Complex versus Simple… Working with a partner: Compare the two texts on the following screen and jot down: The characteristics of the complex text versus the simple text How does this affect the information conveyed? Be ready to share 4
One hot summer's day a famished fox was strolling through an orchard until he came to clusters of grapes just ripening on a trellised vine. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. His mouth was watering and he could feel gnawing hunger pains. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give up. Once a fox walked through the woods. He came upon a grape orchard. There he found beautiful grapes hanging from a high branch. Boy those sure would be tasty, he thought to himself. He backed up and took a running start and jumped. He did not get high enough. 5
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. We want every country in the world, whether it is our friend or our enemy, to know that we will do whatever is necessary to make sure that freedom survives in the United States and around the world.
What is right with simplified text? Provides for scaffolding for ELL students, students with disabilities They can become a foundation for understanding complex text as long as students have the opportunity to read complex texts as well. Gradated Text Collection – a collection of texts on a topic that advance in degrees of complexity. Some students may read simpler texts first, then move on to complex text (a form of instructional support). 7
Whats wrong with the simplified text approach ? Simplified usually means limited, restricted, and thin in meaning. Academic vocabulary can only be learned from complex texts––by noticing how it works in texts, engaging with, thinking about, and discussing their more complex meanings with others. Mature language skills needed for success in school and life can only be gained by working with demanding materials. No evidence that struggling readersespecially at middle and high school--catch up by gradually increasing the complexity of simpler texts. 8
Gradated Texts Article: Breathing and Its True Role in Our Life, Health and Longevity A collection of texts that increase in difficulty from simple to moderate to complex, around a common topic. 9
Text Complexity - ACT Study Purpose: Determine what distinguished the reading performance of students likely to succeed in college and not. Process: Set benchmark score on the reading test shown to be predictive of success in college (21 on ACT composite score). Looked at results from a half million students. 11
Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Comprehension Level 12
Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Textual Element ( Averaged across Seven Forms) 13
Text Complexity Matters Texts used in the ACT Reading Test reflect three degrees of complexity: uncomplicated, more challenging, and complex. 14
15 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Degree of Text Complexity (Averaged across Seven Forms) In this figure, performance on questions associated with uncomplicated and more challenging texts both above and below the ACT College Readiness Benchmark for Reading follows a pattern similar to those in the previous analyses. Improvement on each of the two kinds of questions is gradual and fairly uniform. 15
Text Complexity Text complexity is defined by: Qualitative Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. Quantitative Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software. Reader and Task Reader and Task considerations – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment. 16
Recap of ACT Findings Question type and level (main idea, word meanings, details) is NOT the chief differentiator between student scoring above and below the benchmark. The degree of text complexity in the passages acted as the sorters within ACT. The findings held true for both males and females, all racial groups and was steady regardless of family income level. What students could read, in terms of its complexity - rather than what they could do with what they read - is greatest predictor of success. FCAT has complex passages and highly cognitive demanding questions. 17
The Common Core Standards' three equally important components of text complexity Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software. Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. Reader and Task considerations – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment. 18
Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band? Choose an excerpt of text from Appendix B as a starting place: 19 We could…. or… Use available resources to determine the text complexity of other materials on our own.
Determining Text Complexity A Four-step Process: 20 Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task 4.Recommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band. 3.Reflect upon the reader and task considerations. 2.Analyze the qualitative measures of the text. 1.Determine the quantitative measures of the text.
