Coach's Corner

February 2016

Spotlight on CCCS - Reading

How do we align our teaching with the CCCS?

“Close Reading”

What is Close Reading?

  • A careful and purposeful reread of a short, information - dense reading passage.

How do we do it?
  • Teachers explicitly model how to answer text dependent questions in which the student is required to not only go back to the text to search for explicit answers, but actively search for inferred and implied meaning. Lesson focus may include point of view, specific vocabulary, author’s purpose and text structure.
Bringing Close Reading and Accountable Talk into an Interactive Read Aloud of Gorillas (3-5)

More to know about Close Reading

Here are 6 Close Reading Practices:

1. Short worthy passages: (3-9 paragraphs) Teacher selects passages that are complex and above the students’ independent reading level. They must also be deeply understood by the teacher.

2. Student rereading: Students read independently and with a peer. The teacher circulates throughout the room, looking for independent text analysis.

3. Limited frontloading: There is no pre-teaching or building background knowledge.

4. Text dependent questions: Students find the evidence in the text, not from their personal experience.

5. Annotation: Teachers first model how to annotate text. Students then use these note-taking skills to support understanding (i.e. circling, starring, underlining).

6. After-reading Tasks: Students may write an argumentative piece and debate with peers.

Close Viewing

How to be an Active Viewer!

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

As educators, our goal is to expose students to a variety of multimedia sources, guiding them as they analyze multiple text and video clips. One way to do this is through Close Viewing. Similar to Close Reading, practice with Close Viewing allows the student to analyze, identify, and compare and contrast both reading passages and video presentations. Students view brief video clips multiple times, and for specific purposes. Teachers model how to take detailed notes, ask questions, and mark points in the video for further discussion. Later, the information gathered is synthesized into a formal essay.

Close Viewing Resources

Museum sites are content-rich multimedia sources. Align these lessons to your Science and Social Studies units of study. Here are just a few to get started!


Each month this section of my newsletter will highlight different resources available in Kindergarten through Sixth grade. This month I'm focusing on our Booksource Texts available in Grades K to 3.

There are a variety of different texts available at Thomas Richards and Atco. These mentor texts include topics for crafting nonfiction, Writer's Workshop, and Comprehension Strategies.

Comprehension Strategies - These mentor texts are to help your students become purposeful, active readers. They offer strong opportunities to model and practice comprehension strategies. The collections focus on the following strategies: connecting, determining importance, inferring, predicting, questioning, summarizing, synthesizing and visualizing/imaging.

Linda Hoyt's Crafting Nonfiction - Linda Hoyt's Crafting Nonfiction presents mini-lessons that will help you elevate craft, integrate standards-based instruction, and demonstrate the writing process as it applies to nonfiction. These mentor texts focus on word choice, text features, and sentence structure.

Writing Workshop Library for Grades K-3 - This collection includes groups of titles that support narrative, persuasive, and informational writing. These collections are designed for targeted mini-lessons and other writing activities in the classroom.

World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe!

World Read Aloud Day is February 24, 2016. A few of us have collaborated and are planning to do a recorded read aloud that you can share with your students. Look for an email by Monday, February 22nd for links! Here is a link for WRAD for additional resources.

Data Walls

What is a data wall?
  • A visual, interactive representation of data that displays results over a period of time.
  • An “at a glance” look at the school’s data as a whole, for specific classrooms, and individual students.

What is the purpose of a data wall?
  • Identify trends for strengths and weaknesses in the school, each grade, or certain student populations
  • Use data walls to make instructional decisions
  • Collaborate to exchange ideas for interventions and teaching strategies
  • Facilitate team engagement and learning
  • Create visuals that anchor teachers’ and campus work, and can be shared with other audiences

What are the benefits of a school-wide data wall?

  • Encourages ownership
  • Influences choices in instructional strategies
  • Promotes a wider repertoire of instructional strategies
  • Builds collaboration through a team approach
  • Allows school teams to target sets of students for the school, the performance level, small groups, and/or individual students
  • Promotes collaboration

The actual data

  • Assessment is the first step in an effective teaching cycle.
  • Evaluating the assessment results reveals the information needed to plan for instruction.
  • Using the data to create and frequently update the data wall will lead to accountability.
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