20 Reasons Why Subtext Rocks Reading

September 09, 2014
Dena Glynn
Classroom teacher
Tierra Bonita Elementary School
Poway, United States
CATEGORIES In the Classroom, Tools

If you don't know about Subtext, you and your students are missing out! With an iPad app, a Web version, and integration with Edmodo, Subtext allows all students the ability to read and annotate a text together. Gone are the days of using sticky notes to mark pages and take notes. Take a dive into the 21st century with the most real-time close reading experience available. Teachers and students can annotate questions, quizzes, pictures, and discuss -- all within the text -- using this fabulous tool.

Here are 20 ways I use Subtext to rock reading in my classroom:

1. Ask a question. Simply highlight the text, press Discuss, and you can embed a question for students. Encourage students to create their own questions and discuss with each other.

2. Make a multiple-choice quiz. Highlight a selection and make a quiz; students can see results instantly.

3. Poll the class. In the middle of an exciting part or at the end of a passage, ask what students think or what the character should do next via an embedded poll.

4. Add a true/false question. Do a quick gauge of comprehension by putting in a T/F question.

5. Insert a picture. Is there a section in the reading where a picture would help? Maybe your English learners could benefit from a visual? Simply add a picture from your camera roll or the Web.

6. Add a link. Build background knowledge by adding another location for students to access; consider additional resources or sites to use for research.

7. See everything. I mean everything: what students are posting, responding, and doing -- all in real time and with a touch of a button.

8. Cloak a response. When asking a question, you can allow only those students who've posted their response the ability to see others' responses. This helps keep everyone on target.

9. Highlight text. Found an important place to take notes? Teach highlighting skills and and how to annotate texts.

10. Tag text. Using the highlighting tool, you can customize tags for students to use in marking up the text.

11. Google it. After highlighting, use the Google feature look up the notation. Students can see an image or find more information. This is a feature teachers can turn off if needed.

12. Copy and paste text. Once text is highlighted, press the Copy button and you can copy and paste it to an outside location or into a Google Doc (see #13). Perfect for locating textual evidence.

13. Connect with Google. Have an assignment for students to complete? Better yet, need to copy and paste text into a document? A simple touch of the button gets you to a Google account within Subtext.

14. Create book groups. You can create a group for the entire class or organize students into smaller groups. Each group generates a specific code that the members type in to join. No limit to your classroom, content focus, or imagination.

15. Curate your own Web content. Do you have an article for the whole class to read? Starting a new unit in weather? Want to find appropriate current event articles to read? Go right ahead, just press the button.

16. Track progress. See exactly where the students are in an article or in a book in real time.

17. Send a message. Have specific feedback or reminders for students? You can send them a message within Subtext.

18. Connect with the public library. Through a connection with OverDrive, you can check out books and read them.

19. Share a PDF or ePub file. When opening a PDF or ePub file on your iPad, you can "Open in" Subtext. Share it with students and let the annotations begin. 

20. Get everyone in the same place. Double-tap a spot in the text, "Invite a group" to the location, and voila, everyone is there.