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    #172098 - 10/20/13 09:07 PM Cornell Notes?
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    My DS is 14 and a freshman in H.S. He is in a full honors load at a "high achieving" school. He is a very bright kid, but not always compliant. We had issues last spring with enrollment in the honors science, that got resolved successfully. smile Thankfully, as Honors Biology is his favorite class with an excellent teacher and it shows in his grade.

    But the class he is struggling with this fall is his required freshman Social Studies class. It's hard to tell how well he is really doing in the class as the teacher has as of yet (it's only the 5th week in school) graded the two essays. But his homework/classwork is dismal. Most of this seems to be because the teacher expects the students to take detailed "Cornell" Notes in class. My son struggles with note taking because he can't figure out what on earth he needs to write down. It was one of the issues with last years science teacher. His point of view is the material is a repeat of material and boring. This class is basically training ground for AP US History next year, and IF he takes AP US it will be required then.

    Any hints for how to teach/convince a bright kid to take notes. Any tricks? Specifically Cornell Notes. The teacher wants him to take notes as she lectures, and then come home and take notes on his notes of the left hand side in a different pen to review. He doesn't need to review this material 3 times to learn it and this becomes tedious quickly. HELP..

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    #172100 - 10/20/13 09:20 PM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    ... Cornell Notes... take notes as she lectures, and then come home and take notes on his notes of the left hand side in a different pen to review.

    I believe the left column would be in the form of questions, keywords, or cues... some may think of this as headlines pointing to the notes taken in the right hand column during the lecture.

    The summary section of the notes can be written later as the information is synthesized and the student may see more clearly how each high-level concept or minute detail covered fits together.

    The Cornell format can be quite efficient and help a student recognize the main ideas rather than giving equal emphasis to every word of a lecture. Much information about Cornell notes can be found online.


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    #172115 - 10/21/13 04:06 AM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1440
    Loc: NJ
    Further to indigo's post

    Wikipedia article on this
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    #172122 - 10/21/13 06:03 AM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: madeinuk]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    Coincidentally madeinuk's post reminded me... another use of the left column may be to point to other resources. Textbook page numbers might be one example of a reference. At some point, other outside references may also be helpful.

    Some may think of the Cornell format as documenting the natural conversation we have with ourselves while we are learning:
    they said this...
    main ideas were...
    this information fits together like this...
    this information connects with, parallels, or cross-references to other things in this way...
    this raises questions in my mind...
    what answers might I find...
    etc.

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    #172126 - 10/21/13 06:43 AM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1440
    Loc: NJ
    While this may seem like a PIA right now it will pay dividends later. You are lucky to have a teacher that is teaching this because from what I can see, this is a useful study tool. Right now, your son may remember most of the material but later during his education, when the stakes are higher and new information is coming in thick and fast he will be grateful for having learned it, IMO.

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    #172140 - 10/21/13 08:06 AM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree-- he'll be much happier in APUSH if he isn't simultaneously trying to do something that feels so unnatural.

    Cornell method is what I went with when I finally insisted that DD12 (then also a HS freshman) had to learn to take notes.

    I worked with her in math and in science/social studies and I spot-checked her notebooks all year, offering critical review of what she had done well, or what needed improvement.

    She actually takes quite GOOD notes now-- better than most of her peers, from what I've seen. So it's not too late, and even if she doesn't NEED to take notes much of the time, she knows that it's the key to higher grades when assessments are memorization based. wink
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    #172185 - 10/21/13 12:14 PM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Thanks for the help. At this point I am very reluctant to have him take APUSH. I am not at all sure the class is worth the stress and he seems happier in advanced science/math courses. I have heard that APUSH will have a new "updated" test next year but I am not sure the class will have changed much.

    I did look at some web-sites describing Cornell Notes yesterday. And I am insisting that you go work with the teacher. It does seem like something that will be helpful in all his classes.

    My gut tells me what is really behind all this is that whenever he decides a subject is boring, he just tunes out.

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    #172206 - 10/21/13 01:30 PM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    ... I did look at some web-sites describing Cornell Notes yesterday... My gut tells me what is really behind all this is that whenever he decides a subject is boring, he just tunes out.
    On the other hand, Cornell notes may have been explained to him in a boring way, as a chore, drudgery, plus an opportunity to lower his grade. (I can feel the stress just from typing those words.)

    With Cornell format, if the advantages are pointed out, sharing that it follows a pattern of how people may think, absorb, and process what they are learning, the notes can seem like a pretty friendly sounding board. By way of analogy, if there is something out-of-place around the house, I might point out the time-saving advantages of being able to find it quickly and in ready-to-use condition, if it is put away safely, now before it is forgotten.

    Unfortunately, knowing someone else will be reading his notes, and creating one's notes as performance art wink may get the focus in the wrong the place... it may become a focus on placating the teacher rather than an account of one's own learning, including struggles with questions and seeking other resources. A kid can feel vulnerable knowing a veritable stranger is observing his written thought process. This is different than a supportive parent critiquing their DC's work.

    Because you have already invested time in researching the Cornell format, and if he is open to it, you may wish to read his notes and provide coaching. This may help take the sting out of it, boost his interest and confidence in the Cornell format, and offset any negative thoughts which may be contributing to his resistance of giving the format a good work out.

    In summary, you may wish to try to point out the advantages, see if the Cornell format may seem more natural to him then, review/critique/encourage his notes, and commiserate regarding having someone else read and possibly grade his notes.

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    #172233 - 10/21/13 02:55 PM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    My gut tells me what is really behind all this is that whenever he decides a subject is boring, he just tunes out.



    DD has finally clued into the fact that meticulous notetaking is a way to stay reasonably ALERT during such things, however... LOL. Some of that may just be a maturity thing, though. She's 14, and wouldn't have done things that way a year ago.

    The book that we used to scaffold some study habits and note-taking skills was

    School Power: Study Skill Strategies for Succeeding in School.

    It was very engagingly written, reasonably concise, and had a variety of explicit instructions in study skills that HG+/accelerated students may not have had any NEED to learn when they were officially taught to classmates (often in grades 5-8).

    ETA: It covers Cornell and a couple of other systems-- Cornell doesn't always work well for V/S types. DD eventually settled on a modified Cornell as the most universally flexible approach, and one that forces HER to organize in a way that she particularly needs help with. But it allowed her the autonomy to do it her way-- which is key for her. Autonomy, autonomy, autonomy.


    Edited by HowlerKarma (10/21/13 02:58 PM)
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    #172236 - 10/21/13 03:09 PM Re: Cornell Notes? [Re: bluemagic]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    He is 14 as well. Thanks I'll look at the book. I know the teachers have been trying to teach him this stuff for several years. I may need to find him a "tutor" of sorts, because he is at that age/development where mom doesn't know anything and he fights working with me.

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