Step 1: Quantitative Measures 21 Measures such as: Word length Word frequency Word difficulty Sentence length Text length Text cohesion Quantitative Measures
Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as: Structure Language Demands and Conventions Knowledge Demands Levels of Meaning/Purpose 23
Common Core Standards Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Structure Simple Complex Explicit Implicit Conventional Unconventional Events related in chronological order Events related out of chronological order (chiefly literary texts) Traits of a common genre or subgenre Traits specific to a particular discipline (chiefly informational texts) Simple graphics Sophisticated graphics Graphics unnecessary or merely supplemental to understanding the text Graphics essential to understanding the text and may provide information not elsewhere provided 24
Common Core Standards Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Language Demands: Conventionality and Clarity Literal Figurative or ironic Clear Ambiguous or purposefully misleading Contemporary, familiar Archaic or otherwise unfamiliar Conversational General Academic and domain specific Light vocabulary load: few unfamiliar or academic words Many words unfamiliar and high academic vocabulary present Sentence structure straightforward Complex and varied sentence structures Though vocabulary can be measured by quantifiable means, it is still a feature for careful consideration when selecting texts Though sentence length is measured by quantifiable means, sentence complexity is still a feature for careful consideration when selecting texts 25
Knowledge Demands: Life Experience Simple theme Complex or sophisticated themes Single theme Multiple themes Common everyday experiences or clearly fantastical situations Experiences distinctly different from ones own Single perspective Multiple perspectives Perspective(s) like ones own Perspective(s) unlike or in opposition to ones own Everyday knowledge Cultural and literary knowledge Few allusions to other texts Many allusions to other texts Low intertextuality (few or no references to other texts) High intertextuality (many references or citations to other texts) 26 Common Core Standards Qualitative Features of Text Complexity
Levels of Meaning (chiefly literary texts) or purpose (chiefly informational texts) Single level of meaning Multiple levels of meaning Explicitly stated purpose Implicit purpose, may be hidden or obscure 27
Common Core Standards Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Structure Simple Complex Explicit Implicit Conventional Unconventional Events related in chronological order Events related out of chronological order (chiefly literary texts) Traits of a common genre or subgenre Traits specific to a particular discipline (chiefly informational texts) Simple graphics Sophisticated graphics Graphics unnecessary or merely supplemental to understanding the text Graphics essential to understanding the text and may provide information not elsewhere provided 28
Step 2: Qualitative Measures 29 Qualitative factors are represented on a continua rather than discrete stages or levels, so numeric values are not associated with these rubric. Instead, six points along each continuum is identified: not suited to the band, early-mid grade level, mid- end grade level, early-mid grade level, mid-end grade level, not suited to band.
Step 3: Reader and Task Considerations such as: Motivation Knowledge and experience Purpose for reading Complexity of task assigned regarding text Complexity of questions asked regarding text 30
What Complex Text Demands of Readers A Willingness to Pause and Probe Students must be patient as they read complex texts and be willing to devote time to contemplation of the text The Capacity for Uninterrupted Thinking Time devoted to the text and thinking about the text exclusively - single-tasking rather than multi-tasking A Receptivity to Deep Thinking Contemplation of the meaning of the text and not a quick response voicing an opinion based on a shallow interpretation (Mark Bauerlein, 2011) 31
Shorter, Challenging Texts The study of short texts is useful to enable students at a wide range of reading levels to participate in the close analysis of more demanding text. Place a high priority on the close, sustained reading of complex text. Such reading emphasizes the particular over the general and strives to focus on what lies within the four corners of the text. Close reading often requires compact, short, self-contained texts that students can read and re-read deliberately and slowly to probe and ponder the meanings of individual words, the order in which sentences unfold, and the development of ideas over the course of the text. 32
Words We Live by: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Work with a partner: One partner should read aloud the first two paragraphs and the second should read aloud the second two paragraphs Read the annotation of the structure of this text. Highlight the words not, but, neither, nor in the passage. Discuss what is contrasted in each paragraph and jot it down in the margin. 33
Words We Live by: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Work with a partner: Read the annotation of the language demands. Using a different color, highlight the words construed, advocates, suffrage, citizenship and any other words that you think would need to be taught. Discuss with your partner how you might teach these words. Examine the sentences along with the punctuation. Discuss which sentences might be considered particularly complex. Underline these. 34
Words We Live by: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Work with a partner: Read the annotation of the knowledge demands and discuss it with your partner. Are there other concepts that students would need to have knowledge of in order to understand this text? 35
Words We Live by: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution Work with a partner: Read the annotation pertaining to Levels of Meaning/Purpose. Discuss the meaning and purpose of this text with your partner summarize the meaning and purpose of this text at the bottom of the page. Be ready to share. 36
Reflect Please take a moment to reflect on the instructional implications of text complexity. Discuss with your partner and be ready to share your thoughts. 37