The Art of Note-Taking for Students with LD
Taking class notes is an art -- an art that many students with mild disabilities fail to master. Often these kids are unable to identify important information, write sufficiently fast to keep up with the lecture, or make sense out of notes afterward. These students' notes are often composed of scribbles, single words, and drawings that don't appear to relate to the content being covered.
Fortunately, note-taking is a skill that can be learned. The following technique has helped many students improve their note-taking skills.
Strategic note-taking helps kids organize information and link new with prior knowledge during lectures. The technique increases students' participation in the learning process, furthers their comprehension of the lecture, and improves their retention of important information.
Your child can learn the art of strategic note-taking. Here's how: Give your child "cued" note paper (paper with note-taking prompts on it) for him to use in class, and go over the following directions with him.
- Before each lecture begins, quickly identify and summarize your own knowledge of the topic. Use page one.
- As you listen to the lecture, cluster together three to seven main points with details as they are presented. (Clustering ideas together helps you remember information.) Use page two.
- At the bottom of each page, summarize lecture information (another aid to retaining the information presented). Use page two.
- Repeat the last two steps until the lecture is completed. Use page three (additional pages).
It takes time and practice to help kids with mild disabilities become good note-takers. Let your child's teacher know that you are trying this technique. Working together with the teacher is the best way to help your child. Here are some tips that will help the teacher help your child become a good note-taker.
Adapted from an article written for CEC Today by Mary Konya Weishaar and Joseph R. Boyle and brought to you by the Council for Exceptional Children.
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