Inside Our Schools: Cornell note taking used in Northwest R - - Jackson, MS

Inside Our Schools: Cornell note taking used in Northwest Rankin

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio|email|twitter

BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - This year at Northwest Rankin Middle School, 7th grade science teacher Coleen Knight is helping students take more efficient notes.

"Remember, when we're taking notes, it does not have to be grammatically correct," she tells the class.

The students write a title at the top of the page, then make two columns: one for notes, the other for essential questions that will appear on the test.

"It's just an organized way to take notes," says Austin Scott.

After reading the chapter, the students come up with the questions themselves. After that, Knight makes sure they're hitting the right points.

It's called the Cornell Note Taking Method. "I can use it in social studies too. It helps me a lot," says student Jacob Bennett.

The heart of the technique is not what we're used to. Essentially, the teachers are giving the students the answers that will be on the test.

"I want everyone in here to make an A," Knight says. "The only way they can do that is to know what I'm going to have on that test."

The students use answers to the essential questions to write a summary of what they've learned. The summary is one or two sentences, derived from entire chapters of text. That's what they study at home.

"I don't have to read the whole thing. I just take out my notes," says student Amanda Skipper.

Right now, Knight just uses the technique for studying from the text book. Soon, Cornell Note Taking will also be used for lectures.

Cornell Note Taking was introduced this school year, and Knight says grades have already gone up. "I'm seeing a lot of improvement based on this system," she says.

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