The Five Phases of the Focused Note-Taking Process
AVID’s focused note-taking process has five phases. It is important to note that while applying learning is the last phase of the process, it is essential that it inform the first phase, as the note-taking format should be shaped by the note-taking purpose. When teaching the focused note-taking process, educators need to determine how students will use their notes and set up the format appropriately. It is crucial for educators to model and invite students to engage in this thought process so that note-taking becomes a powerful and portable learning tool students can carry with them throughout their educational experience.
Create the notes. Select a note-taking format, set up the note page, record the Essential Question, and take notes based on an information source (lecture, book, website, article, video, etc.), selecting, paraphrasing, and arranging information in a way that meets your note-taking objective.
Think about the notes. Revise notes—by underlining, highlighting, circling, chunking, questioning, adding, deleting—to identify, select, sort, organize, and classify main ideas and details. Evaluate the relative importance of information and ideas in the notes.
Think beyond the notes. Analyze the notes using inquiry to make connections and deepen content knowledge by asking questions and adding your own thinking to create greater understanding, identify gaps or points of confusion, and connect your new learning to what you already know.
Summarizing and Reflecting on Learning
Think about the notes as a whole. Pull together the most important aspects of your notes and your thinking about them to craft a summary that captures the meaning and importance of the content and reflects on how the learning helps you meet the note- taking objective.
Use the notes. Save and revisit your notes as a resource or learning tool to help you apply or demonstrate what you have learned.