Note Taking with Triangles and Squares Protocol

Accountable Talk – Pass the Football


Terms defined:

Triangle         means a question


Square          means an answer


Discussion – talking on task, accountable talk


Accountable talk – this is co-operative learning – peer to peer education, during this time you discuss the topic, share opinions and information, take notes or add to your notes from the conversation.


Shoulder Buddies – this is two partners of a group of four – the first level of conversation, shoulder buddies means just that – not across, unless specifically told to. Shoulder buddies converse on task and take notes during their share.


Table buddies or four group – this is two groups of shoulder buddies, usually group across from each other at a table


Whole Group – this is conversation with the whole class, usually after the four group has shared and note taken.


Wrap up – this signifies near the end of the period, YOU SHOULD NOT BE PACKING, in fact your should write “Wrap Up” as a heading in the center of your page and be prepared to share, conclude and reflect what was accomplished during the lesson. Usually this will be to helping to asses you have accomplished the lesson objective.





When ever Dr. Drantch says “triangle”           you write a triangle on you left margin

            The triangle means a question? Is coming so be prepared for an important question and some discussion. Be alert for the square          which means the answer to the triangle.


When ever Dr. Drantch says “Square”         – you have the answer to the question and notes to be taken.


On the word “triangle” – pencils up, draw the triangle, write the question and when finished writing be on the alert and prepared to be called on to answer or participate.


Discussion Protocol: Pass the Football

Ok, so triangle has been called, you’ve drawn the triangle           – a question is posed to the group. What’s next?


Dr. Drantch calls on someone to get the ball rolling.

1.     that someone may:

a.      be asked to repeat the question or

b.     be told to call on someone to repeat the question or

c.      be asked to answer the question

Ok the question has been repeated – the class is sure of the question and everyone is prepared for the next step which is usually:   Discussion


Discussion: Runs like this.

Note: it is your responsibility as the note taker and or speaker to:

A.    pay attention to the audience

a.      they may need your answer or question repeated

                                                              i.     when repeating an answer – chunk it- for ease of note taking


1. A question is posed to the class.

2. Drantch calls for shoulder buddy conversation – 30 sec to 2 minutes depending

After the timer rings

3. Drantch calls for small group conversation – another 30 sec to 2 minutes  depending

After timer rings

4. Drantch calls for whole group open conversation

During & After whole group conversation

Notes are written, copied or pointed out – these are the final Square         to the posed question


The protocol can run any combination of ways but is generally as outlined above.