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Monday, September 28, 2015

Reading Response Sheet

I've posted before about close reading in the classroom, and I continue to believe that close reading experiences are often most powerful when students themselves select the passages for study.

In addition to providing students with text excerpts in Google Drive for annotating, I also occasionally use a simple Reading Response Sheet, which you can access as a pdf or via Drive for your own editing purposes (go to File, and Make a Copy; you can then modify to your heart's content).

I resisted every urge I had to over-complicate this thing, and with good results. Students felt the freedom to write only as much as they thought they would need to participate in the classroom discussion; some took laborious notes with supporting page and paragraph numbers, while others wrote gist statements with sporadic page numbers. In all cases, however, the sheet slowed them down to consider what they were reading, and to settle upon one or two excerpts that they felt passionate about discussing.

Future permutations of this document might include a section to allow students to record page titles; page titles seem especially useful in enabling students to recall and return to specific excerpts easily.

Hope you find this useful! Let me know how you might modify it for your classes.