How to Take Cornell Notes for Middle School Science

We recently received a question from one of our viewers, Tracie Parks, about our Cornell Notes video:

Cornell notes question

 

Tracie found our video about how to take notes helpful, especially because it shows HOW someone would take notes during a lecture, using a specific lecture!  This video features one of our videos about the History of the Atom as an example.

We’re so glad to hear that Tracie is sharing our Study Tips Series with her 6th grader! That’s really the perfect time to foster those skills.  It takes years to be a Great Student, and Middle School is when most kids start to be challenged to do more in school. They start to take notes in class, read books for information that will be tested on, and write papers.  These are the kinds of skills we want to help people with with our Study Tips.

Tracie was hoping we had an example that was a little more accessible to her middle schooler.  We do have a series of science videos that are perfect for middle-schoolers.  This series is all about those questions that pop up but you’re not sure of the answer – Why is the sky blue? Why is the ocean salty?  Here’s a video about Why Leaves Change Colour in the Autumn:

 

Now let’s show you how we would take notes for this video.  First, we’d prepare our paper (or buy paper already prepared for Cornell Notes), drawing lines for a big Notes section, a smaller Cues section on the left, and a Summary section on the bottom:

IMG_20170630_102828

Then when we start our lecture, we’d take quick notes on the major points, making sure to write down key terms like the names of the pigments. After the lecture, we’d check on the spelling of these terms to make sure they are correct in our notes.

IMG_20170630_112121

Notice there’s a lot of space between the different sections. That way, when we review our notes later, there’s room to add anything we missed.  The little headings in the Cues section helps organize the different ideas.

IMG_20170630_115105

Finally, after the lecture is over, we’ll re-read our notes (maybe check them with a friend or with the textbook), and then we’ll write a brief Summary.

IMG_20170630_113542

 

Tracie, have your 6th grader watch this video series and take notes, as practice. Remember you don’t have to write down every word!  Just the key ideas. Use abbreviations when you can. 

One BIG advantage of watching videos is that you can pause, rewind, or even watch the whole thing over again if you didn’t understand it the first time. And you can post questions in the comments!

Thanks so much for sending in your question. We’re absolutely thrilled to think we are helping someone on the beginning of their journey to be a GREAT Student!! 

KHH

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We recommend:

Cornell Notes style filler paper on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dC9bUR

Cornell Notes spiral notebook:  http://amzn.to/2usl3ip

Tomato Timer (use this for the Pomodoro Technique): http://amzn.to/2pMQhyA

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy): http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

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SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
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Grey hoodie here:
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Why you should go to Summer School

School’s out for summer.

hammock-on-palm-trees_fy8JO-Cu.jpg

Wanted: one hammock. 

But that doesn’t mean you should turn your brain off!
In our latest Study Tips video, we give you (at least) 5 good reasons why you should go to Summer School:


 

Summer gives us the unique opportunity to learn anything we want, in a leisurely, indulgent fashion. Always wanted to learn computer programming? Try our Python Series!

Maybe you always thought Calculus was beyond you. Watch this video and tell me this beautiful branch of math doesn’t beckon to you:

Go on. Even if you don’t go to a summer school class, you can find something to keep your curiosity alive.
KHH

SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

We recommend:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
http://amzn.to/2ri1nf7

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer)
http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Shop Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

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Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
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Photoshop for Beginners

 

I generally do all my work in Adobe Audition, Premiere, and After Effects.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of Photoshop, but more and more I see it recommended that we use Photoshop for making thumbnails for our YouTube videos.

photoshop

When we started making YouTube videos, we didn’t have any choice about the thumbnails.  YouTube gave us 3 images to choose from, automatically generated from somewhere in our video. As you can imagine, they didn’t make for the most interesting, eye-catching thumbnails:

factoring

This is pretty…terrible.

Thankfully, after a couple years of this, YouTube relaxed the restrictions and allowed us to generate our own thumbnails.  Video thumbnails can almost be thought of like mini movie-posters.  How can you tell the story of your video in the blink of an eye?

strawberries

This might be easier if we made videos about strawberries.

At some point, we need to go back and make decent thumbnails for all of our old videos. Fingers crossed we can raise enough money on Patreon to be able to hire an assistant to help us with this kind of work!

But for now, we’re on our own, so we need to carve out a little time and energy to make sure all of our newest videos get the royal Photoshop treatment.

Now we’re not planning on going crazy.  We don’t need to look like fashionplates or anything:

fine-skin-retouch-photoshop-action-1024x681

These are both quite terrifyingly beautiful.

