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Close reading is the new buzzword. The call to teach for close reading is being sounded in professional journals, blog posts, and across the twitterverse. Reading scholars from Timothy Shanahan to Doug Fisher are offering valuable and timely advice to teachers as they ramp up their efforts to implement the Common Core Call to Close Reading.
The call for close reading is indeed a call to intentional teaching. It is more than following a core reading program script. It requires responsive teaching where students and teachers interact through dialogic thinking. Teachers have to know the students and know the text. Effective reading instruction requires teacher knowledge of how reader factors, text factors, text structures and teacher questioning impacts the ability of students to read closely.
In recent years teaching reading has been likened to teaching rocket science ( Moats, AFT ). Teaching Close Reading can be likened to teaching so you can understand the rocket science.
Close reading instruction requires teachers to know and understand the reader, or reader factors. Knowing the reader means that teachers have gauged a readers background knowledge, prior knowledge and hierarchical knowledge. It also means that the teacher has a sense of a students vocabulary knowledge ( Tier 1, 2 and 3). Additionally, teachers need to know and understand the repetoire of comprehension skills and strategies that their student has control over.
Now, add to that the text factors that teachers need to understand as the engage in teaching students how to read closely. Enter the other new buzzword, text complexity. In order to effectively teach close reading, teachers need to choose a mentor text paying careful attention to genre, text structures, and text features. Understanding the role of text complexity in teaching for close reading means teachers have to understand the features of text complexity. It means understanding the knowledge demands of the text as well as the language features, structure and layout.
The Common Core standards call for all students to engage with grade level exemplar texts. The challenge for all of us is how to do that with those students who are not at grade level. Scaffolding text for these students means teachers have to further develop expert knowledge in understanding how to effectively choose text, scaffold instruction, promote metacognitive strategy use, and foster interactive discussion through thoughtful questioning.
This is no small task. Its more than understanding those other buzzwords: quantitative measures, qualitative measures, readability formulas, lexiles, etc. The rush to heed the call to teach for close reading demands some slow thinking.
Leader to Leader (L2L) News: June 2012
ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-mail newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members, provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your To-Do List: Action Items for ASCD Leaders
Leaders in Action: News from the ASCD Leader Community
26 Educators Announced As ASCD’s 2012 Class of Emerging Leaders
ASCD has selected 26 educators for its 2012 Emerging Leaders Class. The Emerging Leaders program recognizes and prepares young, promising educators to influence education programs, policy, and practice on both the local and national levels. To view the entire list of the 2012 emerging leaders, visit the Emerging Leaders Directory.
Congratulations and welcome to this year’s class!
@WorldofLanguage and @MentorTeachers Increase Twitter Following
After implementing a few minor changes to their Twitter accounts, Professional Interest Community facilitator Richard Lange and his colleagues Patrick Riley and Steve Kozma were able to increase their Twitter following on two Twitter accounts in just two weeks: a 35% increase for @MentorTeachers and a 600% increase for @WorldofLanguages. The changes they implemented to increase their following included writing a comprehensive user bio, tweeting at least once a day and re-tweeting at least once a day, and engaging in #Follow Friday. Congratulations to Richard, Patrick, and Steve!
2012 OYEA Winner Matt McClure Named To Tech & Learning Magazine’s Big 10
Each year, Tech & Learning Magazine’s editors, reporters, and advisors feature 10 individuals who, in the words of Editorial Director Kevin Hogan, they feel “are making, or have the potential to make, the greatest change in the world of [education technology].”
“One of the biggest changes in rural areas is directly correlated with the flattening of the world. Students and individuals in these areas [need] to have access to information and opportunities at the same rate as their urban peers and the ability and requisite skill sets to live anywhere,” said McClure. “Access to technology and a great education can be the great leveling point to ensure that all students, regardless of geography, have the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind to succeed in today’s global economy.”
Congratulations to Matt McClure, who is featured on page 45 of the June 2011 issue of Tech & Learning (the digital version is available online with sign-up for a free subscription).
Virginia ASCD Addresses Challenges with Strategic Training Opportunities
Many new initiatives are being implemented in Virginia and Virginia ASCD (VASCD) is working hard to provide support and training in the key areas, taking into account the new rigorous standards in mathematics, English, and science, as well as a new teacher and principal evaluation system being implemented throughout the state.
The Southwest Conference, to be held in Abingdon, Va., on September 20, themed “Moving Forward with Instructional Tools and Strategies that Work,” will feature Bruce Oliver and Christopher Gareis as presenters. The VASCD Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Va. Nov. 28–30 is themed “Taking on Challenges in Teaching, Learning, and Leading.” Conference presenters include Heidi Hayes-Jacobs; Seth Kahan, author of Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out; Anthony Muhammad, co-author of The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach–Transforming Schools at Every Level; Diana Laufenberg; and Andy Hargreaves, co-author of Professional Capital. With these presenters and 45 concurrent sessions, VASCD hopes to give educators the key tools and knowledge to move forward in their schools. For more information, visit the VASCD website.
· Diane Jackson completed her term as Oklahoma ASCD president on May 31, 2012. Pamela King is now Oklahoma ASCD president as of June 1, 2012.
ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference Archives Available
ASCD conducted its second Whole Child Virtual Conference in May. This free conference showcases schools, authors, and research about implementing a whole child approach for a worldwide audience. View and share archived session recordings, presenter handouts, and related resources at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.
A number of ASCD constituent group leaders shared their expertise and school examples:
· ASCD Board of Directors member Pasi Sahlberg as part of a European panel on The Whole Child Around the World
· Healthy School Communities mentor site Iroquois Ridge High School in Supporting the Whole Child: The Journey of the Parent Engagement Program
· 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award-winning Quest Early College High School with a student panel discussing the Whole Child Tenets
· Healthy School Communities mentor site Batesville Community School Corporation in The ABCs of Educating the Whole Child
· 2012 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award-winning Byrne Creek Secondary School shared The Byrne Creek Story
· ASCD Assessment for Learning Professional Interest Community facilitator Mike Rulon in How to Make Classrooms Responsive to the Whole Child
· 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Matt McClure in One District’s Plan to Educate the Whole Child
· ASCD Emerging Leader Jason Flom in More Brains, Less Brawn
· 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Liliana Aguas in Healthy School Farm and Garden: LeConte Elementary School
Something to Talk About
Can’t travel to Philadelphia for ASCD’s Annual Conference & Exhibit Show? ASCD will be offering a package of 22 Annual Conference sessions streamed live online from Philadelphia, March 24-26. The Virtual Conference features presenters such as Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Charlotte Danielson, Atul Gawande, Robyn Jackson, Doug Reeves, Baruti Kafele, Doug Fisher, Jeff Howard, Watts Wacker, Pedro Noguera, Wade Boykin, and Nancy Frey.
Author Doug Fisher presents during his session at ASCD's 2010 Summer Conferece in Orlando, FL, June 24, 2010.
Authors Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Sandi Everlove discuss their latest book, Productive Group Work: How to Engage Students, Build Teamwork, and Promote Understanding. Listen as the authors describe why group work is so important in today's classrooms, and how teachers can get started.