Tag Archives: Interactive Notebook

What do you see? Close Reading Interactive Foldable

When we read for school and academic purposes we have to read differently than when we are reading for pleasure. When we read for school we know there is going to be an assessment of our reading during and after reading. That assessment can be a reading comprehension quiz, an essay or short response, even a project to show your understanding.

We tell our students to read closely? But what does that really mean for middle school students to close read?

I tell my students to think of an onion. There are many layers to an onion and similarly, there layers to the text we must uncover.

What does the text say?

How does the text work?

What does the text mean?

I created an interactive foldable to help reiterate close reading and the layers of reading or “ways of seeing” a text. This foldable offers students a visual and guiding questions reminding them of what is expected of them when reading in middle and high school.

The layers of close reading on the foldable are based on Fisher and Frey’s TDQs: Text Dependent Questions (2016) which I describe more in this post and connect with state assessments and the Common Core Standards in this post.



The foldable and directions are below.

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Get Your Transitions On: An Interactive Foldable


Earlier in the school year my students and I held an impromptu funeral to bury a number of  transitional phrases that were over used and elementary in my students’ writing:

“I think” —

“I believe” — No “I statements” need apply

“In conclusion” — Very elementary

“All in all” — I had one student write this for each paragraph he wrote in a 5 paragraph essay!

Yet, my students were still looking for and asking me what transition words to use in their writing that would act as a road map for both the writer and the reader.  I created a transitional words interactive foldable for their journal to offer an easy menu of transitional words that would benefit students’ writing.


I designed a transitional word pinwheel with wedges taken out of the pie diametrically opposite to each other so that my students would be able to choose transitional words based on purpose and meaning before inserting it into an essay.

The following transitional words and phrases were included on the pinwheel:

To Clarify: Clearly, Specifically, In other words

To Link: Also, and, for example, as an example, furthermore, moreover, for instance, to illustrate, likewise

To Show Relationship: Comparatively, in comparison, likewise, with regard to, moreover, similarly,

Counterpoints: Alternatively, another possibility, in contrast, rather, but, however, on the contrary

Sequence: At first, earlier, finally, meanwhile, later, next, simultaneously, at the same time

The idea behind creating this foldable is for my students have models, and multiple examples of transition words and phrases to use with their writing and help their ideas flow.

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