I’m excited to be linking up with Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten and participating in her Text Dependent Questions Book Study. Fisher and Frey link research to practice in this easy to understand text. You can join in on the collaborative conversation by joining the Kindergarten Collaborative Facebook Group! If you want to learn more about building close and critical reading skills with your students, grab this book and join us as we discuss our reflections on this professional book. You can get your copy of the book by clicking the link below.
My Reflection Points
As Mrs. Wills pointed out, educational practices cycle, but the idea of reading closely has been around for quite awhile. As best practices shift, it is always wise to take the best parts of what we learned in the past, and combine them with the new ways to bring success to our students.
Stamina, Persistence, and Confidence
As a former inclusion teacher, now teaching second grade, I have not received training on close reading, so this text is a huge help for building my understanding of the process. Two big ideas that stood out in the first chapter were the realization that a major tenet of close reading is student collaboration and limited front loading when introducing new text. Recently teachers have been proponents of building schema prior to reading any text. While this is appropriate at times, Fisher and Frey warn us to use this strategy with caution when introducing a text for the purpose of close reading. Removing all obstacles defeats the purpose of close reading, which poses an age appropriate struggle for students. Removing all struggles from our students doesn’t allow them the opportunity to practice and “own” the reading strategies we are teaching them. Appropriate struggle helps our readers build stamina, persistence and confidence.
The act of close reading in the classroom is social learning guided by carefully constructed questions posed by the teacher. The process allows for students to learn from each other through discussion and collaboration. Reading this section brought to mind number talks which I have begun implementing in my classroom. This part of the math block mirrors the foundation of close reading. It is important to note that although the teacher guides student questioning in the beginning, the ultimate goal is that students eventually develop the ability to ask and answer questions during their own independent reading.
Be sure to join us at the Kindergarten Collaborative and post your reactions and reflections on the text!