Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Guided Notes

Last week, Jason C. shared some great resources for finding images along with design principles worth considering (find the post here). One item he discussed was the amount of text to include on a slide. His suggestion was “as little as possible”. When we think about this in the classroom, it may cause a little discomfort. After all, if we don’t have all the information on the slide how will they get it? I’m glad you asked! I recommend a strategy that has some evidence in the educational literature and allows you to use good slide design principles. 

What I’m referencing is guided notes. Guided notes are the pre-made handouts that you create for your learners with words omitted that are to be filled in during the lesson. This can be used during lecture, watching videos, and reading. There are two types of guided notes: short form and long form.

Short form guided notes are short one or two word blanks that are to be filled in the text. Below is an example of short form guided notes from one of our workshops.

short form guided notes


Long form guided notes are key words with larger space for the learner to write information. Notice below the difference in how the page is laid out.

Long form guided notes


Taking time to prepare these notes can be transformative for your learners. It removes the cognitive load of listening, remembering, writing, and repeat throughout the lesson. Using guided notes allows them to engage in the lesson more so than the mechanics of writing every thought down. Additionally, there are endless options in how guided notes can be modified for diverse learners. Give this strategy a try and let us know how it goes!

About Jason Gibson

Jason Gibson is a learning and behavioral consultant working with schools and treatment facilities across the US supporting children and adolescents with cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral issues. His focus is on practical implementation of research informed practices to increase outcomes for learners with and without disabilities. With degrees in psychology, social work, and education, Jason’s peer-reviewed research has been published in journals such as “Topics in Early Childhood Special Education”, “Closing the Gap”, and “Education and Treatment of Children with Developmental Disabilities”. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky writing his dissertation on the Efficacy of Online Professional Development to Increase Implementation of Stimulus Preference Assessments. In addition to his consulting work, Jason is the director of the BabbCenter and provides guidance to one of the leading counseling centers that operates from a faith-based perspective. Jason grew up in Titusville, FL and prior to moving to the Nashville area, made central Kentucky his home for 8 years.

3 Thoughts on “Guided Notes

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