Giving Students Notes

This week with testing interruptions, I gave the students notes on photosynthesis and respiration. It took two full class periods to get through the notes and they we far from being in-depth and wordy with only 20  slides (many with pictures). My typical strategy for notes is to give the students a PPT handout and allow them to copy them into their notes. I would simply print out a handout or even  guided notes for each student and have them glue them into their notebook but the “Copy Police” would be on to me in no time. I need to find a way of giving notes that is effective and efficient. I would just cruise through the notes like a college professor and leave it up to the students to get the notes from my student website but intrinsic motivation seems to be lacking for most of my students (4 inclusion classes) . Also, for some reason students, parents and administration seem to believe that if they did not take notes on a topic it wasn’t taught. I have tried many different methods to get around spending so much time on the notes but have not really been successful. I am considering trying a flipped classroom approach (notes at home and practice in class) but I fear many students especially those who are already do not do homework will become further lost.  I need suggestions and ideas. Comments Please.notes time


2 thoughts on “Giving Students Notes

  1. I agree notetaking is really time consuming. In my 11-12th grade class I do hand out copies of the slides (4 per page), and record a video of myself explaining the concepts. I will sometimes even play the video when I’m there in class with them, because I know I’ve said the same thing to each group (although of course I will pause to answer questions) I link the video on my website, so if kids miss a concept they can check it later to watch again (I doubt many of them do it, but I know a handful do because they’ll ask me about it later). I usually use screencast-o-matic to record the video as it’s free and because it has a time limit on how long your free video can be, it forces me to really make my notes concise. (a benefit for them and for me). I’ve also started putting the objective in little letters at the top of each slide, so the students can just re-watch the one they’re struggling with, and my principal seems to like this as well – double bonus. The last way I’ve found to speed it up is to give notes at the end of the week after they’ve done lab activities, reading assignments, etc. This seems counter intuitive, but I think it lets them ask better questions and wraps up their understanding in a better package. Hope those ideas help!

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