Complex Texts, Complex Sentences: Grammar and Comprehension in the Time of Common Core

Thursday, October 27, 2016  7-8pm EST


Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.00.40 PMBecause words are important, teachers teach vocabulary as well as trying to provide students with tools for figuring out the meanings of unknown words (e.g., context, reference tools). No similar attention is accorded to making sense of sentences. Students either can interpret the meanings of the sentences that they read or they cannot, but little effort is made to show them how to untangle the complexity of sentences. This is unfortunate since Michigan educational standards require that students learn to read complex text, and one of the major aspects of text complexity is the grammatical complexity of the sentences and the cohesive links that connect the ideas within and across sentences. This presentation will provide explicit guidance in how to scaffold students’ interactions with grammar and cohesion.

Recommended Reading: Shanahan on Literacy – Dr. Tim Shanahan’s blog

Dr. Timothy Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chi­cago where he is Founding Di­rector of the UIC Center for Literacy. He has also served as Visiting Research Professor at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. He is author/editor of more than 200 publications including the books, Teaching with the Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts, Early Childhood Literacy, and Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners. His research emphasizes the connections between learning to read and learning to write, literacy in the disciplines, and improvement of reading achievement. Professor Shanahan is past president of the International Literacy Association and received a presidential appointment to the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. He served on the National Reading Panel and helped write the Common Core State Standards. He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007, and is a former primary grade teacher. For more information, visit his blog: