"Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information." -Paulo Friere

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Sticky Notes Project

Have you ever looked up from reading a book, only to look down at the page and realize that you had no idea what you just read? Happens all the time, and is particularly frustrating when you’ll be tested on the material you just read. One skill we will be working on in this class is active reading: being involved with the text, talking back to it, in a way.

Active reading engages you with the text on a deeper level, allowing you to both comprehend and remember what you read better. To help you become a better active reader, I have created the following assignment:

I would like you to write short notes on sticky notes and put them in your book. These notes will be personal responses to the text, and should show the Bloom’s skills of applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and occasionally evaluating. We will use your sticky notes as discussion starters during our units on each book.

Kinds of sticky notes to write (include a variety of these):

  • Questions--These include a range of types of questions, like, “Why is this character doing this?” or “What is this character talking about here?”
  • Predictions--Once you finish the book, go back to these and write another sentence about how close you were to what actually happened.
  • Analysis--notice the literary ideas that we’ll be talking about in each unit, like characterization, interesting use of language, etc.
  • Connections--particularly to other books you've read, but also to movies, the news, your experience, practically anything.
  • Evaluations--one or two of these only. What do you like or don’t like about the book?

Further Directions:

  • I will specify in class how many sticky notes you should write for each book. I will only grade and respond to a selection of your notes, not each one.
  • This assignment will be due on the day of the reading test.
  • The sticky notes should stick out of the side of your book just 1-2 millimeters. More and they get wrinkled, less and I can’t find them.
  • They must be legible, and numbered. They should be about one sentence long.
  • They should not be mere summaries of the plot or lists of characters. Those kind of notes can be useful for studying for the reading test, but don’t fulfill the parameters of this assignment.
  • You will be graded on on your understanding of the book, your independence of thought, and your neatness and organization.

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