Saturday, January 31, 2015

Annotating--It is a Reading and Writing Strategy!

So today I was really trying to decide what to write about--I didn't want to do another post about reading since I felt like I'd done that a lot this week.  I was looking at my Pinterest board of blog writing ideas and stumbled across a list of things to blog about--one of which being to re-post one of your old articles.  This made me wonder, what was I blogging about in January 2013--I was still excited about this project then and was trying to come up with ideas.  I stumbled across a post from January 10, 2013 which now has over 1,000 page views! I was surprised because I thought my knitting pattern review was still higher.  I read this post again, and it really fits with what I'm dealing with right now.  I'm trying to teach my 7th graders that reading needs a closer study and if they mark things then their writing and evidence would be better! Though the story is a bit old now, and I'm pretty sure this student has not thought once about reading since he left my old school--seeds are still planted and I will have one student some day go--I am so glad that she taught me that!

From January 10, 2013

Today I am inspired by a quote:

Books are not made to be believed, but to subjected to inquiry.  When we consider a book, we mustn't ask ourselves what it says but what it means...--Umberto Eco (Author of The Name of the Rose)

Honestly, never heard of that book or author, but I like the sentiment.  Part of reading is actively thinking about what you are reading and responding to it.  One of the things that is hard for students to do is actively respond to their readings--especially if it is a non-fiction reading.  With stories they can relate to the characters or the plot line gives them motivation to keep going. But with non-fiction readings students respond with, "It's boring!" or "It's too hard!" or "It's too long!"  Sometimes they will just skim it and then they do not do well on the project, analysis, etc. that you have after the reading.  As a result, I have started to make students write all over their readings. I taught one of my new students this technique because he struggled a lot with a Thoreau reading.  After working with him individually on the first few paragraphs, he began to figure out that as long as he was thinking about the reading and writing that thinking down he will understand it better. I call it active reading writing assignment with my students.  The cool thing is that after a while it becomes second nature to them and they respond without me prompting them.

What do you do to help students understand "what it means"?
Thank you to

No comments: