In a previous post I mentioned the importance of teaching note-taking skills. I highlighted Power Point as a great way to help students learn how to better take notes. Another way to do this is with guided notes. Many curriculums have these resources, so if you have access to them, I highly suggest you use them. They work for any subject area. If you’ve never used guided notes before, here is how they work:
You make your own document of the lecture in outline format, being sure to include all the information you would want students to write down as they take notes. Then, you remove key ideas and details and leave them for students to fill in as you go through the lesson. As your students become more proficient, you give them more and more blanks to fill in. This strategy works well in any subject area. If your curriculum doesn’t have guided notes as a resource, creating them does take a bit of up-front work, but it will pay off when your students’ note taking skills improve and, subsequently, their overall performance.
It also makes for an easy check grade, because you just have to look at what was filled in the blanks. It keeps students accountable for being on task in class.
You can download an example of guided notes here:
Study skills guided notes