Helping Students to Develop Note-taking Skills

How can we build in more note-taking across the content areas?
Submitted by Dr. Shelia Bobo - Former Principal , EBC- East New York H.S.

To encourage note-taking, dictate some information each day, e.g.,
definitions, quotations and snippets of information.
1. Engage students in a five-minute mini-lecture. The teacher lectures,
students take notes; the teacher elicits to see how much the students got
down. For HW, students write up their notes in the form of a summary or
use their notes to answer questions.
2. Encourage students to maintain organized notes by providing outlines
on the board. Captions for topics should be provided with student responses
organized underneath.
3. Read an article related to the topic for the day. Have students take notes;
the teacher elicits to see how much they got down. For homework, students
use their notes to write a summary or answer questions.
4. Give oral quizzes in which students listen to a question and write a
5. Create a handout of "Note-taking Tips for Students". A few suggested
tips are as follows:
Copy the information on the board.

Create your own symbols and abbreviations, e.g., re = concerning
ca = about, govt, sci, etc.

Watch your teacher's body movements. When he emphasizes a point,
does he hold up a hand or finger? Does he point? Does he step forward?

Listen for transitional words and phrases that signal important
information is to follow:
e. g.
In fact . .....
As I have said,
In other words,....
First... Next.... Secondly,.... Finally . .......
To sum up,.... In conclusion ......
On the contrary,....


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