Anyone Else a Fan of Notice & Note?

It goes without saying that teachers want their students to be attentive and analytical readers of text. But how does one actually go about teaching students the process of getting there?

Enter Notice & Note. 

Notice & Note has quickly become a teacher favorite, thanks to the super effective close reading techniques outlined in the book, Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, written by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. Essentially, there are six signposts that serve as signals for readers to closely examine literature through a rigorous, analytical lens.

I have created several Notice & Note resources to help my students organize their thinking around this instructional approach, including Signpost Mini-Books, Sticky Notes, and Graphic Organizers.

I have also developed several Notice & Note Novel Studies designed to give teachers a detailed roadmap for navigating the various novels with the six Notice and Note Signposts. The signposts are listed along with a "Think-Aloud" teacher script/note, presented in two formats: 

♥ comprehensive notices and notes organized BY CHAPTER; useful when focusing on all six signposts at once

♥ comprehensive notices and notes organized BY SIGNPOST; useful when targeting one signpost at a time 

I have witnessed first hand how useful the Notice & Note model is for students tackling noteworthy texts with a critical eye!

Yours in Literacy,

Sheila :) 

ESCAPE ROOMS for Novels? Why, yes!

Escape Rooms have become all the rage…and for good reason! They are highly-engaging activities that allow students to deepen their understanding of content. It’s a win-win situation for all!

I have been OBSESSED with creating and implementing Escape Rooms for my TpT store and teachers at my school, respectively.  The Escape Rooms that I have created are designed to be used after reading novels and go like this:

  • It assesses students’ knowledge of major story events (Task #1), characters (Task #2), vocabulary (Task #3), and theme (Task #4 with the Quote Reflection) through the use of 4 coded stations. This product also allows students to reflect on themselves as learners (Escape Room Reflection).

An Escape Room can be used after a whole class read (or read aloud), novel study, or even independent reading. The beauty of an Escape Room is that students work collaboratively to solve puzzles; however, it could be completed by individual students as well.

How It Works:

→ Station 1: Students sort through Plot Cards to determine which events actually occurred in the text and put them in plot order. Doing so will reveal a hidden code.

→ Station 2: Students match characters to distinct character descriptions to reveal a hidden code.

→ Station 3: Students match vocabulary words extracted from the text to their respective definitions in order to reveal a hidden code.

→ Station 4: Retrieving clues in the previous stations, students work to decipher a secret message related to the text.

If you’re interested in trying out an Escape Room, come on over to my TpT store, That Book Life. If it’s your first time implementing an Escape Room, rest assured that my goal is to make this as painless as possible!  As such, I have included VERY detailed teacher guides to walk you through every step of the process.






A sampling of students' reflections on their Escape Room.

Each Comprehensive ESCAPE ROOM Product Contains:

  • background information on the novel a 3-page, step-by-step How-It Works Teacher Guide

  • a 3-page Station Details: Teacher Guide

  • a Frequently Asked Questions tip sheet

  • Station Set-Up Instructions

  • an Escape Room Print Checklist

  • an Escape Room Student/Group Completion Checklist

  • a Certificate of Achievement for students

  • 4 Station Signs

  • 4 Clue Card Envelopes

  • 4 pages of Clue Cards

  • Task Card Directions

  • a Student Answer Book

  • an Answer Key

  • 2 Different Student Reflection Sheets

I hope your kids enjoy working with them as much as I love creating them! ♥

Yours in Literacy,

Sheila ☺