Education Article: The Challenge of Challenging Text

"The Challenge of Challenging Text" by Timothy Shanahan, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey looks to help teachers understand how to help support their students understand complex texts. I am working more and more to integrate these essential skills of reading, writing, and thinking into my classroom. I think it is difficult to gauge when students are ready to read more difficult text. There is a fine line between pushing them to understand important information by stretching their skills and pushing students too far discouraging them from pursuing the inquiry. I think that this article does a nice job of identifying what makes a text difficult ranging from the vocabulary, sentence structure, coherence, organization, and background knowledge. In addition, the article identifies areas to help build the student skills necessary to tackle such text, such as helping students establish the purpose for the reading and fostering motivation and persistence to finish difficult texts. A good read for educators here.

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