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Reading Closely for Textual Details: At the Pole

Odell Education

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Review

This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2015. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

The version reviewed was last updated: 1/27/2014.

Background from OER Project Review Team
Odell Education is an organization of educational specialists focusing their efforts on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This unit is part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Curriculum funded by the USNY (New York) Regents Research Fund. This particular unit is focused on Reading Closely for Textual Details and is one of a four unit continuum that each highlight a core literary proficiency. This should factor into the viewer

EQuIP (Learn more)

Exemplar if improved (9.3)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 2.5, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 2.25, Instructional Supports: 2.25, Assessment: 2.25.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 2.0, Interactivity: , Exercises: 2.5, Deeper Learning: 2.0.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

Minor (1.5)

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This unit could be used by teachers with a variety of teaching experience from novice to veteran and each would feel challenged and supported. Can be done with most any student population or learning environment. Technology will be necessary, though.

Strengths include:

  • Guided practice and gradual release of responsibility throughout unit - the unit starts with approachable format and works to independent reading in each section.
  • Rich, complex texts in diverse formats - broad range of texts: photo collage, video, website, short story, historic narrative, journal and letter. Unit starts with a photo collage so that ELL and struggling readers are engaged and can experience success at the outset. Complexity and accompanying tasks gain rigor across the unit.
  • Multiple opportunities for assessment, often in form of brief writes. Class discussion an integral part of assessment and student self-assessment.

Challenges:

  • Although the "Assessment Opportunities" provides a strong focus for assessing student work, rubrics might be helpful, especially for new and pre-service teachers.

Suggestions:

  • Provide rubrics.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This resource is best used to support students who need help selecting evidence from text and practice generating questions about texts. I plan on incorporating more writing into this unit and using it with my 7th grade students this year.

The texts become more complex as the unit grows. In the instructional supports this was explained, and also the lexile numbers get higher through the unit. The purpose of the unit, to focus on accurately incorporating evidence into student writing, is clearly explained in the unit design.

Challenges:

  • Not enough writing space in the graphic organizers.
  • Not enough opportunity to incorporate evidence into body paragraphs and writing longer assignments.

Suggestions:

  • Provide an opportunity to include student reflection/post discussion to the Text-Centered Discussion checklist. This would help students prepare for next conversations and help them in the additional end of unit reflection essay.
  • Incorporate more opportunities to practice claim and evidence writing throughout the unit.
  • Add a box on the graphic organizer, perhaps include a checklist to support students self-evaluate.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This unit would benefit a class where students need more instruction on close reading, whether a small group or whole group. A classroom with access to technology would be necessary allow students to access the web-based content.

Strengths include:

  • Opportunities for students to read closely throughout this unit. Students re-read texts and respond to text-dependent questions.
  • Each activity culminates with an activity (worksheet, conversation, and writing) about the text using textual evidence.
  • Literature, non-fiction, web-based, non-print, and graphics about life in Antarctica are all provided.

Challenges:

  • Focus is on close reading, not writing.
  • More 6th grade standards are met than 7th.
  • Concerned about the depth of reading, the lack of focus on difficult sections of the reading, and the strategic sequencing of texts - there does not seem to be an intentional instructional focus on difficult portions of the reading or or text options for readers of different levels in each activity.
  • Assessment could be strengthened.

Suggestions:

  • Bring in additional writing opportunities- short and long.
  • Suggest additional strategies for particular sections of the reading that may be a struggle or could benefit from additional analysis. Perhaps provide texts at different levels for each activity. Or texts with higher complexity with teacher support releasing to independent work at a variety of reading levels.
  • Provide rubrics and anchor sets for assessments. Further align assessment guidelines and rubrics to standards.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This unit would work well in Seventh grade, perhaps for a reading class, not an English Language Arts class. Reading CCSS are addressed well, many examples for literacy in regards to reading.

Challenges:

  • All CCSS for writing are mentioned, but are actually not sufficient to cover the CCSS.

Suggestions:

  • Needs more specific, in-depth writing instruction and practice.

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.