Close reading is the practice of reading a text and making sure that you fully understand the information presented. These strategies for close reading are not just practice that you see on tests, it is a practice that you use in life. Close reading is used every single day in adulthood as we read through social media, news, etc. That is why making it a practice in your classroom is also essential.
Strategies for Close Reading #1: Do it Daily
Completing close reading daily is essential because you can do it in small chunks. Spending a little bit of time on it is less overwhelming to kids, plus they are able to practice their skills often. You can do it at different times each day (morning work, whole group work, homework, etc.) but doing it daily will help students get into the practice and habit of close reading that you want them to have as adults.
Aspects of Daily Close Reading
Short – If you are doing close reading with students every day, you want it to be short. You don’t want to do a whole close reading packet every single day, one short paragraph will suffice.
Engaging – You want the topics of these paragraphs to be engaging to students. You want it to be what they are interested in. I also tend to try and make them relevant to the season or month that we are in!
Consistent- Doing the same thing every day can sometimes feel boring, but I actually believe that the students enjoy having some consistent content. Consistency also helps with creating a habit.
Strategies for Close Reading
Close reading can look so many different ways, but here are a few ideas…
- You teach a standard and then do a close read together as a whole group, showing them how to go back into the text to find the answer, check for understanding, and restate the question in your answer properly.
- You teach a standard and have them do the paragraph as an assessment.
- You are reviewing standards by having them do their close reading in centers, for homework, morning work, partner work, etc.
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