Artifact #4

Close Reading Strategies Professional Development Practicum

ED 919 Reading Practicum

Taken: Fall 2014- Spring 2015 Semesters


I love to explore new ideas! So when I was reading the summer copy of Instructor magazine in 2014, reading through the articles, I stumbled upon the suggested teacher reading section. I looked into each book, their cost, and their educational value, I decided to spring for a copy of Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts - and Life by Christopher Lehman, and Kate Roberts. And fall in love I did! Close reading was something that I would teach my fourth grade students anyways as they worked their way through the state's standardized test, but I had never really put a name to it. I would teach my students how to reread for important information, highlight key details, underline, and number their response evidence in the text. The book, however, gave me a broader sense of what I could do with close reading within my classroom. So when I had the opportunity to work on a research project and a practicum experience, I knew that somehow I needed to incorporate my newfound love of close reading. I have worked with my numerous tutoring students, teaching them how to use close reading and how valuable it can be to their learning.

As of recent, Close Reading Strategies have become the "newest" topic of discussion within the literacy world. It's not truly the "newest" strategy, but rather has come back to the forefront of literacy instruction. Many middle and secondary schools have been using this strategy for years, having students reread text for specific information to answer comprehension and analytical questions. But research has recently come to realize that introducing Close Reading Strategies within Elementary grades can positively help students with their literacy skills. Close Reading is when a reader rereads a piece of literature with the specific purpose of examining why the author has made the choices that he or she did. Students are in essence asked to slow down and reflect on the whys of the passage. With the shift to the Common Core and it's corresponding literacy standards, Close Reading Strategies supplement the "new" standards and way learning.

Competency 13: Methods to support classroom teachers and tutors in the improvement of reading instruction, including consultation techniques and professional development

By implementing this professional development and creating a research project regarding this strategy, I was able to deeper understand how to utilize Close Reading and share my learning with my educator peers. Some teachers have had experience with these strategies, but it was a valuable opportunity to reintroduce the topic and refresh their skills on how to present the skills to their students. I was able to take teachers through a typical Close Reading lesson, reading aloud and modeling the necessary strategies. Many teachers later reported using different pieces of the Close Reading Strategies presentation within their literacy period. They were able to tailor their take away from the presentation for their classroom of learners.

The best part of this research is that these strategies can be tailored for the classroom that they are implemented within as well as for the situation in which they are used. The goal of Close Reading is that students can understand the passage, explain it to another individual, and ultimately answer and ask questions based on the passage by using it's information as evidence.

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