Close Reading with Brand New Readers??? You bet!!!

One of the things that most excites me about the CCSS, is this:

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

The very nature of most young children is that they hurry through things….including reading, right? They just have so much energy that they bounce from one thing to another without paying close attention.  That is one of the reasons that so many teachers ask the reading specialists at our school for help and advice on comprehension.  So here, in all its glory, is a standard that tells us…teach them to slow down, read carefully and really pay attention to what they are reading.  LOVE it!  In this hurry up and cover that curriculum kind of world…we are actually given permission to slow down! “Hold on,” I can hear the primary teachers say.  “How do you do that with brand new readers?  I mean….is it really doable with kinders and new firstie readers?”  Well….yes as a matter of fact!  It is do-able.  Not only is it do-able, it is FUN!  I mean, what little kiddle doesn’t like to read something over and over and over…..just ask their parents who have to read the same bedtime story every night! Or getting to use highlighters (insert squeal of joy and delight here), and to write ON a story after being told “no writing in books”??  Of course the next thing the teachers say is…”Okay. Can you give me some examples?”  Yep!  Can do!  Here we go…

At the heart of close reading, is rereading. So have your kiddles reread many, many times!  They’ll be practicing new words, practicing fluency, and will be able to really “get” what’s happening. Here are some examples of things you can have them read for….(one at a time of course!):

*Read to tell the title
*Read to be able to tell what the story is about
*Read to get the events in order, and retell them
*Read to be able to describe the main character
*Read to get an idea of what the main character might look like, and draw him/her/it
*Read to find current sight words and highlight or circle them
*Read to find phonics words and highlight them
*Read to find a newly learned punctuation mark and highlight them
*Read using the punctuation they just highlighted (Good for question marks and exclamation marks)
*Read to find words the character says
*Read to find important details

This kinder kiddle is reading to find and highlight what supplies the pet will need, and in another color, to highlight what kinds of pet they might get.

*Read to find newly learned vocabulary words and highlight them

Here’s our kinder cutie reading to find and highlight:  the animal (main topic), words that describe the animal, and words that tell what the animal can do, all in different colors of course. (Because using one color is sooooo last-year-preschool! Ha!)

So there you go!  Lots of ideas to get you started doing close reading with your brand new readers.  I bet you can think of lots more, too!

Have a great week everyone and happy reading!


Products used in this post are:
Ready, set, go…Guided Reading Set A-C
Owls Leveled Passage Set Levels A – I

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