October 29, 2014

Supporting Classroom Instruction: Annotation Guides in Science Class

As part of their work with Core Action One, Washoe County teachers in the Options Area have been focusing on supporting students to engage with complex text. One strategy many teachers are trying in their classrooms is text annotations. Annotations, making notes in the margins of the text, support using complex text at the center of instruction as they: provide students with a scaffold into complex text, support students to use and analyze textual evidence in discussions and writing, and ultimately help build students’ independence with complex text. Science teachers at Innovations High School modified a strategy originally intended for history-social studies to create a strategy that matches the disciplinary demands of science texts (for example, this EPA report on climate change indicators). The annotation guide they created can be found here (and the original for history texts is here). This is the first week the guide has been used in Innovations High School science classes, and so far teachers have been pleased with their students’ persistence in reading and the content knowledge students have shown after such a sustained focus on text.  Pictures of the annotation guide table tents and samples of student work are pictured below.
 annotation guide table tents
student work samples of science annotations

student work sample of science annotations

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