Strategy: Two-column Notes

The two-column note system is designed for recording information learned in class and revising that information after class.

The Process

  1. Start with legal ruled note paper.
  2. Write on the front only.
  3. Date each page.
  4. Leave lots of blank space.
  5. Write your notes on the right hand side of the note paper.
  6. Be sure to include lots of examples of the math concept you are learning.
  7. Draw visuals to help you remember what you learned.
  8. The left hand side of the paper is for main ideas and other comments you have when you revise your notes. This is a good place to note strategies you find helpful when you review your notes.

Revising 2-column Notes

  1. Compare your notes with a partner, if possible.
  2. Pull out main ideas and write them in the left hand column of your note paper.
  3. Fill in any gaps in information.
  4. Discuss differences in your notes, come to an agreement, and make any needed changes.
  5. Highlight information that is most critical.
  6. Add a graphic to illustrate key ideas.
  7. Note any questions you have to bring up in class.


screen shot of two-column notes example
Example of 2-column notes [pdf]