You might try to engage your teachers in an activity that asks them to look at subject specific, contemporary articles that are written at different readiness levels. Are you familiar with the NewsELA website? Check it out if you are not. You can download a highly engaging, subject area-related current events article written at a number of different reading levels 4-12. After showing these to the teachers, you can ask the teachers "naïve questions" about where they think their present students are, where they would like to get the students in a year, and where they will need to be by the time they leave ES or MS or HS for college or life beyond their K-12 schooling. "Do we want them to always be aware of and striving for the next level of sophistication in their reading? Of course we do! So how do we get them there?" You could then have the teachers analyze the basic features or skills the students will need to add to their "reader's toolbox" as they gradually move up the grade level reading continuum. Now you have staff share effective strategies they themselves already use to address some of these skills. You can also have them formulate a list of strategies that they need and have a reading teacher or literacy coach assist with finding these strategies and then come back to share them with the content teachers. This kind of approach with your staff will help them see the relevance and importance of addressing text complexity. The sharing of existing strategies between them coupled with a search for a couple new targeted strategies will also give them a sense of agency and ownership with regard to serving the literacy needs of their students.
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