February 1

Practicing Proper Notetaking Skills

I met with students in grades 3 and 4 this week to practice the art of proper notetaking.  Something which can come so naturally for adults is really a skill that needs to be taught and practiced so that bad habits don’t form early.

I’ve heard many middle schoolers tell me that they cut and paste from various websites while taking notes and then put it all together for their final project.  That is a fast-track route to a zero for plagiarism!  Many are not aware that there is anything wrong with this method.  By starting with younger grades I am hoping to catch them before it starts.

We decided to use books for this exercise so that students could practice using the table of contents and indexes to find the information they were looking for.  They then had to write their notes in their own words and keep track of their sources using a bibliography template.


We also watched this helpful video about how to figure out what is and is not important to our research questions when researching.

Let me assure you that this wasn’t as boring of a workshop as it sounds. The grade 3s especially got into it and some chose to work over recess, which was wonderful.  They are all on the right track now!

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Posted February 1, 2019 by bruel in category research skills

4 thoughts on “Practicing Proper Notetaking Skills

  1. Dr. Jon Mitzmacher

    We are all in favor of not accidentally plagiarizing! I think it is great that you are moving the workshops in this direction…I would love to see our students start to make their own video tutorials about this and other topics…which can then live as helpful links on your blog and be used to teach next year’s groups. Keep up the great work!

  2. Aaron

    My daughter came home and was so excited to have learned this, such a crucial skill in the digital age where it is so easy to shortcut your way to content!

  3. fmellenthin

    This workshop was so helpful – even for staff! The grade 3’s have continued to use the skills in their project and I can hear more of their voice within their work now.

    Thanks Miss Brigitte!


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