary words, or small pictures to help students remember tough concepts. The main part of the page is reserved for the new material (in bullet point or outline format. The bottom (or top) of the page is reserved for a summary of the lesson after it is presented. Cornell notes are useful because they can also be flexed to meet the needs of all of the students. The summary at the end requires them to synthesize the information, but what they write down is up to each individual student.
When students are aware of the structure of the information presented to them, they are able to retain and summarize the information in a more effective way (Dean 83). Summary frames consist of a number of questions that allow the students to create a useful, meaningful summary by answering the questions. This could easily be done in pairs or small groups, and students could compare answers and summaries. This strategy could go along with the varying questions strategy when differentiating instruction (Tomlinson 104). Students could construct their own questions as a class, share those questions verbally and answer them on their summary papers.
I chose the topic of summarizing and note taking because I believe that there is a strong correlation between a successful student and a successful note taker/summarizer. The skills of note taking and summarizing are skills that students will carry with them to college and beyond. Life requires people to interpret the world around them and summarize the important bits. Note taking is a practical skill that requires a person to analyze, interpret and recall important information. If we can teach students strategies to use these skills to their highest potential, I believe that they will be better equipped for "the real world." This fits in with my teaching philosophy because I believe that every student learns in a unique way, and that it is our job as teachers to equip them with the skills that they need to be successful, contributing member of their community. I chose to present with a Prezi because Prezis are very easy to share and can be easily kept for review.
Inner Voice Reading Notes
Overview and one example of how to take Cornell Notes:
By: Jourdan Holmes
Here is an example of combination notes from a science classroom:
Here is a teacher generated example of a summary frame:
Here is an example of how a student could process information or text and make a concept web:
Here is an instructional hand out with an example of what REAP notes could look like:
Reciprocal Teaching for Summarizing
Here is a student-friendly set of instructions for successfully participating in reciprocal teaching:
I chose this video about Marzano's strategies pertaining to summarizing and note taking. It explains why these are important skills and how we should teach these skills to our students.
Here is an example of what Inner Voice Notes could look like:
Inner Voice Notes can be taken with any text-fiction or nonfiction alike. Inner Voice Notes ask students to ask questions, make connections or express opinions while they read the assigned text. Inner Voice notes are a great way to check for reading comprehension and these notes give the students an open dialogue with the teacher, the text, and themselves. The students are able to process through what they are reading while they read, instead of after. Inner Voice Notes are a superb way to keep students engaged in the reading and to make connections with the text. Students can be grouped for discussion based on the the topics that they write about in their notes. These notes are very versatile and can fit the needs of every student because they get to write down what they want and choose which parts they want to pull from the text. This strategy would also work well the compacting strategy when differentiating instruction (Tomlinson 98). With this strategy Students are able to write down what they know, what they don't know and what they might want to learn more about.
REAP notes contain a specific type of note taking format. This method does take up 2 pages of paper per lesson, but the result is a student that can recall, interpret and analyze the lesson material. REAP notes require students to write notes on the right side of the 2 papers and on the left students draw a "trigger" picture or something that reminds them of the concept and add a word or phrase in the REAP column (relate, extend, actualize, and profit). Again, these notes are highly adaptable and students of all levels can be successful note takers with this strategy.
Theoretical Background for Summarizing and Note Taking Skills
Concept webs start with the "big idea" bubble or one of the concepts that the class is studying in the middle of the page (Dean 93). The student then branches out with other connections or ideas that support that concept. The branches and other bubbles are grouped together in a way that makes logical sense. This strategy is a basically a visual outline for students to refer back to throughout the unit. Students are allowed to create a traditional outline in its place if that is the method that works best for them. Concept webs could also be implemented in a group style on a bigger scale on poster board or on the computer. The students could be grouped in a flexible manner, that way the groups are changing around the room and each group would contribute to completing the concept web (Tomlinson 102).
An Introduction to Reciprocal Teaching. (2013, August 3). YouTube. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IILNsq964l l
Concept Mapping: How to Start Your Term Paper Research. (2007, October 19). YouTube. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhgxuNvbNr A
Dean, C. B. (2012). Summarizing and Note Taking. Classroom instruction that works: research-based strategies for increasing student achievement (2nd ed., pp. 77-99). Alexandria, Va.: ASCD.
How to... Cornell Notes. (2012, September 7). YouTube. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from
Marzano's Instructional Strategies - Summarizing & Note Taking. (2012, March 9). YouTube. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF9Z8fXQ2j k
Marzano, R. J. (n.d.). Membership. <i>Educational Leadership:Reading to Learn:Summarizing to Comprehend</i>. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar10/vol67/num06/Summarizing-to-Comprehend.aspx
Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). Strategies Appendix. How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms (2nd ed., pp. 98-106). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This summarizing strategy is all about group work and every student in the group has an assigned job to keep them accountable. The idea is that the students read a text together and then analyze it in their group. One student is the questioner, one is the clarifier, one is the summarizer, and one is the predictor (Dean 88). The students are allowed (and encouraged) to share their questions and ask the group if they agree with the their answers. Although each student has an assigned job, the group can still work together to complete the assignment. This strategy could be useful for book reports where students could choose the a not in the curriculum and create interest groups (Tomlinson 100) to differentiate instruction.
