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Text Complexi ty in the Common Core Classroo m Patricia Coldren Lee County Schools k 12. nc. us.

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Presentation on theme: "Text Complexi ty in the Common Core Classroo m Patricia Coldren Lee County Schools k 12. nc. us."— Presentation transcript:

1 Text Complexi ty in the Common Core Classroo m Patricia Coldren Lee County Schools pcoldren@lee. k 12. nc. us

2 Common Core and Literacy An increase in the complexity and rigor of literacy is a keystone of the Common Core standards. The Common Core document states “The Common Core 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.”

3 College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity 10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

4 The Three Shifts ( Common Core Keys ) 1.Building knowledge through content rich nonfiction and informational texts. 2.Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text. 3.Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary.

5 Building knowledge through content rich nonfiction and informational texts. In K-5, the standards require a 50-50 balance between informational and literary texts. Informational reading primarily includes content rich non-fiction which includes social studies, science, and the arts. Students should build coherent general knowledge. In secondary even more emphasis is placed on literacy nonfiction. The standards require that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing. What does that look like in the classroom? Elementary teachers instructing with and students learning from informational texts fifty percent of the time.

6 Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text. Standards expect students to be able to answer text dependent questions that depend on them having read the text carefully and repeatedly rather than questions that can be answered based completely on prior knowledge and/or personal experience. New standards place great emphasis on writing to sources and using evidence from texts to create effective argumentative and informational writing, as well as focusing on narrative writing. What does that look like in the classroom? Teachers will ask questions that make it necessary for students to reread text to find answers and find evidence to support their answers. Students will have to read text closely to find evidence and draw inferences. Students will support their opinions with evidence from the text.

7 Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary. The standards highlight the increasing complexity of the texts - building a staircase of text complexity to prepare students for the demands of college and career level reading. When needed, teachers provide scaffolds to enable all students to experience complex text. The standards also focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas. What does that look like in the classroom? Students will interact with challenging, rich text. Teachers discuss academic vocabulary with their students.


9 Overview of Text Complexity Qualitative Quantitative Reader and Task What is Text Complexity? The Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Offices) define text complexity as three interrelated components. 1.Quantitative dimensions of text complexity 2.Qualitative dimensions of text complexity 3.Reader and task considerations

10 Quantitative The terms quantitative dimensions and quantitative factors refer to those aspects of text complexity, such as word length or frequency, sentence length, and text cohesion, that are difficult if not impossible for a human reader to evaluate efficiently, especially in long tests, and are thus today typically measured by computer software.

11 ATOS Computerized readability formula used by Renaissance Learning Used The Educator ’ s Word Frequency Guide from TASA ( Touchstone Applied Science Associates ) Factors in whether text is fiction or nonfiction Factors in length of text Does not take content into consideration Cannot be used in isolation Lexile Readability formula used by testing companies and textbook and trade publishers to designate relative text difficulty among products Relies on a 2,000 point scale used to describe the readers and the text Relies primarily on measures of sentence length and word frequency Play a prominent role in Common Core Since the common core text complexity bands have widened

12 Let’s examine a text using all three measures. We will start with Quantitative. Lexile: 870L ATOS: 5.6


14 Qualitative In the Standards, qualitative dimensions and qualitative factors refer to those aspects of text complexity best measured or only measurable by an attentive human reader, such as levels of meaning or purpose; structure; language conventionality and clarity; and knowledge demands. Qualitative Measure of Text Complexity Levels of Meaning and Purpose Text Structure Language Features Knowledge Demands

15 Now let’s look at the qualitative dimensions and factors. Rubric for Qualitative Discussion


17 Reader and Task While the prior two elements of the model focus on the inherent complexity of the text, variables specific to particular readers (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and to particular tasks (such as purpose and the complexity of the task assigned and the questions posed) must also be considered when determining whether a text is appropriate for a given student. Such assessments are best made by the teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge of their students and the subject. What aspects of the text will likely pose the most challenge for my students? What Common Core State Standards should I focus on when teaching this text? Will the complexity of any before, during, and after reading tasks or the complexity of any questions asked about the text interfere with the reading experience? What supports do I need to provide so that all of my students ( even those who are struggling readers ) can access the text?

18 Don’t forget about Reader and Task. NCDPI Guiding Questions Checklist Reflection Questions


20 How Can I Determine Text Complexity? Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task 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.Place text in the appropriate text complexity band and decide if it is appropriate for your grade level.

21 Try One on Your Own… Text Complexity Analysis Placemat

22 What does this mean for my classroom?

23 Overview of Text Complexity The Text Has To Be At The Heart Of Everything You Do We have to select the right text We have to increase Eyes on Text Time We have to increase the rigor of text based activities We have to teach the reader…not the novel… We have to make a conscious effort to rethink what we do before, during, and after reading

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