Falling in Love with Close Reading

Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts have written a masterful text, Falling in Love with Close Reading Lessons for Analyzing Texts – and Life. My interest in their book was heightened by the seven week blog-a-thon that led up to the publication date.  My hope was that the book would enable me to really dig in, with teachers and students, to make close reading simple, easy, and understandable.  Remember that Chris defined close reading in his blog post as:

“Close reading is when a reader independently stops at moments in a text (or media or life) to reread and observe the choices an author has made. He or she reflects on those observations to reach for new understandings that can color the way the rest of the book is read (or song heard or life lived) and thought about.”   Sept. 2, 2013

Now that I have finished reading the book, I stand at a crossroads.  It is not going to be simple, easy and understandable YET!

Where do I begin?  Do I need to go back and check the level of understanding with text evidence?  What about word choice?  Structure?  Point of View? Across Texts?

My plan this morning:  Begin at the beginning and go back to CCR Reading Anchor Standard 1 because it is complicated and tricky!

  1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

This will mean that I will be reviewing both teacher and student actions, talk and thinking in order to determine when, where, and why students are independently using evidence to increase understanding of texts and lives.  Then based on student data the plan will develop.  (But for me personally, I am going to be using the lessons in the book to study, think, and reflect on text evidence, word choice, structure, point of view, and across texts.  I will be working on this all year!   I need to increase my own skills and knowledge at a variety of grade levels and content areas beyond ELA!)

What have you read closely lately?  Check out the link below if you were not following the blog-a-thon or if you have not yet decided to study close reading.

close reading button

Ultimate Goal for Close Reading =  Close Reading Your Life – Kate Roberts at #tcrwp Summer Institute

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