Rita Platt describes two-column notes on this Youtube account.
Source: This video originally appeared on the blog We Teach We Learn. Video copyright 2012 by Rita Platt and John Wolfe.
Complex vocabulary and sentences found in nonfiction texts often make it difficult for inexperienced readers to grasp the overall message or intent of the text. Students seem to walk away from these texts with nothing more than a handful of details that rapidly seep from memory. The Common Core State Standards remind us that learning to gather information from books is a central aspect of a student's literacy learning. The standards also emphasize the need for teaching students to conduct research and write informational texts, which means most of us need to beef-up our teaching skills for nonfiction reading and writing.
As teachers who have always loved nonfiction reading, we have worked to share these skills and strategies with our students. We believe that teaching students to take notes offers them the clearest path to success in reading and writing nonfiction.
When most of us were taught to take notes (or, more likely, figured it out ourselves), we were taught that the primary function of note taking was to aid memory. After much reflection, we realized that this is not true. In fact, formal note taking is more about scaffolding the key processes of synthesizing and making meaning from information. It's a tool to remind the reader to stop after every paragraph and think. This habit is central to learning to comprehend new text forms, especially nonfiction genres. It helps students internalize the synthesis and comprehension processes involved in understanding informational texts, and on a purely practical note, good note taking is a valuable skill that holds currency in just about any endeavor.
After years of sharing various note-taking methods with students, we have finally settled on a simple, cohesive, and effective method for teaching students to take notes, which we demonstrate in the above video. We made the video at our kitchen table, so it has a "lo-fi" aesthetic that is of practical necessity for busy teachers aiming to implement any version of a flipped classroom. Our video isn't polished, but we can guarantee it gets the job done! We hope that you will find it helpful and that you can use the method modeled in your own teaching.
Via Lynnette Van Dyke