No, no, we just need to make our thumbnails stand out a little more. Do a little colour correcting, add some text, and layer in a relevant image. Sometimes we can pull this off in Premiere right in the same file when we’re editing our video, like this thumbnail we made for Black Holes:

black-hole-thumbnail-20160416

But all our sources say Photoshop is the way to go. It’s just more flexible and you can do so much more.  I’m ready to learn!

Today I read a book called “THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER’S GUIDE FOR MASTERING ADOBE PHOTOSHOP!”  I wouldn’t call it the Ultimate guide.  I was able to read it in about an hour, and it walked me through the basic menus and toolbars.  It did let me know that the toolbar was roughly broken into sections: selection tools/ pixel editing tools/ text & vector editing tools/ and navigation tools.  See, I didn’t know that.  But it didn’t tell me nearly enough to MASTER Photoshop.  I think they oversold the title a little. It didn’t even tell me what’s the point of flattening layers, and I really want to know what that’s all about.

Anyone have a set of #photoshop tutorials they can recommend? Much obliged!

KHH

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
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SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

 

SERIES PREMIERE: BIOLOGY

 

We’re launching a new series on Socratica! Today we released our first video about Biology. 

We’re starting with that most important molecule, DNA.  DNA provides all the instructions an organism needs to develop, survive, and reproduce.

Before you can really appreciate how DNA works to do all these vital tasks, you must understand the structure of DNA. That’s why we’re starting with this video!

We had a secret weapon for making this video. We knew we wanted to build a model of DNA, but we didn’t want to just buy a kit that snaps together. Honestly – that’s just too easy. It’s all too easy to snap the pieces together without really digesting what you just built.

Our special tool?  A 3D Printing Pen!

MorphPen was kind enough to send a 3D printing pen to Socratica for us to try.  It’s like nothing else we’ve ever tried before. Sort of like an incredibly pliant, quick-drying clay that goes right where you want it to. We can make 3D sculptures! 

giphy

We’ve always known how vital it is to draw something, if you want to really understand its shape. Think of all those maps you drew as a child.

But to be able to draw in 3D is a game-changer!

If you’d like to #trymorphpen yourself, here’s a link:

Thanks for checking out our new series! Let us know in the comments what you think! 

KHH

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
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Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
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Learn the Alphabet FREE app:
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Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store:
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Periodic Table App on Google Play
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Famebit Sponsorships
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morphpen: https://www.morphpen.com/collections/3d-drawing-morph-pen-collection/products/blue-3d-printing-pen

 

SERIES PREMIERE: CALCULUS

Socratica has just started a new math series on Calculus.

Our first episode is an overview, called  What is Calculus :

This series stars our co-founder, Michael Lee Harrison.  Michael is a mathematician, who has a lot of valuable experience under his belt.  He got his BS in math at Caltech, and continued his studies at UC Berkeley and University of Washington . He holds an MS in math from UW and is ABD on his PhD…we’ll see if we can round up some more abbreviations for our next profile!

Michael taught math at the college level for several years, where he was a good-humoured and encouraging instructor.  He next went into finance, working as a “quant” (quantitative analyst).  He then worked at Google as a developer for five years before leaving to start Socratica.

You’ve seen Michael’s work on Socratica for years now, but this is the VERY FIRST TIME he has stepped in front of the camera.  More to come soon!

KHH

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!

http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

We’d love you to join our team on Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

 

 

 

Our secret ingredient: Dog clickers

At Socratica Studios, we record our voice-overs with the aid of a secret weapon.

DOG CLICKERS. 

I recently had the chance to try this product from pet’s mum:

dog whistle bundle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RYDHG0

They sent it to me free in return for my honest review (FTC disclosure).

Well, I tried it and it sort of worked.  The clicker worked, no problem.  But the dog whistle I could actually hear with my own ears.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to work that way. We’re tossing the dog whistle.  I think it’s probably mis-aligned, because I twisted it lots of different ways and it still made a whistling sound that I could hear.  The dog was nonplussed.

The clicker, on the other hand, is a keeper for sure.  Oh, it works fine for dog training.  But it REALLY works for recording voice-overs.

When we do VO work, of course we sometimes stumble.  We edit out all those mistakes before we put together the visuals to make the final video.  That can be tedious, listening carefully for mistakes and watching the waveforms to see exactly where the mistakes are.

So we use a dog clicker!

Dog Clicker visual

See the nice clean mark?  That’s me messing up. 

It makes a nice clean mark on the audio recording.  Hey presto – quick audio edit.

And this clicker comes on a cute little wristlet! No more losing them all over the house.

KHH

Here’s our latest example of a screencast with voiceover:  Significant Figures. 

