My AP Group is funny this year…they’re not the typical highly motivated bunch who is working hard and stressing out about the impending AP exam. In fact, I am 1,500 times more concerned than they are about our May 10 deadline. As a result, I’ve had to get creative about the classwork I ask them to do…”read and then we’ll discuss” just doesn’t cut it with these Little Darlings.

This is an easy strategy that came to me in the moment (you know, the heavens opened up and the Lord was like, “Pssst, try this”) and it worked so well! They read once, then critically read a second time, then compare their notes someone else…and shockingly, everyone participated! This is a winning strategy for my AP students, but it will totally work in any level and with any text, read on, friends!

  • Give everyone a text to read and ask them to read it silently. Do not give them the next directions before they finish this step, because if they know what’s next, they’ll skip this step, if your Little Darlings are like my Little Darlings. As everyone is reading silently, write the subsequent steps on the board. As student finish reading, indicate the instructions for the next step. I just circulated and as I saw students finishing up, I’d point to the board and they began the next step, still working independently.
  • Ask them to re-read the text, but this time completing a specific task, like “highlight the 4 most important facts” If you use this strategy often, you’ll want to vary this instruction, so they don’t skip the first read through. Instead of the most important facts, maybe for a story about someone’s day “highlight the three best parts of his day in one color and the two worst parts of his day in another color” or “highlight two events that would have changed the outcome of the story if they were removed” or “highlight the 5 most surprising details”. Basically, you’re giving them a reason to go back and read critically, taking the reading and making a judgement call as they highlight.
  • Pair students up and have them compare their highlights. I always use pair students as an excuse tomove them around, so instead of working with the buddy next to them, I generally ask them to sit with an Animal Buddy or use Flippity’s Random Name Picker to assign pairs. They share what they highlighted and I overhead great conversations justifying their highlights.
  • If you want to make it a game, follow your heart. Basically we gamify everything we can, just following my heart here! They compare their highlights with a partner’s highlights and assign points: 2 points for each instance they’ve highlighted exactly the same thing, word for word and 1 point for each instance they’ve highlighted the same idea but different words. Brilliant Kara Jacobs tried this in her class and I loved the twist she added to it: after they’ve totaled points with their partner, Kara shared her highlights with the class, and they earn additional points for picking the same as the teacher…just a sneaky way to give them even more input of the most important facts/details/whatever of the reading.

So easy, right?!

Hope you’re doing well…has Spring arrived where you live? After record breaking snow, then an astonishing amount of rain, it’s finally feeling like Spring in these parts….and you know what that means, the Little Darlings are getting a little wild. Lord help us!


  1. Your AP class sounds just like my IB class! I will definitely try this when we are back from Spring Break next week. Thanks for sharing another engaging reading strategy!


  2. Where do you get the non fiction readings you use. Looking at the picture you used it look like exactly the kind I’m looking for. Could you tell me how to get it. And hopefully it’s not TPT because our school has banned TPT due to malware.
    Thank you! I VERY much enjoy your informative post!!!!!


  3. Sra. Chase,

    The link to, buy a tea, is not working, at least for me. Can you check that for me? Would love to thank you.


  4. Brilliant! Thank you so much! You have been my role model and I appreciate your support so very much!

    With love and gratitude,

    GrIsell Abad

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am not teaching AP students this year, but it can still be applied. And yes, we must “gamify” (love that word) EVERYTHING! I think I’ll do the game, and use those points as extra credit points -and everyone can benefit!
    ¡Muchísimas gracias!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hola!

    You have been so generous and inspirational. I’ve adapted something of yours and wanted to “pass it back” to you for additional share outs!

    Mil gracias, siempre ?? [] spring break- Lotería adaptation ( ¿Qué hiciste durante las vacaciones y/o el fin de semana pasado? Vamos a jugar a la lotería… hiciste = you did Arte por Jorge Arche, Primavera o descanso, 1940 ? Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba To be used after “what I did over break”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s