Sunday, April 20, 2014

Notice and Note

Kylene Beers and Robert Probst's book, Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, prompted a great deal of thought as I read. I wrote about their thoughts on text having a single meaning and rigor in previous posts. The authors presented ideas in a way that made me think differently about how I approach reading, both personally and professionally. Labeling the features that make us pause and think while reading is key to providing instruction around them. The authors present their framework as a progressive method for helping students identify text features that provide clues about literary elements and comprehension.

The origins of the book are pre-CCSS so the central concept is about increasing comprehension rather than meeting the close reading thoughts of the Common Core. They did input some information about the CCSS, but it is a sideline, not a main focus. Fiction is the obvious application of their framework, but they are working on a nonfiction adaption and do suggest some ways to think about the signposts in non-ELA subjects around nonfiction.

The book is organized into three sections-background questions that guide their understanding of reading, the signposts they identified and lessons to teach each signpost. Each chapter in the first section contains a Talking with Colleagues section to promote discussion of personal beliefs and how they relate to the ideas in the text. This part of the book would be a great professional learning community beginning.  The other two parts of the book end with a Questions you may have segment, organized like FAQs. Concrete scripts for how to teach the lessons enables a clear description of how to present each part of their framework. It is easy to see how this might work in a classroom. The target audience does appear to be secondary, but with some modifications, it can be adapted to elementary classes.

I modified their summary chart to include the final column, features that were included in the text, but not on their chart. As an itinerant teacher currently working with a homeschooled family in a library, I do not have walls on which to post charts. Having the entire framework on a single page helps me because it is portable. I can put it in a page protector and carry it with me as we go along. The bookmarks that are included in the appendix are another tool I can see myself utilizing with students because of their portability.

I do not think that I will present the lessons one a time to my current English 10 student. I think that I can present the complete list of signposts and walk him through the signposts as we read. Since we have a class of one, student discussion is limited. I will need to promote discussion with me, a tricky role since I cannot be seen as the only purveyor of information. Discussion needs to be full of prompts to get him to think and provide bounce points to build upon. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

No comments:

Post a Comment