Are your students buried in post-its? Oversharing with those text-to-self connections? Parroting back comprehension tips but rarely applying them when they are actually reading? Our contributors sort through what works with strategy instruction, and have wise advice for avoiding superficial approaches to developing comprehension skills.
Christy Rush-Levine finds the best way to help her middle school students learn to read closely for literary analysis is through student writing. They begin with analyzing student exemplars from the Common Core, and then move to shared texts as they hone their skills.
Katherine Sokolowski uses a fascinating picture book to build close reading skills with her fifth graders. The key is selecting a text that holds up well through multiple readings.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris find their reading processes as adults informs the way they view close reading with students.
Aimee Buckner helps a fourth-grade boy tease out emerging themes in the first pages of the novel Morning Girl.
This is a demonstration lesson in a first-grade classroom on understanding the difference between fiction and nonfiction led by Erin Quealy. It is the first video in a three-part series.
Heather Rader demonstrates the importance of a varied reading diet to a second-grade group, sharing her own stack of books.
Christy Rush-Levine challenges the notion that there is anything easy or natural about getting young teens to select and read books independently in classrooms.
In this video from a fourth-grade classroom, Gi Reed reads aloud Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Gi continually checks in with her students, making sure they are visualizing, noticing new vocabulary, and making connections to earlier incidents in the texts—all without breaking the flow of the story.
Deb Gaby confers with second grader Reagan early in the school year. She is reading her first chapter book, and using a reading strategies “tool kit” for support.
Melanie Meehan finds read aloud is a great time for children to connect opinions and experiences.
Mary Lee Hahn considers how book clubs have changed over time in her fifth-grade classroom.
Andrea Smith helps a group of boys take notes during an owl research project.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris present some of their favorite children’s books for teaching inference.
Jennifer Allen uses commercials to promote the importance of rereading to students while teaching theme.
Cathy Mere finds that criteria for “just-rightness” varies with genre.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris share advice for rethinking how teachers and students define “just-right” texts.
Tony Keefer demonstrates how he makes his read-alouds interactive, and explains why he selected Percy Jackson to use with this group of fourth graders.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris are using read alouds as an intervention strategy with struggling learners.
Katie Doherty Czerwinski tackles the challenging issue of helping a student catch up in book clubs and reading workshop when they have missed a lot of class time.
Aimee Buckner confers with Sarah about sketching in her notebook.
Justin Stygles finds Google Earth is a marvelous tool for helping students research settings in novels.
Gretchen Schroeder has suggestions for using short texts and close reading to help students comprehend The Lord of the Flies.
Many beloved characters from picture books are showing up in beginning readers, and in the process can lose a lot of their appeal. Shari Frost provides teachers with criteria for choosing between picture books or beginning readers.
Katie DiCesare confers with Vidhi about the main character in her independent reading book.
Kim Campbell shares her favorite nonfiction short texts to use with adolescents.
Katie DiCesare leads her first graders in a reading share session during a character traits unit.
Propaganda, word clouds, and close reading engage students in Holly Mueller’s sixth-grade class.
Franki Sibberson gives a group of boys a “lift a line” assignment to build their close reading skills.
Aimee Buckner confers with fourth grader Amanda about her reading comprehension and fluency, encouraging her to use a post-it note to track thinking around a focus question.
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