Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Grade Close Reading: Using a Decodable Reader

Close Reading...
Oh my goodness. I'm not sure I can adequately express my excitement for doing Close Reading with my firsties. They totally are capable of handling the higher cognitive demand.  They LOVE it.  And it will help them become better thinkers! 

Since it is so close to the end of the year, we shifted our focus from using a text that I read to them to  using a text that they can read (shared reading).  The best resource we have for that is our reproducible decodables that go along with our Basal reading program.  Obviously they are copyrighted, so I am sharing just a few examples of how we used them, but I can't share the decodable itself.   However, I am confident that you can find a resource that you can use in a similar way.  (We use McGraw Hill's Imagine It!)

We mapped out all of the things we wanted to focus on.  As we did it, we found that it went much faster than expected.  So, for me, I just had everything ready and if we found an extra 10 minutes in our day, we would pull out our books and do the next activity. It still lasted us all week.

We color-coded everything so that the kids could color-code the marks in their books.  For example, characters are blue, setting is purple, problem is red, solution is blue and for vocabulary, we used orange.

Since the purpose of a Close Read is to look more deeply at the text, we used our colors to circle/ show evidence from the text.  

Here are a few things that I had ready to help keep us organized. (The signs are also color-coded).
(We also had one for setting but it was super blurry...)
What kinds of things are you trying with Close Reading??
Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I'm a fellow first grade teacher in FL. I tried to email you about one of your other posts but the email address didn't work. Do you have a new one you can post? Also, I'd love to follow your blog by email if you want to add that button to your blog. :-) Thanks & enjoy your summer!

  2. Terri-
    I am sorry the email didn't work. Let's have you try again...
    I will look into the "follow" button-- I am totally a blogging novice, so I am learning as I go :)
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. {mrsbarnes} mrsbarnes1963@gmail.comJuly 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    OMG...this is great!!!! We use Open Court 2000 {can you say antique?!?!?}...if you have created any more of these, I would love copies...if possible!

    1. Open Court 2000 had the best Intervention Guides-- we still use them, even though we are using Imagine It for everything else :) This is the only one we have done this way-- all of the others use stories from our Anthologies. :) I hope the example is helpful!

  4. Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much for this post. I am trying to move into close reading with my firsties and was looking for a way to integrate it with our Imagine It! decodables. I am so happy that I found this post.

  5. Do you do this whole class or small group?