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Rigorous Reading, Texas Edition

Rigorous Reading, Texas Edition
5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts

Adapted Edition

Foreword by Gretchen Bernabei

February 2018 | 184 pages | Corwin

Newly revised and updated throughout, this new Texas Edition has been specially developed to align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards.

What it really means to "read closely."

What could Fern Arable, Jay Gatsby, and Winston Churchill possibly have in common? They all need masterful teachers to help students revel in their complexity. And Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher are just the two mentors to help you make that happen. Call it close reading, call it deep reading, call it analytic reading - call it what you like. The point is, it's a level of understanding that students of any age can achieve with the right kind of instruction. In Rigorous Reading, Nancy and Doug articulate an instructional plan so clearly, and so squarely built on research, that teachers, schools, and districts need look no further.

The 5 Access Points Toward Proficiency Purpose & Modeling:

  1. Teachers think aloud to demonstrate critical thinking and how good readers always know why they are reading.
  2. Close & Scaffolded Reading Instruction: Teachers engage students in repeated readings and discussions, with text-dependent questions, prompts, and cues to help students delve into an author's ideas.
  3. Collaborative Conversations: Teachers orchestrate collaborative learning to get students in the habit of exercising their analytical thinking in the presence of their peers.
  4. An Independent Reading Staircase: Teachers artfully steer students to more challenging books, with strategic bursts of instruction and peer conferences to foster metacognitive awareness.
  5. Performance: Teachers offer feedback and assessments that help students demonstrate understanding of text in authentic ways and plan instruction based on student understanding.

There's more . . . Also included are illustrative classroom video clips available via QR codes along with an online Facilitator's Guide with PowerPoints--making Rigorous Reading the only resource a teacher, school, or district needs to seriously stretch students' capacity to read and comprehend text.

List of Videos
INTRODUCTION: Your Access Point
CHAPTER 1. Ramping Up for Complex Texts
Reading Complex Texts

A New Definition of Text Complexity

Reading Closely and Carefully

The Importance of Comprehension Strategies Instruction for Accessing Complex Texts

Accessing Complex Texts Through a Gradual Release of Responsibility


CHAPTER 2. Access Point One: Modeling and Learning Intentions
Accessing Complex Text Requires Modeling

Accessing Complex Text Requires a Clear Learning Intention


CHAPTER 3. Access Point Two: Close and Scaffolded Reading Instruction
Accessing Complex Text Requires Close Reading

Accessing Complex Text Requires Scaffolded Reading Instruction


CHAPTER 4. Access Point Three: Collaborative Conversations
Accessing Complex Texts Requires Collaborative Conversations

Accessing Complex Texts Requires Student-to- Student Interaction


CHAPTER 5. Access Point Four: An Independent Reading Staircase
Accessing Complex Texts Requires Wide, Independent Reading

Increasing At-Home Reading

Accessing Complex Texts Requires Conferring


CHAPTER 6. Access Point Five: Assessing Students’ Understanding
Checking for Understanding



This is a bold book. . . . It is genius, and its unique contribution, is in bringing the balance and
the centeredness to new education standards.

P. David Pearson
University of California, Berkeley

With Rigorous Reading, Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey have provided literacy educators who are
committed to successfully raising the bar with solutions that make sense. The book is masterfully
developed with an extensive reach across many grade levels in terms of defining what it means to
provide intentional instruction and teaching text complexity. The five access points are discussed
pragmatically with evidence of a solid research base deftly woven throughout the book. This is
the most practical book I have come across in terms of providing teachers with the knowledge
base and assistance many are seeking to improve their instruction with regard to complex texts.

Steven L. Layne, EdD
Professor of Literacy Education, Judson University and Author of Igniting a Passion for Reading

In Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts, Fisher and Frey help teachers
understand how to bring vigor to rigor. They teach us how to help students understand more from
their complex texts—greater understanding that will help to bring life and energy to each student’s
reading. Rooted in solid research, this is book is a must-read for those grappling with how to
translate the recommendations and mandates around text complexity into instructional practices.

Jennifer Serravallo
Author of Teaching Reading in Small Groups and Conferring with Readers

[W]e need resources that show us how to support students in developing their full literacy
potential. In this very practical and insightful book, Fisher and Frey examine how conceptions of
text complexity are causing us to shift some of our ideas about reading instruction.
Rigorous Reading
is an important resource that will help teachers align reading instruction in powerful ways.

Linda B. Gambrell, Professor
Clemson University

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