STRATEGIES THAT WORK: Summarizing and Note

Summarizing and Note Taking
S. Boucher
S. Coston
H. Fitch
W. Johnson
Summarizing and Note Taking
*Keep, delete, and substitute information
*Analyze the information at a fairly deep level
*Be aware of the explicit structure of information
*Teach students the rule-based summarizing
*Use summary frames
*Instruct students in reciprocal teaching as an aid to
understanding expository text
Summarizing and Note Taking
•Key Definitions:
•Synthesizing - merging information from multiple sources
Summarizing - extracting ideas from the text to be retold
For teacher modeling and classroom instruction, it is essential to properly distinguish
between the two so we do not risk confusing our students.
An effective method for summarizing is the Keep -Delete-Substitute Strategy
The steps are as follows.
1. Keep important information
2. Delete trivial material that is unnecessary to understanding
3. Delete redundant material
4. Substitute subordinate terms for more specific terms
5. Select a topic sentence or invent one if missing
Summarizing and Note Taking
•H. FITCH..Ex: Note taking
STRATEGIES THAT WORK: Summarizing and Note Taking
Hill & Flynn cites “Note taking is closely related to summarizing because it requires that students take
information and synthesize it using their own words. The purpose of note taking is to help students acquire and
integrate knowledge; it is a way to organize and process information.” (pg. 69).
Hill & Flynn suggests four generalizations on note taking:
1. Notes should always be considered works in progress.
2. Verbatim note taking is the least effective way to take notes.
3. Notes should be used as study guides for tests.
4. The more notes taken, the better.
Education Atlas website suggests nine generalizations on note taking:
1. Make clear and accurate notes- Clearly written, accurate notes help to capture information
for later study and review.
2. Come to class prepared- There is nothing that will help you take better notes than coming
to class prepared.
3. Compare your notes - When class is over compare your notes to those taken by other
4. Minimize distractions- Remove any distractions that keep you from concentrating on class
lectures and taking copious notes.
5. Organize your notes- Starting each class with a clean sheet of paper.
6. Use abbreviations and symbols- Use short sentences and phrases and easily remembered
abbreviations and symbols in order to make sure you're able to keep up with the lecture.
7. Write clearly- Make sure to write clearly especially if you're using abbreviations.
8. Review your notes- Reviewing your notes directly following a lecture will make sure that
you understand your notes.
9. Write down questions- write down any questions you have or concepts you didn't
completely understand
Summarizing and Note Taking
Lemov, Doug (2010). How All Teachers Can (And Must) Be Reading Teachers.
In Teach Like A Champion (pp. 249-261) Jossey-Bass.
Hill & Flynn (2006). Summarizing And Note Taking & Homework And Practice.
In Classroomn Instruction that works with English Language Learners (pp. 62-86)
& Works
Improving Your Note Taking.
Harvey & Goudvis (2007). Reading is Thinking In Strategies
That Work (pp. 19)
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