|The Together Teacher Book Study - Chapter 5|
There are two things that Heyck-Merlin recommends you implement to avoid the notebook vortex. First, you need to take effective notes. Secondly, you have to find a way to file and store these notes so that you can access them during your planning sessions, small group meetings, or when needed.
Heyck-Merlin's strategy on taking PD notes is very easy. Either on notebook paper, a template you've created, or on an electronic device create a two column template. The first column is labeled "Thinking Notes". You have that whole section totally reserved for your note taking and processing of the PD information. The next column is broken into two sections. The top section is labeled "Immediate Next Steps" and the bottom section is labeled "Longer Term Ideas". These labels help to keep you focused and organized.
You can also use a template when you have small groups meetings or team meetings. These notes would also be in a two column format. One column would be labeled "Thoughts" and the second column would be labeled "Next Steps". Each of these formats are super easy to create with pen and paper or you can create one in a document and use that as a template you can print off as needed, or if allowed, used with your computer to take computer notes.
Once you have all these notes you will need to store them. There are two ways you can stay organized with your meeting and PD notes. The first way would be to store them in a folder or binder. You must make sure that you use the note taking template page as a cover page and that you roll the notes into your Comprehensive Calendar and To-Do List during your Weekly Round-Up. With your notes categorized and organized you will be better equipped to implement the content in your meeting.
Now that you have your cover page and your meeting handouts you will need to store this information in an easily accessible place. For some that might be in a folder that you keep by your planning area or typing out your notes and storing them electronically with a cloud service, like Google Drive, or a program like Evernote.
I have utilized these suggestions this week and I already see a difference in my organization. During my Weekly Round-Up I'm able to set my goals, create my To-Do lists, and add items into my Comprehensive Calendar. If you implement this easy organizational strategy I know you too will end the notebook full of good intentions.
What are your next steps?
- Select the best fitting template for your needs
- Determine if that template will be paper or electronic
- Carry the template with you and use it
- Make sure to record your notes into your short/long term action plan and store them.
- Review your notes in your Weekly Round-Up
Again, thank you Kelly. I've learned so much and like I said I already see a difference in my time and quality of orgazation. Don't forget to head back over to An Apple for the Teacher next week so we can continue on our journey through The Together Techer book study.