I recently read an article in The Reading Teacher titled, Jottings: An Approach to Guided Reading in the Elementary Classroom (March/April 2018) written by Jennifer A Knight and Hilary A Justesen that immediately caught my eye.
As a parent and a speech language pathologist, I am very interested in discovering new ways to encourage critical thinking for both my children and the clients that I work with on my caseload. I immediately loved the idea of Jotting because it was so visual, which can benefit so many children who are both typical and have special needs. Being a visual learner myself, I love finding additional ways for other learners on how to use different approaches to meet literacy goals.
What is Jotting? According to the authors, Jotting “involves writing quick notes, notations, and page numbers that allows readers to refer back to their reading quickly and move toward engaging in meaningful conversations about the books they are reading.” The authors wanted to find an approach that encouraged children to expand their critical thinking skills and to move teachers away from questions that require “little to no in-depth processing or deeper thinking.” Jottings can help “move students away from this type of thinking” and “help students learn to not only ask good questions but also discover how to approach a more open ended critical type o of thinking while reading.” After reading the article, I decided to try this at home. My daughter loved creating the symbols herself for the Jottings, which included main idea, vocabulary and things she liked about the article. Since she created the symbols herself, they became meaningful and therefore were recalled easier by her than if I had created the symbols. However, I can see in a classroom why the teachers would choose the symbols so that all of the Jottings are uniform and consistent. After reading the authors responses below, I also started using Jottings myself during read-alouds at mealtime It helped me be able to refer back to specific ideas when we were done reading the article or picture book. This strategy was also an excellent model in how use Jottings since it’s a learned skill for children to begin using.
To assess instructions on how to read the full article on The Reading Teacher, click here.
Both of these authors are seasoned educators that are passionate about educating children. After reading this thorough article, I had some questions about using Jotting at home. Thank you Jennifer and Hilary for answering my questions: