Have you ever been in the middle of delivering a great lesson that’s full of important information only to look out and realize none of your students are taking notes? It’s not surprising—many kids these days expect handouts or other materials they can refer back to later. But taking notes is actually a pretty important skill for kids to learn. Here’s why, along with some note-taking strategies they should try.

Why are good note-taking strategies important?

Study after study has shown the importance of actively taking notes rather than passively reading a handout later on. The act of writing engages different parts of the brain, forging new pathways that help students retain information in long-term memory.

What’s more, the studies show that the more detailed the notes, the better. And using different note-taking strategies helps too. In some cases, a general outline can be effective. But when you want students

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Characteristics Of An Innovative Classroom

by Terry Heick

Before the ideas, let me preface this by acknowledging that many of these–if not most–aren’t feasible in most classrooms and schools.

I taught for years and tried to shoehorn ideas like this into my teaching, and it was rewarding but exhausting and ultimately resulted in my becoming a pariah in my own school/district. I didn’t intend on ‘not being a team player,’ but that’s exactly how ideas like these look to–well, to some people. I’ll leave it at that. (See also Teaching Disruptively.)

Since I’m not going to explain how to accomplish these kinds of shifts (that’d be a book), though, I do refer to some of the posts I’ve created over the years that elaborate on some of these ideas. The purpose of this post, then, is to vaguely sketch the possible characteristics of an innovative classroom.

You may disagree strongly with every single one,

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