Wow! It’s been over a year since Chris Lehman (@ichrislehman) and Kate Roberts(@TeachKate) published Falling in Love with Close Reading. There have been Twitter chats, presentations, Twitter book study chats, PD sessions and much continued conversation about the many facets of close reading.
It has also been more than a year since the Close Reading Blog-a-thon! This post “Close Reading is not THAT important!” is one of my favorites. Have you read it? What about the series of posts between Chris and Kate? Check out the thought-provoking posts and reread CCR Reading Anchor Standard 1.
So today, it was back to work on reading for a bit. This is a short look into my thinking since Chris, Kate and Kristi Mraz’s (@MrazKristine) presentation at NCTE14!
- Reading –
- Close Reading –
- Reading Closely,
- Still thinking about!
- How Often?
- Wondering . . .
- Hopeful . . .
- Silent . . .
- Watchful . . .
- Listening . . .
- Fun . . .
- Thoughtful . . .
- Effective! ❤
Close Reading Session – Not starting with a song . . . (sigh!) but here are screenshots from a presentation that made us laugh, cry, and cheer for its thoughtful work with “The Little Ones”! The presentation – “Close Reading and the Little Ones: How it’s Different (And Incredibly Fun and Effective) in Early Elementary Grades” from #NCTE14
Think about “HOW” you make sense of these pictures . . . where and when do you linger?
I was excited to try out the routine. Amazed! It’s all that Chris, Kate and Kristi promised. And even more! What an empowering tool for students! Supportive of curiosity, wonder, and so much talk – what a wonderful way to frame paying close attention to “read” the world! (NOT a bloody hammer for teachers!)
Check out these notes! @ShawnaCoppola has the most beautiful notes. Here is her visual of the session! If you are on Twitter and are following Shawna, you would have already seen this! If you are not on Twitter, you should be. Lurking is encouraged. Explore the possibilities!
What questions remain?
I believe in the power of bundling the CCSS Anchor Standards so I was quite happy to purchase this book at the New York Public Library while in New York for the #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes.
I loved the content immediately as each page had a picture and a text block. The organization was also easy as each two page spread had the “then” picture on the left page and the “now”picture directly opposite it on the right page. My mind took me straight to compare and contrast with “visuals” and texts.
We will begin with the front cover. The book will be displayed via the document camera. Each partner group will also have the picture. The partners will have some time to study the picture and record the things that they know and those things that they wonder. After all groups have had time to talk and record their notes, we will record their thoughts on chart paper or on a google doc on the screen. Students will be well aware of the power of “…and the evidence of that is. . .?” as they listen, question, and challenge each other’s thinking. Each partner groups will then develop a draft theory about this book and its contents.
Inquiry will continue with this picture (text folded under at first).
So, here’s the first draft of my plan for grades 3-5. We are going to use the “Know” and “Wonder” chart idea from What Readers Really Do especially now that I have met both authors, Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton. We will begin with the picture only. Then after all partner groups have several “Knows and Wonders” recorded privately, I will read the text under the picture. Students will be encouraged to study the text as well. They will add textual evidence in a different color of ink as the partner groups continue to add to their “Know/ Wonder” thinking. Before the next picture is added, students will be encouraged to consider whether their draft theory is still holding up or whether it needs to be revised.
Similarly, picture 3, partners recording “Know and Wonder”
After partner groups have recorded their Know and Wonders from the picture, the text below Lady Liberty, and from class discussion, we will continue to explore whether our theories still hold true.
Similar process for another pair of pictures . . .
After working with these two pictures, students will pair square so that each set of two partners will be matched up with another set. As a group of four, they will discuss their “Knows, Wonders” and patterns and theories.
On the next day the quad groups will again discuss whether they have additional “knows and wonders” to add, clarify, or restate. Time will also be allocated to add, clarify or restate patterns and theories as well. Partners will be encouraged to take a different set of “then” and “now” photos and continue to test their theories and patterns as well as answer questions that have arisen.
