Sunday, February 19, 2017

Close Reads or Guided Reading

What is Close Reading?
To put in simple terms, Close reading of text is simply a strategy to help students REALLY understand what they are reading. The Common Core standards now call for students to be actively engaged with text. Close Reads require students dig deeper into text by using their schema (personal experiences) and how to use text evidence to support their understanding of what they are reading. Close Reads teach students how to approach reading stories, by breaking them down in to smaller chunks, having them write with Daily Focus Questions, about open ended, but specific questions.

Remember, students need to:

1. Read closely to determine what they think the     text is
really saying.
2. Make logical inferences from the text.
3. Refer back to text for to find text evidence that
supports their answers.

4. make text to self connections.

The teachers job in Close Reads is to:

1. Select complex text so students can connect with the stories or text.
2. Give students a purpose or reason to read.
3. Expose students with varied genres and text difficulty.

Close Read Questions are higher level, vocabulary is selected to expose students to higher level words.

Guided Reading Teacher are asking:


Close Reads Teacher ask more of:

Close Reading has a direct instruction of vocabulary, text dependent questions, has ALL students reading at a level higher than their Ability Level which helps teach students to learn by digging deeper into text with teacher modeling, and close reads meets ALL COMMON CORE STANDARDS in ELA.

Guided Reading is the name given to the "old school approach" of keeping students ability grouped in small group. Students are taught in a way that best meets their individual needs without frustrating them, but still encouraging progress. From what all I've been reading, guided reading is more a name given
to teachers who prefer to teach reading in SMALL GROUPS and vary difficulty of reading materials based on students reading level.

For me, I think my CLOSE READS can fall somewhere in the middle of Close Reads and Guided Reading. Small Group Instruction is still apart of Close Reading for me. I DO PUSH ALL MY STUDENTS, we ALL READ at HIGHER GRADE LEVEL TEXT, but, I have found that I can take ANY BOOK, and DRAW HIGHER LEVEL THINKING needed to meet Common Core requirements.

* For example, Polar Babies, Polar Babies, What did you Learn? Is a Kindergarten level book. I have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers who use this Close Read and are amazed at how engaged their students became when the questioning, writing, and vocabulary activities came into play. They use this book as a starting point in science and ELA to integrate the two subjects into one.

This is what I found on Close Reads and Guided Reading, by searching multiple state web sites, reading various books on reading instruction, and how to best teach reading. 

Bottom line... call it what ever you want, just create a LOVE of reading for your students and model, model, model, how to teach them to understand what they are reading and why.

Here is a chart I made to help me understand the differences I found between the two.

CLOSE READING                                 
* Reader-directed way of approaching text.
* Meaning is on the focus of the actual text
Skills are not introduced before reading
they are explored and taken from text.
* Vocabulary is looked at by reading text
over several times.
* Reread chunks of text or small pages of
text at a time to dig deeper into what the
meaning really is.
* Text is challenging but can be not to hard.
* Text may be on a lower level, but more
complex questioning is used to expand and
build upon vocabulary or topics.
* Show what you know by discussions and
daily writings.
* Is used in primary and intermediate grades
to teach and model for students what it
takes to be an independent and successful
* Students work in small groups, whole
groups, and with partners.
* Students over time become more
independent readers able to read text on
their own answering questions they've been
taught to use.
* Main assessment is through discussion and

written responses.

* Teacher lead approach to text
* Focus is one building on or more reading
* Vocabulary is introduced before beginning
reading story or passages.
* Use picture walk through before beginning
reading context.
* Focus is to build reading fluency and
practice decoding strategies.
* Books and stories are chosen based on
grade level/student ability levels.
* Students may show what they know in a
variety of activities chosen by the teacher.
* Students answer text based questions with
own response.
* Used mostly in primary grades.
* Students read only small passages or
* Students work mostly in Small groups
based on leveling abilities.
* Student is slowly given more independence
as time progresses.

* Main assessment is about story comprehension

I hope this blog from my research and point of view help you better understand the differences between the two strategies in teaching reading. Since I was making so many Close Reads, I felt they also fell in the category of Guided Reading too. So, I took out my reading strategy books, went online, and began my own research to make sure what I was calling Close Reads were truly Close Reads, not Guided Reading. I think Thematic Reading Units would best be an appropriate name for those units that fall somewhere in the middle of Close Reads and Guided  Reading.

Hope you enjoyed this LONG blog! Be sure and check out ALL my Close Reads in my TpT Store. My March Bundle is already up!


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