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Techniques for Reading and Responding to Complex Informational Text Thomas Gunning, Professor Emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University. How well do elementary and middle schoolers comprehend complex informational text?. NAEP Results- released questions

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Techniques for Reading and Responding to Complex Informational Text

Thomas Gunning, Professor Emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University



NAEP Results- released questions complex informational text?

Questions similar to those on Common Core

For 4th & 8th graders

What questions do they have difficulty with?

Combined comprehension & responding difficulties

Test selections and answers on following slides are drawn from: National Center for Education Statistics (2013). NAEP

Questions Tool. Available online at

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/itmrlsx/search.aspx?subject=reading


The article describes male emperor penguins as "tough." Give two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough.


Full Comprehension 51% two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

Responses at this level provide two pieces of information

from the article that show that male emperor penguins

are tough.

They can survive a cold winter.

They don't eat for two months.

Partial Comprehension 32%

Little or No Comprehension 14% little/no 3% omitted

May lack foundational skills


Explain how emperor penguins stay warm two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

when they form huddles.

One of the impressive ways emperors stay toasty

when temperatures plummet or the wind blasts

is to "huddle.” A huddle forms when hundreds,

even thousands, of males crowd together. The

birds move constantly, slowly rotating from the

cold outside rings to the warm, wind-free center.


  • Explain how emperor penguins stay warm when they two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

  • form huddles.

  • One of the impressive ways emperors stay toasty when

  • temperatures plummet or the wind blasts is to "huddle.”

  • A huddle forms when hundreds, even thousands, of males

  • crowd together. The birds move constantly, slowly rotating

  • from the cold outside rings to the warm, wind-free center.

  • Full Comprehension 27%

  • Responses at this level explain how emperor penguins

  • stay warm when they form huddles. Responses mention

  • one of the following:

  • They share body heat.

  • They rotate from the outside to the inside of the huddle.

  • _ They are blocked from wind.


Partial Comprehension 33% two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

Responses at this level provide a definition of huddles

or information about huddles but do not explain how

penguins stay warm when they form huddles.

There are many penguins packed together.

It is 77 degrees inside a huddle.

You can see the steam rising off the penguins in the huddle.

Little or No Comprehension or Omitted 40%

Difficulty Comprehending or Failure to Explain How


Partial Comprehension 33% two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

Responses at this level provide a definition of huddles

or information about huddles but do not explain how

penguins stay warm when they form huddles.

There are many penguins packed together.

It is 77 degrees inside a huddle.

You can see the steam rising off the penguins in the huddle.

Little or No Comprehension or Omitted 40%

Difficulty Comprehending or Failure to Explain How


Describe the roles that male and female emperor two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

penguins play in hatching and raising their young.

Give information about the roles of both male and

female penguins in your answer.

Extensive- 7%

Essential- 56%

Four-part question:

What is the role of the male in hatching?

What is the role of the male in raising?

What is the role of the female in hatching?

What is the role of the female in raising?

Failure to answer all parts of the question


Describe the roles that male and female emperor two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

penguins play in hatching and raising their young.

Give information about the roles of both male and

female penguins in your answer.

Extensive- 7%

Essential- 56%

Four-part question

What is the role of the male in hatching?

What is the role of the male in raising?

What is the role of the female in hatching?

What is the role of the female in raising?

Failure to answer all parts of the question


Why is "A Voice for Civil Rights" a good heading for two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

the section that follows it on pages 3–4? Use information

from the article to support your answer.

Full 10% Partial 41%

Infer relationships- give reasons,

explain why

Mahalia Jackson was a voice for civil rights


What does the author mean when she says, "Every species two pieces of information from the article that show that male emperor penguins are tough

of bee has its own story" (page 3)? Use information from

the article to support your answer.

Difficulty: Medium (43.13% Correct)

Responses at this level indicate that there are many

different species of bees, but they do not support

that statement with information from the article.

Failure to explain why


The last section of the article is called "A Message Home.”

