How Do I Make My Revision Notes for Studying?

It’s like 3:00 AM and I just got this idea now (Wow, really?)

I always get asked on how do I make my notes and how I personally organize them and stuff (’cause I’m that great, hehe).

Please be advised that this my own reference on how I study and make notes but it's different for everyone so don't just think that because I get straight A's in school it means that my method works for everyone, in fact I went though many different learning methods to find my perfect fit that works for every class that I take. 

Take Rough Notes from Lecture

The first step of the learning cycle is introduction which is where you start questioning the topic and try building observations and knowledge from it. From my past experiences, lectures don’t give you the full information rather a “snapshot” or “feel” of the material. So, I always try to get out a tonne of information and material from that first lecture for the topic and asking a lot of questions from my professor about the lesson, some clarifications, and what other topics I should go into and just basically following the curriculum.

Also, if you have the course syllabus or outline then you can also use that as a guide.

Revise Notes By Looking at a Textbook or Watching Tutorials

Like I said before (I sound so bossy…), the lecture is just a a preview of what you learned, and you should try to fill in the gaps by completing the learning cycle which is the second and third third step, discovery and extension

What I usually do is re-read my “draft” notes and see what I need to know and it also doesn’t hurt to look at your syllabus of the topic or even the curriculum study guide to see what you need and don’t need (make sure you just write notes only on what you need to learn for that class, too much or excess information is not needed). I take both general courses at school at the same time IB courses, so I have a bunch of textbooks that I use.

After looking at what my objectives are for the topic of study I start reading. Now, please don’t read passively, that is reading like a zombie whose eyes just goes from left and right. This is a common mistake, if you just read and take notes, you’re basically just copying the same exact text from the book which kind of beats the purpose of note taking. Instead, I do what is called the information funnel method (IFM).

  1. Preview the text by skimming it to get the feel of what the topics are ahead.
  2. Read each paragraph then summarize them into your own words so that you actually learn the material. Then write them in the note taking section of the cornell note taking system.
  3. After writing notes for a paragraph or section, on the cue section (usually the left side of the note taking column, write review questions or key words to help without memorizing information.

Just some more additional points:

  1. Don’t review material that you already know
  2. If you see the same word over and over again, try to abbreviate it.
  3. Remember to check with what you need to know on your syllabus or guide, often textbooks go off course and tries to relate it to other material that you don’t need.

Apply What You’ve Learned

The fourth and last step in the learning cycle is application where you actually apply what you learned to see if you really know the subject well. So, I usually get straight into the worksheets that I was given by my professor then continue with the work in the textbook exercises.

If you still can’t understand the work that you’re doing, then go back to your notes and look through the worked out examples to see where you need pin-pointing. If you still need clarification, on a separate piece of paper or stick note, mark it down so you can go over it with your professor or classmate.

Example Paper

This one example is from my physics class but I find that this method works with every class that I’ve taken.

So these this is my rough notes during the lecture, as you can see it’s note very tidy which makes it impossible to review from.

Here, I started going through my IB Higher Level Physics textbook and started writing down what my curriculum needs me to learn which is written in lime green. Then underneath that are the start of my notes which are more detailed than what I learned from the lecture.
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Now on the left side, I stared review questions to help me review afterwards before applying what I learned.

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Now here, I just printed off some of the worksheets that my professor wanted us to complete. By then you already know the material so it’s easier.

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I hope that this was helpful and I have more posts to add later on! Happy note taking and ciao!

Update

Wow, it’s already nearing the end of September and I almost forgot about you guys! I apologize if anyone felt that I was missing in action and I hope that you all can understand.

I’m pretty sure you guys were all wondering where I was or what happened while I was on the down low. Well, with school underway, trying to balance things out was a challenge for me therefore, I kind of had to prioritize the things that I needed to do and that also meant leaving my blog at the bottom. I know, sad isn’t it? But that doesn’t mean that I totally forgot about it and that’s why I’m giving out this message that even though that I’m at school, my blog will still be an integral part of my life but before that could happen, I have to live life first. With that said, lets talk about what was going on for the last 2 weeks since school started.

As most of you guys know, I started my junior year of high school (grade 11) at Maples Collegiate. I feel so old when I think about myself being at least 2 years away from graduation! Due to that reason, I signed up for a lot of extracurricular activities, which is a reason why I haven’t been posting a lot. I’m beginning to think that joining more school clubs and just being more involved is a great way to enhance my high school life and look great when I apply to university next year! Which is a huge surprise to me mainly because I never expected to actually join anything at school.

