I mentioned in my last post that providing a simpler book on a subject is another scaffolding strategy. While this is true, you must also be careful to still have the child read grade level texts as well.
Revised Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards
in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades 3–12
David Coleman • Susan Pimentel
ELA and Literacy Curricula, Grades 3-5; ELA Curricula, Grades 6–12
I. Key Criteria for Text Selection
1. Text Complexity: The Common Core State Standards require students to read increasingly complex texts with growing independence as they progress toward career and college readiness.
A. Texts for each grade align with the complexity requirements outlined in the
standards. Reading Standard 10 outlines the level of text complexity at which
students need to demonstrate comprehension in each grade. (Appendix A in the
Common Core State Standards gives further information on how text complexity can
be measured and offers guidance to teachers and curriculum developers on selecting
the texts their students read.)
Research makes clear that the complexity levels of the texts students are presently required to read are significantly below what is required to achieve college and career readiness. The Common Core State Standards hinge on students encountering appropriately complex texts at each grade level to develop the mature language skills and the conceptual knowledge they need for success in school and life. Instructional materials should also offer advanced texts to provide students at every grade with the opportunity to read texts beyond their current grade level to prepare them for the challenges of more complex text.
B. All students (including those who are behind) have extensive opportunities to
encounter grade-level complex text. Far too often, students who have fallen behind
are only given less complex texts rather than the support they need to read texts at
the appropriate level of complexity. Complex text is a rich repository of ideas,
information, and experience which all readers should learn how to access, although
some students will need more scaffolding to do so. Curriculum developers and
teachers have the flexibility to build progressions of texts of increasing complexity
within grade-level bands that overlap to a limited degree with earlier bands (e.g.,
grades 4–5 and grades 6–8).
Curriculum materials should provide extensive opportunities for all students in a
classroom to engage with complex text, although students whose reading ability is
developing at a slower rate also will need supplementary opportunities to read text
they can comprehend successfully without extensive supports. These students may
also need extra assistance with fluency practice and vocabulary building. Students
who need additional assistance, however, must not miss out on essential practice and
instruction their classmates are receiving to help them read closely, think deeply
about texts, participate in thoughtful discussions, and gain knowledge of both words
and the world.