Do you have students that dislike or struggle with note taking? For many students, the thought of having to take notes is enough to make them cringe. The reality is most creative-minded people do not see the world through “linear” thoughts. So, the mere thought of having to take “linear’ notes can become overwhelming for many students.
Window Panning is a powerful alternative form of note-taking that can easily be integrated into the classroom. It allows visual students to take notes in a non-linear format effectively.
Research shows that visual learning makes complete sense when you consider that our brain is mainly an image processor (much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision) Using images allow us process and retain the material more efficiently then printed words.
The great news is, Window Panning is a simple process. It acts as a graphic organizer that imitates a window pane with equally divided sections. Students transfer key elements, points or steps in a lesson into a visual image and place them into framed pictures to help them recall and retain the information. This alternative form of note taking can easily be taught to students with just a few simple steps.
Step 1: Create a window pane template that has up to nine boxes on it. Refer to the example below:
Step 2: Instruct students to draw a simple hand-sketched image in the first box on the upper left-hand corner of the grid and continue to work their way filling in the boxes with images to reflect the materials being presented. You can either identify key terms for them to draw or have them pick out 9 key concepts from the subject being taught. See below for example:
The important part of window panning is to remember the images should be simple hand-drawn sketches and one should not judge how well they draw. Window paning does not rely on artistic creativity. The overall objective is that students understand the images and they personally can relate and use them to recall information.
Helping our students develop alternative note taking skills can be an extremely powerful tool providing them greater opportunity for increased retention, student engagement and can become a highly useful study tool.