Session 3 Using Technology Before, During, and After Reading - June 21, 2011

I Want You
I Want You

Essential Questions:

1. What are some key literacy strategies and how are they useful?

2. How can we use technology to promote the use of literacy strategies?


3.1 Opener:

In the Session 3 page of your virtual notebook, create a heading, "3.1 Monitoring Understanding" and respond to the following questions beneath it:

  • How do you monitor students' understanding in your classroom?
  • How might that practice change as you implement more technology?

3.2 Strategy Overview
  • The Strategies: Throughout this session we will be using different literacy strategies that also incorporate technology. One key aspect of this session is to look at before, during, and after reading strategies to provoke and monitor student understanding. What do we mean by before, during, and after reading strategies? The Before During and After Reading document is a separate link under task 3.2.
  • Please read the overview of before, during, and after reading strategies, then summarize what you have read and discuss some of what you already do in these areas. This summary and reflection should be done in the Session 3 page of your virtual notebook, below your reflection from the Opener (3.1). Put a page line break in between the two pieces and create a heading above your summary. Also make sure to label it as 3.2.

3.3 Before Reading Activity - Wordle

Wordle is a great web-based tool that creates a visual representation of a given text. Words that have a higher frequency in the text are given more prominent positions in a larger font in the Wordle. Wordles can be customized and individualized in many different ways.

Below is a Wordle that was created using text from FDR's December 8th, 1941 "Day of Infamy" speech following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Take a look at the Wordle below and answer the following questions as a preview to your use of Wordle. Record the questions and your responses in the Session 3 page of your Virtual Notebook, beneath a page line break and a heading, "3.3 Wordle as a Before Reading Strategy".
  • What does it seem that Wordle can do for the user?
  • How useful does Wordle seem to be as a before reading strategy for students?
  • What type of learners would benefit from using a Wordle?

Pearl Harbour Speech
Pearl Harbour Speech

  • Once you have answered these initial questions, you will now create your own Wordle. In order to create your Wordle, you will need to choose a text to use - you will be using this text for this activity and the others in this session. You may choose a recent online news article or any other text of your choice (something related to your teaching is fine, too). Do not read the article or text yet, just find one that seems useful and use it to create your Wordle.
  • Follow the directions below to create your Wordle and embed your Wordle into the Session 3 page of your wikispace virtual notebook:

Go to Wordle Website
Select the following link

Select Create
Wordle Header
Wordle Header

Inserting htext
Paste in the text you will be using, where it says "Paste in a bunch of text".
Select the "Go" icon to create your Wordle.
Wordle pasting text
Wordle pasting text

Manipulating your Wordle
In the example below we used the Declaration of Independence.

wordle dec
wordle dec

You can edit the appearance of your Wordle by using the toolbar (shown below) at the top of your Wordle. You can use different fonts, different orientations and different color schemes. You should also experiment with the maximum number of words, perhaps you'd like to narrow it down so that the most prominent words are even more obvious.

wordle toolbar
wordle toolbar

Here is an example of how we changed the appearance of the original Declaration of Independence Wordle:

wordle dec new
wordle dec new

  • Now that you have created your Wordle, you will embed it into your Session 3 page before using it as a before reading strategy. In order to embed it, you will need to Save to Public Gallery, then find the embed code after the Wordle reloads. Once you have copied the embed code, you need to go back into your Session 3 virtual notebook page, click Edit, then Widget, then Other html, and paste the embed code into the empty field, click Save, then Save again (the one on the edit toolbar) to see it embedded in your page.
  • Go back into Edit mode and below your embedded Wordle, please answer: What observations and predictions about your article can you make based on this Wordle? What connections to your background knowledge can you make?
  • You have now used a Wordle as a before reading strategy!

3.4 During Reading Activity - Annotating a Text:One way that we can show our thoughts and our understanding of a text is through the process of annotation, or "marking up" a document. In some cases, teachers have used sticky notes as a way to annotate when students can't write directly on a text. With handouts that the students can keep, teachers often have the students write their mark ups on the handout. Mark ups generally consist of comments, questions, connections, inferences, predictions, summations of key points, etc.
Simply put, annotation provides evidence of thinking and understanding.
In this activity, you will use the same article or text that you used for your Wordle. You will read the article/text and annotate it using one of three formats. Your choices are:
Your choice might depend on what you are most, or least, familiar with. We encourage you to try something you are not familiar with (both Google Docs and Crocodoc are extremely user friendly). Both Google Docs and Crocodoc require signing up for an account, and both are web-based, so they offer more flexibility than Word. Meanwhile, Crocodoc provides for the easiest and most impressive embedding into wikispaces.

No matter which of the three you choose, you will copy and paste your text into a document and annotate the text using the highlighting and the commenting features. You will need to find these features in whatever program you use. Directions for Microsoft Word 2007 appear at the bottom of this page. (In Google Docs, for example, you would figure out that in order to insert a comment you should place your cursor where you would like to comment and then you can either right click and then click "comment" or click on "Insert" on the toolbar menu at the top of the document, then click "comment".) If you are unfamiliar, figuring these features out should only take a couple of minutes. Keep in mind that all programs offer Help features that you may click on to find tutorials.

-If you choose a Google Doc or Crocodoc you will need to embed your document when you have finished annotating and summarizing. We suggest that you use the Help feature to guide you if you do not immediately see how to save your work and secure an embed code. (For example, in Google Docs, the process must be done through the Share button at the top right of the page.)
-If you choose to use Microsoft Word, some directions appear at the bottom of this page. In this case, you will need to upload your file afterward and label it appropriately in your Session 3 notebook page.

Assignment 3.4
  • Please read and mark up the article or reading you have chosen for this session (the same one you used for your Wordle). At the end of the article please summarize it.
  • Then, upload (Word) or embed (Google Doc or Crocodoc) your annotated work to your Session 3 page. Make sure you label it something like "3.4 Annotated Article - During Reading Strategy"
  • Below your annotated text, please comment on how your thoughts after reading the article are similar to or different from those you had after viewing the Wordle.
  • Lastly, add some brief thoughts on the process of annotating a text and how it can be helpful as a during reading strategy.

Microsoft Word directions:
  • While there are different formats and icons involved, it is possible to annotate texts in the 2003, 2007, and 2010 versions of Microsoft Word. We will take you through only the basic essentials for marking up a text (using Word 2007 images) and will then have you mark up the text of the article or reading you chose as your during reading activity.
annotating text
annotating text

3.5 After Reading Activity
One After Reading strategy to help with understanding is looking back to identify key vocabulary. We will wrap up Session 3 with this activity based on the reading you used for your Wordle and your annotation (followed by a Forum post to finish the session).

Session 4will be going into much more depth on vocabulary work, so please realize that this activity will connect directly to your next work. Meanwhile, Session 5 will provide an opportunity for you to see and work with a number of other options for After Reading activities. Session 5 includes a number of presentation tools that allow students to process what they have learned and present the most important information in an impressive fashion.

For now, though, we will complete a more brief After Reading activity, a Top Five Vocabulary list. In your Session 3 page of your wikispace notebook, please put in a heading for "3.5 Top Five Vocabulary - After Reading Activity" and then create a list of the 5 most important terms to know from your reading. Please list the terms, and next to each, give a brief definition in your words, which also incorporates the importance of the term to understanding the overall reading.

3.6 Forum Post
Post in the forum regarding the essential questions for this session:
  • What are before, during, and after reading literacy strategies?
  • How can we use technology to enhance this work with students?
After reading classmates posts, respond to any 2 posts that you would like to comment on.