Thursday, September 25, 2014

Opening the Door on Close Reading

Last week in my blog I spoke about close reading. As promised, this week I wanted to provide educators with three resources as a reference point as they begin thinking about close reading in the classroom.

 Achieve the Core is a great place to start. What I love about this website is that it is full of FREE content designed to help educators implement the Common Core standards. The creators of Achieve the Core have developed a plethora of featured close reading lessons, offering free access for educators. For example, in third grade, there is a close reading of Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The lesson includes extensive guidance, questions and even a mini-assessment for teachers to follow and use in their classrooms. Achieve the Core does not only offer ELA close reading lessons, but also has social studies and history lessons located on this website.

Speaking of history and social studies teachers, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s ARCH (Assessment Resource Center for History) has lessons and resources for teachers to access based on readings from six eras of U.S. history. In addition to created lessons, this site offers teachers performance tasks (including rubrics) and samples of student work for teachers to access and refer to when implementing within their own curriculum.

Finally, there are numerous books out there on the strategy of close reading. One book I have seen on the desks at people throughout the office is the book, Falling in Love with Close Reading by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts. In this book Lehman and Roberts refer to close reading as reading a text through a lens for a purpose. The book is organized by these “lenses” in which students can focus their reading. They include text evidence, word choice, structure, point of view, reading across texts and for independence. This resource is jam packed with information and provides student examples from the classroom. If you were to purchase one book about close reading, you would not be disappointed with this choice.

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