Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What is Close Reading?

You may have heard a lot about close reading over the last few years as the Common Core State Standards have been implemented throughout much of the country. Or, the idea of close reading may still be new to you.  Through trial and error in our own classrooms, we have come to an understanding of what close reading is, and what components should be included, especially for our youngest learners. So, keep reading to find out what "close reading" means to us!

Close reading is essentially rereading a text for a specific purpose.  For a close read to be successful teachers must plan, orchestrate, and conduct the lesson purposefully so that each subsequent reading helps students gain a deeper understanding of the details, structure, and meaning of the text.  Close reading is not a new concept for many secondary teachers.  But for some, especially early elementary teachers, the idea of close reading may seem foreign.

In our close reading experiences in K-3 classrooms we have observed that a quality close reading lesson starts with a complex text which is often read aloud to young students. The rereading happens in structured, shorter sessions and includes opportunities for asking and answering text dependent questions, coding of the text, note taking, and (we believe this is critical) talking about the text with others.  We have also found that once students have a deep understanding of the text, they are more readily able to participate in a meaningful culminating writing task where they can synthesize ideas and information gathered from looking at the text closely.

We know the components mentioned above work together to provide a solid close reading lesson for young students because we've tested it over and over again in our own classrooms.  But we also believe these same components should be present as students of any age read closely.

We are finally ready to reveal our secret formula just for K-2 teachers...
Introducing the 5 Step Lesson Planning Guide for Close Reading & Writing about Text.

Leave a comment and tell us how close reading is structured in your classroom!

Also, be sure to visit our TPT store for a variety of helpful close reading resources.

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