Note-Taking Assistance

Students who have poor writing skills, hearing impairments or visual impairments may need assistance taking study notes in class.

  • Provide a skeleton outline (advance organizer) that includes main ideas. Ask students to complete the supporting details.
  • Ask a reliable note-taker to write on two-part NCR paper while the special needs student takes notes on his/her own paper. A copy of the reliable notes can be given to the special needs student to supplement his notes.
  • Allow time at the end of the class for students to compare notes with classmates.
  • Use a handout or an overhead transparency to show a model set of notes before note taking is completed.
  • Have students skilled in note taking sit near the special needs student. Encourage note sharing.
  • Allow time at the end of the class for note reviewing:
    • Teacher directed: Provide drill in finding subheadings to determine if students noted all main ideas. Show completed notes on the overhead.
    • Student directed: Allow students time to correct notes, review concepts and/or read another student's notes to check for note completion.
  • Assist the special needs student by highlighting important sections of class notes.
  • Have the student take notes from the highlighted text to improve note taking skills and comprehension of the material.
  • Provide a partially completed outline and emphasize topics to be filled in while lecturing and using an overhead projector or other visual aids.
  • Reinforce the student and student assistant for cooperatively completing note-taking tasks.



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