Guided Notes

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As part of universal learning design, I give my students guided notes daily. None of my students are on grade level, and most of my students are at least two grade levels behind. Many of my students have ADHD or other special circumstances that make it hard for them to pay attention in class. Students have an easier time organizing their thoughts, paying attention, and knowing where precisely in the lesson we are when they are provided guided notes. My students keep their notes either inside their own binder or inside pronged folders I provided them at the beginning of the year, and they keep these binders or folders inside the classroom. This allows them to reference previous notes in the unit as we move forward.

The notes themselves include multiple ways of representing the material. For example in the notes included above, from left to right, we have students representing integers visually on a number line, analyzing someone else’s steps to solving a problem, and discovering the big picture of a new concept. This has been particularly helpful for my SPED students to access the material. Providing multiple representations is another important component of universal learning design. Since students keep their notes in notebooks that stay in class, I will often have them practice referring to previous material in order to access new material. I am also able to tweak Eureka to the needs of my students by customizing guided notes. I often include mini-lessons on foundational skills, vocabulary references, and appropriate scaffolds. Guided notes make the process of customizing lessons to the needs of my students seamless.

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