Signposts and Strategies
I love the book Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. This book introduces six key signposts that readers should notice while they read, common elements that many authors include that often give insight toward the deeper meaning of a piece of literature. You can read more about these signposts here.
As much as I enjoyed this book and want to use it, I have struggled to find the best way to present this material. My team uses a reading workshop model that cycles through the various strategies good readers use as identified by many authors including Stephanie Harvey. These strategies include making connections, questioning, visualizing, determining what it important, inferring, and synthesizing. Each time we cycle through these strategies during the year, we go a bit deeper.
I have been working to figure out the best way to incorporate the Notice and Note Signposts into our curriculum. Last year, I tried spending a week, introducing a new signpost each day. This was useful, but there wasn’t time to fully develop and practice each signpost. The signposts came flying at the students so fast that they sometimes got them confused.
This year, I considered teaching a new signpost each Monday for a six-week period. However, I decided against this because it seemed too random and inauthentic. It wouldn’t connect to anything else we were doing.
I have decided to try to find a natural fit for each signpost in our reading strategy curriculum. Here are the matches I have imagined
- Aha Moment – Determining Importance
- Memory Moment – Visualizing
- Tough Questions – Questioning
- Words of the Wiser – Inferring/Synthesizing – theme
- Contradictions – Inferring
- Again and Again – Determining Importance
Introducing these signposts in a natural spot in the curriculum should give them more meaning and relevance. As I go through the year, I plan to reflect on the success or lack thereof that I experience.