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March 9, 2016 Your Go-To Guide for Close Reading By Kriscia Cabral
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Close reading is one very hot topic in the Common Core ELA State Standards. Top Teacher blogger Genia Connell does a wonderful job sharing an in-depth definition of what close reading is, along with strategies and questions you might be asking yourself around the topic in her post, "Investigating Nonfiction Part 2: Digging Deeper With Close Reading."

    How can you make sure to include close reading in your teaching instruction on a more consistent basis? Read on to see how I’ve been able to take one Scholastic resource and help students take ownership of their learning as well as create an organized routine to promote engaged reading in the classroom.

    While I value the inclusion of close reading as a part of reading instruction, I struggled with finding the right passages to do so. I was recently introduced to Literary Passages: Close Reading 20 Reading Selections With Text-Marking Exercises by Marcia Miller and Martin Lee. This book is filled with reading passages that vary in genre. The text-marking exercises reinforce comprehension skills such as describing characters, setting, point of view, mood, key events and details, and more. This resource made close reading a well-oiled machine in my room!

    One Way to Create Student-Ownership

    I started by making individual copies of the 20 passages and the "Do More" comprehension questions that go along with each passage. Another perk about this book is that the passages are not too long, nor too short. They don’t go over a page in length and include a single-page comprehension check page. I copied the passage on one side and the questions on the back for each student.

    I then needed a place to put everything. I created folders for students by using a two-pocket, three-ring prong folder for students to use. I hole-punched the passages and put them inside the folder along with some visual reminders. Each student got a cover page, reminders for how to complete a close read based on a whole-class lesson at a previous time, comprehension skill summary card hand-outs (included in the book), and a vocabulary page (to document new words of interest).

    We have a whole-class discussion around the folders and the routines. The purposeof the folders it to hold their close reading materials. The reason for the routine is to discuss the reading as a class first and then go back to read when assigned to do so.

    This is also a review for my class about what close reading is and why we do it. I talk with the class about the importance of practicing such a skill. I even read the small blurb that is written in the front of the book about being actively engaged in reading and the purpose of text marking. I explain to students that they are in control of their own learning and they can monitor and track how much more they understand as they grow and read more and more of the passages in the folder.

    Before getting started with the first read, we review the resource pages that are available at the front of their folder: how to do a close read, summary cards, and the vocabulary page.

    I always introduce or refer to the comprehension skill we are covering and then spark some background knowledge with questioning and sharing before we begin. I model the first passage and just about every first read with the whole class. We talk about this one as our cold read, our second read is a warm read, and the third one is a hot read. The second or warm read is an opportunity for students to read quietly on their own and mark the text. The third or hot read is done at an independent level for most students. They go back in the text to find answers to questions they might’ve had and then students can prove their understanding by answering the provided questions on the back.

    I sometimes break up the reads by days (first read one day, second read another, etc.) and answer the questions on the last day (usually a Friday or a Monday). After we answer the questions, students reflect and “smiley-face” one thing they are proud of from that close reading and “star” one thing they’d like to do better next time. I check the passages when I check in with students to discuss reading progress.

    Because all of the passages are broken up by comprehension skills, I have the ability to pick and choose the order that we go in. If we are studying the setting and mood of a text, I can assign students a certain passage for our close read of the week.

    If you are looking for a go-to guide with standard-aligned lessons to support your teaching instruction, this book is perfect for what you need. Everything is there for you including an answer key. The folder option sets you up for at least 20 weeks if you plan to do one a week, longer if you choose not to. The text is engaging. The passages are grade-level appropriate and I can see the learning happening. The close read routine in my classroom is stellar because of the great practice that the already-created passages provide.

    What’s your go-to resource for close reading? I’d love to hear from you!

    Thanks for reading!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    Let's connect on Twitter and Pinterest!

     

    Some of the products in this blog post were provided to the blogger by Scholastic for her review and suggested use.

     

    Close reading is one very hot topic in the Common Core ELA State Standards. Top Teacher blogger Genia Connell does a wonderful job sharing an in-depth definition of what close reading is, along with strategies and questions you might be asking yourself around the topic in her post, "Investigating Nonfiction Part 2: Digging Deeper With Close Reading."

    How can you make sure to include close reading in your teaching instruction on a more consistent basis? Read on to see how I’ve been able to take one Scholastic resource and help students take ownership of their learning as well as create an organized routine to promote engaged reading in the classroom.

    While I value the inclusion of close reading as a part of reading instruction, I struggled with finding the right passages to do so. I was recently introduced to Literary Passages: Close Reading 20 Reading Selections With Text-Marking Exercises by Marcia Miller and Martin Lee. This book is filled with reading passages that vary in genre. The text-marking exercises reinforce comprehension skills such as describing characters, setting, point of view, mood, key events and details, and more. This resource made close reading a well-oiled machine in my room!

    One Way to Create Student-Ownership

    I started by making individual copies of the 20 passages and the "Do More" comprehension questions that go along with each passage. Another perk about this book is that the passages are not too long, nor too short. They don’t go over a page in length and include a single-page comprehension check page. I copied the passage on one side and the questions on the back for each student.

    I then needed a place to put everything. I created folders for students by using a two-pocket, three-ring prong folder for students to use. I hole-punched the passages and put them inside the folder along with some visual reminders. Each student got a cover page, reminders for how to complete a close read based on a whole-class lesson at a previous time, comprehension skill summary card hand-outs (included in the book), and a vocabulary page (to document new words of interest).

    We have a whole-class discussion around the folders and the routines. The purposeof the folders it to hold their close reading materials. The reason for the routine is to discuss the reading as a class first and then go back to read when assigned to do so.

    This is also a review for my class about what close reading is and why we do it. I talk with the class about the importance of practicing such a skill. I even read the small blurb that is written in the front of the book about being actively engaged in reading and the purpose of text marking. I explain to students that they are in control of their own learning and they can monitor and track how much more they understand as they grow and read more and more of the passages in the folder.

    Before getting started with the first read, we review the resource pages that are available at the front of their folder: how to do a close read, summary cards, and the vocabulary page.

    I always introduce or refer to the comprehension skill we are covering and then spark some background knowledge with questioning and sharing before we begin. I model the first passage and just about every first read with the whole class. We talk about this one as our cold read, our second read is a warm read, and the third one is a hot read. The second or warm read is an opportunity for students to read quietly on their own and mark the text. The third or hot read is done at an independent level for most students. They go back in the text to find answers to questions they might’ve had and then students can prove their understanding by answering the provided questions on the back.

    I sometimes break up the reads by days (first read one day, second read another, etc.) and answer the questions on the last day (usually a Friday or a Monday). After we answer the questions, students reflect and “smiley-face” one thing they are proud of from that close reading and “star” one thing they’d like to do better next time. I check the passages when I check in with students to discuss reading progress.

    Because all of the passages are broken up by comprehension skills, I have the ability to pick and choose the order that we go in. If we are studying the setting and mood of a text, I can assign students a certain passage for our close read of the week.

    If you are looking for a go-to guide with standard-aligned lessons to support your teaching instruction, this book is perfect for what you need. Everything is there for you including an answer key. The folder option sets you up for at least 20 weeks if you plan to do one a week, longer if you choose not to. The text is engaging. The passages are grade-level appropriate and I can see the learning happening. The close read routine in my classroom is stellar because of the great practice that the already-created passages provide.

    What’s your go-to resource for close reading? I’d love to hear from you!

    Thanks for reading!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    Let's connect on Twitter and Pinterest!

     

    Some of the products in this blog post were provided to the blogger by Scholastic for her review and suggested use.

     

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