Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yep, I Still Love Evernote

It's not uncommon to stop by my blog to find me gushing about Evernote.  Yep, I still love Evernote.  In past years I've used Evernote for keeping conferring notes during workshops, to collect pieces of student learning, and to stay organized.  I've used it to take pictures, record audio, and keep notes.  With the help of tagging, I've used it to sort and organize for planning.  I've used it to show students the progress they've made or remind them of strong steps forward.  Additionally, it has always been perfect for sharing information with parents, colleagues, and support staff.

With a change in position this year, however, I've had to rethink how I use it.  That's what I think is the best thing about Evernote:  it's flexible.  You can use it in a way that works for you.  Here are some ways I'm using it this year:

Using Evernote Charts for Planning:  This year I decided to keep my plans for reading support in Evernote instead of Google Drive.  I didn't want to have to continually switch back and forth between applications during lessons.  Thankfully, after some playing, I managed to use the table icon to create a template for planning.  The top shows the general structure for our lessons.  Inside each box, I plan the new book, introduction, and teaching point.  As I plan I also include notes about word work, writing, and any familiar reading reminders I might need.  After planning, I add the names of students to the far left and then keep notes each day.  Reminders and notes for particular students are kept at the bottom.  Each week I duplicate the template and begin to plan.  

Plan Template

Using Checklists for Observations:  I created a general checklist of concepts of print and high frequency words to note observations during daily reading and writing using tables and checkboxes.  Though I don't keep this information with every student I support, I find it helpful in situations where students need more systematic instruction.  I can easily add notes and observations where helpful.  

Checklists for Literacy Observations 

Capturing Student Assessment Notes:  In past years, I created a new note each time I conferred with a student.  This year, because I am strictly focused on literacy, I am keeping one note for each student for assessment.  Student daily notes during groups are kept in the plan template.  There is a note for collecting student assessment information.  The image to each new assessment piece is placed on top so it is easy to scroll down to see older assessments and note progress over time.  Audio recordings, links to Google Forms, and other growth information are kept in one note.  

This is a snapshot of the top of an assessment note.  

Tracking Parent Communication:  Additionally I am keeping a note for parent communication for each child.  Each note is housed in a notebook organized by classrooms.  Each time I contact parents I'm keeping information here.  When I sent information via email it can easily be forwarded to Evernote.

Using Notebooks to Organize:  Using notebooks in Evernote can help to organize information.  In the past, I've had one notebook for each child.  This didn't seem an efficient way to work when I would be seeing mostly small groups.  For reading support, I've organized notebooks by classroom teacher.  This not only makes it easy to organize and locate information, but also helps when it is time to talk with teachers about the progress of students from their classroom.

I'm still playing to find a system that works best.  The variety of features available in Evernote help me to adapt information so it can be easily used in daily instruction.  

1 comment:

  1. You constantly amaze me, you are embracing your new role and I really appreciate you sharing your ideas with new thinking for EN! Way to go, Cathy!