What is this article about? What can you infer? What was the author’s purpose? Who is already bored?…me. I dislike the basic questioning that accompanies many nonfictional or informational pieces and after reading Notice & Note for Nonfiction by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, I knew I had to share their strategies with teachers. I started with a visual of digging in sand for buried treasure.
I placed a bucket of sand in front of the teachers and allowed 6 people to dig for treasure but they had to follow my directions exactly.
- Get the tool given to you and proceed to use it properly. Since you have no tool, you are done. STOP! (I was trying to show that we must give our students the tools for the tasks we give them to complete.)
- Get the tool given to you and proceed to use it properly. Since you have a rake, gently rake the top of the sand (do not dig) Because you are unable to break through the sand, you are done. STOP! (And we must give them the proper tools.)
- Get the tool given to you and proceed to use it properly. Since you have a shovel, you may dig in the sand but you are so use to someone telling you how to dig that you cannot proceed without further directions. There are no further directions, so you are done. Stop! (This is the outcome when students are spoon fed.)
- Get the tool given to you and proceed to use it properly. Since you have a shovel, you may dig in the sand by removing the red flag and only digging under the flag. Dig in that area looking for 2 green coins. You found them? Great job. Stop! (Many times students stop looking because we direct them to find one specific item.)
- Get the tool given to you and proceed to use it properly. Since you have a shovel, you may dig anywhere in the sand until you find 2 gold coins. You found them? You have your 2 gold coins? Great job. Stop! (Here the teacher has given the student freedom of where to look but still stops him after he finds what the teacher wanted him to find.)
- Get the tool of your choice from those available on the table. Since you have chosen the tool that works best for you, you may use it to gently and thoroughly dig for coins until you are satisfied that all the treasure has been found. You found them? How many? Great job. Stop! (Here the student is allowed choice in the tool, freedom to dig, and finds treasure until he is satisfied he is done.)
They GOT it! The visual was a great way to start my PD on digging into a nonfictional text for all the treasures that can be found in them.
I then moved on to my presentation which shared strategies from Notice & Note.
I love giving students an anticipatory set for reading nonfiction, they are hooked into wanting to read the article and your job just got a whole lot easier. Then, easier still when you facilitate their learning but the students are the ones in control of the questions and direction of learning from the text.
The teachers loved introducing nonfictional texts this way and enjoyed the student driven questions activity we did next.
Teachers were given time to build their own anticipatory set from a nonfictional article and enjoyed the hands on time and discussions that occurred from this collaboration time. I have already had several email me about how they have incorporated this strategy into their lessons and the student feedback was positive.
How have you used Notice & Note?