How To Treat A Textbook

How To Treat A Textbook

One of my favorite students came by this morning to talk about the reading assignment in her textbook. This is a student that I’ve mentioned before on this blog. I had to look twice at her textbook when she opened it up as the margins were completely filled with the most detailed notes that I’ve ever seen in a student textbook. As I flipped through her book I noticed the same thing on just about every page. She had notes from primary sources, quotes from my lectures, and comments on the illustrations contained in the book. Some of the notes were written in English while others were written in Korean. Even more impressive was the highlighting. Now, I make it a point to tell my students to never use highlighting as a way to study as it creates a “seeming sense” of understanding. However, in this case the student had used different colors to highlight for different reasons; there was a method behind what appeared to be sheer madness. I was tempted to ask if I could keep her textbook as a sample of how to treat a textbook. It has been a pleasure teaching this student. All too often AP students start out with an eagerness and curiosity only to get bogged down in the amount of reading and writing for the course. It is not an easy curriculum. Given that English is not this student’s first language it has been wonderful watching her grow in confidence and in her curiosity for this country’s history. She mentioned that a career in International Relations may be in her future. I told her to make sure that I write one of her letters of recommendation next year.

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