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This chapter will show you how to: Take effective classroom notes

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Presentation on theme: "This chapter will show you how to: Take effective classroom notes"— Presentation transcript:

1 This chapter will show you how to: Take effective classroom notes
Part Two, Study Skills Taking Classroom Notes Objectives This chapter will show you how to: Take effective classroom notes Study and remember your notes Improve your handwriting and listening efficiency

2 Tips for note-taking from a student
Sit in the middle of the front row of every class. This allows you to hear and see everything. Tape-record lectures Later you can replay the lecture to fill in anything you missed. Write down everything the instructor writes on the board.

3 Write symbols to yourself in your notes. ?= Questions
If you don’t recognize a word on the board, ask a classmate what it says. If the instructor uses an overhead, ask to borrow it after class to copy directly from it. Write symbols to yourself in your notes. ?= Questions *= emphasizes important words Circle or underline major points

4 Ask a classmate who takes good notes to share his or her notes with you.
Compare notes to make sure you are both picking up the same things from the lecture. After an exam, go back to your notes to compare how closely they mirror what was on the test. If they don’t match well, you know you need to use a different strategy to take notes in that class.

5 The importance of attending class
If you really want to do well in a course, you must go to class faithfully and take good notes. The importance of regular class attendance cannot be emphasized enough. Students who cut class rarely do well in college.

6 taking effective classroom notes
Thirteen hints for taking effective classroom notes Keep a written record for each class. Write down the material covered because forgetting begins almost immediately. Within 2 weeks you will probably forget 80% or more of what you have heard. In 4 weeks you’re lucky if 5% remains! When in doubt, write it down. Be prepared to do a great deal of writing in class.

7 2. Sit where you will be seen.
Sit where the teacher will always see you, and where you can see the blackboard clearly and easily. This helps you stay tuned in to what the instructor does in class.

8 3. Do some advance reading.
Read in advance about the topic to be discussed in class. Lacking the necessary background, many students have trouble understanding the new ideas discussed in class. If you have a head start on a topic from your advance reading, you will be able to listen and take notes more easily and with greater understanding because you will have a general sense of the topic. Try to read the textbook in advance when the subject is very difficult. Reading in advance helps if you have spelling problems that hinder note-taking. As you read through the text, highlight key terms and recurring words that may come up in the lecture and that you may have trouble spelling.

9 4. Record notes systematically.
Use full-sized 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper. You will need the margin space provided by full-sized paper. Use a ball-point pen. You will often need to write quickly. Keep all notes from each course together in a separate section of a notebook. Use a loose-leaf binder with sections indicated by dividers and index tabs, or use a large spiral notebook that has several sections. Date each day’s notes. Take notes on one side of the page only to make notes easier to study later. Leave space at the top of the page and at the left-hand margin so you will have room to add to your notes later if necessary. Write legibly.

10 4. Record notes systematically, continued
To save time, abbreviate recurring terms. Put a key to these terms in the top margin of your notes. When the lecture is over, you might want to go back and fill in the words you have abbreviated. Common words can be abbreviated: + = and def = definition ind = individual W/ = with info = information sc = science eg = for example 1, 2, 3 = one, two, three soc = sociology ex = example imp = important psy = psychology You can omit words like a, and, and the Circle exam dates and put a large A for assignment in the margin.

11 5. Use an outline for notes.
Write down your notes in the form of an outline. Main points start at the margin. Secondary points and supporting details are indented. Material subordinate to secondary points is indented further. Definitions are essential, so they should start at the margin. When a list of items is included, the heading should start at the margin. Each item on the list should be indented. Examples should be indented under the point they illustrate. When the speaker changes topics, show this shift by skipping a line or two, leaving a clearly visible white space.

12 6. Be alert for signals. Write down whatever the teacher puts on the board. Ideally, print such material in CAPITAL LETTERS. Always write down DEFINITIONS and ENUMERATIONS. Be sure to emphasize anything your teacher mentions as being important. A symbol or mark in the margin can show that some idea is important. If a teacher repeats a point, you can assume it is important. A teacher’s voice may slow down, become louder, or otherwise signal that you are expected to write down exactly what is being said, word for word.

13 7. Write down examples. Write down any examples provided by the teacher and mark them with ex. Examples help you understand complex and abstract points.

14 8.Write down details that connect or explain main points.
Record connecting ideas the instructor provides. Record explanations that make formulas or numerical problems meaningful. Write down accompanying explanations and details. Always take advantage of connections teachers often make at the beginning or end of a class. They may review what has been covered and preview what is to come. An instructor’s summaries or projections will help the course come together for you.

15 9. Leave some blank space. Leave some blank spaces for items you may miss. Right after class, ask another student to help you fill in the gaps. If you record a lecture, play back the tape right away to fill in any information you missed during the lecture. Warning: Don’t fall into the trap of relying upon a tape recorder to take most of your notes. Soon you will have hours and hours of tape to go through. Use a tape only to help you fill in missing spots. When you do fall behind in note-taking during class, don’t give up and just stop writing. Try to get down the main ideas and fill in supporting material later.

16 I 10. Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to ask the instructor to clarify certain points that are confusing to you. Probably, other students have the same questions but are reluctant to ask to have the material clarified.

17 When in doubt, write it down.
11. Take notes during discussions. Many valuable ideas come up during informal discussions. If your instructor puts notes on the board during a class discussion, it’s a good sign that the material is important. When in doubt, write it down.

18 12. Take notes right up to the end of class.
Because of time spent on discussions, teachers may have to cram important points they want to cover into the last minutes of a class. Be ready to write as rapidly as you can to get down this final rush of ideas. Be prepared to resist the fatigue that can set in during class. Don’t snap out of a daydream to realize that the instructor is halfway through an important idea, and you haven’t even begun writing.

19 13. Review your notes soon. Go over your notes soon after class.
While the material is still clear in your mind, make your notes as clear as possible. A day later may be too late, because forgetting sets in almost at once. Make sure your punctuation is clear, unfinished ideas are complete, and all words are readable and spelled correctly. Write out completely any words you may have abbreviated. Add connecting statements and other comments to clarify the material. Make sure important items are clearly marked. This review is the first step in mastering the material.

20 How to study class notes
The best time to study your notes is within a day after taking them. One method for studying your notes: Use the margin space to jot down a series of key words or phrases from your notes. These are recall words. Turn recall words into questions. Study until you can recite the answer to these questions without looking at your notes.

21 Another method for studying your notes:
Create study sheets on separate sheets of paper. Use a question and answer format. The very act of writing out study notes is a step toward remembering the material.

22 Handwriting efficiency
Count the number of words you can write non-stop for 10 minutes. You should be able to write at least 250 legible words in this time, and ideally 100 more than that. Handwriting speed is important because it is basic to effective note-taking in fast-moving lectures. To improve your speed: To improve legibility: Practice rapid writing Print capital letters Use abbreviations Avoid common types of faulty Streamline your handwriting by handwriting (see your text) eliminating unnecessary high Use a ball point pen, not a pencil and low loops in letters Hold the pen correctly Don’t grip the pen too tightly Clear and rapid handwriting is a mechanical technique that improves with practice.

23 Listening efficiency To take effective classroom notes, you must be able to listen attentively. You must be able to write down what the teacher has said, listen to what the teacher is saying now, and decide if it is important to write down. In a rapid lecture you must store one or more ideas in your memory so that you will be able to write them down as soon as you complete your notes on the present idea.

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