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Notice & Note (eBook)

Strategies for Close Reading

By Kylene Beers, Robert E Probst

Notice and Note introduces 6 “signposts” that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and enourages them to read closely. This helps create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly and rigorously, and reflect on what it means to them.


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List Price: $36.88

Web/School Price: $25.81

The Notice & Note Series
Full Description

"Just as rigor does not reside in the barbell but in the act of lifting it, rigor in reading is not an attribute of a text but rather of a reader’s behavior—engaged, observant, responsive, questioning, analytical. The close reading strategies in Notice and Note will help you cultivate those critical reading habits that will make your students more attentive, thoughtful, independent readers."
—Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

In Notice and Note Kylene Beers and Bob Probst introduce 6 “signposts” that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourage students to read closely. Learning first to spot these signposts and then to question them, enables readers to explore the text, any text, finding evidence to support their interpretations. In short, these close reading strategies will help your students to notice and note. 

In this timely and practical guide Kylene and Bob:

  • examine the new emphasis on text-dependent questions, rigor, text complexity, and what it means to be literate in the 21st century
  • identify 6 signposts that help readers understand and respond to character development, conflict, point of view, and theme
  • provide 6 text-dependent anchor questions that help readers take note and read more closely
  • offer 6 Notice and Note model lessons, including text selections and teaching tools, that help you introduce each signpost to your students.

Notice and Note will help create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly, and reflect on what it means in their lives. It should help them become the responsive, rigorous, independent readers we not only want students to be but know our democracy demands.  

A new Notice and Note Literature Log offers students practice finding the signposts—with over-the-shoulder coaching from Kylene and Bob. Save with 5-packs.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)



Notice and Note
Collaborating to Foster Will and Skill
The Need for Close Reading Strategies
Louise Rosenblatt and the Role of Literacy
The Importance of Close Reading
Literature in the Contemporary Curriculum
Literature Log
Kylene and Bob Introduce the Notice and Note Literature Log
Notice and Note Literature Log Tour with Kylene and Bob
A Teaching Tip from Kylene and BobA Teaching Tip from Kylene and Bob


    Part I, The Questions We Pondered, shares our thinking about some critical topics of today.  Because our thinking about these topics mostly took the form of questions we asked of one another, we decided to present this section as a series of questions and our answers.  Our answers, tentative as they are, may help you understand the thinking that guided our development of the Notice and Note Signposts.  Also in Part I you’ll see sections labeled “What you might wonder about.”   These are additional questions we thought you and others in your own learning community might want to discuss.  See these questions as starting points for rich conversations about literacy education in your own classroom and your own school.
    Part II, The Signposts We Found, explains the Notice and Note Signposts, the role of generalizable language, and the anchor question that accompanies each signpost.  
    Part III, The Lessons We Teach, provides model lessons for teaching the Signposts.  This is our language and we don’t expect it to work for you or your students until you’ve put it in your own words, but it will give you a start, a place to begin.
    We hope that Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading will help students come to enjoy the pleasures of reading attentively and responsively.  They will need you to put the right books in their hands, books in which they can get lost and books in which they can find themselves.  And they’ll need you, and other teachers like you, to invite them into the conversations that will transform them into the close and thoughtful readers whose entire lives will be enriched by books.

Table of Contents
Part I:  The Questions We Pondered
1. Is reading still reading?
2. And what is the role of fiction?
3. Where does rigor fit in with this discussion of reading? 
4. What do we mean by intellectual communities?
5. What is the role of talk in creating intellectual communities?
6. Do text-dependent questions foster engagement?
7. What is “Close Reading?”
8. To talk about novels do we all need to be reading the same book?
9. As I’m choosing novels, don’t the CCSS say novels must be harder, be more complex?
10.  And one final question:  Are we creating lifetime learners?

