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How I Continue to Develop and Better the Close Reading Procedure

Current Close Reading Procedure in my Class

I have continued teaching my students to read closely without using symbols for annotation.  Our usual procedure is for me to project a page from out social studies book (we are currently on our Community History Unit) and we share read it together to work on fluency and expression.  We talk about any difficult words or pronunciations.  I ask them repeatedly if there are any words we need to read again to read them correctly.  Notice, no aspect of comprehension is taught at this time.  Yes, I know that reading is comprehension, but I do have a purpose for doing fluency and expression FIRST.  That is because on the second reading, the students read it again by themselves and so I need to be sure they can read it independently.  Then they receive a photocopy of the page (since we can’t actually write in our textbooks, I have to photocopy the pages we use) and begin their fluency practice with the purpose of summarizing the page in 1-2 sentences at the bottom of their photocopy or in the white space.  Once the students have written a 1-2 sentence summary, we partner share and then group share.  This will give me an indication that they do know what the text is mostly about.  If not, I guide them to the gist of the selection with reflection questions:  look at the title, look at the first sentences, look at the last sentences, look for repeated words.

Once this is done we then number the paragraphs.  Starting with the first paragraph I ask the students to underline what they think the author’s message is, or what is the one important idea the author wants you to know.  We then discuss this and come to a consensus. We then look at the other sentences and see how the author has connected relevant facts to the message.  This is a strategic time to point out what text structure the author is using:  sequence, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc.  The final part involves inferring. I ask usually pick out a sentence from the paragraph and ask the students what they could infer about it. We underline the sentence and put the word “WHY” next to it in the margins.  We then infer and put our answer in the margins.  We repeat the same procedure for the next and following paragraphs.  We do not have to do all the paragraphs the same day, especially since close reading does take a long time to do during class.  My hope is that by continued practice with this procedure, my students will begin internalizing the procedure and do it automatically on their own. Below is a sample of one of my ELL students on a past close reading selection.  I have hi lighted the inference and the summary.

Close Reading sample from an ELL student

I would like to hear your thoughts on how you approach Close Reading in your classroom with your students!

Thanks to Glitter Meets Glue Designs for the Glitter Borders and Clip Art! 

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