Saturday, August 15, 2015

Embracing the Doodle

One of the break out sessions from DENSI 2015 was on doodling as a strategy for note taking and I had the opportunity to try it out yesterday at my {math training}.

Before attending this training, I was skeptical.  I love note taking, but was worried students might be drawing and zoning out instead of doodling as a way to itemize what was important.  

Tracy, a fellow DEN member, shared two books on visual literacy that are pending in my Amazon cart.  

She mentioned that children start out as visual learners (pictures) and those pictures slowly fade away.  The argument is made (both by her and in a TED talk) about bringing back these doodles.

She shared that there are three distinct benefits:
1) Power:  Students feel in control with their doodles and take ownership over their notes.  I'd even have them share their doodles with one another.

2) Performance:  Connections are made between the brain's hemispheres during doodling, thus storing information in long term memory and leading to higher recall and understanding, which leads to higher performance.

3) Pleasure: It's fun to doodle.

(Example of a doodle from a TED talk)

For setting this up in the classroom, she focuses on stressing that this isn't drawing, it's doodling (so there is less pressure).

Here is her ice breaker to introduce doodling:

1) A pair of students share one piece of paper that is folded in half.
2) One student begins the drawing on the folded line by adding a simple shape.
3) For two minutes, students do not speak but build off of the picture.
4) After the timer, students share their work with their table team.

We'll be doing this activity during the first week of school!  Not only does it aid in team building, but also retention, helps students focus, and builds creative problem solving.  I'll also use it to discuss strengths and challenges, focusing on the next time it's done, it will be more comfortable because learning is a process.

She said the timer is set for two minutes, but not displayed to students.  Students should focus on each other, not how much time is left.

I gave doodling a try at my math training and enjoyed it. I am excited to give this a try with my students.  I think we'll start with doodling in pencil, then slowly add colored pencils as well.  Since my students share classroom supplies, I don't want the doodling to become a fight over specific colors. 

This is one of the new changes I'm trying this school year.  

What new strategies are you trying?

No comments:

Post a Comment