Presentation on theme: "Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity Stuart Greenberg Just Read, Florida! and the Office of Early Learning Florida Department of Education."— Presentation transcript:
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity Stuart Greenberg Just Read, Florida! and the Office of Early Learning Florida Department of Education
Standards changes are hard, but they are especially hard in this case… These standards are at a higher level than previous standards. These standards have a different style and organizational structure that makes them more challenging for schools to work with. Common core standards are based on different theories (reading comprehension, writing, differentiated instruction) than past standards, so they are qualitatively different in several ways.
Challenging Text Text difficulty is central and all cognitive skills have to be executed within texts of a specified difficulty range. Students will likely be taught from texts that are more challenging than in the past. Emphasis on stretching students to meet the demands of reading harder text (rather than on placing students in the leveled reader according to instructional level). Need to learn how to scaffold challenging reading.
Common Core State Standards Text Complexity The Common Core State Standards places a strong emphasis on the role of text complexity in evaluating student readiness for college and careers. “The Common Core State Standards hinge on students encountering appropriately complex texts at each grade level in order to develop the mature language skills and the conceptual knowledge they need for success in school and life.” (p. 3) 5
Text Complexity Included within the Standards is an enhanced focus on text complexity. Specifically, within reading standard #10: Anchor Standard: R.CCR.10Read 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. 6
Guiding Questions What do the Common Core Learning Standards mean by text complexity? What is a text complexity band? and How do we ensure the texts our students are reading are in the appropriate text complexity band? 7
Text Complexity Key to Student Reading Success Text complexity matters because…. “making textbooks easier ultimately denies students the very language, information, and modes of thought they need most to move up and on.” -Marilyn Jager Adams 8
Text Complexity - ACT Study Purpose: Determine what distinguished the reading performance of students likely to succeed in college and not. Process: Set benchmark score on the reading test shown to be predictive of success in college (“21” on ACT composite score). Looked at results from a half million students. 9
Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Comprehension Level (Averaged across Seven Forms) 10
Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Textual Element ( Averaged across Seven Forms) 11
Text Complexity Matters Texts used in the ACT Reading Test reflect three degrees of complexity: uncomplicated, more challenging, and complex. 12
Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Degree of Text Complexity (Averaged across Seven Forms) 13
Recap of ACT Findings Question type and level (main idea, word meanings, details) is NOT the chief differentiator between student scoring above and below the benchmark. The degree of text complexity in the passages acted as the “sorters” within ACT. The findings held true for both males and females, all racial groups and was steady regardless of family income level. What students could read, in terms of its complexity--rather than what they could do with what they read—is greatest predictor of success. FCAT has complex passages and highly cognitive demanding questions. 14
Overview of Text Text Complexity Text complexity is defined by: Qualitativ e Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. Quantitati ve Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software. Reader and Task 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. 15
Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band? Choose an excerpt of text from Appendix B as a starting place: We could…. or… Use available resources to determine the text complexity of other materials on our own. 16
Step 1: Quantitative Measures Measures such as: Word length Word frequency Word difficulty Sentence length Text length Text cohesion Quantitative Measures 17
Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as: Structure Language Demands and Conventions Knowledge Demands Levels of Meaning/Purpose 19
Step 2: Qualitative Measures The Qualitative Measures Rubrics for Literary and Informational Text : The rubric for literary text and the rubric for informational text allow educators to evaluate the important elements of text that are often missed by computer software that tends to focus on more easily measured factors. 20
Common Core Standards 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 graphics Graphics unnecessary or merely supplemental to understanding the text Graphics essential to understanding the text and may provide information not elsewhere provided 21
Common Core Standards 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 22
Common Core Standards 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 23
Common Core Standards 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 24
Common Core Standards 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 25
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 26
Multiple Texts The common core state standards emphasize the interpretation of multiple texts throughout (at all grade levels, and in reading, writing, and oral language). There will be a greater need for combinations of texts that can be used together. Need for greater emphasis on text synthesis (how to combine the information from multiple sources into one’s own text or presentation). Need for greater emphasis on comparative evaluation and analysis.
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). 28
Reader and Task Ten Guiding Principles 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. 29
Conclusion The promise of standards: These Standards are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business. They are a call to take the next step. It is time for districts to work together to build on lessons learned from two decades of standards based reforms. It is time to recognize that standards are not just promises to our children, but promises we intend to keep.