Photo Credit: Amazon
The first thing I noticed about this book is the amount of passion the authors have for literacy. Their love of teaching really comes through in the way they describe close reading and it's place in our schools. If you've enjoyed The Book Whisperer or any of Lucy Calkins books (The Art of Teaching Reading especially), I think this book will really speak to you.
If you are in an area that has adopted the CCSS, then you know that close reading is written into the standards in several of the strands. But what is close reading? Is it just repeated reading? (No.) Is it teacher directed? (Perhaps at first, but ultimately you want your students to learn to read closely, independently.) Close reading is "an interaction," is about "making careful observations....and interpretations," and "involves rereading." Close reading of a short segment of text should help the reader create "new ideas" about the whole text.
Knowing that close reading is a central piece of the literacy standards, what do we need to do in our instruction to teach our students how to read closely? The authors lay out several bullets of best practices for close reading instruction. Here are a few I thought were particularly important and that I want to remember come this fall:
And...here is the problem with scripted literacy program. The questions are absolutely written to match a book and not the needs of your readers. BUT, I am positive that the lessons and strategies outlined in this text will work during my guided reading time.
The authors suggest using a ritual to teach students to read closely. In this structure, the students reading through a lens, use the lenses to look for patterns and use the patterns to develop a new understanding of the text. The next chapters gives more details about the lenses a student might select, so be sure to check back in next Sunday! And also be sure to enter the giveaway!
Tell me, what does close reading look like in your classroom?