Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Hi Luke and Lindsey! Thank you so much for all the activities your website provides. My students are loving class this year. I was wondering if you might be willing to also share your guided notes. --Awesome Stats Teacher
So where are the notes?
There are two places where we provide formal "notes" for students and both are equally important:
(1) When we debrief the activity with the whole group. We have students add "notes" into the margin. You will see in our answer keys that we use a different color for these margin notes (usually red).
(2) The Important Ideas box. This is where we formally summarize the learning from the activity. We limit ourselves to only the small space provided in the box.
Wait...the answer keys are made with two different colors for a reason?
Yes! Here's how it works. As groups are finishing up on the activity, we ask individual students to put their answers up on the board (with a black marker).
Then we debrief the activity with the whole class, formalizing the learning by adding to the student work on the board using a red marker (or purple or green or whatever your favorite color is). Our students also have red pens and are adding these "notes" to the margins of the activity, right next to the questions. It's important to note that students don't have to complete the entire activity before you start the debrief. Often we pick a place to pause and debrief in the middle of an activity before completing the rest.
When you look through our answer keys, you'll notice we always write the teacher formal notes in a different color. Anything in the margins should be added by the teacher while debriefing the activity. Here's an example of how this looks from a lesson on binomial probability.
But where are the notes?
After we debrief the activity, we do a short focus lesson where we give additional information needed to meet all the learning targets (LTs). We do this in the Important Ideas box. This is what we think of as the traditional "notes" portion. We don't do any additional notes besides this page.
Students then work in their groups to try the Check Your Understanding problem and we go over the answers as a class.
We recognize that this is a shift from the way we have been teaching math for the past 100 years. It might be uncomfortable at first, but we get better and better at it every year, and we absolutely love teaching with this model. Students are so much more engaged, and it's way more fun for us too. Students develop a stronger conceptual understanding and their scores have reflected this learning. It's a win-win! We challenge you to join us in this teaching revolution of Experience First, Formalize Later.