Taking Notes

Woo hoo! Our first big foray into Reader's Notebook Land and it wasn't a terrible failure! Hooray!

I wanted to start with collecting "Annotation Marks" so that students had a simple way to track their thinking (and note when things got confusing for them). I guided them with some ideas about what we might think about as we're reading (something is funny or sad, I'm surprised, I don't understand). We wanted to make sure the picture notes would take less than four seconds to draw so that they wouldn't lose their place in the reading. (The "quick draw" point was lost on many who wanted to draw different Emojis for each thought, to which I had to reply "I'm not trendy enough to understand that Emoji - what about a question mark?") They caught on pretty quickly and didn't have too much trouble coming up with symbols (NOT EMOJIS*).

We'll be applying these "Annotation Marks" in a story. I'm going to do a Think Aloud and have the students mark up their own copy of the story (we're using "Slower Than the Rest" from Cynthia Rylant's Every Living Thing). About halfway through MY think aloud, I ask the students to join in so that we're all adding to the notes. While I'm doing the think aloud, I keep referring back to the notes we took ("This part makes me so sad... I'm going to underline it and use the sad face symbol we came up with in our notes.")

I'll have to save the AWESOME DEEP THINKING my students did for another post. I was blown away. I feel their deep thinking, however, is most likely attributed to Cynthia Rylant and NOT to my amazing teaching.

*But obvi, I love Emojis. Whatever.

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