One Thing to Improve… #MTBoS12Days


This is my fourth year using INBs.  However, in the past couple of years, I have become a bit lax in the structure of them.  I used to be very intentional in input/output pages that mimicked Cornell Notes, providing opportunities for student reflection on their thinking/learning.  This is what I want to improve…to get back to providing these opportunities for students to think/write/process.

Last summer I read this article on Cognitive Benefits of Doodling from The Atlantic and since,  I have noticed several folks posting Sketched Notes.  Especially out of Trinity in Georgia.  Several of @jgough’s  (this one, Reflection Required: Learning Over Time) caught my attention.  I was ecstatic to finally meet her face to face at NCTM Regionals in Nashville last month!  I observed her across the room in a session and watched as she doodled away.  She completes her notes and tweets them out prior to leaving a session.  Check out one of her Pinterest Boards with pins from her learning journey…


As we talked, I shared how a colleague commented on how she used shading…she laughed saying – it made her happy that someone noticed, because that is something she had been working on most recently – the use of shading.  What I appreciate most about Jill is how open she is in her learning experiences.  She is willing to share the ups/downs and process her thinking in ways that allows others to grow through her posts.  I consider her an unkowing mentor – someone I’ve learned from through the years.

As we discussed some of the ideas / reasoning behind using sketch/doodle notes, she suggested two resources.  One I have just completed this afternoon:  There are downloadable materials but I have mostly watched the videos and doodled his examples.  I intend to use this tool as I read professional books this semester and try a few suggestions this semester.  Then somehow next summer, decide on strategies I can use to incorporate them – doodles- into INBs for students to take mundane material and make their brains explode as they expand their thinking through doodles.

The other resource she suggested is Sunni Brown’s The Doodle Revoltution…a gift to me, from me (no shame).  I look forward to using it as a tool to grow in this area as I search for ways to teach my students better note-taking strategies that will allow them to process, make connections on their own and as a result, allow them to grow.

It seems Sketch Notes lend themselves a little better to humanities/LA/even science/text-based courses.  I’m very interested in hearing how others use visual notes in math class…


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