# Annotation Guide

**What is annotation?**

Annotation is a strategy for recording the collective thinking of a group of students during a classroom discussion to improve access to the mathematical ideas presented for all students.

- While a student describes their strategy, or as another student restates another student’s strategy, either the teacher or a student records the thinking on a diagram of the task.
- The strategic use of color, symbols, words, and diagrams can help students make mathematical connections and/or see mathematical structure.
- This creates a record that can be referred to later and allows all students to have access to the ideas being discussed.
- Annotation also reduces some ambiguity that exists in language so that students know what is being talked about.
- Annotation provides a visual for students still developing the language of instruction.

This folder has more examples of annotation.

**Recommendations:**

- Do the task yourself.
- Consider the mathematical content and/or practice goal of the task.
- Anticipate student approaches to the task.
- Practice annotating those student approaches, paying attention to how the annotation supports the goal of the task.
- Be strategic in your use of annotations and try not to overwhelm students with too much detail.
- Note that some students have color blindness, so avoid the use of green and use symbols as well as color to help students make connections.