Skip to main content

Getting things ready for students in your OneNote

So far we've created a Class Notebook *link* and made the first page our own *link*.  Now we're going to provide some content for the students.

The _Content Library is where all YOUR stuff goes; it's the Teacher space.  We used to have to photocopy material we wanted to give to students.  And then, for students who weren't present or who lost theirs, we used to have binders at the front of the room, file folders or those little plastic boxes to hold extras.  Now, we just put one copy in the Content Library and send it out to the Students -- if they destroy their copy, or just want another copy to work on, they can always grab another copy from the Content Library (since they can't change anything in the Content Library, when they pull a sheet out, they're only grabbing a copy).

So... in your _Content Library, clear out all the material that Microsoft has put in and create your first tab.  Right-click the "Getting Started" tab and choose Delete and then click on the PLUS sign and add your first section.  I called mine "Course Info" -- I'll put my course information sheet, contact information , office hours, textbook, etc. in there.

Now, I already wrote my Course Information sheet in Word (our school provides us with a template to fill in).  I am NOT going to copy & paste it into OneNote.  Instead, I'm going to use the "Insert Printout" to get an exact copy of what's in Word, as if I handed them it on paper.

So, go to the INSERT ribbon and choose FILE PRINTOUT (that would be the "1") ... you'll get a pop-up window asking you to find the file.  Once you select the file and click INSERT, it'll take a few seconds and then (2) the page will be renamed with the filename and (3) a copy of the actual file will be embedded in the page (so if you or the student double-clicked on the Word icon, it would open it up in Word) and (4) a printout of all the pages in the file will appear.  Since OneNote pages go on forever, regardless of how long the document is, you'll just get page after page (there is an option in Settings to put actual pages on different OneNote pages but that's seldom what you want).  You can add comments to the printout by using your pen (5), highlighting (6) or typing (7).  Since this is a printout, you can't change what's actually on the "page" -- which can be a good thing if this is a fill-in for students!

For the record, Insert Printout is the best way to use material you already have in Word, PowerPoint, PDF or other formats.  It gives the students an exact representation of what they would have received on paper.  Of course, when you have more time, you can re-create it in the free space of OneNote but remember, use your time wisely -- it's likely more effective to spend time giving them feedback than worrying about what things look like.

Now, you can go ahead and add more pages to this section, as many as you'd like in fact.  We've found it good practice to not add more pages than fit on a regular computer screen (so maybe 20-25 pages).  You can organize your pages into sub-pages (right-click the name of the page on the far right and choose "Make Subpage") but again, if you get too many, it isn't helpful.

Here's an example below... the teacher's first section "Course Foundations" is all about the course, she's printed out the Course Information sheet and then added pages & sub-pages to give other important course tidbits.  Her next section is the "Diagnostic" they start the course with, then the next tab is the first book they read, "The Things They Carried", and so on.

So, you can break your content up into logical sections.  How you do that is up to you, based on your course.  I thought I'd provide a few images from the top of our teachers' OneNotes after they're done a complete year showing all the tabs (sections) that they've used.  Think of these as the Hilroy binder separators that we used to use when we had paper.  These are high school courses but do notice the variety of approaches.

This first one is mine.  Now, I'm a mathematics teacher, so I tend to build my course linearly, starting with Unit 0 and working slowly to the Exam.
 This next one is French -- it's one of the few that work thematically, so they build across Ressources, Vocabulaire and Lecons on any given day rather than building on one unit and then moving to the next.

The next few are from English, Social Science and Chemistry courses -- they seem to work like Math in that they work on a piece of writing and then move on to the next.

This last one is from Music.  Like French, it is built across several tabs at a time and on any given day, students may be working in different sections.

So far we've done:
Creating your first OneNote Class Notebook
The first page of your Class Notebook
Putting content in your Class Notebook (this post)
Giving content to students
Distributing content in your Class Notebook (the video)
Facilitating Feedback in OneNote (Review Student Work)
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Teacher Professional Development and Microsoft OneNote

During the first three weeks of July, I have the amazing opportunity to work at the Park City Mathematics Institute.  It is, without exaggeration, the best professional development opportunity for teachers of mathematics.  Participants spend three weeks thinking deeply about mathematics and mathematics education.

There are three main aspects of PCMI:

learning mathematicsreflection on practice (RoP)becoming a resource to others.I'm part of the team for RoP and in charge of the third aspect, in which participants consider a gap in professional development back at their home districts and work in small groups to help fill that hole by developing a rich PD seminar on that topic.

It is not easy to develop professional development.  Teachers who haven't written PD have to patiently learn how to write (essentially) lesson plans for someone else.

This year, I used Microsoft OneNote to facilitate the process.  We have a central OneNote Notebook through which I lay out the daily schedule…

OneNotes upon OneNotes...

We're just prepping for the start of the school year (we don't start teaching until the 12th) and I just thought I'd run through how enmeshed Microsoft OneNote is to our school.

1) Class OneNotes -- this is where it all started five years ago, so we have over 2500 Class Notebooks in our archive.  Each year, we run a script against our timetable and a Class Notebook is created for every class, with a Teacher Content Library section group (including a private planning space), a Group Collaboration Space section group (with a wide-open collaborative space along with the opportunity to add additional small-group spaces at the teacher's whim), and a section group for each student (with appropriate student assignment dropbox, private teacher marking space and a returned section which the student can't edit for marked work.  This is all spelt out here here and here.

But then there are all the other places we use OneNote that I thought we should mention.

2) Department OneN…

Five reasons to learn Math with OneNote

So, Alice Keeler - @alicekeeler- who is an amazing blogger and an incredible resource for those using Google products, posted 60 Ways Math Teachers can use Google Classroom last April.  It came across my desk the other day and, since school hadn't started yet, I thought it might be a good reflection for me on how one could do similar tasks with OneNote Class Notebook.

I went through the list and checked that I could accomplish them all with OneNote and re-wrote her post with those modifications ... but it was looking a little "plagiarism-y" so, just to check, I emailed Alice to see if she was okay with it.  She was not, but encouraged me to do my own brainstorming.
So... Math Teachers & OneNote (including OneNote Class Notebook).  My top five... 
1) The Under-valued value of scribbles & notation
If you really want to be "paperless" (and that should never be a goal - you want to be digital so that content is no-cost) in a mathematics classroom, it's n…