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Amplify ELA (2016)

Amplify | Grades 6-8 | 2016 Edition

Sixth Grade

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    [title] => Amplify ELA (2016)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/sixth-grade.html
    [grade] => Sixth Grade
    [type] => ela-6-8
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    [id] => 192
    [title] => Amplify Grade 6 (2016)
    [report_date] => 2016-08-26
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 19
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [notes] => 

By definition, single "anchor texts" were not included or identified in each unit. For the review, we accepted text sets as the anchors for each unit. Because the materials were of such high quality and student interest at each grade level, we agreed that we would evaluate based on the sets instead of one anchor for each unit.

[reviewed_date] => 2016-08-30 [gateway_1_points] => 36 [gateway_1_rating] => meets [gateway_1_report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention. The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[gateway_3_points] => 32 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for instructional supports and usability. The use and design of the materials facilitate student learning. The materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Materials are designed to ease teacher planning and support teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Standards addressed and assessed in each lesson are clearly noted and easy to locate. The materials reviewed provide teachers with multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Content is accessible to all learners and support them in meeting or exceeding the grade level standards. Students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English are provided with some support, although the teacher may need to access outside materials to ensure building toward language proficiency and reading comprehension in English. Materials also provide students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level some extension and advanced opportunities. Materials also support the effective use of technology to enhance student learning.

[report_type] => ela-6-8 [series_id] => 45 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/sixth-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. Anchor texts include rich texts and topics that are engaging for a Grade 6 student. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Specific measures are given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. The materials support students increasing literacy skills over the year, and students are provided with many opportunities to engage in a range and volume of reading.

) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Anchor texts include rich language and topics and stories engaging for Grade 6 students. Texts consider a range of student interests including (but not limited to) ancient Greece, early to late 20th century experiences, and 19th century rural America and London. Some included texts are reflected in the CCSS appendices as possible exemplars for the grade level.

Some examples of texts that represent the overall quality include the following:

  • Unit A: Boy: Tales of a Childhood, Roald Dahl
  • Unit B: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  • Unit C: "The Chocolate Collection," a research collection of informational texts focused on the evolving economic and cultural significance of a product (chocolate) in society
  • Unit D: The Greeks: Prometheus and Odysseus
  • Unit E: M.C.Higgins, the Great, Virginia Hamilton
  • Unit F: The Titanic Collection, a research collection of texts focused on 20th century

Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, poetry, and letters.

) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1b, reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Supplemental text within the modules are also a mixture of literature and informational texts. Texts illustrating the mix of informational texts and literature include the following:

Literature

Unit A:

  • Boy: Tales of a Childhood, Roald Dahl

Unit B:

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  • "The Red-Headed League," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Unit C:

  • "Chocolate," Rita Dove
  • The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac
  • Chapter 7, "Monseigneur in Town," from A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Unit D:

  • "Prometheus," from Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths, Bernard Evslin
  • Book 9 from The Odyssey, Homer, translated by E.V. Rieu
  • "Arachne" from Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes

Unit E:

  • M.C. Higgins, the Great, Virginia Hamilton

Informational:

Unit C:

  • "Prehistoric Americans Traded Chocolate for Turquoise?" Christine Dell'Amore from National Geographic News
  • More Chocolate. Win More Nobels?" Karl Ritter and Marilyn Marchione from Associated Press
  • Letter from Lord Rothschild to Laurence Fish
  • "Pilot Dropped Candy Into Hearts of Berlin," ABC News
  • Appendix C Statement from Labour in Portuguese West Africa, William A. Cadbur
  • "The Tropics" from The Story of Chocolate by National Confectioners Association's Chocolate Council
  • "Good Harvest," Karen E. Lange from All Animals magazine/The Humane Society of the United States
  • "Dark Chocolate: A Bittersweet Pill to Take," Mary Brophy Marcus from USA Today

6F:

  • Sinking of the Titanic, Most Appalling Ocean Horror, Jay Henry Mowbray
  • A Night to Remember, Walter Lord
  • Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, edited by Logan Marshall
  • Testimony of Olaus Abelseth
  • "Letter from the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers Union of Great Britain and Ireland," Ben Tillett
  • Telegraphic transmissions to and from the Titanic
  • "The Iceberg Was Only Part of It," from The New York Times

Other Media:

6C:

  • Act I, Scene Eight from Cosi fan tutte: English National Opera Guide 22, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nicholas Joh (Book editor), Marmaduke E. Browne (Translator)
  • Several paintings and photographs from the history of chocolate

Throughout the instructional materials, a wide distribution of genres and text types is found including the following examples:

  • Novels: Autobiography and Adventure (i.e., Boy: Tales of a Childhood, Roald Dahl; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain)
  • Primary Sources (i.e., "Can Chocolate be Good for My Health?" Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D from Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Epic Poetry (i.e., The Odyssey)
  • News Articles (i.e.,"Dark Chocolate: A Bittersweet Pill to Take," Mary Brophy Marcus from USA Today)
  • Myths (i.e., "Prometheus")
  • Letters (i.e., Letter from Mary Lines, 1912, Letter from Lord Rothschild to Laurence Fish)
  • Short Stories (i.e., "The Speckled Band")
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. Texts are appropriately rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for the grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading. The majority of texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. There are a few texts which fall above and below the band in terms of rigor and complexity; however, the overwhelming majority of texts are within appropriate levels for 6th grade students.

Texts increase over the course of the year in reading levels starting in this range and building through the year, starting in the range 955–1155, and building. For texts with lower reading levels, associated tasks are more challenging for students.

Unit A, Dahl and Narrative, includes Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl. Although starting at a lower range for reading, students are introduced to a text that is vividly written and the story allows them to get connected.

In Unit B, Tom and Sherlock, a main text isThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. This text is listed in the CCSS as an exemplar for grades 6-8. The quantitative measure for this text (970 Lexile), which falls within lower ranges of the CCSS stretch band of 955L–1155L. Set within the second unit, this would seem to be an appropriate quantitative measure to use early in the school year. The qualitative complexity of this text would seem to be “very complex." Vocabulary is unfamiliar and archaic and the sentence structure is complex. Although the text would seem to be topically easy for students in Grade 6 to understand, Tom Sawyer’s experiences and his simple life are so culturally disconnected with those of most modern adolescents that it would increase the knowledge demand component of qualitative complexity.

Example text: While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep—for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning. Said she:“Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn’t it?”

He got home pretty late that night, and when he climbed cautiously in at the window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in its firmness.

The Reader and Task considerations would indicate that this text is appropriately placed for Grade 6. Even though students may not connect with the specifics of Tom’s experiences, there is a universality to his relationships and antics. The humor with which the story is written is engaging and would likely motivate a student to work through their gaps in understanding, especially when they are presented by the difficult language. Tasks presented provide ample scaffolding (sentence starters for discussion, lessons on characterization) to support student participation and success with tasks, however it is not without challenge (ex. Students select quotes from the text as evidence of character traits).

In Unit D, The Greeks, there is included Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Mythsby Bernard Evlsin and William Hofmann. The Lexile level is 800. which is low for Grade 6 students; however, in using a qualitative rubric, the text structure, language features, meaning and knowledge demands is very complex. The language is difficult with difficult vocabulary, irony is included and sub-plots. The interest level for students is high. The tasks include analyzing the text, making connections, read and respond, making arguments, and writing using the text to support.

Example text: More interesting, perhaps, but infinitely more dangerous. For there is this in man too: a vaunting pride that needs little sustenance to make it swell to giant size. Improve his lot, and he will forget that which makes him pleasing—his sense of worship, his humility. He will grow big and poisoned with pride and fancy himself a god, and before we know it, we shall see him storming Olympus. Enough, Prometheus! I have been patient with you, but do not try me too far. Go now and trouble me no more with your speculations.”

An outlier for the program includes a text in Unit E, Reading the Novel: M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton. The Lexile Level is 630 which puts it in the 2-3 grade level band, far below the 6-8 band. Using a qualitative rubric the text structure and meaning is slightly complex, and language features and knowledge are moderately complex. The tasks that the students are asked to do with the text include the student to identify character traits, write about them, make meaning and connections with/from the text.

Example text: He remembered childhood, when he was the only one small on the mountain. Watching, sucking his fingers in his mouth. His father, struggling with stones, rounded, man-hewn. Jones, wrenching them from the soil dug away from their base. And looking fearfully at Banina standing over him, as if he hated, despised, what he had to do, but doing it because she said he must. The stones?

) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1d, supporting students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. By the end of Grade 6, students have support and opportunities to read and comprehend texts that meet the requirements for the end of the Grade 6 and possibly beyond.

The program starts with texts at the beginning of the grade band in terms of rigor and complexity. Texts "maintain" the grade band complexity and toward the end of the year, students are presented with increasingly complex texts. During instruction there are many formative assessment opportunities to help a teacher guide decisions about their students' learning, and there are summative benchmark assessments that are to be given after three weeks of instruction then after 20 weeks of instruction. The online library offers opportunities for students to select independent reading texts that are on their level of reading along with differentiated opportunities embedded in the program, to support their building stamina with reading alongside being presented with the increasingly complex texts.

There is a clear progression of complexity throughout the Grade 6 year seen as the tasks require that students engage with increasingly challenging texts in challenging ways. Following is a sample of how the program organizes tasks and texts to support growing students' skills over the school year:

  • Unit A in Grade 6 starts with a writing sub-unit, then goes into a close read of Roald Dahl’s Boy with writing about the text. The high quantitative level combined with a fairly uncomplicated narrative structure and simple reader tasks starts off the year. Tasks and reading grow more complex through the following units, with higher demands on the student to work through text.
  • From finding evidence in the text to supporting a point in Unit A, students move to looking for motivations and points of view in Unit B, Tom & Sherlock. Texts in Unit B are more complex, as are the associated tasks.
  • In Unit C students are engaging in debates and including in-text citations in their evidence-based writing. Most texts in Unit C fall into the midrange of the quantitative measures.
  • The Greeks, Unit D in the series, asks students to write essays that explore issues beyond their personal lives, asking bigger questions about the human experience such as, “Are humans destroyed by pride?”
  • The novel read in Unit E, M.C. Higgins, the Great, is read in its entirety following a model to select, describe, and connect evidence. The novel itself is quantitatively lower than other texts, but the application of careful study makes it more qualitatively rigorous.
  • In Unit F, The Titanic Collection, students are called on to synthesize many documents in order to write an essay and create a multi-media project. The final unit is Beginning Story Writing where students create a believable character and a supporting character to write a short story.
) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1e. How the publisher identifies text complexity is laid out at a glance in the Teachers Program Guide (TPG) on page 33, with specific measures given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. There is also provided a complexity index that places the text holistically within the 6-8 grade band.

The materials reviewed use an aggregate score for a unit based on text complexity. They use quantitative, qualitative, and reader and tasks measures to place the unit within a 6-9 grade band. The visual of this is the familiar triangle with each section providing information for each component’s complexity. Alongside this triangle is a grid that uses the Amplify formula to present an overall complexity score. On pages 44, the analysis and rationale are presented which states that texts are sequenced for text complexity as well as to intentionally build content knowledge and skills through each grade and throughout the program.

With this method, Amplify has placed units in an order that shows increasing text complexity. This ordering also creates increasing complexity of the skills students require to meet grade level Common Core standards. This is seen within units when, for example, Unit 6C Chocolate, students begin with learning about informational literacy, and begin constructing an evidence-based argument. The culminating research project builds on the skills previously learned. Also, in The Greeks Unit 6D, Lexiles are used as the quantitative measure, a scale of .5-5 is used for the qualitative measure and reader and task are identified within a scale of .5-5. The complexity index was developed by Amplify to “reflect aggregate scores as a guideline to present appropriate curriculum materials and track the students’ path through each grade.”

Lexiles are used as the quantitative measure, a scale of .5-5 is used for the qualitative measure and reader and task are identified within a scale of .5-5. The complexity index was developed by Amplify to “reflect aggregate scores as a guideline to present appropriate curriculum materials and track the students’ path through each grade.”

Page 241-244 of the TPG discusses the rationale for the selection of text for the core units. It calls out “stair casing” the text complexity, explains how the digital environment was designed to help students “tap into the power” of the selected texts, the importance of student engagement in selection of the texts and activities, and the importance in including traditional texts.

Pages 246-318 of the TPG provide a unit by unit discussion of where the texts fit in the sequence of knowledge building by describing both prior knowledge and future learning that will build upon the texts. Additionally, recommendations for enrichment activities, independent reading, and interdisciplinary connections are provided.

The Appendix to the TPG lays out the research foundations for Evidence in indicator 1c and 1d reflect that the texts in the program are of quality and meet the text complexity ranges for the Grade 6 level. The program also has a digital library which allows students to choose from a range of simpler texts to more complex texts for independent reading purposes. There is a teacher edition guide (3-ring binder, page 33) that gives an overview of each unit. It lists the genres and the qualitative measure, quantitative measure and reader and task measure to give an overall text complexity range. It does not list this for each text within the unit. On pages 44-47 of the teacher guide the progression of content and skills is explained. It addresses text complexity. On pages 323-336, in the teachers guide the approach to research is given that explain the selection process for the texts in the program.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1f, providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading over the course of the school year. There are many opportunities outside of the core coursework that supports students to practice with different texts in and out of the topics being studied at the time.

The Amplify Library provides more than 600 texts including a range of genres and texts of varying complexity. The online texts come in a format with the ability for students to highlight and annotate text supporting students' engagement with different texts. The Reading Tracker encourages students to read broadly, following students year to year and can be accessed to provide a view of the breadth of independent reading that is being done by a student over time. To assist students with book selection there are starter lists by genre/subject (page 680-700 of TPG), independent reader’s guides that group works around each unit of study (page 710-736 of TPG), books encountered on Lexica (a game embedded in the library), and peer recommendation lists.

Oral reading is addressed primarily through the “Working with Text Out Loud” and “Working with Text as Theater” learning experiences within the program. Students regularly read along while they listen to a dramatic reading as well as performing themselves with the text orally. Page 95 of the TPG specifically addresses Foundational Skills. Among the areas discussed here are that there are Teacher Tips that are embedded in the lessons that provide purposeful attention to oral reading skills and offer ways for teachers to be more explicit and intentional with reading strategies for students who struggle with phonics and phonological awareness. Differentiation strategies give specific information about how to use the audio and video recordings and how to provide additional fluency work for students who struggle with this foundational skill. There is access to a resource www.freereading.net that is to be used for Tier III intervention activities that can be used in conjunction with Amplify’s supplemental reading intervention program Burst: Reading.

Students regularly listen to professionally read audio versions of the reading while following along with the text. Students often act out sections of dialogue within texts that are not written as plays, in order to capture different characters’ speech patterns and reveal traits. (For example, dramatic readings in Tom Sawyer establish “voice” for each character and indicate phrasing and speech patterns.)

Flex Days are built into the curriculum to provide extra time to revisit or expand on the curriculum. Reading assessments are built into the program and are short quizzes to check understanding. Checks occur throughout the week in the lessons as independent or "solo" tasks. Each of the units provides time for students to be read to, to read aloud and with partners at times. The audio is another tool used by the program to support the development of reading skills.

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. The instructional materials provide frequent opportunities for evidence-based discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary. Materials include instruction aligned to the standards, including well-designed plans, models, and protocols to support student writing. The materials include frequent opportunities for different types of writing addressing different types of text with both on demand and process writing included. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program that include both in context and out of context instruction. Materials reviewed provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g. The majority of questions and tasks students complete are text-dependent and/or text-specific, engaging students in going back to the text. The Grade 6 unit has several opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions in the form of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). Throughout all of the units, there is a combination of text-dependent and non-text-dependent questions. Non-text dependent questions are used to build knowledge and connections for students in the readings they will encounter. Some of the more difficult readings (e.g., those with more complex language and/or content) are supported by asking students questions that help them make connections for better understanding. Students are required to provide evidence from the text to support their responses in almost all of the questions throughout the unit. Several of the questions require longer responses that a short written responses and ask students to make inferences as well.

The units in the Grade 6 are dense with text- dependent questions in the form of multiple choice questions used to assess reading comprehension as well as constructed responses that delve more deeply into the texts. Students are required to provide text evidence throughout the units in responding to questions and prompts. Most often, responses show an understanding of the text at an inferential level. Each unit, focuses on how the writer has crafted his/her narrative and students are examining the text for examples.

Some text-dependent questions and tasks that students will encounter in the Grade 6 materials include the examples listed here:

UNIT A: For the Roald Dahl piece, the text dependent questions are more on the level of short answer responses yet require students to understand the text on multiple levels. Many of the questions prepare students for a writing task, such as the following:

  • Write about one candy that sounds really appealing or repulsive to you and why. Describe 2–3 details from the text in your response.
  • Dahl says earlier in the chapter that Mrs. Pratchett was “a horror” (page 24). Do you agree or disagree? Describe 2–3 details from the passage to show why.
  • Consider the three passages you read from “The Great Mouse Plot” and “Mr. Coombes” and the emotions you identified Dahl feeling. Did Dahl’s emotion change a little or a lot throughout the three moments? What are some of the things you notice and the ideas you have about Dahl or his friends when you put these moments together?
  • Choose another moment where Dahl’s description gives you a clear idea about the type of person the Matron is. Does this moment present a similar or different idea about the Matron than the soap moment?

UNIT A: In Unit A, students are asked to look for evidence from the text to identify Tom's character from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Students begin by locating text evidence of Tom’s character. Quotes from the text are used on a character matrix.

Students paraphrase dialect from the text, and many of the questions and activities include both comprehension checks which use multiple choice text dependent questions as well as highlighting and discussing text as it relates to characterization. Examples include:

  • Choose one text excerpt you highlighted from one of the skits,and describe everything you noticed about that excerpt, and tell what it shows about Aunt Polly, or Tom, or both.
  • Compare how Twain and Dahl show the reader the character's traits in each text.
  • How would you compare the reasons Tom is tricky in the jam scene and swimming scene with his reason for being tricky in the fence scene?

UNIT C: Unit C contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text-dependent questions. These questions range from low level ("How did Gail Halvorsen get the nickname 'Uncle Wiggly Wings'?") to higher level ("What arguments does Cadbury make to convince plantation owners to stop using slave labor?") In addition, there are several opportunities for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions:

  • Read the excerpt where Benjamin Franklin lists supplies that he ordered for the soldiers of Colonel unbar’s regiment. After reading the list of the supplies that were delivered, what can you conclude about the fact that chocolate was among these items? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
  • Read the passage from Mark Twain’s memoir, Life on the Mississippi. How does Twain use chocolate to portray the Mississippi?

UNIT D: Unit D focuses on the Greek Myths. Prometheus requires students to answer text-dependent multiple choice and constructed response questions Some questions focus on students’ opinions and are not text-dependent, but others direct students back to the text, such as:

  • What are the two strongest points Zeus makes? Give a reason that explains why each one is strong.
  • Think like Prometheus: In your own words, list two reasons that fire might make humans more interesting.
  • Think like Zeus: In your own words, list two reasons that fire might make humans more dangerous.

UNIT E: Students are required to answer both multiple choice text-dependent questions that check comprehension as well as constructed response questions, such as:

  • Describe one trait that stands out to you about M.C., the Great, in Chapter 1.
  • Use textual evidence to support your answer.
  • Does M.C. feel comfortable or uncomfortable on Sarah’s Mountain?
  • Describe 2–3 details from the text to show how he is comfortable or uncomfortable.

Work with the novel focuses on the idea of connection and change as students work through a series of text-dependent questions and discussions.

UNIT F: Unit F mirrors the format of Unit C with scavenger hunts, close reading, and answering text-dependent questions. The solo in the first lesson expands the students' “text” dependent questions to the use of images to which students answer constructed responses such as:

  • What luxuries does the first-class room have that the second-class room doesn't have?
  • What luxuries does the second-class room have that the third-class room lacks?
  • Compare this image with the Max Beckmann painting, "The Sinking of the Titanic." What are the similarities and differences between these two images?
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1h, as sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks to build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. All units end with a writing task that requires students to take what they have learned and evaluated throughout the unit and apply to the task, citing evidence from the associated texts. There are different types of writing that is required within the culminating tasks.

The writing tasks require evidence based arguments, narratives, and information research. From Unit A to the last unit, students are building their writing skills in addition to the text dependent questions they are challenged to address. Samples from the materials that represent this indicator include the following:

The culminating task in Unit 1 is an essay: "Who does Dahl describe as causing more trouble: the boys or the adults? Use details from one moment in the book to show who is really causing more trouble." Students refer back to work done while reading the text when they identified “moments” on a personal chart or on the class chart. The text-dependent questions throughout the unit highlight either the adults or the students and set up the context for the culminating essay. Students discuss Dahl’s emotions and identify possible large themes and small, concrete connections to practice synthesizing ideas in Lesson 6.

The culminating task in Unit 2 is an essay: "In his stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle includes false clues (or “red herrings”) that are either not important or that point you in the wrong direction. Write an essay in which you identify one of the false clues or red herrings Doyle uses in “The Red-Headed League” and do the following: Explain why this detail seemed important and what it led you to predict. Explain what in fact was true about this detail." This task builds on the emphasis of finding clues/suspicious details which took place while working with the text earlier in the unit.

The culminating task for Unit 3 is to develop a research question, research to find information, and then write a short piece in response to the question. With the scavenger hunt format emphasizing close reading of a variety of sources to answer specific questions throughout the unit, the prior lessons in the unit support this culminating task. Students focus on organizing their thoughts and preparing for a debate in Sub Unit 4. There is a “Pro-chocolate” group and an “Anti-chocolate” group that present their opening statements and counter arguments. All students complete a Peer Evaluation Form during each group’s debate. A post-debate reflection allows students the opportunity to consider their own work and comment on how to improve it.

In Unit 4 students write a culminating piece after working with the texts: "Using two of the following characters—the humans from 'Prometheus,' Odysseus from the Odyssey, or Arachne from 'Arachne' and answer the following question: Are humans destroyed by their pride? Why or why not? Use your answer to make a claim about whether or not these characters have been destroyed by their pride. Be sure to support your claim with textual evidence from the stories and the poem."

In Unit 5, students write a culminating paper in response to the prompt: "What is one way M.C. has changed since the beginning of the book, and who is one person who influenced that change?" This is supported by the work done while working with the text, which focuses on the idea of connection and change as students work through a series of text dependent questions and discussions. An emphasis is placed on making and supporting a claim.

) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The 6th grade materials fully meet the expectations for indicator 1i, providing students frequent opportunities to practice academic vocabulary and syntax in their evidence-based discussions. Each unit/lesson is set up in the same manner , beginning with a vocabulary lesson. Then it poses a class discussion topic and offers other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. On pages 134-141 in the teacher guide, the vocabulary words for each unit/lesson are listed.

Frequent oral language opportunities to do Think-Pair-Share, peer questioning in groups, and partner talk. Sentence frames are provided to support students who need more help applying new vocabulary and syntax.

Samples of how students get practice in modeling academic vocabulary include work with Socratic seminars. Examples of different listening and speaking activities that support students' development with practicing language over the course of the school year include the following:

  • Unit A: Using text clues to “act out” these characters helps students study how dialogue and narration work together in a text.
  • Unit D: Prometheus; assign or have students determine their roles and spend a few minutes reviewing the text and gathering details to use in their scene. As they work, they should focus on the different characteristics of fire and how humans react to those qualities.
  • Unit F: Students assume the identity of an actual Titanic passenger. They search through primary and secondary source materials to determine their passenger’s class of travel. Students synthesize this information and write a first-person narrative from the point of view of their passenger, incorporating language from the texts. This lesson is most successful when students are separated into groups according to their class of travel and allowed to role-play. The issues of discrimination based on gender and class become apparent as students work together to flesh out their personas.

Lessons typically begin with discussion and end with sharing. Some of these discussions are around the text and others focus on things like crafting writing. Teachers and students are given vocabulary and terms with which to work in these sections.

) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 6 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1j. Students have multiple opportunities for text-dependent discussions in each unit. Each lesson has an opportunity for the teacher to pose a question and have the class discuss it. In addition, each lesson provides opportunities for students to share with partners.

For example, in Unit 1, lesson 1: Students discuss passages from Boy to engage with the liveliness of Dahl's writing and to recognize his use of focus and showing (This is a whole class opportunity). In lesson 4 students work with a partner to have a brief discussion with a partner about the question, "What are some of the things you notice and the ideas you have about Dahl or his friends when you put these moments together?"

Each Unit/lesson is set up in the same manner generally, starting with a vocabulary lesson, then posing a class discussion topic. The materials offer other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. The discussions are always text-dependent and the students are instructed to answer questions citing evidence from the text. Videos, audio recordings or photos/images are sometimes used to promote/start the discussion. The materials include dramatic readings, debates, and other protocols for teachers to provide students multiple opportunities and ways to build their speaking and listening skills while using the texts as anchors.

In the teacher guide, questions are provided as models for teachers to move student discussions and listening skills. Pedagogy for the program include three areas that address speaking and listening. Daily Lesson Patterns include 15-25 minutes at the beginning of each lesson for collaboration and interpretation. Included are the following:

  • Working the Text Out Loud
    • (Page 78, T Guide): Early units have students listening to, and sometimes watching a dramatic reading of the text.
    • This includes follow-up discussions that ask students to consider how the the performer interprets the texts, students are asked to interpret and make meaning out of the texts.

Some examples of these materials meeting the expectations of these indicators include:

  • Reading the Novel
    • In unit E, M.C. Higgins, the Great, Lesson 1: Students listen to a recording of the first few passages of M.C. Higgins to consider this first image of the main character.
  • Working with Text as Theater
    • Students are given opportunities to perform and interpret the text on their own, and they are asked to construct meaning for the audience
  • Using Text as Referee
    • In Unit B, "Tom and Sherlock, Lesson 3: Who Is This Guy, Really?" students rehearse a scene between Tom and another character to get more comfortable with Twain’s language and to make the characters come alive in the classroom.
  • Debate
    • Students are engaged in activities that require debating ideas and push to use language purposefully and respond to other students and what they say

Quests

Students must participate in speaking and listening when engaging in the Quests, which are interactive and collaborative. Quests create multiple opportunities for students to work in pairs, small groups, and as a class. The discussions, both “in character” and “out of character” within the contexts of the works they read are critical to each lesson. (An example: "Tom Sawyer Treasure Hunter," in which each leg of the competition requires students to work in groups. The collaboration and competition creates a highly social atmosphere.)

) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials meet the expectation of a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects appropriate for Grade 6. Students write both "on demand" and "over extended periods." On Demand Writing is included in multiple lessons within a collection. Students are required to write 10-15 minutes a couple times a week on different topics. Culminating writings are built from the regular writing tasks completed in the context of reading and writing instruction.

On-demand writing activities happen almost daily, with students answering text-specific questions and prompts. Notebook structures support this type of student demonstration in a low-stakes environment. Higher-stakes essay prompts are also employed throughout the materials. Some examples of on-demand writing includes:

As students read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain in Unit B, they will encounter these on-demand writing tasks:

  • Lesson 3: Choose one text excerpt you highlighted from one of the skits, describe everything you noticed about that excerpt, and tell what it shows about Aunt Polly, or Tom, or both.
  • Lesson 5: Find a moment when Tom shows his trickiness at work. Describe what is happening.
  • Lesson 7: Do the lines you highlighted show you something about Tom that you didn’t know before? Explain your answer.
  • Lesson 8: Describe the way Tom acts in response to Aunt Polly’s accusation, and explain what his response shows about him.
  • Lesson 11: Compare the way Tom acts in the scene with Huck to how he acts with another character in an earlier scene. Explain whether Tom is showing the same traits in each scene.

