Preparing for Text Complexity By aRLEEN P. maRIOTTI aND KImBERLy a. SCHwaRTz Informing & Inspiring New Teachers a Kappa Delta Pi publication Volume 21, No. 2 KDP Executive Director FAYE SNODGRESS Managing Editor SALLY RUSHMORE Assistant Editors KATHIE-JO ARNOFF CARRIE GAFFNEY LAURIE QUAY Art Director CHUCK JARRELL NTa advisors REA KIRK MADELINE KOVARIK ADRIENNE LORME LISA MURLEY GINA RILEY STEPHANIE L. SCHAEFER NICHOLAS J. ULIANO JACQUELINE VIGOTTY MICHAEL P. WHITMAN The common core standards place a strong emphasis on the role of text complexity. In fact, one of the key requirements of the Common Core State Standards for Reading is that all students must be able to comprehend texts of increasing difficulty as they progress through school. The expectation is that by the time a student graduates, he should be able to independently read and comprehend com-plex texts of the type commonly found in college and the work place (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2010). commonly determined by a readability formula, such as Flesch-Kincaid, Fry, or the Lexile framework. Qualitative dimensions of text complexity exam-ine a range of factors, such as text purpose or levels of meaning, text structure, text organization, lan-guage conventionality and clarity, and the demands on students’ prior knowledge. A rubric for evaluating the qualitative dimensions of text complexity is avail-able. (http://bit.ly/txtcomplx) Reader and Task dimensions look at what the student brings to the text and the task(s) required of the student. These include student motivation, background knowledge, purpose for reading, com-plexity of task assigned, and complexity of questions to be asked regarding the text. Teachers must know whether students can independently read the grade level, discipline-specific materials and, if not, what supports and strategies they will need. How is text complexity defined? To determine text complexity, the common core standards use a three-part model: The Common Core Standards’ Model of Text Complexity What can you do to prepare for the common core standards? ISSN 1070-7379 published four times during the school year by Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. Send all subscription orders and editorial correspondence to address above, call 1-800-284-3167, or visit KDP Online at www.kdp.org. Subscription rate: $10.00, members, per year, domestic; $12.00, members, foreign; $12.00, nonmembers, do-mestic; $14.00, nonmembers, foreign. Single copies, $3.50 (+s&h). Third-class bulk permit paid at Columbus, Ohio. Postmaster does not return issue to publisher with address change. Subscriber must send changes to: Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. ©2013 Kappa Delta Pi. All rights reserved. Quantitative Qualitative Reader and Task Quantitative measures of text complexity usually result in a numerical rating referenced to a grade lev-el difficulty (i.e., first, seventh). This measure is most 1. Become comfortable with the common core standards and information on text complexity. The standards offer a progression of knowledge and skills in all content areas to prepare students to graduate from high school and be ready for college and careers. The standards have been adopted by a majority of states and many private schools—possibly having a great influence on curriculum and instruction for a long time to come. The resources listed contain overviews, tools, lesson plans, and assessments for teachers and overviews and resources for parents.