Monday, March 4, 2013

Close Reading

After reading several blogs and attending some professional development workshops, I have realized that we should be teaching students how to read the text closely a.k.a "Close Reading". For the first half of the year I primarily spent time during my focus lessons teaching grammar, comprehension strategies, and accuracy strategies. I use Fridays to work on fluency. I call this time "Fluency Friday". Students practice their reader's theater every week with guidance from me. Then the fourth Friday of the month they perform their play. But I eventually realized that even though we were collecting words on our word collector that it wasn't enough. I needed to choose mentor text to read and teach vocabulary words. I stumbled upon this blog called Hello Literacy. I read her post about Marzano's Vocabulary and decided to use this in my classroom. Free feel to hop on over and check it out on her blog.

Marzano's Six Steps to Vocabulary Instruction

Then I read some more and realized I could reach all of my reading needs by doing what is called "Close Reading" (which is what common core wants us to be doing). My co-team member and I decided that we would sit down and create our first close reading lesson.

We chose to complete this reading with the book "Molly Bannaky". First, we had students read the text by themselves(We made copies of the first few pages of the text so they could make notes. This is totally legal if you only copy 10% of the book). They underlined information they felt was important and circled any word they thought was interesting or they didn't know. Next, we scanned the first few pages onto the Smart Board and wrote text dependent questions and syntax that we thought would be difficult for students. Then we used the think, pair, and share strategy to go through the questions we asked. We had students check for understanding, make predictions/inferences, and form their own opinion about what was going on in the story.
All in all, I think our first try at close reading was a success.

One last note:
This book below is one we are currently reading as professional development with some of our other team members. So far it is great and they have lessons in the book that are ready to apply in your classroom. Apparently, there are six signposts in the book that students should notice then students will make notes about what they noticed in the text. The first lesson is called "Contrasts and Contradictions".  I plan on trying the first lesson out in the next couple of weeks. I'll post to let everyone know how it went!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi There,
    I found your blog through Farley's "Currently". I am a new 4th grader blogger. I'd like to learn more about close reading. I'll be interested to hear what you think of the book.