Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Color Coding Reading Passages


Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Now the school year is back in full swing, I'm trusting most everyone is getting to the nitty gritty of reading comprehension in mini lessons and guided reading groups.  What am I talking about you ask? TEXT EVIDENCE.  Oh, how it can be such a frustrating phrase heard in education.  The Common Core is known for asking students to identify text evidence in both oral and written comprehension questions.  If you look on Pinterest or search the internet you will find an abundance of paid resources for students to practice finding text evidence in short reading passages.  I'm definitely guilty of purchasing my share of cutesy passages for homework and guided reading practice over the years. Well folks, this year I wised up and saved my money because we are building a house (and time) aint NOBODY got time for that creating passages and now prefer to use Readworks or Newsela instead.  



Are Readworks or Newsela cutesy?  Nope!  Not really; however it's free and does the job of providing did I mention FREE interesting leveled passages/articles for students to find text evidence with.  Now, I'm sure you might be sitting there thinking, how will I know what evidence students have found if there isn't directions for my students with cute little crayons beside each question?  I've got you covered!  In my classroom and with the students I work with this year, I control the colors for each question.  There's nothing complicated about it.  I just pick a few colors (crayons or markers) for the comprehension questions and ask students to color a dot for each number using the color I say (i.e.  put a red dot next to number one, and green dot next to number two, etc).  I stick to basic colors as much as possible because the goal is to keep it simple.  When students come to my guided reading table, I get out the smelly markers; because who doesn't love a good smelly marker?!  Research shows that when information is presented in color, people retain more of it.  The smelly markers are just the cherry on top because they are fun and not available at student desks.  Students actually get excited to meet with me because of the markers.  Who knew?!

Below is an example of a Readworks passage I'm currently working with a student on, so you can better visualize what I'm talking about.  Need to save paper?  You can print two pages to a page by simply changing the printer settings.

Inexpensive smelly markers you don't mind sharing with students

free reading passages
Text evidence highlighted to match color dot beside question number

Different colors for each question


So what do you need to get started?  Markers, passages printed for free from either ReadWorks or Newsela, and students to practice the text evidence.  Easy peasy my friends!  I hope I've shed some light on reading passages and text evidence.  The more money you save on cutesy passages, the more money you have for fun things like shoes or Target!  Until next time friends! :)

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous idea! I love color coding material, but never thought of doing this for reading passages. I have had students highlight or underline information within a passage to justify their answer. Color coding the information pertaining to questions looks like a technique that would help readers review their answers quicker and easier.

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments! Thanks for taking the time! :)))