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CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY Neal Webster Crystal Siniari Mark Cacciatore, Ph.D. Literacy Specialists Office of Literacy New.

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Presentation on theme: "CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY Neal Webster Crystal Siniari Mark Cacciatore, Ph.D. Literacy Specialists Office of Literacy New."— Presentation transcript:

1 CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY Neal Webster Crystal Siniari Mark Cacciatore, Ph.D. Literacy Specialists Office of Literacy New Jersey Department of Education

2 CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY REGISTRATION: 8:30-9:00 AM Session: 9: Polleverywhere (Mark) Video & CCSS Shifts: Overview (Crystal) Quantitative, Qualitative, Reader and Task (Neal) Modeling Session of Text Analysis: (Mark) Lunch: 11:30-12:30 PM Session: 12:30-2:30 Debriefing Breakout Session: K-5 (Crystal), 6-8 (Neal), 9-12 (Mark) –Interactive Session: (Participants analyze fiction and nonfiction texts)

3 3 What are the Features of Complex Text?

4 Why Text Complexity Matters? The biggest predictor of student success in college is the ability to comprehend complex text (ACT, 2006) Only 51% of students are ready for college-level reading (ACT, 2006) According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003), 27% of adults read nonfiction at the “below basic” and “proficient level” (Kutner, Greenberg, Jin, Boyle, Hsu, & Dunleavy, 2007) 30% percentage of first-year, incoming college freshmen are required to take remedial courses in reading, writing, or math (ACT, 2006)

5 Why Text Complexity Matters? Performance on complex texts is the clearest differentiator in reading between students who are more likely to be ready for college and those who are less likely to be ready. Historically, many students are engaged in shallow reading, skimming text for answers, focusing only on details and failing to make inferences in order to integrate different parts of the text. Years of reading in this superficial way will cause a student’s reading ability to deteriorate. For many students the decline of text demands in the courses that they take has both an immediate and long term impact on student achievement. (achievethecore.org)

6 Guiding Questions What do the Common Core State Standards mean by text complexity? How do we ensure the texts our students are reading are in the appropriate text complexity band? How can text complexity help me in my classroom teaching? How can knowledge of text complexity help raise student achievement?

7 Text Complexity and the CCSS Included within the Standards is an enhanced focus on text complexity. Specifically, within reading Standard #10:Standards R.CCR.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. Example Grade-level Standard (6 th grade): RI.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

8 Overview of Text Complexity Text complexity is defined by: 1.Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. 2.Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software. 3.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.

9 Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band? We could… Choose an excerpt of text Use available resources to determine the text from Appendix B as a complexity of materialsAppendix B starting place: or… on their own.

10 Common Scale for Band Level Text Difficulty Ranges Source: Supplemental Information for Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy: New Research on Text Complexity: _on_Text_Complexity.pdf _on_Text_Complexity.pdf

11 Determining Text Complexity A Four-step Process: 1.Determine the quantitative measures of the text. 2.Analyze the qualitative measures of the text. 3.Reflect upon the reader and task considerations. 4.Recommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band.

12 Step 1: Quantitative Measures Measures such as: Word length Word frequency Word difficulty Sentence length Text length Text cohesion

13 NameURL ATOS by Renaissance Learning Degrees of Reading Power® (DRP®) by Questar Assessment, Inc. rp_analyzer.aspx Readability Test Tool Partnered with Flesch-Kincaid (public domain) The Lexile® Framework For Reading by MetaMetrics Easability Indicator by Coh-Metrix Htt p:// /cohmetrixgates/Home.aspx For a description of each of the tools of analysis, please refer to CCSSO (2012). Step 1: Quantitative Measures

14 Additional Resources Lexile Measures and the CCSS Accelerated Reader and the CCSS Coh-Metrix Coh-Metrix calculates the coherence of texts on a wide range of measures. It replaces common readability formulas by applying the latest computational linguistics and linking this to the latest research in psycholinguistics.

15 Quantitative Questions and/or concerns about quantitative analysis?

16 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as: Structure/Organization Language Demands and Conventions Prior knowledge demands Levels of Meaning/Purpose

17 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Structure (could be story structure and/or form of piece) 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 graphicsgraphics

18 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

19 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Knowledge Demands: Life Experience (literary texts) Simple theme  Complex or sophisticated themes Single theme  Multiple themes Common everyday experiences or clearly fantastical situations  Experiences distinctly different from one’s own Single perspective  Multiple perspectives Perspective(s) like one’s own  Perspective(s) unlike or in opposition to one’s own

20 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Knowledge Demands: Cultural/Literary Knowledge (chiefly literary texts) Everyday knowledge and familiarity with genre conventions required  Cultural and literary knowledge useful Low intertextuality (few if any references/allusions to other texts)  High intertextuality (many references/allusions to other texts

21 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

22 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Qualitative Measure Rubrics for Literary and Informational Text Qualitative Measure Rubrics for Literary and Informational Text See Materials Handouts for the Rubrics we will Use Today! See Materials Handouts for the Rubrics we will Use Today!

23 Qualitative Analysis Questions and/or concerns about quantitative analysis? –Do I understand the components? –Am I comfortable with the language of qualitative analysis? –Do I need more clarification on a point(s)

24 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

25 Step 3: Reader and Task Ten Guiding Principles 1.Make close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons. 2.Provide scaffolding that does not preempt or replace text. 3.Ask text dependent questions from a range of question types. 4.Emphasize students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text. 5.Provide extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).

26 Step 3: Reader and Task 6 Offer regular opportunities for students to share ideas, evidence and research. 7. Offer systematic instruction in vocabulary. 8. Ensure wide reading from complex text that varies in length. 9. Provide explicit instruction in grammar and conventions. 10. Cultivate students’ independence.

27 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.

28 Reader-Task Analysis Questions and/or concerns about reader-task analysis? –What is my role as a teacher in the consideration of reader-task analysis? –How can I best motivate my students to read complex text? –What other strategies (in addition to close reading), have I used to scaffold students’ reading abilities? –What other info/clarification would I like regarding reader-task analysis?

29 Reflection: Where do we go from here? Reader-TaskQuantitativeQualitative

30 Evaluation of PD https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MiddlesexCountyCollege

31 Contact Information Neal Webster Crystal Siniari Mark Cacciatore, Ph.D. Literacy Specialists Office of Literacy New Jersey Department of Education

32 References Student Achievement Partners: ACT (2006). Reading between the lines: g_report.pdf g_report.pdf


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