GCSS Teacher Toolbox

Literacy Strategy

Name of Strategy: Coding

Purpose:  When students read a passage, they mark up the text with codes to help them comprehend the text. The Coding Strategy helps students become more reflective readers, having them to pause and compare what they are reading to their prior knowledge. This strategy also increases students’ ability to self-question when reading new content.


This strategy works best when using photocopied text, allowing students to write their reactions next to what they are reading. An alternative is to place sticky notes with the appropriate coding next to the text. As students read, their task is to stop at each paragraph and indicate reactions in one of the following ways:


* I already knew this!


! Wow (interesting information)

+ New information


? I don't understand  


At the end of the page or reading selection, students meet with a partner (or in small groups) to talk about their reactions and understandings. It is helpful for students to compare their coding with a partner. The social interaction and discussion enhances understanding and provides an opportunity for reflective engagement.




Dr. Stephanie Birdsong
February 13, 2015