Cornell Notes are one method of focused note taking. It’s a certain format where topics/questions/main ideas get listed on the left side of a page and the associated content/answers/examples get recorded on the right side. Download a free template here.
Ideally, this is the way it works:
- Step 1: Students take notes.
- Step 2: Students revisit notes identifying things they need to clarify and things that should be emphasized.
- Step 3: Teacher assists with any questions students have and/or proceeds with the lesson on that topic.
- Step 4: Students revisit notes again, adding notes as needed, then write a summary of that lesson.
Did you see that? The students REVISIT their notes twice in this process! The goal is that students have to process the information on their own instead of mindlessly copying notes and stashing them away never to be looked at again.