Complex Texts:
The Bumpy Road of Reading
Materials available at:
http://professionallearning.typepad.com/bigshantypl/
A Bumpy Road?
“Perhaps one of the mistakes in past efforts to improve
reading achievement has been the removal of struggle...
The Demands of
Complex Texts
• Complex texts require these dispositions:
– A Willingness to Probe
– The Capacity for Unint...
This is the sunflower starfish. It is the biggest of all.
Starfish have many arms. The arms are called rays.
Starfish have...
High above there is the Moon, cold and
quiet, no air, no life, but glowing in the sky.
Here below there are three men who ...
Sometime around 1440, the spring-powered clock was
invented. Instead of depending on the pull of weights for
power, this t...
Text Complexity and
Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read
and comprehend complex literary
and informational texts
i...
3-Part Model for Measuring
Text Complexity
Measuring Text Complexity:
Matching Reader to Text and Task
Matching Reader to Text and Task
– Reader variables
• Motivati...
Measuring Text Complexity:
Qualitative
Qualitative Evaluation of Text
– Levels of meaning
• Explicit/Literal vs. Ambiguous...
Measuring Text Complexity:
Quantitative
Quantitative Evaluation of Text
– Word length, frequency
– Sentence length
*Typica...
Text Complexity
Grade Bands

From CoreStandards.org, Appendix A
Determining a Text’s Lexile
Level (Quantitative)
www.lexile.com/analyzer/
Select a passage from:
www.ReadWorks.org
http://...
Lexiles Do NOT Measure
Text Characteristics
• Age-appropriateness
of the content
• Text support (e.g.
pictures, pull-outs)...
Skim “Food that Fools You.”
Is this text appropriately complex for your grade level?
Why do you feel that way?
Teaching Kids to Read
Complex Texts:
Tasks that Motivate Readers
Silent Conversation

Source of article:
www.NewsELA.com
The Rules of
Silent Conversations
• Your handwriting must be readable.
• Use all the time I give you for writing. Don’t
ju...
Text-Dependent
Questions

Source of article:
www.NewsELA.com
Text-Dependent
Questions
Is this evidence that the
discovery of Siats meekerorum
was an important discovery?
Text-Based Debates

Source of story:
Junior Great Books
www.greatbooks.org
Text-Based Debates
1. Read and mark text.
– F = Ooka is fair
– UF = Ooka is unfair

2. Divide into groups:
– I take the po...
Text-Based Debates
3. Meet with people who take the same
position to discuss evidence from the text
that supports that pos...
Text-Based Debates
5. Meet with original group to discuss how
to respond to opponent’s argument.
You said that ___________...
Quick Draw/
Quick Write

Source of poem:
Appendix B
www.corestandards.org
Grades 2-3 Text Exemplar
Sociograms
A sociogram is a visual representation of the
relationships among characters in a literary text
Sociograms
• Let the physical distance between characters reflect the
perceived psychological distance between the charact...
Sociograms
Complex texts thebumpyroadofreading
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Complex texts thebumpyroadofreading

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Determining the complexity of a text + tasks that build the skills necessary for reading complex texts

