Text Complexity • How do you know if a student is Why Text Complexity college-or career-ready? According to ACT’s Reading Between the Matters Lines, “what appears to differentiate those who are more likely to be ready from those who are less likely is their proficiency in understanding complex texts.” . • Over the last 50 years, the complexity of college and workplace reading has increased, while text complexity in K-12 have remained stagnant. ROAD BLOCKS TO ROBUST LEARNING • K–12 Schooling: Declining complexity of texts and a lack of reading of complex texts independently • Not enough informational reading—too much note taking without students having to read • Too much copying vocabulary and just “looking” up words versus understanding and using academic language • Limited reading and writing connection activities The Staircase of Text Complexity In many respects, text complexity is the hallmark of the CCSS as it reveals the depth of educators’ commitment to providing American students every opportunity to be prepared to meet future global challenges. The combination of the increased text complexity and the depth of cognitive demand within the task, such as incorporating discipline-specific questions, generates higher levels of rigor. The Staircase of Text Complexity Providing a specific Standard 10 presence in each grade level, the Common Core’s text complexity standard provides a backward-mapped format to scaffold instruction. Notice the scaffolded expectations in the Staircase for Text Complexity within the standard on the next slide. Specifically, within reading standard #10: Anchor Standard: R.CCR.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. Example Grade-level Standard (6th grade): RI.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. Common Core Text Types Literary Text • In elementary grades this includes stories and poetry for both read alouds and independent reading. Read alouds include chapter books, even at the kindergarten level. • In secondary grades this includes novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. Informational Text Informational text and literary non-fiction for both elementary and secondary grades includes: • Exposition • Historic non-fiction • Biographies and autobiographies • Speeches • Historical documents • Technical documents Holistic Approach to Determining Text Complexity Source for chart: Adapted from Sue Ellen Patterson’s presentation of chart from the 2011 Leadership and Learn Center Conference, “Digging Deeper into the CCSS,” 2011 Low Complexity of Text Medium Complexity of Text High Complexity of Text Level of Meaning Single More than 1 level Multiple levels Purpose Clearly Stated Inferred or implied Unstated and/or obscure Structure Simple, direct, conventional structure that makes the information more cohesive (such as chronological order in a narrative text) Mostly conventional structure that is more explicit than implicit Unconventional or discipline-specific structure Language Literal Some implied and/or inferred meanings and figurative language Figurative language, ironic, and/or specialized vocabulary Experiences, Events, Information Common or “everyday” to the reader Some are uncommon or unfamiliar to the reader Complex, sophisticated, or highly unfamiliar to the reader Measuring Text Complexity 1. Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software. 2. Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader. 3. 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. Reader and Task Where do we find texts in the appropriate text complexity band? Choose an excerpt of text from Appendix B: Or… Use the Georgia Text Complexity Rubric! . How will you get there? What steps should I take? A 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. Recommend placement in the appropriate text complexity band. Step 1: Quantitative Measures Measures such as: • Word length • Word frequency • Word difficulty • Sentence length • Text length • Text cohesion The Quantitative Measures Ranges for Text Complexity The following chart outlines the suggested ranges for each of the text complexity bands using -Rigor Expectations of the CCGPS: Lexile Alignment to College & Career Readiness to Close the Gap: Grade Band Old Lexile New Lexile 2-3 450-725 450-790 4-5 645-845 770-980 6-8 860-1010 955-1155 9-10 960-1115 1080-1305 11-CCR 1070-1220 1215-1355 Source: Susan Pimentel, November 3, 2010 Step 1: Quantitative Measures Let’s imagine we want to see where a text falls on the quantitative measures “leg” of the text complexity triangle, using the Lexile text measures. (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjc2yKfHEso For illustrative purposes, let’s choose Harper Lee’s 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Step 1: Quantitative Measures Lexile Text Measure: ATOS Book Level (a measure used in the state of Kansas): In which of the text complexity bands would this novel fall? 870L 5.6 Quantitative Measure Ranges for Text Complexity Grade Bands—Taken from Kansas Common Core State Standards Text Complexity Grade Bands Suggested Lexile Range Suggested ATOS Book Level Range** K-1 100L – 500L* 1.0 – 2.5 2-3 450L – 790L 2.0 – 4.0 4-5 770L – 980L 3.0 – 5.7 6-8 955L – 1155L 4.0 – 8.0 9-10 1080L – 1305L 4.6 – 10.0 11-CCR 1215L – 1355L 4.8 – 12.0 * The K-1 suggested Lexile range was not identified by the Common Core State Standards and was added by Kansas. ** Taken from Accelerated Reader and the Common Core State Standards, available at the following URL: http://doc.renlearn.com/KMNet/R004572117GKC46B.pdf Remember, however, that the quantitative measure 