Close Reading: “The Ultimate Goal”

Really, another post on Close Reading?  Oh, yes! And here’s why. I had the privilege of hearing Kate Roberts (@teachkate) passionately illuminate Close Reading at a session at Teachers College Writing Institute this week. (Kate will have a book out this fall with @ichrislehman titled Falling in Love with Close Reading.)

The ultimate goal:  Read our lives closely.   

Our goal with close reading is not just to pass a test, perform above a “cut score,” or read closely because the teacher said so.  Sure, the current emphasis on close reading may be due to CCR Reading Anchor Standard 1 , but is that really what we want for our children, grandchildren, and students?

“Close reading is not just academic.  Close reading impacts our everyday lives.  It is a way of being:  reading, watching TV and listening to music.  We read our moments closely. We read our lives closely. What did I say? What did I do?  Close reading in our lives .  . . when was I not patient?  What was my language / or what were the specific words that I used with that  favorite person/ that challenging person?  How were they the same?  How were they different?  Maybe I could make some changes. . .

Close reading is challenging. Revising writing is challenging. But more importantly we need to read our lives the way we want to be!

Be better persons!”  (Kate Roberts, 6/26/2013, Teachers College Writing Institute)

Why is it important to know the ultimate goal?  It is very hard to meet a target in life or in learning if you don’t know that desired outcome.  As I listened to Kate’s presentation I thought, “Wow!  This answers that age-old question from students, (often spoken with a whiny tone), ‘Why do I have to know this?'”

Kate showed us some  results from an internet search for “close reading” (and there was great variety). As far as instruction and close reading, one source  is Patricia Kain at Harvard University.  Kain lists these steps for close reading:

  1. “Read with  a pencil in hand, and annotate the text.
  2. Look for patterns in the things you’ve noticed about the text—repetitions, contradictions, similarities.
  3. Ask questions about the patterns you’ve noticed—especially how and why.” (Kain, P. How to Do a Close Reading, Harvard University, 1998.

Other authors have spent countless hours and much ink also defining, explaining, and demonstrating “close reading.”  Check out these links for Doug Fisher or Tim Shanahan for additional information.

Kate shared with us that there are typically two ways to do this:  open or directed.  Some students may not have the skills or the sophisticated language to do close reading.  They may need the practice and the security of directed instruction to fully understand the nuances of the text. I am confident that her book will have much more information on both of those ways.

But another “gold nugget” from her presentation was this thinking about the reading behaviors  simultaneously employed by powerful readers.

“When you are able to read closely you are doing three things at once:

  1. Lens – What am I looking for? (examples:  text evidence, word choice, structure, figurative language)
  2. Patterns –  What patterns do I notice?  (Not to pick out one just one word, but to look across the text to determine ‘What does the author tend to do?’)
  3. Idea -What is the big idea that this author is writing about?   (not just confirm previous thinking)”  (Kate Roberts, 6/26/2013, Teachers College Writing Institute)

If these simultaneous behaviors are easy for you, what do you need to do in your instruction to make it easy for your students?  Food for thought?  Please continue to consider

How close reading  can help you become a  better person

About these ads

14 responses

  1. […] Our goal with close reading is not just to pass a test, perform above a “cut score,” or read closely because the teacher said so. Sure, the current emphasis on close reading may be due to CCR Reading Anchor Standard 1 , but is that really what we want for our children, grandchildren, and students?  […]

  2. […] Really, another post on Close Reading? Oh, yes! And here's why. I had the privilege of hearing Kate Roberts (@teachkate) passionately illuminate Close Reading at a session at Teachers College Wri…  […]

  3. […] “When you are able to read closely you are doing three things at once:Lens – What am I looking for? (examples: text evidence, word choice, structure, figurative language)Patterns – What patterns do I notice? (Not to pick out one just one word, but to look across the text to determine ‘What does the author tend to do?’)Idea -What is the big idea that this author is writing about? (not just confirm previous thinking)” (Kate Roberts, 6/26/2013, Teachers College Writing Institute)  […]

  4. […] Check out that link above the definition for the original blog post with foundational understandings of close reading built upon the work of Patricia Kain, Doug Fisher, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  More information will also be available in Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts soon to be released text, Falling in Love with Close Reading.  Some of those beliefs about the ultimate goal of close reading from a Teachers College presentation by Kate Roberts are also found in an earlier blog post of my own found here. […]

  5. […] Really, another post on Close Reading? Oh, yes! And here's why. I had the privilege of hearing Kate Roberts (@teachkate) passionately illuminate Close Reading at a session at Teachers College Writ…  […]

  6. […] conversations about the “stance” or lens that the student is using to view the text:  text evidence, word choice, structure, or figurative language.  But it could also involve the lens of “character development and change over time.” […]

  7. […] Ultimate Goal for Close Reading =  Close Reading Your Life – Kate Roberts at #tcrwp Summer Institute […]

  8. […] text to illustrate the necessity of close reading for point of view in nonfiction text and I was captivated.  When the pending publication of Falling in Love with Close Reading was announced at the June […]

  9. Following in Blind Faith. I just found your blog and ordered the book. I want onboard!!!! I’m drowning

  10. Betsy,
    This book is so helpful. I know teachers who are using the “ritual” with students in grades 3-HS. I think the general routines can also be adapted for even younger students with “listening” and “talking” instead of reading and writing!
    Check back after you read it! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  11. […] 2. Close Reading: “The Ultimate Goal” […]

  12. […] Close Reading:  The Ultimate Goal […]

  13. I’m excited to uncover this page. I want to to thank you for your time just for
    this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little
    bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to look at new information in your website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

This is a place for my slice of life and general thoughts.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

Because your kids are counting on you

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading

chartchums

Smarter Charts from Marjorie Martinelli & Kristine Mraz

teachu92

books and educational topics

This is Who I am....... by Marleisa

wife daughter sister teacher student traveller home maker

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

Reading By Example

Rethinking the Role of the Literacy Leader

Teach Mentor Texts

Sharing Ideas and Resources

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,268 other followers

%d bloggers like this: