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Finding Independence with Close Reading

The goal: Give students the tools and strategies to

attack the skills they are expected to KNOW at an independent level.

The Close Reading page the students used to help guide their purpose and thinking.
The Close Reading page the students used to help guide their purpose and thinking.

This week, I wanted them to try out their learned reading strategies independently. So, I created a Close Reading sheet that required them to read a story; fable, legend, fairy tale three different times.  Each time they needed to pick a different strategy, a different purpose for reading.

I gradually guided them through the process by reading a familiar story, Red Riding Hood.  The students chose their own strategy to focus on during that first read, highlighted it and focused on the sentence stems to guide them through the strategy. They had the option of choosing between identifying new vocabulary, retelling the plot, or identify GPPS (genre, purpose, point of view, structure).  Students were also allowed to use their strategy cards that we made when each of the strategies when they were first introduced.

While I read the piece allowed, each student independently focused on their strategy of weakness.  At the end of the first read, we went over all of the ‘surface’ level questions and strategies together.  I allowed those students with that focus to really control the discussion of the topic.

Guided Reading
Guided Reading

The second read, the students chose a much deeper level purpose and strategy to guide their reading. I read the piece out loud again.  This time stopping to predict, to infer, and focus on the ‘deeper’ answers in the text.  While reading the second time, the students filled out their Close Reading notes, focused on the strategy card they chose and listened to the reading again.  At the end of the reading, we met again as a class and discussed ALL strategies and ALL answers with students guiding the class through the discussion.

Finally, during the last reading the students focused on the deeper inference questions. The questions that rely on students to analyze characters, theme, and connecting to text. This strategy was done on a Twitter feed sheet and students had to rename the story in their hash tag.  This also led them to their test over the story.

* all students passed with an average score of 90%.- I would call this a successful work week.

* Click the picture below to purchase Strategy Cards and Close Reading Notes

End result Close Reading Notes and Strategy Cards
End result
Close Reading Notes and Strategy Cards

Student Feedback: 

They liked the opportunity to practice the strategies at their own pace.

They liked the independence.

Being able to choice the strategy was helpful.

The sentence starters made it easier for them to answer the questions.

Reading the text more than once gave them a better understanding and an A on the test.

Next Steps:

Gradually Release the students to do this independently; choose book, choose strategy etc…

Give the students 60 minutes to work through the 3 reading stages.

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