Anyways, I re-joined the Asian Heritage Club, a club that supports the unique cultures of all ethnic and Asian backgrounds. The main reason why I re-joined it was because I wanted to show colleges/universities and even potential job offerings that I’m culturally aware and that I support the pride of my Asian heritage (I’m bicultural by the way). I then decided to join student council but then I realized that the group won’t for me due to the club looking like they weren’t necessarily involved or that their political values on the student body of Maples was disgusting. So yes, I dropped that club but, I did join the Peer Tutoring Club which is an awesome club that lets me earn my hours by doing something that I’m excellent at. Tutoring and helping. I’m just so excited to get this underway! I am planning to join an environment club which is in the process of being created and I’m also planning on joining another club that is involved with philanthropy for the less unfortunate. With all of this going on, there will be no excuse of saying “I did nothing” when my mom asks me how my day went.

Aside from this, I am now a licensed driver! Yeah, that’s right! I finally passed my road test and now I’m able to drive around independently as long as I remain for the next few months without an excessive amount of alcohol in my blood! Don’t worry I don’t drink so that won’t be a problem for me. Anyways, it feels so surreal that as if it were just yesterday that I was just a kid dreaming about driving and now as a teenager transitioning into a young adult I’m basically almost done my transformation! I can’t believe how fast life went for me and I hope that it slows down (like the new 30 km/h speeding requirement at every school zone)!

Another thing that I’m very shocked and happy to say is that I think I might be falling in love now. Anyways, I took part in a class where I met this really cute girl and well looks like in the movie Bambi, I was “twitterpated” and now I’m actually happy about going to health class! It happened way too soon and I can’t wait to spend more time with her. If I could just get my bravado going.

Anyway guys I hope that you enjoyed hearing from me again and stay tuned for the next blog post! Bye (for now)!

The Start of a New School Year

A brand new year means brand new goals. Don’t let yourself be a statistic for school dropouts, be on the other side of the analytical gap.

 

It’s that time of the year again for most of us and high school comes in no different format. Just two months in the process of summer vacation, my school Maples Collegiate (sometimes called Maples Collegiate Institute) has went through a variety of major transformations! I can’t help but think of how fast the changes has taken place, but that’s why I’m going to ‘show and tell’ the new initiatives of my beloved school Maples Collegiate.

 

The Judy Silver Student Commons

Since the last time I saw the construction site, I can see that the process was we’ll worth the wait. The commons is expected to open near the end of October and the start of November, and is told to hold a capacity of at least 800 students! This is truly a great and useful new addition to the school and it also gives a more modern look that I, and other students, look forward to when we step on school grounds.

Here is a comparison of the construction site from last June and the most recent photo taken on September. If you want to see a more time-lapse conception of the commons click here.

 

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Stunning isn’t it? That’s what I thought when I first took my steps through the front. I was thinking to myself “Wow! Our school is starting to look like a million bucks (It technically is a million bucks). I’m looking forward to actually eat here since that the cafeteria is moving to this new location, and to say goodbye to the cold floors that my friends and I eat on (but the floors aren’t that bad as well). I hope that the deadlines doesn’t get pushed so that everyone can enjoy the new grand structure and make new memories as being the 2nd largest school in Manitoba.

The outside may look awesome but the inside will most definitely look even more stunning! Will the addition of an 800 student capacity, the commons will also host the new cafe, a stage for student events, new tables, washrooms, and a mezzanine (balcony) that will connect the two school buildings on the 2nd floor.

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This may be the start of the new school year but the journey is long ahead of me and I’m going to treat it like a wonderful joyride.

Back to School Safety

It’s always best for every child regardless of age to be safe when they’re at school. Whatever the cost may be.