How will this work align with the CCSS ELA Reading Anchor Standards ?
The following list of CCSS ELA Anchor Standards could possibly be included in this study.
Key Ideas and Details:
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.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Do you agree with these possible standards? Disagree? What would you add to this instructional sequence?
I am fascinated by the discussion level that continues around “Close Reading” which is just a “part” of the text in Reading Anchor Standard 1. (Specifically two words out of 31 that actually say, “Read closely.”) You can read what Grant Wiggins posted about Close Reads here.
Tim Shanahan has several posts about close reads. This one, “A Time for Humility,” posted after the IRA conference on April 23, 2013, is particularly enlightening as Shanahan shares that there is no “one perfect model” for close reads.
Who are the experts? Is there a “formula” or a plan that works for every story? No, NO, NO! Close reads are dependent on the complexity of the texts, the skills of the students and the goal of the specific lessons.
When a reader begins with the text, the meaning has to be aligned with the author’s words and craft. How do students understand that? Some students may get all that in the “first read” and therefore not need a second or a close read. But if the second grade students can only provide a “topic” when questioned about a page they have read, a “second read” may be necessary for instruction/modeling of main idea whether explicitly shared by the author or implicit in the text.
Will a single close read work for all students? Probably not! That is the “ART” of teaching, a teacher that can propose a learning target, provide a model and the resources and then begin to check for understanding to specifically meet the needs of all students.
In the waning days or weeks of the 2013 school year, I would encourage teachers to continue to challenge students. Ask your classes when they felt that they were “stretched” in their learning this year. Likewise, ask them when they felt like they were “coasting” and they didn’t need to put out a great deal of effort. Consider students’ input and “Try something different” in your implementation of the Core. A lot of other bloggers and authors have written about the value of high expectations. With scaffolding and some collaborative practice, many student CAN be successful!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What is close reading?
To begin at the beginning, this began with Reading Anchor Standard #1.
- “Close Reads” are not the Final Goal (March 19, 2013 post)
- How Often Do I Use a Close Reading? (March 9, 2013 post)
Then when considering text for use in close reading demonstrations or for student practice, two posts that cover this ground are:
- Close Reading: Not for Every Text (February 28, 2013 post)
- How Do I Choose Text for Close Reading? (March 2, 2013 post)
What should be the content or purpose of “close reads?”
- Are you allowed to make “connections” in close reading? (February 22, 2013 post)
- and just as a reminder: “Common Sense” and the Common Core (February 21, 2013 post)
Based on what you now “KNOW” about “Close Reading,” what will you do differently BEFORE this school year ends?
Please add your responses below!
Common Core Reading Anchor Standard (K-12) says:
“R.CCR.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.”
What am I going to do? Read closely
Why? To determine what the author says both explicitly (the words in the text) and to make logical inferences when the author wants me to think beyond the written words
That is an explanation/interpretation of JUST the beginning of Reading Standard # 1!
The last part says, “Cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.” So I think this means that I will use the textual evidence whenever I am writing or speaking to support those inferences or conclusions drawn from the text. Darn. That means that my conclusions have to be based on the text; I cannot just “dream them up out of thin air.”
Close reading is what I am going to do! It is probably going to mean that I am re-reading part of a paragraph or page of text to check my understanding. And if I can cite specific words or phrases in the text, my conclusion or inference is probably fairly accurate.
Will my thinking match the author’s perfectly? I doubt it! But that’s okay. The goal of close reading is to have “increased understanding” because I have read the text closely.
These two tweets from the Michigan Reading Association on Sunday, March 10, 2013, on the topic of “close reading” caught my eye.
“@hmjensen31: Close reading may be a necessary, but insufficient type of reading. Cannot stop there. Serafini #mra13″
“@yaloveblog Student says close reading helps organize her thoughts. #mra13”