NHS Uniform Annotation Procedures -- This is a great strategy to help students think while they read. If all teachers incorporate this into their classes, students can internalize a pattern of reading complex text.


The questioning cubes are a great way to help students begin discussing their lesson or their text. Simply use the template below to print, cut, and create your own questioning cubes.



Probable passage is a good way to get students to predict what the text might be about. Simply choose specific words from the piece of text students are preparing to read. Before reading, students will put the terms in the box that they think makes sense. After organizing the words, students will create a gist statement and then create three questions that they want to learn from reading the text.
external image msword.png Probable Passage.doc

Anticipation Guides are a great way to get students invested in upcoming material. Choose value statements related to the topic and have students either agree or disagree before teaching the lesson. After teaching the lesson, have students reevaluate their learning. See this example from Romeo and Juliet for guidance in creating your anticipation guide.

Here is a generic form for an anticipation guide that you can fill in with your own topics.


List-Group-Label is a way to introduce vocabulary before the lesson begins. This strategy helps set a focus for students before they start reading. By making and verifying predictions about specific vocabulary words, students are able to engage with the text and therefore become more invested in their learning. The slides below have both instructions, as well as sample terms from a piece of informational text that students interacted with recently in Teacher Cadets.




Pre-reading Notes, a strategy from English teacher Jim Burke, helps students access a complex piece of text by walking them step-by-step through the text features that are designed to aid in comprehension, but often become a distraction.


The CATAPULT strategy is designed to help students navigate a new text. As experienced readers, we know how to approach a new text. However, our students do not. Therefore, this strategy will help them examine a novel, a textbook, a story, in a way that an experienced reader would.


Say Something is a great strategy for helping students keep up with their own cognitive strategies while they read. There are several options below, so choose the one that best fits your classroom. For explicit instructions to share with your students, use the original Say Something.




It Says--I Say--And So is a strategy designed to help students make inferences. Oftentimes students miss the nuances of a text that are below surface level. This strategy will help them to take what they know, add it to what the text says, and make an educated inference.



Double Entry Journals are a good way for students to organize their thinking. In this sample, students can mark specific page numbers and quotations, and then dialogue with themselves about their thought process. Double entry journals can be used in any imaginable way!



Journal to the Third Power is a new way to use the double entry journal. In the first column, students note parts of the text that stick out--quotes, motifs, important details, etc. In the right-hand column, students examine the things that stuck out to them and then write about them. This is a way to think about their thinking, taking it one step deeper. At the end of the process, students trade papers with a partner. Partners read the two columns at the top and then respond to the author in the area at the bottowm.



Close reading is something that students will need to be able to do as they encounter harder texts. These instructions will help students mark a text--whether it is considered complex or not--and read beyond just surface-level comprehension.



Peck's Discussion Questions will help students dig deeper in literature and look at a piece of text in a new light. These questions will help guide student discussions in class.



The KWHL Chart takes the original KWL chart one step further to allow for higher-order thinking. Students will not only tap into their prior knowledge and their own curiosity, but they will think about ways that they will find and access new knowledge.



Summary Notes are just that--a guided structure to help students summarize the information in a text. The left-hand column will walk students through the process of accessing a complex text--skills that they often don't have or sacrifice for the sake of "fast" reading. This strategy, and more, are available from Jim Burke's website, The English Companion.



Another strategy presented by Jim Burke, textbook analysis helps students understand their textbook. Remember that students can take up to eight different courses in a single school year. That means students come in contact with eight different specialized vocabulary. Teaching them how to access their textbooks can help ensure student success.



Window Notes is a during reading strategy to help students monitor their cognition. Often sudents believe that word-calling is reading and they miss the comprehension aspect. This will help students tap into their cognition while reading and make them more responsible readers. Thanks to Mrs. Norris for introducing these to me!



Hal Mooneyham and I have dubbed this Window Notes.1, or Give One Get One Meets Window Notes. Use this to make both strategies more interactive for students who crave kinesthetic learning!


This handout gives several options to the basic Round Robin reading strategy.



This graphic organizer is a great way to examine Informational Text. Students can take note of quotes from the text, their personal reaction, the most important word, and a nonlinguistic representation. This activates the mind on many different levels!


Here is a variation of the Informational Text Graphic Organizer. Using this form, students will look at the pros and cons of an issue--a great way to analyze argumentative writing or historical documents.