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  • Truck is found in Appendix B for K-1 grade informational texts (Mostly wordless, recommended for K)Participants examine the page samples. Discuss what is easy about it and what is difficult.It is not hard for students who can decode the words to understand this passage.Text complexity is more than an analysis of the current skills of readers. Readability is a balance between the reader’s skills and the text itself. Written on post-its to be placed in text complexity pyramid following pyramid slidesThis passage is hard for the following reasons:Quantitative: 990 LQualitative: background knowledge required (features of outer space, astronaut suits), above/below where? Use of dashes, wording: close themselves in special clothes, breaks in sentences with word “click”
  • Starfish is found in Appendix B for K-1 grade informational textsParticipants read this quote. Discuss what is easy about it and what is difficult.It is not hard for students who can decode the words to understand this passage.Text complexity is more than an analysis of the current skills of readers. Readability is a balance between the reader’s skills and the text itself. Written on post-its to be placed in text complexity pyramid following pyramid slidesThis passage is hard for the following reasons:Quantitative: 990 LQualitative: background knowledge required (features of outer space, astronaut suits), above/below where? Use of dashes, wording: close themselves in special clothes, breaks in sentences with word “click”
  • Moonshot is found in Appendix B for 2-3 grade informational textsParticipants read this quote. Discuss what is easy about it and what is difficult.It is not hard for students who can decode the words to understand this passage.Text complexity is more than an analysis of the current skills of readers. Readability is a balance between the reader’s skills and the text itself. Written on post-its to be placed in text complexity pyramid following pyramid slidesThis passage is hard for the following reasons:Quantitative: 990 LQualitative: background knowledge required (features of outer space, astronaut suits), above/below where? Use of dashes, wording: close themselves in special clothes, breaks in sentences with word “click”
  • About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks is found in Appendix B for 4-5 grade informational textsParticipants read this quote. Discuss what is easy about it and what is difficult.It is not hard for students who can decode the words to understand this passage.Text complexity is more than an analysis of the current skills of readers. Readability is a balance between the reader’s skills and the text itself. Written on post-its to be placed in text complexity pyramid following pyramid slidesThis passage is hard for the following reasons:Quantitative: 1050 LQualitative: background knowledge required (features of outer space, astronaut suits), above/below where? Use of dashes, wording: close themselves in special clothes, breaks in sentences with word “click”
  • To help redress the situation described above, the Standards define a three-part model for determining how easy or difficult a particular text is to read as well as grade-by-grade specifications for increasing text complexity in successive years of schooling (Reading standard 10). These are to be used together with grade-specific standards that require increasing sophistication in students’ reading comprehension ability (Reading standards 1–9). The Standards thus approach the intertwined issues of what and how student read.
  • See Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity Rubric for greater detail
  • Participants select a text and use Lexile Analyzer to determine quantitative measurement
  • Complex texts thebumpyroadofreading