As students read "The Speckled Band" by Arthur Conan Doyle, they will encounter these on-demand writing tasks:

  • Lesson 2: What details about Helen and her story does Holmes think might be suspicious? How do you know he finds them suspicious? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
  • Lesson 5: Write about 2 details: 1. Pick one detail and describe how it turned out to be a useful clue for Sherlock Holmes. 2. Pick another detail that you or someone else once thought might be important, but it turned out not to be, and explain why..

Process Writing is evident throughout the program. Some examples that illustrate this include:

In Unit E, MC Higgins, the lessons target the character and development of M.C. Higgins in order to streamline what students focus on and students practice both the small- and large-scale analysis involved in novel reading and written response. Students select details (about the character) from a specific moment in the novel, describe what those details reveal about the character in that moment, and then must connect particular moments and details and explain which aspects of the character remain consistent, which become more complex, and in what ways the character is changing.

Over the course of five lessons, students will explore and describe how M.C. Higgins changes over the course of the novel and which character most influenced that change. The unit lessons have prepared students to identify and analyze one of these changes by providing them with many opportunities to identify connections between the things M.C. has done or said or thought and to describe details that point to a contrast or change in this boy. Once establishing a claim, The remaining four lessons take them through the essay writing process: Develop evidence into structured paragraphs, Refine a claim statement to best express the drafted argument, Revise to strengthen use of evidence, Craft an introduction to engage the reader, Practice writing a conclusion, Polish for conventions

In Unit F, Titanic, students spend six lessons researching and writing a four-paragraph essay. They choose from an argumentative essay: Who’s to blame for the loss of life on the Titanic? and An informative essay: the Titanic Orphans. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited Page.

) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials meet the expectations providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Some examples that show how the materials meet the expectations of these indicators include, but are not limited to:

Argument Examples:

  • Arachne: Lesson 2: Pick one of Arachne's behaviors or actions and describe the character trait that motivates it. Cite 2–4 details that support your claim, and make sure those details come from at least two moments in the passage.
  • Arachne: Lesson 4: Does Minerva treat Arachne fairly? Why or why not? Give three reasons based on the text to support your answer.

Informative/Explanatory Examples:

  • Boy: Tales of Childhood: Lesson 2: Write about one candy that sounds really appealing or repulsive to you and why. Describe 2–3 details from the text in your response.
  • Unit 6; Who were the Titanic orphans? Who was responsible for the sinking of the unsinkable ship?

Narrative Examples:

  • Boy: Tales of Childhood: Lesson 7: Look at the dialogue you filled in for the photo of the students standing in the cafeteria line. Write 5–7 sentences describing this moment. Use dialogue and narration, including precise details, to show what people are saying, doing, and how they speak and look.
  • Arachne: Lesson 5: Using your answers to the previous questions as a guide, write your own version of the Arachne myth, making sure to give Arachne a different talent than she had in the Hughes version. Use specific details to help show readers what Arachne's talent is and how she shares it. For example, if Arachne's talent is singing, don't just tell readers that she is good at it. Instead, include details that show what her voice sounds like or what songs are her favorites. As you write about Arachne's punishment, think about Arachne's five senses. What does she feel when she is punished? What sounds does she make? What does she touch or see when she is punished? Does she taste anything? Describing some of these details can help your readers understand what Arachne experiences. If you finish with time to spare, add two more details to help readers understand Arachne’s attitude.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 6 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m, providing frequent opportunities for students to practice evidence-based writing. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. One of the highlighted learning experiences in the program involves choosing the best evidence. This is addressed through the themes (making meaning, language development, effective expression, and content knowledge):

Making Meaning: After students find a piece of evidence to support their claim or their answer to a text-dependent question they are asked to write 1-2 sentences to explain how this evidence led them to this answer or connects to their claim.

  • Language Development: Students will learn and practice “describing your evidence.” In other words, noting those aspects of your chosen evidence that best illustrate your idea. As they describe what they notice in those words, students are encouraged to comment at the word level, explaining how an author’s particular word choice impacts the meaning of a sentence or passage.
  • Effective Expression: The lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. The structure around these moments allow students to learn how to express their ideas and listen to another perspective.
  • Content Knowledge: Lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. As students review how they might support a particular claim based on the text, they share and become cognizant of the knowledge they are gaining through their close reading.

Some specific examples that represent this program's evidence-based writing include the following. All tasks require students to identify specific components of the texts read:

  • Unit A Dahl Essay Prompt: Who does Dahl describe as causing more trouble: the boys or the adults? Use details from one moment in the book to show who is really causing more trouble.
  • Reread this moment from the book. Highlight 3–4 details from this moment that show either Dahl and the boys or the adult(s) causing trouble. For each highlighted detail, add a note labeled "Essay Evidence." (Before completing the essay students examine a sample essay.)
  • Unit C Chocolate: Lesson focuses on writing a claim and supporting that claim with textual evidence. The chocolate sample essay is deconstructed as students work in pairs to highlight claims and evidence. The Elements of a Research Essay are discussed and students begin to see that this essay will be similar to the essays they wrote in other units earlier in the year. Students write their claims and work on their body paragraphs, keeping track of where in-text citations will be inserted during a later lesson.
  • Unit D The Greeks: Students review the use of textual evidence in the sample essay. How do you know that this sentence is giving textual evidence, “He gets the Titans to chase him up Mount Olympus, and when he gets halfway, he whistled for his cousins, the Hundred-handed Ones, who had been lying in ambush."
  • Unit F, Titanic: Write the claim from the sample essay on the board: First-class and second-class passengers had a much better chance of survival than those in third class on the Titanic. Today you’re going to use the evidence from your research to write two body paragraphs for your essay. To do that, you first need to decide on the claim you will make for your essay. To help with this process, we’re going to read this sample claim and a sample research essay written about it.

The Grade 6 materials include daily writing instruction and practice, end of unit writing, and digital platform writing work.

) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials meet the requirements of indicator 1n as they include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program. The program includes three PDFs named Mastering Conventions with over 1,000 pages of exercises for grammar skills. The program has embedded grammar throughout the curriculum and in each unit.

In Unit 1, the Getting Started sub-unit focuses on jump-starting student writing by developing their focus and stamina. Continuing throughout the unit with regular opportunities for writing and connections to selected texts, students develop their idea and build their sense of syntax. The lessons start with practice in communicating ideas effectively and develop ideas before formal grammar instruction begins.

Examples:

  • Lesson 1: Write about one recent moment you noticed from lunch.
  • Lesson 6: Write about a recent moment when you were doing something with friends or a friend. Show, don’t tell, the emotion you felt in that moment.

Revision Assignments are provided and provide time for students to practice revising their own writing. Revision assignments are provided as part of the Flex Days. Each revision assignment focuses on one of the following five areas:

  • Complete sentences
  • Pronoun use
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense
  • Sentence combining

Teachers are encouraged to review each student’s work for the skill they need to work on and provide the lesson appropriate and most beneficial for the student.

Flex Days and Over-the Shoulder conferencing (OTSC) with targeted feedback allowing teachers to “regularly instruct students on grammar” and focus on individual skills for individual students. Flex days are designed to pace the grammar instruction and contain a regular time for review, reinforcement and/or extension activities to help all levels of students. Lessons include short drills and revision assignments to practice the skills. Flex Days examples:

  • Flex Day, Grammar 1: Unit 1, Lesson 5: Defining and Identifying Pronouns
  • Flex Day, Grammar 9: Unit 3, Lesson 20: Introducing Reflexive Pronouns

The OTSC is targeted feedback for students. Each grade level provides models of how a teacher would respond to specific concerns in a text. Teachers are instructed to “point to the sentences, name the skill, and comment on it.” A few examples of the types of feedback provided include, but is not limited to;

  • “This subordinate clause makes it clear how truly strange his behavior appeared.”
  • “These three complete sentences clearly illustrate your idea, and make it easy to follow.”

Rubrics are provided in the TPG to track student progress with their control of grammar in the writing prompts. For example, a conventions rubric has the following language to guide teachers and students:

1 Needs Improvement

2 Developing proficiency

3 Proficient

4 Exceeds expectations

Student writes a minimum of 25 words, but there are many fragments and/or run-ons that prevent the reader from understanding the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 50 words, and most sentences are complete. Errors impeded the reader’s ability to understand the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 85 words, and most sentences are complete and punctuated correctly. Errors might detract the reader, but do not impede the reader’s ability to understand the writing overall.

Student writes a minimum of 120 words, and, almost all of the sentences are complete and punctuated correctly.


) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. Texts within units are connected and arranged by topics (and sometimes theme, which is appropriate for grades 6-8): Dahl & Narrative, Tom & Sherlock, The Greeks, Reading the Novel, and research units The Chocolate Collection and The Titanic Collection are organized in ways that indicate purposeful design to build knowledge and to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex text.

Some examples of how the materials represent the expectations of this indicator to build students' knowledge include the following:

The Greeks selections combine "Prometheus" from Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths, Bernard Evslin, Book 9 from The Odyssey, Homer, translated by E.V. Rieu and "Arachne" from Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes to make connections among the characters and respond to the following question: Are humans destroyed by their pride? Why or why not? Students build knowledge about mythology and other historical fiction constructs.

The Chocolate Collection combines several selections to build student knowledge and research skills on the historical, social, and scientific perspectives on topic of Chocolate. Selections include a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres to build knowledge and comprehension of difficult texts on the topic. Multiple perspectives are also included in the following: "Chocolate" Rita Dove, Chocolat, Joanne Harris, The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac, Chapter 7-"Monsiegneur in Town" from A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.

) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2b. The materials contain sets of coherently sequenced equation and tasks requiring students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Students are given frequent opportunities to practice identifying and studying specific elements of texts, from analyzing words to looking at the structures of paragraphs and the larger text itself.

Each unit focuses on how the writer has crafted his/her narrative and students are examining the text for examples. Each lesson includes a list of vocabulary words to use. Also included are vocabulary lessons and videos to teach the vocabulary words. Each lesson starts with a vocabulary lesson.

A representative example of how the program addresses this indicator comes from Unit B. Students are asked to look for evidence from the text to identify Tom's character. Much of the questions again, build on the writing tasks throughout the year. Discuss how a piece of dialogue and narration helped you understand a character or emotion.

  • Look at the words Mrs. Pratchett uses. How would you describe her to someone? Explain your answer using 1–2 pieces of her dialogue.
  • Based on your highlighted details, what is one idea you have about the type of person the Matron is?
  • Choose another moment where Dahl’s description gives you a clear idea about the type of person the Matron is. Does this moment present a similar or different idea about the Matron than the soap moment?
  • What words does Jeffrey Tambor emphasize to help you see the problem and solution in this scene
  • What words does he emphasize to help you see the contrast between Aunt Polly’s character and Tom’s character?
) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. The questions are used to assess reading comprehension and to connect the reader to the text in a deeper way. Questions are employed to build students' knowledge. Many lessons contain a section titled “Connections to other lessons” that assists the teacher with understanding how pieces both in the past and future fit together.

Many short answer responses require students to demonstrate understanding of the text on multiple levels. Many of the questions prepare students for an upcoming culminating writing task. In Unit 2, students are asked to look for evidence from the text to identify Tom's character. Much of the questions again, build on the writing tasks throughout the year. Each unit, focuses on how the writer has crafted his/her narrative and students are examining the text for examples. Same questions that represent how this program meets this expectation include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Write about one candy that sounds really appealing or repulsive to you and why. Describe 2–3 details from the text in your response.
  • Dahl says earlier in the chapter that Mrs. Pratchett was “a horror” (page 24). Do you agree or disagree? Describe 2–3 details from the passage to show why.
  • Consider the three passages you read from “The Great Mouse Plot” and “Mr. Coombes” and the emotions you identified Dahl feeling. Did Dahl’s emotion change a little or a lot throughout the three moments? What are some of the things you notice and the ideas you have about Dahl or his friends when you put these moments together?
  • Choose another moment where Dahl’s description gives you a clear idea about the type of person the Matron is. Does this moment present a similar or different idea about the Matron than the soap moment?

In each Unit, students are presented with opportunities to work across texts. For example, in Unit C, students discuss the Gettysburg Address relative to The Declaration of Independence to figure out the meaning of Lincoln when he uses the word “new.” Next, the discussion asks students to figure out the meaning of “equal” as used in both documents.

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2d. The sets of questions and tasks students are asked to work with and complete support their ability to complete culminating tasks in which they are demonstrating knowledge of topics and/or themes. The materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to each culminating task. Many tasks are focused on writing productions; however, students engage in speaking and listening as well as reading and writing to prepare for tasks, providing learning through integrated skills. Some examples of culminating tasks that showcase students' demonstration of topics and themes through a combination of skills include the following examples:

  • The culminating task in Unit 2 is an essay. In his stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle includes false clues (or “red herrings”) that are either not important or that point you in the wrong direction. Write an essay in which you identify one of the false clues or red herrings Doyle uses in “The Red-Headed League” and do the following: Explain why this detail seemed important and what it led you to predict. Explain what in fact was true about this detail. This task builds on the emphasis of finding clues/suspicious details which took place while working with the text earlier in the unit. The culminating task for Unit 3 is to develop a research question, research to find information, and then write a short piece in response to the question. With the scavenger hunt format emphasizing close reading of a variety of sources to answer specific questions throughout the unit, the prior lessons in the unit support this culminating task. Students focus on organizing their thoughts and preparing for a debate in Sub Unit 4. There is a “Pro-chocolate” group and an “Anti-chocolate” group that present their opening statements and counter arguments. All students complete a Peer Evaluation Form during each group’s debate. A post-debate reflection allows students the opportunity to consider their own work and comment on how to improve it. In Unit 5 students write a culminating paper in response to the prompt: What is one way M.C. has changed since the beginning of the book, and who is one person who influenced that change? This is supported by the work done while working with the text, which focuses on the idea of connection and change as students work through a series of text dependent questions and discussions. An emphasis is placed on making and supporting a claim. In lesson 16 of Sub Unit 1, Students discuss what is the same from the beginning to the end of the story and what has changed. As stated in the Teacher’s Guide “Allow this complexity a central place in your discussions. Let kids disagree with the character, let them find contradictions in what he says and thinks, and point out those moments where two students both use the text well and arrive at distinct interpretations. The opportunity of this book is that it is not an obvious answer; it is an opportunity for exploration and discussion."
) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 6 meet the expectations of indicator 2e. Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary instruction is designed for students to master up to 500 new words every year. Words are chosen for their support of comprehension of texts, unfamiliar words that appear in middle school texts. Repeated encounters with vocabulary- through texts, activities, interactive multimedia, teacher talk, games, audio and video shorts-- support students as they interact with new words and practice them in and out of contexts.

On pages 134-141 in the teacher guide the vocabulary words for each unit/lesson are listed so teachers may prepare and anticipate different approaches to supporting students' vocabulary development. For students, vocabulary is addressed through a daily vocabulary lesson. These short lessons are presented through the Amplify Vocabulary App. With animations, the app introduces important vocabulary that will be encountered in that day's lesson. Each unit is also organized to begin with vocabulary prior to students diving in to the text(s).

Teachers are also guided via a "words to use" section in the Teacher Guide to use these words for modeling and exposure, as noted in indicator 1i. This practice with vocabulary is intentionally built to span the whole year's worth of instruction.

The "Reveal tool" is an online feature that identifies (reveals) new words for the student and gives a contextual definition to enable students to continue reading with minimal interruption. The tool tracks the words a student needs help with so the teacher can access this later. It also puts them in a personal glossary for the students.

A sampling of the words students will encounter and study in their year-long work with the instructional materials:

  • Unit 2: Tom and Sherlock- seldom, contemplate, conduct, citified, finery, glowering, jeers, coppers. thrash, laborious
  • Unit 3 : The Chocolate Collection- antioxidant, archaeology, bartered, misconception, enigmatic, inevitable, sustainable
  • Unit 4: The Greeks--enlighten, aptitude, vaunting, sear, notion, clustered, bouquet, contemptuous
  • Unit 5: Reading the Novel-- gingerly, ponderous, lithe, inkling, fleeting, premonition, exertion
  • Unit 6: The Titanic Collection-- ramifications, superfluous, formulation, magnitude, calamity, peril
) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation of indicator 2f. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are provided with prompts to make observations and reflect about their own writing to build skills and knowledge for future writings. Standard practices for writing are set in motion in the first unit and continue throughout the year with different writing tasks. Lessons include targeted writing instruction, writing skill drills, and revision assignments. Also included in the materials is guidance to teachers about how to use Over-the Shoulder Conferences to provide immediate and meaningful feedback as students write. Teachers are directed to use affirmation comments, skill reminders and oral revision remarks to support students.

In Unit A, Dahl and Narrative, the progression of writing the narrative starts with getting the interest of the students and their own stories. In the first unit, students are provided with multiple prompts (both text-dependent and not) to generate ideas. For example:

  • Lesson 1: Write about one recent moment you noticed from lunch.
  • Lesson 2: Write about one moment when you saw or did something new or unexpected.
  • Lesson 4: Write about a moment when you were nervous.
  • Lesson 5: Write about a recent moment that took three minutes or fewer.
  • Lesson 6: Write about a recent moment when you were doing something with friends or a friend. Show, don’t tell, the emotion you felt in that moment.
  • Lesson 8: Choose one of the moments from your comic strip and write 5–7 sentences about just that moment.

After they are more comfortable with their stories, students read the Dahl text and respond to prompts connected to the text to focus on the details (a narrative element they will practice later).

In other units, students work to synthesize details into a cull writing piece. For example, when studying "The Speckled Band" by Arthur Conan Doyle, students encounter these directions:

Write about 2 details: 1. Pick one detail and describe how it turned out to be a useful clue for Sherlock Holmes. 2. Pick another detail that you or someone else once thought might be important, but it turned out not to be, and explain why. What details from the text seem ordinary but actually might be suspicious? Using textual evidence, explain why.

After reading "The Red-Headed League" by Arthur Conan Doyle, students encounter an essay Prompt: "In his stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle includes false clues (or “red herrings”) that are either not important or that point you in the wrong direction. Write an essay in which you identify one of the false clues or red herrings Doyle uses in “The Red-Headed League” and do the following: Explain why this detail seemed important and what it led you to predict. Explain what in fact was true about this detail." Students build their understanding and practice incorporating small pieces into larger texts.

The program also supports the writing process by having students use texts as mentor texts and examples from which to practice their own writing craft. Some examples illustrating this:

"Using your answers to the previous questions as a guide, write your own one-page version of the Prometheus myth. If you finish with time to spare, think about the attitude you want each character to show. Add two more details to every character to help show that attitude." This provides practice summarizing material while building writing fluency.

At the end of the year, there is Beginning Story Writing in Unit G that culminates several of the writing tasks introduced throughout the year. In this unit, students have an opportunity to focus on fiction writing: moving from the personal narrative (in previous units) to the fictional narrative. Students receive targeted writing instruction, skill drills, and revision assignments.

) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2g. Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. There are two culminating research units in the Grade 6 materials. The first one falls after third in the sequence of seven units, while the second one comes six out of seven. Both projects develop over the course of the unit, introducing the students to a variety of genres and information relevant to the topic.

In Unit C, The Chocolate Collection, students begin learning the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, in addition to learning to identify the credibility and uses of sources. Students generate their own research questions but are provided sources to start with. The unit focuses on argument writing after students have learned the research methods and concerns. The unit ends with a culminating activity that synthesizes all the work/skills they learn throughout the unit.

Students review two commercial websites and find an article from each website. One of the articles should be written by a reliable author and the other one by an unreliable author. Each website must have a link to learn about the author’s credentials. Students will be evaluating the author’s credentials, so it’s important that an About the Author link is accessible and the link includes credentials and experience that students will understand, e.g., job experience and education.

An example of the progression of writing that happens within a Unit includes the following examples:

  • Questions after reading early texts:What are 2 ingredients in chocolate that are not good for your health?What is GERD, and how does eating chocolate effect this condition?
  • Students are given another opportunity to read through materials and research information provided by the teacher. Teacher prompts: "Take a quick look through the texts that we did not get a chance to read today. Which one looks the most interesting to you? Select one to read for tonight's Solo. You are expected to answer the close reading questions."
  • About midway through the unit, students are drafting an argument based on the research.
  • Students complete more research and look for details to support ideas as they prepare for argumentative writing:
    • What if you provided evidence in your response that proved that one type of chocolate was better than others? Would that be more persuasive? Let’s try it.
    • Read the facts about different types of chocolate and then answer these questions about your favorite type.
    • What is your claim about your chocolate of choice?
    • Assignment: Write your own argumentative letter informing a local candy store owner about issues involved in chocolate production. Be sure your letter includes a claim and at least 2 pieces of evidence to support the claim. Use your pre-writing outline to guide your response.
    • After reading and prompting from the teacher, students get to choose a topic they want to further develop and research for their own.

Students spend six lessons researching and writing a (minimum) four-paragraph essay. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited Page.

Detail for students to learn research writing practice includes specific checklists, such as guiding questions:

  1. Have I found 2–3 valid sources that provide useful information about my topic?
  2. Is the information I’ve gathered focused on my topic?
  3. Do I have enough information to write an introduction, 2 body paragraphs, and a conclusion?
  4. Are there any gaps in my research?

Students are guided through the writing with editing, revision, research and peer response. Teacher shares models, rubrics and over the shoulder conferences.

A concern for program is that students have a choice with some Units and may choose to write only in the informative or argument for a final research product. Although this may occur, students are working with both writing tasks throughout both research units, which both require students to read and analyze informative, narrative and argument text types.

) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 6 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2h, supporting students' independent reading development..

Pages 327-336 of the TPG lays out the Independent Reading program. It sets out three goals. 1) Making Reading More Independent – This involves setting up and guiding the selection and then letting students decide what to read. 2) Making reading more social by providing book sharing sessions, and 3) Making reading more about the book and less about the essay.. Assignments are lighter than those around core texts not graded, and involve choice to hold students accountable while still making the focus on the reading itself. During independent reading students set weekly goals, reflect on their own reading, and log progress by describing and critiquing one strategy they have used and when they decide on another strategy they could try (TE, page 199). Throughout the curriculum, there are opportunities and TIPS for teachers to help guide students and take responsibility for their learning. The TE gives some guidelines on how to help students and more input for guiding these discussions with students. This helps kids set goals and helps teachers guide them.

The Reading Tracker (following page 736 of TPG) requires that students log progress weekly in relation to a goal that they have set for weekly reading (#pages). It also requires reflection on reading by responding to prompts (done when student is halfway through the reading). Reflection relates to how challenging the text is for the student, paraphrasing text, noticing aspects of the story structure supported with text evidence. Students also track their reading path by identifying texts by genres of fiction and non-fiction, identity of the character time of the setting, and location of the setting.

The world of Lexica, an extra resource, requires that students encounter characters and objects that “wander in and out” of books in the Amplify library. Reading choices and reading progress has consequences in the game which supports independent reading.

Teachers are encouraged to solicit the assistance of families in the independent reading through home-school letters.

) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention, and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[rating] => meets ) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

The use and design of the instructional materials facilitate student learning. The design of the materials is consistent, simple, and not distracting. The annual pacing guide makes lesson structure and pacing clear. The thirty-six weeks of instruction is reasonable for a school year. All resources include clear directions, explanations, and standards alignments.

) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The lesson architecture appears on pages 101-103 of the TPG. The daily lesson begins with 5 minutes of Building Vocabulary where students work independently on the vocabulary activities while the teacher checks in with students. This is followed by 15-25 minutes Collaborate and Interpret where one of the following tasks is performed: Working with Text Out Loud, Working Visually, Working with Text as Theater, Choosing the Best Evidence, or Using Text as Referee. Next is the 15-25 minute Produce segment which includes Writing for an Authentic Audience, Revising, or Debate. In the 5-10 minute Prepare for Independent Work part of the lesson, students wrap up their learning with sharing, discussion, and introducing the Solo. The daily lesson ends with 20-60 minutes of Independent Work time where students complete the Solo, read independently, play in the World of Lexica, create a video for ProjectEd, or Build more vocabulary with VocabApp.

In the teacher’s digital guide there is a clear structure and pacing laid out for each lesson and each lesson segment. For example, in the Tom Sawyer lesson segment, for three minutes students highlight text from the swimming trick scene that shows how Tom acts with Aunt Polly and Sid so that they will have passages ready for the Character Matrix app. One minute is devoted to discussion, and two minutes are devoted to highlighting.

) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The annual pacing guide for 6th grade appears on pages 38-39 of the TPG. The 7 units are taught over a 36 week/180 day school year.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

The Student digital materials contain ample practice resources within each lesson segment. The predictable format that is used throughout each lesson makes it easy for students to follow along and engage with the texts as well as the activities. Tasks are chunked to provide frequent practice with a skill throughout the lesson. The directions are clearly written, and texts and work spaces are provided conveniently alongside. Writing is strongly supported in the organization of the student materials. Students’ written responses are preserved within the lesson and show up later for sharing. They are also easily accessible within a section of the program called “My Work.” Of particular strength are the Solo activities that often act as a formative assessment where students can display their competence with a text independently. In addition to the directions given within the student materials, there are scripted oral supports within the teacher’s materials for the teacher to use during instruction.

For example, in Unit A Dahl & Narrative, Sub Unit 3, Lesson 1: Introducing the Text Solo 1 of 8, students read “The Bicycle and the Sweet-shop.” Alongside the text, students are prompted to “Highlight two places in your reading that grabbed your attention” and “Add a note to describe what you noticed and think about this place in the text.”

) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

An overview and alignment for each unit appears in the TPG on pages 51-57. The specific standards are identified by lesson as being taught explicitly or practiced in the sub units. Additionally, in the digital teacher’s edition, Skills and Standards are called out for each lesson sequence.

For example, The Greeks Unit D, Sub Unit 3, Lesson 2 cites CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.1
and CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.9.

) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The student online edition is well laid out with a predictable format and ease of use. There are supporting graphics that are not distracting that serve as recognizable links within the content rather than as illustrations. The use of drop down menus and expanding windows keeps the screen clean. When students are reading text or engaging in tasks, the design provides easy access to everything students need without extra distraction.

) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for teacher learning and understanding of the standards. The materials include a teacher's edition with annotations and suggestions on how to present the content. The materials include adult-level explanations and examples and explanations of the role of specific standards in the context of the overall materials. The instructional approaches of the program are explained in the context of the overall curriculum. Strategies for informing stakeholders about the program and about how they can support student progress and achievement are provided, and overall, the materials do support teacher learning and understanding of the standards.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for materials containing a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The program includes a teacher’s edition with each lesson containing an overview, prep, connections to other lessons, vocabulary, skills and standards, and tips on differentiation. Throughout the lesson, suggestions on how to present the content are provided. Materials also include specific guidance for embedded technology.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation of materials containing a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The program includes a Teacher Program Guide which includes a program overview, pedagogical approach, pacing guides, guidance for skill instruction, assessment, universal design, and more: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/ela/resources/ela-california-edition/teacher-program-guide/

Also, a section of the Teacher Program Guide addresses technology & Multimedia: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Strategic_Use_of_Technology_and_MultimediaCA-program-over.pdf

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The Teacher Program Guide includes unit overviews that show the connection between standards and the Amplify program. The guide provides program organization maps broken down by sub-units to indicate how the Common Core Standards are aligned to the instructional program.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Unit_Overviews_and_AlignmentsCA-program-over.pdf

The Amplify approach to standards based instruction is further clarified in their document on skill instruction and practice.

https://help.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Skills_instruction_and_practiceCA-Assess.pdf

) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Amplify ELA provides a guide to their research-based strategies in the research base section of the teacher’s program guide that fully goes into detail to explain the implementation model.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Research_BaseCA-Appendix.pdf

The guide also includes the pedagogical approach: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pedagogical_approachCA-Assess.pdf

) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 contain multiple strategies to inform stakeholders about the program including discussion of the program’s approach to feedback and revision, guidance to teachers on supporting student progress through identifying areas of concern through formative assessments, and enlisting support of parents through home/school communications

Resources are found at https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Home-School_ConnectionCA-Extended.pdf and https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Assessment_and_FeedbackCA-Assess.pdf.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the standards. Formative and summative assessment opportunities are provided throughout the materials. All assessments clearly indicate which standards are being emphasized, and teachers are provided guidance on how to interpret student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Routines and opportunities to monitor student progress are included throughout the materials.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. There are ample opportunities for assessment placed throughout the program to serve formative needs and to pinpoint summative progress towards standards.

