Thursday, March 10, 2016

Close Reading

I'm sure you have have heard of Close Reading ~ it's one of education's latest buzz words. You know how things tend to come and go in education... But, this is one that I think is worth hanging on to. Recently our building had some in-house PD on close reading. I was really interested in it because I knew a little bit about close reading, but wasn't completely sure of exactly what close reading was.

Our sessions included homework, or should I say "class work." The first week we used Oreo cookies as our first & second read ~ the students were first given a cookie to eat quickly and their thoughts & observations were recorded. They were then given a second Oreo and instructed to look, smell, and feel the cookies before eating them slowly. Their observations and comments included many more details than the first "reading."

This tasty lesson pretty much illustrates how close reading works: the first reading looks at the text on the surface, noticing things like characters, setting, and other key details. The second Oreo ~ or reading ~ digs a little deeper, noticing things such as vocabulary, the roles of author & illustrator, and genre. The third+ readings dig even deeper than before noticing how the illustrations relate to the text, making text to self connections, and making inferences.

Our next assignment was to teach a close reading lesson. After a little more research on just what close reading entails, I came up with some fun close reading lessons using The Sky is Falling! by Mark Teague. It was really fun & engaging ~ my little students enjoyed the process & I do believe that by reading closely they got to practice important comprehensions skills that will help them to become good readers. 

Click HERE to purchase.

After our first reading we named the characters. My set includes picture & header cards for making this chart. Once the kids named the characters (they were surprised that I had ready-made picture cards) and discussed traits. They did a pretty good job of naming traits, which we wrote onto sticky notes. We did this on Monday, and today (Thursday) I had a couple of cuties who were still thinking about traits ask me for some more notes so they could add to the chart.

Our second "Oreo" included picking out some interesting words from the text. The kids helped me to create this chart after discussing what the four vocabulary words meant.

After we discussed the words they got to choose two that they liked to complete this page. The page includes a sentence writing section. As you can see it required that they understand what the words mean.

I'll translate for any non-Kinder teachers who may be reading this post: "I am annoyed because people aren't being nice. I am curious to see what is in this box." I was pretty impressed by this one!

In our "second Oreo" reading we spent time working with some vocabulary words that just happened to appear in some of the books I read today. They were so excited when characters in today's book squawked!

For our third reading we looked at picture clues to see if we could figure out Fox's scheme. This book has wonderful illustrations that really lend itself to this activity well. I lead the class on a picture walk to look for evidence and then passed out pieces of paper so that the kids could draw some evidence. 

This one was done by one of my tier 3 kiddos! Even though he wasn't able to write about the evidence he was able to illustrate the clue where Fox uses a slingshot to launch the acorn that caused all the panic in the barnyard.

In this picture Fox is holding a menu.

Here Fox is holding a knife and fork (another example of a tier 3 kiddo).

"Evidins of Foxis sceem" Fox had a sling shot but Chicken Little was smart she kicked an apple on Fox's head.  OK ~ this little gem taught me that I shouldn't have pointed out Chicken Little knocking an apple out of the tree & onto Fox's head until after we write/draw about our evidence. Several kids wrote about that even though we discussed the clues that illustrated Fox's scheme. Oh, well, it still was fun! I have to say I'm a fan of close reading.

If you're interested in giving Close Reading a try please check out my product.  Click HERE to purchase it.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post. Trying several of these ideas next week. Thank you!


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