Strategy #1: Developing and using an annotation code

As students begin highlighting any text, they should establish a personal code and use it consistently. This will help them recognize the purpose of their annotations when they review the reading. Otherwise, their annotations will look like mysterious hieroglyphics! Suggest that they write their code on a piece of paper they can keep next to them as they are reading. The front or end pages of the book are also a good place to record this.

Students can create whatever system they like; here's an example to get them started. You might want to share your own code for annotating a text and even show them an example of your annotating in action.

Strategy 1 - Explanation of the Annotation Code

While students may find this complicated at first, over time it will become automatic for them. Encourage them to develop their own system, and suggest that they bring their textbooks to class and practice. You might spend a few minutes letting them compare with their classmates.