Tyler ISD secondary schools use Cornell Notes to support classroom learning

September 28, 2017



The art of Cornell Note-taking (or C-Notes) uses a specific design to take regular note taking a step further in helping students to better process and retain information. Therefore, Tyler ISD secondary schools are using C-Notes as a strategy to support classroom learning across a variety of subjects.


“C-Notes is a study strategy commonly used in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program nationwide and here in Tyler ISD,” Lillian Brooks, district AVID coordinator, said. “However, teachers and campuses across Tyler ISD are now incorporating C-Notes into more classrooms and programs to great success.”


The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes. The student divides the paper into two columns: the note-taking column (usually on the right) is twice the size of the questions/key word column (on the left). Notes from a lecture or teaching are written in a note-taking column. Questions or keywords are written in a key word column. Within 24 hours of taking the notes, the student revises and writes a brief summary in the bottom five to seven lines of the page. This helps to increase understanding of the topic and helps the student when studying for an upcoming quiz or test.


“C-Notes is a strategy of note-taking that challenges the student to do more than simply write down information in class or from a reading,” Paul Arrington, campus adviser at Tyler ISD’s Early College High School (ECHS), explained. “Students will still write down the information, but they also add an essential question to help frame the learning (at the top), higher-level questions (in the left column) that pair with the notes on the right, and a summary of the notes (at the bottom).”


Mr. Arrington says these components help students process the information more completely.


“We want our students to do more than just write down the information,” he said. “We want them to actively engage with the content and to go deeper than the surface level.”


Three Lakes Middle School principal, Christopher Blake, says the increased levels of engagement from his students are also a result of C-Notes.


“We are definitely seeing higher levels of engagement and comprehension,” Mr. Blake said. “C-Notes are more organized and allow students to review content and study much easier. Our teachers are raving about their effectiveness!”


Students in all six Tyler ISD middle schools as well as ECHS, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School utilize C-Notes in some form, whether through an AVID elective or a general classroom. As an incorporated learning strategy, secondary students across the District are seeing valued results from Cornell Note-taking.



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