Presentation on theme: "Leon County Schools Understanding Text Complexity August 2012"— Presentation transcript:
1 Leon County Schools Understanding Text Complexity August 2012 Focus on Four Strands (reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language)The benefits of an integrated literacy approach (both in terms of reaching out to content areas beyond ELA and also in terms of research and media skills being integrated into the four strands)A focus on results rather than means (“the Standards leave room for teachers, curriculum developers, and states to determine how those goals should be reached and what additional topics should be addressed” (p. 4).)
2 Why all the fuss about text complexity? Like adoption of common core standards, it will be up to the states: some states plan to come together voluntarily to develop a common assessment system, based on the common core state standards. A state-led consortium on assessment would be grounded in the following principles: allow for comparison across students, schools, districts, states and nations; create economies of scale; provide information and support more effective teaching and learning; and prepare students for college and careers.
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.
4 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Comprehension Level (Averaged across Seven Forms)In Reading: Between the Lines, ACT demonstrates that student performance cannot be differentiated in any meaningful way by question type. Students do not perform differently if they are answering literal recall items or inferential items.
5 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Textual Element (Averaged across Seven Forms)ACT demonstrates that student performance cannot be differentiated in any meaningful way by question type. Students do not perform differently if they are answering vocabulary items or main idea.
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.
7 Performance on the ACT Reading Test by Degree of Text Complexity (Averaged across Seven Forms)Test performance, according to ACT, is driven by text rather than questions. Thus, if students are asked to read a hard passage, they may only answer a few questions correctly, no matter what types of questions they may be. On the other hand, with an easy enough text, students may answer almost any questions right, again with no differences by question type.In this figure, performance on questions associated with uncomplicated and morechallenging texts both above and below the ACT College Readiness Benchmark forReading follows a pattern similar to those in the previous analyses.Improvement on each of the two kinds of questions is gradual and fairly uniform.77
8 Recap of ACT FindingsQuestion 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.The ACT report goes on to describe features that made some texts harder to understand, including the complexity of the relationships among characters and ideas, amount and sophistication of the information detailed in the text, how the information is organized, the author’s style and tone, the vocabulary, and the author purpose. ACT concluded that based on these data, “performance on complex texts is the clearest differentiator in reading between students who are likely to be ready for college and those who are not”FCAT is made up of complex passages and high cognitive demand questions.
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 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.
10 Our Challenge:Provide students with exposure to more complex texts in our classrooms.Like adoption of common core standards, it will be up to the states: some states plan to come together voluntarily to develop a common assessment system, based on the common core state standards. A state-led consortium on assessment would be grounded in the following principles: allow for comparison across students, schools, districts, states and nations; create economies of scale; provide information and support more effective teaching and learning; and prepare students for college and careers.
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.QuantitativeQuantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software.Reader and TaskReader and Task considerations – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment.
13 To determine a quantitative score you can: Determine Lexile score by going to the Lexile Frameworks for reading web site, orUse Microsoft Word’s readability measure, Flesch-Kincaid, which provide a great level readability formula.Lexile Framework for Reading, developed by MetaMetrics, Inc., uses word frequency and sentence length to produce a quantitave measure. It also can be used to describe a students’ reading level, in addition to identifying texts to match students.The Flesch Kincaid grade level test uses word length and sentence length as measures for semantic and syntactic complexity.
14 Quantitative Complexity Example Grade BandCurrent Lexile Band"Stretch" Lexile Band* K–1 N/AN/A 2–3 450L–725L420L–820L 4–5 645L–845L740L–1010L 6–8860L–1010L925L–1185L9-10960L–1115L1050L–1335L11–CCR 1070L–1220L1185L–1385LWhile the text complexity of primary & secondary texts has decreased over the years, postsecondary (not just college) texts have remained consistent.Research shows that the gap between the average postsecondary students’ reading ability and the demands of their texts is comparable to a 4th grade student encountering an 8th grade text. (Research garnered from Appendix A of CCSS)We must, before even considering benchmarks to cover, ensure that there is a staircase of text complexity within the school year and from each grade level.**Remember that quantitative complexity is not the end-all, be-all. A good example of this is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is measured to be 880L and The Catcher in the Rye is measured to be 790L – obviously there is a link missing in qualitative complexity alone.Quantitative Complexity ExampleThe “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.
16 Step 2: Qualitative Measures Measures such as:StructureLanguage Demands and ConventionsKnowledge DemandsLevels of Meaning/Purpose
17 Common Core Standards 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 graphicsGraphics unnecessary or merely supplemental to understanding the text Graphics essential to understanding the text and may provide information not elsewhere provided
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.
19 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Language Demands 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
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.
21 Qualitative Features of Text Complexity: Knowledge Demands 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
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 usefulLow intertextuality (few if any references/allusions to other texts) High intertextuality (many references/allusions to other texts
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.
24 Common Core Standards 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
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.
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?
28 Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Together let’s use the text complexity rubric to determine an appropriate placement for The Grapes of Wrath.
29 Step 3: Reader and Task Considerations such as: Motivation Knowledge and experiencePurpose for readingComplexity of task assigned regarding textComplexity of questions asked regarding text
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?
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.
32 Determining Text Complexity A Four-step Process:Determine the quantitative measures of the text.QualitativeQuantitativeAnalyze the qualitative measures of the text.Reflect upon the reader and task considerations.Reader and TaskOverview of the protocolRecommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band.
33 Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band? We could….Choose an excerpt of text from Appendix B as a starting place:Use available resources to determine the text complexity of other materials on our own.or…(Even choosing excerpts from Appendix B is less effective because it removes the reader and task considerations from the equation.)