Most of us have heard that taking good notes is important. Few, however, understand exactly why it’s such a powerful tool to have, and what makes it so vital for truly mastering concepts.

In terms of teaching, one of the best ways to present information is to make sure that lessons are “multi-modal.” By this, we simply mean that teaching takes place in such a way that students get exposure to a concept through different methods. Three of the biggest modalities are verbal, visual, and kinesthetic—that is, learning by doing. Most students prefer one style over the others, but regardless of preference, presenting a lesson in three different ways maximizes the chance of that concept sticking.

A skilled note-taker will engage all three of these categories. They must be an active listener to sift through what a teacher is saying in order to transcribe it. In writing, they produce a visual equivalent of classroom lectures and discussions, and can prioritize information with bullet points, underlines, or diagrams of their own. Lastly, taking notes gives a student something to do, as it keeps their pen constantly moving across the paper and forces them to stay engaged.

Sadly, and unless they’ve been trained, very few students take notes. As a result, the lectures wash over them like waves on the beach, and at the end of the day they have no way to remember what was being discussed.

At Walker Education, we like to take the time to work with students to give them this valuable tool. Not only does this help them in every subject they’ll take from now until college (and post-graduate work), but it allows our tutoring sessions to become even more productive. Rather than explain a concept for the first time, it allows us to build on an already-solid foundation and work towards the mastery that will result in high test scores.

If your child is telling you that they don’t “get” their teachers, or if they’re sitting in class just waiting for the bell to ring, it might be that they haven’t ever learned to meaningfully engage the material on their own terms. By teaching your child how to take notes, our tutors can make the school day go by just a little bit faster and help ensure that they retain a little more at the end of each day.

Drop us an email or give us a ring, and we’d be more than happy to explain more about this and other strategies our tutors will use to help your child excel.