As noted earlier, I'm about to embark on significant, targeted work with regard to close reading and reading response both in preparation for upcoming MCAS tests and for students' continued development of specific reading and response understanding and effort.
I will follow a tailored approach with the rationale that knowing how to read and respond to content with detail and specificity helps one in his/her life when it comes to complex documents, forms, actions and applications--a skill that if missed could result in lost opportunity or incorrectly informed decisions.
Though this teaching can be tedious, I do think that an early start in this endeavor can help to foster students' attention to detail and care when it comes to reading with understanding. The key is to keep the rationale forefront, and to support students with clarity, attention and response. Interesting enough, last year when I embarked on a similar test-prep, close reading unit of study, a number of students demonstrated keen attention and interest, students who have an inclination towards detail, perhaps our future lawyers and surgeons.
I plan to utilize the approach outlined here. If you have thoughts or ideas to add, please share. No matter how you feel about standardized tests, the tests are here and I hope this unit helps your efforts in that regard.
Close Reading by Kathy Perret