Amy Painter 3 rd Grade Teacher Chesnee Elementary School
My Road Block What is Text Complexity Common Core Implementation Complex Text Analysis Activity Questions and Discoveries Strategies to Use with Students How can I tackle complex texts in my own classroom? Lucy Calkins Strategies- Pathways to the Common Core Questions and Reflection of Learning
With the transition of ELA curriculum and full implementation of Common Core within my third grade classroom, I wanted to overcome the obstacle of teaching students how to comprehend complex texts. I needed to research expectations for instruction using complex text, how to alter reading curriculum so that students use reading comprehension strategies throughout all content areas, and how to develop a plan to meet CCSS demands for students’ literal comprehension ability.
“The inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader and task variables; in the Standards, a three-part assessment of text difficulty that pairs qualitative and quantitative measures with reader-task considerations.” CCSS Appendix A
The Common Core Standards introduce a three-part model for measuring text complexity. Teachers need to use their professional judgment as they draw on information from all three sources when determining the complexity of a text. Qualitative Measures The qualitative measures of text complexity require an informed judgment on the difficulty by considering a range of factors. The Standards use purpose or levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity and the knowledge demands as measures of text difficulty. (pg 6, CCSS Appendix A) Quantitative Quantitative measures of text complexity use factors such as sentence and word length and frequency of unfamiliar words to calculate the difficulty of the text and assign a single measure (grade level equivalent, number, Lexile etc). There are many formulas for calculating text difficulty and, while they provide a guide, the readability or difficulty level of a text can vary depending on which formulas or measures are used. (pg 8, CCSS Appendix A) Reader and Task The third measure looks at what the student brings to the text and the tasks assigned. Teachers need to use their knowledge of their students and the texts to match texts to particular students and tasks. (pg 9, CCSS Appendix A) Text Complexity: Simplifying Text Complexity And The Common Core Text Complexity: Simplifying Text Complexity And The Common Core
all students must be able to comprehend texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress from grade to grade students must grasp what the text says and find evidence within the text for understanding skills involved with literal understanding increase as the text becomes more complex students must be able to read and comprehend independently and proficiently the kinds of complex texts commonly found in college and careers students are expected to cite textual evidence as they explain what the text teaches using the information of who, what, when where, why, and how
Vocabulary Main or Central Idea with Evidence from the Text PurposeRelationships
Read the text at your seat. As you read, think about strategies used for comprehending the text. Remember write any vocabulary that would be tricky for students think about the main idea of the text why did the author write this piece what relationships are formed through the text
“Text Talk Time” Teaching Strategies For Analyzing Text: Text Talk Time “Pattern Folder” Teaching Tip For A Literary Analysis Tool: Pattern Folders “Jigsaw” Jigsaw Strategy To Help Students Understand Complex Subjects
DRA’s, IRLAS, 100 BC Level, Reading MAP Percentile, etc. Assess your students individually and map out how to build success with comprehending complex texts. Check for fluency by selecting a more challenging text to analyze with students “Most likely, a large percentage of readers in your class will not be reading texts that match the CCSS levels of expectations with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension” (Pathways pg. 43).
Set clear reading goals and expectations with students. Research supports students having a “crystal clear target in mind” and receiving feedback increases achievement. However, it is not helpful for students to read texts that are too difficult. Reassess often While you want students to move up with reading levels and ability, research shows that doing this at the expense of comprehension is not best practice. Excerpt from Pathways
Read aloud the first chapter of a book and discuss it with readers Set readers up with a same-book partnership and help partners establish habits that will support each other Support readers who are new to a text level by giving a book introduction and sometimes expanding this into a text introduction Encourage the reader to listen to an audio version of the text that is a bit too hard and then read the book to themselves Allow a reader to have a go at a too-hard book when you note the reader’s high motivation Excerpt from Pathways
“Teachers are free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in CCSS” (Pathways pg. 47). “All students, including those who are behind (must) have extensive opportunities to encounter and comprehend grade level complex text as required by standards. Far too often, students who have fallen behind are given only less complex texts rather than support they need to read texts at the appropriate level of complexity” (Pathways pg. 48)
Conduct running records Students should show 95% accuracy, fluency, and comprehension ability Match students to appropriate level text and challenge them with complex text by using strategies during whole group instruction Students should have access to high-interest texts and have choice Fill your classroom with a wide range of text on various levels Engage students in reading, talking, and writing about their reading Excerpt from Pathways
“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations– something that will help them make sense of their own lives, and encourage them to reach out to people whose lives are quite different than their own.” Katherine Patterson
I will continue using best practice reading strategies with my third grade students. I am excited to expand and focus on complex texts. Through researching, I found techniques to help students tackle challenging texts. My students will have many opportunities to embrace complex text requirements of CCSS while keeping in mind accuracy, fluency, and comprehension ability. Current Booklist Spreadsheets - The Reading & Writing Project
Calkins, Lucy, Ehrenworth, Mary, and Lehman, Christopher. Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann 2012. Print. Fisher, Douglas and Frey, Nancy. Engaging the Adolescent Learner: Text Complexity and Close Readings. IRA. January 2012. The Teaching Channel. WEB. 7 June 2013 https://www.teachingchannel.orghttps://www.teachingchannel.org 2010 c. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks. Washington, D.C: NGA Center and CCSSO.