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close reading nonfiction texts

New Book for Reading Aloud, Close Reading – Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (K. G. Davis, 2014) This would make for a great read aloud in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade with opportunities for rereading excerpts of text to think critically about the author’s central ideas and purposes. The main part of the text is written as a narrative with the purpose of …Read more

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Choosing info text excerpts for close reading

Close reading can be powerful experience that moves readers into deeper understanding of a content area concept or theme. But we can’t “close read” everything so how do we make decisions about which excerpts are worthy of close reading? Here are a few suggestions. If you are just working with ONE (well-written) text (versus a …Read more

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Close Reading Instruction Essential #1

When you engage students in close reading of an informational text excerpt, you must study that excerpt thoroughly. I find that I have to read and reread carefully, keeping the purpose for close reading in mind, doing my own close reading (line by line) and taking notes. I can use these notes later as I …Read more

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PARCC’s 3rd grade sample test items – make time to read and this is why…

This is a quick and dirty summary of the newly released PARCC sample test items. If you are in one of the 19 states that will be taking the PARCC tests in 2014-2015, thought this might help you think about what our students will be facing. Third Grade Sample Items – summary and a few …Read more

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Read This Book on Titanic Not That One

A Night to Remember (Lord, 1955) is listed as an exemplar text in Appendix B of the Common Core. It’s okay, but not stellar. Instead I would recommend reading Titanic: Voices from the Disaster (Hopkinson, 2012). It is a better exemplar of what 6-8th grade students should be reading. See my blog on Hopkinson’s book …Read more

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Intriguing Notices as Mini-Lessons

I’m always intrigued by the notices posted around us. Many are perfect for mini-lessons focused on close reading of informational text. Check out this one I saw in a restroom in Chico, CA. For a close reading exercise, I would put this on the document camera or Smart board and ask students some of the …Read more

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Review of Exemplar Text in Appendix B – Grades 6-8 – Oh, my!

So I’m reading all of the texts on the Common Core Appendix B Exemplar Informational Text list. My reading is focused on what makes these texts rigorous for a particular grade band, what makes them hard for students, what do we need to think about when students are reading texts like these with a lot …Read more

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Close reading anchor chart…but remember…

So…I’ve been getting a lot of questions about “anchor charts” for “close reading.” I’ve been hesitant because I don’t want students to consider close reading as a lock-step process. Close reading is the simultaneous orchestration of multiple skills, used fluidly and iteratively. BUT¬†there are potential benefits when we use an initial anchor chart as a …Read more

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Museums as Nonfiction Sources with Central Ideas

¬† I’ve always found field trips frustrating. The students are very excited, but most of the learning is superficial. But what if we treated field trip locations as nonfiction texts that have central ideas? What if, while on a field trip to a museum, we did the kind of thinking we do to make sense …Read more

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Be a Nonfiction Book Whisperer – Please!

Anybody read The Book Whisper: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child (Miller, 2009)? Miller reminds us that one of the best ways to teach reading is to provide space and time for students to do a LOT of reading of high-quality texts. She challenged her students to read 40 books in a year and …Read more

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