Today, I started my first day of Common Core training for ELA. We focused a lot of our time on close reading. Close reading is when you give a student a text with a brief intro to the text. The intro does not contain any information that the student could obtain from reading the text. After the brief intro you ask the students to read the text to themselves. After the first reading you ask the students comprehension questions. The type of comprehension question is very important. We must move away from questions such as “how many houses are in the neighborhood?” Instead we should ask comprehension questions such as:
- What is the text about?
- What are the big issues?
- Who is the speaker?
- What is the author’s purpose?
- Who is the audience?
- What do we know about the speaker?
The comprehension questions can be asked and answered individually and then have a group discussion or you can answer the questions as a group discussion. The student must provide textual evidence for each of their answers. If the answer can not be supported by text it is not correct. Next, the teacher or a student that has a good reading ability reads the text aloud. You may also choose to have the students read independently or in pairs/groups. After the second read you will have the students complete another task such as questions about the structure of the text, the speakers use of figurative language, or to make an inference. The process continues, read the text then complete a task, read the text then complete a task, and so on.
I continue my training tomorrow and will come back with more information.