Comprehension, Close Reading, and the Common Core

Report
Implementing the CCSS:
Comprehension, Close
Reading, and the Common
Core
P. David Pearson
University of California, Berkeley
Goals for Today
• Answer some nagging questions as we begin
the implementation process for the Common
Core State Standards…
Slides will be posted on www.scienceandliteracy.org
So what are these questions?
•
•
•
•
So what is this close reading business anyway?
Where did close reading come from?
Where is it headed?
Do we really have to forget everything we learned about the
role of prior knowledge in stories?
– No more picture walks? Pre-reading discussions? On your own
questions?
• What does it mean for a question to be text-based? Textdependent?
– Does this mean I’ll be asking more literal/factual questions?
• If we ban prior knowledge, how will kids figure out whether
what they read makes sense?
• But…
• I still support them as long as we can keep our
wits about us as we implement them…
What sold me on the standards
What they said about reading
• Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the
close, attentive, reading that is at the heart of
understanding and enjoying complex works of literature.
They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to
pick carefully through the staggering amount of information
available today in print and digitally. They actively seek the
wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality
literary and informational texts that builds knowledge,
enlarges experience, and broadens world views. They
reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of
evidence essential to both private deliberation and
responsible citizenship in a democratic republic.
(CCSSO/NGA, 2010, p. 3)
So what’s not to Like?
• Nothing
• Everything I believe in about literacy learning
So…….
• In 2010, I signed on the dotted line to say these
standards are worthy of our professional
support and implementation
• Ready to go on the road and seek converts.
• But the road to paradise has been a little
rocky…
What is Reading Comprehension?
• A demonstration…
• I will unfold a very short story, line by line.
• Your job is to figure out “what’s going on” at
every juncture…
• A silent think aloud for you…
The End of Elegance
• Business had been slow since the latest rise in the
price of crude.
• Nobody seemed to want anything elegant
anymore.
• Suddenly a well-dressed man burst through the
showroom door,
• and headed straight for the most expensive model
on the floor.
• John Ingham peered over the top of his hornrimmed glasses,
• over the the want ad section of the newspaper,
• adjusted his loose-fitting jacket to hide the frayed
sleeves of his shirt,
• and rose to meet the man whose rhinestone
stickpin and alligator boots (but were they real?)
seemed out of place amidst the dazzling array of
steel-gray
• Mercedes sedans.
• “I’ll take this one,” he said confidently, pointing to
most expensive model on the floor…
• “cash on the line!”
• Later, the paperwork complete, John muttered to
himself, “I’m glad I didn’t blow this one.”
• He added, “What does he know about elegance?
What does anyone know about elegance anymore?
• Then he smiled wryly as he returned to his
newfound pastime.
What can we learn from our
reading of this passage?
• Words in the text COMPEL us as readers to
invoke our knowledge to make sense of things.
• The more unfamiliar the ideas and words in the
text, the harder it is to make the link between text
and knowledge.
• Yet we always seek the most plausible link to
knowledge that we can generate.
– Baseball for cricket
• AND…Links to other parts of the text are equally
important to us
What can we learn?
• Our internal standard for rendering texts sensible is
two-fold:
– Does the meaning I assign to a word, phrase, or sentence
square with what I have read so far?
– Does the meaning I assign to a word, phrase, or sentence
square with what I know to be true about the world?
• Corresponds to Walter Kintch’s construction-integration
model:
– Construct a Text Base
– Integrate the Text Base with Knowledge to create a
Situation Model (some call it a Mental Model) of the
meaning of the text…
– Change your Knowledge
Kintchian-derived model…
3
Knowledge Base
Text
1
Text Base
Says
Experience
2
Situation Model
Means
Inside the head
Out in the
world
New and different
• Most important: A new model of the
comprehension process
– Text (what the author left on the page)
– Text base (the version a reader creates on a
faithful first reading)
– Knowledge (what the reader brings from prior
experience AND what she has AFTER reading).
– Model of meaning for a text
• Dubbed the Situation Model (mental model)
• A model that accounts for all the facts and resources
available in the current situation
What’s inside the Knowledge box?
• World knowledge (everyday stuff, including
social and cultural norms)
• Topical knowledge (e.g., dogs and canines)
• Disciplinary knowledge (e.g., how history
or astronomy or mathematics works)
What’s inside the knowledge box?
