Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Important? An Annotation Intervention


Block 1 came to a screeching halt today about three conferences in to my Outsiders check-ins.  The previous night's homework had been to finish reading and annotating Chapter 1 and to submit a Google Drive form with points of confusion (things Mrs. Taylor needs to clear up) and WONDERs (things we think the book will answer... we hope!).

Careful Preparation ... but for the Right Things?
We'd prepared yesterday by:

  • starting our reading together -- it's tough being dropped right into a new setting!
  • thinking aloud and walking through some annotations together on the ELMO
  • talking about the purpose of annotating (to help us interact with a text, NOT to create a new product) 
  • discussing what we could do in our texts to show our thinking: marking questions, identifying exclamations, circling interesting/unfamiliar words, jotting down reactions and things we want to remember, and underlining important ideas.

Great preparation, right?


What did I see, y'all, when I came around to check in on your reading and to address your points of confusion?

Either 1. a whole lotta nothing underlined or 2. a whole lotta everything underlined.  When I mentioned my observation, I asked how people know what to underline or highlight in a text: "You underline what's important, Mrs. Taylor."

It was time for an annotation intervention.

What's Really Important?
We've talked quite a bit about identifying important ideas in non-fiction, but it didn't occur to me to frame the following question in the context of fiction: "How do we know something's  important in a piece of fiction?"

Check out our findings:

Many students snapped photos of our anchor chart, so they could refer to it during their next chunks of reading.  Thanks all of you for your thinking!

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! I can clearly notice that you really get the sense of what you are speaking about over here. Do you own a degree or an education which is somehow associated with the theme of your entry? Can't wait to hear from you.