After a couple of weeks of Chemistry with Emma, I have learned a few things about what she needs to do to make this course a success. The way her lessons are set up, the text is written to the student. So, I started the year assigning these for Emma to read on her own, and then we would discuss what was in the lesson. She was able to answer my questions about what she read. So, I figured she was learning the content.
After each day’s reading, there are hands-on activities to do. At the end of each unit, there is a crossword puzzle for review. I noticed that Emma was having a hard time finding the words to answer the clues in these puzzles. This meant, she wasn’t retaining the information from her earlier readings.
I decided she needed to start taking notes on her lessons. However, I thought she might have a hard time deciding what would be the most important information to glean from the lessons. So, to start her off, I am marking the most important information. You can see here that I’ve circled the important topics – atomic number and element. I’ve then underlined the meaning of each of these topics.
She then has to write this information on a notebooking page. This is more like copywork at this point. But, the point is that she is “seeing” the important information in each lesson and transferring that info to her NB page.
As I train her to do this task herself, my next step will be to just circle the important topic. She will then have to determine the important information. From there, I’m hoping that she will be able to read a page and take notes for herself. I expect that this will take a few months. My goal is for her to be doing this independently by the start of next semester. Once she can do this with her chemistry lessons, we’ll carry it over to other subjects.
How do you teach your students to take notes?