Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Close, Close, Close Reading!

I know I have previously shared materials related to close reading, and if you are tired of reading about it, I do apologize. There are just so many great resources available for close reading, and I know it is still really new (aka: unknown, confusing, what-am-I-supposed-to-do-with-this-new-technique?!?) for most of us. I attended a training session for close reading earlier in May, and I recently participated in a presentation for fellow first-grade teachers at our school district's summer institute training as well. I've been fortunate to accumulate a fairly stable stream of resources related to close reading, so Tally Tales readers are inevitably catching the overflow. I apologize if that bores you.

For the rest of you, I have a couple of resources to share!

This video contains a demonstration of what a close read looks like for independent readers. (Note: Notice the age of these readers. This is the desired goal of close reading for independent readers; not younger readers, still developing those foundational skills. Still, I think it's always helpful to see the end goal, and this video is great for that purpose.)

This video is a great demonstration of close reading for older readers, but obviously, you would not see the same process from students in a Kindergarten or first-grade classroom. For younger readers, the teacher utilizes questioning and facilitates student discussion. The teacher also takes on the primary role as the reader, which is appropriate since the children are not yet at an independent reading level for many teachable texts. The teacher still utilizes the language of mature readers (sorting vocabulary, making inferences, drawing conclusions, etc.), and he/she models the thought process of an independent reader, while simultaneously involving children through higher-order questioning and open discussion.

The following video is a great description of the purpose for close reading instruction: (Where would we be without Kylene Beers?!?)
"The essence of close reading is engagement."~Robert E. Probst

Amid the back-to-school hustle and bustle, I haven't had much time to plan for close reading in my classroom, but I am hoping to structure much of my reading instruction around aspects of close reading this year. I am still trying to learn more about it, and I'm sure the process will be gradual for me. You can probably expect to read more about it from me in the future, but hopefully this has been helpful for you. I have also added some additional items to my TPT product "Common Core-Aligned Close Reading Materials." Here's a preview of the new additions to this packet:

Are you prepared for close reading instruction? Are you currently using it in your classroom? I am always looking for new resources! :)