Text Complexity and the Common Core

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Understanding the importance and implications of text complexity as it relates to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Help resources.

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  • 1. In general terms- define the three measures-
  • Appendix A defines the 3 components of text complexity. They are:
    Qualitative: which measures the levels of meaning, structure, language conventions and clarity as well as knowledge demands.
    Quantitative: which measures the readability of the text and is often scored by software
    Reader and task considerations take into account the background knowledge of the reader as well as the reader’s motivation, interests and the task given. This third and final component is to be measured by educators using their professional judgment.
  • Describe the controversial nature of the novel, and then have participants make a guess at what grade level the Lexile score places this novel. Discuss how this is an inaccurate measure, and that one cannot rely solely on quantitative measures.
  • Text Complexity and the Common Core

    1. 1. Text Complexity And the Common Core Standards CC image: cogdogblog Craig Corfman Library Media Specialist Euclid City Schools January 9, 2012
    2. 2. Beginning the Conversation… Illinois State BOE ✚ Text Complexity Presentation for Teachers, Administrators, District and School Leaders = 90 Minutes
    3. 3. Today’s Goals 1. Figuring out why we’re discussing text complexity 2. Defining text complexity according to CCSS 3. Understanding the importance and implications of text complexity as it relates to CCSS 4. Knowing where to look for help
    4. 4. Text Complexity: What’s the Big Deal? Recent studies have shown that the complexity of texts students are reading today does not match what is demanded in college and the workplace. (Appendix A) Standard #10 of the Common Core State Standards: English/Language Arts By the time they complete high school, students must be able to read and comprehend independently and proficiently the kinds of complex texts commonly found in college and careers.
    5. 5. Text Complexity: What’s the Big Deal? (Part 2) The CCSS create a staircase of increasing text complexity, so that students are expected to both develop their skills and apply them to more and more complex texts.
    6. 6. (CCR: College and Career Readiness Standards)
    7. 7. Text complexity is defined by three measures in the CCSS: Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often scored by software. (Lexile, ATOS, etc.) 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(National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
    8. 8. Quantitative Measure: Defined Aspects that are not easily measureable by a human and are typically measured by programs such as Lexile.  Word frequency  Sentence length  Word length  Text length  Text cohesion
    9. 9. Quantitative Measure: Limitations Sometimes quantitative measures for text complexity can be limiting or measure a text inappropriately. Why might this be the case? For example: John Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath Try it: www.lexile.com 680L. Grades 2-3. And what about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth
    10. 10. Qualitative Measures Aspects of text complexity only “measureable” by an attentive reader.  Levels of Meaning or Purpose o Is it specifically stated/clear? Or are there inferences that need to be made by the reader?  Structure of Text o Linear/nonlinear, one/multiple narrators, deviations from standard conventions of genre, number of plots  Language Conventionality and Clarity o Literal, clear, or contemporary language vs. figurative, ambiguous, or unfamiliar language  Knowledge Demands o Is understanding dependent on prior knowledge or open to any level? Example literary text qualitative measures rubric
    11. 11. Reader and Task Considerations Reader and Task • Motivation • Knowledge and experience • Purpose for reading • Complexity of task assigned regarding text • Complexity of questions asked regarding text
    12. 12. Reader and Task Considerations The use of qualitative and quantitative measures to assess text complexity is balanced in the Standards’ model by the expectation that educators will employ professional judgment to match texts to particular students and tasks. (Appendix A) Reader and Task Such assessments are best made by teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge of their students and the subject. (Appendix A)
    13. 13. What’s the Next Step? We’ve reviewed the CCSS definition of text complexity. What do we do with this information? Example text complexity analysis form used by the Kansas Board of Education.
    14. 14. CCSS Sample Texts: K-5 CCSS provide sample texts demonstrating appropriate complexity per grade level
    15. 15. Sample Texts: Grades 6-CCR
    16. 16. Resources ACT. (2006). Reading between the lines: What the ACT reveals about college readiness in reading. Hiebert, Elfrieda H. (2012). Common core’s staircase of text complexity. Retrieved from http://textproject.org/professional-development/text-matters/ Hiebert, Elfrieda H. (2012). 7 actions that teachers can take right now: Text complexity. Retrieved from http://textproject.org/professional-development/text-matters/ Kansas State Department of Education. (2011). ELA and Literacy Resources for the Kansas Common Core Standards. Retrieved from http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4778#TextRes Lexile framework for reading. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.lexile.com/ National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards Appendix A: (For more detailed information on text complexity.) Appendix B: (For text exemplars and sample performance tasks illustrating the complexity, quality and range of reading appropriate for various grade levels with accompanying performance tasks.)

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