Since this is a story the class had read last year, they were able to focus on the active reading strategy (rather than try to do that AND read new information).
First, I modeled for the class what MY active reading looks like. I read aloud and then "thought-aloud" as I wrote notes on my text.
Then, students were paired up to try it out themselves. We talked about what this "buddy reading" should look like and what each partner was expected to do. We practiced for a short time, about ten minutes, then stopped to check in. Volunteers shared their active reading notes using the document camera to project their page on the board. We talked about the kind of text to mark and the kinds of comments to match with it.
Next, we talked about how much they should be writing. Here's where the ice cream metaphor comes in. "Vanilla" is a blank page - no notes at all. Basically, it's what the text looked like when I gave it to them. "Cookie Dough" represents some attempt at documenting their thinking, but it comes in "clumps" and isn't consistent throughout the text. "Chocolate Ripple" is a consistent mix of text and thinking (really, it's more text than thinking because there's more vanilla than chocolate swirl). But the balance is maintained throughout the story or novel. Finally, "Chocolate" is a heavy dose of notes and writing on the page -- so much that there is no white space left at all. With "chocolate" notes, there is no evidence that the reader did any choosing or determining importance when making notes because everything is marked. The goal is the "Chocolate Ripple" model.
Once teams felt comfortable, they continued reading the story together and collaborating on active reading notes. We did not finish the story today (this kind of reading takes much longer ... the buddy reading and the active notes are both intentionally designed to get the readers to SLOW DOWN), but we did make EXCELLENT progress. They did a marvelous job of trying this out fairly independently for the first time. We will finish up the story tomorrow, and then continue with other short stories next week.