Close Reading at Merryhill Calvine

2014-2015

Digging deeper in reading....

This year at Merryhill Calvine we saw big changes in reading in our classrooms. Our teachers focused on instructing students on the process of Close Reading, which involves digging deeper into reading in order to gain a richer and more meaningful understanding of the text. Students acquired new vocabulary, identified main ideas and key details, studied author's purpose, and gained the conversational skills needed for Close Read class discussions (just to name a few). Here's a peek into each of our classrooms and our experiences with Close Reading!

What is close reading? The 4 phases of close reading:

Effective Close Reading:

1: What does the text say? (Literal meaning: general idea, key details)

2: How does text work? (vocab, text structure, author's style)

3. What does the text mean? (author's purpose and inferences)

4: What does the text inspire you to do? (action oriented questions or tasks)

Kindergarten

Examining Landforms: Ms. Maestas' Kindergarten

"We have been learning about Landforms in Kindergarten. I started with a K/W/L chart, read a few books, watched a few videos on the i-Pad and made a flip book of mountain, valley, hills, plains, and ocean. I found a close read on mountains and another on hills. We read them several times, students highlighted, I posed questions for them and they discussed with a partner their answers. Then we answered out loud as a class. Next week we will do the close read on hills then then compare the similarities and differences of mountains and hills. Eventually my students will be making their own vocabulary book of different landforms with definition and pictures."
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The Giving Tree: Mrs. Morton's Kindergarten

"In Kindergarten, we read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. We were able to deep dive by creating a character map about the two main characters, The Boy and The Tree and what type of character traits they possess. In addition, we found evidence in the text to support that the boy loved the tree and evidence for ways that maybe the boy did not love the tree. To own their learning, the students did an interview with a partner about what they look for in a friend. The student will then, based on their research, create a recipe for friendship."
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Friendship: Mrs. Harvey's Kindergarten Class

"We just started a new series on Friendship. We are beginning with a word web on what we know about Friends. Then we had our first read to get the gist my kids call it, the main idea of the text. We ended that lesson in a table talk about our expectations from this series. We wrote these expectations on white boards and we will continue next week. Reading excerpts from the giving tree comparing the characters, the tree and the boy. Our essential question is, "how do you describe a good friendship?"
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1st Grade

Amelia Earhart: Ms. Leadham's 1st Grade

"In my first grade class we did a close read of Amelia Earhart. First we read the text and discussed main ideas. The next time we read, we underlined important sentences and vocabulary. On our third read we discussed why Amelia was important and why we should read about her. We also filled out a paper about her in our social studies learning log."
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Influential African Americans: Ms. Bolen's 1st grade

"After close reading selections about influential African Americans, students were asked to choose one person that they believed would make a good President. This also tied into our unit on the United States during which we did several close reads about Presidents and leadership. Students used their learning logs, our close read posters, and the annotated text to support them in creating campaign posters."
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2nd Grade

Historical Women- Amelia Earhart: Ms. Silver's 2nd Grade

"My class completed a close read on an article about Amelia Earhart. The article tied perfectly with our Social Studies chapter, which discussed how we can link our world together through inventions, such as cars, airplanes, etc. The chapter quickly referred to Amelia Earhart and as a class we wanted to learn more about her. Also, the article was used as an extension activity after we had just finished a story from our Reading Street book, called "Just Like Josh Gibson." The main theme of the story was that anything a guy can do, a girl can do and that we shouldn't prejudge a woman's skill set based solely off her gender or appearance. This idea is apparent when you learn Amelia’s story. Earhart was the first female aviator in an all male sport and profession. She took many risks and showed her skill and bravery by breaking numerous flying records, such as being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. My students really enjoyed learning about her and made great text-to-text connections and were able to apply many concepts taught this year to the activity."
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Motion and Force: Mr. Boland's 2nd Grade

"We have been learning about motion and force recently when it comes to our Physical Science Unit. As a result, I decided to do close reads with my class that would help enhance their understanding of force and motion. The two articles that we read were Up to Speed and Amusement Park Motion. The students learned about how motion and force are involved in roller coasters while reading the first article. The second article focused on how the different rides and games at amusement parks are examples of motion, force, and momentum in action. "
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3rd Grade

Bullying: Mrs. Magiera's 3rd Grade

"We did three close reads on bullying, discussed what it is, what it feels like, and how we can stop and/or prevent it. The pictures show the kids working together on their anti-bullying posters as well as the finished products and our class bulletin board."
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4th Grade

All about Owls: Mrs. Finch's 4th Grade

"Our 4th Grade class did a Close Read on Owls. Our class enjoyed reading books, articles, writing their facts that they found on the I-Pads, and making a bird Lapbook. We continued learning about owls with our Owls flip-flap book. This revealed information to be found on the computer such as habitat, size, description, offspring, and protection. We then wrote a paragraph to culminate the lesson by writing what we had just learned.

Our school ordered Owl Pellets from Washington. When they arrived our class was very excited and we were able to begin the next week. Below you will find our STEM project with Owl Pellets. This was an excellent way to close our unit. We also had the opportunity to listen to owls on the computer! This turned out to be very fascinating and exciting to hear the sounds of different species of owls."

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5th Grade

Creating Close Read Anchor Charts: Mr. Kimble's 5th Grade

"Our 5th graders put on their close reader hats and designed their own "mini-anchor charts" on what they've learned about reading complex writing multiple times. The charts were created as a reminder resource for themselves and to help teach other students about the skill."
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6th Grade

Exploring the World: Mrs. Brown's 6th Grade

"In 6th grade our subjects take us to other countries where the culture can be very different from our own. Together throughout this lesson, we utilized our iPads to research pictures, maps, vocabulary, and much more. One day I came across a very interesting article on climate and vegetation of this particular region (which was a 7th grade level-always read one level ahead!). We read the article slowly two times, circled words in the text that may have been new to us, used the text to answer questions, talked with our peers to further understand the meaning behind the article, and summarized to confirm comprehension of the reading. We have continued to use this strategy in daily and weekly assignments."
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We can't wait to see where our adventures in reading take us next year!