How I Use It
I use this app everyday in my classroom to help support and enrich my reading instruction. I've curated content specific web-articles for social studies, science, and language arts to share with my entire class. I've selected specific articles for class background on an upcoming study, personal accounts of an event, and current events to practice the close reading strategies.
For small group reading instruction, I am able find and import specific website articles at different reading levels or ones to provide additional scaffolding for in a smaller group setting. This helps to ensure specific needs are getting met, especially for my students where english is a second language or receiving special education services. I can embed specific annotations due to a student's individual need.
With a colleague next door and one across the country, students were able to connect within the pages of an article. We did a study of "The Road to the War" that outlined specific events leading to the American Revolution. My class took the stance as Patriots and my colleague's, as Loyalists. As they read through the information, they annotated their responses through those individual stances, causing them to reflect on the content while providing support for their thinking.
When using Subtext, it's imperative that it's the most recent update. I've found that if things get a little "buggy," students haven't updated to the latest version.
Of all the apps out there, this is in my top three! Subtext is a platform allowing you to curate your own content from website articles, public domain books, pdfs, or anything in eBook format (You can also purchase books through Google Bks). The power comes in the ability to add your own annotations in the form of highlights, questions, polls, quizzes, websites, or videos for students to access and respond to. As a teacher, you are able to see all student responses in real time and be able to gauge comprehension in the moment.
The true power comes when students are empowered to dig deeper and create their own annotations. This encourages student-to-student discussions and a deeper awareness of textual details. This works very well with a small set of devices in a small group setting as well, to help differentiate for a variety of learners. With the paid version, there is an inclusion of individual assignments, all aligned to CCSS, teachers can assign and provide grades and feedback.There is also a bank of curated and annotated articles available with direct alignment to the standards. Subtext is a reading powerhouse.