Falling In Love with Close Reading: A Book Study- Chapter 1


Well, it's summer, the perfect time for a book study- right!?  Seriously though, it's like the only time I really have to be able to do a book study.  That's why I was excited to jump into Falling in Love with Close Reading!  Last year, I taught 2nd grade and we didn't delve very deeply into Close reading.  This year, in 3rd grade, I'm ready to learn all about it and be ready to use this in my classroom starting this Fall.

In chapter one, Close Reading, A Love Story, the author examines what close reading is, how it's changed through the years, and how it can relate to our lives.  I love how he starts by comparing a love for reading with a love for, well, anything really.  Saying that when you love someone or something you return to it repeatedly, gaze at it for hours, consider each angle, each word, and think about it's meaning.  This is exactly what you can do with close reading!  Really this is a love of reading- teaching readers to look at texts closely and give them an opportunity to "extend a love affair with reading."

What is Close Reading?
According to the authors, Close Reading is an interaction between the reader and a text, making careful observations of a text and then interpreting those observations, and it involves rereading- usually a short section of a text- to help the reader to carry new ideas to the whole text.

One thing that the author states that I loved is, "Powerful literacy strategies tend to be powerful life strategies as well."  I feel this is so true and I love that I will be learning more ways to teach kids to LOVE reading and how all this stuff we teach IS really something they can use in their lives! 

What is powerful Close Reading instruction? 
The authors wanted to find and design a vision for close reading that matched the academic needs and demands of our students (and standards) and the engagement needs of our students.  Close reading we should teach students to do, rather than something that we do to them.   The instruction should lead to students' own thoughtful reading.

Here is the list that the authors give for powerful close reading instruction
  • must raise engagement and joy of reading
  • must lead to student independence, not dependence on teacher's prompting
  • must be one piece of your reading instruction, not the only part
  • must allow time for students to read for extended periods and across many pages of text, not interrupt time spent reading with activities
  • must be repeated across time and involve lots of opportunities for practice, not be a one-time, off-the-checklist activity.
  • must be designed in response to your student's strengths and needs, not just designed to fit for a specific book or to fit in in a certain scope and sequence
What are we currently doing in our close reading instruction?
Well, I'm currently not doing any close reading instruction. :(  I'm so so excited to continue reading this book so that I can jump into this early in the year with my third graders.  In the upcoming chapters we will be finding out how to plan instruction that will support the development of close reading practices.  I love that we will see a focus on students talking, problem solving, and developing ideas together.  There will be lessons for a variety of contexts: texts, media, and life, lessons for fundamental close reading skills to more complex, extensions to support differentiation, and samples of grade-level lessons, charts, and student work from classrooms around the world.  Plus, book and media suggestions and connections to the Common Core Standards.

Dianna, from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching, set up an awesome giveaway for you to win your own copy of Falling in Love with Close Reading and a $10 TpT Gift Card!  Enter using the Giveaway Tools below.  Then, hop around to the other blogs in the book study to get their perspective on Chapter 1. :)

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