Welcome to the Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading wiki and the first online class for District 25! This homepage is where the general comments and directions can be found. For those new to the world of wikis, you will see to the left, under the search box, are listed all the pages in this wiki. The selections in that box are the only ones about which you have to concern yourself.

"We believe it is the interaction, the transaction,
between the reader and the text
that not only creates meaning
but creates the reason to read" (p. 3).

Your Overall Role

As to whether this experience will truly be the greatest ever, a lot is going to come from you in order for us to make that claim. Another way to say it is, each of you are equally involved in making our experience what it is this summer, or in other words, you're probably going to get out of this class what you put into it.

I believe the book is strong enough to stand on its own. Just reading it is not only going to improve your knowledge and potential craft of helping students grow with reading, but you may also find the book making meaning beyond just close reading. It did for me.

Beyond the book, the bulk of this class is really going to be in what you bring to the virtual table, especially the postings (see Assignments below). How much are you thinking about what you're reading, but more importantly, what does that meaning hold when you're connecting to others who are reading and thinking about the same text? And then, what does it mean that we're all doing this online? We're never going to see each other or talk to each other in person during this class, so what implications will that have regarding what the experience will be? It surely would have been different if you would have attended a typical class once a week at district office. Would the experience then have been better? Worse?

And finally, is this the future of learning or just a University of Phoenix punchline? Is taking a class entirely online what our students will be doing in 10 years? 20? I encourage you to think about those things as you participate.

Okay, I'm on board. Thanks for the pep talk. But what do I really have to do this summer?

This class will allow us to explore the well-written and reader-friendly text by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst with sixty of our fellow colleagues without having to physically go anywhere. By using this virtual experience, we hope by the end you will have a strong grasp on what close reading is, why it's important, why the big focus now is on non-fiction text, and how to effectively integrate close reading into your own classes. Thanks for taking the journey with us . . .

The Reading - As a part of the online class this summer, the book has been split into its three sections, asking you to read sections in accordance with the schedule below. This schedule, however, is merely an outline, and one of the points of setting up this class the way we did was to allow people some flexibility as to when they did the reading to accommodate summer plans. If possible, we still ask for staff to attempt to read within the established timetables as much as they can in order to hopefully keep people reading at about the same pace. For those who would like to read ahead and get the assignments completed earlier in the summer, that is okay too, as long as the class guidelines are followed.

Part 1 - The Questions We Pondered
Read during the weeks of June 24 - July 6

Part 2 - The Signposts We Found
Read during the weeks of July 7 - July 20

Part 3 - The Lessons We Teach and Conclusion
Read during the weeks of July 21 - August 3

The Assignments

Assignment 1 - Postings
In order to make the class worthwhile for everyone, in order to collaborate with colleagues, and in order to earn the 15 CPDU's promised, you are asked to complete a number of postings while you read. You will notice that on the upper left hand of the wiki, a page has been designated to each part of the book. When you go to that particular page, you will find that several questions have already been posted for Part 1. I have purposely left Parts 2 and 3 blank at this time in order to focus people on the first part and to get us all started. I will then pace it out as we go, adding questions for parts 2 and 3. For those who want to read ahead, feel free, but please keep your responses to the parts we have all read so far. I just don't want people commenting on Part 3 when others haven't even finished Part 1.

Directions for Assignment 1: Respond to at least five postings in each part of the book. A response means to either be the first one to answer one of the questions, add your own answer to what other people have already posted, or respond to what other people have written, thus beginning a collaborative discussion (my favorite). Okay, it's not really my favorite. They're all the same to me. I just thought I should say that as the facilitator of the class. Specific directions for posting can be found on the pages for each part. Just to make sure we're all doing the math correctly, that would be 15 postings by the end of the class. I should point out that if you post a response, somebody responds to you, and then you respond back to them, you have now done 2 postings.
Assignment 2 - Create a Posting of Your Own
One time during the course of the class, you should begin your own posting. This could be in Part 1, 2, or 3. You could state a question for others to answer, propose a point of view or an idea to which others can respond, or possibly share your own reflections on a significant portion of the reading for you. I had originally considered this assignment would be multiple individual postings, but since the class ended up having 60 participants, I would ask you to limit your own new posting to only one for management purposes. Thanks. Directions are listed on the pages for each part.

Assignment 3 - Create a lesson
As a culminating project for our time together, you are asked to write one lesson that demonstrates close reading. Specific instructions are included on the "Create a Lesson" page. You will email me your lesson upon completion or if you need feedback, we can do some back and forth. Once I have them all, I will place them on the district server to which the entire district will have access.

The Resources Page
There is also a resources page in the list above where I would like to collect links, videos, and other websites that we find along the way. I'm sure many of you will find more as go. If you find something of interest, send me an email with the link and a 1-2 sentence description of what it is and I'll add it to this page. If you're pretty wiki savvy and feel you can place it on that page on your own, feel free to do that as well.