Text Complexity and the Common Core

>The Common Core State Standards brought three major shifts to our classrooms- complex texts, reading/writing/speaking grounded in complex text, and content rich nonfiction.With new changes comes the questions- what can I continue to use/do with my students? Through this course, we will look at the shift in text complexity, assess some of the materials you have used in the past or are thinking about using, and determine what makes a text complex. As a guide to our learning, we will be using the text Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp. This professional development book offers many topics that have been greatly discussed in the past few years of education:

-The definition of text complexity

-Qualitative and quantitative measures of text complexity

-How do we match readers to texts?

-Close reading

-Now the difficult question- How can I make sure my students are successful reading complex texts when they are all reading at different grade levels? Through this course, we will also discuss what scaffolding will look like in your classroom and how students of all ability levels, can succeed using rigorous texts. We will begin the course by “grading” a few texts we have either used in the past or would like to use in the future. We will identify if these texts are truly complex enough for our students. After assessing some of our text selections, participants will then reflect on the process. Participants will have the opportunity to create a lesson around using a complex text in their classroom.