Customer Reviews: Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8
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on January 11, 2013
I have read three chapters in this book so far and it is amazing. Sunday Cummins writes in a way that keeps the reader engaged and allows the reader to follow along with clear cut examples, charts, and tables. This is a must read for all educators in elementary or middle school. I find the information in this book useful as we as educators are implementing the new Common Core State Standards. This book topic of close reading in directly related to the new ELA stanndards. The book has many teacher resources and ideas on implementation. It is a must read. Way to go Sunday Cummins!
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on January 14, 2013
The release of Sunday Cummins' book, Close Reading of Informational Text, is very timely. It seems everyone in the literacy field is talking about close reading; What is it? What does it look like in the classroom? How do I teach that way? How will my students respond? Sunday's book answers those questions and more through first hand experiences in real classrooms. As educators we look for resources that provide practical, explicit suggestions we can use immediately. Ms Cummins' book delivers! This is the kind of professional resource I will reference regularly to support me in my planning & instruction.
Classroom teachers, Reading Specialists, Administrators all will benefit greatly from reading this book. Sunday's book gets to the heart of true PLC work in literacy; content, assessment, differentiation, something few books out there offer classroom teachers.
Sunday Cummins, thank you for providing the field of education with a resource that is quickly becoming the new "go to" book in schools around the US!
I, along with all the other educators out there, eagerly await another book from you soon!
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on January 20, 2013
The best resource I have ever read and used for teaching how to read informational text. This book in combination with the book Guided Highlighted Reading has really changed the way I teach reading of nonfiction text.
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on January 13, 2013
I am a long-time admirer of Dr. Cummins' work in the field and have been eagerly awaiting her first book. As a fifth grade teacher and a reading specialist, I am a voracious reader on all topics related to literacy learning. Some books set upon my shelf and collect dust; however, Close Reading of Informational Texts will be one of those books that are like my favorite and well-worn pajamas. A few of the many facets of this exceptional book that sets it apart from others are the the collection of student work, detailed rubrics and snapshots of authentic informational texts actually tested out in real classrooms. Dr. Cummins' work with informational text stems from her day in and day out work alongside students and teachers in the classroom. This is so refreshing. Looking back at my reading specialist preparation, I wish her book had been available for my course on content area reading. After reading Dr. Cummins' book, I have added another dense layer to both my theoretical and pedagogical knowledge base that will undoubtedly make a powerful impact on my students' learning.
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on May 11, 2013
The Common Core State Standards encourage elementary teachers to spend at least half of their instructional time teaching non-fiction. This is a good book to help teachers do that more effectively. The books has some particularly good lessons on helping students find the main idea of non-fiction.
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on July 4, 2013
I teach fifth grade and towards the start of this past year kept hearing about "close reads" and really didn't understand what the term meant. I found Sunday's book and just devoured it. I found it fascinating and she not only gives the reader a ton of information but useful strategies that could be used right away. I took one of her ideas called "Coding" and adapted it to a non-fiction article. The students were raised to a whole new level by using this strategy than if I had just told them to "read the article". I want to re-read the book this summer and have other strategies ready to use in September. Thank you Sunday for filling in the gaps of my understanding of just what close reading is.
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on January 11, 2013
I love this book! Cummins' opens up the world of "close reading" with informational text and makes it accessible. This is much more than a definition of the term. It gives focus lessons, follow-up lessons, and rich, real-life samples of student work. Especially grateful for the unique idea of providing "follow-up" lessons! They help reflect on how the lesson went and could move students to an even higher comprehension level. Common Core calls for us to teach close reading but it's a complicated topic. It's obvious this author has worked hand-in-hand with teachers to make it real and accessible. Feel like I could try things right away and that I have back-up to think about how it went. This would be a terrific choice for a school's professional book club.
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on July 22, 2015
As I read this book for my reading course, I can tell you this is not just a book study and put away, this is a book tho keep on your shelp and wearit out. Some great keys to making close reading of informational text a reality in your classroom. It even caused me to revisit some old lessons learned and explain some things that I just did. I am actually able to do them with purpose now and understanding.

My only complaint is that in the Kindle version of the text, it does not have page numbers but location. This serves as a disservice for persons who are reading it with fellow staff members, in class and even looking for help on their own. The book refers to specific pages in the index, not location. I would recommend to that pages numbers be considered as guides along with location for the go to tool.
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on June 13, 2016
With greater push being placed on educators to teach informational text, I found Sunday Cummins' book to be an invaluable tool to add to the top shelf of my tool box. My only regret is that I didn't discover her book several years ago. Ms. Cummins walks the reader through conducting Close Read lessons practically step by step including instructional strategies, anchor charts, samples of student work, templates, sample lessons, and illustrations of her own model lessons with students. I loved how she formatted each chapter, providing a consistent layout of each big idea she wanted to get across to her readers. As a Teacher Leader at my school, I walked away with many lesson ideas to model to my colleagues as well as a Study Guide to use during PLCs. After reading just half of this book, I went on to Amazon and immediately purchased another book by this author on text complexity. You should be prepared to do the same!
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on March 1, 2013
Close Reading of Informational Texts by Sunday Cummins is an excellent contribution to the field of reading and an absolute must have when planning for lessons. I had several A Ha! moments when reading this book. The first came early: reading is not just isolated strategies, but many strategies working together. I realized that maybe by teaching reading strategies in isolation I may have given my students the impression that reading was about tapping one's prior knowledge or setting a purpose for reading or self-monitoring instead of the realization that reading is about all of those strategies overlapping as a student tackles a text. Another A Ha! moment: Sunday starts the reading conversation with synthesis. I always ended the conversation with it. The genius of starting with synthesis is how much sense it makes to the students. It makes clear to them that this is why we are reading, we want to know what the author is trying to tell us. And by looking at the words, sentences and details that the author uses, our students can figure that out. It seems simple, but the main point of reading often gets lost in a sea of reading strategies.

The lessons that are outlined in the book will transfer to whatever topic you are working on with your students and any informational texts you are using. Sunday's examples of how to assess students and what to say to help them move forward highlight techniques that will also transfer to any assessment situation.

As I read this book, I couldn't help but think of all the students that I taught before this book came out, and how I wish that I could do certain things over with them. Impossible, of course, but this book has clarified my thinking on the reading process, illuminated what close reading is, and one I will be using in my classroom from this point on.
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