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Leon County Schools Understanding Text Complexity August 2012 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Leon County Schools Understanding Text Complexity August 2012 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leon County Schools Understanding Text Complexity August 2012 1

2 Why all the fuss about text complexity?

3 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. Divided texts into three levels of complexity: uncomplicated, more challenging, and complex. 3

4 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Comprehension Level (Averaged across Seven Forms) 4

5 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Textual Element ( Averaged across Seven Forms) 5

6 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. Only 51% of students taking the ACT had a high probability (75% chance) of earning a C or better in an introductory, credit-bearing course in U.S. history or psychology. 6

7 7 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Degree of Text Complexity (Averaged across Seven Forms) In this figure, performance on questions associated with uncomplicated and more challenging texts both above and below the ACT College Readiness Benchmark for Reading follows a pattern similar to those in the previous analyses. Improvement on each of the two kinds of questions is gradual and fairly uniform. 7 7

8 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. 8

9 Text Requirements in Middle and High School 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 students 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.

10 Our Challenge: Provide students with exposure to more complex texts in our classrooms.

11 Text Complexity Text complexity is defined by: Qualitative Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. Quantitative 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. 11

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

13 To determine a quantitative score you can: 13 Determine Lexile score by going to the Lexile Frameworks for reading web site, or Use Microsoft Words readability measure, Flesch-Kincaid, which provide a great level readability formula.

14 Grade Band Current Lexile Band "Stretch" Lexile Band* K–1 N/A 2–3 450L–725L420L–820L 4–5 645L–845L740L–1010L 6–8860L–1010L925L–1185L 9-10960L–1115L1050L–1335L 11–CCR 1070L–1220L1185L–1385L Quantitative Complexity Example The Stretch Lexile Band was created to work from college/career texts backwards.

15 Quantitative Measures Remember, 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. 15

16 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as: Structure Language Demands and Conventions Knowledge Demands Levels of Meaning/Purpose 16

17 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 17

18 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Text Structure At your tables, complete the structure chart. Be prepared to share with the rest of the group. 18

19 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Language Demands 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

20 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Language Demands At your tables, complete the language demands chart. Be prepared to share with the rest of the group. 20

21 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Knowledge Demands 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 ones own Single perspective Multiple perspectives Perspective(s) like ones own Perspective(s) unlike or in opposition to ones own 21

22 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 22

23 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Knowledge Demands At your tables, complete the knowledge demands chart. Be prepared to share with the rest of the group. 23

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 24

25 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Levels of Meaning/Purpose At your tables, complete the levels of meaning/purpose chart. As a group, discuss the three questions at the bottom of the levels of meaning/purpose handout. Be prepared to share. 25

26 Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures 26

27 Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures The excerpt on The Grapes of Wrath has a Lexile score of 680L. At what grade band does this Lexile measure place this text? 27

28 Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Together lets use the text complexity rubric to determine an appropriate placement for The Grapes of Wrath. 28

29 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 29

30 Step 3: Reader and Task Considerations At this point, you have a Lexile score and a qualitative assessment. Consider your students, their age, their experiences, their background, etc. Consider your learning goals and standards. How may these two factors impact your decision about placement? 30

31 Evaluate complexity of The Grapes of Wrath Based on the quantitative features (Lexile), qualitative analysis, and reader/task considerations, at what grade level would you place this as a stretch text? Discuss at your table and be prepared to share. 31

32 Determining Text Complexity A Four-step Process: Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task 4.Recommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band. 3.Reflect upon the reader and task considerations. 2.Analyze the qualitative measures of the text. 1.Determine the quantitative measures of the text. 32

33 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. 33


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