1. My interpretations (brackets): This is where I add my own ideas about
what I am reading. I sense that Mathilde’s husband is initially happy
about the invitation but that Mathilde’s response is odd; that Mathilde
knows to be careful to not ask for too much money for a dress; that her
husband does not speak up about his own desires. None of these ideas are
actually stated in the text, but I am jumping off from the text to add
my own two cents. My goal is to have these two cents grow into a
provocative claim about the story through continued discussion written
into notes on the whiteboard.
2. My questions (question marks): I wonder why Mathilde’s reaction to the
invitation is so strange and strong, what “all the official world” might mean.
3. Big points (underlines): I underline the reason why Mathilde says she cannot
go to the party.
4. Unfamiliar words (circles) and phrases (wavy lines): I circle and look up
words students might not know, including their parts of speech—students must
understand how words function in a sentence before they can use them properly
(for more about why this is so important, see chapter 3). I also try to massage
definitions to fit the story, situating them in an understandable context, as
seen in the definitions for colleague and frugal. This will help
students remember definitions; wavy lines call their attention to how meaning
needs to be discerned from groups of words.
5. Referring back to what was already said (double-headed arrows): the word
card is referred to as invitation, them, and they
later on in the text. Students might not recognize this if it was not marked for