Thursday, 8 March 2018

Innovative Teaching in Science: Using Doodle Notes in the Science Classroom

In my last post, I shared how I create Doodle Notes for my Science classes, including some technical and design tips.  

It's such a heartwarming feeling to know that my Doodle Notes have been used with thousands of students.  I have been prioritizing my time to create Doodle Notes for the subjects and topics that I love.  For me it started with the Law of Conservation of Energy and Forces, then an entire unit of Doodle Notes on Nuclear Energy - one of absolute favourite topics!  This led to an entire unit on Astronomy - my other top love, and Climate Change, which I find is crucial that our students have a sound understanding of.  Over the past year I've been also utilizing a whole bunch of Physics Doodle Notes with my senior students.  They love that they can be creative in class, and I love that I get their attention.  Doodle Notes have really enhanced my teaching from back in my early days.  

Here are some tips and tricks I have learned through using A LOT of Doodle Notes in my classes.

Start with WHY?
I begin each new semester with Cognitive Advantages to Doodling.  I use Math Giraffe's "Engage Your Brain" Doodle Notes on the first day of each class.  This sets the tone for my class and how I teach.  I am able to convey to the students that I care about how they learn, I want them to be engaged in my lessons and that this class will offer them a new way of thinking.  I also explain to them that these are not coloring pages, they're actually advanced, brain-based learning materials.  

Provide the tools
In the back of my classroom I have a big sign that reads: NUCLEAR WASTE.  Under that sign I have seven containers of colored pencils and markers (I prefer Crayola's Pipsqueaks).  My instructions are, "grab some colors underneath the nuclear waste for you and your group."  The students may not use the Doodle Notes to their full advantage if they are disadvantaged.  Some students may not think you can use color in your high school notes.  I make sure to have some different tools they can use to utilize the creative side of their brains while learning Science.  

I have read that some teachers leave the Doodle Notes for independent work, and if that works for you, great.  For me, I love the interaction and I love the opportunity to be creative too!  My preference is to always do the Doodle Notes with the students and explicitly state why I chose certain images.  "Since you read the graph to find the position, I chose a book to represent that.  Let's practice reading the graph to find the position at different times, and we'll write down our answers on this stack of books."  This also helps me to set the pace of the note, and stop it to include an anecdote or video where needed.

Mix it up
When I am introducing a topic, I will rarely start with the note.  Usually some sort of phenomenon, or experiment or video is used to pique the students' interest and the note follows.  Even doodling might get boring if that's the only creative aspect to the class. 

The doodle note teaching strategy was developed by Math Giraffe and is trademarked; Please see for more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...