158: During Reading Activities (2 of 2)




Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.57.28 PM


For part 1 of During Reading Activities, go here.
  1. Coding Text
    • Focus
      • Reading as Thinking
      • Inferring, Interpreting, and Drawing Conclusions
    • Description
      • Students puts codes in margins of books (can do this on post-its for school and library books) that indicate type of excerpt.  For example
        • C = connection
        • ? = question or confusing point
        • ! = surprising point
      • Can supplement codes with reasoning
    • Why do this?
      • Speedier form of annotation
      • Gets students to stop, think and react to reading
      • Can annotate text quickly without breaking reading flow too much
    • How it works?
      • Choose codes that work well with subject area such as
        • Checkmark = confirms what you thought
        • x = contradicts what you thought
        • ? = puzzles your
        • ??? = confuses you
        • Star = very important item
        • ! = new and interesting item
      • Model how to code using a short text and think aloud protocol.  Be sure to explain purpose of coding while modeling the strategy.
      • Give students time to use the strategy.  And talk over their coding with a partner.
      • Call on students to share excerpts that go with specific codes.
        • Example – Who’d like to share an item that is new and interesting? (Has ! near it)
    • Variations
      • Can transfer some coded items to KWL charts
      • Can use codes that are specific to problem solving – use a code to set off relevant given information
      • Let students come up with their own codes
  2. Multicolumn Notes (Also see Double entry journal)
    • Focus
      • Inferring, Interpreting, Drawing Conclusions
      • Analyzing Author’s Purpose, Theme, Point of View
    • Description
      • 2 columns of notes
        • column 1 = summaries
        • column 2 = reactions to text such as questions, confusions, personal reactions, reflections
      • Also called a Double entry journal
    • Why do this?
      • Practice summarizing information
      • Practice reflecting upon and reacting to text
      • Balance summarizing with actively thinking about text’s meanings
    • How it works?
      • Model how to apply strategy using read aloud and think aloud protocols
        • show how to distinguish between major and minor points
        • how to paraphrase info in column 1
        • how to generate reactions that go in column 2
      • Using gradual release, continue modeling the strategy while the class works together to complete double entry journal
      • Then complete double entry journal in pairs
      • Then complete double entry journal as individuals
      • After small group or individual work time, have whole class share their notes
      • After students are familiar with strategy, you can vary content in two columns.  See Double entry journal article for other ideas for column labels
      • Continue to give students debrief opportunities to share their notes with other students
      • Assess note taking – look for common patterns in students’ strengths and gaps.  Praise students for what’s going well.  Model for students how to annotate the text in ways that address their gaps.
      • Vary these notes with other strategies because these are time consuming and can grow stale if overused.
    • Variations
      • In Science class, 3 column notes
        • column 1 = pictures, key ideas
        • column 2 = making predictions before she reads
        • column 3 = so what? column, ask reflection questions such as what if the variables were different?
      • In Social studides class, 3 columns
        • middle column = driving or provocative questions
        • left column = supporting evidence from text
        • right column = counterarguments
        • bottom of page = student’s conclusion
      • In Math class,
        • column 1 = graph, chart
        • column 2 = direct reading of info in graph or chart
        • column 3 = inferences and questions related to the graph
      • Also see Double entry journal article for other column label ideas
    • Related Reading
  3. Sketching My Way Through the Text
    • Focus
      • Visualizing Meaning
    • Description
      • Students draw a sequences of sketches, drawing, cartoons to represent key ideas in readings
      • Quick sketches not masterpieces
    • Why do this?
      • Visualizing meaning can be a powerful tool for developing understanding
      • Can reveal different perspectives
      • Can show how students see ideas evolving in a text
      • Good for representing sequences of events that represent changes over time (examples – plots, growth, historical events, biological processes, etc.)
      • Students are more likely to remember visuals they create themselves
    • How it works?
      • Model how to create quick sketches while summarizing and reacting to a text
        • make sure sketches are rough diagrams
        • emphasize that sketches should be quick and simple so they don’t eat up too much reading time
      • Let students try the strategy.  Circulate around the room and coach them as needed.
      • Let up drawing sharing modes
        • Physical drawings – post around the room and facilitate a gallery walk
        • Electronic drawings – gather in Padlet
        • Allow students to notice what points students drew in common and what points were uniquely noticed by different students
    • Variations
    • Related Reading


Students can’t just be instructed to read texts deeply.  They need to be taught how to do this.  Using a variety of methods to annotate texts can teach students how to stop, think and react periodically while reading.  The annotation artifacts can also remind students at later times what was the key information they noticed and what were their key reactions to readings.


Preparation Steps
  • Select reading selections that will help students apprehend learning targets and develop products.
  • Decide which during reading strategy will best help students summarize and react to the information in upcoming assigned readings.
  • Select model texts (short) to model the selected strategies.
Early Implementation Steps
  • Model the selected strategy using short passages and think aloud protocol.  Be sure to provide key tips and the purpose for the strategy.
  • If the strategy is new and complex, use a gradual release method – model it first, do with the whole class volunteering next steps, do it in pairs and then do it individually.
  • Let students try out the strategy.  Circulate around the room and coach them as needed.
  • Facilitate discussions that allow students to share their annotations.
Advanced Implementation Steps
  • Use student feedback to determine which strategies they enjoy most and find most effective.  Incorporate these strategies into routines.
  • Use annotations to create written pieces.  See Writing to Learn and Quick Writes articles for ideas.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *