How to Structure a Close Read Lesson

Have you been digging into Common Core and Close Reading lately? Us too. I’m actually in a coaching cycle right now, with a goal focused on supporting student independence with informational complex text. And man, this can sure be tricky to do well.

We’ve used a few resources that have been super helpful. The first is a book I’ve mentioned before, Transformational Literacy.  This book helped us learn more about using close reading as an instructional sequence that helps all students access complex texts. We also referred to this video to help us get a visual of putting it all together.

Dina {my coachee} learned a ton in the process and so did I. This visual is a reflection of our learning.




And speaking of learning, I just saw a lesson in Dina’s room this week, where it all fell into place. All the bite sized next steps we worked to implement throughout the coaching cycle, came together and were reflected in her lesson. Kids were engaged and sharing their thinking while grappling through a complex, worthy text. Text based questions were used to guide student understanding and support critical thinking. And students synthesized their understandings at the end of the lesson using evidence from the text. Way to go Dina and Dina’s students!! Thanks for allowing me to learn with you.

Thank you cards from Dina and her class!  What a great way to end a coaching cycle.


3 Responses to “How to Structure a Close Read Lesson”

  1. Tammy March 19, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Love this post. The math specialist and I have just had instructional coaching added to the top of our responsibilities, in fact we are being moved to schools full time!! Which is exciting and scary. These tools will be very helpful.

  2. Randi Sonenshine March 26, 2015 at 6:49 am #

    Thanks so much for this post! It is terrifically timely! Yesterday, during a PD session, I was having a conversation with teachers about this very thing. Their default method with complex text is to simply read it aloud and guide students through it, with no opportunities for students to grapple themselves with the text. I will definitely share this with them.

    • Kristin Houser March 26, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      You’re welcome Randi! There is definitely lots to talk about within this topic. Good luck!

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