Notes for discussion about reading with TA.
During my years as a headteacher, I kept a reflective journal, as suggested by the late Neville West, then Reader in Education at Sussex University. This gave rise to the two page approach to writing developed within the school. Both were premised on the idea of a capture page and the second to order and organise thoughts, many of which led to further exploration and development.
So, working with a notebook of blank paper and operating landscape, rather than portrait, I started to develop diagrams that showed a train of thought. This allowed both written and drawn aspects to capture thoughts, linked by arrows as needed. It also allowed questions to arise. Summarising after the event simply meant folding over the page to allow a narrow piece of the back of the page for bullet points forming the first draft of the report, or my revision notes. This approach is akin to storyboarding a talk. I found that I was better able to recall the detail, using the visual prompts and as a result, felt better able to capture the essence of the schools visited within the final report.
Notes from discussions with parents and community members.
1) Too much note taking in Primary is on WOWO boards, so will be lost.
2) Notebooks are usually 1cm lined, so do not lend themselves to diagrams.
3) Notemaking is usually written, rather than drawn, but a combination of the two elements can make the whole process stronger.
4) Learners are often trained into specific systems that suit the adult, rather than child mind.
5) Notemaking becomes a written resource, rather than oral, so can be referred to again.
Solutions? Food for thought.
1) Work on plain paper books, with lines underneath if necessary.
2) Use the 2 page approach to writing to allow capture notes on left hand page.
3) Show and allow storyboarding approach alongside written notes.
4) Learners to take notes during teacher input, especially juniors, to practice the skills.
5) Learners to undertake note making activities as home activity; summarise some learning as revision notes?
The above approach would simply embed notemaking into everyday practice, rather than something within specific lessons. The habits of notemaking would then become more embedded, more efficient and provide a stronger base for future learning.