Is this a good heading for that section? Explain your

answer using information from the article.

A Message Home

Before letting her go, scientists attached a special "pop-up

" satellite tag to the white shark. A month later the tag

automatically popped off the shark, floated to the surface

and sent data to an orbiting satellite.The tag told scientists

that the shark was alive and had swum 200 miles south

since her release. This is as close as any shark gets to

sending a postcard: "The water is fine. Wish you were

here!”

Full- 20%

Partial- 22%

Difficulty explaining why


Describe a similarity and a difference between the way the two articles approach the subject of invasive species. Support your answer with references to both of the articles.

Difficulty: Medium (48.09% Correct)

Failure to use a similarity and a difference. Failure to use multiple sources.


Key Difficulties on NAEP two articles approach the subject of invasive species. Support your answer with references to both of the articles.

• Difficulty providing support for answers

• Difficulty explaining how

• Difficulty explaining why

• Difficulty with multi-part answers


Other Comprehension Difficulties two articles approach the subject of invasive species. Support your answer with references to both of the articles.

• Making appropriate use of prior knowledge. May over-rely on prior knowledge and fail to consider the information in the text. .

•  Integrating sentences. Students may understand each sentence, but might not integrate their meaning.

• Seeing similarities and differences or making comparisons and contrasts.

• Making inferences. This is especially important when the reader is expected to supply information that the author has not included.

• Establishing cause-effect relationships. May have difficulty noting the effect of an event or action.

• Organizing information. May have difficulty keeping key events in order or a series of steps in a process (Dewitz & Dewitz, 2003; Dewitz, 2012; Gunning, 2014; Wade, 1990)


Along with traditional strategies, such as predicting, summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:


summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed: Scaffolding

• Asking Why and How

• Using Text Structure

• Using Organized Graphic Organizers

• Paraphrasing


Scaffolding summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:

Provide hints or clues in the questions or directions.

These are gradually faded out.


Why the Sea Level is Rising summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:

Glaciers are also melting and shrinking. Glaciers are made up

of fallen snow that has turned into ice. They flow like rivers, only

much slower. Lately, they have been speeding up. Many of them

flow toward the ocean, then break off in chunks--sometimes huge

chunks. In places such as Glacier National Park, the glaciers are

melting and disappearing. The air is getting warmer, and less snow

is falling during winter to renew the melted parts of the glaciers.

As more sea ice and glaciers melt, the global sea level rises.

But melting ice is not the only cause of rising sea level. As the

ocean gets warmer, the water actually expands! Sea level has

risen 6.7 inches in the last 100 years. In the last 10 years, it has

risen twice as fast as in the previous 90 years.

Source: Adapted from NASA (n.d.). Climate change. http://

climate.nasa.gov/kids/bigQuestions

3. Why is the sea level rising? Be sure to give two causes.

Write your answers on the lines. If you don’t remember

the causes, go back to the article.

Cause 1: _____________________________________________________

Cause 2: _____________________________________________________


Effect of Global Warming on Sea Ice summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:

Global air temperatures near Earth's surface rose one

degree Fahrenheit in the last century. One degree may not seem

like much. But when we are talking about the average over the

whole Earth, lots of things start to change. For one thing, the

oceans have gotten warmer. When the oceans get warmer,

sea ice begins to melt in the Arctic and around Greenland. NASA's

Earth satellites show us that every summer some Arctic ice melts and

shrinks, getting smallest by September. Then, when winter comes, the

ice grows again. But, since 1979, the September ice has been getting

smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner.

Source: Adapted from NASA (n.d.). Climate change.

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/

what-is-climate-change-k4.html

How do we know that there is less ice around Greenland

now than there was years ago? What fact in the article tells us this?

Write your answer on the lines.


What Air Is Made Of summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:

What’s in air? Air is made up mostly of nitrogen.

Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless gas. We can’t see it and

we can’t smell it. Nitrogen helps plants grow. Air also has

a lot of oxygen. Oxygen is also a colorless, odorless gas.

