Maximize your Teaching with Guided Notes

Middle School is a time of transition for many students. As part of this transition, we as teachers expect them to start taking on more responsibility. Part of the problem, however, is that students change at different times and not all when we want them to.

My first year of teaching my idea was that every student would have a notebook and they would just listen to me and take down the notes from the board. My idea was to review their notebooks every so often to make sure they were getting down the notes. After reviewing their notebooks I saw that some students had great and fantastic notes just as I had wanted. However, others notebooks were empty, others had drawings, others had notes to friends, others were trying to take notes but they were very incomplete. I quickly learned that my idea was not very effective. Not because they didn't want to, but because they did not have the skills to do so. I didn't want to completely give up on my efforts to help them learn this life skill. However, I realized that having them take all the notes was not going to be effective and so I needed to find a balance between them taking notes and also them getting all the information.

 I decided to incorporate writing at the beginning of class through openers. Everyday I would have an opener on the board and they would have to write at least 3 complete sentences.  I felt like I was supporting language arts in my classroom. What I started doing, was having guided notes for them. I found some online that were good enough. They were not exactly what I wanted, but they would work, as I knew I didn't have time to make them as thorough  as I wanted them. I found this to be a very effective method; they were paying attention so they could complete their notes but it was they weren't so many notes that they were getting behind or lost.

After I took a break from the classroom and started making curriculum, I tried to  think of materials that I wish I had but didn’t. Of course, guided notes were at the top of my list. I knew this was something that I wanted to make. But I kept putting it off because I knew it was going to be a lot of work to get them as thorough as I thought that they should be. But I finally dove into creating them and I am so happy with the final product.

If you are interested in some guided notes for your classroom I have got you covered!  Click on the grade you teach.

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Great post on the benefits of using guided notes in your middle school math classroom.  Great for any 7th grade or 8th grade teacher who is looking for teaching ideas for math. #makesenseofmath

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