Formative Assessments include Over-the-Shoulder conferences, Spotlight, Solo, and Reading Comprehension Checks. Reading Comprehension checks are placed within each text in the form of a multiple choice “Solo” which checks explicit and implicit understanding. The TE indicates that these “Solos” will occur about 3 times weekly and provide formative assessment for both the class as a whole and individual students. Over-the-shoulder conferences are a staple of the Amplify ELA program and enable teachers to provide nuanced feedback and subtle individualized direction while every student works on a common activity. Over-the-shoulder conferencing is such a key part of the Amplify lessons that a technical feature to support it has been built into the digital lesson structure. When teachers see the symbol and click on it, they see 3-4 squares that describe characteristics of student behavior or student work, specific to the activity that teachers should look for. When teachers click on one of these squares, the system provides direction to the teacher about how to support students approaching the activity in different ways. These context-specific over-the-shoulder conferences always include an “on-track” example and a way to push the “on-track” student further.

The instructional materials include Summative Assessments. End of Unit Essays require the student to write about the text and cite evidence from the text. End of Unit assessments integrate reading and writing skills. The twice yearly summative assessment provides analysis that is tied directly to standards.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the requirement for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized.

Amplify ELA includes three grades that are each built on seven units of instruction. Within each unit, several sub-units divide a unit’s texts and skills into manageable learning goals. Pages 50-71 in the teachers edition outline which standards are taught in each unit and sub-unit.

) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

The Teacher Program Guide provides rubrics and scoring practices for the following skills:

  • Focus
  • Use of evidence
  • Logical structure
  • Conventions

Writing assessments are provided to guide the teacher on what skills to target for each student. Used in conjunction with formative writing assessments, teachers can support areas of growth for the needs of each student.

Within the lessons, teachers have access to suggestions for what to say in a particular situation to students in the over-the-shoulder conferences. In addition, the daily reports also provide suggestions for ways teachers can intervene to improve student productivity.

) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The following provide opportunities to monitor student progress:

  • Over-the-shoulder conferences allow the teacher to provide “in the moment” feedback to students as they work through a challenging activity or complete a writing prompt
  • Sharing is part of the writing routine. Students produce a specific idea about a text.
  • Spotlight is a digital app that allows teacher to highlight student examples and project those to use for instruction or appreciation.
  • Revision agreements ask students to do a short piece of differentiated revision on one of their pieces of writing. Student practice a particular skill at the same time as they practice the skill of revising itself.
  • Written comments allow students to have the teacher’s recorded feedback. Targeted comments both provide specific feedback on the piece of writing and a small model to guide future writing.
  • Reading comprehension check is a series of 5-8 multiple choice questions tied to a text that the students have not seen before. This is part of the students’ independent work or solo activity.
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The materials include a Digital library, and Lexica motivates students to read outside of school. The materials include a Reading Tracker. Pages 639-736 in the teachers guide provide a student guide to the digital library and offer students choices and selections. This includes Starter lists, Independent Reader’s Guides, Lexica, and Peer recommendations. Strategies to support independent reading include Book talks, teacher modeling via think-alouds, book sharing, and partner reading. Accountability and Progress are tracked by digital readers, book sharing conversations, one-on-one conversations, and reading trackers.


) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials regularly provide support for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English and additional extensions and advanced opportunities are available for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

As noted in the TE on pages 210-216, Amplify uses Universal Design to meet all students where they are and encourage growth. The following is a list of the strategies used to engage all learners:

  • Modeling- Teachers demonstrate how to perform certain tasks, provide examples of student work, and model thinking process aloud
  • Formative Assessment Practices- Teachers monitor student understandings and progress through "understanding checkpoints" and provide elicit feedback
  • Language Production Supports- Teachers provide sentence frames and word banks to enable all students to produce academic writing and speech
  • Background Knowledge- Teachers connect new learning to student experiences and prior learning.
  • Visual Supports: The materials use visuals to guide student language and content learning
  • Oral Language Support: Teachers provide opportunities for students to practice academic discourse frequently.
  • Attention to Language Forms: Teachers foster discussion of how to effectively use words and conventions to convey meaning in context
  • Working with Text Aloud: The materials encourage performance of theater exercises with text, viewing performances of text, and hearing audio versions of required readings as needed
  • Working with Routines: The materials include clear, structured routines that are established at the beginning of the year.


) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet expectations for materials regularly providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards.

Lessons are coded for different levels. In each lesson there is a differentiation lesson with multiple variations. It is located right at the bottom of the first page and is available to all students. Teachers can combine the lessons and the differentiation easily. Teachers are provided with supports to guide them through the instruction with a variety of learners (disabilities, reading below level, advanced, and EL). Supports include grouping strategies, focusing different students to different parts of the reading, and stopping before discussions to do partner read alouds. Targeted support for students who are learning English is limited.

Flex Days are embedded in each unit to allow students to catch up or move ahead with a variety of activites, including Quests, vocabulary, and language work. Students can work on revisions during these days as well, although there is limited specific support for teachers to assure implementation of this differentiation. On these days, teachers can direct students individually to work on the skills they need, although may need to identify outside resources to support this work.

Three levels of differentiation are provided for the most difficult primary source documents in the Collection. Adapted versions, paraphrased versions, and Spanish version are provided. Alternative vocabulary exercises are also available.

) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Flex Days provide time for advanced students to read from the Amplify library and expand vocabulary and language knowledge through games. Supplemental texts to provide additional reading and engagement for advanced learners are identified to accompany all units in the Amplify library.

The instructional materials include extensions and advanced opportunities throughout. For example, over the Shoulder conferences include guidance for the teachers to push students more deeply about a particular topic. Throughout the materials, teachers are provided challenge questions to support the advanced learners. Challenge Writing Prompts are also available.

) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.

Within the lessons, students work in collaborative groups and pair-share partners, and teachers are provided with tips on how to organize students. Teachers are encouraged to group students by ability and by language use at different times. Students have the opportunity to work with heterogeneous and homogeneous groups. When students work with partners, sometimes they choose their partners and other times the teacher chooses. For example, in The Chocolate Collection Unit C, Sub Unit 4, Lesson 1 students are arranged in groups to share evidence.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => effective-technology-use [type] => component [report] => ) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s3v [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners. Materials support the use of adaptive or other technological innovations and include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructions materials partially meet expectations that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or safari.

On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed.

On HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology is used in the following ways:

  • research, integration of dynamic media, and sharing of ideas
  • express and publish information and opinions using digital media and technology (Evidenced in Research units)
  • virtual library with eReader and scaffolds, audio support, and interactive questions
  • Storyboard authoring tools
  • research collections
  • apps/quests
  • learning about using reliable resources and being responsible with internet
) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The materials are easily differentiated to meet the different needs of students. The materials provide real time data to give feedback and help teachers respond to student needs. The eWriter includes feedback tools, so teacher feedback is immediate for students. They can view and comment as students are in the process of writing and make immediate adjustments.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials reviewed can be easily customized for local use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as appropriate for students. Teachers are also able to add notes to the materials.

) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate. For example, teachers can use Spotlight to showcase student work for other students to see.

) ) [isbns] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => custom [number] => http://www.amplify.com/curriculum/amplifyela [custom_type] => As of 8/30/16: [title] => [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2016 [binding] => [publisher] => [year] => 0 ) ) ) 1

Seventh Grade

                                            Array
(
    [title] => Amplify ELA (2016)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/seventh-grade.html
    [grade] => Seventh Grade
    [type] => ela-6-8
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 34
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

)
1                                            stdClass Object
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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 193
    [title] => Amplify (2016)
    [report_date] => 2016-08-09
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 21
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [notes] => 

By definition, single "anchor texts" were not included or identified in each unit. For the review, we accepted text sets as the anchors for each unit. Because the materials were of such high quality and student interest at each grade level, we agreed that we would evaluate based on the sets instead of one anchor for each unit.

[gateway_1_points] => 34 [gateway_1_rating] => meets [gateway_1_report] =>

The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention. The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for Gateway 2,in which materials support building students' knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[gateway_3_points] => 32 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for instructional supports and usability. The use and design of the materials facilitate student learning. The materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Materials are designed to ease teacher planning and support teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Standards addressed and assessed in each lesson are clearly noted and easy to locate. The materials reviewed provide teachers with multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Content is accessible to all learners and support them in meeting or exceeding the grade level standards. Students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English are provided with some opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards.s. Materials also provide students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level some extension and advanced opportunities. Materials also support the effective use of technology to enhance student learning.

[report_type] => ela-6-8 [series_id] => 45 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/seventh-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. Anchor texts include rich texts and topics that are engaging for a Grade 7 student. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Specific measures are given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. The materials support students increasing literacy skills over the year, and students are provided with many opportunities to engage in a range and volume of reading.

) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Anchor texts include rich language and topics and stories engaging for Grade 7 students. Texts consider a range of student interests including (but not limited to) Chinese Revolution, American Gothic literature, 14th Century Renaissance Italy, Mid-20th Century urban America and small-town American South, the Gold Rush and neuroscience.

Anchor texts that have won awards or are written by award-winning authors include the following:

  • Unit A: Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, Ji Ji Jang
  • Unit B: A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
  • Unit C : Brain Science. A research collection of informational texts focused on the science and research of the nature of the brain.
  • Unit D: “The Tell-Tale Heart," “The Cask of Amontillado," and “The Raven,” Edgar Allen Poe, a text set of poetry and short stories
  • Unit E: Romeo and Juliet highlights, William Shakespeare, Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia Mccall
  • Unit F: The Gold Rush Collection, a comprehensive text set on the central topic, the Gold Rush. The various works that make up the text set are a mix of informational (historical) and literary texts. They include articles, letters, journal entries, journalism, correspondence, essay, with a strong representation of primary source materials. Included are "The Gold Rush Diary" by Ramon Gil Navarro, California: The Great Exception by Carey McWilliams, “Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!” from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and Roughing It by Mark Twain.

Anchor text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, poetry, speeches, letters, historical documents.

) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations for reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Supplemental texts within the units are also a mixture of literature and informational texts. Text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, poetry, speeches, letters, historical documents. Text sets illustrating the mix of informational texts and literature include the following:

Literature

Unit A: Red Scarf & Narrative

  • Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li Jang

Unit B: Character and Conflict

  • A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
  • "Harlem," Langston Hughes
  • "Huge Success" press release

Unit D: Poetry and Poe

  • "The White Horse," D.H. Lawrence
  • "El Silencio"/"The Silence," García Lorca
  • "A narrow fellow in the grass," Emily Dickenson
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allen Poe
  • "The Raven," Edgar Allen Poe (animated adaptations)

Unit E: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

  • Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
  • Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Unit F: The Gold Rush Collection

  • "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" from Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Informational:

Unit C: Brain Science

  • Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science, John Fleischman
  • "Demystifying the Adolescent Brain," Laurence Steinberg
  • "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," Oliver Sachs

Unit D: Poetry and Poe

  • "The M'Naghten Rule," Queen M'Naghten
  • Mark Twain's and Rufus Griswold's reviews of Poe's work (in Quest)

Unit F: The Gold Rush Collection

  • "California Culinary Experiences," The Overland Monthly, Prentice Mulford
  • "Oh My Darling Clementine," Percy Montrose
  • "The Magic Equation," from California: The Great Exception, Carey McWilliams
  • Roughing It! Mark Twain
  • "Letter the Tenth: Amateur Mining-Hairbreadth 'Scapes, &c.," from The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-1852, Dame Shirley

Other Media:

Unit A: Red Scarf Girl and Narrative

  • Propaganda Art/Posters

Unit B: Character and Conflict

  • Photos: Chicago in the Early 1950's, Jacob Lawrence paintings
  • Film, A Raisin in the Sun

Unit E: Romeo and Juliet

  • Clips from Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo and Juliet; 1968 Romeo and Juliet
  • Illustrations

Unit F: The Gold Rush Collection

Photos and Artwork

  • Gold Mining at Sutter's Mill, Coloma, California, Unknown Artist (19th century)
  • The Last War-Whoop, A.F. Tait (1856)
  • California Gold Diggers. Mining Operations on the Western Shore of the Sacramento River, (1849-1852)
  • Westwards of Course of Empire Takes Its Way, M.J. Morgan & Co. (Lithographer) (19th Century)

Throughout the instructional materials, a wide distribution of genres and text types is found, including, but not limited to the following examples:

  • Travel Journal (i.e., Mark Twain)
  • Poetry (i.e., "A narrow fellow in the grass," Emily Dickinson)
  • Short Story (i.e., "The Cask of Amontillado")
  • Artwork (i.e., Head of Auburn Ravine, Unknown Artist (1852))
  • Play (i.e., Raisin in the Sun)
  • Novel (i.e., Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li Jang)
  • Letters (i.e., "Letter the Tenth: Amateur Mining-Hairbreadth 'Scapes, &c.," from The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-1852, Dame Shirley)
  • Animation (multimedia), "The Raven," Edgar Allen Poe
  • Primary Source (i.e., M'Naghten Rule, Queen M'Naghten, 1843)


) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. Texts are appropriately rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for the grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading. The majority of texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Following are some representative examples of how the program meets the requirements of indicator 1c in terms of overall rigor and complexity. Some examples are above or below the quantitative band, but are appropriate for 7th grade when accounting for qualitative measures and the associated tasks:Unit A, Red Scarf Girl and Narrative includes the text Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji Li Jang. The quantitative measure for this text (780 Lexile) falls below the lower ranges of the CCSS stretch band of 955L–1155L. As the initial read in the first Unit of Grade 7, this would seem to be an appropriate quantitative measure to use early in the school year when quantitative and Reader and Task complexity are considered.

The qualitative complexity of this text would seem to be “moderately complex." While the organization of the text structure is only slightly complex due to the clear chronology and predictability, remaining qualitative indicators fall within the very complex range. Conventionality of language features are “moderately complex.” Though mostly explicit and easy to understand, the underlying abstract nature of the political backdrop may be challenging for some students. Vocabulary is generally familiar and contemporary, and the conversational nature of the memoir is written as a young girl would speak. The subject specific vocabulary relating to the Chinese culture and politics would move it to the moderately complex level. Sentence structure in primarily simple and compound, with some complex construction (e.g., "And a performer, just like my mother used to be, touring the country, the world, to tell everyone about the New China that Chairman Mao had built and how it was becoming stronger and stronger"). The meaning, on the surface appears to be slightly complex. Some aspects of the text would seem to be topically easy for Grade 7 students to understand because they could easily relate to many of the life experiences and feelings of the main character; however, there may be a disconnect due to the unfamiliarity of the cultural and political values presented during the Chinese cultural revolution which would cause an increase in the knowledge demand component of qualitative complexity to the moderately complex level.

Example text: "Seventeen years after Liberation, the newspapers told us, our schools were not bringing us up to be good red socialists and communists, as we had thought, but revisionists. We thanked heaven that Chairman Mao had started this Cultural Revolution, and that the Central Committee of the Communist Party had uncovered the mess in our schools. Otherwise we would not even have known that we were in trouble. What a frightening idea!"

The Reader and Task considerations would indicate this text is appropriately placed for Grade 7. Even though students may not connect with the specifics of Ji-Li’s experiences, there is universality to her relationships with family. Tasks presented provide ample scaffolding (sentence starters for writing about the main character’s feelings, portions read aloud by students/acted out, background knowledge provided through study of visuals) to support student participation and success with this unit. The text is clearly used to get students into close reading and responding to questions with text-based evidence.

In Unit B, Character and Conflict, a main text is A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The quantitative measure for this text is 860 Lexile, and the qualitative measures are very complex in meaning, vocabulary life experiences and cultural knowledge. It is moderate complex in text organization, conventionality, and sentence structure. Reader tasks require students to look deeply at race and human struggles. This can be difficult content for young readers but with a lower reading level students can access the text with more analysis. Activities are associated through the Quest to provide more context for students who may not be familiar with the hardships discussed in the play.

Unit C, Brain Science, includes Phineas Gage: A Gruesome, but True Story About Brain Science. Quantitatively, Phineas Gage falls squarely in the middle of the ranges of the CCSS stretch band of 955L–1155L at 1030 Lexile. The qualitative measures are slightly complex for purpose, text organization and conventionality. It is moderate complex for sentence structure and subject knowledge, and complex for vocabulary. Qualitative Measures would place the text at a “Very Complex” level. The biographical story of Phineas Gage is used as a lead in to explore challenging scientific content. This leads to a comparison of two more complex scientific theories of the Phrenologists and Whole Brainers. While text features are not extensively used, there are extensive graphics that range from primary source photographs, to intricate scientific diagrams. Conventionality, and sentence structures are very complex and vocabulary is dense in academic language. The discipline specific subject matter, coupled with intertextual reference to outside theories makes knowledge demands very complex.

Example Text: "Until Professor Macmillan turns up solid proof, we can’t say for sure if Phineas drives a Concord stagecoach in Chile, but the driver’s job would be much the same on any six-horse coach—hard, tiring, and sometimes exciting."

"There is always a tiny gap between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of the next. The gap is called a synapse. It is bridged by signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters. A message travels as an electrical impulse through the axon, down the body of the nerve cell, to the axon terminal. There the electrical impulse is converted into a chemical neurotransmitter to float across the synapse to the next neuron."

The Reader and Task considerations indicate lower level tasks such as sequencing, explicit comprehension questions, and students use paired discussion to clarify understanding of scientific content. The use of sentence stems support citing text evidence in written response to the reading. In later lessons, the students compare and contrast information and synthesize information from the text to support a claim.

Unit E includes Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which has a quantitative measure of 880 Lexile, which puts it in the 4-5 grade span. However, the qualitative measures are very complex for meaning, text organization, and subject knowledge. It is exceedingly complex for vocabulary, and conventionality, as well as antiquated structures employed by Shakespeare.

) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1d, supporting students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. By the end of Grade 7, students have support and opportunities to be reading texts that meet the requirements for the end of the Grade 7 and possibly beyond. The aggregate score assigned the reading selections in the Grade 7 curriculum appears to increase over the course of the year in complexity.

The program starts with texts at the beginning of the grade band in terms of rigor and complexity. Texts "maintain" the grade band complexity and toward the end of the year, students are presented with increasingly complex texts. During instruction there are many formative assessment opportunities to help a teacher guide decisions about their students' learning, and there are summative benchmark assessments that are to be given after three weeks of instruction then after 20 weeks of instruction. The online library offers opportunities for students to select independent reading texts that are on their level of reading along with differentiated opportunities embedded in the program, to support their building stamina with reading alongside being presented with the increasingly complex texts.

Over the school year, students are engaging with challenging texts in increasingly sophisticated and rigorous ways. Following is a sample of how the program organizes tasks and texts to support growing students' skills over the school year:

  • Unit A in Grade 7 starts with a writing sub-unit, then goes into a close read of Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, Ji Li Jiang. The high quantitative level combined with a fairly uncomplicated narrative structure and simple reader tasks starts off the year. Tasks and reading grow more complex through the following units, with higher demands on the student to work through text.
  • From examining differences in characters thoughts and actions to revising to strengthen elaboration in a narrative writing task in Unit A, students move to analyzing character’s unconscious motivations and themes in Unit B, Character and Conflict.
  • In Unit C, Brain Science, students are engaging in research and case studies on different theories related to the unit topic. In the end, producing evidence-based writing to support an argument.
  • Poetry and Poe, Unit D in the series, requires students to evaluate the credibility of a fictional author in multiple medias and genres, including film, poetry and prose.
  • In Unit E, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, read in selected scenes provides an opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s language and connect characters’ development to a conceptual idea. Paired with a less demanding novel, students are exposed to difficult concepts in text as they navigate multiple texts to build knowledge.
  • In Unit F, The Gold Rush Collection, students read various historical and cultural documents examining social, political and economic issues. Students take a research topic from beginning to end, starting by developing a question, conducting research, debate ideas and synthesize multiple ideas and documents in order to write an essay and create a multi-media project.
  • The final unit is Intermediate Story Writing where students create a believable character and write an original short story.
) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1e. How the publisher identifies text complexity is laid out at a glance in the Teachers Program Guide (TPG) on page 33, with specific measures given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. There is also provided a complexity index that places the text holistically within the 6th-8th grade band. The materials reviewed use an aggregate score for a unit based on text complexity.

The program uses quantitative, qualitative, and reader and tasks measures to place the unit within a 6-9 grade band. The visual of this is the familiar triangle with each section providing information for each component’s complexity. Alongside this triangle is a grid that uses the Amplify formula to present an overall complexity score. On pages 44, the analysis and rationale are presented which states that texts are sequenced for text complexity as well as to intentionally build content knowledge and skills through each grade and throughout the program.

With this method, Amplify has placed units in an order that shows increasing text complexity. This ordering also creates increasing complexity of the skills students require to meet grade level Common Core standards. This is seen within units when, for example, Unit 7C, Brain Science, students begin with learning about informational literacy, and begin constructing an evidence-based argument. The culminating research project builds on the skills previously learned. Also, Poetry and Poe Unit 7D requires students to evaluate the credibility of a fictional narrator moving to a compare and contrast essay on different perspectives.

Lexiles are used as the quantitative measure, a scale of .5-5 is used for the qualitative measure and reader and task are identified within a scale of .5-5. The complexity index was developed by Amplify to “reflect aggregate scores as a guideline to present appropriate curriculum materials and track the students’ path through each grade.”

Page 241-244 of the TPG discusses the rationale for the selection of text for the core units. It calls out “stair casing” the text complexity, explains how the digital environment was designed to help students “tap into the power” of the selected texts, the importance of student engagement in selection of the texts and activities, and the importance in including traditional texts.

Pages 246-318 of the TPG provide a unit by unit discussion of where the texts fit in the sequence of knowledge building by describing both prior knowledge and future learning that will build upon the texts. Additionally, recommendations for enrichment activities, independent reading, and interdisciplinary connections are provided.

The Appendix to the TPG lays out the research foundations for Evidence in indicator 1c and 1d reflect that the texts in the program are of quality and meet the text complexity ranges for the Grade 6 level. The program also has a digital library which allows students to choose from a range of simpler texts to more complex texts for independent reading purposes. There is a teacher edition guide (3-ring binder, page 33) that gives an overview of each unit. It lists the genres and the qualitative measure, quantitative measure and reader and task measure to give an overall text complexity range. It does not list this for each text within the unit. On pages 44-47 of the teacher guide the progression of content and skills is explained. It addresses text complexity. On pages 323-336, in the teachers guide the approach to research is given that explain the selection process for the texts in the program.


) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1f, providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading over the course of the school year. There are many opportunities outside of the core coursework that supports students to practice with different texts in and out of the topics being studied at the time.

The Amplify Library provides more than 600 texts including a range of genres and texts of varying complexity. The online texts come in a format with the ability for students to highlight and annotate text supporting students' engagement with different texts. The Reading Tracker encourages students to read broadly, following students year to year and can be accessed to provide a view of the breadth of independent reading that is being done by a student over time. To assist students with book selection there are starter lists by genre/subject (page 680-700 of TPG), independent reader’s guides that group works around each unit of study (page 710-736 of TPG), books encountered on Lexica (a game embedded in the library), and peer recommendation lists.

Oral reading is addressed primarily through the “Working with Text Out Loud” and “Working with Text as Theater” learning experiences within the program. Students regularly read along while they listen to a dramatic reading as well as performing themselves with the text orally. Page 95 of the TPG specifically addresses Foundational Skills. Among the areas discussed here are that there are Teacher Tips that are embedded in the lessons that provide purposeful attention to oral reading skills and offer ways for teachers to be more explicit and intentional with reading strategies for students who struggle with phonics and phonological awareness. Differentiation strategies give specific information about how to use the audio and video recordings and how to provide additional fluency work for students who struggle with this foundational skill. There is access to a resource www.freereading.net that is to be used for Tier III intervention activities that can be used in conjunction with Amplify’s supplemental reading intervention program Burst: Reading.

Students regularly listen to professionally read audio versions of the reading while following along with the text. Students often act out sections of dialogue within texts that are not written as plays, in order to capture different characters’ speech patterns and reveal traits. (For example, the dramatic reading in “The Tell-Tale Heart” allows students to hear the quickening pacing of the plot indicated by the switch to shorter sentences and before practicing a small section of Red Scarf Girl to read aloud, students listen to a comically monotonous read-aloud to encourage them to put expression into their reading.

Flex Days are built into the curriculum to provide extra time to revisit or expand on the curriculum. Reading assessments are built into the program and are short quizzes to check understanding. Checks occur throughout the week in the lessons as independent or "solo" tasks. Each of the units provides time for students to be read to, to read aloud and with partners at times. The audio is another tool used by the program to support the development of reading skills.

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. The instructional materials provide frequent opportunities for evidence-based discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary. Materials include instruction aligned to the standards, including well-designed plans, models, and protocols to support student writing. The materials include frequent opportunities for different types of writing addressing different types of text with both on demand and process writing included. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program that include both in context and out of context instruction. Materials reviewed provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 7 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g. The majority of questions and tasks students complete are text-dependent and/or text-specific, engaging students in going back to the text. The Grade 7 unit has several opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions in the form of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). Throughout all of the units, there is a combination of text-dependent and non-text-dependent questions. Non-text dependent questions are used to build knowledge and connections for students in the readings they will encounter. Some of the more difficult readings (e.g., those with more complex language and/or content) are supported by asking students questions that help them make connections for better understanding. Students are required to provide evidence from the text to support their responses in almost all of the questions throughout the unit. Several of the questions require longer responses that a short written responses and ask students to make inferences as well.

The units in the Grade 7 are dense with text- dependent questions in the form of multiple choice questions used to assess reading comprehension as well as constructed responses that delve more deeply into the texts. Students are required to provide text evidence throughout the units in responding to questions and prompts. Most often, responses show an understanding of the text at an inferential level. Each unit, focuses on how the writer has crafted his/her narrative and students are examining the text for examples.

Some text-dependent questions and tasks that students will encounter in the Grade 7 materials include the examples listed here:

Unit A- For Red Scarf Girl, the text dependent questions are combined multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension and constructed responses with short answer responses. Both types of questions require students to understand the text on multiple levels. Many of the questions prepare students for a writing task, such as the following:

  • How hopeful do you think Ji-li is at this moment in her story?
  • Which details in the Prologue lead you to think so?
  • Compare how Ji-li felt in her home at the beginning of the story to how she felt after the Red Guards searched her home. Use details from the setting to show your thinking., Why didn’t Ji-li go through with her plan to change her name?
  • Think of one or two reasons and explain them using details from the text.

UNIT B: In the Character and Conflict unit the text dependent questions combine multiple choice questions to check comprehension with constructed responses that focus on characterization and author’s language.

