Note-taking is inevitable in the Pre Algebra classroom. I try to make it as painless as possible by giving students these note guides so they can focus more on learning the skills and less on writing every little detail down. The way I have it set up is that they write a little, we practice a few problems together and then they try a few on their own for each topic in the notes.
This guide is specifically for variable expressions - evaluating them and writing them from word phrases. I make sure to point out some of the common mistakes often made with these types of problems and have made some side notes in the INCLUDED ANSWER KEY! :)