Teachers are always looking for ways to facilitate deeper student learning through reading. The true goal of any classroom is to prepare students not only for comprehension, but also higher-order analysis where they feel comfortable interpreting content and using it in new ways.

Getting there, however, requires that students understand how to practice metacognition and critical thinking while reading; teachers cannot simply hand students text and expect them to do so. Often, getting to the point where students can draw connections, synthesize, and apply new knowledge with content while reading is not about students trying harder, but about students knowing when to employ the right strategies.

Expert readers actively engage with text by summarizing, asking and answering questions, mapping concepts, activating prior knowledge, and recognizing patterns. While fluent readers often do these things without being aware of them, growing readers need explicit instruction to become familiar with these strategies and adopt them in their own reading practice.

To support educators introducing these strategies to students, Actively Learn partnered with Digital Promise to develop the Annotation Strategies for Deeper Learning micro-credential. This micro-credential recognizes teachers who model effective annotation, scaffold instruction in how to annotate, and provide feedback to students as they learn to do so.

This micro-credential also describes the four features of effective annotation (selective, metacognitive, textually dependent, and useful) and how to integrate them into student reading practice. Teachers are supported in encouraging students’ ability to make more sophisticated textual connections in their reading through this micro-credential, which leads to deeper and enduring student learning.

Learn more about the value annotating can have on students by starting your micro-credential today.


About Natalie Saaris, Ph.D.

Natalie Saaris, Ph.D., is the Senior Manager of Instruction at Actively Learn.

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