What resonated with me when I read the article analyzing the Hunger Games book is that when texts were initially looked at for text complexity they were only analyzed using quantitative and qualitative measures. It wasn't until awhile later that they decided to measure the texts based on the reader and task.
I enjoyed reading Close Reading in Elementary Schools. The part that put it together for me was the list
1. Identifying their own purpose for reading the text
2. Determining the author’s purpose for writing it
3. Developing their own schema
4. Considering the thought systems of a discipline, or what we might call genres and discipline-specific language (e.g., a poem differs from a science article)
The other aspect that caught my eye was the limited frontloading. Thank goodness. I think we can talk about a book, vocab. and other features to death. Sometimes kids want to just dive into the book.
Agreed! I liked the part about the frontloading too. I had written down the part that said it "should not remove the need to read the text".
I too really liked the list, it made the whole idea of implementing close reading more user friendly.
As I think about my approach to front loading prior to reading a text aloud, I find myself wondering if I give too much information away concerning the story. In asking about certain ideas, do I sabotage the engagement with the story that my students could have had? Hmm?!
Yes, the issue of front loading caught my attention as well. I agree that sometimes it is a good idea to have the kids read the text once alone and then see where they are at by asking some probing questions or having them share what they understood from reading the text. I want to try this with my ell students and experiment with how it goes.
In the Close Reading article the "Limited frontloading" section stood out to me as I am certain I do too much frontloading when it comes to a new text that I think my students will struggle with reading. Also, rereading a text with a different purpose/focus, starting the first reading with finding the basic details and getting more in depth and complex with each additional reading is fantastic.
The first article talked about giving students a purpose or a question for each successive reading. It would seem that by making the purpose or question meaningful, the students would actively engage in repeated readings and, in so doing, would build the perseverance that is so necessary for complex texts.
I appreciated the article on close reading. I liked that the recommendations came out of observation of best practices and discussion among elementary educators. I'm looking forward to applying the suggestions for length of text, annotation, and questions. I'm wondering how long a passage can be and still be considered "short." (Also, no frontloading? What an intriguing idea...)
I was intrigued by the article, "Close Reading in Elementary Schools". One aspect that stuck out was the idea of not front loading so much information. I think I have been giving too much information for the students to draw upon instead of letting them question themselves as they read and want more clarity in our discussions. I also liked the idea of using short passages to teach from. I'd like more info about this!
There were several things that stuck with me from the Close Reading article. One was the need for stamina...kids have to be able to persist with repeated readings. Another was the idea of doing minimal frontloading. I really like the idea of frontloading a text only as needed and then letting the kids dive in and explore what they know, as well as gaining new information.
The CCSS Text Exemplars article help me to understand that this is a new area that we are all getting use to. I appreciate that there will be some reference charts to help us adjust to this new area of teaching.
In the article, Close Reading in Elementary Schools, one idea resonated with me throughout the reading.
Rosenblatt talks about teaching our students how to become fully engaged in texts, to analyze "both the openness and the constraints offered by the text."
I would take this idea a step further, and that is to encourage our students to be open to reflecting on the ideas and openness and constraints of the text. Reflection is different from engagement and analysis of the text.
Even quite literally, it is different. I can gaze into the depths of a pond looking for fish or other pond life, or I can concentrate on the reflection coming off the water. Sometimes, in the reflection I will notice more around and above me than I otherwise would have seen. But taken together, I am aware of the richness of being there, a part of it all.
I think this same connection exists for a reader when engaged in a rich and meaningful text. It does take time, repeated readings, and reflection to see the life, the "openness of the text." But all of these things taken together, including reflection, will give the reader full immersion( the sense of being there) and better understanding of the text.
There was one particular part of the Close Reading in Elementary Schools that stood out very much to me. In the first page, it is stated that habits "include building stamina and persistence when confronted by a reading that isn't easily consumed". Doing this forces students and teachers to slow down and delve into the heart of the text. This seems like it will be a challenge, especially in light of the statement from discussion board 1 regarding turning away from complex text.
The CCSS Text Exemplars article reminded me of something said by the poet and teacher Robert Frost, "I am not a teacher. I am an awakener."
The exemplars are there to help us become better awakeners.
I liked the CCSS and Hunger Games article. We were talking today about how great it would be to have a googledoc or shared folder or SOMETHING that had a list of these "place mats" so that we are working smarter, not harder. Obviously, relating the text to the reader section will be different depending on our students, but it would be great to have a place to upload the texts that we have already analyzed so that we can share them.
This is a fabulous idea! We had a group of teachers visit our school who had compiled close reading lessons and writing prompts to go with the small group reading books for Rigby. It would be great to share these resources as well.
Close Reading—I appreciate the clarification that close reading is done in conjuction with other instruction including: “interactive read-alouds and shared readings, teacher modeling and think-alouds, guided reading with leveled texts, collaborative reading and discussion, and independent reading and writing.”
Fisher uses the phrase, “Read with a pencil” in the article and in the video clip. Teaching students how to annotate text goes back to The Strategies that Work instruction from Harvey and Goudvis. We teach students to “code the text.” Mark surprising ideas with an !, a new learning with an L, a question with a Q. It seems odd that this practice is considered by some experts to be a high school/college strategies when really it is an authentic reading strategy at any age. How many of us highlighted parts of the downloaded texts, or took notes alongside our reading, or even printed the pages so that we could actually read with our pencil in hand?
