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Check out my latest blog post: "Follow Your Thinking Tracks!"

Are your students active readers? Do they consistently “Stop & Think” to reflect and comprehend what they’re reading?

“Follow Your Thinking Tracks” is a great strategy for students to record their thinking while reading. Not only does it help students monitor their understanding of text, but it provides a post-reading opportunity for students to share and reflect on their “road map” of recorded thoughts – essentially, their thinking tracks! This strategy is perfect for literacy across the content-areas and can be modified for ALL grade-levels.


Read more of this post at my blog Reading.Writing.Thinking.Sharing!

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This reminds me of a reading strategy that I used called "talking to the text" that I loved and found highly effective. I have been moving away from hard-copy reading and into the digital world, and my question is, have you found any great strategies for transferring this into a digital format?

Great question! I think students could still use journals or graphic organizers to record their tools as they're reading digital texts, but if you're looking for a digital way to "talk to text," you can always use a Web 2.0 mind-mapping/note-taking tool to jot down thoughts. 

Some easy to use ones are:

  • bubbl.us
    • Create bubbles of thoughts on the page (can connect the bubbles to make a web!)
    • Allows you to print, export, or even save to your computer
  • corkboard.me
    • Shareable sticky notes - click anywhere to "jot" down your thoughts
    • I don't think you can save them  but you can definitely do a screen shot to print
    • Collaborative - students can "talk to the text" together on one board

If you have access to iPads, there are many FREE mind-mapping tools if you search in the Apple store. Many of the student maps can be saved right on the iPad.

A few I use are:

Check out my other Web 2.0 tools on my blog... you may find others that could work for you! I have a whole list of mind-mapping tools to explore.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thanks for the feedback

I personally love bubblus. I think it is magic.

I really appreciate the other options. I think that finding something that allows the students to mark up a digital copy of a text. I think that this is clearly the wave of the future, and we, programmers and teachers together, should come up with alternatives.

You could always use the sticky notes program for Windows. Windows 10 comes with it. You could scan an article and post sticky notes on the page, then print/save a screen shot. Not sure if you could adjust the size of the notes. You could also use SmartBoard software. Scan/upload a page and write right on it using a Smartboard or the desktop computer. There are some great apps for the iPad that allow you to take notes right on the website/image/page too.

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