This post is authored by John Funk, a university clinical instructor who teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management and reading methods. Besides teaching K-2 himself for almost 25 years, John currently supervises and instructs pre-service teachers. He routinely teaches workshops around the country on literacy and language arts and other early childhood topics.
There is a lot of dialog in the reading world right now about a strategy called, “Close Reading.” Close reading is an instructional routine in which students critically examine a text through repeated readings. It teaches children to look for story structure patterns, new and specific vocabulary, key details, arguments, and inferential meanings. Close reading can help children develop the habit of dissecting stories and information to understand the critical concepts and how the information contributes or relates to the child’s life. Close reading is not currently happening in many classrooms, but it is becoming a strongly suggested method with the advent of the Common Core State Standards Language Arts skills. Close reading can provide a wonderful opportunity to teach the difference between narrative (in story form) and informational (just the facts) texts and their uses.
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