Friday, July 27, 2012


As mentioned in the introduction, note taking can be a challenging task for ELLs for various reasons.Think about the ELL students in your classroom. What do you see them doing during the delivery of the lesson? What sort of information do they take note of?

1. Take out a folder and a sheet of notebook paper. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the paper. In one column write down some of your previous observations of these students during the delivery of the lesson. In the next column write down measures you have taken to ensure that these students are taking notes effectively. Hold on to this paper.
2. Next, browse through the resources available for the different content area courses. (The strategies are not limited to any one content area).
3. On the back of your observation sheet, list the strategies that you would like to teach to your students.
4. Take out a second sheet of notebook paper and begin to compose a lesson on how you would teach students to use these strategies. Be sure to address:

  • The purpose for note taking
    • to review important information from the class lesson
    • to have a guide to study from 
    • to reflect on the lesson that was given 
  • What  you expect students to take note of
    • information that you have highlighted as important (through explicitly saying "this is important",  have written on the board, etc.)
  • How students should take notes
    • explain the diagram/strategy they should be using
      • point out its different components
      • explain terminology (ex. summarize, describe, etc.)
    • model how to use the strategy 
      • give a lesson and take notes yourself using a projector. Prompt students to add to the notes you are creating so they can gain practice.
      • have a ready made example and explain how you took notes
Keep these notes in your Webquest folder.
5. Deliver your composed lessons in the course of two weeks. Afterwards, ask your ELL students which strategies worked best for them. Record this information on a separate sheet to keep in your folder.
6. Over the course of the year take note of which strategies your students continue to use.

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