Here is what the standard requires. In an informational text, you might look instead at the complexity of relationships among main ideas, facts and details, and the concepts discussed. Other qualitative dimensions of a text for a teacher to evaluate are text structure, language features, meaning, and author's purpose. Their own writing is often so close to them it is difficult to regard it with an impersonal eye. To determine the true complexity of a sentence, we must also identify the related conceptual knowledge, the language demands, and the motivation a reader needs for comprehension. Also, ask your student for the names of several books he has recently read or studied, in order to keep the research component during your assessment minimal.
Make a list of the criteria you are looking for in an essay and assign a points value to each item. They divided the texts found on the tests into three levels uncomplicated, more challenging, and complex and analyzed student responses to each text type. To do so requires the understanding that gases are able to generate heat and light through the process of nuclear fusion and that the spherical shape of the sun and of other celestial objects is the result of gravity pulling inward. Is it concerned with pop culture, music, the environment, etc. The next example, in Figure 1. See whether students are applying their notes and strategies appropriately and with consistency. Additionally, a student could take an approach of a stepwise description that describes a specific process.
They struggle with inferential reading, working memory, and word retrieval, not to mention understanding the requirements of expository writing. They may struggle to know what terms to search, to parse out good sources of information, or to quickly skim to find information. Students will apply peer feedback to their draft to improve their expository writing. Text Structure How a text is structured or organized is the first key consideration for qualitative evaluation. Meaning The meaning of a text—the sophistication of its ideas—is a third dimension of qualitative text complexity to factor into your evaluation. Reading Standard 10 is a critical standard in the Common Core. These considerations are detailed in the answers to Questions 5—9.
The text contains some complex ideas with more than one level of meaning conveyed through subtle literary devices. Who is reading your writing? The assignment sheet should clearly specify the number of body paragraphs students need to receive full credit. If the writing is solid and good, the mood and temper of the writer will eventually be revealed and not at the expense of the work… As you become proficient in the use of language, your style will emerge, because you yourself will emerge. Unfortunately, the resulting evaluations often fail to clearly address student learning, they are hard to decipher for an outside reader, and sometimes they do not address the course equivalencies. It is important to have identified various levels of meaning before sharing a text with students so that your text-dependent questions can prompt students to look more deeply at the text meaning with each rereading.
The purpose of the text is simple, clear, concrete, and easy to identify. Provide students with a variety of informational models to help them see the power of quality presentations. Remember, this evaluative process is important because it allows you to identify potential teaching points in relationship to each text and your particular group of students. To carefully analyze a text, teachers must consider the challenges of a text in view of each of these areas. Are you giving students clear guidelines, do you have seminar rules, are you modeling how to interact in an effective way? Would that change the essay greatly? A well-written essay will respond to the prompt or question in a clear, effective way.
As mentioned earlier, the vocabulary might give some students problems, but most 4th and 5th grade students would not struggle with the cognitive demands of this text. In this way we can learn from what others have done. Notes on Meaning Students may focus on this as a story about a cat and not understand that it is about second chances and friendships. Maybe you considered the length of the text overall, how many syllables were in the longest words, the length of the sentences, and how many concepts might be bound within each sentence. Students are at the center of the instructional enterprise, and this is as true with close reading of complex texts as with any other learning experience. Self-analysis is crucial in refining their work. The teacher will focus her close reading lessons around supporting students' understanding of characters' relationships, exploring the richness of the levels of meanings, examining visual supports, and discerning the author's purpose.
Notes on Organization The structure is conventional and predictable and poses no challenges for students. A checklist like the one in Figure 1. Make sure that you assign a points value to each item on your checklist and decide how much you will deduct if the item is missing, incorrect, or incomplete. Notes on Visual Support and Layout Comfortable visual supports and layout for students. For example, it is possible for different seminar leaders to write the same comments about fall and winter seminar work, essays, etc.
However, take the feedback positively and make your next writing more persuasive. Through diligence and attention to your work, you can see your writing develop in much the same way—one step at a time. Relationships among ideas or characters are subtle and complex. The texts students presently read at all grade levels are far less complex than they should be if students are to attain the literacy levels they will need for college and career success. While developing the draft, students must consider some points. The language of the text is conversational and straightforward, with simple sentence structures.
It is important to keep all of these demands in mind and to determine exactly where the breakdown is. The rubrics presented in Figures 1. If you come across an essay like this, then you might want to meet with the student to discuss their options. If the essay is supposed to include sources, then any claims the author makes should be backed up with evidence. The expository model will be further analyzed through class discussion and group work. Having a checklist to guide you as you read and grade papers is a helpful way to ensure that you do not overlook anything and it can make grading much easier.