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Writing Notes is an explicit note-taking strategy for secondary students to develop efficient note-taking skills.


This strategy focuses on teaching students how to turn complete sentences into brief annotations as well as turn annotations into complete sentences.

The teacher first teaches students how to use combinations of symbols and abbreviations to indicate complete ideas. For example: turning “George Washington, the 1st president of the United States, set the precedent for two-term presidencies by voluntarily stepping down after his second term.” into “GW → 1st US pres → step down after 2 terms”. To scaffold the process, the teacher may want to provide a key for the use of symbols.

By establishing efficient note-taking skills, the teacher helps students capture and process more information.

Additionally, the teacher instructs students periodically to turn notes on a given topic into a complete sentence either for retrieval practice or to share learning with others.


View an example activity from The Writing Revolution here.

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