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Note Taking Strategies for a Successful Start to High School

Note taking strategies

Great note-taking skills can help you do well at school, preparing you for classes, essays, and exams. It’s a skill that will serve you all of your life, yet it rarely gets taught.

We’re here to help with fourteen strategies to incorporate into your note-taking routine to maximize your academic results this school year:

Add the date and title: You’ve been told this trick for years, but it’s worth a reminder. Never lose track of which class your notes belong to with a date and the title of the course.

Leave space: Leave space to add in more information whether you ask a question in class.

Get decorative: Use doodles, boxes, drawings, different coloured pens, and highlighters to make important points stand out.

Take notes in your own words: Whether listening in class or reading a text, write down the text in your own words.

Add examples: Especially helpful for math and science subjects, write down the example the teacher shares in class and label all the steps; this will be an invaluable reference when studying.

Pay attention to what’s on the board: If your teacher wrote something on the board, you could be sure it means they want you to take notice. Write it down and highlight it in some way. 

Review your notes: The day or weekend after class spend 20-30 minutes reviewing your notes and take note of any questions you have remaining.

Rewrite your notes: For some people rewriting notes into a Word Doc or in Google Docs helps them to organize their thinking, note areas of difficulty and have easy to read study notes.

Mnemonic devices: These are helpful for remembering the tricky material. Remember BEDMAS (brackets, exponents, divide/multiply, addition/subtraction) from middle school? Make up your own mnemonic device to memorize.

Write down all your formulas: Highlight these in your notes. Write them down first when studying and do this during an exam, too.

Make a study guide: Will your notes be used for a test? Take the time to combine your in-class notes and any reading into one document.

Add important dates to your agenda: Use your notes to help you plan how much time you will need to prep for a test. Add in dates to review and consolidate your notes in an agenda.

Use sticky notes: Did you come across some relevant information but run out of room on your paper? Write or draw down the new info on a sticky note and put it on top of the section of your notes it belongs too.

Figure out your method: As the year progresses, you’ll start to see a pattern emerge for how you like to take notes. The best way to take them is in a way that works for you! Keep it up!

Posted in: English Tutoring, History Tutoring, Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Holiday Time is History Time

The upcoming holiday weekend is a wonderful time for families to spend time together and celebrate their traditions.

It is also a great time for parents and family members to teach children not only their history, but the history of other cultures and groups as well. What we learn in history is not only important in school, but it can also help students apply those lessons into current world events and everyday life.

Here are some helpful tips, tricks and activities for any child to learn and absorb history:

1) Make It Real: Bringing a historical event into the real world, can help connect the event with the real world.  Some ideas include: visiting a historical site, taking a trip to a museum and listening to a speech from someone who was first hand involved with the event.

2) Connect Your Ideas:  Following a chronological order with your ideas and notes is helpful to ensure facts link together.  If you are able to group your chronological notes by topic, but can be even more helpful.   If there are multiple topics, many people find mind maps helpful to gather and summarize all your connecting ideas into one picture that illustrates how connecting items fit together.

3) Flashcards: Learning History can often involve remembering key dates and events.    Utilizing flashcards on a repeated basis can be an excellent tool to test your retention of these facts.   With educational technology flashcards no longer need to be on paper.  Cram, Quizlet and Studyblue are three recommend flashcard and study apps.

Posted in: History Tutoring

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