• Knowledge about Language
– Phonology
– Lexical and morphological
– Syntax
– Genre
– Pragmatics (how language works in the world):
Discourse, register, academic language, intention
– Orthography (how print relates to speech)
That’s what we know about
Comprehension…. But…
• How does that knowledge square with the new
sheriff in town is saying…
• The CCSS
• Is the theory of comprehension in the CCSS
consistent with Kintsch’s model?
• Absolutely!
• But the mapping is a little tricky…
That’s what we know about
Comprehension…. But…
• How does that knowledge square with the new
sheriff in town is saying…
• The CCSS
• Is the theory of comprehension in the CCSS
consistent with Kintsch’s model?
• Absolutely!
• But the mapping is a little tricky…
•Rand
Key(2002)
Ideas and
Details
Definition
of Reading Comprehension:
•
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from
The1.
process
of simultaneously extracting and
it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from
constructing
meaning through interaction and
the text.
•involvement
2. Determine central
or themes
of a text and analyze their development; summarize the
withideas
written
language.
key supporting details and ideas.
•
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of
a text.
•
Craft and Structure
•
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical,
We
themeanings,
words and
extracting
constructing
tomeaning
connotative,
anduse
figurative
analyze howand
specific
word choices shape
or tone. emphasize both the importance and
•
•
•
5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger
insufficiency of the text as a determinant of
portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the
whole.
reading comprehension (Rand Reading Study
6. Assess how
point of2002)
view or purpose
shapes the content and style of a text.
Group,
.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
•
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually
and quantitatively, as well as in words.*
•
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of
the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
•
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build
knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Common Core
• Standards 1-3: Key ideas and details
• Standards 4-6: Craft and structure
• Standards 7-9: Integration of knowledge and
ideas
http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/research/pdavidpearson
Consistent with Cognitive Views
of Reading
Key Ideas and Details
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Craft and Structure
Locate
and
Recall
What the
text
says
Integrate
What
the and
text Interpret
means
What
theand
textEvaluate
does
Critique
For those who want to see everything at once…
Pearson Kintsch
NAEP
CCSS
Says
Text Base
Locate and
Recall
Key Ideas and Details
Means
Situation Model
Interpret and
Integrate
Integration of
Knowledge and Ideas
Does
Put Knowledge
to Work
Critique and
Evaluate
Craft and Structure
So now we know that the CCSS are built upon a modern
account of the reading comprehension process?
• But how do the standards square with what the
new deputy sheriff in town?
• i.e., implementation guidelines like…
– Publisher’s Guidelines
– Aspen Institute Report on Close Reading
– Engage NY
Text dependency of questions
• Regarding the nature of texts: “A significant
percentage of tasks and questions are text
dependent…Rigorous text-dependent questions
require students to demonstrate that they not only can
follow the details of what is explicitly stated but
also are able to make valid claims that square with
all the evidence in the text. Text-dependent
questions do not require information or evidence
from outside the text or texts; they establish what
follows and what does not follow from the text
itself.” (page 6)
Stay close to the text
• Staying close to the text. “Materials make the text
the focus of instruction by avoiding features that
distract from the text. Teachers’ guides or students’
editions of curriculum materials should highlight the
reading selections…Given the focus of the Common
Core State Standards, publishers should be extremely
sparing in offering activities that are not text based.”
My concern
• We will operationally define text dependent as literal, factual
questions
• Forgetting that LOTS of other questions/tasks are also textreliant
• Compare
literal
– What were two reasons pioneers moved west?
– What does the author believe about the causes intepretive
of westward
expansion in the United States?
– How valid is the claim that author X writes from an ideology of
critical
manifest destiny?
• YOU DON’T NEED A LITERAL FACTUAL QUESTION TO
PROMOTE CLOSE READING…
• Fundamental misunderstanding about reading theory:
– Every action—critical, inferential, or literal—requires the use of
prior knowledge to carry it out…
Text before all else
“The Common Core State Standards call for
students to demonstrate a careful
understanding of what they read before
engaging their opinions, appraisals, or
interpretations. Aligned materials should
therefore require students to demonstrate that
they have followed the details and logic of an
author’s argument before they are asked to
evaluate the thesis or compare the thesis to
others.” (page 9)
My concern
• We will view literal comprehension as a prerequisite
to inferential or critical comprehension.
• Compare
– We could read text X. Then read text Y. Then
compare them on Z.
– Or just ask them to conduct a comparative reading
of X and Y on Z.
