While teachers and students both implement strategies

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While teachers and students both implement strategies targeted to improve reading comprehension, those used and the ways in which they are put to use are different. Teachers support students’ reading comprehension by used research-based practices to teach students how to comprehend what they are reading. Teachers create moments for students to purposefully interact with complex texts and monitor their understanding. Students participate in these teacher-controlled elements and then implement their own strategies to improve their understanding of texts as they read. Through the use of instructional strategies used by educators
15GETTING TO KNOW THE LITERACY LEARNERand student strategies, all levels of readers can develop a higher-level understanding of complex text and improve their reading comprehension. Selecting TextsWhen selecting complex texts for students, it is important to consider many aspects of thetext. The text must be complex enough to engage the reader in higher-order analysis and promotecritical thinking opportunities, yet not so complex that the reader becomes frustrated and is unable to comprehend the text. The use of complex texts supports the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative. “The CCSS writers emphasized that teachers need to use professional knowledge in matching texts to readers and designing tasks with texts” (Hiebert, 2013, p. 460). I selected two complex texts for Cade, an intermediate reader, using the sample exemplar texts correlated with the Common Core State Standards. The first text I chose is Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. This text, a beautifully illustrated informative text, conveys the history of black Americans in the first half of the twentieth century and the development of the Negro Baseball League. This text has a Lexile level of 900 and a 5.9 readability level, which is slightly above hiscurrent grade level and will provide more rigorous academic vocabulary. When selecting this text, I focused on the quantitative aspects regarding readability level, but it is important to not neglect the qualitative measures. “Teachers study qualitative dimensions of the text to determine which features create obstacles or opportunities for learning” (Hiebert, 2013, p. 460). Cade is a fluent reader but has a history of disconnect with deeper comprehension skills. He is much more comfortable staying on the surface of the text and answering literal, explicit questions. Keeping
15GETTING TO KNOW THE LITERACY LEARNERhis student identity in mind, I feel that his love for all things baseball and his appreciation for history will help engage him in this higher-level text. The illustrations in this text are thought-provoking and showcase the more sophisticated concept being portrayed throughout the storyline. Higher-level ideas such as segregation and racial discrimination will push Cade to make connections that flow deeper than the surface level of the text, thereby strengthening his

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