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Close Reading and the CCSS, Part 1

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Link to this post: http://www.mhecommoncoretoolbox.com/close-reading-and-the-ccss-part-1.html


Do you have two minutes to learn about close reading?

Watch a brief interview with Dr. Douglas Fisher about close reading and the Common Core State Standards. Watch the video above and read the transcript below.


Transcript

How would you describe close reading? How would you define it?

Dr. Douglas Fisher:

A close reading is a careful and purposeful reading. Well actually, it’s rereading. It’s a careful and purposeful rereading of a text. It’s an encounter with the text where students really focus on what the author had to say, what the author’s purpose was, what the words mean, and what the structure of the text tells us.

It really is getting to what Louise Rosenblatt talked about as a transaction between the reader and the text. Louise Rosenblatt, the originator of Reader-Response Theory, really talked about understanding what the author had to say and not impugning those authors words, but really getting what the author had to say and bringing some of your own ideas to bear on that text.

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In a close reading, we have to have students reread the text. We give them questions; text dependent questions that require that they go back into the text and search for answers. These aren’t simply recall questions, just the facts of the text, but rather questions that allow students to think about the text, and the author’s purpose, the structure, and the flow of the text.

Close reading requires that students actually think and understand what they are reading.

Is close reading part of addressing the Common Core State Standards?

Dr. Douglas Fisher:

Close reading isn’t in the Common Core State Standards. However, an analysis of the Common Core State Standards really says you’ve got to learn the text well. The Common Core State Standards require that students provide evidence and justification for their answers. The only way we know how students can do this - that they really learn to provide evidence and justification - is if they closely read.

When we have students really read carefully, they pay attention to the words, the ideas, the structure, the flow, and the purpose of that text, they’re ready to answer more complex questions that require that they really think about what the author said, and compare that with what they know, what they believe, and what they think.

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In Part 2 of the interview, Doug will talk about what close reading looks like in the classroom.

Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top of this page to sign up for updates. That way, you'll be the first to know when Part 2 is posted!

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