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Friday, January 10, 2014

Picture It: Sketch Notes Day 2

I began class on the second day by going over my sketch note instructions. I've try to let students know that everything I am asking them to do I am attempting as well.  Students broke into three groups today based on the poem they chose for their writing assignment. They then shared their sketch notes in order to help analyze and understand the poem. Here are some examples.

They were also asked to continue to add to their sketches as they discussed. I know for myself, I added to my instructional sketch notes throughout the day depending on questions students asked. The prompt question for their essay asked for them to identify the “complex relationship” in the poem. It didn’t occur to me until half way through the day that some of the students didn’t fully understand what I meant by complex. I then added an illustration to better capture the concept.

For some students, this type of assignment is their kryptonite. It pushes them out of their comfort zone. My response has been #1 sometimes we need to be pushed to look at something a different way and #2 not every assignment will ask you to process information in this way. For me it is my comfort zone. I visualize everything. I can see how pieces fit together and how one concept is part of a larger idea. I felt encouraged to see students come to an understanding by looking at someone else’s visualization even if they weren’t able to capture that same level of visualization on their own.
My hope is that as students come in on Monday to write, the visual cues will serve as a quick reminder of their analysis and help them to formulate ideas for their essay.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Picture It: Visualization and Sketch Notes

This week in class we have been preparing to write our first poetry analysis essay. We have spent the week discussing the purpose of the essay and walking through a practice essay prompt and poem. As I planned for day 3, I just felt like we were getting into a rut in the process. This may be even how you feel having read the first three sentences of this post. Even though I was varying the activities from whole group discussion, small group, modeling, and students creating samples...I just wanted something else to do.

I came across a link to a blog post discussing the idea of "SketchNotes" The concept isn't new. I regularly include visual representation in class whether it be graphic organizers or projects, however I like that this is taking visualization out of the realm of the creative assignment and positioning it as a new way of note taking. There are some great examples of student who have created notes for their history chapter lectures.

I began class today by introducing the idea of sketch notes to my students. We watched this short introduction video I then went on to give my overview notes for the essay using my first attempt and sketch noting. It isn't nearly as detailed as what they saw in the video, but a nice starting point.

 I then asked students to analyze their poem using the TPFASTT method, which have been using all year. This time we are visualizing the process. They will be able to use these notes for their in-class essay on Monday.

The idea of sketch noting isn't just doodling, which we connect with a juvenile past time. Sunni Brown's TED talk focuses on just that: Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite! What I found really interesting after researching the topic is the growing demand for what some call doodlers, or in more sophisticated terms, a graphic facilitator or graphic recorder. They are looked at as problem solvers who help companies and organizations structure board meetings in a way that takes conversation and ideas that might have been missed, and graphically represent how they fit into a bigger picture.

Looking forward to sharing finished products tomorrow!