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Distance Learning: Using the Tools to Annotate the Text

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Google Slides: Built-in Tools

While you’re working in Google Slides, you’ll see quite a few options in the toolbar. These can be used by your students to show their interactions with the text. I’m so appreciative of a teacher, Ashley, who reached out and shared how her students were using the shape tools to annotate their texts.  

I love how creative Ashley and her students were with their text annotations. Check out how they used the symbols below!

  • The smiley face: details they liked or loved
  • The “no” symbol: details they didn’t like
  • The lightning bolt: something that they found exciting
  • The thinking cloud: something they wondered about
  • The plus sign: a connection to the text
  • The arrows: text evidence used to answer comprehension questions

Finding and Using the Tools

These tools should already be automatically loaded into your Google Slides. Kids will simply have to click on the Shapes symbol. They then will select the symbol they want to use. Once they have it, they simply pull that symbol onto the slide, wherever it fits. Once they’ve read through the text and added their annotations, they can explain their thoughts. This can be done in their written responses or by adding a text box next to the chosen symbol. There they can explain how the different parts of the text made them react and why. 

If you and your students have been creative in your use of these passages, please share. I’d love to hear and see what you’ve been doing! Check out my leveled Digital Guided Reading Passages for Pre-A to Z here!

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