Combination notes include both linguistic and nonlinguistic representations. The students write key ideas on the left side of their paper and then draw corresponding pictures down the right side, using the bottom of the page for a brief summary of the lesson (Dean 93). Again, students are allowed to take notes on they key concepts and the teacher does not force the student to write everything down. It is much better to have a guideline (ex: 5 items per page of notes). This strategy is useful for students who are visual learners and need those "trigger" pictures to help them recall or better understand the material. This type of note taking strategy could be utilized in any subject area.
Why note taking skills include differentiated instruction strategies:
“Further, students can take “freelance” notes on their reading, or use a teacher-provided matrix to guide note taking (differentiation in response to student readiness). This is an example of a teacher who is differentiating content in several ways. Here, she is holding steady to the key concepts, ideas, and skills, and modifying how she ensures effective access to the “input” she has defined as essential (Tomlinson 73).”
“…it can be quite useful to work with a visual organizer that follows the flow of ideas from the text or lecture. Not only might such organizers help them focus on key idea and information, but they may also help some learners see how a teacher or author develops a line of thought (Tomlinson 77).”
Note taking strategies I will cover in this presentation:
REAP notes, Inner Voice notes, Combination notes, Cornell notes and Concept Webs
Why summarizing skills are effective:
“Engaging students in generic summarizing strategies as a way to review information is more effective at improving academic performance than no review, but it is not as effective as structured summarizing strategies (Dean 79).”
“In a series of studies with teachers, we determined that summarizing strategies have a substantial average effect on student understanding of academic content. Across 17 experimental/ control studies that teachers conducted, we found that using summarizing strategies, on average, increased students' understanding of content by 19 percentile points (Marzano 2010).”
Summarizing strategies I will cover in this presentation:
Reciprocal Teaching, Summary Frames
Why summarizing and note taking strategies go together and why I picked specific strategies that support both summarizing and note taking skills:
“These studies indicate that students who employ summarizing and note-taking strategies consistently perform better on academic assessments than do students in control groups who do not use these techniques (Dean 79).”
“…Summarizing and note taking have positive effects across content areas and grade levels, with note taking having a significantly higher impact on learning than summarizing does…Teachers might achieve better results if they teach students to use summarizing in conjunction with other cognitive strategies (Dean 79).”
I use the inner voice notes during out novel reading units. Students seem to enjoy making connections and expressing opinions since I give them little notes on their papers as feedback. They feel like they are responsible for their learning and like feeling "in charge" of what they can or want to write down. These notes work very well on any type of text.
I have not used summary frames a lot in my classroom, but it seems very helpful in my Class Within a Class setting. It is a structured, teacher guided assignment, but the students liked that they could walk away with a completed summary to refer back to when studying for the quizzes and tests.
Combination notes can seem confusing to students at first, but once they get the hang of it they like to draw their own pictures to help them remember the concepts. I think this strategy would work best in a science or social studies classroom. My English classroom liked them alright, but I'm not sure they were as helpful as some of the other strategies listed in this presentation. These notes can be easily modified, but if you are not committed to keeping this structure for a length of time, I would perhaps choose a different note taking method.
Students at my school are probably most familiar with this method of note taking. It is simple and combines, key concepts, pictures, essential questions, and a summary at the end. The students like the clean format and seem to respond well to this strategy claiming that it is an easy format to study from.
REAP notes are a great way to combine Cornell notes and Inner Voice-type notes. They ask the student to write down the information but also to make a connection to something outside of the lesson. The students like this at the high school level, but I think it would also greatly benefit the younger grades as well. Once the students understood the format of this strategy, they had positive feelings about it because they could remember the information easily and the format was neat.
This is another strategy that I use quite frequently. I love it because you can base a concept web on ANY concept throughout the unit. Students can add to it as the unit goes or they can complete it in one sitting. I think it is a great tool for students to process through the information and this strategy could be used in many different ways across the curriculum.
I use reciprocal teaching frequently when reading novel or other texts in class. Students feel responsible to their groups because they are held accountable with specific jobs, and they always come up with great answers and discussions about the reading. This strategy would be great for any content area when reading a text. I would recommend giving a group grade and a smaller individual grade when beginning with reciprocal teaching strategies. As soon as students understand what their responsible for and how they are to be accountable to their groups, they participate in a more meaningful way.