Doug Fisher on Close Reading
Different understandings of close reading exist. For example, how many times should you read and/or reread a text? Fisher clarified some of these misconceptions. After learning from Fisher (the “close reading guru”), we couldn’t wait to share this with our teacher friends and even teach a close reading lesson!
Most important close reading take-aways from the most awesome Doug Fisher:
1) Close reading involves the following:
2) The number of times you read a text depends on student understanding. This is often accomplished in 3-5 readings, although it may demand more or less.
3) Don’t introduce books/text by making personal connections and sharing personal experiences. WHAT?! Yep, research says this will actually cause students to add details that are not in the text.
4) Fisher suggests the following close reading phases:
SUCCESS TIP: Linger longer at the 2nd phase (what authors do and why they do it). Why? Students will actually start writing more like the author. WOW! Right?
5) ANNOTATIONS – use minimal annotation symbols. Fisher suggests using ONLY THREE at first. These include:
Be sure to let students update their annotations after several readings.
6) More about annotations….
Annotations are EXCELLENT formative assessment data. Keep them daily and review them. Teachers can easily determine while students are still reading the text (as opposed to an assessment at the end) what still needs to be taught.
7) Text Dependent Questions (TDQs) MUST-HAVES:
8) More About TDQs:
TDQs should go in an order that is scaffolded for kids. The following types of TDQs increase in complexity from simplest (key ideas and details) to most complex (integration of knowledge and ideas).
9) When developing text dependent questions, use these as a guide.
Do the questions require the reader to return to the text?
Do the questions require the reader to use evidence to support his or her ideas or claims?
Do the questions move from text-explicit to text-implicit knowledge?
Are there questions that require the reader to analyze, evaluate, and create?
10) Close reading should be scaffolded for student success! This is perhaps the best visual on the gradual release model we have seen. It also corresponds to the process for using the close reading strategy.
DOUG FISHER - SESSION #1
Doug Fisher is an authority on close reading. Even though we have both taught close reading lessons and helped other teachers implement this reading strategy in their classrooms, we learned A LOT from his sessions. More info can be accessed at his website at http://fisherandfrey.com/.
Important take-aways from the awesome Doug Fisher:
1. Students need different reading strategies and instruction at any given time. Some, not all, need more instruction in phonics, fluency practice, comprehension strategies. Although challenging, teachers should be responsive to the specific needs of their students and adjust instruction accordingly.
2. The research is clear….close reading increases student achievement! Keeping in mind that an effect size greater than 0.4 results in more than a year’s growth in a year’s time, effect sizes related to close reading are as follows: repeated reading 0.67, study skills 0.59.
3. The most popular types of reading instruction include: Focused reading (read-aloud with modeling), guided reading (reading with teacher), and independent (alone).
Fisher says that thinking is invisible. For students to know how to process, analyze and think deeply about reading, we MUST model our thinking, especially during focused reading.
4. When kids work together, they can successfully work on more complex, rigorous tasks.
5. In purpose drive instruction, students should know the purpose AND the success criteria. (Consider posting success criteria along with or instead of daily learning objectives.)
6. Leaders, during walkthrough observations, do not ask students “What are you doing?” rather ask, “What are you learning?”
7. Rigor can be an elusive, ill-defined “edu-speak” word. Fisher says rigor is a balance between difficulty (which requires effort) and complexity (which requires thinking).
8. Fisher says that children do not learn from teachers they do not like. And research supports this. Teacher-student relationships have an effect size of 0.72.
Erin and I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Plain Talk Conference in New Orleans, which was packed with famous researchers, consultants, and influential practitioners in the field of education. We know it's tough to get away from the classroom, so we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the highlights of our learning at the conference. So here goes!
John Hattie – Part 1 – His research has revolutionized teacher practice across this country, and really around the world. Using many different high quality research studies, he has isolated the influence of teaching practices on student achievement. Hattie’s work is based on 10,000+ studies and 157 effects from about 12-16 million students. (You should check out his book!)
He continues to conduct research and is in the process of updating his latest findings. On his list of most effective influences, collective efficacy now tops the list. That means when a group of teachers believe that as a group they can impact student learning and achievement, their students perform better across the board. Pretty amazing!
Memorable thoughts from the wise John Hattie...
Most policymakers begin with the assumption teachers are all bad. This is flawed!
Most everything we do as teachers works….mostly. I have 20 years of evidence to prove it. Most everything we do enhances learning, but what makes the most impact?
The worst thing you can say is "Do your best." Sometimes their perceptions of "best" is not as good as it could be!
Bottom line…teachers should be looking at the IMPACT they are having on student learning.
Confidence helps students achieve…AND confidence can be taught.
John Hattie – Part 2
Latest Research – Top 10 List of Influences on Student Achievement
* Project-based learning, discovery learning, inquiry-based tasks don’t work when introduced before students have adequate knowledge of the content.
You must teach some surface learning in order to get to deep learning.
Michael Fullan – Michael Fullan is the “guru” of change theory. He has written many books and articles about improving educational systems. His session focused on collaboration, and WOW, collaboration and lateral learning is POWERFUL!
Fullan also discussed the concept of drivers. The “right” drivers include: capacity building, collaborative work, pedagogy, and systemness (awareness that you are part of a bigger system purpose…..wherever you are in system).
The “wrong” drivers include: accountability, individual teacher and leadership qualities, technology (although technology is not a “driver” it can be a strong “accelerator”), and fragmented strategies.
Memorable thoughts from the wise Michael Fullan...
Shift has occurred when teachers think, "Our kids...our school.." not "my kids...my classroom."
Coherence involves a shared depth of understanding about the nature of the work. This is SUBJECTIVE! And, we only get coherence through purposeful interaction. Trust is critically important!
Leaders are in the business of reducing variability (of practice and skill) among teachers.
In a collaborative culture, everyone learns together.
When the sense of collective efficacy and actions are high, individual effects also tend to zoom up.
Talented schools improve weak teachers.
Principals’ top priority should be improving collaboration among staff and developing leadership.
Susan Dewees, Ed.D. is an administrator at a large middle school. She also served as a Turnaround Team Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has 20 years of experience in public school education, and special education is one of her specialties.
Erin Stokes, Ed.D. is a Title I Instructional Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has over 10 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach. She is also an adjuct professor at Louisiana College. She loves students, teachers, and most of all--learning.
Becky Pippen, Ed.D. is currently serving as principal of a large middle school in Louisiana. She has over 20 years experience in educational leadership. She is passionate about improving the teacher workforce so that all students have the quality of instruction they deserve.