You Oughta Know: October Blog Hop

I'm back with one of my favorite blog hops; You Oughta Know, hosted by Jasmine at Buzzing with Mrs. Mc Clain!
You oughta know about one of my favorite professional books, Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst. This book has changed the way I teach reading!!
Too often our students read as if it's a race or a task to accomplish: get to the bottom of the page. However, many don't STOP to notice and note (& think about!) what they are reading. Notice & Note teaches six signposts for readers to look for while reading. Each signpost has a key question for students to ask themselves.
You can see the questions above, along with an abbreviation or code for students to use, as they read and write the symbols on post-its to stick in their books. My amazing student teacher made that beautiful anchor chart! (You'll see below that creating cute charts is not my forte! Lol)

To introduce each signpost, I used a picture book to teach a mini-lesson. After introducing the signpost students were to listen for, we charted what they noticed. They caught on very quickly and now they see signposts in EVERYTHING we do! I love how they're transferring those connections!
The one signpost we have not yet learned is "Aha Moment", where a character has a revelation. I'll be reading Bully by Patricia Polacco to introduce this signpost. One of the benefits of learning the signposts is that students begin to attempt to use these also as a writing strategy. When they're writing their own narratives, they often include a memory moment or contrasts & contradictions!

After students learn each new signpost, we model how to record text clues and then to think aloud about what they can infer from that text clue. We are in the middle of reading Sarah, Plain, and Tall and the kids keep finding TONS of signposts!
After some together-time, students went off to read with partners and to record their symbols and inferences. They loved this and were very successful! Circulating the room to observe and spy listen in to readers is also a great informal assessment to check which students understand inference and which ones need a small group reteaching or one-on-one conference.
And I found these colorful signposts bookmarks at Ladybug's Teacher Files; she always has fabulous products!! 

How do you teach meaning and inference to your students?


  1. Love all the anchor charts! These are great references for young learners.

    1. Yes, I've definitely noticed the kids all referring to the anchor charts! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Oh wow! This has been such an informative post. I taught first last year and tried close reading a little bit. This year I teach 2nd grade and have a class full of kids who love reading. We have been close reading since the beginning of the year, but I've been looking for ways to make it a bit more interesting. You've presented such a great way to do this. I think I'd have to change a few things to make it more 2nd grade friendly, but I LOVE that this gets the kids writing. Awesome post!

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

    1. Using the picture books to introduce each signpost (just 1 or 2 per week) because the kids focus in on the close reading strategy right away! I'd love to hear how it works with your second graders! Thanks for organizing the blog hop, Jasmine!