Rigorous Reading- Making Complex Texts Accessible

This course is created around the book Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts by Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher. Anytime something new is implemented, teachers are often times left with thinking that ALL of their instruction, lessons, texts have to be abandoned. The overall approach to this professional development book is around the phrase: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. While there are numerous changes with the Common Core State Standards, the core of this book looks at the balance of a reading curriculum.

The course starts out by examining exactly what makes a text complex- qualitative, quantitative, and reader/ task. Not only will participants be able to identify how to determine if a text is complex enough, but also study the gradual release process around complex texts. Throughout this course, we will also look at the five different access points that Fisher and Frey lay out:

-Access Point One: Purpose and Modeling

-Access Point Two: Close and Scaffolded Reading Instruction

-Access Point Three: Collaborative Conversations

-Access Point Four: An Independent Reading Staircase

-Access Point Five: Demonstrating Understanding and Assessing Performance

Throughout the course, participants will interact with a series of weekly discussion questions that relate to the reading throughout the week. Participants will create a think-aloud lesson to emphasize the importance of modeling for students. While modeling is such an important instructional strategy to show our students, our main goal is to help scaffold our students toward independence. Participants will also create text-dependent questions while using a complex text. The final assignment, teachers will create a complex text lesson plan while incorporating modeling, text-dependent questions, additional scaffolds, formative/summative assessments. After the creation of this lesson plan, participants will reflect upon the process and how they see this process going forward in their classroom.