Sunday, January 25, 2015

DigLit Sunday: Keeping Small Group Notes in Evernote

As part of a continuous collaboration among educators interested in digital learningMargaret Simon hosts a weekly Digital Learning round-up on her blog:  DigiLit Sunday.  Stop by Reflections on the Teche (today's link-up) to read, discover, and link.  

Evernote is my go-to app for keeping artifacts that tell the story of learning.  I record conference notes, capture pictures, and save student work using this application.  The ability to create notebooks, build stacks, and tag notes helps to make the tool useful in, not just keeping information but also, sorting, sifting, and planning next steps.

However, I've remained a bit stumped about how to keep small group records.  I've tried a variety of plans, but this year I seem to have stumbled upon a plan that has worked better than previous attempts.  Working with small groups all day long created a need for a workable solution.  This year, I have created a notebook for each small group.

I then made a chart in a note I use as a template each week.

  • I add the focus up at the top for the group.
  • Then record student names in the blanks to the left.
  • I then add individual considerations to stay focused as we work together.
  • Then each day I add notes and observations in the appropriate box. 
At the beginning of each week, I copy the template, tag it appropriately, plan my focus, make notes about individual considerations, and consider books for the week.

During the week, I then record notes of our time together.  Take a running record on paper?  Snap a picture in the space saved for the child.  Want to have an audio of student reading?  Record the audio from a familiar or new book.  Want a picture of a response to reading?  Snap a picture.  Want to take to remember the books sent home without writing all the titles?  Snap a picture.

This note can easily be sent to classroom teachers at the beginning of the week for their planning consideration or at the end of the week so they can see our focus.  Because my notes can be a bit cryptic on the run, I usually send more of a synthesis of our work to classroom teachers.

I'm sure there may be a better way to keep track of small group information but, for now, I seem to have stumbled upon a viable solution.

You Might Like 
On the Blog:  More posts about Evernote.
Evernote Resource:  Capturing Learning Journeys


  1. Looks like you've gotten it figured out (for now... until something else comes along)!

  2. Problem-solving and making use of the tools you have. I am not that organized. I love all the ways you can capture student learning.

  3. I love all the ideas I've heard about student record-keeping on Evernote. I really need to get better about using it!! I'm with Margaret - I'm not that organized!!

  4. Cathy, I keep going back and forth between my Evernote and my notebook. It seems I can't keep track of either. LOL

  5. What a great plan, how do you make that grid? Has Evernote contacted you to be a spokesperson yet? Thanks for sharing and stretching my thinking.

  6. Thanks for this post, I have been peeking over your shoulder, asking a few questions, but this spells it out! I have been playing around with the grid and continue to search for my fit. I struggle because my groups are ever changing by the weeks.