Sunday, July 6, 2014

Falling in love with Close Reading Book Study: Chapter 1

Hi friends!  I'm linking up with Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching's Summer Book Study of  Falling in Love with Close Reading. Over the next few weeks, I'll offer a review of the book, chapter by chapter.  You'll be able to check out other blogs for more perspective and hopefully get some great ideas to infuse into your literacy instruction for next year!

Photo Credit: Amazon
 Chapter One: Close Reading, A Love Story

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:

Our school uses ReadyGen for our literacy program.  Close reading is a part of our morning, every morning.  (We also work on vocabulary, forming and defending opinions, reading skills such as compare/contrast, identifying theme and writing in response to reading.)

 I can't say that I achieved this level of independence last year, so I am excited to make this my goal for this year.  My students only reread when I prompted them.  They were reluctant to return to the text if it involved searching and they only really went back to text to prove someone wrong during team talk (LOL!). 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?

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