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Taking notes.

(9 Posts)
irvineoneohone Fri 06-Jan-17 10:09:40

Taking notes, writing down what you learned in class is not done thing in English primary school?

I've been educated in different country, and taking notes of important things during lesson was normal from start of primary.

We were taking about what ds did at school yesterday in science, and he couldn't recall the list he was taught.

I asked him to take notes if he think it's important, but he said nobody does, and he thinks he won't be allowed.(though I don't think it's true, it's more of he doesn't want to do something others don't.)
Is this normal? Or just my ds' school?

I think taking notes, copying what teacher has written on black/white board is first step in revision.
I know he will be tested end of half term for what he learned, but how does all the children remember without any notes/text books, etc. to go back to?
I am not worried so much about test, but I would like my ds to gain something from lessons and build up his knowledge.

If the child doesn't retain what they learn everyday, isn't that a total waste of time?

bojorojo Fri 06-Jan-17 10:42:36

They do work in their exercise books! They can revise from this or a text book. I have never seen a child take notes in primary school and many would not have those skills either. It usually requires quick writing and thought processes to filter out what is needed and not needed.

It is completely unheard of for children to copy down notes from a white/blackboard these days. Lessons are delivered with the use of a whiteboard and then children practice what they have learnt. They build up skills and knowledge by working through the work set by the teacher. This does not happen if they just take notes. I think you are going to be very disappointed if you think teaching will go back to children taking notes and learning things by rote. Understanding and application of knowledge have taken over.

Your DS will be fine with the method employed at the school. Is it a prep school if he is being tested in science? Have you seen his science workbooks? Ask to see them and talk to his teacher if you are worried but taking notes in primary school would be seen as a bit odd and very time-consuming and beyond many children.

ROSY2016 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:25:11

I agree with bojoro." Lessons are delivered with the use of a whiteboard and then children practice what they have learnt. They build up skills and knowledge by working through the work set by the teacher".
I have learned from taking notes and giving notes during lessons but it will encourage to byheart rather than practical knowledge. That's why I like this country's education system. It goes more practical way rather than a book worm.
I was surprised when I was doing my graduate in UK uni ,there wasn't any notes instead of power point slide notes, as we were all used to tones of notes given during the lectures and by heartning them during the exams, without any practical knowledge.

EvaSthlm Fri 06-Jan-17 11:43:53

Looks like you, like me, went to school in a different age. In my case there weren't even any computers around.

You could teach him taking what's known as "Cornell Notes" in, for example, One Note. Don't think young people take notes on paper anymore. You might also want to teach him useful memory techniques. Here's how: you could start by reading this article and then this book, learn the best techniques, and teach him the best tricks. Article: www.thelocal.se/20121220/45192 and book (there's a Kindle version): www.amazon.com/Memo-Easiest-Improve-Your-Memory-ebook/dp/B004X2WZ2M/

I don't agree that copying what the teacher writes on the black board (or white board) is necessarily any good these days, but that was what I learned in school myself and that technique failed me miserably later on when I grew older and there was a lot more to remember and learn.

busyrascal Fri 06-Jan-17 11:48:23

The assumption that a child would benefit from taking notes I think stems from the assumption that the curriculum is purely knowledge-based and that they learn by acquiring facts. This is not the case. All subjects, and probably science more than others, relies on the underlying concepts and skills which can't always be learnt by the transmission of information. They need to explore, play, experiment, discuss... All of which are skills that then give them what they need to really master the subject content once they get to secondary school.

irvineoneohone Fri 06-Jan-17 12:59:53

Thank you, that really made me think and reassured me.
Yes, my education was when there weren't any computers were around.grin
And yes, I certainly agree that practical way of learning is more valuable compared to learn by rote.

His school is state school, but they do regular tests end of every term/half term. He does ok if the subject is in his interest, but if not, he doesn't even remember what he learned that day!. That worried me and shocked me a bit yesterday. But I will leave it to school and teacher.

Thank you for the link, Eva. I'll have a look.

BigWeald Fri 06-Jan-17 14:31:14

Related to (lack of) taking notes, is the issue of (lack of) bringing the day's work home to revise/practise.

Where (and when) I went to school, we'd take our notes home and revise what we'd learned that day. And you could of course do that without taking notes, by simply taking your exercise books home.
But then we had much shorter school days and society worked on the assumption that there would be a SAHP to do that kind of work with the kids.

I'm not a fan of homework at primary level. And what I experienced as a child wouldn't work in the here and now. But when DS comes home and can't remember if he did maths at all that day, let alone what he did in maths, it does make me wonder! Supposedly they are always fully aware of their current Learning Objectives, but the memory doesn't stick past the next lesson at school...?

Clavinova Fri 06-Jan-17 14:32:00

I would say that there is a fair amount of note taking for certain subjects in ds2's prep school especially for geography and science - from about year 4 onwards (age 9+). This includes writing up experiments for science and copying diagrams for geography from the whiteboard. Exercise books are brought home weekly for homework - ie, "describe the weather process/rock formation in the diagram."

bojorojo Fri 06-Jan-17 15:00:12

Prep schools tend to be different - that's why I asked. Teachers deliver a class lesson and then set work of greater or less depth to the children based on their abilities. Not note taking. They may do work set on the white board as they go along. There will be science written up in a state school too - in his workbooks but as they won't have labs, it is a different style of teaching. The same with Geography and History. If a parent does not look at the workbooks they will never know. Where I am a governor, children did great work on The Maya with artefacts and real understanding of Maya culture. It was not copied from a white board but the children did learn where the Maya lived and what these countries are called today and where they are on the earth. I just don't think it has to be copied slavishly off a white board.

I too come from the pre computer era and I was bored at school with just regurgitating notes from the blackboard at my grammar school. Suited the children with great memories but the rest of us learnt more slowly than we could have done and our understanding was limited too.

I would ask the school for an overview of the curriculum so you might be able to check what he has learnt but I don't think children will always give you accurate information if you ask "what did you learn today?" Plenty will not give you any info at all. If you are worried about his progress, ask his teacher about how he learns and if it is at the required pace.

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