Monday, March 24, 2014

Key Points and Summaries from the First Meeting on 2/20/14

Key Points / Summaries from the First Meeting on 2/20/14

Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8
Key Points/Summaries from the First Meeting on 2/20/14

Chapter 1   What does "Close Reading" Mean?

  • Close Reading (Brummett, 2010) is a purposeful and disciplined reading of a text to get a deeper understanding of its meaning.  The reader analyzes the text at the word or phrase level and the sentence and paragraph level.  The goal of close reading is for the reader to be able to identify the author's central ideas and describe why any particular idea is significant.  The reader also finds supporting details in the text and explains how the details support the central ideas.
  • Analyze text at the word or phrase level - sentence and paragraph levels
  • Essential Skills for Close Reading
          1)  Prior knowledge of text structure
          2)  Prior  knowledge of topic and related vocabulary
          3)  Setting a purpose for reading
          4)  Self-monitoring for meaning
          5)  Determining what is important
          6)  Synthesizing  
  • Close reading is most effective when integrated across content areas
  • Identify author's central idea and describe why
  • Important to know students strengths before each lesson
  • Prior Knowledge of Text Structure and Related Vocabulary
  • Student practices using strategies to understand unfamiliar vocabulary 
  • Students learn the features of how authors present information in  a non-fiction text to begin to make predictions about text and set a plan for reading  
  • Setting a Purpose for Reading
  • The reader previews text to make a relevant prediction about the author's purpose for writing text     
  • Self-Monitoring for Meaning
         1)  What are you reading that you already know?
         2)  What are you reading that is less familiar? / Slow down, reread, utilize prior knowledge of text 
              structure and prior knowledge of topic and vocabulary 
         3)  What are your questions?
  • Determining What is Important 
  • Determine and understand the author's central ideas by identifying the key words and phrases at the sentence and paragraph levels
  • See "pasta" analogy on page 22
  • Synthesizing 
  • Reader develops a deeper understanding of the text by using knowledge of vocabulary and text structure; setting a purpose for reading the text, self-monitoring, and determining what is important in order to identify details that support the central ideas and how this information influences the reader's own thinking and knowledge of topic(s) presented in text
  • Synthesizing involves active reading and thinking
  • See "frame" analogy on page 26
  • Synthesizing knowledge ultimate purpose of close reading described in this text

Chapter 2   An Assessment Driven, Structured Approach to Teaching
  • Teaching -learning Cycle 
  • Ongoing assessment by teacher before, during, and after reading
  • Structured Teaching
  • The gradual release of the responsibility of learning to the student
  • Scaffolding - Teacher uses "Step-in" - "Step-back" approach 
  • Key Components of Assessment Driven, Structured Approach to Teaching
  • Assessment of students' strengths and needs
  • Lesson preparation and text study
  • Focus lesson - explaining the instructional objectives with teacher modeling using read-aloud, thinking- aloud, and writing-aloud strategies
  • Guided practice
  • Independent practice
  • Student self-assessment
  • Writing about the text during and after reading helps the reader synthesize 
  • Teacher writes-aloud during focus lesson to model the process
  • Teacher uses "I" not "you" when writing-aloud 
  • Guided Practice (after Focus Lesson and Teacher Modeling)
  • Students think through a section of text by using strategies modeled in focus lesson
  • Students collaborate - partners or small groups
  • Teacher only listening and supporting - step-in and step-back/scaffolding
  • Independent Practice
  • Essential that student practice reading and writing about text independently using text on his/her reading level
  • Student Self-Assessment
  • Helps student develop a sense of self-efficacy - I can do this
  • Provide opportunities for student to be in conversations with peers about strategies used when reading and writing about text
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Using Close Reading  Effectively with Diverse Groups of Readers
  • Students with Learning Disabilities
  • English Learners
  • Students Reading above Grade Level

Monday, March 17, 2014

Here are two additional articles from Nate Collin's New Kent Learning Newsletter about Close Reading.  These articles are focused on modeling Close Reading and Close Reading resources.  They may provide insight into how Close Reading would look in your classroom, and give you ideas as to where other teachers are getting resources from.  Thanks Nate!

