Advanced Note-Taking

By Aristotle

Advanced note-taking capability in an application is sought-after if the application is easy to use in a classroom setting and allows for customizable notes for conferring or observational notes.

Conferring Notes

Conferring is critical to student learning because it provides feedback in an authentic context. It is in the moment. Students want to know that the teacher cares about them, not only as learners but as readers. Conferring requires consistency and dedication. With Chronicle Cloud we provide a mechanism for teachers to exercise this practice consistently and at scheduled time intervals via good note-keeping features on our application.

Conferencing is not when you circulate throughout the room and check-in with students. 1-on-1 conferencing gives each student personal face time with you in a designated space in the classroom. Conferencing is one way to promote and develop relationships and gather important and specific data. This 1-on-1 chat with students can come with any name to make it a fun deal.  1-on-1 conferencing works during formative and summative stages of the educational process.

Observational Notes

Observation notes should be brief, but, as much as possible, they should provide the teacher (and outside readers) a complete description of the incident or behavior that the teacher considered significant. It is also beneficial for teachers to make observational notes (referred to as anecdotal notes). These notes serve to document and describe student learning relative to concept development, reading, social interaction, communication skills, etc.   

Effective Notes

  • Use factual and objective terms. Write what you saw, not what you are thinking about what you saw.
  • Can stand alone. Someone who was not present should be able to read your notes and figure out what happened.
  • Focus on interactions.
  • Contain specific quotes. You may have trouble recalling quotes after observations, so paraphrasing is fine.
  • Describe the setting, materials used, and what can be seen in the space.

Less Effective Notes

  • Use subjective terms, such as “The kids were having fun,” or “She was upset.”
  • State opinions: “I thought she really improved today.”
  • Make assumptions about internal states, such as, “She was bored and didn’t care.”
  • Are too vague or lack detail, such as “The youth did a group activity.”
  • Summarize discussion instead of using direct quotes: “They talked about the park.”

Chronicle Cloud application allows teachers to take conferring and observational notes. The Speed Note feature in our application allows teachers to perform a new keyword search function to quickly access and reuse previous notes! We made this platform ground up to take better notes.