Reading Progress!

Close reading is a term used when a student reads a text multiple times for different features each time.

We’re using Newsela as a nonfiction source of text that’s available at different Lexiles (text complexity levels). I assign Newsela articles and recommend a Lexile for students.

We are using the Odell Education Close Reading Guidelines to focus students’ reading.

We’ve been annotating text looking for ideas that stood out during a first read and words or phrases that stood out. As we annotate, we underline or highlight text and then make a note in the margin why the text seemed significant. We discuss these and make sense of any confusion we have.

Your students have been doing this more and more the past week and will continue to do so over the next two years. 🙂

The results?

It’s working!!!!

Here’s a pre-test and post-test snapshot. The lower class average score was before using the close reading guidelines. the higher class average score was after using and learning the guidelines.


Reading, reading, READING!

We are starting to read about some BIG ideas: Natural rights. Social contracts. John Locke (not the one from “Lost”). State of nature.


The bottom line is this: Kids have to read a LOT nightly. Share the experience. I know it’s a lot of work. I read with my 7 and 9 year old nightly. Mrs. B and I trade off: I read with one daughter  while Mrs. B reads with the other at the same time. The point is this: PLEASE read with your child. They need you, and their success depends on it more than you realize.

Please take time to read the We the People books with your child. This is a history of the ideas upon which our country was founded. As we enter into a presidential election year, your child will be armed with some serious philosophical knowledge on the purpose of government and what it means to live in a country organized under a constitutional, federal, republican (little “r’) government.

Not only will they learn about the branches of government, they’ll learn about the separation of powers and checks and balances and why arguing can be good and slowly down the legislative process can be good (or bad) at times.

We’ll blend in Joy Hakim’s A History of US to fill in the historical storytelling components, too. She’s a masterful storyteller and really brings history to life.


Meet a Hero

We’re going to use the text rendering protocol today on a short, news story. It’s about a person who recently passed away. I feel Rev. Gilmore deserves to be called a hero-a term that we should discuss in class and define as a group.

We’ll read the story in class and use the protocol and then discuss what it means to be a hero. You can read the story by clicking HERE.

Here’s a recent picture of Rev. Gilmore.