Article 1: Modeling Close Reading for Future Teachers: Why Video Works

Article 2: Modeling Close Reading for Future Teachers: Professional Resources

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Discussion Question 2

Discussion Question 2:
The above site provides an additional perspective on rigor.  After reading Close Reading of Informational Texts, Notice and Note, or even some of the additional close reading resources you have found on the internet, how has your definition of rigor changed?  How can you increase rigor in your classroom?  Give examples.

Discussion Question 1

"Close reading should suggest close attention to the text; close attention to the relevant
experience, thought, and memory of the reader; close attention to the responses and interpretations of other readers; and close attention to the interactions among those elements."-Notice and Note

"Close reading, as described in this book, results when the reader analyzes any given text at the word or phrase level and also the paragraph and section levels.  As the reader analyzes the text, he or she determines which details are most important and how these fit together logically to convey the authors central idea(s) or theme(s)."
-Close Reading of Informational Texts

Discussion Question 1:
The above quotes provide a definition of close reading from each of the texts we are reading.  Based on the book you are reading, what similarities and differences do you see in how you would approach close reading of a fiction or nonfiction text?  Can some of the elements of close reading be applied to both fiction and nonfiction?  Give an example.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Key Points/Summaries From the First Meeting on 2/20/14

Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading
Key Points & Summaries from the First Meeting on 2/20/14

Question 1 - Is Reading Still Reading?
 Print Text vs. Digital Text
  • Entertaining
  • Ease of use - highlighting, note-taking, googling unfamiliar words, making connections, discussion through social networks, etc.
  • Either form of text still includes decoding and interacting with the text, and bringing your own experiences to the text.

Question 2 - What is the Role of Fiction?
  • Fiction appeals to ALL audiences.
  • Fiction is more humanized.
  • With nonfiction you learn more, with fiction you can be more.
Question 3 - Where Does Rigor Fit?
  •  A harder text does not equal rigorous results.
  • Rigor needs to be differentiated.
  • An essential element in rigor is engagement.
Question 4 - What Do We Mean by Intellectual Communities?
  •  Satisfaction in creating places where we all want to work.
  • Rigor is high because students want to learn more.
Question 5 - What is the Role of  Talk?
  •  Talk is a valuable tool for improving understanding.
  • Monologic vs. Dialogic Talk 
    • Monologic 
    • Dialogic
  • "Asking questions for which you already know the answer is inauthentic..."
  • Tips for improving rigor and talk (student to student discourse).
Question 6 - What is Close Reading?
  • It should bring the text and the reader close together.
  • "What we want is to notice those elements of the text that are, for example, surprising or confusing or contradictory, so that then we pause and take note, think carefully, reread, analyze--read closely."
  • A students background and connections are still important.
 Question 7 -  Do Text-Dependent Questions Foster Engagement?
  • Students need to create their own text-dependent questions.  We need to move away from teacher created questions and reliance on the teacher.
  • Meaning is gained when the reader thinks/applies the text to themselves.
  • Kids should be able to learn about themselves, others, and the world from the text.
  • Different readers bring a different interpretation to a text.
  • Student-made questions are engaging and "genuine" and might encourage them to explore further.
Question 8 - Must Everyone Read the Same Book?
  • Students benefit from reading the same book - it builds community and teaches them about their neighbors and themselves (think about book clubs).
  • Differentiate instruction using the same book.
  • It encourages kids to be in a community of learners.
  • It's ok if a text is not on the instructional or independent level.  Students need to be supported when handling a harder text based on their needs.
  • Self-selected reading is still important.
Question 9 - How Do I Judge the Complexity of a Text?
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative Measures:
    • Quantitative - Features in the text that you can count (i.e. miscues, self corrections, wpm)
    • Qualitative - Levels of meaning, structure, language, conventionality, knowledge demands (can't be counted or numerically measured).
  •  Reader and Task Considerations - Determining Text Complexity - "Who reads the text matters."
    • background & ability
    • vocabulary
    • attitudes & maturity
    • interest & motivation
  • "We finally had to face the fact that the most complex factor in text complexity is the transaction between the reader and the text."
  • Moving beyond just the measurable elements in determining text complexity and including placing attention on qualitative issues and the connection between the reader and the text.
Question 10 - Are We Creating Life Long Learners?
  • Our goal should be to make a student a better person.
  • Schools and teachers should help students develop a passion for learning that continues throughout life.
  • Create life-long learners!