Conference Countdown
Atlanta, Ga.
April 2-4, 2016
  • membership
  • my account
  • help

    We are here to help!

    1703 North Beauregard Street
    Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
    Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
    Fax: 703-575-5400

    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday

    Local to the D.C. area: 1-703-578-9600, press 2

    Toll-free from U.S. and Canada: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723), press 2

    All other countries: (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600, press 2


  • Log In
  • Forgot Password?


ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

2016 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Learn. Teach. Lead.
Get the tools to put it all together at this can't-miss education conference—with more than 200 sessions and five inspirational keynote speakers.

Learn more and register.



ASCD respects intellectual property rights and adheres to the laws governing them. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.

Policies and Requests

Translations Rights

Books in Translation

Common Core: Now What?
December 6, 2012 | Volume 8 | Issue 5
Table of Contents 

It's Complicated

Common Core State Standards Focus on Text Complexity

Researchers have learned that the ability to understand complex texts is the most crucial skill to predict long-term outcomes such as remaining in college and maintaining a high GPA. Now comes the hard part: What can educators do to make sure students can handle more difficult reading?

In her Education Update article "It's Complicated," author Laura Varlas begins by focusing on two of the areas that experts believe cause students the most difficulty: vocabulary and complicated sentences. She writes that teachers need to break down the steps to teach students how to do a close reading. As Jay McTighe says, "You can teach students to notice and understand the function of text structures like headings, bullets, bold type, sidebars, and chapter organization."

The article outlines several strategies, including having students ask questions of the text, before moving on to another crucial finding: Teachers need to stop students from constantly interjecting their personal impressions of complex texts. Varlas explains why this "text-to-self" phenomenon is not part of the Common Core State Standards and how teachers can help students refrain from doing it too often.


Read the full article


ASCD Express, Vol. 8, No. 5. Copyright 2012 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit


Log in to submit a comment.

To post a comment, please log in above. (You must be an ASCD EDge community member.) Free registration