I finished my last day of this week of training. I continue training next week on even more common core information. In the last couple of posts I’ve covered close reading which can be read here and accountable talk which can be read here. Today I’m going to discuss text complexity. Text complexity is basically how challenging the material is for the student at their specific grade level. Students need to read complex text in order to prepare them for college and career. There are three steps to figuring out a text’s complexity.
Quantitative Measure: Readability score such as Lexile and Flesch Kincade. These programs give you a specific grade level for the text. I discussed how to turn your Microsoft Office into a Flesch Kincade reader here. (See image below for the scores for each grade level)
Qualitative Measure: Levels of meaning, structure, language, conventionality, clarity, and knowledge demands. A rubric to help you place the text into a grade band can be found here for literary and here for information text.
Reader and Task Considerations: Background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and task assigned for the text. Basically, would the student in able to read the text and be interested. Also, does the task you would assign with this text be appropriate for the student? There is a rubric for that too, but they haven’t published it online (or it’s hiding from me online). As soon as I find one I will post.
After you go through all three steps you will decided whether or not it is appropriate for your students. Quantitative is important, but not the most important. Sometimes readability is very high, but is more appropriate for a lower grade level. It takes some time to level text based on complexity, but the more you do it the faster it gets.
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I survived a second day of Common Core training. We learned so much today, I think my head may explode. Our first topic of the day was Accountable Talk. Accountable Talk is talk that seriously responds to and further develops what others in the group have said. Students engaged in Accountable talk follow the following indicators:
Students actively participate in classroom talk
Students listen attentively
Students elaborating and building on each other’s ideas
Students work to clarify or expand a proposition
Students support their ideas with evidence from the text
A lesson with Accountable Talk would start with a close reading of a text. Then the teacher will pose a problem or question about the text. The students will then take over the conversation. The teacher would not share her opinion on the subject, they would only help continue the conversation by using Accountable Talk stems such as:
Could you clarify your statement…?
I do not understand, could you tell me more about…
My evidence is…
On page__, it says…
I can connect this to…
I want to add to…
I want to build upon…
I would like to tie into what______just said…
I want to respectfully disagree with_______…
I agree with______…
I found an excellent video with an example of Accountable Talk in an 2nd grade classroom. The only thing I would have changed would be for each child to have a hard copy of the text to use during the discussion. The video has two minute intro before you see the classroom example.
I hope this information is helpful. We covered other topics, but I thought it was way too much information for one blog entry. I have one more day of training this week, so I’ll be back tomorrow with more information.
Today, I started my first day of Common Core training for ELA. We focused a lot of our time on close reading. Close reading is when you give a student a text with a brief intro to the text. The intro does not contain any information that the student could obtain from reading the text. After the brief intro you ask the students to read the text to themselves. After the first reading you ask the students comprehension questions. The type of comprehension question is very important. We must move away from questions such as “how many houses are in the neighborhood?” Instead we should ask comprehension questions such as:
What is the text about?
What are the big issues?
Who is the speaker?
What is the author’s purpose?
Who is the audience?
What do we know about the speaker?
The comprehension questions can be asked and answered individually and then have a group discussion or you can answer the questions as a group discussion. The student must provide textual evidence for each of their answers. If the answer can not be supported by text it is not correct. Next, the teacher or a student that has a good reading ability reads the text aloud. You may also choose to have the students read independently or in pairs/groups. After the second read you will have the students complete another task such as questions about the structure of the text, the speakers use of figurative language, or to make an inference. The process continues, read the text then complete a task, read the text then complete a task, and so on.
I continue my training tomorrow and will come back with more information.
I’m still alive or at least I think I am. I know I have not posted since school has started, but it has been a crazy five weeks. I received information about this amazing website and had to share this with all the teachers out there. Learn Zillion is a site for grades 3rd-8th, both ELA and Math with free Common Core resources. This site has videos, slide shows, and lesson commentaries. The videos can be assigned to students or you can use them to help you better understand the standards. I hope you find the site very helpful. Let me know if you have any great Common Core sites. I would like to add them to my resource page.
PARCC has released sample items for teachers today on their website. There are 23 states taking part in the PARCC. PARCC stands forPartnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Follow the links below for sample questions and generic rubrics.
I’ve been working on creating documents for Common Core and PARCC for educators. I finally have a few documents online for educators to use. Click here to go and collect the documents. I have a goal of adding documents each week. If there are documents that you are in need of, let me know and I will do my best to create them. It I has been a very long, long day, so this post will be short and sweet. I’m so close to being done in my room. I hope to be posting pictures soon.