In the age of CCSS, students are being asked to read more closely, re-read often and analyze the text.
Coding the text is one strategy to teach students to track their thinking and then use what they have tracked to have discussions about they have read, which aides in their comprehension. Using standard post-it notes and writing your codes on those notes, allows you to show your students how you track your thinking. However, when you can, it is almost better to have text that the kids can write on and go crazy annotating or coding. Try both!
This, like any strategy, needs to be modeled and then gradually released to your students.
Coding the text can begin with kids as early as kindergarten and first grade. These text coding cards can be used with fiction or informational material.
I would introduce this strategy as a whole group first as you are modeling and thinking aloud, stopping to show your kids how you would code the text and why this is important. It aides our comprehension. We cannot possibly remember all the details of a text but by coding we can refer back to our “notes” and be able to talk about what we’ve read! Good readers read, write and discuss text!
This product contains two different text coding cards; one is the more traditional way of coding with only 3 codes. The other has more codes for choice. This card would be better to start off with if your kids have never done this before. You can also work up to the 3 code card once you feel your kids have a good grasp.
Also included is the “Coding Text” worksheet where you can actually transfer your post-it notes to the sheet. This is a great way to look for patterns in your or your students’ thinking, as well as providing a way to talk about the text. From there, you could show them how you could respond in writing using your tracking sheet. The possibilities are endless!
Using the mini-posters to introduce different codes as you read, would be ideal. Use 1-2 codes at a time with your whole group read aloud and watch how the kids start doing it with their own books!
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