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Close Reading in the Classroom

What is a Close Read?
Last year our district focused on Close Reads as an integral part of our ELA program.  In my district, we have been encouraged to do a non-fiction close read once a month.  The New York State Education Department has encouraged us to use Close Reads as part of our ELA instruction as a means to dive deeper into the text to gain a richer understanding of its meaning.  The complexity of the text is a key component.  Students should be reading texts that are difficult for them during the initial read.  Vocabulary within the text should be challenging as well.  Students need to do multiple readings of the text to uncover a deeper understanding and gain richer meaning from it.  Non-fiction close reads have been at the forefront of the training that I have received.  This year, I am hoping to gain more knowledge about how to do a Close Read with a fictional story.  Once you understand the theory behind the Close Read and the format to do a Close Read, you will feel more
prepared to use them with your students. 
“Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension.”    Nancy Boyles,  Educational Leadership January 2013

A Close read is…
Has a defined purpose
Sees connections within text
Provides a reason to learn
Teaches students to dig deeper
A process to learning more
Close reading.. Is not a change to what you teach 
– just how you teach it.

Check out the Close Read steps that I follow to complete a Non-fiction
Close Read with my second grade students!   
What is the format for a Close Read?

When doing a CLOSE Read with your students, make sure the content you are using is of high interest.   I like to start with animals ~ but you can also use any topic you feel is good for your level.

Highlighting vocabulary is KEY when starting a close read. 
I always have extra highlighters on hand
and the vocabulary organizers to choose from.  The organizer showcasing the "Tricky Words" from the passage could be done together in whole group or with partners. 

In order for our students to truly understand higher level text - we must engage them in the process of understanding what they are reading.  To do this students should be highlighting KEY words and important information in the text to provide evidence.  The "Prove It" page is an important piece in helping your kiddos look back and find their answers. 

Assessing what our students know is easy to do with these easy to read multiple choice question pages.  Earlier in the week, the students were digging deeper and writing more detailed descriptions of what they learned.  At the end of Day 3 you want to get a quick idea of what they know.  The "Show What You Know" pages will allow you to look quickly and determine who "got it" and who didn't. 

Jump right in and do a close read with  your class!  Here is one you can use for FREE!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog post! I'm excited to use your animals set with my kiddos this week! I'll have to take some pictures of them using it.