Oxygen is what we need to breathe. Air also has small bits

of a number of other gases. Small bits of dust can be found

floating on the air. And high up small particles of ice

can be found.

•When you come across a word whose meaning you do not know, look for clues to the meaning of the word. What clues from the article could be used to help you figure out the meaning of particles? Hint: Take a close look a the sentences that come before the one that contains particles. Write your answer on the lines _______________________________________________

•What clues from the article could be used to help you figure out the meaning of odor? Hint: Take a look at the sentence that comes after the one that contains odorless. Write your answer on the line. _______________________________________________.


Air Pressure and the Weather summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:

Air pressure can cause changes in the weather. Cold air

weighs more than warm air and so exerts more pressure on the

earth. Because it exerts more pressure, cold air causes areas of high

pressure to form called highs. On the other hand, warm air

creates areas of low pressure called lows. Highs usually bring

clear, dry weather. Because they are heavier, highs sink. As the

air in a high moves downward, it compresses and heats any

clouds that are around so that they evaporate. With lows, the

opposite happens. Because it is lighter, warm air rises. As the

warm air in lows rises, it is cooled and forms clouds, which

may bring rain.

Why does cold air create high pressure areas? This is a hard

question. Read the explanation in the article again and then

write your answer on the lines.


2. Why do highs usually bring clear, dry weather? summarizing, questioning, inferring, visualizing, and monitoring, the following should be stressed:Read

the explanation in the article again and then fill in the diagram

below to show how this happens.


Bell and another inventor created the photophone. The photophone

used light instead of electricity to carry sounds. Bell believed that the

photophone was his greatest invention. He said it was greater than the

telephone. However, the photophone was ahead of its time. Phones that

used light to carry sound didn’t come into use until the 1980s. Bell also

invented the audiometer, which is used to test people’s hearing. Bell

created a device for taking the salt out of seawater and a device for

locating icebergs. Bell and his workers also improved the airplane and

phonograph records and worked on a boat that has an engine that lifts

it out of the water.

What makes you think that Bell had a number of different interests?

Finish the answer. Hint: In your answer give examples of his

different inventions.

Bell created many different kinds of inventions. He invented _________

__________________________________________________________

Creating many kinds of inventions shows that Bell had many interests.


Using Organized Graphic Organizers to Organize Information photophone

By completing or creating graphic organizers students will be

helped to integrate key information in a passage. This would

be helpful for understanding complex processes,

such as the water cycle.

Organizers are related to thinking processes involved and

structure of text.


Paraphrasing photophone

Students put difficult sentences or passages into

their own words in order to foster comprehension.

“Paraphrasing text can facilitate reading comprehension by transforming the text into a more familiar construct or by activating relevant prior knowledge” (McNamara, 2004).


Bernoulli photophone ’s principle law stating that the pressure of a fluid varies

inversely with speed, an increase in speed producing a decrease

in pressure and vice versa (such as a drop in hydraulic pressure

as the fluid speeds up flowing through a constriction in a pipe)

and vice versa. The principle also explains the pressure differences

on each surface of an aerofoil, which gives lift to the wing of an

aircraft. (Brimblecombe, Gallannaugh, & Thompson, 1998, p. 85)

Speed causes the pressure of a fluid to change. Increasing the speed

of the flow makes the pressure decrease. Pressure increases when

the speed of the flow is decreased. When fluid is pushed through

a narrow pipe, the fluid speeds up and the pressure in the pipe drops.

This principle explains what keeps planes up. Because air flows

more swiftly over the top of a wing than the underside, there is less

pressure and the airplane is given lift.


Build Knowledge photophone

Not enough to develop thinking and comprehension

skills

Need to ask: What facts, concepts, information have students learned?

How has their knowledge increased?

Need to develop topics fully


Doesn’t take any more time photophone

Instead of an article on guide horses, have several articles on ways service animals help people

A teen who helped others- how even young people can help others

A mouse who howls- how and why animals communicate


Sources of High-Quality Informational Text photophone

NASA for Educators

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/k-4/index.

html#.U073I8epqix

Resources are provided for K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

Homework Topics: “What are clouds?” “What is a satellite?