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
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Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
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Learn the Alphabet FREE app:
http://bit.ly/1V5wKDs

Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store:
http://bit.ly/1MVxMB4

Periodic Table App on Google Play
http://bit.ly/1hM8NCk

Socratica Patreon
http://bit.ly/29gJAyg

#dogwhistledogclickerdogtrainingclicker

 

 

 

SERIES PREMIERE – Study Tips – How to be a Great Student – Cornell Notes

This is the FIRST EPISODE of our new series on How to Be a Great Student! In this episode, we learn about the CORNELL METHOD.

 

This is a great method for taking notes in class (or from your textbook, or watching a video). There’s no way to remember every word of a lecture. But taking great lecture notes is the first step to getting good grades and being a great student.

The most important rule is don’t write down every word. Listen carefully, then write simplified and abbreviated phrases that capture the main ideas.

When you get home, RE-READ your notes! Proofread them, making corrections as needed before you forget. Check your notes with a friend! In the margin, write brief headers that will cue your memory of each section of your notes.

Finally, write a summary at the bottom of the page so you can quickly tell what this page of notes is all about.

Do you have a different method of taking notes? Let us know what are your favourite study tips in the comments!

KHH

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Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss this exciting new series from Socratica:
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

And please share with all your friends. They deserve to be great students, too!

SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

***********
Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

 

Related:

Are you curious about how we filmed these videos?  Check out our episode of Socratica Backstage about this video shoot:  Socratica Backstage: Overhead Mirrored Shots

Watch the trailer for our Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student series

 

Socratica Backstage: Behind the Scenes look at Mirrored Overhead Shots

We’re launching a new series on Socratica called “Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student.” An essential part of the videos in this series will be overhead B Roll and Insert Shots, to demonstrate things like how to take notes, how to use flashcards, etc.

overhead camera rig

Where do you put this thing when you’re not using it?

Many people use a large frame and suspend a camera overhead in order to do overhead shots. It’s one thing if you’re using a GoPro, but this isn’t something you really want to do with a larger camera with a nice lens. Other drawbacks include the amount of space an overhead frame takes up, and the fact that the camera is not easily accessible. You can’t zoom in during a shot unless you have a sophisticated remote control setup. You can’t easily move the camera from its fixed position, which limits the kind of filmmaking you can do (no pans, tilts, or slider shots).

Today on Socratica Backstage, you can watch how we mounted a large mirror in order to do better overhead shots. We immediately put it to use, filming B Roll and Insert shots for our first video in the Study Tips series, “How to Take Great Notes.”

 

We release our Backstage Videos early to our Patreon Supporters.  Thank you for being our super-fans!  Your support means so much to us.

If you are not yet a supporter of Socratica, please visit our Patreon Page and consider joining our team. You’ll be supporting our efforts to make more high-quality educational videos. Thank you!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

Don’t forget to Subscribe to Socratica!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

KHH

 

 

Our Fab Music Videos with Kat McDowell

You hear a lot of advice as a small YouTube channel.  Make more videos!  Tweet every day!  Shareability!  Longer videos!  Likes! Annotations!  Ask them to Subscribe!

But the big piece of advice we never took was: COLLABORATE. 

rising tide lifts all ships

A rising tide lifts all ships, the saying goes, and the idea is that if your channel can help out another, you should do it.  And don’t worry about contacting a channel with more subscribers than you – you could be bringing in a brand-new audience to the bigger channel.  Everyone wins.

It’s easier said than done, of course.  We’ve tried to pull of collaborations before, but something always got in the way:  schedule conflicts, too big of a difference in style, lack of funds.

But this year, with the help of the YouTube NextUp program, we finally did it.  We made two videos with our friend Kat McDowell – one for her channel, and one for ours!

This time, everything went right, the stars aligned, and the fates smiled on us.  We met Kat at an event at YouTube Space LA, and we recognized her from one of our favourite music videos – her cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She’s a singer-songwriter from Japan and New Zealand, who makes “positive surf-pop” that will bring a smile to your face.

We knew we wanted to collaborate with Kat, but it was just a matter of finding a time and place to make it happen. Amazingly, we were both selected to take part in the YouTube NextUp program!  This meant we were in the same place at the same time for an entire week, with beautiful filming studios and tons of equipment at our disposal.

SUCCESS!

We hope you enjoy the videos as much as we enjoyed making them.

Here’s the video about Musical Harmony we made for our channel:

 

And here’s the music video “Human” we made for Kat’s channel:

 

 

Remember to tell your friends about Socratica Studios, and encourage them to try our videos and subscribe!

KHH

Subscribe to Socratica Studios

Subscribe to Socratica Kids

Support Socratica on Patreon

Don’t forget to check out Kat McDowell’s channel  for more beautiful music! 

 

 

Related Post:

Game Changer: YouTube NextUp

Our YouTube NextUp Classmates