WHY Students SHOULD BE Stopping and Jotting Thoughts While They Read

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

There has been some chatter on social media about not having students stop and jot while they read. Some believe it's a distractor. I have to disagree. And here's why...

I learned so much about my readers through these quick written responses. Stop and Jots are thinking, reactions and annotations about texts kept by a reader while they are reading.

When students stop and jot as they read, they are staying actively engaged in the text and monitoring their own comprehension through that inner conversation with the text. Readers should practice the strategy and skill work we teach and we need to see how they are doing.

This easy active engagement tool provides you with quick documentation to show and track a reader's progress. Not to mention, these quick little notes will provide the student with evidence and talking points for discussions and longer written responses.

Over the years I've had these 4 questions asked by many teachers.

What Are Jots?

  • Jots can be post-it notes tracking a character through a story.

  • Jots can be graphic organizers or think sheets used while reading.

  • Jots can be visual images that are evoked by the text.

  • Jots can be double-entry journal notes in a reader's notebook.

  • Jots can be questions a reader has about the text.

  • Jots can be inferences a reader is making about the text.

  • Jots can be predictions about the text.

  • Jots can be all of these and so much more...

Click on this gallery to see a few modeled Stop and Jots using

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson and student work from Henry's Freedom Box.

Why Should Readers Jot?