• Sometimes the comparison or critique question
better rationalizes the close reading
My concern
• Fundamental misunderstanding of the role of prior
knowledge in comprehension.
• The text drags prior knowledge along even if you don’t
want it to.
– Schema Theory Tenet: Words INSTANTIATE schemata
• Business had been slow since the oil crisis…
– The text cries out for a schema to attach itself to.
– Ideas that don’t connect don’t last long enough to allow
learning (assimilation or accommodation) to occur
• They drop out of memory pretty fast
• In one eye and out the other!
• The best way to encourage learning that lasts is to connect to PK.
Yet another role for knowledge:
Monitoring
• How do we know that our understanding is good enough?
• We use two standards…
– Does it square with the textbase I have built thus far in
today’s reading?
• The last clause, sentence, paragraph, page, and more…
– Does it square with what I know to be true about the
world?
I wonder why Coleman and Pimentel
are so down on prior knowledge?
So what about Prior Knowledge
• Why has it taken a beating in the Publishers’ Criteria
• One thought: Too much Indulgence at the trough of
prior knowledge
– Too much Know, not enough Want to Learn and Learn
– Too much picture walk
– Too much story swapping about our experiences with
roadrunners before reading…
• Let’s right the wrongs
• Need a mid course correction not a pendulum swing
– Knowledge in proper perspective?
– Balanced view of knowledge?
– Knowledge in the service of understanding
But asking kids to hold their prior
knowledge
at
bay…
• Is like
•
•
•
•
•
•
Asking dogs not to bark or
Leaves not to fall.
It’s in the nature of things
Dogs bark.
Leaves fall.
Readers use their prior knowledge to render
text sensible and figure out what to retain for
later.
So what’s a body to do?
• Embrace the construct of close reading as it
has evolved in literary theory, but embrace it
ALL.
• Look at what the advocates of close reading
have said about it.
Historically…
• Close reading was a reaction to the historicism
and psychoanalytic traditions of the 20s in
literary theory.
– Knowing what Keats had for breakfast won’t help
you understand Ode to a Grecian Urn
• New Criticism: I. A. Richards, William
Empson, Brooks and Warren: a rigorous
objective method for extracting the correct
meaning of a text.
– (what does the text say?)
Close Reading in Reader
Response:
• read through the text to its connections with
the reader, other books, history. (what does the
text mean?)
– Rosenblatt: close reading to transform the
meaning of a text according to each reader’s
experience
– Fish: transform the meaning of a text according to
norms of a particular interpretive community
Close Reading in Critical Literacy
• Read through the text to its ideological
underpinnings
– (what does the text do?)
• Derrida: read closely to uncover a text’s
different, often contradictory, meanings
because words refer only to conceptual
systems of other words and not to fixed
meanings or external reality
• Get to the subtext…
My favorite: A debunking of the idea that the meaning
is in the text: From one of the close reading heroes of
the past: Mortimer Adler—How to read a book
• And that is exactly what reading a book should be: a
conversation between you and the author. Presumably
he knows more about the subject than you do; naturally,
you'll have the proper humility as you approach him. But
don't let anybody tell you that a reader is supposed to
be solely on the receiving end. Understanding is a twoway operation; learning doesn't consist in being an
empty receptacle. The learner has to question himself
and question the teacher. He even has to argue with the
teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying.
And marking a book is literally an expression of
differences, or agreements of opinion, with the author.
Definitions of Close Reading
• Mikics: To read closely is to investigate the
specific strength of a literary work in as many
details as possible. It also means understanding
how a text works, how it creates its effects on
the most minute level.
• Bialostosky: Reading with a productive
attentiveness to texts
• Berthoff: attending to the interplay of saying
and meaning
Reminds us of Rand once again: simultaneously
extracting and constructing meaning
So what’s a body to do?
• Embrace the construct of close reading
– But make sure that it applies to several purposes for reading
• Reading to get the flow of ideas in the piece.
• Reading to enhance our knowledge base!!!!
• Reading to compare (with another text or body of experience or
knowledge
• Reading to critique
– how good is the argument or the craft or
– what is his bias/slant/perspective)
– All of these approaches interrogate the text as an evidentiary
base.
• Develop a set of routines to enact these purposes for close
reading
• My sure fire Close Reading Strategy
– What do you think?
– What makes you think so?
• All about warranting claims about what the text says,
means, or does...
• From Mary Uboldi, my sophomore and senior
English teacher at Healdsburg High School
Mr. Martin bought a pack of Camels on Monday night
in the most crowded cigar store on Broadway. It was
theatre time and seven or ten men were buying
cigarettes. The clerk didn’t even glance at Mr. Martin,
who put the pack in his overcoat pocket and went out.
If any of the staff at F&S had seen him buy cigarettes,
they would have been astonished, for it was generally
known that Mr. Martin did not smoke, and never had.
No one saw him.
What you think you
know
What in the text
makes you think so?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Look Out For Lightning
Chapter 9, A Warrior Rescue
“Wow, lightning struck that tree!” Dennis yelled.
Wendy had only seen the lightning flash from the corner of her
eye, but she could see the black streak along the side of the big
oak tree behind the school fence. It looked like someone had
just pulled off the bark with a giant potato peeler.
Mrs. Stuard grabbed the microphone. “The game is postponed.
Everyone, leave the field and go inside the school until the
storm passes.”
Mr. Holmes was already leading the two soccer teams across
the field. He unlocked the back door of the school.
People climbed down from the bleachers and walked away
from the sidelines as more thunder rumbled.
Wendy looked at the sky, but there were still no cumulonimbus
clouds over them and no rain. The lightning video had been
right. You didn’t have to be in the middle of a storm for
lightning to be dangerous.
• Wendy waved at her parents and Dennis’s father as they followed the
crowd into the school.
• “Get inside, Wendy,” her father said.
• Wendy nodded. She turned to follow Dennis and Jessica. Then, she
saw Austin and his parents hurrying toward the parking lot.
• “Wait!” Wendy shouted.
• “Come on,” she said to Dennis and Jessica. They had to stop Austin’s
family from getting into their car. Sometimes Austin could be weird,
but Wendy didn’t want him or his family to get hurt.
• “Stop!” she shouted again as more thunder echoed.
• But Austin’s parents kept walking. Dennis ran past Wendy and
Jessica. He stopped in front of Austin’s parents.
• “Mr. and Mrs. Scott, you have to get into the school until the
lightning stops,” Dennis said, gasping to catch his breath.
•
• Mr. Scott’s eyes widened. “We’re going home, young man. Did you
see what happened to that tree?”
• “Kaboom!” Austin’s little sister shouted.
• Austin folded his arms. “I didn’t hear anything about cars.”
• “Because you were too busy folding paper airplanes,” Jessica said.
• Mr. Scott shook his finger in Wendy’s face. “Listen, kids, you all can
stay in the school with your families if you want, but we’re leaving.”
• Suddenly the sky was filled with light. An explosion echoed and
sparks flew as lightning slammed into a van in the middle of the
school parking lot. Jessica screamed and everyone dropped to the
ground as car alarms were set off.
• “We’ve got to get inside,” Wendy said.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mr. Scott nodded. The color had drained from his face.
Everyone jumped up and ran back across the soccer field. Mr. Scott
grabbed Austin’s sister in his arms. Austin’s mother pulled him by the
hand.
Mr. Andrews held the door open as they ran inside the school.
“Did you see that?” Austin gasped.
Wendy nodded. She’d never been so close to a lightning strike. It was
the biggest explosion she’d ever heard. And there were sparks
coming out of the car. Real sparks!
Mr. Scott stared into Wendy’s eyes. “That van was two rows
ahead of our car. We could’ve been walking past it when it the
lightning hit.” He put his daughter down and leaned against the wall.
“Thank you. You may have saved our lives!”
• Look Out For Lightning
Story Questions
• Chapter 9, A Warrior Rescue
•
• “Wow, lightning struck that tree!” Dennis yelled.
•
Wendy had only seen the lightning flash from the corner
of her eye, but she could see the black streak along the side of
the big oak tree behind the school fence. It looked like
someone had just pulled off the bark with a giant potato peeler.
•
Mrs. Stuard grabbed the microphone. “The game is
postponed. Everyone, leave the field and go inside the school
until the storm passes.”
•
Mr. Holmes was already leading the two soccer teams
across the field. He unlocked the backWhat
door is
ofthe
the school.
setting of
•
People climbed down from the bleachers
and
walked
the
story
and
away from the sidelines as more thunder rumbled. what’s
going
•
Wendy looked at the sky, but there
wereon?
stillHow
no does
shape
action?
cumulonimbus clouds over them and that
no rain.
