‘Take Note’ of this Thinking Routine

Take Note is not the traditional note-taking or outlining of a lecture you may initially connect with. Instead, it promotes students to actively engage in the learning with the opportunity to reflect, take notes, and engage with discussion after the learning. This thinking routine helps students develop their memory and focus during learning by NOT worrying about capturing all of the details in traditional lecture notes. It supports students in learning to use their brains more efficiently by inviting them to distill out the key points of the learning they are presented with.

This strategy will be best used synchronously when first being introduced and for a fair amount of time following the introduction. However, as students become more familiar with the routine, the learning could be done asynchronously. For example, students might watch a video prior to meeting for class, take note following the viewing, and come with notes to be shared in a class discussion. This independence is the goal and requires student understanding of the importance of the routine.

If using this strategy from a distance, a great tool for students to digitally record their notes could be Jamboard. We’ve created a template that could be used for students to share their notes and discuss the ideas of others.

To create and use this template:

  • We added the four questions to each frame for easy reference.
  • Each frame has 5 numbered squares that will be used by a different student in that group. If needed you can add more squares for your groups.
  • Frames were given different identifying colors to distinguish different groups
  • When students move to discuss the notes of their classmates, they will be assigned a different color frame (group) to discuss.
  • Each student will read aloud and respond to the square that matches the square number on which they recorded their notes.​

Below you will find a table with suggestions of how to tweak the Take Note Thinking Routine to be more effective in alternative learning environments.

2021 02 11 12 11 18 orig

Click here to learn more about COVID Cohorts.

We would love to hear how you have used Take Note with your students! Share your story in the comments!

​~Mindy and Gina