Sunday, July 6, 2014

Falling in Love with Close Reading: Wk #1

Today I am linking up with Dianna from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching for our book study on Falling in Love with Close Reading.  This is the first blogger book study I have ever participated in, and I am so excited!  I hope you will come back each week as we share new ideas/reflections from the book.

Chapter 1 was titled: "Close Reading, A Love Story."  Here are the questions we reflected on:

The first few pages of this book really hooked me in!  I love how the author says that “teaching readers to look at texts closely-by showing them how one word, one scene, or one idea matters-is an opportunity to extend a love affair with reading”.  Just as our students become obsessed with different songs, TV shows, and movies, we want them to also develop that same obsession with reading.  It is our job as teachers to instill that love of reading, by digging deeper into the text.

1. What is Close Reading?
To me, close reading means to take a preselected section of the text and delve deeper into it- to really tear it apart- like a detective searching for an answer to a mystery.  I love doing this with my kids.  Something that is important to keep in mind is that it’s not about quantity (how many pages), but quality (what you can get out of it).
The CCSS are really written for us to guide students in the direction of close reading.  Take a look at these standards that were included in the text:
  • “read closely” and “cite specific textual evidence” (R.1)
  • “analyze how…ideas develop and interact” (R.3)
  • “interpret words and phrases” and “analyze how specific word choices shape meaning” (R.4)
And the list goes on…but I think you get the point.  These standards are begging for our students to dig deeper into the text. 

2. What is Powerful Close Reading Instruction?
There are many areas listed in the book, but two of the most important areas mentioned about Powerful Close Reading Instruction are: 
  • Powerful Close Reading Instruction “must lead to student independence, not dependence on teacher’s prompting” 
  • Powerful Close Reading Instruction "must be repeated across time and involve lots of opportunities for practice, not be a one-time, off-the-checklist activity”
I think these bullet points are so important, because our goal is to teach our students to become life-long readers.  The only way this will happen is if we model/guide/teach our students how to become independent close readers.  This won’t happen in one or two lessons either- it’s going to take many specific, deliberate lessons to develop our students into the readers we want them to be. 

3. What are we doing currently in our Close Reading Instruction?
I teach in North Carolina, and this coming year will be our 3rd year of implementing the CCSS.  Being that I am still a newbie, I am really looking forward to implementing the lessons that are included in this text during this coming school year.  The book talks about teaching students “a Close Reading Ritual” that will help “build independence” in students.  I am eager to read about this ritual and learn ways to help my students “Fall in Love with Close Reading”!  

I hope you enjoyed reading this post & I will see you next week for Chapter 2!

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  1. I just got this book! I need to get reading and then come back to your blog to chime in on my thoughts!!


  2. I look forward to hearing from you! This book is a great read :)