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Give students guided notes (i.e., partially-completed notes that students complete) to help them stay engaged and learn from lectures or readings. It may be especially helpful to include vocabulary lists.

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  • Guided notes are partially-incomplete note-taking sheets that students can complete as they listen to a lecture or read a text.
  • You can look at these examples of guided notes or at Bruno's middle school Scratch curriculum to see numerous examples of guided note sheets and their associated lecture slides.
  • Guided notes can also be used for differentiation purposes. Provide guided notes—or different versions of the guided notes—only to those students who you believe need them or would benefit from them, while other students take notes freehand.
    • Guided notes can be especially helpful for students with disabilities and for English language learners.
  • Guided notes may seem insufficiently rigorous, but research suggests they can be very helpful for students, and even college students can benefit from the use of guided notes.
  • When designing guided notes, remember that they can also include space for students to stop and perform more open-ended tasks during a lecture.
  • Vocabulary lists may be useful for students who are afraid to ask about technical terms out of fear for appearing ignorant so that they are not at a disadvantage.