Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Improve Your Students' Learning with Study Notes

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Improve Your Students' Learning with Study Notes

Article excerpt

I've developed an instructional method that has vastly improved my students' learning and made my job easier and more rewarding.

I call my method "student study notes." This system provides direction for my students, who usually prefer hands-on learning but must understand theory to become fully competent in certain skills.

My students receive a complete set of study notes--created from my lesson plans--at the start of each quarter. Students then place the notes into a three-ring binder to which they refer when doing daily lessons and studying. Daily classroom activities provide the answers to questions in the notes.

Begin by writing your daily lesson plans on a computer using a template with these headings: "title," objective" "main points," "teaching methods" and "student actions." Leave plenty of space after the last three headings for filling in the blanks.

Although students don't get copies of your lesson plan, you will use this as a template to create their notes.

TITLE: The title clearly identifies the concept or process being studied and helps you to create a table of contents.

OBJECTIVE: Tell your students the learning goal you set and generally how you will evaluate them. Specify the level of mastery you expect, for example, "You will recall..." or "You will describe ...," but keep the wording simple.

MAIN POINTS: Write the information essential to mastering the objective. Use simple sentences or short, easily remembered phrases. Number each separate point. Type the information your students must learn in capital letters and your own background information in lower case.

TEACHING METHODS: Here you tell yourself how you will present the information, any special methods and any needed resources, such as overhead transparencies, videos or models.

STUDENT ACTIONS: Tell your students how you will test them and what material will be covered. …

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