STEM Annotation Assignment

Teacher instructions: Copy and paste these instructions into your course to use with your students. Be sure to review the instructions before posting in your courses. You may want to make adjustments depending on how you plan to assess annotations or due to your specific discipline and/or assignment.

Instructions for students

Purpose: Annotating the reading together allows us to build academic vocabulary, ask and answer each other’s questions, locate important information to answer questions, and make visible reflections and connections about the topic. You can review a quick-start guide for how to add annotations.

Instructions: As you review the text, add at least 2-3 annotations. Here’s some guidance for what you might include in your annotations:

  • Ask a question about something that is unclear or confusing to you
  • Identify key vocabulary terms, and then define them in your own words
  • Identify patterns or relationships that are important and explain how/why
  • Make a prediction based on what you’ve learned already
  • Identify the central idea, claim or question presented in a section of text
  • Clarify notation or syntax
  • Link to outside resources such as articles, videos or images that can aid in the understanding of an idea/topic (review instructions on how to add images, links or videos to annotations)
  • “Translate” an important technical passage or problem/question into your own words
  • Connect a passage or idea to something you’ve learned in the class, and explain exactly what that connection is
  • Locate important information that is needed to answer questions (this can be done in a passage or in an individual problem that is presented)
  • Describe how you would proceed in answering a question or problem presented, and what you would need to do so — what steps would you follow?
  • Analyze a presented solution/strategy: Ask questions, summarize key steps and/or present an alternative
  • Reply to a classmate with an additive annotation (add to the conversation by answering their question or extending their response). Here are some ideas on how to start an additive response to a classmate:
    • What did you mean by …
    • Did you consider …/ You might consider …
    • I connect with …/It made me think …

Important notes about annotating: 

  • Make sure you hit “post” after you complete your annotation, or else your annotation will not be saved.
  • Make sure it says “post to [this class]” and not “post to only me,” or else people won’t be able to review your annotations.
  • If someone replies to your annotation, you will not receive a notification. Check back periodically to continue the conversation!