Note-taking Strategies

  • What are Cornell notes?

    Cornell notes are a style of note-taking that divides a paper into 3 sections:

    1. notes

    2. questions

    3. summary

    (In addition, there will be a heading at the top of the page that includes the date, topic, and essential question.)


    Cornell Notes <--- Click to download a blank Cornell notes template.


     There are many ways to take notes, but the Cornell method is a proven method and will be used frequently in this class.


  • Costa's Levels of Thinking and Questioning


    • Level 1: Input
      • identify information
      • remember information
      • "classify, explain, locate, define, list, etc..."


    • Level 2: Processing
      • understand information
      • make connections
      • "classify, compare, contrast, organize, sketch, solve, etc..."


    • Level 3: Output
      • apply information
      • "build, create, design, write, predict, etc..."


    Costa's Levels of Thinking and Questioning - Science  <-- Click to download


  • Repetition in Notetaking - how to overcome the curve of forgetting

    The following are ways that students can revisit their notes to become more familiar with material learned in class.


    1. Circle key words (like vocabulary words!).


    2. Highlight/underline main ideas.


    3. Put a question mark by points of confusion (POCs). Search for further answers in your textbook and ask these questions in class. Once you have the answers, cross out the question marks and write in the answers or explanations next to the notes that help clarify them.


    4. Asterisk or star possible test questions.


    5. Draw lines to "chunk" sections of your notes. In each section, write a question based on the notes.


    6. Write a summary that answers the EQ and links everything together.


    7. Fold your paper over to cover the note section and show only questions. A great tool for reviewing for tests!


    8. Compare notes with a friend. If you see that they have information you missed, add that information to your notes!


    Remember, your notes are the foundation of everything you learn in class!