Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers
Instructional Resources for Close Reading
We need the support of one another as we try something new! (I certainly benefited from the support of the first grade teachers this week!) Please let me know if you are interested in co-teaching some close reading lessons or if there are any other ways I can support you!
Launching Close Reading in First Grade!
Here are just a few of the observations from Miss Bickford's first graders:
*I noticed the seeds are hazel and shaped like a boat.
*I noticed the leaves (on the sapling) have jagged edges with little lines.
*I noticed the blossoms are spreading out before the apple forms.
*I noticed the apples look like green blueberries growing in a bunch.
These types of comments were heard in every first grade classroom! We were all so impressed with the way these young learners started to use the phrase "I noticed..." with the vocabulary from the images. Throughout the week, the teachers continued to provide students with opportunities to closely reread the photographs and practice the vocabulary. I was amazed as students shared their thinking, reread the text fluently, highlighted key words in the text, and completed word work activities with our new vocabulary. Below you will see some word work activities completed during the week connected to our text. It was incredible to watch the students so engaged and joyful!
Students explored our new vocabulary words in a few different ways. Some students wrote their words in color,
used magnetic letters or playdough to build the words, and
completed a graphic organizer with a picture to show the meaning of the word.
What's all the fuss about close reading?
(The slides and information below are all from LeeAnne Larsen and our work at the Summer Literacy Institute.)
Why should we start close reading in K-2?
*Build familiarity with text characteristics and conventions, study authors craft and build knowledge.
*Assimilate new information with background knowledge to expand schema by integrating reading, writing, listening and speaking and language.
*Apply comprehension strategies in text in which the strategies can actually be useful.
*Build habits readers need when engaging with complex text-reading strength and reading stamina!
*Research is demonstrating that steady doses of lower level or "just right" texts do not exercise all of the mental processes necessary for dealing with complex text.
How is close reading different in grades K-2?
*Look for texts that are more sophisticated than the ones students use to practice foundational skills. The text should require guidance from the teacher to build comprehension.
*Teacher read aloud or shared reading approaches are use commonly, especially in K-1.
*Ue manipulative tools for annotating (wikki sticks, sticky notes, highlighters).
*Not all texts need to be frontloaded. Let students do some of the heavy lifting!
*Focus on "What the text says" and "How the text says it".
A Few Benefits of Close Reading
*Builds stamina with and knowledge from content rich, appropriately complex text
*Builds academic vocabulary
*Helps identify and clarify points of confusion
*Fosters inferences and locating support in text
*Expects readers to find evidence to answer questions and to pose questions themselves
*Supports analysis and synthesis of text meaning
*Supports determining author's purpose and studying author's craft
*Integrates reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Click on the screen shots of LeeAnne Larsen's slides (below) for more information on planning and incorporating close reading.
Possible Steps for Close Reading
Anchor Charts for Close Reading
Resources for Close Reading
If you are looking for a short text for close reading connected to your content area or a particular standard, you should search on Read Works! In my work with first grade teachers on their apple unit, I just found many texts beginning at the first grade level that would be perfect for close reading! This site is an outstanding resource for all grades!
Read Works has materials for grades K-6 organized by:
*skill and strategy units,
*novel units, and
Close Reading In Action!
Close Reading in First Grade
Close Reading of a Short Text in Second Grade
Close Reading in Second Grade
Close Reading in Fifth Grade
Webinars on Close Reading and Text Dependent Questions for grades K-5 - featuring Karen Mayo!
Webinars Connected to the Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading
Webinars for Close Reading: Before, During and After Strategies to Increase Student Achievement with Informational Text (PK-5) - featuring Nicole Quirion!