Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Highlighting Tips

As the new school year begins, parents may be wondering which of the myriad products on the shelves goes beyond bells and whistles and will actually assist students in staying organized. We have found some products that can be very useful for helping kids make sense of reading assignments.

Highlighting Tape

Students who are issued school copies of textbooks can’t write in them, making active learning strategies like highlighting and underlining a challenge. Luckily, a product called highlighting tape allows students to temporarily mark important information. The tape is fluorescent and transparent, and a removable adhesive sticks it to the page until it’s time to return the book. Downsides to this product are that, at ½” wide, it is too thick to highlight single lines of text, and it comes somewhat inconveniently packaged in a standard tape dispenser, making it a bit unwieldy. Criticism aside, it can be a fantastic tool for students who would benefit from being able to mark in their textbooks to help them focus on important information and review for tests. It is available in a variety of colors from Amazon. And don’t forget to pick up a pack of small Post-Its for making margin notes!

Erasable Highlighters 
For students working from their own books or photocopies, erasable highlighters can be a great tool. The process of highlighting may be intimidating, in part because it is so permanent; students are reluctant to “mess up” their texts. Erasable highlighters can eliminate a student’s fears of highlighting the wrong part, however. Each marker has a colored tip on one end and a tip that dispenses liquid to earse the highlighting on the other. For kids just learning active reading strategies, these can be a great tool. Dri-Mark, Pilot, Office Max, and Crayola all manufacture erasable highlighters in a variety of colors.

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