Tag Archives: note taking

Iron New Information Into Your Brain

Did you ever try to iron a shirt with a cold iron? Could you get that shirt ironed without the heat? Sure, but it would take for-freakin-ever! Ironing a nice fold into a shirt is oh-so-much faster when you’ve got HEAT.

Trying to learn stuff by going over it again and again is about as effective as ironing with a cold iron. You can do it, but it’s sloooooow and it’s a LOT of work. Getting memories ironed into your brain is much easier if you know how to Bring The Heat! Continue reading Iron New Information Into Your Brain

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Top Two Ways to Nab New Knowledge

What do the experts say are the top two ways we store knowledge?

Learners acquire and store knowledge in two primary ways: linguistic (by reading or hearing lectures), and nonlinguistic (through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, and so forth). The more students use both systems of representing knowledge, the better they are able to think about and recall what they have learned (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). -bolding mine

How can you turn your readings or the lectures you listen to into nonlinguistic forms? Try these…

  1. Take excellent notes that use lots of visuals. Get pro-active while you learn!
  2. Stand up and walk around while you go over your notes. Mime it for an imaginary audience. (Shut the door first, or your roommates will be grabbing some interesting video for snapchat.)
  3. Make up mnemonics; visual (and audio, and kinesthetic, and olfactory) imagery applied to memory.

Use both linguistic and nonlinguistic methods to nail down new knowledge, and make your learning life much more manageable.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Great Way to Collaborate on Class Notes

Why take class notes all by your lonesome when you can work with a buddy (or four!)? Gingko is a simple to use outlining tool that works great for everything from outlining that next research paper, to writing your next novel, to working as a team to take those class notes. Take a look at the Gingko intro video here, or go straight to Gingko here.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Maximize Your Free Time by Listening More Effectively In Class

My friend, Aliya, listening intently

Don’t you hate it when you’re talking to someone on the phone and you can tell they aren’t really listening? The pauses between your questions and their answers get longer and . . . longer. They ask questions that you’ve already answered. You know they aren’t paying attention.

Failing to pay close attention in class makes for missed details, frustrated professors, and poor notes. Missed details? What if one of those details is on your next test? You’ll be getting a lower grade. You might even fail–fates forfend! Frustrated professors and teachers–in smaller classes–often notice your lack of attention, just as you notice when your friend-on-the-phone is otherwise occupied. That frustration can make your prof angry and resentful; not the attitude you want them to have when they are looking over your latest paper with red pen in hand. Even in very large classes, professors notice when most people aren’t listening. Often that makes them Continue reading Maximize Your Free Time by Listening More Effectively In Class

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Study Skills – Five Fast Fixes

Recently, a student asked me for my hot list of academic life-changers; key study skills you can use to dominate your grades. Here goes…

1) Get help. It’s the 21st Century, fellow netizens! Flying cars, robotic house maids, and personal jet packs are now commonplace… okay, well, maybe not. But it’s still the 21st Century!, which means you don’t have to rely on your brilliant professor’s rapid-fire mumble-lectures and micro-type PowerPoints. Use the interwebs and Continue reading Study Skills – Five Fast Fixes

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Quick Formula For Mastering New Academic Material

Need a step-by-step formula for puttin’ the hurt on your current course load? Want to muscle through those killer classes and become a legend of learning? Here’s an idiot-proof way to step-up your academic game in three simple steps. Caution: This works best for non-skill-based classes such as, history, political science, sociology, biology, etc. rather than topics like physics, cage-fighting, foreign languages, and math.

First: Make sure you take thorough notes. You can’t master the material if you don’t remember what it was. For a more in-depth how-to on taking noteworthy notes–notes that will cause your professor to weep uncontrollably and set up a shrine to you in the staff lounge–look here. As you’re capturing those notes, be sure to get down the high-payoff items, and I mean payoff in terms of exam grades. You want only to study the info that will actually boost your GPA. Not sure if an item is going to be on the test? Continue reading Quick Formula For Mastering New Academic Material

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Superior Notes in 100 Words (or Less)

~~The “100 Words (or Less)” series gives you a super-short summary of what you need to know about the subject at hand and does it in 100 words or less. Check the link at the bottom for more detailed info about the topic.~~

cops notes.jpg

Superior Notes do four things.

C – They Capture the information you need AND none of the fluff.

O – They Organize the information, making it easier to see the structure and easier to understand and recall.

P – They Process the information going beyond the information to it’s implications and the questions it raises.

S – They make it easy to Study the information. Superior notes are laid out in such a manner that they can easily be used to self-quiz, without having to make flashcards, retype, etc.

See these posts on better note-taking for more  on each of these.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Fast, Easy Way To Make Great Grades Without All The Hard Work!

Check out this great study skills video revealing six of my most powerful (and immediately useful) study skills.

Revised and Updated

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

10 Techniques to Help You Focus! – Summarizing and Note Taking

forgot-valentineSummarizing and Note Taking

Effective summarizing requires analysis that leads to deeper understanding. Students benefit from taking notes in both linguistic and visual forms. -Northwest Regional Educational Consortium

All of us know how to summarize and take notes, but most of us only use those skills in certain situations. Ponder these examples… Continue reading 10 Techniques to Help You Focus! – Summarizing and Note Taking

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.