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 and the . Step 2: Qualitative Measures Reader and Task Measures such as: • Levels of meaning • Levels of purpose • Structure • Organization • Language conventionality • Language clarity • Prior knowledge demands Structure: Complicated text-structures (chronological, problem-solution, cause-effect, etc.) will add to a text’s complexity level. *Holes, by Louis Sachar Quantitative Measurement: 660 L Qualitative Measurement: Structure: Story continuously jumps back and forth between three different time periods/settings, and character groups. Adjusted text-complexity value: 5.9 – 7.5 for independent reading. • Possible “Stretch-Text” : In order to challenge students’ reading capacity—stretching them to grow to a higher reading level--teachers might have students read the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, (7.9) describing the effects of racism during the slavery period. • Scaffolding needed: Teacher should provide critical backgound knowledge, along with teacher-directed reading of the text. Levels of Meaning or Purpose: Texts that contain multiple levels of meaning or purpose (connotative or implicit language, satire in narrative texts; informational texts with implicit purposes) have a greater text complexity than texts with a singular meaning or purpose. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway but the novel as a Quantitative Measurement : 610 L Qualitative Measurement: Hemingway uses images and word choice to convey emotion rather than describing it; words are sparse and have multiple connotative meanings; the story contains multiple themes. Adjusted text-complexity value: 11.5+ Similar “stretch-texts”: The poems of Emily Dickinson (11.5+) and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (12+) also use sparse, precise word choice with multiple connotations. Language Conventionality & Clarity: Texts that rely on literal, clear, contemporary, and conversational language tend to be easier to read than texts that rely on figurative, ironic, ambiguous, purposefully misleading, archaic or otherwise unfamiliar language or on general academic and domain-specific vocabulary. • Examples: – Shakespeare – Arcane classics – Medieval, Puritan, or other dialects/ language patterns The actual reading level is not difficult, but due to unfamiliar language patterns and old-fashioned language, the reading becomes more difficult. Knowledge Demands: “Texts that make that make few assumptions about the extent of readers’ life experiences and the depths of their cultural/literary and content/discipline knowledge are generally less complex than are texts that make many assumptions in one or more of those areas.” *A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry Quantitative Measurement: 6.8 (Fry Readability value). (NP) Qualitative Measurement: Knowledge Demands: To fully understand and appreciate the play, students require a knowledge of the following: assimilationist debate Pan-African Movement, the Great Migration, racial tension of the time period, race/real estate issues Adjusted text-complexity value: 9-11 • Possible “Stretch-Text” : In order to challenge students’ reading levels and “bridge the gap” to the next reading level, teachers might also want students to read Black Boy by Richard Wright (10-11) or Black Like Me by John Griffin (10-11) • Scaffolding needed: Teacher should provide critical backgound knowledge along with teacher-directed reading of the text. JIGSAW-EXPERT GROUPS Four Corner Jigsaw Activity: Teacher Perspectives Reader and Task 1. Levels of Meaning 2. Structure 3. Language Conventionality 4. Background Knowledge Qualitative Dimensions Discussion Four Corner Jigsaw Activity: Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. Levels of Meaning Structure Language Conventionality Background Knowledge Step 1: Move to your assigned color station. Step 2: Discuss and become experts about your assigned qualitative dimension. Step 3- Return to your original table, use the qualitative dimensions flip-book graphic organizer to write down key points that you learn from colleagues about their expert areas of study. GEORGIA TEXT COMPLEXITY RUBRIC The Georgia Text Complexity Rubric allows educators to evaluate the important elements of text that are often missed by computer software that tends to focus on more easily measured factors. Use the qualitative section of the Georgia rubric with the To Kill A Mockingbird example. From examining the quantitative measures, we knew: Lexile Text Measure: ATOS Book Level: 870L 5.6 But after reflecting upon the qualitative measures, we believed: Step 3: Reader and Task Considerations Examples of variables specific to readers: Motivation Knowledge Experiences Examples of variables specific to tasks: Purpose for reading Complexity of task Complexity of questions asked YOU are the best judge of what your students can manage. READER AND TASK CONSIDERATIONS are best evaluated by teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge of their students and the subject. Based upon our examination of the Reader and Task Considerations, we have completed the third leg of the text complexity model and are now ready to recommend a final placement within a text complexity band. Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4: Recommended Placement Based upon all the information—all three legs of the model—the final recommendation for To Kill a Mockingbird is…. In this instance, Appendix B confirms our evaluation of the novel. To Kill a Mockingbird is placed within the grade 9-10 text complexity band.