I have been using Close Reads for over a year now, and, honestly, when I learned about Close Reads, I realized what I had been doing for many, many years is pretty close to what Close Reads was all about. I know how as teachers we know "new" things seems to pop out of nowhere, but really Close Reads is probably pretty similar to what you have been doing.
If you are like me, you were told to do Close Reads, but you weren't given too much direction on how to go about accomplishing this feat. I went home, did LOTS of research, bought a few books, and dove in. But I didn't mind because I LOVE learning so I thought it was fun. I learned a lot. And now I want to help you implement Close Reads in your classroom. I am planning to host a monthly linky party dedicated to Close Reads. I hope you will join me! I am going to invite a lot of other awesome bloggers to link up their posts on Close Reads because the more involved, the more you'll learn! Our Close Read linky party will be held on the 18th of every month. Kind of in the middle :) If it becomes popular, then I will host a linky party every 2 weeks and it will just be on a specific day of the week. The first Close Read linky party I will offer a post on how I initially got started using Close Reads in my classroom. I will go over the basics that will help you figure out where to start because sometimes, even when an idea is awesome and you can't wait to try it, it is hard to know where to start.
I have one product in my TpT store that is perfect for those of you just starting out on your Close Reading adventure :) It is my Question Stems for Close Reading of Literature and Informational Texts. I felt so fortunate that it was chosen to be in the TpT newsletter 2 weeks ago! I am currently working on another product that I will have posted tomorrow night. It is my Interactive Notebook for Close Reads. While I have seen many interactive notebooks for reading, I haven't seen any that really focus on using close reads, so I am VERY excited about this product! I will be explaining how I use these products in my first post for my Close Reads linky party, so be sure to come check it out!
Now, a little snapshot about future posts on Close Reads.....
Now, this is just my own personal opinion, but I do NOT think you have to abandon your leveled reading groups (or you may call it guided reading..for the sake of this post, I will refer to it as guided reading) to implement Close Reads. I repeat, you do NOT have to abandon guided reading groups!!!!!!!!! Again, just my own personal opinion, but having 13 years experience, gifted endorsement, and worked many years with struggling readers, EVERY child needs to read on his/her level EVERY single day. I could go on and on about that, but that isn't the point of this post. Just wanted to throw that out there :)
I know some teachers who thought if they used Close Reads, then they couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't need to continue with their guided reading groups. They thought that Close Reads would take the place of guided reading. Please don't stop meeting with your reading groups. I know it is hard to fit it all in, but if you integrate reading with your science and social studies, you will "find" more time in your day than you think you have. I know some of you HAVE to use certain programs and that will make it extremely difficult to fit it all in, but children do need to read on their level every single day with an adult...with an adult who will ask targeted comprehension questions and focus on specific reading skills.
Is Close Reads the Same as Guided Reading?
I had many teachers ask me last year if Close Reading was the same as guided reading...it is, but it isn't.....not the answer you probably wanted to hear :) Close Reading really isn't HOW you structure your reading time. It is more of WHAT you DO during your reading time. So, yes, you can definitely do Close Reading during your guided reading group. I certainly did. And you can also do Close Reading during your science or social studies time, and also during your regular reading block. To me, simply put, Close Reading is how you select a text for a specific purpose, the type of questions you ask your students, and the type of responses your students give. It is teaching your students how to read a text closely, how to find the details needed to fully comprehend the text, how to just "get lost" in a good book.....and understand what they author is saying :)
I hope I have "teased" you just enough to want to come to my party next Wednesday. See you then!
Please excuse any typos as I don't have the super power of being perfect :)