How Can I Effectively Use the Note Check Strategy to Facilitate Learning in the Classroom?

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Check Out the New Blog HowCanIEffectivelyUsetheNoteCheckStrategytoFacilitateLearningintheClassroomNote check is a pedagogic strategy that facilitates learning within the classroom. In this strategy, students are instructed to pair up and review, discuss and compare their notes with each other. The aim of the strategy is to help students develop good note taking skills, summarize key information and clarify misconceptions through discussions with partners and to fill the gaps for any lost or misperceived information.

Though considered effective for use in class, some teachers find the strategy to be tricky as they feel some students rely on their peers to do the work for them instead of the learning being a team effort.

Therefore here are few tips on how we can incorporate the strategy to successfully aid in learning:

Assign the partners: When teachers randomly assign partners, it ensures a degree of uniformity and fairness in the partnership. In the subsequent discussions, the partners can be changed which allows for more ideas and thoughts to be voiced out.

Give them a task: Create tasks that require the students to work with each other. The task can be a problem, to generate questions or summarize information or even to connect the topic with a previously learnt topic. These will encourage the students to brainstorm and generate answers to the same.

Present to the class: Depending on the content of the class, the teacher can randomly select pairs to summarize the information, critically analyze the information, reflect on the process of solving a problem or generalize the concept to everyday life and present and share the same in front of the class. The selected pair is given few minutes to decide the style and order of their presentation and following presentation the class can ask questions or add any information that the presenters had missed out.

Test the pairs: To test if students were paying attention to their partners, ask them to talk about their partners’ contributions and thoughts. Such random testing will encourage students to pay attention to each other. Another method is to give individual questions (1 and 2) to student A and B respectively and instruct them to solve it together in the allotted time. When students have signaled they have finished the task, the teacher can swap the question and ask student B the answer to question 1 and vice versa. This also helps to ensure that they have worked together.

Identify the mistakes: As students review their notes, instruct them to write down a list of their discrepancies in terms of spellings, information left out or misinterpreted and to discuss on the same. It is said that learning is strengthened when mistakes are identified and self corrected.

Walk around: This allows you to be accessible to pairs that need assistance, helps you to monitor the discussions and to step in and correct or clarify any misconceptions.

Grade the work: Once the work is completed, teachers can grade the students in terms of their team work and content knowledge. You can also ask the students to grade each other in terms of equality in division of work, sharing responsibilities, ideas generated etc. These grade papers can be collected and announced at the end of the term work to show how much the students have fared over each note check activity.

Discuss here: How did you use Note check strategy in your classroom?

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