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CCSS & Collection Development . ELA COMMON CORE “SHIFTS”. Content and Language Goals. Participants will: Understand the CCSS text complexity model Participants will: Think about and discuss the impact of t ext c omplexity model on collection development. .

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CCSS & Collection Development

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Ccss collection development

CCSS & Collection Development

Ela common core shifts


Content and language goals

Content and Language Goals

Participants will:

Understand the CCSS text complexity model

Participants will:

Think about and discuss the impact of text complexity model on collection development.

Group kwl ccss


What the research says

What the Research Says

  • The difficulty of high school textbooks have declined in all subject areas over the last several decades

  • Average length of sentences in K-8 textbooks has declined from 20 to 14 words

  • Vocabulary demands have declined since the 1960s:

    • 8th grade textbooks = former 5th grade texts

    • 12th grade anthologies = former 7th grade texts

  • Complexity of college and career texts has remained steady or increased, resulting in a gap.

Why text complexity matters

Why Text Complexity Matters

  • Too many students are reading at too low a level - Less than 50% of high school graduates can read sufficiently complex texts

Ccss collection development

Critical thinking skills -- What students could read, in terms of its complexity, was at least as important as what they could do with what they read.

Text complexity


Text complexity is defined by

Text Complexity is defined by:

  • Quantitative Measures - readability and other scores of text complexity often best measured by computer software.

  • Qualitative Measures - levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands often best measured by an attentive human reader.

  • Reader and Task -background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned often best made by educators employing their professional judgment.




  • Word length

  • Word frequency

  • Word difficulty

  • Sentence length

  • Text length

  • Text cohesion

Many formulas to determine

quantitative measures exist …

Text complexity grade bands and associated ranges from various measures

Text Complexity Grade Bands and Associated Ranges from Various Measures

Narrative of the life of frederick douglass

“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”

Quantitative Measures

Old vs new lexile grade bands

Old vs. New Lexile Grade Bands

Portrait of adult reading demands

Portrait of Adult Reading Demands

1360L Aetna Health Care Discount Form

1280L Medical Insurance Benefit Package

1270L Application for Student Loan

1260L Federal Tax Form W-4

1170L Installing Child Safety Seat Directions

1150L Microsoft Windows User Manual

1150L GM Protection Plan

1080L CD-DVD Player Instructions

What do you notice?



Our final recommendation may be validated, influenced, or even over-ruled by our examination of qualitative measures and the reader and task considerations.



  • Measures :

    • Levels of meaning

    • Levels of purpose

    • Structure

    • Organization

    • Language conventionality

    • Language clarity

    • Prior knowledge demands

Rubric for Literary Text AND for Informational Text

Qualitative rubrics

  • Allows educators to evaluate the important elements of text that are often missed by computer software

Qualitative Rubrics

Literary Text Qualitative RubricInformational Text Qualitative Rubric

Qualitative measures

Qualitative Measures

The last leg of the triangle involves the reader and task considerations– teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge.

Reader and task

Reader and Task

  • Considers :

    • Motivation

    • Knowledge and experience

    • Purpose for reading

    • Complexity of task assigned regarding text

    • Complexity of questions asked regarding text

Ccss collection development

  • Dr. Shanahan on CCSS and Complex Text

Questions for a using a text

Questions for a Using a Text

What aspects of the text will likely pose the most challenge for my students?



  • Mindy Hawley, ELA TOSA, PPT presentation

  • Websites

    • ODE - Text Complexity

    • TextProject - Using Multiple Sources of Information in Establishing Text Complexity

    • Lexile - Defining Text Complexity

    • Achieve the Core - Research Study of Text Analysis Tools

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