Keys to Close Reading

May 8, 2018

NELMS Conference Center
50 High Street
North Andover, MA

Literacy standards emphasize the use of challenging text at all grade levels and for students to apply close reading skills. Close reading means figuring out what a text says by thinking critically about the words and ideas in the text. It is sometimes described as deep reading, reading like a detective, or dissecting the text. Most students need explicit instruction for how to read text closely, and educators can provide this instruction by planning and conducting close reading lessons. During this professional development, educators learn how to plan and a conduct a close reading lesson for students in grades 2-12.

This professional development addresses these topics and skills:

  • Definition of close reading and related literacy standards
  • Characteristics of a close reading lesson
  • Planning a close reading text: select sample text, analyze text complexity, generate questions, plan the think aloud
  • Generating text-dependent questions
  • Stages of a close-reading lesson
  • Developing related writing tasks
  • Supports and scaffolds for struggling readers

Participants view videos of classroom close reading lessons and have an opportunity to prepare a text selection for a close reading lesson.

Who Should Participate: Grades 2-5 elementary teachers, educators who provide support to struggling readers, literacy specialists and coaches, grades 6-12 English teachers, and any grades 6-12 content teachers who are interested in conducting close reading lessons.


8:30 AM Registration

9:00 AM Morning Program

12:00 PM Lunch (on your own)

1:00 PM Afternoon Program

3:00 PM End of Conference


Click here for a registration

About the Presenter

Becky DeSmith, M.Ed.

Becky has been a senior Keys to Literacy trainer since 2007 and, in addition to training its programs, serves as a mentor to other KTL trainers. Becky has been a literacy educator for over 35 years, beginning her career in upstate New York as a 7th grade English teacher. Throughout her career, Becky has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and been involved in many school and district-wide initiatives that address core literacy issues. Prior to coming to Keys to Literacy, Becky served as principal of Stony Hill Elementary School in Wilbraham, MA. In addition to her full-time teaching, Becky has presented professional development workshops for much of her career. She was a trainer for Teachers 21 delivering reading and writing workshops and graduate courses in literacy at schools throughout New England, and has trained numerous times for the New England League of Middle Schools. Becky received an M.Ed in Reading from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York and an M.A. in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport. She received her B.S. in Secondary Education English from SUNY Potsdam. Becky has been recognized as a Teacher of the Year by the International Reading Association.