” “What is Jupiter?”

K-4 (RL easy 3) 5-8 (RL 4-5)

Climate Kids: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth

http://climatekids.nasa.gov/

Good use of subheads that pose questions: How do we

know Earth is getting warmer? IL 3-8 RL- 4-5


What Are Clouds? photophone

A cloud is made of water drops or ice crystals floating

in the sky. There are many kinds of clouds. Clouds

are an important part of Earth's weather.How Do Clouds Form?The sky can be full of water. But most of the time

you can't see the water. The drops of water are too

small to see. They have turned into a gas called

water vapor. As the water vapor goes higher in the

sky, the air gets cooler. The cooler air causes the

water droplets to start to stick to things like bits of

dust, ice or sea salt.

NASA 3.7 (CCSS 2) 570L


What Are Clouds photophone ?

A cloud is a mass of water drops or ice crystals suspended

in the atmosphere. Clouds form when water condenses

in the sky. The condensation lets us see the water vapor.

There are many different types of clouds. Clouds are

an important part of Earth's weather and climate.How Do Clouds Form?Clouds form from water in the sky. The water may

evaporate from the ground or move from other areas.

Water vapor is always in the sky in some amount but is

invisible. Clouds form when an area of air becomes

cooler until the water vapor there condenses to liquid form

At that point, the air is said to be "saturated" with water

vapor. The air where the cloud forms must be cool enough

for the water vapor to condense. The water will condense

around things like dust, ice or sea salt - all known as condensation

nuclei. The temperature, wind and other conditions where

a cloud forms determine what type of cloud it will be. 6.3 (5 CCSS) 830L


Library of Congress photophone

www.loc.gov

America’s Story

Meet Amazing Americans

Presents brief biographies with illustrations of

famous Americans, IL-3-8 RL-4.

Jump Back in Time

Provides an overview of an era in American history and

a number

of related articles that portray key figures and events of the era

. IL-4-8 RL-5.

Explore the States

Gives a brief history of each state and brief descriptions of

interesting events and customs in the state. IL-4-8 RL-5.


Smithsonian’s History Explorer photophone

http://historyexplorer.si.edu/home/

A wide range of topics is explored through primary

sources and other resources.

http://invention.smithsonian.org/home/

Lemelson Center for the Study of Inventions and Innovation

http://invention.smithsonian.org/home/

Invention at Play

Tells the stories of a number of inventions, such as robotic

ants, Kevlar, Velcro, barbed wire and others. Explores

sources of inspiration for inventions. IL 5-8 RL 6


Smithsonian National Zoological Park photophone

Meet Our Animals

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/default.cfm

Provides descriptions of a variety of animals. Has numerous

photos.

Also have some film clips and a video cam for the pandas.

IL all ages RL varies


Web Weather for Kids photophone

http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather/cloud.html

Provides information about clouds, storms and the elements of

weather. Learning aids include animations and quizzes that

appear after each subtopic. IL 3-8 RL 3-4

U. S. Census Bureau

State Facts for Kids

http://www.census.gov/schools/facts/

Includes basic information about the state along with

census information that compares current statistics with prior

statistics. Has data for adults and children and a number of key

businesses. IL 3-8 RL 3-4


Central Intelligence Agency photophone

The World Factbook

Contains basic information about every country in the world.