Thethe
lightning
video had been right. You didn’t have to be in the middle of a
storm for lightning to be dangerous.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Wendy waved at her parents and Dennis’s father as they
followed the crowd into the school.
“Get inside, Wendy,” her father said.
Wendy nodded. She turned to follow Dennis and Jessica. Then,
she saw Austin and his parents hurrying toward the parking lot.
What problem did
“Wait!” Wendy shouted.
Wendy
recognize?
“Come on,” she said to Dennis and Jessica.
They
had to stop
Austin’s family from getting into their car. Sometimes Austin could
be weird, but Wendy didn’t want him or his family to get hurt.
“Stop!” she shouted again as more thunder echoed.
But Austin’s parents kept walking. Dennis ran past Wendy and
Jessica. He stopped in front of Austin’s parents.
“Mr. and Mrs. Scott, you have to get into the school until the
lightning stops,” Dennis said, gasping to catch his breath.
How did Wendy and
Dennis try to solve
the problem?
• Mr. Scott’s eyes widened. “We’re going home, young man. Did you
see what happened to that tree?”
• “Kaboom!” Austin’s little sister shouted. Why weren’t Wendy
• Austin folded his arms. “I didn’t hear anything
cars.”
andabout
Dennis
• “Because you were too busy folding paper airplanes,”
Jessica
said.
successful
at first?
• Mr. Scott shook his finger in Wendy’s face. “Listen, kids, you all can
stay in the school with your families if you want, but we’re leaving.”
• Suddenly the sky was filled with light. An explosion echoed and
sparks flew as lightning slammed into a van in the middle of the
school parking lot. Jessica screamed and everyone dropped to the
ground as car alarms were set off.
• “We’ve got to get inside,” Wendy said.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mr. Scott nodded. The color had drained from his face.
Everyone jumped up and ran back across the soccer field. Mr. Scott
grabbed Austin’s sister in his arms. Austin’s mother
him by
What pulled
changed
Mr.the
hand.
Scott’s mind
Mr. Andrews held the door open as they ran inside the school.
“Did you see that?” Austin gasped.
Wendy nodded. She’d never been so close to a lightning strike. It was
the biggest explosion she’d ever heard. And there were sparks
coming out of the car. Real sparks!
Mr. Scott stared into Wendy’s eyes. “That van was two rows
ahead of our car. We could’ve been walking past it when it the
lightning hit.” He put his daughter down and leaned against the wall.
“Thank you. You may have saved our lives!”
What did Mr. Scott
do when he realized
what Dennis and
Wendy had done?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Look Out For Lightning
Chapter 9, A Warrior Rescue
Stock Taking
“Wow, lightning struck that tree!” Dennis yelled.
Wendy had only seen the lightning flash from the corner of her
eye, but she could see the black streak along the side of the big
oak tree behind the school fence. It looked like someone had
just pulled off the bark with a giant potato peeler.
Mrs. Stuard grabbed the microphone. “The game is postponed.
Everyone, leave the field and go inside the school until the
storm passes.”
Mr. Holmes was already leading the two soccer teams across
the field. He unlocked the back door of the school.
People climbed down from the bleachers and walked away
from the sidelines as more thunder rumbled.
Wendy looked at the sky, but there were still no cumulonimbus
clouds over them and no rain. The lightning video had been
right. You didn’t have to be in the middle of a storm for
lightning to be dangerous.
• Wendy waved at her parents and Dennis’s father as they followed the
crowd into the school.
• “Get inside, Wendy,” her father said.
• Wendy nodded. She turned to follow Dennis and Jessica. Then, she
saw Austin and his parents hurrying toward the parking lot.
• “Wait!” Wendy shouted.
• “Come on,” she said to Dennis and Jessica. They had to stop Austin’s
family from getting into their car. Sometimes Austin could be weird,
but Wendy didn’t want him or his family to get hurt.
• “Stop!” she shouted again as more thunder echoed.
• But Austin’s parents kept walking. Dennis ran past Wendy and
Jessica. He stopped in front of Austin’s parents.
• “Mr. and Mrs. Scott, you have to get into the school until the
lightning stops,” Dennis said, gasping to catch his breath.
•
• Mr. Scott’s eyes widened. “We’re going home, young man. Did you
see what happened to that tree?”
• “Kaboom!” Austin’s little sister shouted.
• Austin folded his arms. “I didn’t hear anything about cars.”
