Culture of Literacy Chronicle

NVJH making literacy connections throughout the day.

November 19, 2014

Annotation: active reading for making meaning

Annotating text is a way an academic is able to read more closely. "Close reading" for making claims and finding evidence to back it up is one of the Minnesota Common Core State Standards for not only Language and Literature courses, but for Science, Social Studies, Math and Technology as well. Each of these content areas has a variety of ways in which they teach their students how to be an active reader. In this edition of the Chronicle, I would like to share and clarify how some teachers use these different methods, and how by understanding the different methods, we can help students learn how to pick and choose which method works best for which content.

Marking the Text

One common form of annotating used by the AVID program in schools throughout the country is called, "Marking the Text". This is a common strategy that helps students slow down their reading and read with a purpose. In addition to the description provided in the hyper-link, check out the 4 minute video below.

Marking A Text Strategy

Scaffolding Sample

The link below is a sample of how Brittany Haeg in Humanities formats her papers as scaffolding for students to get into a challenging text.

C.U.B.E.D: How math students are active readers with math text.

In Math classrooms at NVJH, students use the CUBED method for annotating. ...
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The H.U.G. method is one method used in some of the 8th and 9th grade Language A classrooms to help students read closely. It is often introduced together with a short paragraph. Then students are given the opportunity to practice.

Which method to use

What's most important about these different methods is the importance of helping students practice slowing down and reading closely with academic text. They all involve some form of paying attention to vocabulary, looking for claim and evidence, underline and circle with a purpose, and digging deeper by writing in the margins about what the author is saying, or what the author is doing.

To ensure our students are ready for High School, and then college and career ready, we must teach them critical reading strategies in order for them to independently attack a text. They must learn how to own a text, rather than letting the text own them. Using these methods is a much different experience than skimming through a text one time with a highlighter in hand.
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