Also has maps. IL 6-8 RL 7-8



Source of high quality informational text
Source of High-Quality Informational Text photophone

Data Bases- Subscribed to by state, local, or school libraries- EBSCO

I-Conn. Org

Free for anyone who has a CT library card


Iconn
IConn photophone


Resources
Resources photophone


Kids search
Kids Search photophone


603 articles
603 Articles photophone


Service Animals photophone

HTML- usually no illustrations

But text-to-speech feature

PDF- text & illustrations


Rewordify.com photophone

Rewords difficult words

Can enter text

Web sites

Text in their library- classic texts


Aesop embodies an epigram photophone

Aesop represents a clever saying

The felicity which I reflected on has induced me …

The happiness which I reflected on has caused me


Aesop embodies an epigram photophone

Aesop represents a clever saying

The felicity which I reflected on has induced me …

The happiness which I reflected on has caused me


  • 5 levels photophone

  • Reword:

  • Almost all hard words

  • Top 80%

  • Top 60%

  • Top 40%

  • Only the hardest

  • Gives a READ level


  • 5 levels photophone

  • Reword:

  • Almost all hard words

  • Top 80%

  • Top 60%

  • Top 40%

  • Only the hardest

  • Gives a READ level


Customizing photophone

Which words are rewordified- can add & delete words

How original word is shown- tap on easier word to see original

Can speak words

Can print quizzes using words & definitions


Steppingstone approach
Steppingstone Approach photophone

  • Use easier books on same topic to prepare for more complex book

    • 5 books on climate change

    • 5 books on Kennedy

  • Build background & vocabulary with each book. Also build decoding skills, if necessary.


Climate Change photophone

Edwards, R. (2008). Polar bears in danger. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. RL 3.2

Waters, K. (2009). Earth in danger. New York: Scholastic. RL 4.0

Simon, Seymour (2013). Global warming. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Science. RL 4.2

Cole, J. (2010). The magic school bus and the climate challenge. New York: Scholastic. RL 4.3

Royston, A. (2008). Global warming. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. RL 4.3

Nemeth, J. D. (2012). Climate change. New York: PowerKids Press. RL 4.5

Collins, T. (2010). Getting to the bottom of global warming: An Isabel Soto investigation. Mankato, MN:Capstone. RL 5.1

Faust, D. K. (2009). Global warming: Greenhouse gases and the ozone layer. New York: PowerKids Press. RL 5.6


Climate Change photophone

Edwards, R. (2008). Polar bears in danger. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. RL 3.2

Waters, K. (2009). Earth in danger. New York: Scholastic. RL 4.0

Simon, Seymour (2013). Global warming. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Science. RL 4.2

Cole, J. (2010). The magic school bus and the climate challenge. New York: Scholastic. RL 4.3

Royston, A. (2008). Global warming. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. RL 4.3

Nemeth, J. D. (2012). Climate change. New York: PowerKids Press. RL 4.5

Collins, T. (2010). Getting to the bottom of global warming: An Isabel Soto investigation. Mankato, MN:Capstone. RL 5.1

Faust, D. K. (2009). Global warming: Greenhouse gases and the ozone layer. New York: PowerKids Press. RL 5.6


Other Techniques photophone

WIRC

ReQuest

Indexing


WIRC (Writing Intensive Reading Comprehension) photophone

  • Thinksheets are a during-reading guide.

  • Guide students through brief segments of

  • text. Text is read & discussed in

  • 5 to 10-minute segments.

  • Two-handed reading- text & questions

  • are aligned.

  • Responses are then discussed in pairs,

  • small groups, or whole class.


Source: Gunning, T. (2014) photophone . Creating Literacy Instruction for All Students in Grades in Pre-K to 8 (9th Ed.) Boston: Pearson.)


Although breaking down tasks into more manageable photophone

segments helped struggling readers, they then had

difficulty integrating the segments.

A graphic organizer such as a semantic map or frame

was added to the think sheets to help students integrate

their responses.

Students eventually put all the information together and

write a response to an essay question.


Request
ReQuest photophone

• Teacher and student(s) alternate asking questions about the text until the students have built enough background to predict what the rest of the text might be about.

• Ask questions sentence by sentence- student first, then teacher.

• After one paragraph, set purpose for reading.


Indexing
Indexing photophone

According to Bruner (1964), we make sense of our environment through three modalities: enactive representation (action), iconic representation (imagery), and symbolic representation (language).