Hiebert—Hiebert’s assertion that the CCSS Appendix B texts are “guideposts” is well considered. I can see her point about these texts becoming the curriculum instead of being used as a tool. I agree with the idea that these texts should be used to help me choose complex, quality texts. I also really like the idea of the texts in the Appendix B being used to inform students and parents of text complexity to facilitate goal setting.
McLaughlin/Overturf—These authors interpret the purpose and function of the Appendix B texts just as Hiebert did—so they must be right. This article emphasizes that “the teaching is in our hands (p9).” Like Hiebert, these ladies contend that the exemplar texts are a tool to be used to find “parallel” texts from contemporary resources. Using up-to-date texts will also provide for other reader-task considerations such as motivation and engagement.
I liked the article about close reading, and I also think that it is important to have students code text as a way of developing meta-cognitive skills. This too reminded me of Strategies that Work as well as Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller. Having kids use sticky notes is highly engaging and empowers kids to take responsibility for their learning. It's also a great informal assessment tool as well.
Close Reading in Elementary Schools was a great read. It certainly gave me a lot to think about. Having our students immerse themselves in their reading is something we all wish our students would do but, to be able to teach them how to do that is really exciting. I thought all of the concepts were relevant and essential but, I really appreciated the section on text-dependent questions. Seeing how I can scaffold my questioning and keep my students focused on the text will be really helpful as a jumping off point. Once I determine the text that I want to use then I can use the text-dependent questions to help me focus on text as I reread the text to prepare my lessons for my students.
These articles had several ideas that resonated with me after reading them.
1. Limited frontloading - so much emphasis has been placed on this in our current curriculum yet their reasoning totally made sense to me why we should limit frontloading
2. Close reading should be accompanied with interactive
read-alouds and shared readings, teacher modeling and think-alouds, guided reading with leveled texts, collaborative reading and discussion, and independent reading and writing. We don't need to throw out all of our other instructional types but add this TOOL into our toolbox for teaching reading.
3. Annotating text- key skill that I want to start teaching my 3rd graders how to thoughtfully do, modeling and going back and checking their notes and using these notes for small group close reading questions. I also liked the scope and sequence provided..
5. Determining text complexity should be a collaborative effort. I found this very helpful yesterday having a group to bounce ideas off of and discuss the qualitative aspects of the text.
I really liked the article Close Reading in Elementary School. It was clear and gave me a better understanding of the basic steps of implementing close reading in my classroom. Especially, the section about annotation was useful.
What concerns me about this is that teachers become patient with students and allow them to figure out the text or struggle with the text. Too many times you walk into a Language Arts class, especially, in high school as hear the teacher asking tough questions about the text only to be answered by the teacher. The crafting of good discussion questions as important as the literature itself. Additionally, I agree with the article by Fisher and Frey about what constitutes a good piece for a close read. This is important.
Also, re-reading the text is such a great practice and needs to be done more.
I really enjoyed reading the article on Close Reading. Going into my second year of teaching, I found this article very helpful. It had so much wonderful information in how to get my students to dig deeper into what they read and hopefully then, have more interest in their book.
I enjoyed reading the article on close reading. It was very informative and gave great examples.
It's funny since starting this class I read an article in the paper which referenced close reading and today heard a blurb on NPR about 2 guys who visited every ball park in the country and one of the activities they did to help pass time was a close reading of "Take Me Out to the Ball Park".
I still wonder how much front loading should or needs to be done before a close read. Some say spend no time front loading, while others say much time is needed to make sure the background knowledge is there. I believe I will just go with what my kids need.
Another thought I have is, while I really liked The Hunger Games, i do not think school aged children should read about kids killing kids. Just my opinion.
When I read "Close Reading in the Elementary Classroom" what really struck me that I need to work on is questioning. The specific area I want to improve is in inferential and opinions. Even more specifically I want to have them be able to refer to the texts while giving their response.
Inferential questions challenge
students to examine the implicitly
stated ideas, arguments, or key
details in the text.
Opinion and intertextual questions
allow students to use their
foundational knowledge of one text
to assert their opinions or to make
connections to other texts, using
the target text to support their
These simple statements from the article require close reading of student texts to develop and prepare meaningful questions.
When reading the article " The Neglected "R" in a time of Common Core I was so suprised and shocked about the percentage of 75% adults/college students that score poor or fair on their writing skills! I had a CU professor come to observe my students and I during a writing session and after we had a discussion about writing skills. She saids even her graduate students struggle with their writing skills. I have seen as a teacher for 19 years how even in our small group instruction, we often neglect the writing piece. I have been here since we started Right Start/Buen Comienzo. I wanted students to not only focus on reading/phonics, comprehension but take it into writing. We have neglected writing and our students will struggle. In our bilingual school, our early k/1 assessment for end of year, do not require them to write, they only retell orally but at the assessments at the end of second, they are required so I am preparing my students now at the beginning to answer in writing about the text that they read now.