Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teaching Study Skills

Is teaching study skills part of my job description? I'm not entirely sure, but that's why I love being a librarian. My job description is fluid - it can expand and morph when something interests me - and even though I hated learning about it in high school, teaching study skills actually interests me!
Image by Austin Kleon via Flickr

For the first time this year, I'm going to be teaching note taking and studying techniques to five sections of  pre-AP Global Studies students. In my building, these are 9th graders who are doing a warm-up for the official AP class next year. They're learning how to be be more sophisticated students -- accessing higher level texts, learning independently, and polishing their writing skills.

My first task is to to teach different note taking styles. You might think that by the time they reach 9th grade, they'd have note taking figured out - but you'd be wrong. Most of them are clueless. Soooo... in a series of 3 mini-sessions (think 15 minutes or less), I'm going to introduce different note taking techniques. We'll focus on taking notes from a text (rather than a lecture), and give them a couple weeks to practice each of the three techniques. By November, we expect them to have selected a style that works best for them, and to actually employ it every time they need to take notes.

My tasks to get ready for this:
  • Identify 3 appropriate styles.  I'm trying hard to find techniques that correspond to different learning styles. 
    • Cornell Style (something for everyone)
    • Mapping (Visual Learners)
    • Topic and Concept Cards (Kinesthetic Learners)
    • ? Auditory learners don't do well with written notes . . . so we're going to have to think about this one.   
  • Develop a 15 minute lesson to teach each note-taking style
  • Develop a rubric to assess their success with each note-taking style 
  • Find a quick test that students can use to identify their learning styles
  • Figure out a way to prevent the lessons from being deathly boring . . .
This should be interesting . . . .

Sidenote: In searching for info on different note-taking styles, I really liked this resource:

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