What is it?
A text rendering is a during reading activity that creates interaction between students and text.
How is it used?
Students are expected to mark their text in some way as they read, focusing on a few types of connections. If the text is duplicated on copy paper, they could write directly on their copy; however, if text is in a book that cannot be marked up, try to provide sticky notes
as an alternative. At the end of the class period, the sticky notes can be removed and re-attached to a folder or other tracking sheet to record the students’ text renderings.
A typical text rendering might focus on three types of student-text interaction. Using a code to simplify the process, the student might be directed to place a check (ü) next to some statements with which he/she agrees; an exclamation point (!) next to text that appears to state the main idea, and a question mark (?) near text which confuses the reader. Of course, the teacher may request some different types of connections to be made, with appropriate symbols, and with some students only one type of connection might be suggested at first until they become able to handle more than one.
During text rendering, a highlighter might be used to highlight the actual words that are connected to the symbol markings. Additionally, students can be encouraged to write marginal notations, if possible, to capture more of their thoughts as they read.
Following completion of the text rendering, it is important that students be given the chance to reflect on and share the connections they made. This can be done in numerous ways, but typically involve a Think-Pair-Share
or a Whip. If doing a Whip, it is best to ask students to simply read or restate the one statement that best captured the main idea. By hearing each student’s response, no matter how many repetitions there are, the teacher can quickly determine how successful the reading went, how divergent the thinking was, and possible issues that have to be clarified before moving on, etc. Students are involved in a way that doesn’t fault them for “wrong” answers, and may actually reinforce their effort or build up their
understanding. At the very least, it puts the language of the text into an oral form, and weaker students begin to recognize the text as they look for and hear others read it.