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Stop, Look, and Listen Before You Cross the Street

When you see a stop sign, what do you do?

When you see a caution sign, what do you do?

When you see a flashing light, what do you do?

Those are signs designed to capture you attention and do something …

It may signal that you need to stop or that you need to pay attention.

Too many times, we read and just keep going not even noticing the signals or clues that the author might be sharing in the story. 

I guess we do that in life too …

But right now, let’s focus on when we read stories!

I recently saw some people talking about reading signposts, and I was intrigued, so I searched it, read about it, and even ordered a book (I am a teacher book collector … they make me happy … but I don’t always get a chance to read all the books I buy, so that is something I am focusing on right now). I got so excited about the Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst that I started the ideas from it with my students before I even finished reading the book!

Reading Signposts are places the reader stop and asks questions when they see the character or author say or do something in the text. It is a signal that is helping us pay more attention to what we are reading. Some of the signposts are like bright red flags being waved while others resemble that slightly blinking light far away in the distance.

I am using small piece of text to introduce and practice each sign post (as it recommends in the book) but then I am asking students to apply is using both the book we are reading together and the book that is being read aloud in class. 

So far I have only introduced two of the six reading signposts, but I am amazed (and I don’t use that word lightly) at the conversations that are happening about books in my small groups. 

I see my students looking at what they are reading in new ways. 

I see my students making connection between parts of the book and even to other books that they would not have made before.

I see my students being challenged in their thinking while they are reading!

And that makes this gifted education teacher smile!

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