When we begin this lesson, I want to make it clear that the annotation and practice we do today is all okay to use and do when taking our state assessments. I ask them to tell me what are some steps that we use when we read CLOSELY and how do we use our annotations to understand more. If they make a key point I will write it onto the white board. The other point I want to make, is why we use this method to read carefully.
I then hand out the Arizona Practice Reading Test. I have made a copy for each student, and I ask them to use all the annotations and note taking they have learned while reading. I remind them that highlighters are good tools to use too. I then give them time to read the first passage and annotate. I ask that they do not move to the questions until we get a chance to review the passage together, just like we do with articles.
I then go over the reading by reading once through, and then going back over it again with annotations. When I annotate, I model not only the marks we have been using, but more specifically how I write myself notes in the margins to help me remember my thinking. I discuss all of this out loud with the class as I do it.
When we finish the annotation process together, I ask them to move on to the first five questions that relate to the passage. I remind them of our good test taking strategies of finding the two wring answers first. By eliminating the two that are clearly wrong I can then make a good choice between the two I have left. I give them a few minutes to answer these questions before we go over them together.
I start by reading the question and then asking the class to tell me which two choices were the wrong ones. They realize quickly that there are some obvious bad choices. I read the letter and the bad choice out loud and ask how they knew that was definitely not the answer. I then read the two that are left, I think aloud how I would choose between the two. When I state the right answer this gets some cheers. the next step is having them explain how they know that this is the right one. Next to the question, I have them write what strategy we used to confirm our answer. For some we might use evidence from rereading, context clues, predicting, or visualizing.
We do this for the remainder of the test. At the close of each day, we go over how our annotation was helpful and what we learned from the practice that will help us on the real thing.