This will be a very short entry.

In both my 9th and 10th Grade English classes, students began Articles of the Week (from here on referred to as AOWs). Our AOWs typically will relate to the unit we are about to study. Each AOW is also an informational text, a type of literature we are now expected to expose students to as much as possible. The title of the 9th Grade article this week is “New President will Face Test on Detainees” (from the last Presidential election) and the title of the 10th Grade article is “Think Congress is Sophomoric? A Study Says You’re Right”. Both articles can be found in the archived AOWs at kellygallagher.org.

I chose these two articles to teach annotation for a few reasons. For one, they are mostly political in nature. My knowledge of politics is limited, and I wanted to model to students that there are many terms I do not know when reading certain topics. In short, I knew that modeling annotating a political text could potentially motivate my poor readers to understand that even I could be labled a "poor" reader at times if I am unfamiliar with the content. The second reason I chose these two particular articles is because we will eventually be reading speeches and other informational texts, some of which may or may not have heavy political undertones.

How the process works:

  • All students receive the article on Monday. The are expected to archive their AOWs in that particular section of our binders.
  • We work through annotating the article together as many days as it takes (I actually state my thoughts and confusions aloud as I read, and students "mark up" their articles exactly like mine to begin the habit of annotating
  • A response to the article is due at the end of the week. We will complete the responses together at first, but eventually all parts of the AOW will be done as homework. My aim is for this to be a regular homework assignment by September.
Today, the students did a pretty good job of annotating with me. I did preface the lesson by telling them learning to follow my thought processes may be confusing at times, but that they would eventually understand how important it is to be an "active" reader. We should finish annotating our articles tomorrow.
 


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