In the heart of every classroom lies the potential for immense growth and discovery through complex texts. These texts, rich with new worlds, ideas, and vocabularies, are not just passages of words but gateways to deep critical thinking and engagement. However, unlocking their full potential requires more than just handing them to students; it necessitates thoughtful preparation, strategic engagement, and evidence-based teaching strategies. That’s where the “PREPARED” framework comes into play, offering teachers a systematic approach to make these texts accessible and engaging for all learners.

STRIVE’s P.R.E.P.A.R.E.D. For Complex Text Look Book

Purpose Set for Reading

The journey through complex texts begins by setting a clear purpose for reading. This initial step guides students’ focus, helping them navigate through the text with a goal in mind, enhancing their comprehension and engagement.

Retrieve Prior Knowledge and Build Background Knowledge

Before diving into a new text, it’s crucial to tap into students’ existing knowledge and expand it. This step ensures that students have a solid foundation to connect with the new content, making the reading experience more relatable and understandable.

Examine Critical Vocabulary

Complex texts often come with challenging vocabulary that can hinder comprehension. Identifying and understanding these key terms beforehand can significantly deepen students’ grasp of the text, allowing them to engage with it more fully.

Pause and Reflect with Metacognition

Encouraging students to think about their thinking process, or metacognition, as they read, enhances their understanding. This reflective practice helps students become more aware of their comprehension and strategies for engaging with the text.

Apply Active Reading Strategies

Active reading strategies, such as annotating and questioning, are vital for engaging with the text. These practices encourage students to interact with the material actively, fostering a deeper connection and comprehension.

Read the Text: Students Do the Heavy Lifting

The essence of the PREPARED framework is in getting students directly involved with the text through reading aloud and independent reading. This direct engagement is critical for deeper comprehension and allows students to take ownership of their learning.

Engage in Summarizing and Paraphrasing

After reading, students engage in summarizing and paraphrasing to distill and express the main ideas of the text in their own words. This step reinforces understanding and helps consolidate their learning.

Discuss and Question: Going Deeper After Reading the Text

The final step involves facilitating discussions and posing questions to deepen students’ understanding and engagement with the text. This interactive process encourages critical thinking and helps students explore the text’s deeper meanings and implications.

The PREPARED framework not only addresses the Lexile level and complexity of texts but also qualitative aspects like language richness, thematic depth, and narrative structure. It’s an invaluable resource for teachers, instructional coaches, and educational leaders, offering tools like step-by-step instructions, checklists, learning stations, rubrics, and instructional routine cards. These comprehensive tools support effective planning and implementation, ensuring that students are not just readers but active explorers of complex texts.

Through the Gradual Release of Responsibility, the PREPARED framework focuses on students doing the “heavy lifting” of reading, which is essential for improving reading, writing, and discussion skills while building knowledge. While Read Alouds play a significant role in engaging with complex texts, the PREPARED guide centers on student’s reading the text.

For a deeper dive into making complex texts accessible and engaging in your classroom, check out STRIVE’s P.R.E.P.A.R.E.D. For Complex Text Look Book

Email us for the FREE PREPARED PDF. [email protected]

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