Prevent Garbage In, Garbage Out: Take Notes
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Last week I wrote about Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine. Acknowledged as the father of the modern computer, Mr. Babbage lived from 1791–1879. I suggested that parents create a Making a Difference Engine, or MDE. I hope you have done so! Remember the acronym GIGO means “Garbage in, garbage out” or what goes into the machine determines the outcome. In this article I will suggest where to find the best input information for your child’s practice, aka MDE, and how to organize it.
Here are some note taking ideas:
- Use a dedicated notebook.
- Don’t trust yourself to remember anything.
- Actively listen to what is said. Not everything is important, but if you are distracted you may miss important information.
- Choose what is important to record. Record as much as is necessary for you to remember the important parts. Ask the teacher if you are unsure about what is important.
- Use abbreviations, make up your own to you can write faster.
- Listen to the teacher’s voice and watch any movements. The tone and pitch, intensity and gestures are clues to what’s important in the lesson.
- Organize your notes by piece, exercise, scale, etc.
- Record how specific problems were handled so you can repeat the process at home.
- Don’t merely write down the name of piece, and nothing else. Be specific.
- Write down what’s new to you and what is relevant.
- Pay particular attention to: definitions and new terms, exercises and why/where to do them, measures that need attention and how to approach them.
- Note any questions you have, or things you don’t understand. If you don’t get it at the lesson, you can’t help your child get it at home.
© 2010 Susan A. Sommerville
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