We’re five days into our Sketchnoting trial for the astronomy unit of grade 9 science. I think it’s safe to say I’m sold on the idea of being intentional about integrating visuals in note taking.
Observations so far:
Students are awesome. Not that this is a new finding, but it’s nice to be reminded of how unique & creative teenagers are.
Uploading the slides to a shared Google Slides has been great as a formative assessment tool. This has served as a quick way for me to check for understanding and to highlight any key info a student may have missed. I’ve been using the comment feature to tag individual students on their sketch notes so that they see the comment and can update their notes.
Not everyone is bought in (yet?). I added a slide at the beginning of each day’s notes that contains a list of all of the students’ names. I am asking students to put a smiley face symbol next to their name once they’ve uploaded a sketchnote, which makes it easier for me to follow up with those who aren’t contributing. Students don’t have to put their names on their sketchnotes, so this was my workaround.
Discussions are better. So far, students are making more eye contact and coming up with more thoughtful responses when we’re having discussions in class.
We’re still adjusting. There are many more tweaks to make. Some students are frustrated at the pace in class (not allowing time to write things word for word), but I am continuing to remind them that we’re having meaningful discussions in class, noting key concepts, and then revisiting the material to make sure we’ve captured all the details.