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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Text quality matters for higher level understanding

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Text quality matters for higher level understanding

Jeff Odell

by Sarah Tierney

For a long time, literacy instruction has been focused on skills and strategies. In some cases, the quality of texts has been a secondary consideration. But if we want our students to be prepared for the reading, writing, and thinking they will do in the future, texts should be an essential component of what we think about when we sit down to create a lesson plan.

Schools can make the shift towards planning with texts in mind by starting with text complexity—that is, understanding what will be easy or challenging about a text. When teachers can identify the trickiest parts of a text, they're better equipped to support students in navigating the text

It’s not enough to identify only the quantitative complexity of a text. You need to dig into the qualitative features a computer can’t measure in order to really understand what students will find challenging about the text.
— Casie Jones, ANet TN oach

We’ve spent ten years learning from thousands of leaders and teachers across the country about the things that make a big difference for schools. Now, we want to give you the opportunity to do the same. We’ve organized these Lessons From the Field in a new section of our website by our main areas of focus—everything from harnessing the power of formative assessments to fostering a culture of adult learning.

Sarah is a director of new partnerships and former coach at ANet. She’s leading the Lessons From the Field project.

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