Visual Text and Close Reading

Many days ago, I had the opportunity to give close reading a try in Maria Mallon's kindergarten classroom.  I used what I learned from Mary Ehrenworth about visual text to try to lead kindergarten students to look closely at visual text to notice close details that would lead to theories about what was happening in the visual story we examined.

After my lesson, I conferenced with Maria about what she thought about the student outcomes and how she felt about the differences she noticed in my vocabulary and questioning with the students.  She was very positive and excited about trying this new strategy!  We began talking about what a "day 2" lesson would look like and Maria was excited to try to give it a try herself.  What a teacher learner!  We made a plan for me to come back and observe her teaching this lesson. Murphy's law would have it, Maria woke up with a cold and scratchy throat.  (It is the plight of all teachers of young children.)  I offered to teach the lesson for her or pass it on to another day but she refused because she was so excited to have the kids finish up their "thinking" about the story.  She even asked me to film it so we would have the two lessons together to use to show others.  Wow - willing to teach something she never taught before, feeling not 100% and did I mention this are kindergarteners?  I mean, anything can happen... :)

But of course, she was the master teacher as always, and I think it was as much fun for me to watch the kids from the observing side.  I don't know if this relays on tape so I want to point out one of our favorite noticings was that this strategy met the needs of all levels of her learners.  Students that are still trying to recognize letters were able to identify happenings in the story and the students that are fluent primary readers already were challenged to consider multiple possibilities for why things could be happening! 

Without further is day 2 of our kindergarten students closely reading with visual text.  Would love to know your thoughts and noticings!

Thanks again, Maria, for sharing your classroom and learning with the world!