    1. 1. Complex Texts: The Bumpy Road of Reading Materials available at: http://professionallearning.typepad.com/bigshantypl/
    2. 2. A Bumpy Road? “Perhaps one of the mistakes in past efforts to improve reading achievement has been the removal of struggle. As a profession, we may have made reading tasks too easy. We do not suggest that we should plan students’ failure but rather that students should be provided with opportunities to struggle and to learn about themselves as readers when they struggle, persevere, and eventually succeed.” From Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading Fisher, Frey & Lapp, 2012
    3. 3. The Demands of Complex Texts • Complex texts require these dispositions: – A Willingness to Probe – The Capacity for Uninterrupted Thinking – A Receptivity to Deep Thinking * A Habit of Slow Reading “Too Dumb for Complex Texts?” By Mark Bauerlein ASCD Educational Leadership, 2011
    4. 4. This is the sunflower starfish. It is the biggest of all. Starfish have many arms. The arms are called rays. Starfish have arms, but no legs. Starfish have feet, but no toes. They glide and slide on tiny tube feet. They move as slowly as a snail. The basket star looks like a starfish, but it is a little different. It doesn’t have tube feet. It moves with its rays. It has rays that go up and rays that go down. 170L
    5. 5. High above there is the Moon, cold and quiet, no air, no life, but glowing in the sky. Here below there are three men who close themselves in special clothes, who—click— lock hands in heavy gloves, who—click— lock heads in large round helmets. 990L
    6. 6. Sometime around 1440, the spring-powered clock was invented. Instead of depending on the pull of weights for power, this type of clock used a flat metal spring wound tightly into a coil. The escapement allowed the spring to unwind by turning one gear tooth at a time. With the use of a spring, smaller, truly portable clocks could be made. The first well-known watches, made in Germany around 1510 by Peter Henlein, were so named because guards or “watchmen” carried small clocks to keep track of how long to stay at a particular duty post. 1050L
    7. 7. Text Complexity and Common Core CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
    8. 8. 3-Part Model for Measuring Text Complexity
    9. 9. Measuring Text Complexity: Matching Reader to Text and Task Matching Reader to Text and Task – Reader variables • Motivation • Knowledge • Experience – Task variables • • • • Teacher-led tasks Peer tasks Individual tasks Types of questions *Determined by teachers using their professional judgment
    10. 10. Measuring Text Complexity: Qualitative Qualitative Evaluation of Text – Levels of meaning • Explicit/Literal vs. Ambiguous/Abstract • Figurative Language • Stated, Implied, or Withheld Purpose – Structure • • • • Consistency with genre Conventional vs. Unique Organization Narrator Text Features and Graphics – Language conventionality and clarity – Knowledge demands • Background knowledge • Vocabulary
    11. 11. Measuring Text Complexity: Quantitative Quantitative Evaluation of Text – Word length, frequency – Sentence length *Typically measured by computers, particularly for longer texts
    12. 12. Text Complexity Grade Bands From CoreStandards.org, Appendix A
    13. 13. Determining a Text’s Lexile Level (Quantitative) www.lexile.com/analyzer/ Select a passage from: www.ReadWorks.org http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/ http://www.timeforkids.com/ http://magazines.scholastic.com/ or another website of your choice
    14. 14. Lexiles Do NOT Measure Text Characteristics • Age-appropriateness of the content • Text support (e.g. pictures, pull-outs) • Text quality (i.e. Is it a good book?) Reader Characteristics • Interest and motivation • Background knowledge • Reading context and purpose
    15. 15. Skim “Food that Fools You.” Is this text appropriately complex for your grade level? Why do you feel that way?
    16. 16. Teaching Kids to Read Complex Texts: Tasks that Motivate Readers
    17. 17. Silent Conversation Source of article: www.NewsELA.com
    18. 18. The Rules of Silent Conversations • Your handwriting must be readable. • Use all the time I give you for writing. Don’t just write a word or two and quit. Keep rereading and thinking about the article and the things other people have written. Keep the conversation going. • This is a silent discussion, so no talking until later on!
    19. 19. Text-Dependent Questions Source of article: www.NewsELA.com
    20. 20. Text-Dependent Questions Is this evidence that the discovery of Siats meekerorum was an important discovery?
    21. 21. Text-Based Debates Source of story: Junior Great Books www.greatbooks.org
    22. 22. Text-Based Debates 1. Read and mark text. – F = Ooka is fair – UF = Ooka is unfair 2. Divide into groups: – I take the position that Ooka is fair. – I take the position that Ooka is unfair.
    23. 23. Text-Based Debates 3. Meet with people who take the same position to discuss evidence from the text that supports that position. 4. State your position and give text evidence to your opponent. Listen to the evidence your opponent provides and take notes. My position is that Ooka is _______ and my first reason is _________. You can see that in the story when it says __________.
    24. 24. Text-Based Debates 5. Meet with original group to discuss how to respond to opponent’s argument. You said that ____________ shows that Ooka is ________. I believe that actually show that Ooka is ________ because ___________. 6. Respond to your opponent’s arguments.
    25. 25. Quick Draw/ Quick Write Source of poem: Appendix B www.corestandards.org Grades 2-3 Text Exemplar
    26. 26. Sociograms A sociogram is a visual representation of the relationships among characters in a literary text
    27. 27. Sociograms • Let the physical distance between characters reflect the perceived psychological distance between the characters • Let the size/shape/symbol of a character metaphorically represent each personality, importance, one’s power or lack of, etc. • Lines can be creatively applied: What might the following types of lines indicate? A jagged line? A wavy line? The thickness of the line? etc. • Illustrate the tone and or theme of a piece by the use of color or visual symbols. • Add one word to each connecting line. Words may only be used once!
    28. 28. Sociograms

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