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.
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, provided that you are doing it with a read aloud as a “close listening” activity. Usually our read alouds will be at a higher reading level than the majority of the classes’ instructional level. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to beginning annotation of a text or article. These text coding cards can be used with fiction or informational material.
As you read, 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!
We all also have a range of readers in our classrooms. I have had kindergarteners that are reading well beyond the benchmark and were taught how to code the text in their independent reading and their small group guided reading texts. If your expectations are high, kids will meet your demands!
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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