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Teaching the Stretch Texts

In the Strand Resource Guide for each of the five strands, you will find a routine and text-dependent questions to scaffold students’ understanding of complex text. XBOOKS Stretch Texts include articles, speeches, interviews, letters, guides, and other important informational text types. Each Stretch Text is linked to the theme of the particular strand, the Lead Book, or a Reader’s Choice Book. Stretch Texts are available for the interactive whiteboard from the website. They also can be printed and distributed.

Planets Sun Mercury Venus Venus Venus Venus

Preview the Text

Students look at the title, introduction, and format. They then take stock of what they know about the text and consider the writer's purpose.

First Reading—Getting the Gist

Independently or with the group, students do an initial independent reading to get the gist, noting areas of difficulty.

Second Reading—Close Reading

Students conduct a close reading of the text, using the techniques of careful readers.

Assessing Understanding

Each routine provides Text-Dependent Questions and a Writing Task to assess understanding.
Quantitative Measure The quantitative measure takes into account concrete factors such as word length, word frequency, sentence length, sentence complexity, and vocabulary difficulty. XBOOKS uses Lexile® measures as its quantitative measure of complexity. Qualitative Measure The qualitative measure assesses the complexity of meaning and purpose, text structure and organization, language conventionality and clarity, and prior knowledge demands placed upon the reader. XBOOKS uses a Qualitative Measure (QM) rubric to assign a score to these measures. These scores are then used to assign the Overall QM rating.  Reader and Task This measure considers variable elements such as a reader’s level of motivation, his or her prior experience with a topic, and the complexity of the tasks and questions asked of the reader. XBOOKS identifies some of the ways the above considerations will affect different readers.  You can find the Complexity Index for each component in the online Implementation Guide.

Think Alouds

These help students with text-based questions and provide models of close-reading strategies.