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Cornell Notetaking

Cornell Notetaking 10/4/10

Cornell Notes is a simple strategy to teach your students the ART of studying.  The purpose of Cornell Notes is to have the students interact with their notes at least 3-4 times - either by rewriting, highlighting, creating questions or main ideas, and summarizing after they have taken notes in class.
Here is what you can do to incorporate this into your class:
  1. Have the students use actual Cornell Note paper (below are templates for you) OR have them draw a line on the left side in their notebook for your class.
  2. Explain to your students that they will take notes like they always do on the RIGHT side of the paper.
  3. Every few slides, take a "3 Minute Pause", and have the students work with a neighbor to:  fill in the gaps and/or brainstorm main ideas or questions.  In the beginning you will need to model this over and over for your students so they know exactly what to do. 
  4. At the end of the lecture, have the students draw a line across the bottom part of their paper.  Here they will write a 1-3 sentence summary about what they learned in the lecture.  Their summaries should be specific enough to see that they understand the material.  The summary should not be a list of activities completed in class or topics learned about during the lecture.  You will need to model this with the students a lot in the beginning as well.
  5. Over time students should be able to take notes in class and then go home and highlight/rewrite/fill in the gaps missing information from their notes.  They should also write heir main ideas/questions and summaries.  THIS TAKES TIME and A LOT OF PRACTICE.
Below are templates and a rubric that teachers use to grade their student's notes.  Most collect them once a week or at the end of the unit.

Cornell Note Paper Template (Word doc)
Math Cornell Note Paper Template 1 (PDF)
Math Cornell Note Graph Paper Template (PDF)
Cornell Note Rubric (PDF)
Cornell Note Power Point Template (email me if you need a copy)
Nancy Cope's Example (email me if you would like a copy)

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