Hacking your own boredom in the classroom
Engagement is directly linked to success in the classroom. But sometimes that can be a big ask. Especially when you’ve hit the 3-week-hump of back2school motivation, and Mrs’ Johnstone’s monotone rants about photosynthesis aren’t helping.
These types of lessons can be impossibly painful, but you can choose to have fun with it. Believe it or not, there’s ways to manage your boredom in class, and even use it to improve your learning. Here’s our best hack for doing just that.
Expand your Definition of Class Notes
If you’ve been at school a while, you know that this is typically what people imagine when they think of class notes:
And those are perfectly fine notes. The problem is, they’re not doing much for me by way of excitement. And dw, I hear you, notes aren’t meant to be interesting, they’re just notes!
The thing is, the less appealing notes are, the less likely you’re actually learning. In fact, you’re probably just creating an illusion of learning in your brain, which tricks you into thinking you’re retaining knowledge when really it’s going in one ear and straight out the other.
Plus, the more you actually like your notes, the more likely you are to go back to them when it comes to study for the exam. But how do you make your notes exciting?
You’ve probably had someone tell you that it’s bad to doodle when you are supposed to be listening to your teacher. Now for some people, it’s difficult to both listen and doodle, but for a large number of people, it can actually enhance your memory tenfold.
When you doodle your notes, you challenge yourself to think of visual ways to represent the information. Most likely, especially when you start, you will need to write the more sentence based form of your notes. But, instead of stopping there, you will add doodles to those sentences. For example:
Make it Your Own
Remember, your notes are ultimately for YOU. Experiment to find what doodle methods work for you.
In the example above, you see a combination of words, capitalization, stick figures, and simple shapes.
You do not need to be a world class artist to make this note taking style work for you. Make it as fancy or primitive as you want.
Maximizing Doodle Power
Here are some tips to help you maximize the benefits of this note taking method:
- Find a doodle method that’s fast – You need to grab those main points from the teacher efficiently. That probably means you don’t have time to create a really elaborate drawing
- Don’t force the doodle – If you can’t think of a drawing to pair with some text, that’s fine. You can have sentences amongst your doodles.
- Use Shapes to make things stand out – I like to use the cloud shape, arrow, and stars to emphasize elements of my notes
- Label images that aren’t obvious – Since I’m not the best artist, even my stick figure people can come out looking funny. When I realize that the image isn’t clearly recognizable, I just slap a label on it. See the image labeled baby above to get an idea.
- Highlight important portions for later study– You can choose to highlight them as you take the notes, or later on as a study method. But when it comes to the upcoming exam, you can save yourself precious study time if you have previously picked out the important portions of your in class notes.