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Cornell Method of Note Taking

I’m up to my neck in interventions. At this point in the semester, I am using writing as an intervention for me and my emotional well being. I am also using writing to help my students learn Physio. So we are all writing! They are writing as a means of forcing them to read the textbook and I am writing to keep my sanity. I need to do something drastic because half of the class is failing. So, obviously my poem didn’t work to inspire them (Blog post Sept 12), even though I did feel better after writing it, I really did. That was then. Today was a major quiz in preparation for the Midterm Exam and half the class have scores below 65%. Understand, I teach a class populated mostly by seniors. Students must earn a grade of C or above in order to graduate. I promise after Midterms, those that don’t get it will finally get the memo. However, playing catch-up like that is less than ideal. The good news is that the other half of the class is doing very well, mostly A’s and B’s with 3 students above 98%. Because I have been using the Teaching as Intervention method in my course, I actually have an idea of what is contributing to this bi-modal grade distribution. The students who are doing well are not only reading the textbook but are taking effective notes and studying from their notes. I know this because of the Cornell Note Template Assignment that they are given for each chapter. I monitor the note taking in a designated Google Folder so it’s easy to distinguish between those taking effective notes from the book and those who are not doing the assignment at all. (After the midterm, the number of blank pages drops dramatically!)

If you aren’t familiar with the Cornell Method of Note Taking, I highly recommend it but I must warn you…forcing students to read and write is a disruption of business as usual for some of them. You will encounter resistance. However, be encouraged. Here’s one student’s notes. She exchanged her ineffective method of highlighting the book’s text for this Cornell method and earned an A in the course. There you have it…. Writing to help learn. Writing to help teach. Writing to help stay sane. You do have 15 minutes Write today. **

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