• “Because you were too busy folding paper airplanes,” Jessica said.
• Mr. Scott shook his finger in Wendy’s face. “Listen, kids, you all can
stay in the school with your families if you want, but we’re leaving.”
• Suddenly the sky was filled with light. An explosion echoed and
sparks flew as lightning slammed into a van in the middle of the
school parking lot. Jessica screamed and everyone dropped to the
ground as car alarms were set off.
• “We’ve got to get inside,” Wendy said.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mr. Scott nodded. The color had drained from his face.
Everyone jumped up and ran back across the soccer field. Mr. Scott
grabbed Austin’s sister in his arms. Austin’s mother pulled him by the
hand.
Mr. Andrews held the door open as they ran inside the school.
“Did you see that?” Austin gasped.
Wendy nodded. She’d never been so close to a lightning strike. It was
the biggest explosion she’d ever heard. And there were sparks
coming out of the car. Real sparks!
Mr. Scott stared into Wendy’s eyes. “That van was two rows
ahead of our car. We could’ve been walking past it when it the
lightning hit.” He put his daughter down and leaned against the wall.
“Thank you. You may have saved our lives!”
Stocktaking repertoire of questions:
• So what’s going on here? In this part?
• So what do we know now that we didn’t know before?
• So what’s new?
• So what did the author want us to get out of this part?
• So, say something?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Look Out ForThis
Lightning
time we are going to look for examples of
Chapter 9, A Warrior
figuratveRescue
language and how and why the author
might have used them.
“Wow, lightning struck that tree!” Dennis yelled.
Wendy had only seen the lightning flash from the corner of her
eye, but she could see the black streak along the side of the big
oak tree behind the school fence. It looked like someone had
just pulled off the bark with a giant potato peeler.
Mrs. Stuard grabbed the microphone. “The game is postponed.
Everyone, leave the field and go inside the school until the
storm passes.”
Mr. Holmes was already leading the two soccer teams across
the field. He unlocked the back door of the school.
People climbed down from the bleachers and walked away
from the sidelines as more thunder rumbled.
Wendy looked at the sky, but there were still no cumulonimbus
clouds over them and no rain. The lightning video had been
right. You didn’t have to be in the middle of a storm for
lightning to be dangerous.
Second Pass Options
• Wendy waved at her parents and Dennis’s father as they followed the
crowd into the school.
• “Get inside, Wendy,” her father said.
• Wendy nodded. She turned to follow Dennis and Jessica. Then, she
saw Austin and his parents hurrying toward the parking lot.
• “Wait!” Wendy shouted.
• “Come on,” she said to Dennis and Jessica. They had to stop Austin’s
family from getting into their car. Sometimes Austin could be weird,
but Wendy didn’t want him or his family to get hurt.
• “Stop!” she shouted again as more thunder echoed.
• But Austin’s parents kept walking. Dennis ran past Wendy and
Jessica. He stopped in front of Austin’s parents.
• “Mr. and Mrs. Scott, you have to get into the school until the
lightning stops,” Dennis said, gasping to catch his breath.
•
• Mr. Scott’s eyes widened. “We’re going home, young man. Did you
see what happened to that tree?”
• “Kaboom!” Austin’s little sister shouted.
• Austin folded his arms. “I didn’t hear anything about cars.”
• “Because you were too busy folding paper airplanes,” Jessica said.
• Mr. Scott shook his finger in Wendy’s face. “Listen, kids, you all can
stay in the school with your families if you want, but we’re leaving.”
• Suddenly the sky was filled with light. An explosion echoed and
sparks flew as lightning slammed into a van in the middle of the
school parking lot. Jessica screamed and everyone dropped to the
ground as car alarms were set off.
• “We’ve got to get inside,” Wendy said.
•
• Mr. Scott nodded. The color had drained from his face. Everyone
jumped up and ran back across the soccer field. Mr. Scott grabbed
Austin’s sister in his arms. Austin’s mother pulled him by the hand.
• Mr. Andrews held the door open as they ran inside the school.
• “Did you see that?” Austin gasped.
• Wendy nodded. She’d never been so close to a lightning strike. It was
the biggest explosion she’d ever heard. And there were sparks
coming out of the car. Real sparks!
• Mr. Scott stared into Wendy’s eyes. “That van was two rows ahead of
our car. We could’ve been walking past it when it the lightning hit.”
He put his daughter down and leaned against the wall. “Thank you.
