I learned that many times that I do exactly as the teachers in the examples do and provide the answers to my questions. With Kindergarten the lessons definitely need to be teacher directed, but I found that giving the class a question and allowing them to work with a partner often raised interesting answers and insight. The multiple readings of the same book to the class for clear understanding and explaining vocabulary that might not be understood are things that I already do. I like the "questioning" part of close reading. In the upper grades the students are supposed to lead the discussion. In Kindergarten I asked the class what they though the book may have led after it ended. They came up with great questions that were unanswered when the book ended. I though this showed that they really though about the text and they each got something out of the group discussions we had and the discussion with a partner.
First, I was completely confused about Close Reading because I thought it was Cloze Reading until I started reading the book! I learned that even though I thought I was having the students look at their reading, it wasn't 'close' enough. I liked the acronyms that third grade came up with for fiction. I felt that after explaining that and using in the classroom, the students had a better handle on the reading. I am planning on using the signposts next year. I thought if I introduced too much at this point of the year, it might be confusing. I also liked the whole class discussion after reading.
At first I had a difficult time digesting the book I had to read. I was able to overlook that and look for ways to help improve reading instruction. I did find the acronyms to be very helpful. I agree with Amy, that it was so late in the year to start too many new strategies. The acronyms that third grade developed for fiction proved to be beneficial, however, it was so late in the year I feel it would be different when we start it from the beginning. I also started to use the CAPS acronym for nonfiction as well, but didn't get to spend as much time on it. I will use it for both fiction and nonfiction next year and hopefully instill the sign posts as well.
I found that it was helpful to give students specific "signposts" to look for while reading. Especially with younger students, I have found that it helps to give them a smaller and easier to obtain task than a broader or more general one. Giving the students a specific moment to look for helped to open up conversation to the broader topics at hand (ex: main idea, author's purpose, etc). These are things that we are already talking about while reading, but using the signposts gives a jumping board for discussion so that students are already engaged in the text in a meaningful way. So much of the discussion that ended up happening lended itself well to the CAFE comprehension strategies that we were learning!
I thought it was very interesting that the authors of Notice and Note found these "signposts" in all the children's and young adult literature that they examined. I have begun to "notice and note" these signposts as I read and plan my lessons. This week I taught contrasts and contradictions to my whole class. It was quite simple to find good examples (in both a Kevin Henkes book and in a chapter book) and they were really able to see this and there were some good predictions backed up by evidence as a result. I am looking forward to teaching all of these next year. I like how they connect with skills we teach and help point students in this direction. I was encouraged by how well students were able to make a prediction using some evidence (something we have worked on all year).
I found that I was already doing a lot of the questioning techniques mentioned in the examples of how the lessons were done. However, I think giving the students one question to ask themselves per signpost help THEM take on more of the responsibility for the questioning and in turn up the level of rigor, and hopefully comprehension in time. I only had time to introduce one signpost and practice a bit. I'm hoping that next year I can gradually introduce all the signposts toward the beginning of the year and practice throughout the school year.