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The Standards ’ Model for Text Complexity Teachers need to use their professional judgment as they draw on information from all three sources when determining the complexity of a text. CLOSE READING.

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CLOSE READING


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    1. The Standards’ Model for Text ComplexityTeachers need to use their professional judgment as they draw on information from all three sources when determining the complexity of a text.

    2. CLOSE READING • Close reading is a method of the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. • Such a reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general (like reading with a magnifying glass). • As first described by I.A. Richards and his student William Empson.

    3. Good text-dependent questions linger over specific phrases and sentences to ensure careful comprehension of the text—they help students see something worthwhile that they would not have seen on a more cursory reading.

    4. “Linger over specific phrases and sentences…” Chicago in 1871 was a city ready to burn. The city boasted having 59,500 buildings, many of them—such as the Courthouse and the Tribune Building—large and ornately decorated. The trouble was that about two-thirds of all these structures were made entirely of wood. Many of the remaining buildings (even the ones proclaimed to be “fireproof”) looked solid, but were actually jerrybuilt affairs; the stone or brick exteriors hid wooden frames and floors, all topped with highly flammable tar or shingle roofs. It was also a common practice to disguise wood as another kind of building material. The fancy exterior decorations on just about every building were carved from wood, then painted to look like stone or marble. Most churches had steeples that appeared to be solid from the street, but a closer inspection would reveal a wooden framework covered with cleverly painted copper or tin. Jim Murphy, The Great Fire

    5. Write your understanding • Independently write what you think the text is saying (vs. what is the text about?).

    6. I think the text is saying… There is “trouble…” with something… This is talking about Chicago in the late 1800’s • Chicago in 1871 was a city ready to burn. The city boasted having 59,500 buildings, many of them—such as the Courthouse and the Tribune Building—large and ornately decorated. The trouble was that about two-thirds of all these structures were made entirely of wood. Many of the remaining buildings (even the ones proclaimed to be “fireproof”) looked solid, but were actually jerrybuilt affairs; the stone or brick exteriors hid wooden frames and floors, all topped with highly flammable tar or shingle roofs. It was also a common practice to disguise wood as another kind of building material. The fancy exterior decorations on just about every building were carved from wood, then painted to look like stone or marble. Most churches had steeples that appeared to be solid from the street, but a closer inspection would reveal a wooden framework covered with cleverly painted copper or tin. There are buildings made of wood…

    7. Sample Question • The term “jerrybuilt” means cheaply or unsubstantially built (it comes either from the English dialectical word “jerry” which meant “bad or defective,” or from the nautical slang word “jury” which meant temporary); what specific words and phrases does the author include to support his use of the term “jerrybuilt”? • OSF: The line/phrase “____________________” supports the author’s use of the term “jerrybuilt” because ________________________.

    8. The line/phrase “all topped with highly flammable tar or shingle roofs” supports the author’s use of the term “jerrybuilt” because structures made of flammable materials (capable of burning rapidly) would be considered unsubstantially built and easily destroyed.

    9. What contrasting information does the author present in the two sentences that use the word “but”? OSF: In the sentence, “______________” the word “but” is used to reveal that there is a contrast between _____________________ and ________________________. • How do the descriptions of the structures/buildings in the city support the author’s statement that Chicago in 1871 was a “city ready to burn”? OSF: When the author writes, “_________” he is supporting his claim that Chicago was a “city ready to burn” because ______________. • Dashes and parentheses add information that isn’t essential to the sentence but develops or describes something from the first part of the sentence (usually right before the dash or parenthesis) in greater detail; what information does the author add with the language in between the dashes and in the parentheses? OSF: The language in the parentheses/in between the dashes tells the reader ___________________.

    10. Why does the author use the word “structures” in the third sentence? How does the use of this word differ from how the buildings are referred to in the rest of the paragraph? • OSF: In the third sentence the author uses the word “structures”, whereas in the rest of the paragraph the author refers to the buildings as _________. The author uses the word “structures” because _________. • How does the detail used to explain the “trouble with buildings” help us make an inference about the building developers or perhaps the city officials? • OSF: To explain the “trouble with buildings” the author writes/says, _________. The lines, “__________” and “___________” help us infer that the building developers/city officials ________ because _________.

    11. Scaffolding • Strategically built and removed • Enables performance (students still must construct responses) • Allows for explicit instruction in grammatical features and functions that teach students to independently access texts, learn concepts, and engage in academic reading, writing, speaking and listening

    12. Supporting Text-Dependent Answers and Academic Language Development • The line/phrase __________ supports the author’s use of the term “jerrybuilt” because ________________________. • In the sentence, “____________________________” the word “but” is used to contrast ____________ and ____________. • When the author writes, “______________” he is supporting his claim that Chicago was a “city ready to burn” because _________.

    13. Developing knowledge of language structures and grammatical features as used in text through scaffolding • The term “jerrybuilt” means cheaply or unsubstantially built (it comes either from the English dialectical word “jerry” which meant “bad or defective,” or from the nautical slang word “jury” which meant temporary); what information – revealed through specific words and phrases – did the author include to support his use of the term “jerrybuilt” when describing the Chicago buildings? Dashes and parentheses add information that is not essential to the sentence but develops or describes something from the first part of the sentence (usually right before the dash or parenthesis) in greater detail; what information does the author add with the language in between the dashes and in the parentheses?

    14. Characteristics of Text-Dependent Questions Cannot be answered without referring to the text. Must go back to specific portions of the text. Don’t require background knowledge. Ask students to connect to the text. How the author is intentional/deliberate in his/her choice of language. Help students discern meaning of words. Probe how word choice affects meaning. Words are not meaningful if not tied to the text. (a non-TBQ would be ‘what inferences are you making in this section’) Not led by a strategy, but by the content. Linger on a specific phrase, word or section of text. (Goes immediately into how the author uses a word that might be familiar.) Help students understand how the structures support meaning.

    15. Text-Dependent Questions are not… • Low-level, literal, or recall questions • Focused on comprehension strategies • Just questions…

    16. Text-Dependent Questions... • Can only be answered with evidence from the text. • Can be literal (checking for understanding) but must also involve analysis, synthesis, evaluation. • Focus on word, sentence, and paragraph, as well as larger ideas, themes, or events. • Focus on difficult portions of text in order to enhance reading proficiency. • Can also include prompts for writing and discussion questions.

    17. Three Types of Text-Dependent Questions • When you're writing or reviewing a set of questions, consider the following three categories: • Questions that assess themes and central ideas • Questions that assess knowledge of vocabulary • Questions that assess syntax and structure

    18. What makes Casey’s experiences at bat humorous? What can you infer from King’s letter about the letter that he received? “The Gettysburg Address” mentions the year 1776. According to Lincoln’s speech, why is this year significant to the events described in the speech? Non-Examples and Examples Not Text-Dependent Text-Dependent In “Casey at the Bat,” Casey strikes out. Describe a time when you failed at something. In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King discusses nonviolent protest. Discuss, in writing, a time when you wanted to fight against something that you felt was unfair. In “The Gettysburg Address” Lincoln says the nation is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Why is equality an important value to promote?