Where the Magic Happens: April 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Guided Reading and Close Reading

Hello everyone!
I don't even know how to begin this post.
I confess, I admit, I want you to know...
I am not an expert, or a guru, or a researcher
I am just a teacher who reads a lot and wants to learn and do a good job for her students.
Believe. Me.
My Amazon wishlist is the size of Texas.

For the past year or so, I have created some close reading units based on the research of Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey in their book "Text Dependent Questions."
I have also blogged and presented about close reading. So based on my interactions and "new learning" of close reading, I have received several emails from teachers asking me about close reading vs. guided reading.
I want to make it public: I feel humbled when others think that I actually have knowledge to offer. I hope that you find this post informational, relatable, and real.

Let me begin by saying:
There should be no such thing as guided reading vs. close reading.
No argument here.
To understand why there should be no "versus" it is important to understand what they are.

At the beginning of the month I was so blessed to attend the ASCD national conference in Atlanta.  Let me just say that this has been the BEST conference I have ever been. One of the reasons why I chose to go, was because Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey were presenting. When they walked into the room I wanted to pull a cheer leading move.
That was the feeling.
This first grade teacher has learned a lot from their research on text dependent questions. Nothing else but respect and admiration.

I told myself that if nothing else, I would make sure to ask Dr. Fisher a bunch of burning questions that were keeping me awake at night.

OK not so dramatic... 

My first question had do to with the use of guided reading and close reading.
I have always been a firm believer in the power of guided reading. My entire literacy block runs on Jan Richardson's research.
Oh yes. And the Daily 5.
I had never considered close reading until I stumbled upon Fisher & Frey's research.
So I was quite excited when I asked him:
"Would  you do close reading instead of guided reading during your small groups?"
His answer, so happy and confident:
"Of course! Not every student in your class is going to need guided reading, just like not every student needs close reading."

Last January I saw my BFF Marie present at the regional Reading Recovery conference.
She discussed how a teacher might use the instructional routines of close reading with a leveled text.
How  to uncover layers of meaning needs to be modeled with different types of text.

And last but not least:
There should not be a "versus", guided reading and close reading complement each other.
End of this discussion.
Just in case you are interested, you can stop by my TPT store and take a look at my close reading mini-packs based on the research of Fisher and Frey.
You may CLICK HERE to check my close reading packs!

Until next time!