To all parents out there, it must be tough (or easy in a challenging way; whatever comes to mind) when you have to get up early to make breakfast, pack their lunch, get their stuff together, making sure that they’re brushing their teeth, etc. All the while, trying to beat the clock till the school bell rings and dings. Yeah, I bet that this must be an excruciating routine to do everyday but, in the end you’re happy that they’re back to school making their future’s brighter than the sun. Although, after dropping them off or waving goodbye at the school bus stop, do you ever think if it’s final? That maybe you may never see them ever again and that mad circus morning routine was your last moment together? I know that must be a nightmare but, it does happen to people and that it’s your job as the parent to lay some rules or remind them of the common mistakes of back to school danger.
Let's flashback to the good, the bad and the ugly
Last year at the beginning of my sophomore year, a teenage girl in Wrinkler, Manitoba was fatally hit by a speeding vehicle after school near the school grounds of Northlands Parkway Collegiate. If you want to read more about this click here.
After her death, government officials legalized that speed limits must be close to 30 k/h or lower when near the opening and closing time of all schools or academic institutions.
Now what can we learn from this? I know that it sounds rather cliche but, remember that old saying by your folks? The one that goes like this, “always look both ways before crossing the street dear.” I know that it must be annoying to constantly say that to your kids but, at least they’re getting the message! So when the time does come (which is almost everyday for many students who walk to school) they’re always prepared to take safety precautions when crossing the street. And on the side note, teach them the rules of the crosswalk, you know the ones with the patrols, lights, cars, etc. Just to get a refresher. You can never be too safe.
Now focusing on the other side of the pedestrian corridor are the new novice drivers of the road (oh my!). I recently got my driver’s licence and even though that I’m now a young man cursing the road, I still have the responsibility like all other drivers. So maybe try to have an open comment conversation with your teenage daughter or son about your expectations regarding the safety of themselves, their passengers, and other people across the road. Remember to keep in mind the even though they may have passed the test, they’re still young and when you’re young you can still do some idiotic stuff. Just remind them of the consequences of what the role of a good driver is.
Now the final note, don’t do the whole “talk but no walk” act because as the parent you are the role model for your kids, and that their decisions can be influenced by you. Remember this “Children see and children do, so please parents don’t be stupid fool.” Keep it, lock it, and stick it to your pocket, and now you’re done.
Other common precautions to know
  1.  Stranger Danger: “If mom and dad don’t know, don’t go.” These very words were taught to me by a policeman when I was just in first grade. And I still somehow stuck to it even now. I would recommend to show your little youngsters some easy to watch resources concerning this issue. I’ve here one of my top choices to handling this safety pre-caution.
  2. Cyber Safety: Let’s face it, the role is different now compared to a few decades ago. Smartphones, tablet and laptops oh my! Yes, in this generation social media and technology is the most strongest trend for most teens and tweens. I would like to take some time to re-call the suicidal incident of Amanda Todd due to constant cyber-bulling. If you want to know more about this issue click here, if not then continue reading. Due to the convenience of having a mobile device with you, a perpetrator’s harmful intentions will also be in the back of your pocket so, please teach your teens to be techno wise, so in the long run they’re going to handle the situation or even avoid it with ease.
  3. Insurance: You can never be too careful so making sure that your child has insurance for the unexpected is beneficial! If your school offers this service sign up for it! It may save your young one’s life in a give or take moment. There may be schools where this may not be covered so it’s always best to ask questions directly to whom the issue is concerned.
Have a great school year
With safety first as a priority, your child can now enjoy their months of endless learning and fun with care when you have safety as a priority. Just remember, if things do start to get out of hand there are emergency numbers and groups that are willing to help. Have a great school year and don’t forget. Be safe.

 

 

 

 

 

Vote for Education not War: A New Series to Me & You

“A new upcoming series that will impact every everyone who goes to school.”

See that quote up there? That’s what I said after I was on the down low while coming up with ideas that will amplify my blogging skills to the max! Since the past year or so, I kept on watching news article after news article about how the state of education of everyone around the world is a complete anarchy! And I for one kept on saying things like “Oh dear! I can’t believe that’s happening!” or “I hope that would be resolved sooner or later and that people change.” 

What did I come up with?

Since then, I now rewind myself to those outrageous things that I said because, I sounded like a complete dork who was so passionate about education yet, I didn’t do anything to change that. That’s right! I was one of those kids who reacted but didn’t take action until now. And that’s how Vote for Education not War was born.

While I was trying to find something that will drive my activist project, I came up with the idea that now that school is coming faster at the speed of light, it should be a project that affects the younger generation and that I should start using my skills as both a blogger and an activist to make change that will bring attention to those who were once in that state of “reacted but didn’t take action” to react and take action.

 

How is this going to work?

Well I took the initiative to blog/re-blog articles, posts, videos, news articles, and other mediums that will show you how the world would be like if you took the initiative. I was thinking about taking you along my high school journey as a Junior (Grade 11) and walk you along as I get inspiration from the teachers, events and anything in-between to help me.

