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Does “Just Right” Reading Help Students Grow?
From the Marshall Memo #445
In this short Education Gadfly review of a new book from the International Reading Association, Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading (by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp), Kathleen Porter-Magee praises the authors’ recommendation that students be given challenging rather than “just right” texts. This is in line with the Common Core emphasis on students reading “grade-appropriate” material (with scaffolding and support when needed) to build vocabulary and comprehension.
Porter-Magee says the book gives three reasons why assigning “just right” texts undermines student learning:
[It appears that the kind of “just right” texts these authors have in mind are at children’s independent level. When students read material at their instructional level, there’s some challenge with vocabulary and comprehension and the role of the teacher scaffolding and supporting becomes crucial to acceleration.]
“Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading” by Kathleen Porter-Magee in Education Gadfly, July 12, 2012, http://bit.ly/LkeNM7