Examples of student notetaking

Examples of student notetaking

Notetaking can be difficulty for many young learners. It’s hard for them to multitask, both listen to the lecture, watch the board, track all the other things happening in class, while taking notes. Here are some examples of student notes from a wonderful teacher at a nearby school. She sent me these notes to show some of the ways her students note-take during lessons.


I appreciate the variations. There is no “right” way to take notes. Some kids are more visual, others use writing or charts.  It’s important that the children find a system that works for them. Many children with ADHD need note-taking helpers such as audio devices, handouts that prompt them when to fill in notes, etc.

Notes are generally most successful when the information can be presented in a hierarchical form – that is, title at the top [date as well] and then there is a clear order of importance with the notes.


for more information visit thebodyliterate.com

Description of bodyLITERATE EF Coaching/Academic Work:

The focus of the EF coaching is the academic work. I teach learners EF skills through helping students get their HW complete. For example, we’ll begin by identifying what upcoming projects/tests are the most challenging. We’ll then initiate a project together [outlining an essay, gathering math problems to study etc.]. Then, I’ll check-in during the week with the parents and kid on follow-through. etc. They build EF skills by directly applying them to their academics.

-Kai Kleinbard
more information: thebodyliterate.com

Play Lab Summer Camp 2017

Play Lab Summer Camp 2017 is here!

A play-based art camp for kids in Brooklyn, NY August, 2017

Play Lab Summer camp is open to anyone ages 5 – 100+! The camp will be five days from 9 a.m. to Noon and led by art educator and play enthusiast, Priscilla Shen. During each session, we will play, make art, share, reflect, and experiment with ideas and materials. Learning will be self-propelled, self-motivated, and help us become more engaged in the creative process. We will discover the expressive and meaningful qualities of simple materials. We will be resourceful, and most importantly we will recycle. The final workshop will conclude with an exhibit and share of our work at the bodyLITERATE Studio.

LOCATION: the bodyLITERATE Studio (320 Dean Street, Brooklyn). Some days we may also journey around the neighborhood making or finding art.

PARTICIPANTS limited to 8. Open to ages 5 – 100+

TIME: August 7 – 11. All sessions: 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FEE (includes materials): $250 until July 18th (after July 18th $275)

REGISTER TODAY: by emailing info@thebodyliterate.com

RESEARCH NOTES: creating a HW routine for young children
I have fun making HW checklist [linked here]. for young children. We make them together and sources images from the web. They describe what they need to do and then we make a visually compelling checklist.  Parents can feel free to add anything new. This should be placed where the child’s other checklists are at home and additionally taped into his main folder. 
I’ve been using a timer on a tablet with students to help them keep focused for period of time. Usually after about 10 minutes young children may have difficulty staying on task. At that point, I’ll have them walk around a few moments and then come back to work. I find that the student gets more done, if I break up the time and he or she can see the timer moving. This is a great simple VISUAL timer app [linked – I like that it shows time as a volume]. PS – turn off the ticking noise using the little gears. [Let me know if you need ANDROID version:) ].
For more information on executive functioning ADHD coaching visit thebodyliterate.com or email info@thebodyliterate.com

RESEARCH NOTES: preparing for next school year before the previous year finishes

As students pack up their lockers, desks and parents settle in for Summer, there are things to consider doing before school finally lets out. If the child has had  a very successful year, consider reaching out to his  teachers and see if they will remain on for the student next year. If not, [which will be most likely], ask the teachers if there will be any coordination with his school’s faculty between this year and next. It would be great if the student’s current  crop of teachers could share some info to next years’ group so that they understand how to support him.

If the year has not gone well, see if you can obtain information regarding his teachers for the next year.  Are there any parents with older siblings that have had experiences with the upcoming teacher group? Obtain all the information possible and see if you can curate the group of teachers that work with your child by reaching out toe the school’s administration. It also is helpful to preview the teachers and identify if your child should do some Summer prep work.

Depending on how your child did during the year, consider how next year can be different. It might be helpful to try out a few different tutors, executive functioning coaches, etc. before the year ends so that the student has a strong start the following year.

For more information on executive functioning coaching visit thebodyliterate.com OR email info@thebodyliterate.com

RESEARCH NOTES: effective studying tips with parents

As a parent, it can be challenging to work with your child, especially as he or she studies for finals, regents, APs etc. You’re not alone in this challenge. Most high-school [and middle school]-aged youth are at a place where they are seeking independence, yet haven’t developed all the tools to be supporting themselves.

In studying, many young learners make the mistakes of simply re-reading text — passive recall, as this is called, does not integrate the information inside the brain the way it will be tested. Rather, students should use ACTIVE RECALL.  Active recall, requires that they actively recall and express the information in some way [similar to how they will be tested on the actual exam].  This might include quizzing them, or using one of the many online quizzing sites [or apps]. One of my favorite at the moment is QUIZLET.COM.

