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Close Reading Companions

The Close Reading Companions are designed to use alongside your whole group close reading (comprehension) lesson. They are created for all ten units, grades 2-5. Each companion page consists of the following:
– The main standard listed at the top
– The close reading purpose/objective clearly stated
– Directions for what to annotate in the student consumable
Graphic organizer for students to record text evidence
– A unique “Apply It!” question to show what that reading skills looks like as an assessment question

Q: Do I use these in whole or small group?

A: These are designed to help guide your whole group lesson. First, follow the instructions in the TRS to introduce and model the objective. Then, distribute the companion page to each student and finish the next part of the lesson using this sheet instead of the table or grid that Benchmark provides. I typically have my students do 1-2 examples whole class with me, and then finish in small group time. Some of the companion pages are short enough to finish whole group.

Q: Do the “Apply It!” questions come with the curriculum?

No, I wrote each question myself after realizing I needed a way to help my students become more successful with the assessments. I studied the language used in the weekly and unit assessments in BA and wrote new test-style questions pertaining the weekly texts. These questions are a great resource to use as test prep because they bridge the reading skill being taught in your mini-lesson and the weekly assessments. Answer keys are included.

Q: Do these work for both the CA Edition and the National Edition?

Yes, these align to both the CA and National Editions (2017-2019). For most units, the different pages are all in one file, and the first page of the file lists the lessons that are different. The lessons that have differences in the National Edition are labeled “National Ed.” in the bottom left corner.

For the lessons that were different in the National Edition, I included this label in the bottom left corner.

What Teachers Are Saying

“These are absolutely incredible. I love that it is also something I can send home so parents can see what we are working on. They are easy to use and I love that they are premade. The ones in the teacher guide are boring and this looks beautiful and adds the additional practice questions which prepare them for the quizzes.” – Katherine

“I love these Close Reading Companions! They match each lesson so much better than the provided graphic organizers, are student friendly, and provide much needed test prep each day with the Apply It! questions. They are great for informative assessment, too!” – Jessica

“These reading companions are an amazing resource! If you use Benchmark, you need these! Thanks, Toluca!” – Jodi

“This resource has made teaching Benchmark so much more manageable!” – Gretchen

“These are a gift! They make the Benchmark curriculum a breeze.” – Dakota