What is Close Reading a.k.a. Reading Closely?
Close Reading is something I am extremely passionate about. It is something that I think is misunderstood and needs to be addressed, especially today. Over the past couple of years as I have personally delved into this method of instruction I have come to the conclusion that there is a distinct problem with the perception teachers have of Close Reading. The common opinion is that Close Reading is extremely complicated or time intensive. So much so, that it requires too much work to yield any positive return. There is also the polar opposite opinion that Close Reading is quick and easy. This opinion also has problems. It would mean Close Reading is a type of low-quality instruction that would be irresponsible to bring into a classroom.
So when you think about it, these misconceptions really stem from trying to implement a teacher driven method of Close Reading. A teacher driven method of Close Reading sounds good at first but is not sustainable in an everyday classroom. When teachers burn out we lack passion and without passion we lose our ability to guide learning. As a result, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about Close Reading, or Reading Closely.
So the question is, how do we counteract these popular opinions? Do we really need to? If we have an interest in and believe that there are better ways to authentically teach our students, integrate curriculum, and differentiate, what can we do about it?
And that is what I want to talk to you all about today. Over the next few posts, I am going to share my story with you and try to address the major fallacy of ‘Close Reading being too complicated for the everyday classroom.’ I am a believer in authentic instruction within a classroom. I think it is important to savor every minute I have with my students and I try not to do anything within the walls of my classroom without a firm purpose behind it.