District Administration - June 2015 - (Page 4)
SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST
D. RAY REUTZEL
Distinguished Professor and Emma Eccles Jones
Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education,
Utah State University
Elected Member, Reading Hall of Fame
Author, Ready® Reading and Ready® Writing
Member, i-Ready® Technical Advisory Committee
Close reading implies an ordered process that proceeds from understanding the smallest or most literal
ideas in text ﬁrst-in other words, getting what's in the
text (words, phrases, sentence meanings); then moving
on to understanding larger ideas (paragraphs and sections); then helping students understand how text ideas
get organized, selected and connected (such things as coherence, structure of text and craft); then moving on to
integrating what has been learned from the text with the
reader's background in order to make an interpretation of
what the text means to them personally, as well as what
it should mean to all of us collectively.
We want kids to read closely to determine what the text
says explicitly. We want them to be able to make logical
inferences from their interactions with the texts at local
and global levels. We want them to be able to cite textual
evidence when writing or talking about their conclusions.
And we want kids to learn how to get into a text on their
own, with a sufﬁcient set of comprehension strategies
and skills to be able to learn from the text independently,
rather than having to rely so heavily on teachers providing them with information up front.
Developing habits of mind
We also want to develop important habits of mind
through this act of close reading. The ﬁrst habit of mind is
to read closely to determine what the text says explicitly.
The second habit of mind is to make logical inferences
from interactions with text. These inferences occur at two
levels. The ﬁrst is what we call the local level-inferences
that you draw from reading sentences and connections
between sentences, and at the paragraph level. When we
do this, we help students achieve much higher levels of
comprehension. Without being able to make these local
inferences, there is little chance that students will move
on to the second level, making global inferences, which
is when students learn to ﬁgure out how the text is organized, structured or crafted by the author.
The last habit of mind is citing speciﬁc textual evidence
when we read, write or speak to support our conclusions
that we draw from texts. We essentially did that at the
inference level, but now as we start talking about the text
and sharing what we've learned with others in different
ways, we need to help students learn how to ﬁnd the evidence that they want to use to support their conclusions,
ideas, assertions, arguments, persuasions and opinions
by citing textual evidence.
Some of the places where students might be asked to
do this would be in oral presentations that they would
make about what they've read-using, hopefully, some
digital technologies-or in writing activities we might ask
them to engage in, such as producing graphic novels,
newspaper articles or magazine reviews.
The last thing to discuss is strategies for school administrators and literacy coaches to foster close reading.
To help classroom teachers, coaches and administrators
implement close reading as embedded in the Common
Core State Standards, this group needs to learn how to
work together to provide teachers with the necessary
understanding, the relevant instructional materials, the
conditions and the support that they are going to need
First, we need to build teachers' capacity to select texts
appropriate for use in close readings. Second, we need
to help teachers and students understand the rationale
for repeatedly reading a text for multiple comprehension purposes. Third, teachers need to be provided with
professional development so that they can master how
to teach a set of comprehension strategies to construct,
analyze and integrate text understandings at deeper and
deeper levels of comprehension.
The reason that we emphasize close knowledge is to
invoke something that my good friend David Pearson
calls "the virtuous cycle of comprehension," meaning that
we want students to read closely so that their knowledge
grows through comprehending a text. And as they comprehend, their knowledge grows. And as their knowledge
grows, their comprehension gets better. That is probably
the very best reason for why we should be doing close
reading very often, if not daily, in our classrooms.
To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit: www.districtadministration.com/ws040115
June 2015 3
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - June 2015
District Administration - June 2015