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Text Complexity Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task.

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1 Text Complexity Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task

2 ACT Report and Text Complexity In 2006, ACT released a report called Reading Between the Lines. The report showed which skills differentiated those students who equaled or exceeded the benchmark score in reading from those who did not. It was not the ability to make inferences, determine main ideas, or to understand words and phrases in context that set the benchmark students apart from the other students.

3 ACT Report and Text Complexity The clearest differentiator was students’ ability to answer questions associated with complex texts. The most important implication of this study was that about half of our students did not have the higher-order or critical thinking skills needed to be successful in college or in a career.

4 The idea of Text Complexity is not new: Our renewed attention to text complexity is due to the language used in the State Core Standards. Each time a topic is revisited, we have more research to consider resulting in deeper knowledge. For about a century, we used readability formulas to determine levels of text yet the level of text that is appropriate for a specific grade level remained a mystery.

5 Revisiting Text Complexity As we currently revisit this topic, we need to go deeper and look at text complexity not only quantitatively but also qualitatively as well as the match between readers, texts, and tasks. Turn to page 5 in Appendix A of your Utah Core Standards to look at a three-part model for determining how easy or difficult a particular text is to read.

6 Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity Best measured by a human reader Text aspects to be measured qualitatively are: ▫Purpose (informational text) ▫Levels of meaning (literary text) ▫Conventionality and clarity of language ▫Structure ▫Knowledge demands

7 Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity Turn to page 6 in Appendix A of the Utah Core Standards Annotate: ▫Important information ▫Questions you have about any of the information ▫Important vocabulary

8 Qualitative Measurement My sketch of Qualitative Measurement.

9 Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity Turn to a partner and share your annotations. Discuss what you found to be important. Provide clarification for any questions your partner has about the information.

10 Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity “Stand up, hand up, pair up!” Stay standing and explain Qualitative Measurement using your own words. Throw in a surprise element that will help your partner stay focused as you speak.

11 Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity Now that we understand qualitative measures, let’s take a look at our texts: ▫Using the Text Complexity Rubric and page 7 in Appendix A, qualitatively measure one of the texts we have been using in class. ▫Complete the Purpose and Meaning, Structure, and Language sections of the metric. ▫Share your thoughts.

12 Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity Best measured by computer software. Text aspects to be measured quantitatively are: ▫Word length ▫Word frequency ▫Sentence length ▫Text cohesion

13 Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity Using your trump card sheet as a reminder, complete principles 2 and 3 with quantitative information in Appendix A, page 8. Locate a partner and complete principles 4-6 with the same information on page 8. ▫Annotation ▫Sticky note sketch ▫Discuss and clarify ▫Stand and summarize with surprise element

14 Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity Now that we understand quantitative measures, let’s take a look at our texts: ▫Locate the Target Grade Level and Lexile Score sections on the Text Complexity Rubric. Using and the grade level band chart on page 9 in Appendix A, fill in the quantitative measure for one of the texts we have been using in class. ▫Share your thoughts.

15 Reader and Task Considerations While the prior two elements of the model focus on the inherent complexity of text, variables specific to the reader and the particular task must also be considered when determining whether a text is appropriate for a given student.

16 Reader Considerations Text complexity is based, in part, on the skills of the reader. When students have the literacy skills necessary to read a text, they are likely to understand what they are reading. It is not hard for students who can decode the words to understand the following passage: Annemarie eased the bedroom door open quietly, only a crack, and peeked out. Behind her, Ellen was sitting up, her eyes wide. (Lowry, 1989, p. 43)

17 Reader Considerations However, when looking at the reader element, more than an analysis of the current reading skills should be considered. The definition of readability should also include: An analysis of the style of writing because some styles are harder to understand than others. Attention to audience and whether the writing was intended for them.

18 Reader Considerations Other reader variables that should be considered are: Thinking Skills- attention, memory, critical analytic ability, inferencing, visualization, relationships Motivation- purpose for reading, interest Background- vocabulary, topic, linguistic and discourse, knowledge of how to use comprehension strategies, and prior knowledge Content- maturity level, potentially concerning elements

19 Reader Considerations What aspects of this text would need to be considered for readability in order to read and comprehend this text? Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls! (Foer, 2005, p. 3)

20 Task Considerations Task variables are: Purpose- Can shift during reading Complexity of the task assigned- skimming to get the gist, studying with the intent of retaining the information Intended Outcome- an increase in knowledge, a solution to a real-world problem

21 Reader and Task Considerations Reader and task assessments are best made by teachers employing: ▫Professional judgment ▫Experience ▫Knowledge of the students ▫Knowledge of the subject

22 Text Complexity and the Core As teachers we know that: Students struggle when they are asked to read complex texts by themselves. They do not succeed because they do not have the appropriate related language, knowledge, or skills to be able to comprehend the information.

23 Text Complexity and the Core Teachers also realize that: When they provide the needed supports, students have greater success reading material that could be initially identified as frustration level. Text difficulty is not the real issue. Instruction is.

24 Scaffolding Instruction The State Core Standards challenge teachers to provide scaffolded instructional supports for every learner and to do so with complex and difficult texts. As Tim Shanahan (2011) noted, If the teacher is doing little to support the students’ transactions with text then I suspect more learning will accrue with somewhat easier texts. However, if reasonable levels of instructional support are available then students are likely to thrive when working with harder texts. (para. 11)

25 Anchor Standard #10 Anchor standard 10 in the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard for Reading covers text complexity. This standard’s wording is deceptively simple: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently (NGA & CCSSO, 2010a, p. 10).

26 Reader and Task Considerations Look at the Text Complexity Rubric, think about the students (readers) in your class, and consider the reason (task) for reading the book you chose to analyze. Would this be a complex text that you would use in your classroom? Share your thoughts.

27 Information taken from: Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp International Reading Association. 7 Actions that Teachers Can Take Right Now: Text Complexity by Elfrieda H. Hiebert TextProject & the University of California, Santa Cruz. Utah Core Standards for English Language Arts

28 Strong Content Knowledge Read “They build strong content knowledge.” (second paragraph, page 7) Underline the key phrases that describe what students will be doing. What is most important? Share with your neighbor How does this relate to our last discussion on Text Complexity?

29 Integrating Art

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31 The Elements and Principles of Art Through Photography Prezi Finding the elements of art in primary source photographs Finding the elements of art in the world around us Connection activities


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