  • What is one thing that your character (Travis or Beneatha) wants right now?
  • What obstacle gets in his or her way, and how does he or she react? Make sure you cite textual evidence to support your answer.
  • Describe how your character reacts to Mama’s choice to buy the house. Does this reaction surprise you? Why or why not? (If you are following Beneatha, use what you know to imagine how she would respond). Make sure you cite textual evidence to support your answer.
  • Choose one simile from “Harlem” and one character from “A Raisin in the Sun” whose actions connect to that simile. Why did you connect that simile to that character? What does this character do or say that makes you connect the character to the simile? Make sure you cite textual evidence to support your answer.

UNIT C: Brain Science combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses to further understanding of the materials. Much of the emphasis in this unit is for students to track their misunderstandings within the text, and then to work through those misunderstandings. Questions in this unit require students to not only use text, but to formulate their own responses leading to argument and informative writing. Some examples are:

  • Fleischman writes, "Phineas should have been dead long before this" (17). Argue for or against Fleischman's claim, using textual evidence.
  • Drivers who are under 25 years old get in more car accidents than drivers over 25 years old. Using textual evidence, explain why.
  • How are Phineas and Mrs. B similar? Describe 1–2 symptoms/behaviors of frontal lobe damage and show how both Mrs. B and Phineas exhibit these behaviors.

UNIT D: Poetry and Poe combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses, which combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses. Some questions tap prior knowledge and experience, but then build to deeper text-dependent questions. Some examples are:

  • In what ways do the images in the poem make snakes seem not scary? In what ways do images in the poem make snakes seem scary? Why might Dickinson have included both types of images? Use specific images from the poem to make your arguments.
  • Do you agree or disagree with the narrator’s description [“Tell Tale Heart”] of what is happening? Use details from the text to explain your answer.
  • Could Fortunato have figured out what Montresor’s plan was before he was chained to the wall? Use two details from the text to explain your response.

UNIT E: Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and The Summer of the Mariposas includes multiple choice text dependent questions throughout the unit to check comprehension, however, there are only a couple of opportunities for constructed responses within “Romeo and Juliet.” While the constructed response questions do not explicitly state that students are to use text evidence, this expectation has been established in prior units. There are numerous SOLO multiple choice comprehension checks that contain text dependent questions. Here are a few examples of questions in this unit:

  • Although Tybalt, a Capulet, is the one who stabs Mercutio, Mercutio curses both the Montagues and the Capulets. Explain why he blames both the Montagues and the Capulets for his death. Cite textual evidence to support your answer.
  • First, describe how Romeo has changed during the entire Fight Scene. Then, explain why he first refuses to fight Tybalt but is later eager to kill him.
  • What is this hero’s special characteristic or source of strength? Explain how this characteristic helped the hero succeed on the journey.
  • Does Odilia’s family become whole by the end of the story?
  • Is transformation or change positive or negative in Summer of the Mariposas?

UNIT F: The Gold Rush Collection contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text dependent questions. In addition, there are several opportunities for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions.

  • Read chapter 11, “Danger,” in Murphy, Gold Rush Dog. Select one of the texts or the images from The Gold Rush Collection and compare it to Sally’s experience. Choose two similar details and two different ones. Describe the details you selected and explain why they are similar and why they are different.
  • Read chapter 12, “There’s Gold in Them Hills,” from A History of US 5: Liberty For All? 1820–1860 by Joy Hakim. List three new details about the California gold rush that you learned from Joy Hakim’s chapter. How do these details support or refute what you learned so far?).
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 7 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1h, as sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks to build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. All units end with a writing task that requires students to take what they have learned and evaluated throughout the unit and apply to the task, citing evidence from the associated texts. There are different types of writing required within the culminating tasks. Questions, as evidenced in 1g, build their knowledge to a deeper understanding of text and the craft of writing through multiple questions addressing character, setting, and other writing elements.

The writing tasks require evidence based arguments, narratives, and information research. From Unit A to the last unit, students are building their writing skills in addition to the text dependent questions they are challenged to address. Samples from the materials that represent this indicator include the following:

The culminating task in Unit A is an essay: "Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. Use details from this moment to describe what Ji-li is like before the change." This prompt is supported by the tasks done while reading the text which also focused on a moment in time and the changes in the main character over time. Students refer back to work done while reading the text when they identified “moments” on a personal chart or on the class chart. The text-dependent questions throughout the unit highlight either the adults or the students and set up the context for the culminating essay.

The culminating task in Unit B is an essay: Identify the theme and its effect on the development of one of the characters. Be sure to cite evidence (quotes and inferences) to support your claim. Choose to write about either Walter or Mama. Begin by describing one way your character changes from the beginning to the end of the play. Compare this...1. How does this character act in the beginning of the play when obstacles get in the way of what he or she wants? To this...2. How does this character act in the end of the play when obstacles get in the way of the same thing that he or she wants? Walter and Mama want many things, but for this essay, focus on: Mama wants to improve life for her family. Walter wants to be the head of the family. NOTE: Focus on just one thing that each character wants in both scenes so that you can focus your comparison on the change in actions across two scenes.

The culminating task for Unit C is to develop a research question, research to find information, and then write a short piece in response to the question. With the scavenger hunt format emphasizing close reading of a variety of sources to answer specific questions. Brain Science has students writing a culmination essay: Compare Phineas's behavior and brain to those of an adolescent. This requires that students pull information from multiple texts. The quest that is incorporated into this unit, Perception Academy, is provides opportunity for debate, however this was not clear from the descriptions in the guides. It did say, “The Quest is structured like a good thriller: First, students recognize that something is amiss, but they don’t understand what it is; next they read Oliver Sacks’s excerpts to learn about and explore what is 'happening' to them; and finally they widen and deepen their understanding of brain disorders by working collaboratively.”

In Unit D students write a culmination essay: "Choose a narrator from one of Poe’s texts that we’ve read and answer the following question: Can you trust that the narrator is accurately describing what’s happening in the story or poem? Why or why not? Use your answer to make a claim about whether or not you can trust the narrator’s account of events, and support your claim with textual evidence." After providing the M’Naghten Rule, students debate—as courtroom lawyers—whether the narrator is legally sane or whether the narrator is legally insane in two of the poems.

In Unit E, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, students write a culminating essay: Essay prompt: "Did the power of love contribute more to Romeo’s death or were the forces of hatred more of an influence on Romeo’s death, or both?"

In Unit F, The Gold Rush Collection, students write a culminating essay from among two choices:

  • Research Option 1: Argumentative Essay, "Was the gold rush good for the state of California?"
  • Research Option 2: Informative Essay, "Who was John Sutter? Who was Elsa Jane Guerin? Go to My Work to see your Evidence Chart in the Independent Work: Conduct Your Research activity from the previous lesson. What idea are you trying to explain in your research essay? Write a claim statement that answers the question for the research option you chose. Your claim statement should be written as a complete sentence, and make a clear point that can be supported by the evidence you have gathered."

The unit concludes with a media project and presentation. Students will create an interactive timeline using myhistro.com. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for the timeline. Within Sub Unit 4 there is an opportunity for a Socratic seminar. Students create open-ended questions from the texts in the unit to form the seminar content.

) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials fully meet the expectations for indicator 1i, providing students frequent opportunities to practice academic vocabulary and syntax in their evidence-based discussions. Each unit/lesson is set up in the same manner, beginning with a vocabulary lesson. Then it poses a class discussion topic and offers other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. On pages 134-141 in the teacher guide, the vocabulary words for each unit/lesson are listed.

Frequent oral language opportunities to do Think-Pair-Share, peer questioning in groups, and partner talk. Sentence frames are provided to support students who need more help applying new vocabulary and syntax.

Samples of how students get practice in modeling academic vocabulary include work with Socratic seminars and debates. Some examples of this are listed here:

  • Unit C: Brain Science 101- Students work with a partner to examine their answers, look again at the text to consider sources of misunderstandings, and try to choose the right answer again. Students discuss why they chose specific passages in order to generate additional language that describes how the text grabs their attention, highlighting specific word choices and structures.
  • Unit D: Tell-Tale Heart-- students discuss evidence and revise storyboard panels to reflect their interpretation of what is happening.
  • Debates: In the Poetry and Poe unit, lesson 5, students work in groups argue that the narrator of the story is either legally same or insane. Students work together to orally discuss their observations and thoughts while finding evidence in the text and recording it on their evidence sheet. In the “Tell Tale Heart” lessons, students from opposing sides of debate practice the same piece of text to each defend their position.

Examples of different listening and speaking activities that support students' development with practicing language over the course of the school year include the following:

  • Unit A: Students act out the scene in which townspeople destroy a fourolds shop sign, in order to experience the scene’s intense mix of excitement and violence.
  • Unit B: Students use the new information from the play’s long opening stage directions to show more about each character as they act out the first part of the first scene again.

Lessons typically begin with discussion and end with sharing. Some of these discussions are around the text and others focus on things like crafting writing. Teachers and students are given vocabulary and terms with which to work in these sections.

) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 7 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1j. Students have multiple opportunities for text-dependent discussions in each unit. Each lesson has an opportunity for the teacher to pose a question and have the class discuss it. In addition, each lesson provides opportunities for students to share with partners.

For example: in Unit 1 subunit 3 lesson 1: Students point out specific details in the poster and explain how each might have shaped how people felt about Chairman Mao. (This is a whole class opportunity). In lesson 3 students work with a partner to act out the scene in which townspeople destroy a four olds shop sign, in order to experience the scene’s intense mix of excitement and violence.

Each Unit/lesson is set up in the same manner generally, starting with a vocabulary lesson, then posing a class discussion topic. The materials offer other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. The discussions are always text-dependent and the students are instructed to answer questions citing evidence from the text. Videos, audio recordings or photos/images are sometimes used to promote/start the discussion. The materials include dramatic readings, debates, and other protocols for teachers to provide students multiple opportunities and ways to build their speaking and listening skills while using the texts as anchors.

In the teacher guide, questions are provided as models for teachers to move student discussions and listening skills. Pedagogy for the program include three areas that address speaking and listening. Daily Lesson Patterns include 15-25 minutes at the beginning of each lesson for collaboration and interpretation. Included are the following:

  • Working the Text Out Loud
    • (Page 78, Teacher Program Guide): Early units have students listening to, and sometimes watching a dramatic reading of the text.
    • This includes follow-up discussions that ask students to consider how the performer interprets the texts, students are asked to interpret and make meaning out of the texts.

Some examples of these materials meeting the expectations of these indicators include:

  • Reading the Novel: In Unit B, Raisin in the Sun, students are introduced to the play by reading a passage from Scene One so that they can understand the format and basic relationships in the play.
  • Working with Text as Theater
    • For example, in Raisin in the Sun, students use the new information from the play’s long opening stage directions to show more about each character as they act out the first part of the first scene again.
    • Romeo and Juliet: Students practice memorization strategies they will use to learn the Prologue
  • Debate
    • Unit D Poetry & Poe, Sub Unit 2, The Tell-Tale Heart, Lessons 5 & 6, students work in groups to prepare and present an argument in a debate. Evidence for how this work meets the standards is shown here, “They can use evidence from anywhere in the story, but they must be able to explain how that piece of evidence demonstrates 1 of the conditions.
    • Students are engaged in activities that require debating ideas and push to use language purposefully and respond to other students and what they say

Quests

Students must participate in speaking and listening when engaging in the Quests, which are interactive and collaborative. Quests create multiple opportunities for students to work in pairs, small groups, and as a class. The discussions, both “in character” and “out of character” within the contexts of the works they read are critical to each lesson. As an example from the Brain Science unit, students move through the periods of a school day as though they have one of the perception disorders detailed in the Oliver Sacks book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Students master excerpts from this difficult non-fiction text, building on the work they’ve done during the neurology unit so far.


) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials meet the expectation of a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects. Students write both "on demand" and "over extended periods." On Demand Writing is included in multiple lessons within a collection. Students are required to write 10-15 minutes a couple times a week on different topics. Culminating writings are built from the regular writing tasks completed in the context of reading and writing instruction.

On-demand writing activities happen almost daily, with students answering text-specific questions and prompts. Notebook structures (such as the Misunderstanding Notebook used in Unit C) support this type of student demonstration in a low-stakes environment. Higher-stakes essay prompts are also employed throughout the materials. One Unit selection of on-demand writing includes:

  • For Unit B: A Raisin in the Sun Lesson 3: What is one thing that your character (Travis or Beneatha) wants right now? What obstacle gets in his or her way, and how does he or she react? Refer to your chart for ideas.
  • Lesson 9: Describe how your character reacts to Mama’s choice to buy the house. Does this reaction surprise you? Why or why not? (If you are following Beneatha, use what you know to imagine how she would respond.)
  • Lesson 11: Describe exactly how your character reacts to Lindner’s visit, and then explain why Lindner represents an obstacle for your character.

Process writing builds over the school year. The lessons usually start with a focus on the body of the essay before considering its other parts. As the year progresses, each essay assignment adds a new structural element on which students focus. By the end of the year, students are writing essays that flow from their internalized understanding of argumentative structure, rather than adhering to the rules of a formula. Each Lesson Overview for the first essay lesson explains the logic behind its sequencing of elements and provides details about writing an essay on each unit’s text. Revision is addressed in the context of authentic writing. An example that sums up how process writing is employed:

Unit F: Students spend six lessons researching and writing a five-paragraph essay. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited page. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation where students create an interactive timeline using myhistro.com.

) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials meet the expectations providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Some examples that show how the materials meet the expectations of these indicators include, but are not limited to:

Argument Examples:

  • Unit A: Build your claims from the up: draw the claims you make straight from the text.
  • Unit C: Choose a narrator and make a claim about whether or not you can trust that narrator’s account of events. Include 2–3 reasons why you can or cannot trust that narrator.

Informative/Explanatory Examples:

  • Unit B: Identify the theme and its effect on the development of one of the characters. Be sure to cite evidence (quotes and inferences) to support your claim.
  • Unit C: Compare Phineas's behavior and brain to those of an adolescent.

Narrative Examples:

  • Unit A focuses on students writing about how they feel. They explore adding details and giving feedback. This unit focuses on the details and really painting a picture in a readers mind. Example: Choose one brief moment from the last time you ate lunch at school. Zoom in on that moment and write at least five detailed sentences about it. At the end of the unit the students are expected to write an essay using the text to make a claim. In addition they must respond to:
  • Unit G: Intermediate Story Telling: This unit is consistent with grade 6 and grade 8 in that is provides an opportunity for students to write narrative and incorporate the elements of the narrative studied for the year. Each year builds on the previous writing tasks and narrative elements.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m, providing frequent opportunities for students to practice evidence-based writing. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. One of the highlighted learning experiences in the program involves choosing the best evidence. This is addressed through the themes (making meaning, language development, effective expression, and content knowledge):

Making Meaning: After students find a piece of evidence to support their claim or their answer to a text-dependent question they are asked to write 1-2 sentences to explain how this evidence led them to this answer or connects to their claim.

  • Language Development: Students will learn and practice “describing your evidence.” In other words, noting those aspects of your chosen evidence that best illustrate your idea. As they describe what they notice in those words, students are encouraged to comment at the word level, explaining how an author’s particular word choice impacts the meaning of a sentence or passage.
  • Effective Expression: The lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. The structure around these moments allow students to learn how to express their ideas and listen to another perspective.
  • Content Knowledge: Lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. As students review how they might support a particular claim based on the text, they share and become cognizant of the knowledge they are gaining through their close reading.

Some specific examples that represent this program's evidence-based writing include the following. All tasks require students to identify specific components of the texts read:

  • Unit B has opportunities for students to write to prompts using the text and citing evidence throughout the whole unit. Here are two examples:
    • Identify the theme and its effect on the development of one of the characters. Be sure to cite evidence (quotes and inferences) to support your claim.
    • At the end of the unit the students are expected to write an essay on the following prompt: Students choose which of the 3 scenes they want to compare to the final scene and write more about.
  • In Unit D, the essay focuses on trusting the credibility of a narrator. Students respond to the prompt based on the reading: Can you trust that the narrator is accurately describing what’s happening in the story or poem? Why or why not?
    • Choose a narrator and make a claim about whether or not you can trust that narrator’s account of events. Include 2–3 reasons why you can or cannot trust that narrator.
  • Unit E includes a technology component to the writing:
    • Students highlight evidence that supports the ideas that the power of love, the forces of hate, or both, are responsible for Romeo’s death.
    • Review each of the passages you've studied. You can find each excerpt by clicking NEXT.
    • Highlight in red the places where Shakespeare shows the power of love.
    • Highlight in blue the places where Shakespeare shows the forces of hate.
    • Make sure to click HAND IN on the final passage when you have completed your highlights.
    • Stake a claim about the forces of hatred vs. the power of love.
  • Unit F: Students research and gather information to write an essay.

The Grade 7 materials include daily writing instruction and practice, end of unit writing, and digital platform writing work.

) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 0 [rating] => does-not-meet [report] =>

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program. The program includes three PDFs named Mastering Conventions with over 1,000 pages of exercises for grammar skills. The program has embedded grammar throughout the curriculum and in each unit.

In Unit 1, the Getting Started sub-unit focuses on jump-starting student writing by developing their focus and stamina. Continuing throughout the unit with regular opportunities for writing and connections to selected texts, students develop their idea and build their sense of syntax. The lessons start with practice in communicating ideas effectively and develop ideas before formal grammar instruction begins.

Examples:

  • Lesson 4: Write about a moment when you were nervous.
  • Lesson 5: Write about a recent moment that took three minutes or fewer.

Revision Assignments are provided and provide time for students to practice revising their own writing. Revision assignments are provided as part of the Flex Days. Each revision assignment focuses on one of the following five areas:

  • Complete sentences
  • Pronoun use
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense
  • Sentence combining

Teachers are encouraged to review each student’s work for the skill they need to work on and provide the lesson appropriate and most beneficial for the student.

Flex Days and Over-the Shoulder conferencing (OTSC) with targeted feedback allowing teachers to “regularly instruct students on grammar” and focus on individual skills for individual students. Flex days are designed to pace the grammar instruction and contain a regular time for review, reinforcement and/or extension activities to help all levels of students. Lessons include short drills and revision assignments to practice the skills. Flex Days examples:

  • Flex Day, Grammar 2: Unit 1, Lesson 3: Defining and Identifying Nouns
  • Flex Day, Grammar 8: Unit 3, Lesson 14: Keeping Verb and Tense Consistent in Complex Sentences

The OTSC is targeted feedback for students. Each grade level provides models of how a teacher would respond to specific concerns in a text. Teachers are instructed to “point to the sentences, name the skill, and comment on it.” A few examples of the types of feedback provided include, but not limited to;

  • “This subordinate clause makes it clear how truly strange his behavior appeared.”
  • “These three complete sentences clearly illustrate your idea, and make it easy to follow.”

Rubrics are provided in the TPG to track student progress with their control of grammar in the writing prompts. For example, a conventions rubric has the following language to guide teachers and students:

1 Needs Improvement

2 Developing proficiency

3 Proficient

4 Exceeds expectations

Student writes a minimum of 25 words, but there are many fragments and/or run-ons that prevent the reader from understanding the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 50 words, and most sentences are complete. Errors impeded the reader’s ability to understand the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 95 words, and most sentences are complete and punctuated correctly. Errors might detract the reader, but do not impede the reader’s ability to understand the writing overall.

Student writes a minimum of 130 words, and, almost all of the sentences are complete and punctuated correctly.

) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. Texts within units are connected by topics (and sometimes theme, which is appropriate for grades 6-8). Students learn about character development and conflicts in Unit B, about brain science in Unit C, and about the American Gold Rush in Unit F. Unit D builds students' knowledge of poetry and the works of gothic American author Edgar Allan Poe, while Unit E focuses on Shakespeare's work with Romeo and Juliet. Unit A- Red Scarf Girl clearly has a topic that is explored (the Chinese Cultural Revolution), but this is done through only a primary text and “close reading” of propaganda posters.

Students build knowledge via multiple texts and activities. Some examples of how students grow their knowledge in these units include the following examples:

The Character and Conflict unit includes a collection of texts that vary from a press release to poetry and plays. A Raisin in the Sun and Carson McCullers’s short story “Sucker” are both grounded in a nuanced, deeply compassionate understanding of how people facing hardships can inflict harm they never intend on the people around them. The texts are all connected by the backdrop of African American culture which brings them topically together with the Langston Hughes poem Harlem and the Quest, “The Black, White, and Blues in Chicago” that are also a part of the text sets within the unit.

  • Unit C- Brain Science- The collection of texts for this unit include Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science, John Fleischman, "Demystifying the Adolescent Brain," Laurence Steinberg, "Passage of an Iron Rod Through the Head," J.M. Harlow, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," Oliver Sachs. Texts are all around the topic of the brain. Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science, as well as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, are case studies of the brain, and the article “Demystifying the Adolescent Brain” is about how students’ own brains develop and how it impacts their behavior. The Perception Academy Quest takes students through a series of linked activities that focus on brain disorders and how they affect what we perceive and how we respond to the world around us.
  • Unit D- Poetry and Poe- Texts are all around the topic of poetry, more specifically, poems that contain visual imagery. Included in this text set are D.H. Lawrence’s “The White Horse,” García Lorca’s “The Silence,” and Emily Dickinson’s “A narrow fellow in the grass,” “The Tell-tale Heart”, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • Unit F- The Gold Rush Collection – This research set contains multiple texts around the topic of the Gold Rush. The text set for this unit includes California Culinary Experiences," The Overland Monthly, Prentice Mulford, "Oh My Darling Clementine," Percy Montrose, Sights in the Gold Region, and Scenes by the Way, Theodore T. Johnson, "The Magic Equation," from California: The Great Exception, Carey McWilliams, "Good Haul of Diggers," from Digger: The Tragic Fate of the California Indians from the Missions to the Gold Rush, Jerry Stanley , Roughing It! Mark Twain, "Letter the Tenth: Amateur Mining-Hairbreadth 'Scapes, &c.," from The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-1852, Dame Shirley.
) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2b. Throughout the year, students are given ample opportunities to analyze language and authors’ word choices, study the craft and structure of texts, and identify and analyze key details. The tasks associated with language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure are logically sequenced and appropriate in their increasing complexity. The early units are more accessible due to the more common language and more contemporary themes and topics presented. As the year progresses, students encounter more difficult language and complex interpretation, through the complex scientific texts in Brain Science, and the less familiar structures and archaic language in Poetry and Poe and Romeo and Juliet. Finally, as the year ends, students must work more independently with higher level texts while doing their research for the Gold Rush Unit.

Following are samples that illustrate how students are provided practice and support to understand and grow knowledge around different elements of texts:

In Unit A, Red Scarf Girl, Students identify words and phrases the author uses to evoke a particular emotion. Select 10 words from the reading that best capture how Ji-li feels. Students analyze different word choice as it impacts and supports the text.

Unit B Character and Conflict- Texts in this unit provide opportunities for analyzing characters’ responses to conflict and appreciating the author’s development of ideas over the course of a piece of fiction. This unit then pushes students to use close textual analysis to notice larger structural moves that the authors make across the narratives. Students are supported in this analysis through charts that are made and displayed on the wall. Following are some examples of prompts for students showing how this works in this Unit:

  • By tracing the characters’ dreams at each point in the play, students can keep track of the significance of the quick plot movements and appreciate how Hansberry builds a seething image of Walter’s frustrated dreams that climaxes in one heartbreaking outburst.
  • The essay asks students to look at scenes before and after this climax, noticing Walter’s and Mama’s growth after this heartbreak.
  • Why did you connect that simile to that character? What does this character do or say that makes you connect the character to the simile?
  • What do you notice about how this text looks? What makes it different from other texts we’ve read so far?

Some lessons focus student work very specifically on the content vocabulary and knowledge from the topic at hand. In Unit C, Brain Science, students reread the passage that was read aloud, choose a visual representation of the term "myelination," and explain the evidence for their choices in writing.

In Unit E, Romeo and Juliet, students highlight words and phrases that offer clues about the setting, characters, and plot of the play. They then share their findings to understand the how the antiquated language develops the plot and character and shows the larger theme.

Attention is paid to phrases and word choice throughout the materials. For example, in Unit F, Gold Rush Collection, students attend to the repeated patterns in the writing to support their understanding of how the text was constructed: "This document is broken up into sections. What are some of the words and ideas that all or most of the sections seem to have in common? You may want to even just list some of the words you see repeated over and over again in each section."

) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 7 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2c. There are ample opportunities for students to gain practice and build knowledge with text dependent questions and tasks throughout the year with multiple texts within the units. Some of these questions relate to one text and others require students to use information from multiple texts. The strong layering of topics within each unit leads to deeper understandings and integration of knowledge and ideas. Additionally, this is further supported by the connections between units within the grade level and across grade levels.Many lessons contain a section titled “Connections to other lessons” that assists the teacher with understanding how pieces both in the past and future fit together.

In Unit A, Red Scarf Girl, students engage with multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses (ex. How hopeful do you think Ji-li is at this moment in her story? Which details in the Prologue lead you to think so?, Compare how Ji-li felt in her home at the beginning of the story to how she felt after the Red Guards searched her home. Use details from the setting to show your thinking., Why didn’t Ji-li go through with her plan to change her name? Think of one or two reasons and explain them using details from the text.) Students use the story and the other associated texts (including the propaganda posters) to grow their understanding of the texts themselves and the topic.

Unit F supports students' knowledge through their work with multiple text and types such as Roughing It! by Mark Twain, "Letter the Tenth: Amateur Mining-Hairbreadth 'Scapes, &c.," from The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-1852 by Dame Shirley. Student tasks include having students answer questions and engage in tasks using evidence from multiple texts.

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for 7th Grade fully meet the expectations of indicator 2d. Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities build to culminating tasks that demonstrate students' knowledge of the topic/s being studied through the texts. Reading, writing, and speaking and listening are employed together to support students' integrated skills as they grow their knowledge and skills. Throughout the year, there are multiple opportunities for s Socratic seminars after students have studied texts. Students create open-ended questions from the texts in the unit to form the seminar content and share and build their new learning through this structure. Additionally, culminating tasks include essays and presentations. Following are some tasks that represent how the program works with this indicator:

Unit A- Red Scarf Girl contains a culmination essay: Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. Use details from this moment to describe what Ji-li is like before the change. This prompt is supported by the tasks done while reading the text which also focused on a moment in time and the changes in the main character over time.

Unit C, Brain Science: To really develop and demonstrate a deep level of understanding of the non-fiction texts, students practice writing that describes basic facts, explains concepts, and convinces the reader of an opinion. Much of the early writing that students do in the unit happens in the Misunderstanding Notebook in order to build up students’ ability to write very informally about non-fiction text while making careful distinctions between closely linked concepts. The culminating task for this Unit is an essay: Compare Phineas's behavior and brain to those of an adolescent. To complete this task that answers the prompt while demonstrating their new knowledge of brain science, students pull information from multiple texts.

In Unit F, Gold Rush Collection, students write a culminating essay from among two choices:

  • Research Option 1: Argumentative Essay-- Was the gold rush good for the state of California?
  • Research Option 2: Informative Essay-- Who was John Sutter? Who was Elsa Jane Guerin?

Unit F concludes with a media project and presentation, for which students create an interactive timeline using myhistro.com. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for the timeline.

) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for grade 7 meet the expectations of indicator 2e. Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary instruction is designed for students to master up to 500 new words every year. Words are chosen for their support of comprehension of texts, unfamiliar words that appear in middle school texts. Repeated encounters with vocabulary- through texts, activities, interactive multimedia, teacher talk, games, audio and video shorts-- support students as they interact with new words and practice them in and out of contexts.