One idea regarding the quizzing is to have the teenager click the “matching,” or any of the other fun quiz features on quizlet. Quizlet will track on the dashboard what the student is getting incorrect as it quizzes him. The challenge with this for any student, is that he may lose steam without another person pushing him along; he may also find ways to get out of deep learning if it’s just a computer.


Regarding posture, students don’t often see the importance of how the body plays a role in  studying. Parent often see how slumped over or strained the student is physically, yet, telling the child to change often creates a lot of pushback. Students have to be game to try new things, before they will implement it on their own. Rather than instructing them directly, change the environment around the student to support them in choosing better postural strategies. For example,  make sure the student has a desk . Ensure there are dedicated shelves and filing systems where they could choose to organize their papers.  Consider using lighting that directly illuminates what the student is reviewing [keeping it the center of his focus]. Also, consider changing his environment all-together. Maybe the student will be more enticed to focus if you walk and study – go get ice-cream and have him use quizlet at a cafe, etc.

for more information on executive functioning practices and services visit thebodyliterate.com

Or email: info@thebodyliterate.com

OPEN PLAY: Play Lab June 4, 2017

Next and last Play Lab this Spring! 

June 4, 2017. 


Come and join us for an open session of play and art making. We will have our usual supply of recycled materials, but please bring in your own to use and share. Everyone can explore their own ideas during this session or collaborate with a fellow Play Labber and make something extraordinary!

LOCATION: 808 Union Street, Park Slope

TIME: 10 a.m. to Noon

FACILITATOR: Priscilla Shen


RSVP REQUIRED: info@thebodyliterate.com

PARENTS: Drop off only

Participants: 4 kids maximum per Play Lab

Young learners can have difficulty tracking notes and taking them effectively during class lectures and in HW. Often times teachers assume the children know how to take notes. Here are some pointers:

  • Go over a note taking system with the child. For example, they might use an outlining format or they can use a Cornell System. Often teachers will have a way they’d prefer a child to take notes.
  • Preview the week’s lessons with the child. Ask the teacher to make the lesson topics available before the week begins. Then make sure the child has a big picture sense of what will happen. In this way, they can take more directed notes.
  • Teach the child to use acronyms/symbols to quicken notetaking: with = w/   about = abt   Any name can be abbreviated…etc.
  • Children often think they have to write mini essays when they take notes. Instead describe to them that the notes are only for their eyes and that the notes purpose is to recall ideas. The notes can look anyway they’d like as long as they are effective in helping recall.
  • Make sure the child can read their notes. Many times children stop using their notes for review or for writing papers because they have note developed an effective system yet or their handwriting is so messy they cannot read their own notes.
  • Sometimes students with special learning needs can use effective electronic organizers/apps to help. They can use diction software, they can use an iPad or laptop. Apps such as Evernote, Onenote, Google Keep, etc. are all excellent options for digital note-taking.



Please visit our services site for more information on executive functionign ADHD coaching: thebodyliterate.com

RESEARCH NOTES: becoming an avid reader

In reading books, I’m curious about how early readers  mentally interact with the story details. For some learners reading is not fun and for many of these readers I find a common theme in that they don’t  see what’s happening in the story in their minds, visualizing what they read as if it’s a movie or as if their character sinside the story. This is often a skill that avid readers describe they do automatically. One practice might be to read to the child and ask him to put his feet in the character’s shoes — ie.  ask them questions such as: what would you do? what will happen next? how does X feel?

Kai Kleinbard is an executive functioning coach and Alexander Technique teacher in NYC:

thebodyliterate.com — for services supporting young learners in school


RESEARCH NOTES: linking Tai Chi Push hands and EF [executive functioning]


I was recently reading “Taichichuan Ching” by Chang San-Feng. He was describing how a practitioner studies the artof tai chi. One of his lines resonated with me: “By making a small mistake, you may go wrong by a thousand miles.” I often find in my tai chi practice, how one small mistake, such as angling my foot in a certain way, can disrupt my whole physical equilibrium. I might try for days to change other areas of my body as I do the form, however, without bringing the foot into the correct angle, I am stuck.

In working with children with executive functioning challenges, small mistakes can create major headaches. For example, a student might do incredible work writing an essay, however, she may forget to include her bibliography at the end. The teacher might then deduct 15 points, bringing her score from an A to a C. Small things can equate to big results. On the other hand, a student might write a mediocre paper, however, she makes sure to include all the requirements. She may get a better grade than the student that wrote the stunning paper. As an EF coach, my job is to help kids identify the little [but sometimes big] things that make major differences in their performance.



thebodyliterate.com [executive functioning and Alexander Technique coaching]