Cornell Note How-To
C-Notes, as everyone around me has always called them, is short for Cornell Notes. It's always been a little weird to me why the thousands of teachers and students who attend AVID Summer Institutes always call them Cornell Notes, it takes so long. #LAZY Anyway, C-Notes are an amazing tool and they're all about the WICOR. They've got...
- Writing: Duh, they're notes!
- Inquiry: Left-side questions, usually level 2 or 3 of Costa's levels of thinking. The best left side questions anticipate potential test questions.
- Collaboration: You can fold it over, and study with a partner, you can collaborate with one or many others to add onto your notes whatever you might have missed but stood out to a classmate.
- Organization: There are lines and labels everywhere to help you organize your thoughts, questions, summary, and that Essential Question!
- Reading: I mean it's not like you just write it down and never look at it again!..... RIGHT? To get more repetitions, you can read your summary to review before class, or read your left side questions to quiz yourself, or maybe even go back to a textbook to add more clarifying information to your notes.
1. But I've never taken a C-note before?
That's okay... ask a student to help you, to demonstrate for you, or better yet, to teach the class. Think of how proud that student will be? Also, there are some great videos below! A longer more involved one called "CNotes 4 Students" shares the research and step by step instructions, and a shorter one for the basics. Last but not least, search the good ol google for example c-notes, or cornell notes, in your content area, and the images. You'll find tons of great examples!
2. When should students take
C-notes in my class?
The possibilities are endless! They can take them during a video, during a lecture, during a mini-lesson, during peer presentations, on posters in your room, on vocab and more. My favorite way to end class was with a C-Note. Students told me what the most important information was and we modeled the notes side together, then they had time to highlight a few words, but not too many. Next, I had students write left side questions with their team the next day so they could recall the previous day's lesson. After that, students were required to answer their left side questions in their summary in the days leading up to a test to help them study.
3. What if I do it wrong?
If you've done it "wrong" then the worst thing that happened is that students took notes in your class! And regardless, if you've been reading my mindset mondays, you know that our brain grows when we recognize we've made a mistake. It think it is important to share with students examples of when this would be useful, or to show them ways they can take notes in your content area that might be different than another. Maybe you'll say or do it it a slightly different way that clicks for that student, and that's what matters!