Annotations That Matter

While studying what makes students successful or unsuccessful on Newsela quizzes, we noticed that some students had been annotating text to help them prepare for quiz questions, as shown in the image below.

Intrigued, we decided to compare students’ performance when one or more of their annotations in an article tied explicitly to a quiz item.

We learned that, on average, students perform nearly one letter grade better when they annotate the text before they take the quiz or while they are taking the quiz. Moreover, we found that this tactic was particularly useful for Common Core Anchor Standard 1, “What the Text Says.” When the quizzes were aligned with this standard, students’ scores improved by 15 percent on quizzes above grade level.


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