If you teach English/Language Arts, BUY THIS BOOK. A self-identified instructional fiend, I have found my latest and greatest. Only this time it’s not about a pedagogical quick fix to keep your students engaged. It’s about real instructional moments that help build stronger readers through close reading. The authors have identified six signposts that when found in text, readers should pause and ask a question of themselves. The questions lead students to COMPREHEND the read. If students find a character acting in a way that contradicts their previous behavior or expected behavior, students should ask themselves, why might the character be doing this. I would put this book into my “top five favorites” box.
Reasons I love this book:
1. The practices have been tried and tested in a diverse range of classrooms across the country. From there, the authors revised their approach based on student and teacher feedback.
2. The mentor text selections are engaging, accessible, and relevant. The signposts revolve around the most common features found in the TOP BOOKS read by middle school and high school students. Meaning, if you read common titles, you’ll come across the sign posts identified by Beers and Probst.
4. The model lessons are teacher-ready. You can teach directly from the script and use the mentor text included. The lesson includes a gradual release model allowing the teacher to model good reading skills and the students to practice independently. A graphic organizer is included for students to find their own examples in a class novel or their independent reading book.
5. The anchor charts, matrices, bookmarks, and other teaching materials are easy to duplicate.