Thursday, December 31, 2015

Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst

Paperback, 273 pages
Published: 2013

In Notice and Note Kylene Beers and Bob Probst introduce 6 "signposts" that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourage students to read closely. Learning first to spot these signposts and then to question them, enables readers to explore the text, any text, finding evidence to support their interpretations. In short, these close reading strategies will help your students to notice and note.

In this timely and practical guide Kylene and Bob:
  • examine the new emphasis on text-dependent questions, rigor, text complexity, and what it means to be literate in the 21st century
  • identify 6 signposts that help readers understand and respond to character development, conflict, point of view, and theme
  • provide 6 text-dependent anchor questions that help readers take note and read more closely
  • offer 6 Notice and Note model lessons, including text selections and teaching tools, that help you introduce each signpost to your students.
Notice and Note will help create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly, and reflect on what it means in their lives. It should help them become the responsive, rigorous, independent readers we not only want students to be but know our democracy demands. 

There are some books that we as teachers swear by, and this is mine. This book was a total game changer for me as a teacher and my students as readers. The signposts presented in this amazing book are easy to understand and even easier to teach thanks to the amazing way this book is set up. Kylene and Bob walk you through their teaching of the signposts in real classrooms, give solid, usable examples for you to implement in your lessons and set it up so that all you have to do is get into your classroom and get to work!

It is so easy to get lost in strategy books to me, but this one was the easiest yet! I loved the honesty from both authors and the realness of the book. Hearing what other teachers had to say about how they implemented the strategies and how students felt about each of the strategies was great. Since I implemented these strategies in my classroom in the Spring of 2013, I have seen a tremendous increase in my students reading and comprehension abilities, skills and have even seen my particular readers (we don't call them "reluctant readers" anymore) turn into avid readers! It has been amazing!

There are even Literature Logs that students can use when learning about these strategies where they can read, write, and respond right on the text. Each signpost begins with a page for students to take notes on, a description of the strategy, then Kylene and Bob walk you through each strategy using text examples from relevant, high-interest novels. My favorite part is that you get to sit in on the conversation right there on paper and see how the strategy is used! This year, I used these for the first time and my students loved being able to write in them. They will definitely be purchased again next year!

These strategies are used for fiction texts, but just a few months ago, this gem was released for the non-fiction texts. The same concept of applying signposts while reading will be implemented through these strategies and some are even similar to the previous signposts (which will make it easier to remember for my students I am sure!). I am currently working my way through this one so that I can implement it in my reading classroom after our Winter Break! My kids are even super excited about it!

Helpful Tip:
I took both of these books (and quite a few others) to Staples and had them spiral bound!! HOLY COW Y'ALL! This was a total life saver for so many reasons. Not only can I flip through pages a whole heck of a lot easier, but for those books that you have to (sometimes... not often) make copies of, this makes it easier to flip around and not have all of that black space!  Best $3 I have ever spent!! You're welcome!!

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