Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Notice and Note Book Study: Anchor Questions and General Language

These two sections in the book are pretty short and sweet!  So shall this post be ;o)

Anchor Questions
After finding the different signposts are they were reading, the authors and other teachers kept coming upon the problems of questioning.  "Problem?" you might ask?  The problem was that prior to this, we (the teachers) always asked the questions.  It's in our nature!  But they were our questions, not the student's questions and all that did was have students look for one particular answer and then be done.  Not continue to question, as they should.  Thus they created the Anchor Questions!

I found it pretty amazing that they could come up with one question per signpost that could cover all possibilities, but they seemed to have done the impossible!  Once a students has noticed and noted a signposts then you ask the anchor question to further their thinking and questioning.  When teaching the signposts, also teach the anchor questions as well.  I've updated my organizer freebie from the last book study post to include the anchor questions for you!  Click on the image to get your copy.


The Role of Generalizable Language
This whole section was about using a "general language" as you read through multiple texts.  When you are pausing and reflecting on parts of a story with your class, you only talk about that particular character's issues.  That is only showing the students how to understand one character in one book.  By using a general language about the signposts, you are constantly showing students how to find and comprehend those moments in ALL texts, not just the one you are reading.

We have all been here.  Reading aloud to the class, reflecting and discussing, thinking they've got it, and then you move on to individual conferences and they are lost.  They can't form these reflections on their own because they don't know how to do it with a different book.  By using a general language, always referring to the signposts and then adding in specific detail about your book, you are showing them how to find that general language in all books!

Sorry, it's late and this is one sleepy girl.  I hope that all made sense!  Essentially, use the signposts in discussion and the anchor questions! :o)


  1. I love this! I am moving from first to fourth and this will be a big help. Thanks so much for sharing.