Sunday, March 22, 2015

Visual Note Taking to Build Understanding

As my 8th graders embark upon our life science unit with me, it's good to know that we've developed some solid learning skills in the lead up to it. We are going to be working with some pretty complex information about genetics and heredity. As it is going to be a stretch for them (and me), I find comfort in the knowledge that we've worked to develop our visual note taking skills. Using the Paper app by 53, students have grown so much in the past couple months.

Our latest learning adventure involved a very difficult TED talk by Rob Knight. "How our microbes make us who we are" is a 17 minute video of very interesting, but complex information for an 8th grade scientist to take in. While there are many connections to make within this video, it can be quite a struggle if it's just a straight 17 minute shot of video!

As we watched, paused, talked, and took our visual notes, I was so proud of my learners! Not only did they ask great questions and verbally share their understanding, but I also was so pleased to see the notes that were emailed to me! The depth of learning was evident in their drawings.

I can't wait to see what our notes will look like as we keep moving through our life science content!

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