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The Record/Edit/Synthesize/Think (REST) note-taking strategy requires students to integrate learning from readings, lectures, and class discussions. Using a single notebook, students combine notes taken during all learning activities, editing overlapping materials, eliminating irrelevant ideas, and synthesizing information from multiple sources into a single narrative.

The resulting synthesis of information is an ideal summary for test preparation. Long-term retention of information results from the REST discipline. Both the careful editing of the various collections of notes and the review of the combined information required by the synthesis help move information from short- to long-term memory.

Steps to Record/Edit/Synthesize/Think (REST):

  1. Have each student obtain a spiral notebook for REST note taking.

  2. Set aside time at the end of each class for a week or two for students to edit and consolidate the notes thay have taken during reading, lectures, and class discussions. Students write the synthesized notes in the REST notebook.

  3. Have students share their notebooks in small groups. Encourage students to share note-taking and editing strategies they have found helpful.

  4. Model the use of the REST notebook as a test preparation tool.

Learn More:

  • Lenski, Susan D., Wham, Mary Ann, & Johns, Jerry L. (1999). Reading and learning strategies for middle and high school students. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Morgan, R.F., Meeks, J.W., Schollaert, A. & Paul, J. (1986). Critical reading/thinking skills for the college student. Dubuque,IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Synthesizing


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