Indexical hypothesis glenberg
Indexical Hypothesis-Glenberg photophone

Indexing (i.e.,mapping) symbols, such as words, to objects is a necessary step in language comprehension

Meaning is tied to action- if read about a ball being kicked, area of brain responsible for kicking will light up


Remember more of what was handwritten than what was typed photophone

“Our bodies are designed to interact with the world which surrounds us. We are living creatures, geared toward using physical objects - be it a book, a keyboard or a pen - to perform certain tasks,” Anne Mangen says.

http://www.uis.no/news/article29782-50.html


  • Manipulating objects assists the indexing process and improves the student’s ability to create a representation of the text. Thus if the story said, “The horses ran out of the barn and into the corral,” the reader would use toys to show the horses running out of the barn and running into the corral.


Giraffes improves the student

Giraffes are tall animals. *A giraffe is taller than an elephant. *A giraffe is so tall that it can eat the leaves on the tops of trees. Giraffes have many enemies. *Lions, hyenas, and Nile crocodiles hunt giraffes. Because they stand tall and have excellent eyesight, giraffes can see far away. *A giraffe can see a lion or hyena that is a mile away.



* A giraffe is so tall that it can eat the leaves on improves the student

the tops of trees.




Texts Already Set Up for Manipulatives improves the student

Sunshine Makes the Seasons

Franklyn Branley

Common Core selection


Can use with improves the student

• science experiments

• directions

• recipes

• explanations of difficult processes

• actions in story

• math problems


Commercial kits
Commercial Kits improves the student

  • Klutz books

  • Science toys

  • Playschool toys


Automated steppingstone
Automated Steppingstone improves the student

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DELIBERATE PRACTICE AND READING ABILITY by Sean Hanlon (2013)

Study of Oasis Learning


Oasis Learning improves the student

Placed according to Lexile score

Chose articles between +100L (66 & 82% expected comprehension)

Completed embedded modified cloze items

Received corrective feedback

Level of articles adjusted according to performance

Received feedback on number of articles & words read, time spent, percentage correct, changes in lexile levels


Oasis Study (Hanlon, 2013) improves the student

1,369 students grades 2-8

Access for average of 1,422 calendar days

Read average 212.2 articles, 151,574 words

Start 780- low practice 1100, avg 1175, high 1200

Start 431-low practice 900, avg 1025 high 1050


Oasis Learning improves the student

Placed according to Lexile score

Chose articles between +100L (66 & 82% expected comprehension)

Completed embedded modified cloze items

Received corrective feedback

Level of articles adjusted according to performance

Received feedback on number of articles & words read, time spent, percentage correct, changes in lexile levels


Oasis Study (Hanlon, 2013) improves the student

1,369 students grades 2-8

Access for average of 1,422 calendar days

Read average 212.2 articles, 151,574 words

Start 780- low practice 1100, avg 1175, high 1200

Start 431-low practice 900, avg 1025 high 1050


Growth in Reading Ability as a Response to improves the student

Using EdSphere™ by: Gary L. Williamson,

Ph.D., Juee Tendulkar, Sean T. Hanlon,

Carl W. Swartz, Ph.D.

www.lexile.com/about-lexile/research-briefs

392 eighth graders- tracked from grade 2

Gained average of 1L for each session above

& beyond what was expected


DELIBERATE PRACTICE improves the student

• Targeted practice in which each person is

engaged in developmentally appropriate activities

•  Real-time corrective feedback that is based

on each person’s performance• Intensive practice on a daily basis that

provides results that monitor current ability• Distributed practice that provides

appropriate activities over a long period of time

and which allows for monitoring growth towards

expert performance• Self-directed practice in an activity for times

when a coach, mentor or teacher is not available• Progress monitoredon a developmental scale

that allows educators to monitor growth from novice to

expert.

Hanlon, S. T. (2013). The relationship between deliberate practice

and reading ability. Ph.D. thesis, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


For more information
For More Information improves the student

  • Go to

    Buildingliteracy.org


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