Taking a Closer Look at Close Reading
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I’ve had the pleasure of speaking across the country on a variety of literacy topics, mostly focused on reading and writing workshop. Recently I’ve been asked to consult with several districts and speak at many conferences on close reading. Last year was the first time I presented on the topic of close reading in Las Vegas. Wondering how I could speak for 75 minutes on close reading, I decided to model a lesson and make the session interactive and hands-on for the participants. It went so well that one of the districts in my session recently flew me out from Michigan to return to Nevada to do an entire day workshop on literacy strategies and technology integration for their faculty. What a great experience!
What is Close Reading?
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) describes close reading in light of the Common Core State Standards. Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p.7)
How Should I Implement Close Reading?
Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting resources to support the implementation of close reading in our classroom. Because the resources have been challenging to find, I typically end up creating my own. This can be time consuming, especially when trying to think of engaging ways to have students dig deeper into a variety of texts (some in which I may not be familiar with). I found myself spinning my wheels trying to stay current on the many stories the students were reading. While I enjoyed creating my own resources, I began to wonder if a simpler solution was available and would be just as effective as what I was doing each day for my students. That’s when I came across Snap!Learning. I liked them so much, I invited them to partner with my blog so I could be sure to share their resources with all of you. Just the graphic (as seen above) alone helped me so much!
What Resources Are Available?
I had been familiar with Snap!Learning for guided reading, but now I could utilize their resources for close reading strategies as well. This was exciting!
With the resources from Snap!Learning, I now felt like I had not only a framework of how to structure my lessons over the course of a few days but I also had the materials available for me to plan and students to utilize. The site is comprehensive yet easy to navigate.
One of my favorite components of Snap!Learning is that it doesn’t tell me how to teach or provide me with a forced script that I must do with fidelity each day. Instead, Snap!Learning offers me resources to support my teaching in a successful manner. For example, I have an array of texts at my fingertips. I can sort through those books quickly by reading level, grade level, or genre. Then, my students have access to step by step close reading strategies that can help them be successful as independent readers.
What About Resources for Teachers?
As a teacher, I’m also given access to a variety of resources that can support my professional learning as I dive deeper into close reading with my students. Snap!Learning provides teachers with user-friendly guides that walk you through implementing close reading into your literacy instruction. These helpful resources are available in print and in video.
How Can I Try Snap!Learning?
I am excited to share a resource with you that will not only save you time and simplify your planning but most importantly that will benefit student’s reading abilities. You’re encouraged to try it out for free… you can request a demo simply by clicking here!
Be sure to check out the Snap!Learning blog. They feature teacher interviews, funny comics about literacy and learning, and helpful tips to support teaching and learning.
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