Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Visual Note Taking

Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Pen, Table  I've been seeing quite a few things on visual note taking.  I'm impressed with the drawings and the scribbled words that make visual notes.  I've seen some wonderful examples but not for math.

Of course, I'm always interested in how to use something like this in my classroom.  The idea is to attach both images and text together to utilize dual coding.

The first step is to look at visual note taking itself. Visual note taking is a way to take notes using pictures, doodles, shapes, lines, and text on paper.  This type of note taking can personalize learning, synthesis information, and helps create meaning for the students when they use their own ideas.

The value is in making the notes, not in being a perfect artist because the notes are designed by the individual.  Encourage students to use sketches, pictures, doodles, shapes, line, and text to create their notes.  It is important to practice before having students begin creating notes for class. 

Start students off with simple topics so they can practice taking visual notes.  As they practice, move them towards taking math notes so they have the chance to develop their own style.

 According to this blog entry, visual note taking is good for lessons with categories and subcategories or topics with layers, or relationships between ideas and topics.  There are three different possibilities for doing this.

The first is for putting together the pieces showing relationships with parts and connections.  One can use pieces/puzzles or gears, webs, Vann Diagrams, or clusters.  They are great for showing how parts connect.

The second is for showing steps or processes. Ladders, steps, pyramids and stacks are great for showing this type of topic.  The shapes help students remember better.

Third is telling stories to connect material using metaphors, call outs or posters. 

I think students have to learn to create their own visual notes for math, including being able to look at a textbook and change the written words into pictures which make sense to them.  I plan to revisit this topic later on.  I'm leaving Friday night for Phoenix and then San Juan, Puerto Rico before visiting my parents.  I'll keep posting but you might get some information as I stumble across it at my conferences.

Let me know what you think.  Have a good day.