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Text Complexity : Stretching Readers with Texts and Tasks - Douglas B. Fisher

Text Complexity

Stretching Readers with Texts and Tasks

Paperback Published: 19th April 2016
ISBN: 9781506339443
Number Of Pages: 216

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….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.

About the Authors

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an IRA Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Professor of Literacy in the Department of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. The recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference, she is also a teacher-leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College and a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California.

Diane Lapp is a Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University, where her research and instruction focuses on issues related to struggling readers and writers, their families, and their teachers. An instructional coach for the Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego, she has recently returned to the classroom to teach sixth-grade English and Earth Science. Dr. Lapp is also a member of both the California and International Reading Halls of Fame for her dedication to reading instruction.

Industry Reviews

"Readers will explore text complexity and all its various parts: quantitative measures, qualitative values of literary texts, and qualitative aspects of informational texts. While reading the first four chapters, I was reminded of our responsibilities for designing and planning instruction. As a result, my copy is filled with stars, asterisks, and sticky notes. . . . In Chapters 5-9, teachers will find a wide range of tasks designed to help students read complex texts with competence and confidence. I thought Chapter 8, Exploring Peer-Led Tasks, was my favorite chapter until I got to Chapter 9, Exploring Individual Tasks. Then it was a toss-up!. . . This second edition, co-published with the International Literacy Association, will "stretch" both teachers and students!" -- Anne Anderson

Chapter 1. Text Complexity in a New Light
Chapter 2. Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity
Chapter 3. Qualitative Values of Literary Texts
Chapter 4. Qualitative Aspects of Informational Texts
Chapter 5. Exploring Teacher-Led Tasks: Modeling Expert Thinking
Chapter 6. Exploring Teacher-Led Tasks: Closely Reading Complex Texts
Chapter 7. Exploring Teacher-Led Tasks: Scaffolded Reading Instruction of Complex Texts
Chapter 8. Exploring Peer-Led Tasks: Collaborative Conversations and Peer-Mediated Learning
Chapter 9. Exploring Individual Tasks

ISBN: 9781506339443
ISBN-10: 1506339441
Series: Corwin Literacy
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 19th April 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 19.05  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

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Nancy Frey

About the Author


Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She has been a special education teacher, reading specialist, and administrator in public schools. 


Nancy has engaged in Professional Learning Communities as a member and in designing schoolwide systems to improve teaching and learning for all students. She has published numerous books, including The Teacher Clarity Playbook and Rigorous Reading.

Visit Nancy Frey's Booktopia Author Page


Douglas B. Fisher

About the Author


Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an IRA Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

Visit Douglas B. Fisher's Booktopia Author Page