This is the part of a blog series.  You can read the other posts here…

Close reading is a huge buzzword right now.  It seems like we are all throwing the term around, but what does it really mean and how should it affect out classrooms?

I honestly wasn’t sure.  I had several followers on Facebook ask questions and all I could do was blink real slow and step away from the keyboard…maybe they wouldn’t noticed if I escaped! Unfortunately, the questions were still there…and so was my ignorance.

So I did what any person of my generation would do: I Googled it!

I had several hits come up- in fact, too many to even think about reading them all. It was very overwhelming.

So I picked and chose from the top two pages of hits.  I selected publications and organizations I was familiar with (IRA, Educational Leadership, The Reading Teacher, Timothy Shanahan, and an oddball article I wasn’t familiar with to round it out from the Aspen Institute: Education and Society Program).

I invite you to check out these articles, because I did feel they were pretty eye opening.  I quoted  A BUNCH from the articles and cited them so you can go back and read them in context if you would like. Here are the direct links to the articles:
So let’s start with the basics….
I liked this simple definition from the Reading Teachers article.  It was to the point and  correlated with my limited background about close reading.
I thought this definition was a little convoluted, but I liked how it mentioned the teacher’s roles in managing the text and implicitly reinforced the role of the teacher as the practitioner in the classroom.
I thought this point from the Educational Leadership article was also worth noting. So often we hear about integrating elementary school practices into middle and high school…not the other way around.  But, I do agree we need to prepare these littles for complex text- because they are capable.
And that is where is all gets hairy.  I knew that Close Reading was a buzzword and that there were lots of different ideas about it…but I had no idea HOW much.  Before I keep going, let me make it very clear, even these fancy-pansy researchers, educational leaders, and role models don’t agree about Close Reading.  That gives little ol’ me about an ice cube’s chance in…well, you get it, I am sure. 
So,  I am just a teacher doing my best to struggle with all this conflicting information.  You wouldn’t know what that is like I am sure? 😉  Please keep that in mind as you read the rest of this….
So, after all this buzz with Common Core and Close Reading and blah blah blah….Charlie Brown’s teacher…
Where does the Common Core talk about Close Reading? Why is it the “next big thing?”
You can find a direct link to the anchor standards here.
What do YOU think of when you hear “Close Reading?”  Has your school or district implemented guidelines for you? Share them in the comments.  I will do my best to address them or add them to the discussion in the upcoming posts!
In the next post, scheduled on Wednesday, we will take a look at some of the disagreements and research that contradicts itself.  Uh huh.  That is right. Even the researchers are disagreeing.  As practitioners, we need to be prepared for ALL points of view- in support or not, and be prepared to address them. 
We will also start to address coments…if there are any! LOL!
Do you feel like you need more help with reading instruction?
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Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website ( and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.

2017-07-05T22:38:03+00:00Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

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