, but annotating text independently was a struggle. It seemed my kiddos constantly needed me there to “suggest” what was note worthy. But SNOTS changed all that! Like seriously… Like a slimy green light bulb went off in their heads! Who knew green colored pencils would be such a game changer?
If you teach in a Common Core (or fake CC state like I do) then you are very familiar with the idea of “responding to text” and “close reads”. These ideas seem to be fixtures on my lesson plans and although we’ve been slowly working on a routine with these two practices, we really didn’t hit a break through with text marking until we started BOOGIEING through it…
You heard me right… BOOGIE… and not the dance kind either!
As in the gross green stuff that comes out of your nose.
As in the stuff you’re constantly telling your kiddos NOT pick…
… and eat (UGH!) #teacherproblems #really
Now, don’t get me wrong, we were doing very well with our close reads
So, I knew I had to share this simple (so simple and silly) idea of SNOTS with you!
Snots stands for: Small Notes On The Sides. They are exactly what they say they are… little annotations in the margins of papers of what we, the readers, think, feel, or wonder. Now, I’ve extended SNOTS to include circles of important words and diagrams as well as a way to “zero” in on key terms when answering questions.
I introduced my class to SNOTS after reading a nonfiction article about how plants have spread all over the Earth (Oh yes, Spring has sprung in the Applicious Classroom! More on that later this week!) After reading the article, I had my kiddos write a responding to text question in their RRJs. Then, I pass out our magic pencils and we got to boogieing up our question and then our text!
We tackled the question first. After rereading their question, the kiddos underlined or circled the important words or details to help zero in on what we were being asked to write about. Then, I had the kiddos go back to the text and “SNOT” it up by circling important words they knew they’d want to include, diagrams we thought were helpful, and then make little “notes” on what they had read that they felt they should include in their response. Hello!? Can someone say paraphrasing???!!!! Whoop!
Here’s a closer peek at one student’s super SNOTTY paper.
Later that week, we took all those snots and used them to write our responses in our journals. No whining, no questions, only pencils moving and some giggles spreading through the room as they sorted through their green notes.
This worked so well… I thought we’d try the strategy again with a persuasive essay we were working on later that week. After reading two articles, students chose which opinion they agreed with. Then, we passed out those snotty green pencils and began boogieing through the articles to find evidence to support out position.
Using what we circled and wrote, students made a quick bubble map to organize their thoughts…
Later that week, we turned those notes and our bubble maps into 5 paragraph essays.
I was REALLY impressed with how easily they were able to pull evidence from the text to support their position on video games! I mean seriously… it’s just a green pencil, folks! #magicpowers #funintheclassroom
Do you use SNOTS? Tell me more about how they look in your room below! Or what are some tricks you use to get your students more involved in their learning?