I’ve been concerned that we’ve gotten into the rut of doing work from the textbooks for the sake of completing them. The kids are pretty independent and can read their lesson and do the work. But that is where it stops. There’s little review, little reflection.
So, as an effort to try to change the tide, I’ve created a learning log/notes template, based in part, on the Cornell notetaking system. My older kids don’t really take notes, but sporadically and they don’t really go back and study them. We’ve tried notebooking, which I love, but I usually end up doing everything, and it wears me out. So, we’re giving this learning log idea a whirl.
I have found a lot of useful links for learning logs, but in the end, I took bits from here and there to make something that I hope will work for us. I am trying to find a way to incorporate this into our daily learning, for the younger kids as well as the older ones.
Here’s basically the gist of it:
Each day, they will do a learning log-note combo, in sha Allah.
For paper and ink conservation, I just printed out a template to use as an example and they format their notebook paper accordingly. The Cornell format is a two column format, but instead of having a line drawn down the paper, I just have them fold the page to create two columns.
What I really like about my form is that it has a space for reflection, which was really the impetus for embarking on this “project:”
At class time, they fill in the right side of their paper with notes.
After class, at a time maybe later in the day, they do two things:
1. Write up questions on the left side that are answered by the notes in the right side.
2. Reflect on what they have learned. From what I have seen in the summary section of Cornell notes, the students summarize the main points. But I took it further, borrowing from a few learning logs, to create a section for reflection. I plan on scheduling a block of time maybe late afternoon or evening, for them to do these two activities.
If you’d like to use my template, here’s a copy of it. Again, this is just a guide template for them to use, they will be writing on notebook paper. You could tweak it to be printed out for an actual template to write on.