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Text Complexity The inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader and task variables (Common Core State.

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Presentation on theme: "Text Complexity The inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader and task variables (Common Core State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Text Complexity The inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader and task variables (Common Core State Standards for ELA) WCPSS Elementary Principals December 1, 2011

2 Remember the Six Shifts? Increase reading of informational text Literacy instruction in all content areas Text complexity Text-based answers Increased writing from sources Academic vocabulary

3 Desired Outcomes An understanding of the three features of text complexity An understanding of why text complexity matters Knowledge of resources to support consideration of text complexity

4 Why Focus on It? As the complexity of K-12 texts decreased The complexity of reading demands in college/career increased

5 Best “Sorter” within the ACT? Not cognitive level of question… Not questions focusing on textual elements… Text Complexity

6 Not natural… “We were never born to read. Human beings invented reading only a few thousand years ago. And with this invention, we rearranged the very organization of our brain, which in turn expanded the ways we are able to think, which altered the intellectual evolution of our species.” Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

7 Not an inoculation…

8 Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners

9 Not “if,” but “how” Literacy is a right, not a privilege.

10 Rank the titles at your table from least to most “complex”

11 Table Talk: What did you notice?

12 Text Complexity Common Core State Standards

13 Three-legged Stool Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Text

14 Quantitative Analysis of Text What is a Lexile measure? How are Lexile measures determined? How can you find out a student’s Lexile reader measure? How can you find out the Lexile measure of a text?

15 Readability Measures A way of quantifying text difficulty…

16 Unique: Matching Readers to Texts ↔

17 Forecasted Comprehension of Text 1500L 25% 1250L 50% 1000L1000L 75% 750L 85% 500L 95%

18 What does a Lexile measure include? Sentence Length Word Frequency

19 How are Lexile measures determined?

20 Most people stay away from snakes. But not Jesus Rivas. He likes to follow them. He follows a snake called the anaconda. It is one of the biggest snakes in the world. Rivas takes the anaconda from the water. He studies it. Then Rivas puts the snake back. His job makes him a snake stalker. (280L) Everyone should stay focused at work, but if Jesus Rivas gets distracted for even a moment, he could be strangled by a 500- pount snake. Rivas, a biologist, is leading the first-ever study of anacondas in the wild. (1120L)

21 Staircase of Text Complexity Grade BandCurrent Lexile Band“Stretch” Lexile Band K-1N/A L-725L450L-790L L-845L770L-980L L-1010L955L-1155L L-1115L1080L-1305L 11-CR1070L-1220L1215L-1355L At the lowest grade in each band, (for example, 4 th grade), students focus on reading texts within the current Lexile band. At the next grade within the band (for example, 5 th grade), students must “stretch” to read some texts from the next band. Building + Challenging Student: 50 above and 100 below

22 How can you find out a student’s Lexile measure? NC EOG

23 How can you find out the Lexile measure of a text? Book Search Lexile Analyzer

24 Lexile Codes AD: Adult Directed NC: Non-Conforming HL: High-Low IG: Illustrated Guide GN: Graphic Novel BR: Beginning Reading NP: Non-Prose

25 Where are we going? Grade BandCurrent Lexile“Stretch” Lexile K-1N/A L-725L450L-790L L-845L770L-980L L-1010L955L-1155L L-1115L1080L-1305L 11-CCR1070L-1220L1215L-1355L

26 What a Lexile Measure Cannot Do  Replace professional judgment of teachers  Determine whether or not a student can read a text  Measure content or quality of a text

27 Qualitative Analysis of Text

28 Qualitative Analysis

29 Comparing Three Titles

30 Sample Science Texts 730L 1020L 1000L

31 Reader and Task Variables specific to particular readers (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) Variables specific to particular tasks (such as purpose and the complexity of the task assigned and the questions posed)

32 Keep in mind… 1. A student’s ability to read complex text does not always develop in a linear fashion. 2. Students reading well above and well below grade-band level need additional support. 3. Even many students on course for college and career readiness are likely to need scaffolding as they master higher levels of text complexity.

33 Students need opportunities to stretch their reading abilities but also to experience the satisfaction and pleasure of easy, fluent reading…, both of which the Standards allow for. As noted above, such factors as students’ motivation, knowledge, and experiences must also come into play in text selection. Common Core State Standards

34 Key Word: “GRAPPLE”

35 Additional Resources Common Core State Standards for ELA Appendix A and Appendix B DPI Exemplar Document (contains ordering information for texts listed in CCSS and indicates which are in the public domain)

36 Implications for Your School?

37 Questions? Sherri Merritt, Ph.D. Director of K-12 Literacy Wake County Public School System


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