I was also trying to come up with a systematic plan to help students of all colours and socio-economic backgrounds by blogging about education on the minority groups.  In addition to this, I wanted to blog about how education is affecting genders, particularly on girls, in different countries. These things are going to be a great hit off on this new series on my blog but they’re no the only ones, I’m pretty sure that along the way I’m going to come up with tons and tons of stuff to reveal.

This is actually a great way for everyone to collaborate, but in order for this to happen I need your help. And here’s how you can help. By involving yourself to be the change of education! You know what they say, when everyone joins hands together in one direction, that direction will move everywhere.

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How did all of this started?

On August 24th, I went to Walmart for back to school shopping. As I scurried around while dodging the crowds of youngsters, overbearing parents and towering gorillas, I came to the idea of how everyone is pitching in for his or her kid to get new school supplies to aid them for school, and with school comes opportunities and with opportunities comes a bright well-lit future. So I thought about creating a new hobby, journal writing & activism. I always knew that I was an activist but, I never actually recorded my own feelings down. I didn’t write a journal entry for two years and now I’m beginning to think that I should go back to that. And I was right.

So I picked up a new a journal and labeled it similar to the tagline of my blog: Rant of an AP Student: A boy. A blog. And a Laptop. but instead I label it as: A boy. A journal. And a pen. 

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Now just like my blog, it has the same format. If you analyze my blog’s tagline you first see “A boy.” which represents the person for being a person means that you’re a living person who has the power to generate change. Second you see “A journal.” which is centred meaning that it’s the main thing to be discussed. And lastly, “And a pen.” which shows the special classic tool that will never go away in order to produce my ideas of change.

So after personalizing my journal with that tagline, I then decided to use it as a special tool to help me get through the ten (10) months of grade 11 by writing down my everyday experiences while focusing on the part of connecting it to my blog. So it’s like a two for one deal, I get to record my experiences involving my junior year in high school, while connecting it to my activism project for education for I know that education is important.

So if you haven’t really guessed it this project is going to go on for only about ten moths because that’s how long the school year is from where I live. Although, when it comes to my activism work, I like to divide it into seasons: The summer season and the school season. So after the school season is over, I’ll switch over to the summer season but I’ll gladly come back to the same project if I must.



What can I do to help or contribute?

Like I said before, instead of reacting and not taking action, try to do the opposite by reacting then taking action to spread the word and everyone will jump in! It’s like the domino affect when one falls the others will fall in a systematic way as well. You can easily do this by re-blogging my posts or sharing it on social media websites to get everyone’s attention on the issue so that change can happen. So don’t be shy, spread the word to your friends, family and everyone else in between so that we the people can change education for the greater good!

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” ~Ghandi

New Download of the Week!

A NEW APP THAT CHANGES DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

It all started when I was browsing the web for a word processor that can help give me a more communicative approach to the things I work on with my classmates who are off on their summer vacation around the world but are still inclined to get things accomplished with the help of others.

As I kept on clicking and browsing through the endless timeline of search results I came across a familiar looking site called Folia. Turns out, Folia is made and managed by the same company who created the iAnnotate app, which is a great companion when in need to be “interactive” with your work! This company, which is co-founded by two amazing guys, Ravi (CEO) and Jim (CTO), is called Branchfire and is the creator of their new innovation that I will review today.

What is Folia?

Folia, is an innovative tool that you can use to write documents with “connections”. Think of it as connecting the dots on a picture puzzle. Once you connected the dots on the puzzle, you get the broader picture and that is what Folia has intended to do. To give your word document more than just words, but to connect them to the world by extending those lines to the dots of communication.

They’re almost like links but, links are just too straight forward projections. Meaning, links are just a one straight road and that there’s no going back. In that case, Folia redefined  links to go pass that one direction feel and to create a back track direction that lets you and your partners interact on the document in a back and forth connective state.

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This is the new and improved way of communication. For links & hyperlinks are great but connections are better and highly valued for the user is in control of everything.

Revolutionary. Productive. Connections.

 

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Above, you’ll see the most important icon off all, the connect button. Only usable on the “folias” that you created, is the button that lets you add markups, comments, highlights, strikeouts, and frames. This icon severs as a metaphor in connections for Folia: “The Connection Icon resembles a flag staked in the ground, yet implies forward momentum and depth.” With this message said, I’m pretty stoked that this launched and that I’m indeed excited for the future of Folia in terms of innovation and communication

Want some more inspiration? Click on this link to get “connected” to the video that led me to want to download this app.

Folia: Communicate the way you think.