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Formalized Note Taking (Non-Visual)


Study Skills & Tools Middle/High School Strategy


Auditory Processing Listening Comprehension Verbal Reasoning Verbal Memory Abstract Reasoning Processing Speed Visual Memory Spatial Perception

Formalized Note Taking (Non-Visual)

If your student cannot easily study from their notes because they are messy, disorganized or don't highlight the key ideas

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will use a structured note taking strategy that will help them stay organized, hear the key points, and more easily remember when it's time to study.
  2. Instruction and Practice: Teach various examples of structured note taking approaches and help students find what works best. (Some examples on next slide.) Students should anticipate needing to practice and refine their note taking skills over time, and that their approach might vary from class to class. Most importantly, students need reminders to summarize as they take notes, rather than write down every word a teacher says.
  3. Mindprint Resource: A printable VIP guide will help students learn to listen for key words so they catch the most important information when taking notes.

Note Taking Approaches

  1. Outline: An outline or visual hierarchy with bullet points or number/letter lists for main topics, sub-topics, etc. is common. This approach is best if you tend to think in a very ordered or sequential way.
  2. The Cornell Note Taking System: A popular approach, dividing up the page in segments to highlight key points and organize thoughts. It takes time to learn, but it provides a lot of structure for students who have difficulty with focus or organization.
  3. Visual Note Taking: A great option for students who think and/or remember more easily in pictures over words.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Notes taken in an organized fashion can help students more easily remember what they heard, and makes studying much more efficient. Most importantly, allow your student to find the approach that works best and meets the goal of having legible notes that are easy to review later. As you consider these approaches, keep in mind there is plenty of evidence that taking notes by hand aids in retention, but some strategies may be easier to implement with a word processor.