The "Reveal tool" is an online feature that identifies (reveals) new words for the student and gives a contextual definition to enable students to continue reading with minimal interruption. The tool tracks the words a student needs help with so the teacher can access this later. It also puts them in a personal glossary for the students.

Vocabulary Instruction is embedded in daily lessons. The first 5 minutes of each class is devoted to vocabulary using the vocab.app. The app focuses on both text specific words as well as academic language. Students start at a certain level and increase levels based on progress.

Some samples of the application activities include the following:

  • L4a Panorama Words in Context. Students activate markers in a visual panorama to animate the context for a word.
  • L4b Roots Exist- Morphology. Students look at words thematically using both the Greek and Latin roots and assembling words using the roots.
  • L5b Two of a Kind- Analogy- Students learn types of analogies such as item category, whole part, cause/effect. Distinguish among connotation of words with similar denotations.
  • L5c Extreme Weather Vacation-students learn synonyms, antonyms, and word nuances associated with vocabulary about weather and weather systems.
) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2f. The materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Writing progresses throughout each unit and a final assignment is to write an essay covering the unit. Essays build throughout the year and differ in how students typically write essays. Students work with poetry, prose, informational and argumentative writing, and narrative and story writing.

Each assignment adds a new structural element to the essay so that by the end the essay is flowing with an internalized understanding of argumentative structure. The Overview section that begins each unit explains the logic behind its sequencing of elements and provides details about each unit writing.

Following are some examples that represent how the program's writing sequences work:

Unit A: Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution-- Students write answers to the prompts as they read:

  • Lesson 1: How hopeful do you think Ji-li is at this moment in her story? Which details in the Prologue lead you to think so?
  • In this last moment of the scene, Ji-li feels a mix of emotions. Describe the different emotions that you think are going on inside her. Use words from anywhere in the scene to show your thinking.
  • Lesson 5: Most of Ji-li’s classmates had no trouble writing da-zi-bao that criticize their teachers, but Ji-li couldn’t. Why were some of her classmates so eager to write da-zi-bao? Why was it so hard for Ji-li?
  • Lesson 7: What happens to Du Hai’s feelings during this scene? What makes him feel the way he does?
  • Lesson 8: Why do you think Ji-li’s voice broke when she looked in Teacher Gu’s eyes?
  • Lesson 9: Compare how Ji-li felt in her home at the beginning of the story to how she felt after the Red Guards searched her home. Use details from the setting to show your thinking.
  • Lesson 10: What kind of birthday did Ji-li have (happy, sad, exciting)? Describe the feeling of the birthday party. Explain how the details created that feeling.
  • Lesson 11: Why didn’t Ji-li go through with her plan to change her name? Think of one or two reasons and explain them using details from the text.

At the end of the Unit, students engage with an Essay Prompt: What is one way Ji-li changes over the course of her story? Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. Use details from this moment to describe what Ji-li is like before the change.

In Unit C: Brain Science, students to work with challenging informational texts and complex ideas. In order to help them, the writing in the beginning includes jotting down their misunderstandings as they the read to more fully grasp the difficult concepts being introduced, and the teacher is provided support to identify misunderstandings and skills where extra practice is needed. Questions and prompts follow a sequence and are then culminated in a writing task at the end of the Unit.

Over the course of the year, students also work on process writing, developing components and integrating their writing skills into the units at hand. Some specific support includes the following mini lessons and supports, which occur over the course of the school year:

  • develop evidence into structured paragraphs
  • refine a claim statement to best express the drafted argument
  • revise to strengthen use of evidence
  • craft an introduction to engage the reader
  • practice writing a conclusion
  • polish for conventions
) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2g. Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. There are two culminating research units in the Grade 7 materials. The first one falls third in the sequence of seven units, while the second one comes six out of seven. Both projects develop over the course of the unit, introducing the students to a variety of genres and information relevant to the topic.

In Unit C, Brain Science, students practice identifying the differences among primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, in addition to learning to identify the credibility and uses of sources. Students generate their own research questions but are provided sources to start with. The unit focuses on argument writing after students have learned the research methods and concerns. The unit ends with a culminating activity that synthesizes all the work/skills they learn throughout the unit.

The primary purpose of this unit is for students to become practiced at reading and writing about informational, non-fiction texts and to learn how to build knowledge from those texts around one topic. Identifying and learning from misunderstandings is a major theme of this unit and a particular focus of the students’ work with this first text, Phineas Gage. The text itself teaches brain science through stories about 19th century scientists’ reactions to one particular medical case in which a man survived an iron rod going through his head. The reader has to distinguish between what we know about the brain today and what the scientists thought was true at various points in history. Students track their misunderstandings throughout the unit to experience what a scientist experiences.

Students work through a case study to see how the brain works and then move to more accessible texts and end with a Quest that requires multiple case studies to help students compare and contrast various brain injuries.

Example prompts from Case Studies:

  • Students choose 1 patient who exhibits the same symptoms/behaviors as a patient with frontal lobe damage. They highlight and create comparisons among several studies.
  • Students read an essay that compares Peggy's case study to that of Mrs. S. They find the claim and then look for evidence and good descriptions of the evidence.

Throughout the unit, students are writing short response to compare the case studies and other perspectives in the readings.

For the Argumentative Writing section, students complete more research and look for details to support ideas. By the end of this unit, students will write an extensive paper comparing the brain of a character and an adolescent.

Students spend time "working like a scientist" throughout this unit. They are given multiple opportunities to explore and ask questions. In the end, they will work on a Quest. The Quest is structured like a mystery or thriller: First, students recognize that something is amiss, but they don’t understand what it is; next they read Oliver Sacks’s excerpts to learn about and explore what is “happening” to them; and finally they widen and deepen their understanding of brain disorders by working collaboratively. Students carry out investigations constructing explanations and designing solutions.

After researching and taking notes, students use their lists as jumping off points to develop their observations about how Phineas's behavior compared to that of an adolescent.

Detail for students to learn research writing practice includes specific checklists, such as guiding questions:

  1. Have I found 2–3 valid sources that provide useful information about my topic?
  2. Is the information I’ve gathered focused on my topic?
  3. Do I have enough information to write an introduction, 2 body paragraphs, and a conclusion?
  4. Are there any gaps in my research?

Students are guided through the writing with editing, revision, research and peer response. The teacher shares models, rubrics and over- the- shoulder conferences, all of which are fully supported in the teacher materials.

A concern for program is that students have a choice with some Units and may choose to write only in the informative or argument for a final research product. Although this may occur, students are working with both writing tasks throughout both research units, which both require students to read and analyze informative, narrative and argument text types.

) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2h. The 7th grade materials support students' independent reading via teacher plans and student supports. During independent reading students set weekly goals, reflect on their own reading, and log progress by describing and critiquing one strategy they have used and when they decide on another strategy they could try.

327-336 of the TPG lays out the Independent Reading program. It sets out three goals: 1) Making Reading More Independent – This involves setting up and guiding the selection and then letting students decide what to read. 2) Making reading more social- By providing book sharing sessions, and 3) Making reading more about the book and less about the essay- Assignments are lighter than those around core texts not graded, and involve choice to hold students accountable while still making the focus on the reading itself.

The Reading Tracker (following p736 of TPG) requires that students log progress weekly in relation to a goal that they have set for weekly reading (#pages). It also requires reflection on reading by responding to prompts (done when student is halfway through the reading). Reflection relates to how challenging the text is for the student, paraphrasing text, noticing aspects of the story structure supported with text evidence. Students also track their reading path by identifying texts by genres of fiction and non-fiction, identity of the character time of the setting, and location of the setting. There are additional strategies called out to support independent reading such as book talks, teacher modeling through think-alouds, book sharing, partner reading, vocabulary work in context, writing and online book pages for sharing. Suggestions for accountability are writing on shared documents, online posts, one-on-one conferences with students.

The world of Lexica, an extra resource, requires that students encounter characters and objects that “wander in and out” of books in the Amplify library. Reading choices and reading progress has consequences in the game which supports independent reading.

) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[rating] => meets ) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

The use and design of the instructional materials facilitate student learning. The design of the materials is consistent, simple, and not distracting. The annual pacing guide makes lesson structure and pacing clear. The thirty-six weeks of instruction is reasonable for a school year. All resources include clear directions, explanations, and standards alignments.

) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The lesson architecture appears on pages 101-103 of the TPG. The daily lesson begins with 5 minutes of Building Vocabulary where students work independently on the vocabulary activities while the teacher checks in with students. This is followed by 15-25 minutes Collaborate and Interpret where one of the following tasks is performed: Working with Text Out Loud, Working Visually, Working with Text as Theater, Choosing the Best Evidence, or Using Text as Referee. Next is the 15-25 minute Produce segment which includes Writing for an Authentic Audience, Revising, or Debate. In the 5-10 minute Prepare for Independent Work part of the lesson, students wrap up their learning with sharing, discussion, and introducing the Solo. The daily lesson ends with 20-60 minutes of Independent Work time where students complete the Solo, read independently, play in the World of Lexica, create a video for ProjectEd, or Build more vocabulary with VocabApp.

In the teacher’s digital guide there is a clear structure and pacing laid out for each lesson and each lesson segment. For example, in the Poetry and Poe lesson segment, for six minutes students review one scene from "The Cask of Amontillado" and consider how Poe leaves clues about Fortunato's demise. One minute is devoted to defining dramatic irony, three minutes are devoted to a dramatic irony short answer, and two minutes are devoted to discussion.

) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The annual pacing guide for 7th grade appears on pages 40-41 of the TPG. The 7 units are taught over a 36 week/180 day school year.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

The Student digital materials contain ample practice resources within each lesson segment. The predictable format that is used throughout each lesson makes it easy for students to follow along and engage with the texts as well as the activities. Tasks are chunked to provide frequent practice with a skill throughout the lesson. The directions are clearly written, and texts and work spaces are provided conveniently alongside. Writing is strongly supported in the organization of the student materials. Students’ written responses are preserved within the lesson and show up later for sharing. They are also easily accessible within a section of the program called “My Work.” Of particular strength are the Solo activities that often act as a formative assessment where students can display their competence with a text independently. In addition to the directions given within the student materials, there are scripted oral supports within the teacher’s materials for the teacher to use during instruction.

For example, in Unit B Character and Conflict, Sub Unit 4, Lesson 1, students share the highlights they made in the Solo with a partner and ask each other "What do you think about Pete and Sucker so far?" and "What lines of text are giving you that impression?" Students are prompted to individually record the main points of their conversations in the space provided and answer the following questions: "About what did you and your partner agree?" and "About what did you disagree?"

) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

An overview and alignment for each unit appears in the TPG on pages 58-64. The specific standards are identified by lesson as being taught explicitly or practiced in the sub units. Additionally, in the digital teacher’s edition, Skills and Standards are called out for each lesson sequence:

For example, Gold Rush Unit F, Sub Unit 3, Lesson 2 cites CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2, CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2.A, CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3, CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.A, CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3.B, and CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9.

) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The student online edition is well laid out with a predictable format and ease of use. There are supporting graphics that are not distracting that serve as recognizable links within the content rather than as illustrations. The use of drop down menus and expanding windows keeps the screen clean. When students are reading text or engaging in tasks, the design provides easy access to everything students need without extra distraction.

) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for teacher learning and understanding of the standards. The materials include a teacher's edition with annotations and suggestions on how to present the content. The materials include adult-level explanations and examples and explanations of the role of specific standards in the context of the overall materials. The instructional approaches of the program are explained in the context of the overall curriculum. Strategies for informing stakeholders about the program and about how they can support student progress and achievement are provided, and overall, the materials do support teacher learning and understanding of the standards.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectation for materials containing a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The program includes a teacher’s edition with each lesson containing an overview, prep, connections to other lessons, vocabulary, skills and standards, and tips on differentiation. Throughout the lesson, suggestions on how to present the content are provided. Materials also include specific guidance for embedded technology.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectation of materials containing a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The program includes a Teacher Program Guide which includes a program overview, pedagogical approach, pacing guides, guidance for skill instruction, assessment, universal design, and more: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/ela/resources/ela-california-edition/teacher-program-guide/

Also, a section of the Teacher Program Guide addresses technology & Multimedia: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Strategic_Use_of_Technology_and_MultimediaCA-program-over.pdf

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The Teacher Program Guide includes unit overviews that show the connection between standards and the Amplify program. The guide provides program organization maps broken down by sub-units to indicate how the Common Core Standards are aligned to the instructional program.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Unit_Overviews_and_AlignmentsCA-program-over.pdf

The Amplify approach to standards based instruction is further clarified in their document on skill instruction and practice.

https://help.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Skills_instruction_and_practiceCA-Assess.pdf

) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Amplify ELA provides a guide to their research-based strategies in the research base section of the teacher’s program guide that fully goes into detail to explain the implementation model.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Research_BaseCA-Appendix.pdf

The guide also includes the pedagogical approach: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pedagogical_approachCA-Assess.pdf

) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 contain multiple strategies to inform stakeholders about the program including discussion of the program’s approach to feedback and revision, guidance to teachers on supporting student progress through identifying areas of concern through formative assessments, and enlisting support of parents through home/school communications

Resources are found at https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Home-School_ConnectionCA-Extended.pdf and https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Assessment_and_FeedbackCA-Assess.pdf.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the standards. Formative and summative assessment opportunities are provided throughout the materials. All assessments clearly indicate which standards are being emphasized, and teachers are provided guidance on how to interpret student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Routines and opportunities to monitor student progress are included throughout the materials.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. There are ample opportunities for assessment placed throughout the program to serve formative needs and to pinpoint summative progress towards standards.

Formative Assessments include Over-the-Shoulder conferences, Spotlight, Solo, and Reading Comprehension Checks. Reading Comprehension checks are placed within each text in the form of a multiple choice “Solo” which checks explicit and implicit understanding. The TE indicates that these “Solos” will occur about 3 times weekly and provide formative assessment for both the class as a whole and individual students. Over-the-shoulder conferences are a staple of the Amplify ELA program and enable teachers to provide nuanced feedback and subtle individualized direction while every student works on a common activity. Over-the-shoulder conferencing is such a key part of the Amplify lessons that a technical feature to support it has been built into the digital lesson structure. When teachers see the symbol and click on it, they see 3-4 squares that describe characteristics of student behavior or student work, specific to the activity that teachers should look for. When teachers click on one of these squares, the system provides direction to the teacher about how to support students approaching the activity in different ways. These context-specific over-the-shoulder conferences always include an “on-track” example and a way to push the “on-track” student further.

The instructional materials include Summative Assessments. End of Unit Essays require the student to write about the text and cite evidence from the text. End of Unit assessments integrate reading and writing skills. The twice yearly summative assessment provides analysis that is tied directly to standards.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the requirement for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized.

Amplify ELA includes three grades that are each built on seven units of instruction. Within each unit, several sub-units divide a unit’s texts and skills into manageable learning goals. Pages 50-71 in the teachers edition outline which standards are taught in each unit and sub-unit.

) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

TE: Rubrics and examples of student work are included, the gradebook tracks student scores, student goal setting

) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The following provide opportunities to monitor student progress:

  • Over-the-shoulder conferences allow the teacher to provide “in the moment” feedback to students as they work through a challenging activity or complete a writing prompt
  • Sharing is part of the writing routine. Students produce a specific idea about a text.
  • Spotlight is a digital app that allows teacher to highlight student examples and project those to use for instruction or appreciation.
  • Revision agreements ask students to do a short piece of differentiated revision on one of their pieces of writing. Student practice a particular skill at the same time as they practice the skill of revising itself.
  • Written comments allow students to have the teacher’s recorded feedback. Targeted comments both provide specific feedback on the piece of writing and a small model to guide future writing.
  • Reading comprehension check is a series of 5-8 multiple choice questions tied to a text that the students have not seen before. This is part of the students’ independent work or solo activity.
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The materials include a Digital library, and Lexica motivates students to read outside of school. The materials include a Reading Tracker. Pages 639-736 in the teachers guide provide a student guide to the digital library and offer students choices and selections. This includes Starter lists, Independent Reader’s Guides, Lexica, and Peer recommendations. Strategies to support independent reading include Book talks, teacher modeling via think-alouds, book sharing, and partner reading. Accountability and Progress are tracked by digital readers, book sharing conversations, one-on-one conversations, and reading trackers.

) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials regularly provide support for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English and additional extensions and advanced opportunities are available for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meets the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

As noted in the TE on pages 210-216, Amplify uses Universal Design to meet all students where they are and encourage growth. The following is a list of the strategies used to engage all learners:

  • Modeling- Teachers demonstrate how to perform certain tasks, provide examples of student work, and model thinking process aloud
  • Formative Assessment Practices- Teachers monitor student understandings and progress through "understanding checkpoints" and provide elicit feedback
  • Language Production Supports- Teachers provide sentence frames and word banks to enable all students to produce academic writing and speech
  • Background Knowledge- Teachers connect new learning to student experiences and prior learning.
  • Visual Supports: The materials use visuals to guide student language and content learning
  • Oral Language Support: Teachers provide opportunities for students to practice academic discourse frequently.
  • Attention to Language Forms: Teachers foster discussion of how to effectively use words and conventions to convey meaning in context
  • Working with Text Aloud: The materials encourage performance of theater exercises with text, viewing performances of text, and hearing audio versions of required readings as needed
  • Working with Routines: The materials include clear, structured routines that are established at the beginning of the year.
) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet expectations for materials regularly providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards.

Lessons are coded for different levels. In each lesson there is a differentiation lesson with multiple variations. It is located right at the bottom of the first page and is available to all students. Teachers can combine the lessons and the differentiation easily. Teachers are provided with supports to guide them through the instruction with a variety of learners (disabilities, reading below level, advanced, and EL). Supports include grouping strategies, focusing different students to different parts of the reading, and stopping before discussions to do partner read alouds. Targeted support for students who are learning English is limited.

Flex Days are embedded in each unit to allow students to catch up or move ahead with a variety of activites, including Quests, vocabulary, and language work. Students can work on revisions during these days as well, although there is limited specific support for teachers to assure implementation of this differentiation. On these days, teachers can direct students individually to work on the skills they need, but may need additional support from external resources.

Three levels of differentiation are provided for the most difficult primary source documents in the Collection. Adapted versions, paraphrased versions, and Spanish version are provided. Alternative vocabulary exercises are also available.

) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Flex Days provide time for advanced students to read from the Amplify library and expand vocabulary and language knowledge through games. Supplemental texts to provide additional reading and engagement for advanced learners are identified to accompany all units in the Amplify library.

The instructional materials include extensions and advanced opportunities throughout. For example, over the Shoulder conferences include guidance for the teachers to push students more deeply about a particular topic. Throughout the materials, teachers are provided challenge questions to support the advanced learners. Challenge Writing Prompts are also available.

) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.

Within the lessons, students work in collaborative groups and pair-share partners, and teachers are provided with tips on how to organize students. Teachers are encouraged to group students by ability and by language use at different times. Students have the opportunity to work with heterogeneous and homogeneous groups. When students work with partners, sometimes they choose their partners and other times the teacher chooses. For example, in Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Unit E, Sub Unit 1, Lesson 1 students ELL students are assigned to work with non-ELL students or ELL students at a different level.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => effective-technology-use [type] => component [report] => ) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s3v [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners. Materials support the use of adaptive or other technological innovations and include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructions materials partially meet expectations that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or safari.

On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed.

On HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology is used in the following ways:

  • research, integration of dynamic media, and sharing of ideas
  • express and publish information and opinions using digital media and technology (Evidenced in Research units)
  • virtual library with eReader and scaffolds, audio support, and interactive questions
  • Storyboard authoring tools
  • research collections
  • apps/quests
  • learning about using reliable resources and being responsible with internet
) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The materials are easily differentiated to meet the different needs of students. The materials provide real time data to give feedback and help teachers respond to student needs. The eWriter includes feedback tools, so teacher feedback is immediate for students. They can view and comment as students are in the process of writing and make immediate adjustments.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials reviewed can be easily customized for local use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as appropriate for students. Teachers are also able to add notes to the materials.

) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate. For example, teachers can use Spotlight to showcase student work for other students to see.

) ) [isbns] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => custom [number] => http://www.amplify.com/curriculum/amplifyela [custom_type] => As of 8/30/16: [title] => [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2016 [binding] => [publisher] => [year] => 0 ) ) ) 1

Eighth Grade

                                            Array
(
    [title] => Amplify ELA (2016)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/eighth-grade.html
    [grade] => Eighth Grade
    [type] => ela-6-8
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 36
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 194
    [title] => Amplify (2016)
    [report_date] => 2016-08-09
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 23
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [notes] => 

By definition, single "anchor texts" were not included or identified in each unit. For the review, we accepted text sets as the anchors for each unit. Because the materials were of such high quality and student interest at each grade level, we agreed that we would evaluate based on the sets instead of one anchor for each unit.

[reviewed_date] => 2016-08-30 [gateway_1_points] => 36 [gateway_1_rating] => meets [gateway_1_report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention. The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[gateway_3_points] => 32 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for instructional supports and usability. The use and design of the materials facilitate student learning. The materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Materials are designed to ease teacher planning and support teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Standards addressed and assessed in each lesson are clearly noted and easy to locate. The materials reviewed provide teachers with multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Content is accessible to all learners and support them in meeting or exceeding the grade level standards. Students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English are provided with some opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards. Materials also provide students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level some extension and advanced opportunities. Materials also support the effective use of technology to enhance student learning.

[report_type] => ela-6-8 [series_id] => 45 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/amplify-ela/eighth-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. Anchor texts include rich texts and topics that are engaging for a Grade 8 student. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Specific measures are given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. The materials support students increasing literacy skills over the year, and students are provided with many opportunities to engage in a range and volume of reading.

) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Anchor texts include rich language and topics and stories engaging for Grade 8 students. Texts consider a range of student interests including (but not limited to) British colonial Africa and Middle East, Colonial America, American Slavery and the Civil War, 19th century science and technological developments, 20th century art, and competition among countries.

Some examples of included texts that have won awards and/or are written by award-winning authors are indicative of the collection as a whole, and include the following:

  • Unit A: Going Solo, by Roald Dahl
  • Unit B: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin, "Declaration of Independence"
  • Unit C: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Frederick Douglass (CCSS Exemplar Text), Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Ann Jacobs, "Gettysburg Address," Abraham Lincoln
  • Unit D: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • Unit E: "The Space Race Collection" is an informational and literary text set focused on the development and events of space exploration. A few examples from this collection include (but not limited to): "Moon Speech-Rice Stadium," John F. Kennedy, Rocket Boys: A Memoir, Homer Hickman, “Buzz Aldrin on His Lunar Home, The Eagle," Marc Myers

Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, memoirs, historical documents, and letters.

) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations, reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of informational texts and literature. Supplemental text within the units are a mixture of literature and informational texts.

Some examples of text sets illustrating the mix of informational texts and literature include the following:

Literature

Unit C: Liberty and Equality

  • "Song of Myself," Walt Whitman

Unit D: Science and Science Fiction

  • Gris Grimly's Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and Gris Grimly
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • "The Tables Turned," William Wordsworth
  • The Innovators, Chapter 1, Walter Isaacson

Unit E: The Frida & Diego Collection

  • "Sonnet 130," William Shakespeare
  • "Letter to Ella and Bertram Wolfe," from the letters of Frida Kahlo
  • Excerpt of "Frida Kahlo" from the Smithsonian

Informational

Unit B: Biography and Literature

  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson
  • Letters and Documents authored by Benjamin Franklin
  • "Declaration of Independence," Continental Congress

Unit C: Liberty and Equality

  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Ann Jacobs
  • "To My Old Master," Colonel P.H. Anderson
  • The Boy's War, Jim Murphy
  • A Confederate Girl's Diary, Sarah Morgan Dawson

Unit D: Science and Science Fiction

  • "The Introduction to Frankenstein," Mary Shelley
  • Selections for The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Walter Isaacson
  • "Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage," L.F. Menabrea translated with notes by Ada, Countess of Lovelace
  • "Debate on the Frame-Work Bill, in the House of Lords, February 27, 1812," Lord Byron

Unit E: The Frida and Diego Collection

  • "Rockefellers Ban Lenin in RCA Mural and Dismiss Rivera," from The New York Times
  • My Art, My Life: An Autobiography, Diego Rivera
  • "Detroit Industry: The Murals of Diego Rivera," from NPR
  • The Diary of Frida Kahlo, Frida Kahlo

Other Media

Unit D: Science and Science Fiction

  • History of a Six Weeks Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland with Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva of Chamounix, Mary Shelley

Unit E: The Frida and Diego Collection

  • Photographs, paintings and murals of and by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Throughout the instructional materials, a wide distribution of genres and text types is found including the following examples:

  • Diary (i.e., A Confederate Girl's Diary, Sarah Morgan Dawson)
  • Historical Documents (i.e., "Gettysburg Address," Abraham Lincoln)
  • Biography/Autobiography (i.e., The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin)
  • Memoir (i.e., Going Solo, Roald Dahl)
  • Speech (i.e., "Moon Speech-Rice Stadium," John F. Kennedy)
  • News Articles (i.e., "Rockefellers Ban Lenin in RCA Mural and Dismiss Rivera," from The New York Times)
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. Texts are appropriately rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for the grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading. According to the publisher materials, the range of quantitative (Lexile) measurement over the year is 870-1540and the range of scores for Qualitative measures ranges from 1.5 to 3.

The majority of texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task.

Unit A, World War II and Narrative includes a focus text that is quantitatively in the middle of the stretch band recommended by the CCSS (1080 Lexile). While much of the emphasis of the unit is the use of the text as a mentor text for writing, reading skills, such as close reading for detail and comparing and contrasting are specifically addressed. The qualitative measures are midrange, and the tasks associated with the first texts in the school year make this an appropriate placement. Students write about their own experiences with detail before reading Dahl as a model for writing with detail. Activities require a close reading of the text with annotations and discussion and comparisons of events from the story.

Unit B, Biography & Literature includes texts with quantitative measures ranging from 1300-1450, exceeding the stretch band of quantitative rigor. Therefore it is appropriate that the qualitative measures are somewhat lower to ensure students' comprehension of the texts. Reading tasks, such as text annotation, are emphasized, as well as an in depth character study of Franklin, which leads to several tasks where students analyze the "Declaration of Independence" in light of what they know of Franklin’s character.

Unit C, Liberty and Equality, includes texts with the quantitative measures ranging from 900-1500. This is another unit focusing on leaders and their language use to make meaning and connect history, meaning the qualitative measures are mid-to high range. Paraphrasing, and other reading activities are required to unpack the text. Activities include interactive readings and other medias to help students understand complex language and structures.

Unit D, Science and Science Fiction, includes texts with quantitative measures ranging from 980-1540. Qualitatively, the materials are midrange, supporting students' engaging with unfamiliar language and structures. The structure of the graphic novel allows for emphasis on working with story structure. The texts within the Poe section allow many opportunities to compare texts. In this unit, there is an interesting connection to today's technology using the past inventions and ideas or authors.

Unit F, The Space Race, includes texts with qualitative measures ranging from 870-1490. Qualitative features of the texts in this unit skew lower, as the content is more complex. Students tackle reliability and ethical use issues within the variety of texts. The research and conversation on space and independent research is appropriate for 8th grade students as they prepare to go to high school in a few months. The tasks in this unit give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills required for higher level reading and synthesis.

) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1d, supporting students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. By the end of Grade 8, students have support and opportunities to read and comprehend texts that meet the requirements for the end of the Grade 8 and possibly beyond. Texts are placed so students interact with increasingly complex literacy learning over the year. Texts themselves increase over the course of the year in reading levels starting in this range and building through the year, starting in the range 955–1155, and building.

