Laura Varlas shares a piece for Education Update on the importance of text complexity and strategies for accessing standard 10 (here). She underscores the importance of keeping instruction anchored in the text with these notes:
Instructional time: Complex texts take time, and the more time you spend outside the text, the less time you spend inside the text. Many materials and discussions spend as much time on student feelings about the text, or how the text relates to their experience, as they do with what’s going on inside the text.
Equity: When you go outside the text to students’ experiences, you privilege those students who happen to have those experiences or have practiced having these types of personal meaning making discussions in their home setting. That’s usually students from more affluent households. If you focus on just what’s in the text everyone has read and studied, you have more of a level playing field.
Rigor: It’s easier to go outside the text, and it’s a shortcut to student engagement. But it sends the message that the texts are not engaging on their own and that working hard to wrestle with texts is not a worthwhile endeavor.