Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about notes. This has included several rants with my friends and colleagues (thanks for indulging me!). Notes are ubiquitous in mathematics classrooms. I’ve been in elementary, middle, secondary, and college classrooms, and in each of these spaces I see notes. It seems like note-taking is a given for both students and teachers in mathematics classrooms, but why though?!?
As a math student in school (at all levels) and as a math teacher, I too took notes as a given. My teachers would teach and I’d be told the importance of taking notes. As a teacher myself, I’d carry on the mythos of notes proclaiming the importance of this process for learning. Lately, I’ve been questioning this practice for a number of reasons (which I’ll get into in subsequent posts). Thus, I’ve decided to take a deep dive into the process of note taking. This process will involve me questioning the purpose, process, and need (couldn’t think of a third ‘p’) of notes in the mathematics classroom. I hope you join me for this journey over the next few posts, the first of which will be released the beginning of next week. So gather your thoughts, be ready to critically question conventional practices, and join me in finding out an answer to “but why though?!?”