January 13, 2012
The first time I saw Kim Yaris give a presentation I was shocked by a statistic that she shared that for every hour of reading instruction, only fifteen minutes of actual student reading takes place. (See previous eBoard posts May, 2009.) She shared many other alarming/enlightening statistics about teaching practices, too. So when the opportunity for professional development with her on Close Reads came up, I knew it would be informative, to say the least.
For those of us who have been looking at Close Reads for months, it is always interesting to debate what is and is not truly a text-based question. Kim’s examples and explanations were so good that one participant even suggested having students engage in a similar discussion about whether or not they could find the answer to a particular question in a text. - Interesting idea.
Of course, one of the most comforting things that she reminded us, was that the close read of text is not a replacement of the best practices already in use in most classrooms. Close reading of text is not a replacement of reading workshop, or making connections to a text, or the stop and jot, but another component of a balanced literacy education.
And while at first it may seem to be piling on just one more thing, the point really is to get students thinking critically and independently about a challenging text. As Kim Yaris put it, creating a cognitive dissonance that leads students to make reading discoveries on their own, thus better preparing them for college and career.
To see more of Kim Yaris’ fantastic tips, visit her blog, firstname.lastname@example.org