As teachers we must make sure that students are using Close Reading skills so that we can enhance their comprehension.
In order to teach them how to close read we have to make sure that they have the appropriate tools.
Enter: Close Reading Kits
Understanding what you are reading is an important part of ensuring that students can read. Students need to understand how to pay close attention to details. Close Reading Kits give students the tools to aid them in being able to take notes and respond while they are reading. This will help them to be able to better comprehend.
Here is a look at what I have included in my the close reading kits that my students use. They have a pencil, a highlighter, an eraser, Post-it Notes, and a Bookmark giving them reminders of what to put down and questions to answer as they read (find these in the freebie below).
Pencils are used first and foremost for writing our name on our paper! Then they can also use it to start by chunking their text summarizing their text in the margins or on paper. Of course they can also use a pencil to write on their sticky notes.
Highlighters: My students use highlighters to highlight Bold and underlined words, the title, footnotes, and captions. They also use them to highlight their answers to any questions and their evidence.
Eraser: My students tend to erase a lot especially as they are writing their summaries, so I have included the eraser to help them out!
Post-Its: These are used to take notes on or to hold the students place in the passage or book if necessary.
Bookmarks: I included the bookmarks to give my students a reminder of what symbols they could use as they are doing their close reads. On the other sides of the bookmarks I provided them with questions they can answer as they are reading.
There are many great ways to store the materials in your kits. Photo boxes from your local craft store have plenty of room for all of your materials. The ones in the picture above came from Michaels! I always need a little color in my life! You can also use Ziploc Bags like in the other picture above. The reminder of the tools fits right in front and the tools sit behind it. Pencil Pouches and Pencil Boxes also make great storage solutions.
Student Numbers/ Names: Managing the kits does not have to be a hassle! I know how my angels are so to help them, I have put their Student Numbers on each one of their kits and the supplies that are inside the kit in the event that one of my babies gets sticky fingers. If your students don't have numbers you could label them with the student names
Kit Monitors: Make this a job in your classroom. You can give this job to just one responsible student or maybe you have team leaders in your workstation groups and that person can be responsible for handing out the kits as needed.
Easy Access: Make sure that your kits are in a place where students can reach them. It would be so annoying for 20 students to come to you at one time looking for their kit.
Don't forget to teach your students how to use the kits before giving them out. Go over each of the symbols and go through a few texts with them before letting them go out on their own!
Be sure to click on the image below to pick up your freebie with all of the print-outs that I have put in my close reading kits!
What else would you include in your kits?