Dr. Douglas Fisher, Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, presented in the webinar, “Rigorous Reading: Building Strength and Stamina,” sponsored by Achieve3000. The webinar explored building strength and stamina in students to improve reading at increased difficulty and complexity. Dr. Fisher began by defining the difference between difficulty and complexity, explaining that difficulty is the amount of effort a student must put into a given task, whereas complexity is the kind of thinking students must do for that task. It is fundamental that teachers maintain the balance between difficulty and complexity to foster an effective literacy program. They can do this by assigning their students many tasks that provide varied levels of each.
The challenge of meeting the requirements of increased rigor and depth can be impossible if we don’t create strategies to save time. How can we combine projects, practice, and prompts to achieve difficulty and complexity requirements simultaneously?