“There is a big difference between assigning complex texts and teaching complex texts…” ---Doug, Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Dianne Lapp ….And that’s the crux, isn’t it? That’s why in this brand new edition of the bestselling Text Complexity, the renowned author team provide four new chapters that lay open the instructional routines that take students to new places as readers. No matter what discipline you teach, you will learn how to craft purposeful instruction pitched to your readers’ comprehension capacities, your curriculum’s themes, and your own assessments on what students need next. Doug, Nancy, and Diane provide: • How-to’s for measuring word and sentence length and other countable features of any written work while giving ample consideration to the readers in your room, and how their background knowledge, experiences, and motivations come into play • A rubric for analyzing literary texts for plot structure, point of view, imagery, clarity, and more—and a complexity scalefor analyzing informational texts that describe, inform, and explain • Classroom scenarios of teachers and students engaging with fiction and nonfiction texts that provide enough of a stretch, so you’ll know the difference between a healthy struggle and frustration • The authors’ latest thinking on routines that invite students to interact with complex texts and with one another, including teacher modeling, close reading, scaffolded small group reading, and independent reading It’s time to see text complexity as a dynamic, powerful tool for sliding the right text in front of our students’ at just the right time. Think of this second edition as Text Complexity-2-Go, because it’s all about the movement of minds at work, going deeper than anyone ever thought possible.

Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity

Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity

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One dimension of text complexity involves quantitative measures. These primarily focus on the characteristics of the words themselves and their appearance in sentences and paragraphs. Conventional quantitative text measures do not take into account the functions of words and phrases to convey meaning, but rather focus on those elements that lend themselves to being counted, and therefore calculated. These surface structures are collectively described as readability formulas, and primarily measure semantic difficulty and sentence complexity. Gunning (2003) reports that while more than one hundred readability formulas have been developed since the 1920s, only a handful are regularly used today.

To provide a historical context for thinking about the components of readability formulas, we need ...

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