What are ET Notes?
Engage the Text or ET Notes are note taking resources that can be used any and every time your students read a literary or non-fiction text.
Where did ET Notes come from?
ET Notes are my number one resource when reading literary or non-fiction texts with my students. I developed ET Notes about five years ago and constantly refine and adapt them each year. The resource is modeled after the reading process strategic readers’ use and Cornell Notes. Frequently, I explain to my students that is annotating on paper and promotes engaged reading over passive reading. In addition, the resource is meant to include both items generated by me and some that allow them independence in their reading. At each stage of the reading process (before, during, and after) students are required to attend to strategies that research shows boosts reading comprehension. Strategies can be modified and added based on the text and goals of the teacher. Finally, I’ve made modifications in recent years to make the resource align with the Common Core. Particularly, forcing students to include evidence from the text and also requiring students to attend to information that is explicitly stated and can be inferred from the text.
How can you use ET Notes?
Any time you read an informational text in English, social studies, or science you can use ET Notes as the primary note-taking method. You can also use it to engage students in small group or class discussions. Lastly, it can be used as homework when students are reading a text at home.
I introduce the resource with the first text we read as a class. Frequently, I remove portions of the ET Notes and focus on only one or two sections initially so I don’t overwhelm my students. For example, I may not include a summary or some of the independent during work initially. I then add the additional pieces as the students become familiar and comfortable with the format.
Discussion questions can be written directly into ET Notes or you can have students fill them in during discussions. I’ve used both methods but prefer prepopulating the discussion questions to save time and focus the students on the three to five major topics we're investigating that day. Each of the novel units I post has a list of the discussion questions I use and a complete set of ET Notes I've used for that novel.
What is included in a set of ET Notes?
I’ve included a variety the different ET Notes I’ve used for various texts and purposes. Particularly, I've created some that can easily fit on one page. Frequently, I'll copy one days notes one side and the next day's notes on the other side and have students turn them in as a set after two days of reading. The longer versions I'll use with my honors students because they are expected to have some reading as homework in my school. Also, I've mix and matched the various tasks throughout the different examples to meet task and text needs.
There are three versions of ET Notes for non-fiction texts in this set of notes.