Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8

Overview

This essential book provides a roadmap for instruction and assessment of close reading skills in grades 3-8. To engage deeply with informational texts—a key requirement of the Common Core standards—students need to determine what details are important, how they fit together to convey a central idea, and how to synthesize information from multiple sources. They also need to understand the unique demands of different text features and structures. Presenting effective instructional strategies that teachers can ...

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Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8

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Overview

This essential book provides a roadmap for instruction and assessment of close reading skills in grades 3-8. To engage deeply with informational texts—a key requirement of the Common Core standards—students need to determine what details are important, how they fit together to convey a central idea, and how to synthesize information from multiple sources. They also need to understand the unique demands of different text features and structures. Presenting effective instructional strategies that teachers can tailor to their own classrooms, the book includes lesson plans, vignettes, and examples of student work, plus a Study Guide with professional learning activities and discussion questions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This wonderful book presents classroom-tested, research-based strategies in an area of instruction that many teachers are grappling with as they begin to implement the Common Core State Standards. Cummins addresses each aspect of the instructional cycle, showing how to: create rigorous and engaging tasks that invite students to dig into informational text, assess their current level of understanding, and move them to deeper levels of analysis. The Study Guide at the end of the book is ideal for study groups and professional learning communities. I can hardly wait for this book to be published so I can get copies for our teachers."—Ellen Fogelberg, MST, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, Evanston/Skokie (Illinois) School District 65

"Cummins provides a comprehensive instructional framework to engage and empower grades 3-8 learners to read for deep meaning. Because close reading involves thoughtful analysis at the word, phrase, paragraph, and section levels of text, students learn to read beyond a superficial level of comprehension. I definitely recommend this book for use in introductory courses on elementary or middle-level literacy instruction. It also is a valuable tool for professional development contexts in public schools."—Richard T. Vacca, PhD, Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies (Emeritus), Kent State University

"As a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, I am always seeking to integrate learning—to bring standards, content learning, and student interests together and develop critical thinking in my students. Cummins's book shows how to do just that. She recognizes that students need to develop the skills of reading nonfiction material carefully and with a focus on meaning. This is a perfect resource for practicing teachers to use on their own or as part of professional learning communities."—Joanne Toft, MA, classroom teacher, Jenny Lind Elementary School, Minneapolis, Minnesota

"This is one of those books teachers will keep within reach when planning instruction. Cummins offers practical guidance for teaching general comprehension strategies for informational text, including examples of lessons, assessments of student work, and approaches for addressing stumbling blocks. I especially appreciate her discussions of the importance of selecting and analyzing various texts prior to instruction, and that her approach to the concept of close reading does not negate the roles of the reader and prior knowledge. While the book is appropriate for practicing teachers, it will also be helpful for preservice middle grades teachers. It would be an ideal complement to texts on specific disciplinary literacies."—Lettie K. Albright, PhD, Department of Reading, Texas Woman's University

The California Reader
"Cummins strives to present a systematic method of helping students read for deep meaning….The immediately noted strength of this approach for students is its interactive nature….Teachers are provided actual classroom scenarios and coaching prompts on how to respond to students. Cummins['s] observations as well as suggestions for how lessons could be adapted for a variety of learners and ideas for follow up instruction based on a student’s stage of development at each lesson in the continuum. The book content is….rich with implementation suggestions, lesson plans using informational children’s books, and actual student work." —The California Reader
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462507818
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/14/2012
  • Pages: 194
  • Sales rank: 77,671
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sunday Cummins, PhD, is a literacy consultant and facilitator for the New Schools Project at the Erikson Institute in Chicago. Formerly, she was Assistant Professor of Education in the Reading and Language Department at National Louis University. Prior to teaching at National Louis, Dr. Cummins worked in the public schools for 10 years as a middle school and third-grade teacher and as a literacy coach. Dr. Cummins has written articles for The Reading Teacher and Talking Points, and shares her work on teaching with informational texts by presenting at state, national, and international conferences. Her website is www.Sunday-Cummins.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Camille Blachowicz
Introduction: Why Teach Close Reading of Informational Texts?
1. What Does "Close Reading" Mean?
2. An Assessment-Driven, Structured Approach to Teaching
3. Introducing Synthesis with Interactive Read-Alouds
4. Understanding the Features of a Text
5. Strategic Previewing of a Text to Set a Purpose
6. Self-Monitoring While Reading Informational Texts
7. Determining Importance in a Text
8. Determining Importance and Synthesis across Texts
Closing Thoughts
Appendix: Study Guide

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