Take a Peek at “Falling in Love with Close Reading!”

Welcome to the eighth post in our 7-week blog-a-thon on #closereading. Each week posts are added to the Contributors page and we are looking forward to your addition. Let’s closely read the practice of close reading together!

 Chris and I will be presenting on Close Reading together in Amherst, NY on December 9. Registration as well as the number to call for lodging information or other questions can be found here. Chris has other dates you can sign up for as well here. We look forward to working with you IN PERSON!

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It is fitting that my 40th birthday is tomorrow for two reasons: first, I get the gift of offering you a sneak peek at some sample pages from Falling in Love with Close Reading. Secondly, it was at a birthday celebration a few years ago that Chris and I first talked about working on this book together. I am feeling like a pretty lucky girl today, and a big part of that is being able to share these pages with you.

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Here is the link to the rest of the sample pages: http://heinemann.sites.hubspot.com/falling-in-love-with-close-reading-sample. The book comes out October 17th through Heinemann. You can pre-order here if you like.

We cannot wait to hear what you think, to hear how your lessons go, to see photos of the beautiful work you do with your kids. One of the joys of the past few months has been the Blog-a-Thon, reading your thoughts on close reading, and on how to make this work meaningful and engaging to kids (as well as to ourselves). If you haven’t checked out our contributer’s page, please do!

Here are just a few of the fantastic posts that you’ll find on the page:

Sarah Picard Taylor shares smart ideas about ways to rethink book shopping, organization and read aloud in primary classrooms to support emergent close reading habits.

Fran McVeigh makes an argument for the use of nonfiction texts in close reading and offers some beginning thinking about just when that might happen and what sorts of texts could be involved.

Jerry Blumengarten (the ever popular @Cybraryman) shares his internet-librarian page on Close Reading. (This resource is amaz-o!)

Kristi Mraz describes her view of “emergent close reading” in primary grades as being teaching stances.

Vicki Vinton shares a cautionary tale, suggesting we must always look at transference of our teaching to students’ own independent work, not simply kids “doing” close reading in a wrote way that they cannot apply.

Chris and I hope to find many ways to keep the conversation on close reading going in the coming months, so that all of our voices, opinions and experiences are heard. After all, we don’t want our kids to feel like this. And while I thought that writing a book I believed in was a great birthday present, being part of a larger, brilliant community of educators is truly a much greater one. Join in the conversation.

2 thoughts on “Take a Peek at “Falling in Love with Close Reading!”

  1. Kate,

    Thanks for the preview of your new book. I love this list in chapter 1:

    “Powerful Close Reading Instruction
    Ᏽ must raise engagement and joy, not diminish it
    Ᏽ must lead to student independence, not dependence on teacher’s prompting
    Ᏽ must be one piece of your reading instruction, not the only part of your instruction
    Ᏽ must allow time for students to read for extended periods and across many pages of
    text, not interrupt time spent reading with activities
    Ᏽ must be repeated across time and involve lots of opportunities for practice, not be a
    one-time, off -the-checklist activity
    Ᏽ must be designed in response to the strengths and needs of your students, not planned
    solely to match a book or fit a scope and sequence.”

    The last bullet is the one that is scaring me the most about most current commercial materials. It is also reinforced by the excerpt in Chapter 7 where you begin with reading a poem first, not selection of an arbitrary lens. Subtle distinctions that are so necessary for powerful close reading.

    Thanks for continuing to push our thinking and understanding!

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