Part II: The Signposts We Found
1. The Notice and Note Signposts
2. Defining the Notice and Note Signposts
3. The Anchor Question for each Signpost
4. The Role of Generalizable Language in Teaching these Lessons
5. The Generalizable Language We Use for Each Signpost
6. Explaining the Signposts to Students
7. Assessment and the Notice and Note Signposts
8. Some Questions You Might Have

Part III The Lessons We Teach
1. Contrasts and Contradictions
2. The Aha Moment
3.  Tough Questions
4. Words of the Wiser
5. Again and Again
6. Memory Moment

1. Student Survey on Discussions
2. Rigor and Talk Checklist
3. Huswifery
4. Text complexity worksheet
5. Notice and Note Bookmark
6. Texts for teaching the Notice and Note Lessons


Companion Resources

Video Study Guide

    Resources from the Appendix

    1. Surveys
    2. Rigor and Talk Checklist
    3. "Huswifery"
    4. Text Complexity Worksheet
    5. Notice and Note Signpost Bookmarks
    6. You Try It
    7. Notice and Note Reading Log
    8. Adaptations of Notice and Note Reading Logs
    9. Notice and Note Signposts in Walk Two Moons
    10. Texts for Teaching the Notice and Note Signpost Lessons
      1. Thank You, Ma’m (for Contrasts and Contradictions)*
      2. Excerpts from Crash (for Aha Moment)*
      3. Excerpts from A Long Walk to Water (for Tough Questions)
      4. Excerpts from Riding Freedom (for Words of the Wiser)
      5. Excerpts from Hatchet (for Again and Again)
      6. Excerpts from Hope Was Here (for Memory Moment)

    *Digital rights not available.


    Reviews from educators like you...

    “This is the missing link. While the Common Core State Standards require students to read complex texts, read closely, and answer text-dependent questions, nothing shows us how to help students do all that during independent reading—nothing until Notice and Note came along. Kylene and Bob show us how we can attend to the demands of the CCSS and support engaged, attentive, independent readers.”
    —Darl Kiernan, PhD., literacy trainer, Northwest Regional Professional Development, NV

    “As Bob and Kylene taught their Notice & Note lessons I watched our students become engaged and excited about reading. Students scoured the text to find support for their thinking, and struggling readers succeeded with texts that would have otherwise been discarded as too hard. Don’t buy just one of these books—buy one for every teacher in your building!” 
    —Margaret Ruppert, literacy specialist, Akron Public Schools, Akron, OH 

    “Bob and Kylene shared these lessons in my class of eighth graders. When my students began to notice the signposts and ask the accompanying anchor questions, navigating a text became possible even for my struggling readers, and the text became something they not only deeply understood but also enjoyed.” 
    —Jennifer Ochoa, middle school teacher, MS 324, New York City, NY

    Notice & Note will help you foster rigorous reading and high-level thinking while honoring your students’ need to interact with what they read. Kylene and Bob forge connections between new academic standards and decades of reading research through commonsense strategies that encourage collaboration and engaged reading. This book is well worth noticing and noting.”
    —Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer and a grade 4 teacher, Ft. Worth, TX

    “As Kylene and Bob taught their Notice & Note lessons at Chicago Shakespeare, I watched a room of teachers get curious, slightly anxious, and then completely enthusiastic about these new avenues for approaching literacy in their urban classrooms. Kylene and Bob understand research and real classrooms, which is why their work continues to be essential.”
    —Marilyn Halperin, Director of Education, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, IL

    "Teaching students to respond to complex texts is a critical aspect of implementing the Common Core State Standards. When I use Notice & Note lessons in my professional development sessions, teachers invariably go deeper into long familiar texts.  These strategies awaken our critical eye and direct us to explore text elements that we might otherwise ignore. Notice and Note strategies will improve how your students analyze and respond to any text." 
    —Patsy Dunton, ELA Specialist, Maine DOE

    "As much as I love Beers and Probst's concept of signposts and anchor questions, I think my favorite part of Notice & Note is their section on “Letting Students Create Text-Dependent Questions.” With a few simple steps, they demonstrate how to teach students to ask questions about texts to drive comprehension and learning. I love this approach because it makes texts accessible to everyone—after all, we can all think of questions as we read—but more importantly, it signals the importance of INQUIRY in learning and ENCOURAGES students to ask questions while reading, which is, in fact, what good readers do. This book makes a vital contribution to the ongoing discussion about how to help students become stronger readers."
    —Sarah Tantillo, author of The Literacy Cookbook

    Read the entire review at Only Good Books

    Related PD Services


    Email if you would like to contact Kylene Beers directly about professional development support.


    Email if you would like to contact Robert E Probst directly about professional development support.