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Vanessa Hadley

25 February 2016
SED 328
McWilliams
Field Experience Journal #5
This morning I returned to Hutchinson Elementary for the last time this semester. My
visit today was a great lesson plan builder because I taught my second lesson to the whole class.
My lesson focused on building comprehension skills through the use of a concept called closed
reading.
Each education class is tailored to provide strategies to become the best teacher one can
be. I have pulled strategies from what I have learned to create a fourth grade comprehension
lesson using close reading to dig deeper into an informational text. This lesson was for the whole
group; however, it can be tailored to fit a small group of students who may need additional
practice to build comprehension skills. At the beginning of the lesson, I went over
comprehension strategies with students, explained the difference in close reading when reading
fictional and non-fictional passages, explained what we would be doing for the day, and provided
background knowledge on the passage we would be reading. After that, I walked the class stepby-step through the three readings in close reading. The first reading involved the students
reading silently, highlighting, and discussing the general idea of the passage with their tables.
The second reading involved me, the teacher, reading aloud to the students and the students
circling and underlining key words and sentences. Thirdly, the last reading involved students
reading silently, marking specific evidence, and answering the following comprehension
question: what was the main idea of this passage? Use at least two cited evidence to support
your answer. At the end of the lesson I gave each student a bookmark that had different
comprehension strategies on it along with summarizing what each of the three reads focuses on.
The whole lesson followed a specific sequence teaching the students how to use close reading to
dig deeper into a text.
Considering this was the first time I ever taught a lesson revolving around close reading,
it went very well. Generally majority of the students were able to comprehend
the whole passage by the third reading. The chosen passage was at an
appropriate level for all students in the class to silently read individually.
There were a few students who were not keeping up but I went up to each
student individually and talked him/her through it. Having the students list
comprehension strategies they already use was a great introduction to the
lesson because they had background knowledge on some of the strategies I
incorporated the strategies the students came up with into the close reading
strategies I was teaching. The two different reading guides provided great
reminders to the students while they silently read. Close proximity and
discussions with the students aided in ensuring they were staying on track,
using the comprehension strategies, and the passage was on the students
reading level. The next time I would teach this lesson, I would have a bigger
poster or even a bucket with sand and a shovel to connect close reading with
digging deeper in a bucket; this visual aid may help students remember the
purpose of each reading better. Also when completing the second reading,
the next time I did this lesson I would move around the classroom while

reading to ensure students are following along and completing the


comprehension strategy for the reading. One last thing I would do differently
the next time I teach this lesson would be to create a reference guide for
using close reading strategies for fiction and non-fiction texts because the
reading elements are different in the readings. Overall the lesson went very
well and students understood close reading.
While I was teaching the lesson, I encountered one student who did not
want to participate in the lesson. From the way the student was drawing in
his notebook, I could tell he thought he did not have to participate in the
lesson because it was not his classroom teacher teaching it. When I noticed
he was drawing and not participating, I approached him, talked with him
about it not being appropriate, gave him a warning, and told him he needed
to work on the passage. After monitoring him, I noticed he still chose to not
work so I had to remove his notebook for him to focus on his work. At the
beginning of this lesson, I felt conflicted in correcting him because I was just
a student; however, I quickly shook that feeling off because I was the teacher
and he needed to participate. After removing the distraction, he was able to
do his work although he did rush through it. This situation provided great
practice incase I have a student like this in my future class. I remembered
the behavior strategies I learned about in various classes and successful
applied them. Besides this tiny bump, I was very proud with how well the
lesson went.
I love having the opportunity to get into a classroom and teach a
lesson. Teaching both whole group and small group instruction is providing
me great practice for the future. After working with close reading strategies
today, I feel more confident with the concept and will definitely use it in my
future classrooms regardless of the grade level. I cannot believe this was my
last day working with Mrs. Derbish and her fourth graders. Between the
students, Mrs. Derbish, and other teachers at Hutchinson, I have learned a
great deal of knowledge when it comes to reading instruction for students at
all instructional levels. What I learned in my fieldwork experience has
reiterated what I am learning in our Reading to Learn course. I am greatly
going to miss this field experience!