By Jiali Wang
One paramount goal of literacy acquisition is to empower our students. But how can teachers invite students to critically think about what are they reading and what they write? In this blog, Dr. Kylene Beers' strategy of Notice & Note signposts will be introduced as a powerful strategy for students to become more aware of what to notice during reading and writing.
This is an image introducing the categories of signposts that help readers to dig deeper. To see other categories of signposts that help students become better readers, click here (the Spanish version included).
What is Notice & Note signposts strategy?
The Notice and Note Signposts strategy helps students engage in a careful analysis of complex texts and helps them read sources closely. If we think of signposts as the signs we see when we are driving, when we go to a place that is unfamiliar, we ought to pay more attention to the signs, since they guide us and let us know where we are and where to go.
It is similar when students are grappling with the complex, new texts. The idea is that when students see such signposts, they should slow down, note, ask questions of the text.
This resource provided by HMH introduces what this strategy is intended for and how it works.
Here, we feature some key points and quotes from these resources:
What inspires this strategy?
Teachers ask good guiding questions throughout the whole group reading. However, students need scaffolding to do the same level of thinking on their own.
Why is this strategy helpful?
Students can have some concrete strategies and examples. So the signposts invite students to the texts and then there are some anchor questions that help students to be reflective. So when teachers see a signpost, they are going to ask some particular questions that go along with that. Teacher might consider encouraging more than just identification of the signposts. Encourage the questions, inquiries, and conversations that follow.
How can this strategy help improve writing?
"Students begin to notice what good writers do and observe the signposts -- what hints they give, what structure they use. They may then later translate into their own communication of ideas and writing."
We are teaching kids to be alert as they are reading, to notice the moves that the author makes, and then to stop and ask themselves what that means. So try not to use the word "find;" instead, try to use the word "notice."
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