Presentation on theme: "CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY"— Presentation transcript:
1 CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY Neal WebsterCrystal SiniariMark Cacciatore, Ph.D.Literacy SpecialistsOffice of LiteracyNew Jersey Department of Education
2 CORE MATTERS: Understanding and Utilizing TEXT COMPLEXITY REGISTRATION: 8:30-9:00AM Session: 9:Polleverywhere (Mark)Video & CCSS Shifts: Overview (Crystal)Quantitative, Qualitative, Reader and Task (Neal)Modeling Session of Text Analysis: (Mark) Lunch: 11:30-12:30PM Session: 12:30-2:30DebriefingBreakout Session: K-5 (Crystal), 6-8 (Neal), 9-12 (Mark)Interactive Session: (Participants analyze fiction and nonfiction texts)
3 What are the Features of Complex Text? Complex text contains any and all combinations of these features in many combinations.The complexity level is determined by both quantitative and qualitative measures. The details of text complexity are well described in Appendix A of the Standards, one of the supplemental readings offered with this module. New tools have been developed since the Standards were developed to help determine qualitative text complexity. Those materials are available onStudents who struggle with reading almost always have gaps in their vocabulary and their ability to deal with more complex sentence structures. This too is well documented in research.Too often, less proficient students are given texts at their level where they do not see these features, where the demands of vocabulary and sentence structure are lowered. Though this is done for the kindest of reasons, it has disastrous consequences. Day by day, differentiating by level of text during instructional time increases the achievement gap between high performers and those who struggle.Students cannot address gaps in their vocabulary and develop skill with unpacking complex syntax text when they are not given the opportunity to work with material that provides these opportunities.With that said, there is a place for providing students with text more appropriately matched to their individual reading abilities to build fluency and provide opportunity for increasing the volume of reading. But those texts cannot be the primary texts for instruction.
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? (achievethecore.org)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.
6 Guiding QuestionsWhat 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:R.CCR.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.Example Grade-level Standard (6th grade):RI 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:Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader.Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software.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 materials starting place: or… on their own.(Even choosing excerpts from Appendix B is less effective because it removes the reader and task considerations from the equation.)
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:
11 Determining Text Complexity A Four-step Process:Determine thequantitative measuresof the text.Analyze the qualitativemeasures of the text.Reflect upon the readerand task considerations.Recommend placementin the appropriatetext complexity band.
12 Step 1: Quantitative Measures Measures such as:Word lengthWord frequencyWord difficultySentence lengthText lengthText cohesionRemember, however, that the quantitative measures is only the first of three “legs” of the text complexity triangle.Our final recommendation may be validated, influenced, or even over-ruled by our examination of qualitative measures and the reader and task considerations.
13 Step 1: Quantitative Measures NameURLATOS by Renaissance LearningDegrees of Reading Power® (DRP®) by Questar Assessment, Inc.Readability Test Tool Partnered withFlesch-Kincaid (public domain)The Lexile® Framework For Reading by MetaMetricsEasability Indicator by Coh-MetrixHtt p:// /cohmetrixgates/Home.aspxFor a description of each of the tools of analysis, please refer to CCSSO (2012).
14 Step 1: Quantitative Measures Additional ResourcesLexile Measures and the CCSSAccelerated Reader and the CCSSCoh-MetrixCoh-Metrix calculates the coherence of texts on a widerange of measures. It replaces common readabilityformulas by applying the latest computational linguisticsand linking this to the latest research in psycholinguistics.
15 QuantitativeQuestions and/or concerns about quantitative analysis?
16 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as:Structure/OrganizationLanguage Demands and ConventionsPrior knowledge demandsLevels of Meaning/Purpose
17 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Structure (could be story structure and/or form of piece)Simple ComplexExplicit ImplicitConventional UnconventionalEvents 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
18 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity Language Demands: Conventionality and ClarityLiteral Figurative or ironicClear Ambiguous or purposefully misleadingContemporary, familiar Archaic or otherwise unfamiliarConversational General Academic and domain specificLight vocabulary load: few unfamiliar or academic words Many words unfamiliar and high academic vocabulary presentSentence structure straightforward Complex and varied sentence structuresThough vocabulary can be measured by quantifiable means, it is still a feature for careful consideration when selecting textsThough 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 themesSingle theme Multiple themesCommon everyday experiences or clearly fantastical situations Experiences distinctly different from one’s ownSingle perspective Multiple perspectivesPerspective(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 usefulLow 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) orpurpose (chiefly informational texts)Single level of meaning Multiple levels of meaningExplicitly stated purpose Implicit purpose, may be hidden or obscure
22 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Qualitative Measure Rubrics for Literary and Informational TextSee Materials Handouts for the Rubrics we will Use Today!
23 Qualitative AnalysisQuestions 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 experiencePurpose for readingComplexity of task assigned regarding textComplexity of questions asked regarding text
25 Ten Guiding Principles Step 3: Reader and TaskTen Guiding PrinciplesMake close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.Provide scaffolding that does not preempt or replace text.Ask text dependent questions from a range of question types.Emphasize students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.Provide extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).
26 Step 3: Reader and Task Offer regular opportunities for students to share ideas, evidence andresearch.Offer systematic instruction invocabulary.Ensure wide reading from complextext that varies in length.Provide explicit instruction ingrammar and conventions.10. Cultivate students’ independence.What Complex Text Demands of Readers, Mark BauerleinA Willingness to Pause and ProbeStudents must be patient as they read complex texts and be willing to devote time to contemplation of the textThe Capacity for Uninterrupted ThinkingTime devoted to the text and thinking about the text exclusively - single-tasking rather than multi-taskingA Receptivity to Deep ThinkingContemplation of the meaning of the text and not a quick response voicing an opinion based on a shallow interpretation.(Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta. His article in Educational Leadership “Too Dumb for Complex Texts? emphasizes that students that are so used to multi-tasking and hopping from link to link have difficulty tackling complex texts and college level reading. We need to use print copies to help students develop the habits of reading they will need to negotiate texts they will use in college.)
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 AnalysisQuestions 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 PDhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MiddlesexCountyCollege
31 Contact InformationNeal Webster Crystal Siniari Mark Cacciatore, Ph.D. Literacy Specialists Office of Literacy New Jersey Department of Education
32 ReferencesStudent Achievement Partners: ACT (2006). Reading between the lines:
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