Classroom Resources,Doodle Notes,TpT Products

Using Doodle Notes to Increase Engagement

Doodle NotesIt’s no secret that students learn in many different ways. No two students are alike so I am always looking for new ways for students to engage with the material and access different parts of their brains. And along came doodle notes.


Also known as “sketch notes”, doodle notes are a visually appealing and interactive way of taking notes that are simply a lot more fun than the Cornell style. Doodle notes are set up in a way that gives students visual aids to connect with the vocabulary of the task thereby increasing retention, as well as providing them with a kinesthetic way of taking down notes.


While lectures are boring and I stay away from them as much as possible, sometimes you just have to disseminate important information. Kids’ eyes start to glaze over, they sneak a peek at their phones under the desk, their eyes stare out the window. Sound familiar? With doodle notes, students are consistently engaged because as they are listening they can be coloring in their doodle notes. It gives them something interactive to do so they don’t check out, and it’s done wonders with my more fidgety students. It’s particularly useful for my ENL and IEP students.

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I am currently working on an Animal Farm unit with my seniors, and to introduce the idea of fables I decided to show an episode of “Winnie the Pooh”. Why you might ask? Well, it’s a common theory that each of the characters in the show represents a different mental disorder. Pooh clearly has an eating disorder, Tigger without a doubt has ADHD, and Christopher Robin might be schizophrenic hanging out in the Hundred Acre Wood with his stuffed animals all day.


As we watched the episode, my students had to diagnose each character with a mental disorder, provide evidence from the episode that supported their diagnosis, and finally determine a moral of the story. You can purchase the doodle notes I created for this activity HERE. It can be difficult sometimes for students to pick up on the characteristics that animal characters are supposed to exemplify in fables, so I knew this would be a fun and engaging way to drill home the concept. I have never had my students so engaged with a video in my classroom before, and as we have moved further into Animal Farm this activity has given them the tools needed to analyze the book as a fable.

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It’s so important for students to access both the right and left sides of their brain, and when they can be married in the same activity you will see your students progress in strides. I highly encourage you to take a stab at creating doodle notes for the next big concept you want students to learn. They’ll thank you afterward.


Analyzing the Fable Doodle Notes



Let’s Spill the Tea

Hello and welcome to Mr. C Spills the Tea! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Matthew and I am a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, New York. This is my third year teaching so I’m pretty new, but I have learned so much from my experiences the last few years. I love teaching and figured this might be a great time to start a blog to not only track my own progress as a teacher but to help others out there with tips and tricks I have learned from my day to day experiences.


In my short time as a teacher, I have taught 9th and 11th grades, and I am currently teaching 12th. Each grade comes with its challenges, but I’ve found 12th grade to be the most rewarding. With standardized tests out of the way and a certain level of maturity (well, for most!), I find myself able to push them towards college readiness with more engaging lessons without always having to teach to the test. More than anything, I love teaching them because they are actual human beings. They are able to have deep, intellectual conversations, and I always find myself learning new things from them.


Throughout my time as a teacher, I have been blessed with incredible mentors to learn and grow from. They have taught me so much, and it’s because of them I have been able to soar and develop my own practice. Although my school is far from being 1:1, I am Google Educator certified and have drastically changed my classroom with the incorporation of technology. As I continue to experiment with all technology has to offer, I will share it with you all in an effort to minimize stress and help you reclaim your weekends. I have also begun experimenting with Standards Based Grading so I will continue to keep you abreast of how that plays out. I am by no means an expert in any of this; I am on this journey of trial and error with you, and hopefully, we can learn from each other.


I hope to keep my blog updated regularly, but I am currently in grad school pursuing my Masters in Creative Writing so I have a lot on my plate. That being said, I am excited to begin this journey with you all and I will do my best to bring you the latest from my whirlwind life of teaching. Be sure to subscribe and give me a follow on Instagram for a look into my classroom!