Notes are a critical component in any middle school math classroom. I want to take you inside five of my favorite style of notes. I hope this post will help you (a) learn to use the resources you already have from me, (b) show you ways you can use ANY similar type of resource in your classroom and (c) inspire you!
1) Guided Notes – As an interventionist and teacher of lower level classes, I found that guided notes were the most beneficial form of middle school math notes. Higher level learners can certainly find success with Cornell notes and other less structured forms of note-taking, but lower level learners are often more successful with more scaffolded notes. These notes often begin with vocabulary, then transition to process, guided practice and then independent practice. I have guided notes for 5th – 8th grade, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1. They are available in grade level bundles and as part of each grade level / course curriculum.
2) Bullet Notes – As much as I love and believe in guided notes, I also know that some students thrive on having more control over their note-taking and some teachers also prefer a more open-ended and creative method. Bullet notes allow students and teachers to bring creativity to taking notes by incorporating doodles, color and offering less structure than guided notes. They are available by grade level. Interested in learning more? I go even deeper into bullet notes in this blog post!
3) Fold and Flip Notes – Fold and flip notes are perfect for interactive notebook users and students who need more tactile learning. They can be used in stations (provide students with pre-filled notes and allow them to create their own foldable), as part of regular note-taking, as a homework assignment or partner practice. If you aren’t an interactive notebook style teacher, you can still have your students use this type of note-taking style by having each student keep a page protector in the notes section of their binder. This provides them with a safe and simple place for storing and accessing fold and flip notes.
4) Mini Flip Books – Mini Flip Books are another hands on way of taking notes. They require a bit more time, so they are more appropriate for 90 minute blocks, high level, quick learners or a math station or center. These books give students a compact way to take notes and prove to be simple, easy study guides. They also come in digital versions! Want more details? Head to this blog post!
5) Quick Reference Sheets – Not all note-taking requires actually taking notes. Quick Reference Sheets are pre-filled summary style notes that are incredibly effective when used as end of unit review, or to send home at the start of a unit to help parents understand what is coming up and to act as an at-home study guide for students.
Of course, there are other forms of note-taking available, but these are my favorite middle school math notes. I truly believe in the power they hold to transform your classroom and accelerate student learning and retention!
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