How to Teach Note Taking Skills in High School

If you want to teach note-taking skills to kids in high school, there are a few things that you need to do. You have to remember that for kids in high school, they aren’t quite adults yet, but they are going to be very soon. College is nothing like high school, so you have to prepare them slowly for that reality. In high school you can hold the hand of the student a little more while when you get into college they will just give you the lecture and let them do what they will with it.

The first thing you want to teach to a high school student is the importance of taking good notes. Taking good notes means that you are able to study better for tests, and you are able to do more to help yourself remember what you have just written. When you write something down, or say it to yourself, you are putting that knowledge into your brain and helping yourself to remember. That is the first benefit to taking notes in the first place.

Another good trick to teach students is to take notes in their own style. You should be teaching them how to take notes in shorthand so that they can remember what they are writing, and so that they can write everything that they need to remember. Studying is a personal thing, so taking the notes should be done in the way that the student will remember. Notes are more than just a way to memorize, they are a tool for recall later on.

Basically you should be teaching a high school student to do more than just copy notes. Not only is that relatively ineffective, but it it makes the student not want to take notes. If you were asking for a simple copying of what you were writing, why not just pass out the notes to the class yourself? A lot of teachers I had in my later years of high school would do that so that they didn’t spend too much time forcing kids to miss discussions in class.

I understand that this method could just cause kids to skip ahead and not pay attention to current notes, so you have to make sure that you are teaching kids why it is important to take notes in the first place. You should teach them that learning to take notes has other applications and can be used in other ways. Taking notes for a paper can be learned from taking notes in class. Notations from a reading or a lecture and critical thinking skills are improved when you take notes.

High school kids aren’t stupid, so if you force feed them a bunch of facts that they can find anywhere else it isn’t going to work out too well. If you can just tell them why they should take notes, and what other implications good note taking skills have, you will be teaching them how to take good notes.