A start to finish approach to reading an article from an on-line source with my junior/senior level college prep biology class.
This movie was made by using Xtranormal. It’s okay to giggle…
Because I want students to be active readers and to think about how they read, I made this fun and interactive poll. This poll began our class discussion on reading. The question comes up individually and as the students send in their responses they can see the different categories change in their percentages.I used Poll Everywhere to create the poll.
Click on the first question (poll) and it will go to a new screen with just that poll. Advance through the polls as each one is completed. After each poll a brief discussion can be had.
The pol can be used multiple times – either clear the results after each class or you can aggregate the results.
While I use the signpost for articles, I do have the BIGFOX for reading textbooks.
This is the article I gave them to read….I did not double side it – I find it easier to annotate this way
I wanted to break down the process and address each step and have a start to finish approach.
This activity was done with students I had last year so I knew what basic concepts they already had.
Before readingThis graphic organizer opens the discussion about biomolecules and sugars. Its easy to transition into food and nutrition and HFCS.
It wasn’t until I took a class with Jeff Wilhelm that I first began to understand that what I did as a reader wasn’t necessarily what everyone else did. It had never occurred to me that students struggled with reading…and that they stopped after decoding the words. That was an Aha Moment!
There are many on-line resources for annotation and of course the English department is a wonderful resource. I try to be consistent with them so the students get the same message in multiple places. This is similar to the Post-It strategy.
These signposts were originally designed for reading fiction and were discussed at a workshop this summer in Augusta, Maine on the transition to the Common Core. Adapted by NHS English department from work published in a new book by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst entitled Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading. (Due out Nov. 15, 2012)
I gave students a handout with the signposts of the signposts in table format.
1. In this article I did not know HFCS was also a preservative!2. My health could be affected – obesity and its associated diseases
3. For me in this article I didn’t really have a big aha moment…and that’s okay. Not every text has all six signposts for everyone! But I did really think about in 20 years HFCS use has increased by 1000% !! Maybe not an “aha” but definitly an “omg” moment.4. Health issues overall were repeated.
5. I remember when nutritional labels came into my life and how I was focused on calories. Now I look for trans fats, cholesterol, Na, and…HFCS!!6.* HFCS is ubiquitous (SAT word…just saying!) *It interferes with metabolic functions of the liver and leptin release *it is associated with obesity, diabetes, hypertension *it has been suggested by the Corn Refiners Association to rename HFCS as corn syrup
You can get the “artists” to make signpost like street signs to add a little flare.
I have several articles with a wide range of reading difficulty and length handy and ready to make copies.
Click on the link below to hear a possible
conversation between a teacher and a student
that struggles with reading
An Interactive Poll
This poll has ten questions that students answer
either by texting or by computer. It gives real
time responses and the students love using their
cell phones in class. I’ve included a screen shot
of the ten questions and an example of how one
question looks with results.
In class I sign into my account and project the
poll on the screen.
“Low hanging branches"
and "bumps in the road"
The Common Core has students reading 70%
non-fiction in their high school years. Aside from
textbook reading, I want my students to read
articles that connect what we do in class with
how it affects or influences their lives.
Low hanging branches and bumps in the road
refers to slowing the student down and giving
them focus points to interact with the text.
The Effect of High-Fructose Corn Syrup on
Jan 16, 2011 | By Angela Ogunjimi
the official partner of the Lance Armstrong foundation
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/357928-the-
The Reading Process
• Graphic organizer and class discussion to activate prior
• Annotation using the 6 signposts for non-fiction
• Sticky note gallery of signposts
• Look at the food they eat and make a list that have HFCS
Choose an article that students have
some knowledge about and that they
will find interesting.
The first article I chose was about high
fructose corn syrup. The students
have some background knowledge on
biomolecules from last year. I used the
next slide to activate prior knowledge
Good readers naturally interact with the text and
have a varied bag of strategies that they employ
as they read. They change and adapt their
approach based on the texts they encounter.
Struggling students are often unaware of these
strategies and often have not been instructed
what to do beyond decoding the words.
Give students a hand out on annotating with the big ideas..
• It’s not just about highlighting!
• Look for the signpost – keep them handy – MAKE A STICKY NOTE
• Underline big ideas and note them in the margin
• Circle words you don’t know
• Use symbols
• Make lists
• Devise and strategize in your own style
Six Signposts For
The following six signposts are “low
hanging branches and bumps in the
road” designed to slow the reader
down and give them specific areas to
focus on and interact with the text.
1. Contrast and Contradictions
2. Words to the Wiser
3. Aha Moment
4. Again and Again
5. Memory Moment
6. Tough Questions
The Signposts Explained 1& 2
contradicts what you think
you already know or expect
or seems contrary to what
you know about the world,
Words to the
How might YOU be
affected by what you have
read? What impact could it
have on your life or the
people you know?
Signposts 3 & 4
When the BIG idea "clicks
into place." The fact(s) or
idea(s) that enable you to
make sense of the BIG idea.
Again and Again
When a word, phrase, or
idea is repeated throughout
the piece--TAKE NOTE! How
or why is it important to the
main idea or supporting
details of the text?
Signposts 5 & 6
When something you
read triggers a memory--
enables you to make a
connection between the
text and YOUR life, your
Ask YOURSELF the tough
paraphrase what I have
learned from this text?
Read the first paragraph and stop – either out
loud or silently depending on group.
Model your signposts for that first paragraph.
Read the second Paragraph and ask for student
Have students finish reading the article.
Make six easel paper signpost pages and place them
around the room…or in the hall.
Ask students to make a sticky note for each signpost
Have students place their sticky notes on the
Go through each signpost and summarize the notes
as a class activity.
Ask students to read the labels on the food at home
or in the grocery store.
How many food products do they consume that
Did they notice any labels that say “HFCS free”?
Has this article had any affect on how they will
choose products in the future?
Would they like to know more?