You may
have
saved our lives!”
Second
Pass
Options:
• What can we learn about weather?
How does the author shape our attitude toward different
characters? What’s your evidence?
What can we infer about what went on in earlier chapters?
Develop some routines that serve different
close reading purposes
• Textual Readings
– What can I learn about a new topic or phenomenon?
– What is the author’s basic argument, line of reasoning,
or point?
– How does the author craft his or her text to achieve the
basic purpose—to entertain us, persuade us, or inform
us?
– What can I learn about the effective use of metaphor
(or any language tool) to paint a portrait of a
character?
Develop some routines that serve different
close reading purposes
• Comparative Readings:
• How is this “thing” similar to or different from
another “thing”
– I read about in the previous paragraph
– I read about yesterday
– I read about last week
– I knew about from 3rd grade
Develop some routines that serve different
close reading purposes
• Critical Reading
– What do the author’s ideas tell me about his or her
familiarity with the issues of ecological balance?
– How solid is the evidence he or she brings forward to
support the basic argument?
• Utilitarian (exploitive) Reading:
– How can I exploit this text to help me with my essay
on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire?
– Let me find a good example of how to
• Use loaded rather than neutral verbs to convey a stance
toward a character?
Another overlay on close reading
• In implementing close reading, we musn’t
forget what we know about most approaches to
curriculum and teaching…
• Kids stay with them to the degree that they are
motivating: Attend to…
– Relevance
– Interest
– Choice
– Collaboration
Returning to our questions…
• So what is this close reading business anyway?
– Interrogating the text as an evidentiary source for
careful thinking
• Where did close reading come from?
– Today: Coleman and Pimentel
– Yesterday: New criticism of the 20s and 30s
• Where is it headed?
– Right now in the wrong direction, but we are going
to fix that…
Returning to our questions…
• Do we really have to forget everything we learned about the
role of prior knowledge in reading?
– No but we must stop indulging at the trough of prior
knowledge…
• What does it mean for a question to be text-based? Textdependent?
– Does this mean I’ll be asking more literal/factual questions?
– It means that the text is a key source of evidence for all
questions—literal, interpretive and critical.
• If we ban prior knowledge, how will kids figure out whether
what they read makes sense?
– We can ban it but kids will still use it.
– Prior knowledge, like text, must be exploited as a resource for
making and monitoring meaning and for careful reasoning.
Final Thoughts on Knowledge and
Comprehension…
Moving from a vicious to a
virtuous cycle in student learning
• Vicious: Failure begets low motivation begets
failure…
• Virtuous: Knowledge begets comprehension
begets knowledge—
– The more you know, the more you understand.
– The more you understand, the more you learn.
– The more you learn, the more you know.
– The more you know…
Kids are who they are
They know what they know
They bring what they bring
In short what we need is a…
• BALANCED APPROACH TO CLOSE
READING
• ALSO ONE IN WHICH WE MATCH OUR
METHODS OF TEACHING TO OUR
PURPOSES IN SUPPORTING
LEARNING…
Benediction…
Hopes for the standards…
• I’m hangin’ in there for the near term.
• They are still the best game in town
• They are moving in the right direction in terms of
reading theory and research—deeper learning.
• Hoping they prove to be a living document
– Regularly revised with advances in
• our knowledge of reading
• research on their “consequences”
The End
• (hopefully not of elegance!)
Where today’s discussion fits…
• 2013 paper addressing 5 research assumptions
I have found that underlie the CCSS,
• For each assumption, I answer 2 questions:
– Is there research available to justify the claims implicit in
the standards?
– Is there reason to believe that the implementation of the
standards will be guided by this research?
Research Assumptions of the
CCSS
1. We know how reading develops across levels of
expertise.
2. Literacy is best developed and enacted in the service
acquiring disciplinary expertise.
3. Standards establish ends or goals; teachers and schools
control the means
4. Students read better and learn more when they
experience adequate challenge in the texts they
encounter.
5. Comprehension involves building models of what a text
says, what it means, and how it can be used.
Other assumptions are discussed
in:
• Pearson, P. D. (2013). Research foundations for
the Common Core State Standards in English
language arts. In S. Neuman and L. Gambrell
(Eds.), Quality reading instruction in the age of
Common Core State Standards (pp. 237-262).
Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
• Prepublication pdf and these slides at:
http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/research/pdavi
dpearson
• Link to this chapter on the DSC website also

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