Marilyn, I can't wait to hear about your experience at TC last week. It will be nice as a group to hear how we can incorporate all ideas into professional development opportunities for KMS staff.
http://www.nciea.org/publication_PDFs/Updated%20toolkit-text%20complexity_KH12.pdfCheck out the link above. We had Karen Hess provide a full day PD for classroom teachers as they struggled with identifying complex texts.
Geek that I am, I was sad not to meet today and hear your thoughts on chapters two and three. So I will blog! I liked the Coh-Metrix authors’ recommendations about the identification of texts across five dimensions on pg.34. They challenge us to take into account what we know about each of our readers and the learning context in our classrooms, not just the text itself. I will now consider the five dimensions when planning interactive read alouds, small group lessons, assisting students with book selections, or writing individual reading plans. While I appreciated Heibert’s concern for complex text with primary readers and also agree they need to read text that allow for practice with decoding and fluency, I also feel strongly that ALL students need exposure to complex text. Teacher talk or think alouds, whether during a read aloud, small group lesson, or an individual conference provides students with a model for challenging reading. I think when we wait too long to introduce the struggle of complex text to readers, they become word callers instead of thinkers. I am forever amazed at some of the thinking and dialogue that our first graders demonstrate. They rise to the challenge!I also liked the rubric on pgs. 47,48 for qualitatively analyzing text and agree with the author that it can used as a quick check to better inform our planning. As I read chapter three, I began to wonder about myself as a reader and keeping myself challenged. I’ve read And the Mountains Echoed and Devil in the Grove, Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. Both very good, but looking for a new challenge.