For the Grade 8 materials, the program starts with texts in the middle of the grade band in terms of rigor and complexity. Texts "maintain" the grade band complexity and toward the end of the year, students are presented with increasingly complex texts. During instruction there are many formative assessment opportunities to help a teacher guide decisions about their students' learning, and there are summative benchmark assessments that are to be given after three weeks of instruction then after 20 weeks of instruction. The online library offers opportunities for students to select independent reading texts that are on their level of reading along with differentiated opportunities embedded in the program, to support their building stamina with reading alongside being presented with the increasingly complex texts.

Thereis a clear progression of complexity throughout the Grade 8 year seen in both the complexity index of texts and increasing demands of reader’s tasks. Following is a sample of how the program organizes tasks and texts to support growing students' skills over the school year:

  • Unit A in Grade 8 starts with a writing sub-unit, then goes into a close read of Roald Dahl’s Going Solo, with writing about the text. The high quantitative level combined with a fairly uncomplicated narrative structure and simple reader tasks starts off the year. (Note: Students have also read a text by Dahl in grade 6. The revisiting of the author makes the writing more accessible. Writing and reading grow more complex through the following units, with higher demands on the student to work through text.
  • From finding evidence in the text to supporting a point in Unit A, they move to looking at the motivations of characters in Unit B, Biography and Literature.
  • In Unit C, Liberty and Equality, students are evaluating details in memoirs that cross genres and writing that is evidence-based.
  • Science and Science Fiction, Unit D in the series, students debate human experiences and moral issues on complex topics, such as, scientific and technological developments.
  • In Unit E, The Frida and Diego Collection, students synthesize multiple texts to develop an argument and evaluate various perspectives on a topic.
  • In Unit F, The Space Race Collection, students take a research topic from beginning to end, starting by developing a question, conducting research and synthesize many documents in order to write an essay and create a multi-media project.
  • The final unit is Advanced Story Writing where students create a believable character and write an original short story. This unit also draws from previous grades' work, building from grade 6 to grade 8 in complexity, each year referencing and offering practice of skills taught previously as students creating a new narrative furthering the development of the narrative elements.
) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1e. How the publisher identifies text complexity is laid out at a glance in the Teachers Program Guide (TPG) on page 33, with specific measures given for qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task considerations. There is also provided a complexity index that places the text holistically within the 6th-8th grade band. The materials reviewed use an aggregate score for a unit based on text complexity.

The program uses quantitative, qualitative, and reader and tasks measures to place the unit within a 6-9 grade band. The visual of this is the familiar triangle with each section providing information for each component’s complexity. Alongside this triangle is a grid that uses the Amplify formula to present an overall complexity score. On pages 44, the analysis and rationale are presented which states that texts are sequenced for text complexity as well as to intentionally build content knowledge and skills through each grade and throughout the program.

With this method, Amplify has placed units in an order that shows increasing text complexity. This ordering also creates increasing complexity of the skills students require to meet grade level Common Core standards. This is seen within units when, for example, Unit 8D, Science and Science Fiction, students begin reading graphic novels and progress to writing evidence-based arguments based on scientific and technological developments. The culminating research project builds on the skills previously learned. Also, The Space Collection Unit 8F requires students to develop a question, research and create a multi-media project.

Lexiles are used as the quantitative measure, a scale of .5-5 is used for the qualitative measure and reader and task are identified within a scale of .5-5. The complexity index was developed by Amplify to “reflect aggregate scores as a guideline to present appropriate curriculum materials and track the students’ path through each grade.”

Page 241-244 of the TPG discusses the rationale for the selection of text for the core units. It calls out “stair casing” the text complexity, explains how the digital environment was designed to help students “tap into the power” of the selected texts, the importance of student engagement in selection of the texts and activities, and the importance in including traditional texts.

Pages 246-318 of the TPG provide a unit by unit discussion of where the texts fit in the sequence of knowledge building by describing both prior knowledge and future learning that will build upon the texts. Additionally, recommendations for enrichment activities, independent reading, and interdisciplinary connections are provided.

The Appendix to the TPG lays out the research foundations for Evidence in indicator 1c and 1d reflect that the texts in the program are of quality and meet the text complexity ranges for the Grade 6 level. The program also has a digital library which allows students to choose from a range of simpler texts to more complex texts for independent reading purposes. There is a teacher edition guide (3-ring binder, page 33) that gives an overview of each unit. It lists the genres and the qualitative measure, quantitative measure and reader and task measure to give an overall text complexity range. It does not list this for each text within the unit. On pages 44-47 of the teacher guide the progression of content and skills is explained. It addresses text complexity. On pages 323-336, in the teachers guide the approach to research is given that explain the selection process for the texts in the program.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1f, providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading over the course of the school year. There are many opportunities outside of the core coursework that supports students to practice with different texts in and out of the topics being studied at the time. Students practice reading orally and silently, and there are built in components of the curriculum for teachers to attend to students' development in reading.

The Amplify Library provides more than 600 texts including a range of genres and texts of varying complexity. The online texts come in a format with the ability for students to highlight and annotate text supporting students' engagement with different texts. The Reading Tracker encourages students to read broadly, following students year to year and can be accessed to provide a view of the breadth of independent reading that is being done by a student over time. To assist students with book selection there are starter lists by genre/subject (pages 680-700 of TPG), independent reader’s guides that group works around each unit of study (pages 710-736 of TPG), books encountered on Lexica (a game embedded in the library), and peer recommendation lists.

Oral reading is addressed primarily through the “Working with Text Out Loud” and “Working with Text as Theater” learning experiences within the program. Students regularly read along while they listen to a dramatic reading as well as performing themselves with the text orally. Page 95 of the TPG specifically addresses foundational skills. Among the areas discussed here are that there are Teacher Tips that are embedded in the lessons that provide purposeful attention to oral reading skills and offer ways for teachers to be more explicit and intentional with reading strategies for students who struggle with phonics and phonological awareness. Differentiation strategies give specific information about how to use the audio and video recordings and how to provide additional fluency work for students who struggle with this foundational skill. There is access to a resource www.freereading.net that is to be used for Tier III intervention activities that can be used in conjunction with Amplify’s supplemental reading intervention program, Burst: Reading.

Students regularly listen to professionally read audio versions of the reading while following along with the text. Students often act out sections of dialogue within texts that are not written as plays, in order to capture different characters’ speech patterns and reveal traits. (For example, in Unit B, students are introduced to Lincoln and Douglass through dramatic readings and animations.)

Flex Days are built into the curriculum to provide extra time to revisit or expand on the curriculum. Reading assessments are built into the program and are short quizzes to check understanding. Checks occur throughout the week in the lessons as independent or "solo" tasks. Each of the units provides time for students to be read to, to read aloud and with partners at times. The audio is another tool used by the program to support the development of reading skills.

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. The instructional materials provide frequent opportunities for evidence-based discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary. Materials include instruction aligned to the standards, including well-designed plans, models, and protocols to support student writing. The materials include frequent opportunities for different types of writing addressing different types of text with both on demand and process writing included. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program that include both in context and out of context instruction. Materials reviewed provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g. The majority of questions and tasks students complete are text-dependent and/or text-specific, engaging students in going back to the text. The Grade 8 unit has several opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions in the form of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). Throughout all of the units, there is a combination of text-dependent and non-text-dependent questions. Non-text dependent questions are used to build knowledge and connections for students in the readings they will encounter. Some of the more difficult readings (e.g., those with more complex language and/or content) are supported by asking students questions that help them make connections for better understanding. Students are required to provide evidence from the text to support their responses in almost all of the questions throughout the unit. Several of the questions require longer responses that a short written responses and ask students to make inferences as well.

The units in the Grade 8 are dense with text-dependent and specific questions in the form of multiple choice questions used to assess reading comprehension as well as constructed responses that delve more deeply into the texts. Students are required to provide text evidence throughout the units in responding to questions and prompts. Most often, responses show an understanding of the text at an inferential level. Each unit, focuses on how the writer has crafted his/her narrative and students are examining the text for examples.

Some text-dependent questions and tasks that students will encounter in the Grade 8 materials include the examples listed here:

Unit A: WWII and Narrative combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses.

  • "Describe one difference between the ways that Mdisho and Roald think about war. Use details from the text to show what you mean."
  • "Choose one of the details listed on the board (or one of your own) and explain how it connects to your idea about whether Mdisho or Roald acted more heroically in his encounter with the Germans. (This new detail might add to your idea, or it might change it. Either way is fine!)"

UNIT B: Biography and Literature combines multiple choice text-dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses,

  • "What does Isaacson mean when he calls Franklin 'the founding father who winks at us' (1)? Make sure you cite textual evidence to support your ideas."
  • "Isaacson asserts that the change from 'sacred and undeniable' to 'self-evident' was made by Franklin, but other historians are not so sure. Does this edit sound like something Franklin would have written? Cite textual evidence to support your ideas."

Unit C: Liberty and Equality combines multiple choice text-dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses.

  • "What does Douglass emphasize in the beginning of his autobiography and what is he telling the reader about what matters to him?"
  • "Do you agree with Jacobs’s statement, 'Such were the unusually fortunate circumstances of my early childhood' (1, 3), that she was fortunate for not knowing until she was 6 that she was a slave? Note that there is no wrong answer here, but you must support your reasons for agreeing or not agreeing with evidence from the text."
  • "Why is this chapter titled 'What a Foolish Boy'? Give two concrete details from the chapter and tell how you think each supports your answer."

Unit 4: Science and Science Fiction combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses. Some examples include:

  • "Chapter 2 of Volume II ends with Victor Frankenstein saying, 'For the first time I felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were' (85). What does this mean, and why does he say it? We know that the creature has demanded a mate, and we know that Victor is afraid of disappointing him. So why does Victor destroy the mate he was creating right after seeing the creature’s face in the window?
  • "What would Lovelace, Byron, or the speaker in Wordsworth's poem (choose two) say about the world Brautigan imagines?"

Unit D: The Frida & Diego Collection contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text-dependent questions. In addition, there is an opportunity for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions that relate to Grade 7, Unit 1.

  • "In seventh grade, while reading Red Scarf Girl, you may also have studied the use of propaganda posters in China. They were designed in very specific ways, and you explored what they were meant to communicate. Let’s venture beyond the current scavenger hunt and revisit 'Mao as the Sun.' Study the poster again. You will compare this poster to Diego Rivera’s painting Man, Controller of the Universe. Select three design details from each of the two pieces of artwork, and compare how they communicate their message."

Unit E: The Space Race unit also contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text dependent questions. In addition, there is an opportunity for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions.

  • "During the scavenger hunt, you read diverse texts and you examined several images. Read the poem 'Stars' by Robert Frost and describe what he sees. Support your answer with at least three details from the text."
  • "Man has been dreaming of space travel for hundreds of years. In the 1960s, the dreams became a reality. But man has also been thinking about 'aliens' who may one day visit our planet. Published in 1898, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells is about Martians invading earth. Read the passage below and respond to the following prompt: How do Wells's opening paragraphs create a feeling of suspense. Cite at least three examples."
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1h, as sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks to build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. All units end with a writing task that requires students to take what they have learned and evaluated throughout the unit and apply to the task, citing evidence from the associated texts. There are different types of writing that is required within the culminating tasks.

The writing tasks require evidence based arguments, narratives, and information research. From Unit A to the last unit, students are building their writing skills in addition to the text-dependent questions they are challenged to address in writing and speaking. Samples from the materials that represent this indicator include the following:

The culminating task in Unit A is an essay: "Choose two people that Dahl meets over the course of his three years away from home and compare the overall idea Dahl presents about each person. How do the details Dahl uses convey this idea?"

The culmination for Unit B includes an essay and an activity. Students write a culmination essay to the prompt: "What are two different sides of Franklin that you’ve noticed in the readings? Describe each side, discuss where you remember seeing evidence of it, and explain whether the two sides seem connected or contradictory."/. In a culmination activity at the end of Sub Unit 1, students imagine how Franklin would behave in various modern-day scenarios.

The culmination essay for Unit C asks student to choose from two prompts:

  • "How does Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address, try to change what his readers/listeners believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that 'All men are created equal'?"
  • or "How does Douglass, in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, try to change what his readers believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that 'All men are created equal'?"

For Unit D, students write a culminating essay and debate an argument on the following prompt: Is the creature human? Students are assigned a group, a side, and a role, and then groups develop the arguments they will deliver during the debates on the question of who better deserves our sympathy: Victor Frankenstein or his creature.

In Unit E, the culminating activity is research and writing. Students select Frida & Diego-related topics that they would like to explore, work independently to construct effective research questions, then search the Internet for reliable sources that will provide the relevant information they need to answer their questions.

The culminating activity for Unit F is Socratic Seminar where students rely on their research to examine issues inherent in the history of the Space Race. At the end of the unit, students synthesize all of the skills they’ve developed to tackle a culminating research assignment that is part-essay, part-media project.

) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials fully meet the expectations for indicator 1i, providing students frequent opportunities to practice academic vocabulary and syntax in their evidence-based discussions. Each unit/lesson is set up in the same manner, beginning with a vocabulary lesson. Then it poses a class discussion topic and offers other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. On pages 134-141 in the teacher guide, the vocabulary words for each unit/lesson are listed.

Frequent oral language opportunities to do Think-Pair-Share, peer questioning in groups, and partner talk. Sentence frames are provided to support students who need more help applying new vocabulary and syntax.

Samples of how students get practice in modeling academic vocabulary include work with Socratic seminars and debates. A few ways students use this speaking and listening protocol to practice is illustrated in the following examples:

  • A routine that provides an opportunity for evidence-based discussions is the spotlight procedure. Student work is posted digitally and discussed by the class. An example of this routine is found in Grade 8, Unit 8A, Sub Unit 2 Getting Started, Lesson 2 “Focus on a Moment.” The spotlighted assignments facilitate discussion around exemplary work. In this unit, papers that have an effective focus are used. The Spotlight app allows teachers to display work on a classroom digital “wall” and tag the selection with a citation for its effectiveness.
  • Unit B: Students discuss questions with a partner, referring to specific words and phrases in the text to substantiate your answers: "Whom are the writers of the Declaration of Independence talking about? Whom are the writers of the Declaration of Independence talking to?"
  • Structured classroom debates provide opportunities for students to choose their position, prepare opening arguments, listen to the opposing side, and construct impromptu rebuttal.

Examples of different listening and speaking activities that support students' development with practicing language over the course of the school year include the following:

  • Unit D: Science and Science Fiction, Lesson 2, Victor’s Scientific Passions. Students translate four quotations from the block of text on pages 34-35 to understand what Victor wants to know, how he looks for answers, and what he ends up discovering.
  • In the Liberty and Equality unit students perform speeches from Frederick Douglass after watching interpretations and reading speeches. Students study the content, language, and structure of these texts to prepare.
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1j. Students have multiple opportunities for text-dependent discussions in each unit. Each lesson has an opportunity for the teacher to pose a question and have the class discuss it. In addition, each lesson provides opportunities for students to share with partners.

For example in Unit E, The Frida and Diego Collection, Sub Unit 1 Information Literacy Lesson 1, students participate in a class discussion about the credibility of a text. In addition to working as a class, students work in pairs. Instructions include, “Students work with partners to discuss the reliability of the tree octopus site and then participate in a class discussion about source dependability.”

Each Unit/lesson is set up in the same manner generally, starting with a vocabulary lesson, then posing a class discussion topic. The materials offer other opportunities for students to work in pairs or small groups to have discussions. The discussions are always text-dependent and the students are instructed to answer questions citing evidence from the text. Videos, audio recordings or photos/images are sometimes used to promote/start the discussion. The materials include dramatic readings, debates, and other protocols for teachers to provide students multiple opportunities and ways to build their speaking and listening skills while using the texts as anchors.

In the teacher guide, questions are provided as models for teachers to move student discussions and listening skills. Pedagogy for the program include three areas that address speaking and listening. Daily Lesson Patterns include 15-25 minutes at the beginning of each lesson for collaboration and interpretation. Included are the following:

  • Working the Text Out Loud
    • (Page 78, Teacher Program Guide): Early units have students listening to, and sometimes watching a dramatic reading of the text.
    • This includes follow-up discussions that ask students to consider how the the performer interprets the texts, students are asked to interpret and make meaning out of the texts.

Some examples of these materials meeting the expectations of these indicators include:

  • Reading the Novel
    • For example, in Unit B, students listen to an audio clip and follow along in the reading, and are introduced to Franklin’s many interests and accomplishments.
  • Debate
    • Students are engaged in activities that require debating ideas and push to use language purposefully and respond to other students and what they say.
    • Example: Unit D, Sub Unit 1, Frankenstein, students engage in a “Sympathy Debate.” Students continue with the routine of preparing for a debate with a group, side and role by finding the main idea of their position. After the debate, the class holds a discussion and receives feedback of their performance.

Quests

Students must participate in speaking and listening when engaging in the Quests, which are interactive and collaborative. Quests create multiple opportunities for students to work in pairs, small groups, and as a class. The discussions, both “in character” and “out of character” within the contexts of the works they read are critical to each lesson. For example, in Declare Yourself, students debate in a mock Second Continental Congress.

) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectation of a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects. Students write both "on demand" and "over extended periods." On Demand Writing is included in multiple lessons within a collection. Students are required to write 10-15 minutes a couple times a week on different topics. Culminating writings are built from the regular writing tasks completed in the context of reading and writing instruction.

On-demand writing activities happen almost daily, with students answering text-specific questions and prompts. Notebook structures support this type of student demonstration in a low-stakes environment. Higher-stakes essay prompts are also employed throughout the materials. One Unit selection of on-demand writing includes:Find something that Lincoln claims the "we" have in common, and say whether you agree or disagree with him based on the readings that the class looked at today. Later in the Unit, students write an essay:

  • Essay Prompt: How does Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address, try to change what his readers/listeners believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that "All men are created equal"?
    or
    How does Douglass, in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, try to change what his readers believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that "All men are created equal"?

Process writing builds over the school year. The lessons usually start with a focus on the body of the essay before considering its other parts. As the year progresses, each essay assignment adds a new structural element on which students focus. By the end of the year, students are writing essays that flow from their internalized understanding of argumentative structure, rather than adhering to the rules of a formula. Each Lesson Overview for the first essay lesson explains the logic behind its sequencing of elements and provides details about writing an essay on each unit’s text. Revision is addressed in the context of authentic writing.

In Unit F, students spend six lessons researching and writing fully processed text. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units and grades, including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited page. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation. Students will create a visual representation of their research and essays using the online collage app Loupe. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for their collage.

) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials meet the expectations providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Some examples that show how the materials meet the expectations of these indicators include, but are not limited to:

Argument Examples:

  • Unit D: Argue both sides of a question about the creature’s humanity and defend your final answer.
  • Unit E: Frida Kahlo: Who was right Rivera or Rockefeller?

Informative/Explanatory Examples:

  • Unit B: Write an essay where you examine the different facets of Franklin and resolve the contradictions within his character.
  • Unit C: How does Douglass, in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, try to change what his readers believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that "All men are created equal"?

Narrative Examples:

  • Unit G: Advanced Story Telling: This unit is consistent with grade 6 and grade 7 in that is provides an opportunity for students to write narrative and incorporate the elements of the narrative studied for the year. Each year builds on the previous writing tasks and narrative elements.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m, providing frequent opportunities for students to practice evidence-based writing. Students write throughout the year with support to use text in careful analyses, using text-specific evidence to support their thinking. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in varied assignments. One of the highlighted learning experiences in the program involves choosing the best evidence. This is addressed through the themes of making meaning, language development, effective expression, and content knowledge.

Making Meaning: After students find a piece of evidence to support their claim or their answer to a text-dependent question they are asked to write 1-2 sentences to explain how this evidence led them to this answer or connects to their claim.

  • Language Development: Students will learn and practice “describing your evidence.” In other words, noting those aspects of your chosen evidence that best illustrate your idea. As they describe what they notice in those words, students are encouraged to comment at the word level, explaining how an author’s particular word choice impacts the meaning of a sentence or passage.
  • Effective Expression: The lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. The structure around these moments allow students to learn how to express their ideas and listen to another perspective.
  • Content Knowledge: Lessons present multiple opportunities for students to compare how they are using the text to build a claim or develop an understanding. As students review how they might support a particular claim based on the text, they share and become cognizant of the knowledge they are gaining through their close reading.

Some specific examples that represent this program's evidence-based writing include the following examples. All tasks require students to identify specific components of the texts read:

  • Unit A: Develop your ideas and weave them together into an argument that’s easy to follow.
  • Unit B: Write an essay where you examine the different facets of Franklin and resolve the contradictions within his character.
  • Unit C: Claim whether Lincoln or Douglass redefined the concept of equality. How does Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address, try to change what his readers/listeners believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that "All men are created equal"? How does Douglass, in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, try to change what his readers believe about what it means to be dedicated to the American idea that "All men are created equal"?
  • Unit E: Who was right, Rivera or Rockefeller?

The Grade 8 materials include daily writing instruction and practice, end of unit writing, and digital platform writing work.

) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Opportunities for grammar instruction are built into the program. The program includes three PDFs named Mastering Conventions with over 1,000 pages of exercises for grammar skills. The program has embedded grammar throughout the curriculum and in each unit.

Instructions for grammar instruction are found on pages 142-161 of TPG, and includes spelling. Flex days are used to teach explicit grammar instruction and is available at the end of the Get Started sub-unit in Unit 1 for each grade level. These exercises cover the language skills for grammar advised by the CCSS for grades 3-8. The program allows pacing to be at the discretion of the teacher depending on the skills of the students. The lessons provide opportunities for the teacher to target specific skills. In addition to the flex days, the program instructs teachers to use time during revision activities and over the shoulder conferences to target grammar skills for students who may need extra time. The program provides examples for teachers on how to encourage students with grammar skills. For example:

In Unit 1, the Getting Started sub-unit focuses on jump-starting student writing by developing their focus and stamina. Continuing throughout the unit with regular opportunities for writing and connections to selected texts, students develop their idea and build their sense of syntax. The lessons start with practice in communicating ideas effectively and develop ideas before formal grammar instruction begins.

Examples:

  • Lesson 1: Write about one recent moment from gym class.
  • Lesson 8: Write about a moment when you met someone who was very different from what you expected him or her to be.

Revision Assignments are provided and provide time for students to practice revising their own writing. Revision assignments are provided as part of the Flex Days. Each revision assignment focuses on one of the following five areas:

  • Complete sentences
  • Pronoun use
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense
  • Sentence combining

Teachers are encouraged to review each student’s work for the skill they need to work on and provide the lesson appropriate and most beneficial for the student.

Flex Days and Over-the Shoulder conferencing (OTSC) with targeted feedback allowing teachers to “regularly instruct students on grammar” and focus on individual skills for individual students. Flex days are designed to pace the grammar instruction and contain a regular time for review, reinforcement and/or extension activities to help all levels of students. Lessons include short drills and revision assignments to practice the skills. Flex Days examples:

  • Flex Day, Grammar 1: Unit 1, Lesson 9: Identifying Participles
  • Flex Day, Grammar 7: Unit 3, Lesson 12: Changing Verb Voice for a Different Impact

The OTSC is targeted feedback for students. Each grade level provides models of how a teacher would respond to specific concerns in a text. Teachers are instructed to “point to the sentences, name the skill, and comment on it.” A few examples of the types of feedback provided include, but not limited to;

  • “This subordinate clause makes it clear how truly strange his behavior appeared.”
  • “These three complete sentences clearly illustrate your idea, and make it easy to follow.”

Rubrics are provided in the TPG to track student progress with their control of grammar in the writing prompts. For example, a conventions rubric has the following language to guide teachers and students:

1 Needs Improvement

2 Developing proficiency

3 Proficient

4 Exceeds expectations

Student writes a minimum of 25 words, but there are many fragments and/or run-ons that prevent the reader from understanding the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 50 words, and most sentences are complete. Errors impeded the reader’s ability to understand the writing.

Student writes a minimum of 105 words, and most sentences are complete and punctuated correctly. Errors might detract the reader, but do not impede the reader’s ability to understand the writing overall.

Student writes a minimum of 140 words, and, almost all of the sentences are complete and punctuated correctly.


) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. Text units are arranged by theme: Dahl & Narrative, Biography & Literature, Liberty & Equality, Science & Science Fiction, and research units The Frida & Diego Collection and the Space Race Collection are organized in ways that indicate purposeful design to build knowledge and to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex text.

Some examples of how the materials represent the expectations of this indicator to build students' knowledge include the following:

The Science & Science Fiction Unit pairs Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein with a selection about Ada Love, computer programmer, both working to build students' knowledge around science understandings in culture and how innovation is perceived in society.

Biography & Literature selections of Excerpts from Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson; The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin; Benjamin Franklin documents (letters and other documents authored by Franklin); and the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress are included to build knowledge of Franklin and trace his development as a writer and thinker.

Liberty & Equality pairs writings by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln with selections that focus on slavery and the Civil War. The pairings are purposeful to the end of helping students to reach the established goal of thinking how the world could be different.

) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2b. Students work with texts and work to analyze language, key ideas, the craft and structure of individual text, and look closely at the texts to grow knowledge about topics. Students read closely and thoroughly and explore the meanings of texts through tasks and questions that integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The materials focus on the small pieces that make up texts as well as the larger structural and organizational components that support students' understanding of how the text is developed.

Materials use paraphrasing as a technique to practice identifying the specifics of language choices and impact of key vocabulary. An example is in Unit 8A with "The Voyage Out." Directions to the teacher include an explanation of this strategy in use: “... one reason we have students paraphrase: to create an alternate version to compare to the original. By putting these two versions side-by-side, students can notice what makes the original special—and can see more clearly how these distinctive qualities make a particular kind of impact on the reader.” Students get an opportunity in Unit A to work with paraphrasing and studying the impact of language: “Try rewriting Dahl’s language so it sounds like something you could say to a friend.” and “Why do you think Dahl might have chosen these words instead of those you chose in your paraphrase?”

Identification and analysis of important words is a key element throughout the materials. Students are directed to sections, paragraphs, phrases, and words throughout text study in the online components: “Students zoom in on a short phrase and consider the impact it makes.” and “the highlighted phrase gives us a strong feeling for what’s going to happen in Little Red Riding Hood. " There are suggestions for the teacher to support students in this effort as they consider the impact of different words and their meanings.

Other examples from the materials that demonstrate how this program supports students' growth with these literacy components include the following:

In Unit 8A, students study Roald Dahl's language choices and craft as an author. Examples from the lesson include this prompt: “So, as readers, we want to keep asking ourselves why did the author chose to keep this part instead of leaving it out? And why did he tell us about it in this way instead of in another? What kind of impact is he trying to make on us, his readers?” “Students select details in both passages as examples of what makes Dahl's 2 descriptions different.”

In Unit 8C, Liberty & Equality, students analyze the revisions Lincoln made to the Gettysburg Address to focus on the craft involved in constructing the speech. Particular attention is paid to the word “Dedicate” and how the different ways it is used in the speech. This is compared to the use of the word in other texts in the Unit: students analyze the meaning of the second paragraph of The Gettysburg Address with five groups each taking a different text to see how the word “dedicate” is used. Ex. “In this excerpt, what does Douglass seem to be dedicated to?”

In this same Unit, students to reflect deeply on the texts they have studied. The following example comes from lesson for students revising their essays on Douglas and Franklin: “Students reflect on whether their ideas about Lincoln's or Douglass's strategic language choices have or have not changed since they wrote their initial claim statements.” This is preceded by study of the language choices within each piece.

) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 materials meet the expectations of indicator 2c. There are ample opportunities for students to gain practice and build knowledge with text dependent questions and tasks throughout the year with multiple texts within the units. Some of these questions relate to one text and others require students to use information from multiple texts. The strong layering of topics within each unit leads to deeper understandings and integration of knowledge and ideas. Additionally, this is further supported by the connections between units within the grade level and across grade levels.

Lessons build on one another. An example is a lesson from Unit B: Biography & Literature. Sub-Unit 2, lesson 1 shows this building of knowledge. After studying Benjamin Franklin for fourteen lessons, students are asked to focus on the last phrase of the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and think if it is something Benjamin Franklin would have written. “Lesson 1: Focus on the last phrase of the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: 'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.' Does this sound like something Franklin would have written?"

Another example is found in Unit C, Liberty & Equality. In Sub-unit 4, lesson 1, "A New Nation," students look for connections between the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. “Reread the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, highlighting words that help explain why the writers were forming a new nation. “ In the next lesson (lesson 2), "Dedicate," students analyze the meaning of the second paragraph of The Gettysburg Address with five groups each taking a different text to see how the word “dedicate” is used. For example, “In this excerpt, what does Douglass seem to be dedicated to?”

In Unit D, Science & Science Fiction, Sub-Unit 3, lesson 5, students reflect and write on multiple texts. From the overview: “In “The Tables Turned,” students connect Wordsworth’s poem to a passage from Frankenstein, and in “Man and Machines,” students connect Brautigan’s poem to any two passages from Lessons 1–4.”

Many lessons contain a section titled “Connections to other lessons” that assists the teacher with understanding how pieces both in the past and future fit together.

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2d. The materials build students' knowledge of topics using sequences of high quality questions and tasks that culminate in engaging tasks that allow them to demonstrate integrated literacy skills. Some examples of how these materials meet the expectations of this indicator include the following examples:

In Liberty & Equality, Unit 8C, students complete the sub-unit on Frankenstein in Unit 8D, Sub-unit 1, lesson 14, with a debate. This unit includes material to help prepare students for the roles in the debate, short video clips to watch, as well as a poll and opportunities for discussion.

One culminating tasks, along with an essay, for the Friday & Diego Collection is a multi-media collage presentation. This project is based on the research students have done throughout the unit. The following is directions for one task: “Tell students that they will have eight minutes to get ready for their presentations. They should choose the person that will present the collage. Then they will help the presenter by discussing the collage and taking notes for the presenter to use during the presentation. The notes should be brief: they should be reminders for the presenter, not a script. The group discussions should answer the following questions:

  • What is the main idea for the collage? What are you trying to convey?
  • Why did you choose various elements in the collage?
  • What will the closing thought be? It should restate the main idea and leave the class with something to think about.

The penultimate unit again tasks students to address multiple texts in their research through a Socratic seminar and media project. Notes to the teacher support implementing this work well, as there is a lot of detail in the instructions: “Tell students that they will have eight minutes to get ready for their presentations. They should choose the person that will present the timeline. Then they will help the presenter by discussing the timeline and taking notes for the presenter to use during the presentation. The notes should be brief; they should be reminders for the presenter, not a script.”

Many tasks leverage the use of technology. The culminating task for the Frida & Diego Collection uses an app called Loupe to create an interactive collage. The Space Race Collection uses myhistro.com to create an interactive timeline. The entire content leverages the use of technology as it is a digital curriculum. This is powerfully realized in interactive vocabulary exercises, quick class polls that are displayed and discussed, access to immediate feedback on multiple choice assessments, Spotlight app to highlight student work, and loom workspace app that assists students with research and citing relevant sources.

) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2e. The materials provide a year-long approach to building students' academic vocabulary, providing them opportunities to master many new words, practice those learned earlier, and apply new vocabulary across multiple contexts. Similar to Grades 6 and 7, the materials include a goal for students to master 500 new vocabulary words over the course of the school year. The lesson plans include daily support for this goal: five minutes are allotted at the beginning of each lesson for vocabulary development delivered through the Amplify Vocab Application. Vocabulary words are also listed in the daily lesson guide. Teachers are encouraged to use these words throughout instruction. These words are found in a “Words to Use” section of the Teacher Guide where descriptions of vocabulary routines are provided for both whole class and paired instruction.

Mastery is measured through assessment activities determining the right use of a word in context. Games also exist to study morphology, figurative language, dictionary skills, words in context (via the Lexica activity), and synonyms/antonyms study

The Amplify ELA Program Guide lists domain-specific vocabulary in different subject areas including Social Studies, Art, Science, and ELA Literacy. For example, in Grade 8, "The Frida & Diego Collection" lists the words: mural, sketch, scaffold, mezzanine, chiaroscuro, fuchsia, fresco, iconic, commissioned, and aesthetic alongside descriptions of the skill-building activities where they employ the vocabulary.

Other examples of vocabulary development appear in the questions and tasks students encounter during lessons; for example, in Unit 8B, Lesson 1 “Walter Isaacson packs a lot of meaning into his language. Sometimes a single word or short phrase tells us a lot. Let’s look at 'civic improvement' from paragraph 1, sentence 4.” Students create a word web to understand the academic vocabulary building of the phrase listed.

The Reveal tool is a feature students use while reading text that identifies and marks vocabulary as accessible through context or needing more support. A digital application, the support is provided to students as they click on the word to bring up a substituted word in context. The words identified with the Reveal tool are words necessary for understanding the text. A list is provided of a selection’s Reveal words at, above, or across grade level, with additional information on part of speech, context, and definition. Students are encouraged to incorporate these words in their writing.

Proficiency with vocabulary is monitored with short assessments that require the student to select a word used in the correct manner.

) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectation of indicator 2f. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are provided with prompts to make observations and reflect about their own writing to build skills and knowledge for future writings. Standard practices for writing are set in motion in the first unit and continue throughout the year with different writing tasks. Lessons include targeted writing instruction, writing skill drills, and revision assignments. Also included in the materials is guidance to teachers about how to use Over-the Shoulder Conferences to provide immediate and meaningful feedback as students write. Teachers are directed to use affirmation comments, skill reminders and oral revision remarks to support students.

The progression of writing the narrative starts with getting the interest of the students and their own stories. In the first unit, students are provided with multiple prompts to generate ideas. For example:

  • Lesson 1: Write about one recent moment from gym class.
  • Lesson 2: Write about one moment when you saw something unexpected on your way home. After they are more comfortable with their stories, students read Dahl and respond to prompts connected to the text to focus on the details (a narrative element they will practice later).

Examples of prompts that follow these idea generation activities include:

  • Lesson 5: Describe one difference between the ways that Mdisho and Roald think about war. (Use details from the text to show what you mean.)
  • Lesson 7: After hearing Mdisho’s story, Roald says: "I myself am tremendously proud of you….To me, you are a great hero" (Mdisho of the Mwanumwezi, 57).
  • Who do you think acted more heroically in his encounter with the Germans, Mdisho or Roald? Compare the two characters by using a specific detail from each of their stories.

Unit G includes a culminating writing assignment at the end of the year that requires students to use the skills they have practiced and learning from the beginning of the year. The lessons have progressed throughout the year from skills and tasks for writing. In this unit, students will demonstrate their skills with the following:

  • Moving from personal narrative to writing a fictional narrative
  • Use their author’s craft to show perspective in their writing
  • Push students from using prompts to creating their own stories through their imagination
  • Create believable characters

As modeled in previous lessons, students and teachers will participate in the following:

  • Targeted instruction, skills drills and revision assignments
  • Over-the-shoulder conferences (OTSC)
  • Writing process including peer review
) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2g. Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. There are two culminating research units in the Grade 8 materials. They fall at Unit 5 and 6 out of 7 units. Both projects develop over the course of the unit, introducing the students to a variety of genres and information relevant to the topic.

In Unit E, The Frida & Diego Collection, students practice and demonstrate identifying the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, in addition to learning to identify the credibility and uses of sources. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation. Students create a visual representation of their research and essays using the online collage app Loupe. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for their collage. Students chose between an informative or argument essay to finish the unit.

In Scavenger Hunts, students are provided sources and asked to search for answers. This provides opportunities to read through selections and allow students to research on a basic level as they uncover content and practice identifying good research evidence.

The overview provides some framing for how the research projects work with the year-long writing and reading development plans: "Students spend lessons researching and writing a five-paragraph essay. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited Page. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for the timeline."

After students have practiced both informative and argument, they can choose from either to write their final paper and project in this unit. After reading and prompting from the teacher, students get to choose a topic they want to further develop and research for their own.

Detail for students to learn research writing practice includes specific checklists, such as guiding questions:

  1. Have I found 2–3 valid sources that provide useful information about my topic?
  2. Is the information I’ve gathered focused on my topic?
  3. Do I have enough information to write an introduction, 2 body paragraphs, and a conclusion?
  4. Are there any gaps in my research?

Students are guided through the writing with editing, revision, research and peer response. Teacher shares models, rubrics and over the shoulder conferences.

The concern for the two units is that students have a choice with both and may choose to write only in the informative or argument. Although this may occur, students are working with both writing tasks throughout both research units. The both require students to read and analyze informative, narrative, and argument text types.

) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The Grade 8 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2h, providing a design (including accountability) for how students will engage with independent reading. During independent reading students set weekly goals, reflect on their own reading, and log progress by describing and critiquing one strategy they have used and when they decide on another strategy they could try. Printables are available for students to record reading goals, pages read, reflections, and tracking of genres.

Many lessons conclude with a “solo” activity for reading. In these solos, students read a passage and answer multiple choice questions as a comprehension check. An example from Unit 8B ("Declaration of Independence, lesson 1") students read "Jefferson’s Role in the Declaration of Independence"

Other solos have students read texts of their own choice. For example, in Science & Science Fiction, Sub Unit 3, lesson 3, “Students have time for independent reading. Let them know that this activity is not optional.” Space is included for students to record information about their reading.

The system that tracks independent reading is embedded with the Amplify Library. The Reading Tracker students year to year and can be accessed to provide a view of the breadth of independent reading that is being done by a student over time. To assist students with book selection there are starter lists by genre/subject (p 680-700 of TPG) independent reader’s guides that group works around each unit of study (p710-736 of TPG), books encountered on Lexica, and peer recommendation lists. There are additional strategies called out to support independent reading such as book talks, teacher modeling through think-alouds, book sharing, partner reading, vocabulary work in context, writing and online book pages for sharing. Suggestions for accountability are writing on shared documents, online posts, one-on-one conferences with students.

The world of Lexica, an extra resource, requires that students encounter characters and objects that “wander in and out” of books in the Amplify library. Reading choices and reading progress has consequences in the game which supports independent reading.

) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills.The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

[rating] => meets ) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

The use and design of the instructional materials facilitate student learning. The design of the materials is consistent, simple, and not distracting. The annual pacing guide makes lesson structure and pacing clear. The thirty-six weeks of instruction is reasonable for a school year. All resources include clear directions, explanations, and standards alignments.

) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The lesson architecture appears on pages 101-103 of the TPG. The daily lesson begins with 5 minutes of Building Vocabulary where students work independently on the vocabulary activities while the teacher checks in with students. This is followed by 15-25 minutes Collaborate and Interpret where one of the following tasks is performed: Working with Text Out Loud, Working Visually, Working with Text as Theater, Choosing the Best Evidence, or Using Text as Referee. Next is the 15-25 minute Produce segment which includes Writing for an Authentic Audience, Revising, or Debate. In the 5-10 minute Prepare for Independent Work part of the lesson, students wrap up their learning with sharing, discussion, and introducing the Solo. The daily lesson ends with 20-60 minutes of Independent Work time where students complete the Solo, read independently, play in the World of Lexica, create a video for ProjectEd, or Build more vocabulary with VocabApp.

In the teacher’s digital guide there is a clear structure and pacing laid out for each lesson and each lesson segment. For example, in the Liberty and Equality lesson segment, for fifteen minutes students read the first six paragraphs of the text with no support to see what they can figure out on their own before seeing the dramatic reading of the same paragraphs. Three minutes is a whole class Intro & Read. Students read and then complete Multiple Choice 1 for two minutes, and students read and then complete Multiple Choice 2-6 for ten minutes.


) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The annual pacing guide for 8th grade appears on pages 42-43 of the TPG. The 7 units are taught over a 36 week/180 day school year.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

The Student digital materials contain ample practice resources within each lesson segment. The predictable format that is used throughout each lesson makes it easy for students to follow along and engage with the texts as well as the activities. Tasks are chunked to provide frequent practice with a skill throughout the lesson. The directions are clearly written, and texts and work spaces are provided conveniently alongside. Writing is strongly supported in the organization of the student materials. Students’ written responses are preserved within the lesson and show up later for sharing. They are also easily accessible within a section of the program called “My Work.” Of particular strength are the Solo activities that often act as a formative assessment where students can display their competence with a text independently. In addition to the directions given within the student materials, there are scripted oral supports within the teacher’s materials for the teacher to use during instruction.

For example, in Unit E Frida & Diego, Sub Unit 2, Lesson 2, students reread the text starting at paragraph 9. The teacher prompts students to highlight in yellow two details to use in an argument and highlight in blue one detail that they think the other side might present but that they do not consider to be valid evidence.

) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

An overview and alignment for each unit appears in the TPG on pages 51-57. The specific standards are identified by lesson as being taught explicitly or practiced in the sub units. Additionally, in the digital teacher’s edition, Skills and Standards are called out for each lesson sequence.

For example, World War II and Narrative Unit A, Sub Unit 3, Lesson 2 citations include CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3, CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2, and CA CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2.B.

) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The student online edition is well laid out with a predictable format and ease of use. There are supporting graphics that are not distracting that serve as recognizable links within the content rather than as illustrations. The use of drop down menus and expanding windows keeps the screen clean. When students are reading text or engaging in tasks, the design provides easy access to everything students need without extra distraction.

) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for teacher learning and understanding of the standards. The materials include a teacher's edition with annotations and suggestions on how to present the content. The materials include adult-level explanations and examples and explanations of the role of specific standards in the context of the overall materials. The instructional approaches of the program are explained in the context of the overall curriculum. Strategies for informing stakeholders about the program and about how they can support student progress and achievement are provided, and overall, the materials do support teacher learning and understanding of the standards.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectation for materials containing a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The program includes a teacher’s edition with each lesson containing an overview, prep, connections to other lessons, vocabulary, skills and standards, and tips on differentiation. Throughout the lesson, suggestions on how to present the content are provided. Materials also include specific guidance for embedded technology.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectation of materials containing a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The program includes a Teacher Program Guide which includes a program overview, pedagogical approach, pacing guides, guidance for skill instruction, assessment, universal design, and more: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/ela/resources/ela-california-edition/teacher-program-guide/

Also, a section of the Teacher Program Guide addresses technology & Multimedia: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Strategic_Use_of_Technology_and_MultimediaCA-program-over.pdf

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The Teacher Program Guide includes unit overviews that show the connection between standards and the Amplify program. The guide provides program organization maps broken down by sub-units to indicate how the Common Core Standards are aligned to the instructional program.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Unit_Overviews_and_AlignmentsCA-program-over.pdf

The Amplify approach to standards based instruction is further clarified in their document on skill instruction and practice.

https://help.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Skills_instruction_and_practiceCA-Assess.pdf

) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Amplify ELA provides a guide to their research-based strategies in the research base section of the teacher’s program guide that fully goes into detail to explain the implementation model.

https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Research_BaseCA-Appendix.pdf

The guide also includes the pedagogical approach: https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Pedagogical_approachCA-Assess.pdf

) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 contain multiple strategies to inform stakeholders about the program including discussion of the program’s approach to feedback and revision, guidance to teachers on supporting student progress through identifying areas of concern through formative assessments, and enlisting support of parents through home/school communications

Resources are found at https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Home-School_ConnectionCA-Extended.pdf and https://resources.learning.amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Assessment_and_FeedbackCA-Assess.pdf.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the standards. Formative and summative assessment opportunities are provided throughout the materials. All assessments clearly indicate which standards are being emphasized, and teachers are provided guidance on how to interpret student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Routines and opportunities to monitor student progress are included throughout the materials.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. There are ample opportunities for assessment placed throughout the program to serve formative needs and to pinpoint summative progress towards standards.

Formative Assessments include Over-the-Shoulder conferences, Spotlight, Solo, and Reading Comprehension Checks. Reading Comprehension checks are placed within each text in the form of a multiple choice “Solo” which checks explicit and implicit understanding. The TE indicates that these “Solos” will occur about 3 times weekly and provide formative assessment for both the class as a whole and individual students. Over-the-shoulder conferences are a staple of the Amplify ELA program and enable teachers to provide nuanced feedback and subtle individualized direction while every student works on a common activity. Over-the-shoulder conferencing is such a key part of the Amplify lessons that a technical feature to support it has been built into the digital lesson structure. When teachers see the symbol and click on it, they see 3-4 squares that describe characteristics of student behavior or student work, specific to the activity that teachers should look for. When teachers click on one of these squares, the system provides direction to the teacher about how to support students approaching the activity in different ways. These context-specific over-the-shoulder conferences always include an “on-track” example and a way to push the “on-track” student further.

The instructional materials include Summative Assessments. End of Unit Essays require the student to write about the text and cite evidence from the text. End of Unit assessments integrate reading and writing skills. The twice yearly summative assessment provides analysis that is tied directly to standards.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the requirement for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized.

Amplify ELA includes three grades that are each built on seven units of instruction. Within each unit, several sub-units divide a unit’s texts and skills into manageable learning goals. Pages 50-71 in the teachers edition outline which standards are taught in each unit and sub-unit.

) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

TE: Rubrics and examples of student work are included, the gradebook tracks student scores, student goal setting

) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The following provide opportunities to monitor student progress:

  • Over-the-shoulder conferences allow the teacher to provide “in the moment” feedback to students as they work through a challenging activity or complete a writing prompt
  • Sharing is part of the writing routine. Students produce a specific idea about a text.
  • Spotlight is a digital app that allows teacher to highlight student examples and project those to use for instruction or appreciation.
  • Revision agreements ask students to do a short piece of differentiated revision on one of their pieces of writing. Student practice a particular skill at the same time as they practice the skill of revising itself.
  • Written comments allow students to have the teacher’s recorded feedback. Targeted comments both provide specific feedback on the piece of writing and a small model to guide future writing.
  • Reading comprehension check is a series of 5-8 multiple choice questions tied to a text that the students have not seen before. This is part of the students’ independent work or solo activity.
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The materials include a Digital library, and Lexica motivates students to read outside of school. The materials include a Reading Tracker. Pages 639-736 in the teachers guide provide a student guide to the digital library and offer students choices and selections. This includes Starter lists, Independent Reader’s Guides, Lexica, and Peer recommendations. Strategies to support independent reading include Book talks, teacher modeling via think-alouds, book sharing, and partner reading. Accountability and Progress are tracked by digital readers, book sharing conversations, one-on-one conversations, and reading trackers.

) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials regularly provide support for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English and additional extensions and advanced opportunities are available for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meets the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

As noted in the TE on pages 210-216, Amplify uses Universal Design to meet all students where they are and encourage growth. The following is a list of the strategies used to engage all learners:

  • Modeling- Teachers demonstrate how to perform certain tasks, provide examples of student work, and model thinking process aloud
  • Formative Assessment Practices- Teachers monitor student understandings and progress through "understanding checkpoints" and provide elicit feedback
  • Language Production Supports- Teachers provide sentence frames and word banks to enable all students to produce academic writing and speech
  • Background Knowledge- Teachers connect new learning to student experiences and prior learning.
  • Visual Supports: The materials use visuals to guide student language and content learning
  • Oral Language Support: Teachers provide opportunities for students to practice academic discourse frequently.
  • Attention to Language Forms: Teachers foster discussion of how to effectively use words and conventions to convey meaning in context
  • Working with Text Aloud: The materials encourage performance of theater exercises with text, viewing performances of text, and hearing audio versions of required readings as needed
  • Working with Routines: The materials include clear, structured routines that are established at the beginning of the year.
) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 partially meet expectations for materials regularly providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards.

Lessons are coded for different levels. In each lesson there is a differentiation lesson with multiple variations. It is located right at the bottom of the first page and is available to all students. Teachers can combine the lessons and the differentiation easily. Teachers are provided with supports to guide them through the instruction with a variety of learners (disabilities, reading below level, advanced, and EL). Supports include grouping strategies, focusing different students to different parts of the reading, and stopping before discussions to do partner read alouds. Targeted support for students who are learning English is limited.

Flex Days are embedded in each unit to allow students to catch up or move ahead with a variety of activites, including Quests, vocabulary, and language work. Students can work on revisions during these days as well, although there is limited specific support for teachers to assure implementation of this differentiation. On these days, teachers can direct students individually to work on the skills they need, but may need additional support from external resources.

Three levels of differentiation are provided for the most difficult primary source documents in the Collection. Adapted versions, paraphrased versions, and Spanish version are provided. Alternative vocabulary exercises are also available.

) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Flex Days provide time for advanced students to read from the Amplify library and expand vocabulary and language knowledge through games. Supplemental texts to provide additional reading and engagement for advanced learners are identified to accompany all units in the Amplify library.

The instructional materials include extensions and advanced opportunities throughout. For example, over the Shoulder conferences include guidance for the teachers to push students more deeply about a particular topic. Throughout the materials, teachers are provided challenge questions to support the advanced learners. Challenge Writing Prompts are also available.

) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.

Within the lessons, students work in collaborative groups and pair-share partners, and teachers are provided with tips on how to organize students. Teachers are encouraged to group students by ability and by language use at different times. Students have the opportunity to work with heterogeneous and homogeneous groups. When students work with partners, sometimes they choose their partners and other times the teacher chooses. For example, in Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Unit C, Sub Unit 2, Lesson 1, students work in pairs and then move to groups. Students move from one partner to another.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => effective-technology-use [type] => component [report] => ) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s3v [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners. Materials support the use of adaptive or other technological innovations and include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructions materials partially meet expectations that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or safari.

On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed.

On HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology is used in the following ways:

  • research, integration of dynamic media, and sharing of ideas
  • express and publish information and opinions using digital media and technology (Evidenced in Research units)
  • virtual library with eReader and scaffolds, audio support, and interactive questions
  • Storyboard authoring tools
  • research collections
  • apps/quests
  • learning about using reliable resources and being responsible with internet
) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The materials are easily differentiated to meet the different needs of students. The materials provide real time data to give feedback and help teachers respond to student needs. The eWriter includes feedback tools, so teacher feedback is immediate for students. They can view and comment as students are in the process of writing and make immediate adjustments.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials reviewed can be easily customized for local use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as appropriate for students. Teachers are also able to add notes to the materials.

) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate. For example, teachers can use Spotlight to showcase student work for other students to see.

) ) [isbns] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => custom [number] => http://www.amplify.com/curriculum/amplifyela [custom_type] => As of 8/30/16: [title] => [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2016 [binding] => [publisher] => [year] => 0 ) ) ) 1

ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)

American Reading Company | K-12 | 2017 Edition

Kindergarten

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    [title] => ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/kindergarten.html
    [grade] => Kindergarten
    [type] => ela-k-2
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 54
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

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        (
            [score] => 30
            [rating] => meets
        )

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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 355
    [title] => ARC Core (2017)
    [report_date] => 2017-06-08
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 7
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [gateway_1_points] => 54
    [gateway_1_rating] => meets
    [gateway_1_report] => 

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are, therefore, worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills; although, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

[gateway_3_points] => 30 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

[report_type] => ela-k-2 [series_id] => 80 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/kindergarten.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] => ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that anchor texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of interests. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including, but not limited to animals, bugs, pets, family, transportation, cultural texts, traditional tales, folklores, and scientific non-fiction. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

The following are Kindergarten texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a Caldecott Medal narrative text with colorful illustrations and rich vocabulary such as piled, crunch, and s-l-o-w-l-y.
  • Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens is a humorous trickster tale. The character dialogue contains interesting, engaging conversation.
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews is a Caldecott Honor book. The text contains information about different train cars. Because the illustrations contain specific colors, readers learn the names of colors.
  • Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller is a rhyming text that provides information about animals that lay eggs. The illustrations are vibrant colors and detailed.
) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Kindergarten provides students the opportunity to engage in above-level, complex read alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain eight baskets of leveled readers and four baskets of read-aloud, “immersion” texts that are intended to engage all types of readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards (50% informational and 50% fiction). The texts include diverse topics and genres, such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and historical fiction.

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1:

  • The Family Book, by Todd Parr
  • Dim Sum for Everyone, by Grace Lin

Unit 2:

  • Why Do Birds Have Beaks? By Miles Kelly
  • Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller

Unit 3:

  • What Eats What? In An Ocean Food Chain, by Suzanne Slade,
  • Why Living Things Need… Homes, by Daniel Nunn

Unit 4:

  • How Bugs and Plants Live Together, by Yvonne Misztal,
  • Ant Cities, by Arthur Dorros

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1:

  • There Is a Bird on Your Head, by Mo Willems
  • Jamaica’s Find, by Juanita Havill

Unit 2

  • Zoo, by Gail Gibbons
  • George Flies South, by Simon James

Unit 3:

  • Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef, by Marianne Berkes
  • The Moss-Covered Rock, by Eric A. Kimmel

Unit 4:

  • Up, Up, and Away, by Ginger Wadsworth
  • The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carl
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials are designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple texts sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text. Though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards that all read alouds be above grade-level. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small and whole-group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language Standards key to reading success for students in grades PreK through 12.”

Some examples of text-complexity measures indicated by the materials include the following:

  • The read aloud, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker has an 820 Lexile. This text contains rhyming poetry with slightly to moderately complex academic language, but comprehension is supported through pictures and context.
  • The read-aloud, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Voirst has a Lexile level of 970, however, qualitatively the text has one storyline and illustrations that support understanding. The language demands can be slightly to moderately complex, based on the run-on sentence structure to denote the narrator’s mood.
  • The book, This is the Way we Go to School by Laine Falk has a Lexile of 450. Qualitatively, the structure is slightly complex with illustrations to support understanding. The language demands are also slightly complex (with familiar vocabulary) for most readers. The knowledge demands present readers with different cultures, geography, and mapping that may be unfamiliar but are heavily supported with illustrations.
) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The supplemental text baskets are leveled according to the publisher’s system, called the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). There are a topic and “immersion” baskets for teachers to select from for anchor read alouds, all leveled 2-3 years above the reading level of most Kindergarteners.

The CCSS text complexity Reading Standard for Kindergarten is to, “Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.” Text options are at differing levels of material. The materials provide text sets (baskets) that are leveled and expose students to a myriad of levels and complexity. Students are provided access to the texts that are both of interest and are at the appropriately challenging level, according to the IRLA.

Materials provide students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts from the beginning to the end of the year require careful monitoring, using the IRLA and suggested instruction based upon the IRLA results. The rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year. Students will engage with texts at varying levels, unit to unit, according to their skill levels.

Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. The teacher companion to the research lab contains general instruction outlines, speaking and listening strategies, and general comprehension questions. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc).

) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that anchor (core) texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company's (ARC's) Comprehensive Core utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework), drawing on the three measures of text complexity to level texts. “To determine reading level, every book is double-blind and hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

An example of a text complexity analysis and purpose and placement for the core texts is as follows:

Title: This is the Way we Go to School, by Laine Falk

Text Complexity Level: Red (2th Grade)

Quantitative: 450L (2nd-3rd)

Qualitative: Lexile accurately reflects the difficulty of the text because:

  • Purpose/Structure: Slightly Complex. The text is organized topically with each section introducing a different mode of transportation used by school children in various parts of the world. The photographs and text features aid in comprehending the text.
  • Language: Slightly Complex. Simple sentence construction is seen throughout. Language use is familiar. There are opportunities to introduce domain-specific language related to world geography, cultures, and community transportation systems.
  • Knowledge Demands: Slightly Complex. Some of the terms for both modes of transportation and world geography and cultures will be unfamiliar to readers. Photographs provide significant support for these concepts. A world map at the end offers an opportunity to introduce students to the concepts of countries and mapping.
  • Reader and Task: The text is a suitable for an above-level Kindergarten read aloud that uses a common experience - traveling to school - to introduce children to the diversity of world cultures and experiences.
) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Interactive Read Aloud, Readers' Workshop, and Read Aloud or Shared Reading.

Readers' Workshop includes a Read Aloud or Shared Reading segment in which:

  • Teachers model the reading/thinking strategies expected from a proficient, grade-level reader (i.e., using clues in the book to figure out new words, reading Power Words, etc.) through a read aloud.
  • Students then practice the modeled skills during independent reading from self-selected texts.
  • Students share how they used the modeled strategies in an Accountable Talk segment of Readers' Workshop.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources.

Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about a topic.

The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Opportunities to explicitly learn grade-level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

For example:

Unit 1:

  • "Let’s compare and contrast _(character)_’s adventures in the two books we just read. Students share, first in pairs and then with the class: What is the same? What is different?" • Other Characters • Setting • Problem • Solution"

Unit 2:

  • "What did you learn from this book about the life cycles of mammals? How do you know this is true?"

Unit 3:

  • “Is ___ a plant or an animal? How do you know? Where is your evidence? What else did you learn? Who found any new information about ___? What is a topic of this book?" and "What key details can you find about this topic?”

Unit 4:

  • Students are asked, “Let’s go back into this book to learn more about how the ___ hunts. What else is interesting about it? What else did you learn about ___? What did you learn from this book about what makes a spider a spider?" and "How do you know this is true?”
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task, which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

  • Unit 1, Literacy Lab: "On this page/in this part, what are the words telling us? What are the pictures telling us? What can you tell us so far about the author/illustrator (e.g., the author writes funny stories, the stories are about animals, the stories have rhymes in them, the main character is always ___, etc)."
  • Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 3: Give students clipboards with writing paper. Have the students create their own life cycle diagrams for one reptile, drawing each stage and labeling it with the right term. It’s okay if this is simply copied from a book. Encourage, but don’t require students to be resourceful and use class charts, labels, etc., to help them with spelling. Any student work should be saved in his/her science folder to become part of that child’s book for this topic.
  • Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1: “I am going to make a chart with two sections. I’ll draw a line down the middle. I will head one section Living and the other section Non-Living. Use Interactive Writing to add students’ examples of living organisms and non-living things to your T-chart: "What letter does ___ start with?” Lesson 2, Day 5: Present students with an opinion. Students work in teams to locate evidence to support this opinion. The team with the best/most evidence wins.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 1: Have students compare their diagram with the diagram that you started together earlier. Have them check to make sure that their diagram contains every defining part of their insects’ bodies (legs, three body sections, and antennae). Any student work should be saved in his/her Science Folder to become part of that child’s scientific research.
) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax, including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1: Accountable Talk, Partner Share. Students work in pairs to rehearse oral responses for their Independent Reading to the question: "What is your favorite part of the book? Why?" Partner A, hold up one book you read today. For that book, tell your partner, “My favorite part of the book was ____ because ____.”
  • In Unit 2: Ask if any student read a great book she would like to share with the group. Select one student. Have all other students look at him/her. Ask him/her to hold up the book so everyone can see the cover. Ask him/her to tell one thing s/he liked about that book or to “read” one page s/he liked out loud.
  • In Unit 3: Accountable Talk. When everyone is finished, have students work in pairs to look at each other’s animal drawings and talk about what they have learned.
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • Unit 1: Students work in pairs to rehearse oral responses for their Independent Reading to the question: What is your favorite part of the book? Why? Partner A, hold up one book you read today. For that book, tell your partner, “My favorite part of the book was ____ because ____.”
  • Unit 2: The entire class works together to compare and contrast two texts about fish.
  • Unit 3: Students are asked to share new learning in a whole-group setting.
  • Unit 4: As a whole group, students discuss what they learned from the first reading of the connected text.
) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. The Common Core standards for Kindergarten call for students to combine drawing, dictating, and writing to be able to compose complete sentences or short pieces in which they state an opinion, explain a topic, or write about a single event. Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about the topic.

Examples include:

Throughout all Units: Encourage students to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever ways they can. They will probably draw first. Then, as they write, typical forms to expect are: • Scribble • Magic line (a blank line to represent a word or whole thought) • Random letters • Letters that match sounds (See the Kinsey Developmental Writing Scale.)

  • In Unit 1: Students respond to writing prompts daily through drawing or writing. They fill out log sheets and begin to write (draw) responses about characters, events, and settings. They also engage in writing (drawing) stories. For example, “Each of you is going to draw a picture of you standing by your house and write, 'This is me and my family.' Model. Show students how you want them to set up their writing paper each day.”
  • In Unit 2: Today, we will write about mammals and their life cycles. Encourage students to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever way they can. They will probably draw first.
  • In Unit 4: After modeling through an interactive writing lesson, students are asked to come up with their own writing topic. Teachers are guided to emphasize the use of: • Purposeful decisions about what to write. • Phonics-based spelling. • Initial consonant sounds. • Writing a word (or letter with a magic line) for each word spoken. • Known Power Words. "Who knows what information they are going to put in their report?" Give each student a dated sheet of writing paper as soon as s/he is able to say what s/he is going to write about.
) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The Common Core standards for Kindergarten call for students to combine drawing, dictating, and writing to be able to compose complete sentences or short pieces in which they state an opinion, explain a topic, or write about a single event. Each lesson consists of a daily writing component with a process of shared, guided, and independent practice in a mode of writing. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students focus on opinions using a book from the author study collection and write what s/he likes about a particular text. In Week 4 Story Elements, students write about a character, setting, or event from stories they have read, or they can make up one of their own.
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, students create predictable charts with a reptile focus, and during independent writing, students write what they know about the topic.
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students select a desert animal to write about. The teacher models the entire process before students begin independent writing.
  • In Unit 4, students are introduced the use of the “Wow” Fact Rubric, a tool students use to make sure their writing states what s/he has learned about a topic.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Students are required to write daily with suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students are asked to write about an author/illustrator that they are learning about. Teachers are guided to reinforce students with models and sentence organizers as they write their opinion.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 4, during Science Lab, students use text(s) to find pictures and read about different colored fish in order to write in Writer’s Workshop about these fish and how their colors help them survive.
  • Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5: Have students look through the library for books with good illustrations of food webs. Give students clipboards with writing paper. Have students spot information/diagrams of food webs, study them, and draw them. Have them create their own food web diagrams on the savanna.
  • Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1: Give students clipboards with blank paper and have them write at the top: What Makes an Insect an Insect? Have students look through the books in your collection and pick one insect photo/illustration to copy. Each student works to draw the defining parts of his/her insect’s body (legs, three body sections, and antennae).
) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 0 [rating] => does-not-meet [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Opportunities to explicitly learn grade level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Kindergarten standards:

  • Unit 1: Students identify and mark items such as periods, beginning letters, high frequency words, longest word, longest sentence.
  • Unit 2: “Have students take turns holding the marker and coming up to point out things in the writing. Have students point out things they notice (e.g., letters, words, punctuation). Who can draw a circle around the end marks?”
) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o1t [type] => criterion [report] =>

Overall, the materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units. Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ progress toward the learning of foundational skills. The materials provide support for the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function, and structures and features of text. Phonics and phonemic awareness instruction is generally strong. Knowledge of vowel sounds, an expectation for Kindergarten students to learn for isolating and pronouncing medial phonemes in three-phoneme words, are first taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G. This kit is labeled as a Grade 1 resource, though students may advance through the materials at a quicker rate depending upon their skill level.

) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

There are opportunities for students to learn phonemic awareness and phonological awareness. Nursery rhymes and oral rhyming practice are provided.

For example:

  • In Literacy Lab, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher is directed to play games with the students to develop their ear for the sounds of words. Suggestions of songs include Hello Song, Teach Us Your Name Chant, and Good Morning Chant.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 1, Days 2-5, students sing Willaby Wallaby; as children learn the rhyming pattern they can make the rhyme using other names.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 2, the teacher can use a rhyme (or poem, song, or jingle). An example of a variation is when students are asked to recite the rhyme in whispers, but say the rhyming words aloud.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 3, students can play Hopscotch, Body Rhymes, and Rhyming Word Sit Down.

In all the units, as part of the Morning Meeting, the teacher is directed to have students practice syllables by clapping them. In Savanna Animals, the teacher can have students do Clap-Clap-Clap to practice syllables of longer words.

In Unit 2, Science Lab 1.1, there are phonological/phonemic awareness opportunities. Students are directed to listen to sounds and name the different sounds they hear. Students are to listen to the sequence of sounds and identify sounds. In Science Lab 1.5, students identify short and long words based on hearing the words. In Science Lab 2.2, students identify initial sounds of baby mammal pictures.

In ARC, the sequence of phonics is as follows: 8 starter consonants (b, t, d, j, k, p, v, z), 7 ending consonants (f, l, m, n, r, s, x), 2 consonants (c, g), and remaining consonants (h, q, w, y). If a teacher would prefer a different sequence, 3 alternate sequences are suggested: familiar names/key words, continuous vs. stop-letter sounds, and Spanish speakers. The materials also address initial blends and digraphs, and finally vowel sounds and rhyming patterns/word families

Opportunities to practice learning phonics of consonants include: picture cards, read-alouds, yellow books, alphabet books, letter books, book titles, Beat the Teacher, initial sound-spelling champs, dictation, partner games (Memory, Go Fish, Speed), Whisper Down the Lane, I Spy, speed list, tongue twisters, Old MacDonald Had a______, andI’m Going to _______,

Knowledge of vowel sounds, an expectation for Kindergarten students to learn for isolating and pronouncing medial phonemes in three-phoneme words, are first taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G. This kit is labeled as a Grade 1 resource, though students may advance through the materials at a quicker rate depending upon their skill level.

) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), and structures and features of text (1-2).

Print concepts are taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit starting in 1Y:

  • In Lesson 1, students are taught to “read”: “You are going to be able to read Yellow-level books. All you need is the first sentence. Let me show you how they work. You remember the sentence that repeats and then use the pictures to read the book” (p. 25).
  • In 2Y, Lesson 4, students learn one-to-one correspondence/tracking. In Lesson 5, students learn the concept of a word. In Lesson 6, students learn tracking.
  • Additional opportunities to practice tracking

In Literacy Lab, Morning Meeting, the teacher is instructed to model the following in writing:

  • “writing words from left to write (as cited on page 85), top to bottom”
  • “putting spaces between words”

In Literacy Lab Readers’ Workshop: Identify Read-to-Me students, where the teacher models how to read Yellow books. “Select a Yellow book that is large enough for the students to clearly see the pictures and text. Read the first few pages aloud. Point to the words as you read. After the first page or two, most of the children will be able to read the book without you” (page 74).

The recognition and naming of letters is taught in the both the Foundational Skills Toolkit as well as within the Literacy Lab (Unit 1). The materials indicate that while some students may already come to school knowing the letters of the alphabet, there are learners who are not ready and are classified by ARC as "Read-to-Me students". “Some (or most) of your students don’t arrive with this literary experience from home. You must go into emergency mode. Immediately set up systems to ensure people read fun books to them, one-on-one, at least 10-20 books a day….Read-to-Me students must learn to name all the letters in the alphabet as soon as possible” (page 17), indicating that some students will need more intensive instruction to assure they acquire the knowledge of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function, and structures and features of text.

) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1q [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins.

In Foundational Skills 3Y, Kindergarten students learn that letters represent speech sounds. In Lesson 7, students start to learn the consonant sounds. The teacher states: “We are going to learn the letter sounds. Let’s start with the consonants. Does anyone already know any of the sounds these letters tell us to make? Let’s say them. Does anyone have a name that begins with one of these letters?” In Lesson 8, students start to learn eight consonant sounds, which the materials refer to as "starter consonants." By learning the consonant sounds, students are able to start decoding words that begin with consonants. In Lesson 8, students read the “B” book together. With the Yellow books, the teacher can play, What Could it Say? The teacher is to cover up the new word on a Yellow book. “Have students supply possible words. Reveal the first letter. Now, what might it be?” During Independent Reading, students try to use the first letter sound for the new word they read in Yellow books.

In Lesson 9 in Foundational Skills 3Y, students learn /t/. By knowing /b/ and /t/, students can start to decode words in the song, Take Me Out to the Ball Game. After learning the consonants, students have opportunities to use their decoding skills to read Letter books and Yellow books.

In Foundational Skills 1G, Kindergarten students learn 60 high frequency words. For example, in Lessons 1-6, students learn 10 power words in order to read the text, I Love Basketball. To assist students in learning high-frequency words, the teacher is to post the words in prominent places. Each student gets a Power Word name. The teacher teaches a silent signal for students to show when they hear the Power Word used or written. To make Power Words meaningful, the teacher is to label parts of the room with the words or phrases with the words. Students collect words in their own Power Word Wall. During Power Word lessons, students have multi-sensory opportunities to learn the words. Students see and hear the word. Students say the word, trace the word, sky-write the word, write the word, and play word games.

) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1r [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit for lessons in 3Y, students read alphabet books, letter books, and book titles to practice phonics skills in context. Students also practice phonemic awareness and phonics skills in context when they help build tongue twisters. For example, “Let’s see how many words you can string together that begin with /b/ and make sense. I’ll go first: "Big boys buy bicycles. Blue bugs bite billionaires.” Students also have the opportunity to build their own letter books. “Today, you will each make your own ___ book of things you like. On each page, draw a picture that starts with ___ and label it.”

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons for 1G, students read high-frequency words in connected texts and isolated texts. When students are learning the first 60 high-frequency words (Power Words), they read those words in context. For example, in Lesson 2, students learn love, I, my. Then students read those words in a passage called My Pets. Then the teacher asks students to share something they love, so that information can be placed in sentence in the pocket chart. Students read and reread the sentences. In Lesson 7, students read the Power Words in a text called I Love to Sleep.

To make the high-frequency words more meaningful, the teacher is directed to make the words more meaningful. Instruction for the teacher includes: “Use phrases or sentences to label parts of the classroom. Underline the Power Words (e.g., my desk; the fish tank; back of the room). When possible, introduce new words with a concrete object (e.g., We have desks.).”

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1s [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ progress toward the learning of foundational skills. These are the following steps to using IRLA:

  • Identify IRLA Reading Level.
  • Use the IRLA to diagnose specific instructional needs.
  • Use corresponding Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons to teach and model specific skills.
  • Provide guided and independent practice differentiated to support students who learn at different paces.

IRLA helps provide the teacher with baseline data about each Kindergarten student’s reading proficiency. This gives teachers information about which foundational skills each student needs to learn, and the teacher can use the data to sort students into similar groupings for optimal learning. A teacher will assess a Kindergarten student for different stages of acquisition. The first grouping a teacher can assess for is Yellow 1, which is about sentence pattern and picture reading. The teacher also completes a running record. Based on the Yellow 1 entry data, the teacher can decide if the student is best placed in Yellow 1 or needs to be assessed for a different group. Yellow 1-3 is typically Kindergarten, First Half and 1-Green is typically Kindergarten, Second Half.

With IRLA, a teacher can assess students’ progress toward learning grade level standards. In IRLA, there are Coaching Records for teachers to document students’ learning. For example, for Coaching Record 1-3Y, for a student in 3Y, the teacher documents the student's ability to get his/her mouth ready to say the sound of each letter.

Coaching Tips are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example, in 2Y, a teacher can assess students’ ability to track based on the following Coaching Tip: “You will know students get this when they stop on their own and start over to ensure a one-to-one voice/print match as they read on their own.”

Foundational Skills lessons include opportunities for students to progress quicker if students know the skills based on the Passing Lane: Assessment. This helps a teacher make instructional adjustments, so students can make progress in learning foundational skills. In 1Y, Lesson 2, there is a Passing Lane: Assessment: “2Y Students already have the ability to track each word as they read. 1G Students already know the high-frequency words in Yellow books.”

) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1t [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities.

Instructional materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units (Literacy Lab, Zoology, Ecology, Entomology). After placing students into skill-based groupings based on assessment results from IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), students are provided learning opportunities at their individual levels. For students in the Pre-Reading Stage, they are placed in the Yellow Level. These students know most of the letters of the alphabet. Students have access to Y Guided Reading Books and Alphabet Books. If students are not ready for the Yellow small group, the materials suggest those students have access to a one-on-one situation and be read 10-20 books a day. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in the Green small group. These students learn high-frequency words.

During Literacy Lab Kindergarten lessons, all students have access to foundational skills lessons and participate in learning nursery rhymes, which helps students learn the sounds of words for rhyme. For example, in Days 2-5, students hold hands and walk in a circle while the teacher sings a rhyme called, Willaby Wallaby.

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 2Y, there are Additional Practice Activities for Integrate/Coordinate: Think/Say/Move. For example, the teacher can have students play How many? or Mother May I? In 1G, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning Power Words. A student can learn Power Words through association and multiple modality encoding. Students can practice learning Power Words through Speed Games.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for the teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1-3Y, the Action Plan says, “Have an older student come down at the same time every day to read with his 1-3Y book buddy. Consider using an older student who is seriously behind in reading, but is at least a 1B. Both students can afford to miss everything else for this activity.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In Yellow, Lesson 8, the Coaching Tip is: “Coach students to notice HOW the sound is made.” This is referring to the consonant sounds and how the sound is made. In Yellow for Lessons 7-9+, the materials suggest a particular letter- sound learning sequence. The materials also provide alternative sequence options such as Familiar Names/Key Words, Continuous vs. Stop Letter Sounds, and Spanish Speakers.

) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as zoology, ecology, entomology, and literary stories.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in science, social studies and literary genres including the subjects of family, culture, school, transportation, and animals, that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • In Unit 1, the topic of beginning school uses themes of family, transportation, and animals to build a reading community and establish routines and individual student literacy levels.
  • In Unit 2, the topic of Zoology uses themes of animals, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, lesson 3.4 (page 204) provides opportunities for all students to listen to reading or individual reading during the Interactive Read-Aloud (page 201), Science Lab (page 207), Readers’ Workshop (page 212), and the Music/Drama/Literature (page 213) blocks. Texts students use to build content knowledge and build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.
  • In Unit 3, the topic of Ecology uses themes of savannas, forests, oceans, deserts and rainforests. Texts students use for research questions are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students. Texts students use to build content knowledge and to build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.
  • In Unit 4, the topic of Entomology uses the themes of the world of bugs, insects, social insects, spiders and why we need bugs. Texts students use for to build content knowledge and build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.
) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after reading a teacher-selected story, students are asked, “What happened? What did you learn about? On this page/in this part, what are the words telling us? What are the pictures telling us?” and “What can you tell us so far about this author/illustrator?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, students are asked, “What is a reptile? True or False questions like, What else did you learn from this book? Who found any new information on the characteristics of reptiles? Did anyone come up with a really good question?" and “What type of text is this?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students are asked, “What is a desert like? What did you learn from this book about desert ecosystems? How do you know this is true? Where is your evidence? What else did you learn from this book?" and "Does anyone see anything in the picture(s) on this page that might support this point? Why?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students are asked, “What was the coolest/grossest/most amazing fact about bugs that you learned from this book? What evidence in the book proves this is a fact? What type of bug is a ___? How do you know?” and “Whose hypothesis was proved to be correct?”
) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. During interactive and/or independent reading, students engage in analyzing parts of texts frequently for class discussion, addressing any given number of questions that may include responses in the form of graphic organizers, quick writes, or quick draws that involve drawing on textual evidence to support their answers. The general format of the reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers, and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students ask and answer questions as they read. The teacher introduces texts to the students by showing the cover and asking, “On the cover of this book I see...; that makes me wonder... Tell your partner: What are you thinking? What questions come to your mind?” During repeated reading, the teacher asks students to share with the person next to them, then as a group, “What did you notice? What questions did this book/section/page make you think about? Did you hear any new words? What do you think that it means?” and “What makes you think that?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, during the first read of a pre-selected book on mammals with text that includes illustrations and descriptions of immature/baby mammals, students are asked, “What did you learn from this book about baby ____? Is there another name for a baby____? What does it look like? What else is interesting about it? How do you know this is true?” and “What else did you learn?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, the teacher guides the discussion of the text, “I think the author wants us to know __ (the author’s point/message – either read directly from the text or inferred)__. Let’s think about what reasons the author gives to support his/her point that __(same point/message)__. Does anyone see anything in the picture(s) on this page that might support this point? Why? Listen as I reread this page." and "Raise your hand when you hear something that you think might support the author’s point that __(author’s point)__.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, students are asked to, “Use a Venn Diagram to notice, discuss, and compare/contrast the adventures and experiences of two characters in the book. • Let’s think about two of our favorite characters from the story. What happened to ____ in this story? • And what happened to ____ in this story (or in a different story)? • How are their experiences the same? How are they different?”
) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

Examples include:

  • Unit 3, Week 4. “Who found any new information on ocean animals and how they are adapted to the ocean? Did anyone come up with a really good question? Add new information to your chart.” Using a good illustration from one of the books, show students how to draw an animal diagram, labeling physical adaptations. Give students clipboards with a blank, unlined, piece of paper. Have students look through the books in your collection and select one animal to diagram and label. Bring them back to share their illustrations and speculations about adaptations with each other and the group.
  • Unit 4, Week 4. “Re-read (portions of) the text, commenting on and emphasizing today’s key concepts (what makes a spider a spider) and inviting students to join you in observing carefully, making connections, speculating, and asking questions. Using Interactive Writing, complete the Spiders side of the Insects vs. Spiders chart, recording the key characteristics that make a spider a spider (eight legs, two body parts— cephalothorax and abdomen; no antennae, yes exoskeleton). Today, we will write about what makes a spider a spider. Several children take turns sharing their writing. Other children ask questions of the sharing child relating to the content of the piece (who, what, when, where, why).”
) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. The established Literacy Lab routines state, “Teacher uses daily Read Aloud as an opportunity to increase students’ academic vocabulary, background knowledge, and speaking & listening skills.” Each lesson has Interactive Read Alouds to bolster students’ receptive vocabulary, and strategies quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the teacher selects a text above grade level to build academic vocabulary and background knowledge. Teachers should take 1-2 seconds to introduce drop-in words by providing a synonym/definition during the read aloud to bolster comprehension. Words are teacher-selected. The teacher may start a class Word Wall or Words We Love Chart to record Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary highlighted during Read-Aloud time.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, during the Repeated Reading block, instructions in the teacher guide are to highlight key vocabulary and add key words to the Vocabulary Wall. In the sidebar, key vocabulary is listed.
  • Unit 3, Week 4. “Reread the text, commenting on and emphasizing today’s key concepts (ocean food webs) and inviting students to join you in observing carefully, speculating, and asking questions. Highlight key vocabulary. Add new words/ideas to your Ocean Food Webs chart.”
  • Unit 4, Week 4. “Use and discuss basic science terms and topic-related vocabulary: adaptation, physical features, characteristics, function, silk, gland, fang. Highlight key vocabulary related to today’s concepts as well as high leverage vocabulary.”
) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes, which include composing opinion pieces, informational/explanatory texts, and simple narratives. Each lesson contains protocols for students to share their writing and receive feedback from both the teacher and his/her peers.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, as students learn how authors and illustrators work together, students then "will write about the author/illustrator's work together. Students then "will write about the author/illustrator we are studying. We will each write about something we like that s/he does."
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students use their information and drawings of bird beaks from the Science Lab block during writer’s workshop. Students write about how bird beaks are very different, using this information.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, after drawing pictures of rainforest animals during the Science Lab block, students write about rainforest animals in writer’s workshop. The teacher uses the think-aloud strategy to model planning of writing, drawing, and writing emphasizing the use of purposeful decisions about what to write, sentences, titles, and correct spellings of any Power Words used.
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, during the Science Lab block, students use interactive writing and/or simple drawings, to work together to fill in a Problem Solution chart identifying the problem, possible solutions, and writing about how bugs help people. The teacher models the process using the think-aloud strategy.

The daily literacy block includes a 20-60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing. Students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one-to-one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
Units are designed for students to act as researchers and gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to to complete a culminating writing task in each lesson. Writing tasks ask students to interpret, analyze, and/or synthesize information from above grade-level interactive read alouds and texts from independent leveled libraries from a range of sub-topics within the larger context of a literary or scientific field of research. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times of about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • Unit 1, Week 4. “We have been thinking about characters, settings, and events in stories. Today, you will write about a character, setting, or event—either from stories we have read, or one you make up of your own. Each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Leave a big “meatball” space between each word you write. Who would like to share their writing today? Invite the student/s to sit in the Author’s Chair.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2. “Today, we are going to find a picture of a mammal and copy it. • Look very closely at the picture. • Tell what you see. Look really closely. What’s there? What’s not there? Use descriptive language (five senses). • Hypothesize: Why might _(body part)__ be important? • Do your best to copy the illustration or one part of it. • Label the parts you know. Star the hair that proves it is a mammal." As they finish a diagram (independently) have them cut it out and tape/glue it up on the class mural.
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “Divide the class into five groups. Give each student “ecologist” a clipboard, a T-chart (like the one you just used) with the name of the group’s ecosystem at the top, and a pencil. Have each student record observations by drawing (and labeling, if possible) something that is living and something non-living. Focus on the scientific thinking involved. Do not emphasize correct spelling or letter formation.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1. “Give each entomologist a clipboard, a piece of paper, and a pencil. Have students make three columns and label them: 6 Legs, 8 Legs, and Many Legs. Take the class on an Observation Safari looking for bugs. The goal today is to find as many bugs as possible to classify. It is ideal if students can explore individually or in pairs so they are all able to see the bugs. When students find a bug, have them count its legs and make a quick sketch in the correct column.“
) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Texts are of publishable quality and worthy of close reading. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can select. Students can use text features and visual cues within the books to help him/her read and understand. Sufficient teacher guidance/support from the teacher includes modeling the thought process, guided practice, using mnemonic devices/chant, and when students are proficient, there are opportunities for them to help other students.

Procedures are organized for independent reading using the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) and the teacher’s guide. There is scheduled independent reading time daily. The 100 Book Challenge is an instructional system that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes; any book counts for the 100 Book Challenge. The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A Home Coach is provided (a parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the Home Coach to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their in class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher sets the focus for reading. As a whole group, the teacher introduces the rules for Independent Reading. "There are 3 rules for our reading time. The first rule is READ. The second rule is READ. And the third rule is… (Students will respond “READ”). What do you do if you finish all of your books? Read them again."
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the independent reading goal for the week is to get as much eye-on-page independent reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school independent reading daily. The teacher will provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.
  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. The 100 Book Challenge begins. Directions, log sheets and online SchoolPace instructions are found here. Suggestions for engaging families as Home Coaches is found here. Steps build gradually. For example, Week 3 begins with 1 step a day instead of 2, Week 4 increases to 2 steps a day, Week 5, 3 steps a day- 2 in school, 1 at home, and Week 6, 4 steps a day- 2 in school and 2 at home. This will continue the rest of the school year.
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1. Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back strategy is modeled and practiced during partner reading routines. Instruction is explicit. For example: Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. (Having the coach wear a sticker or necklace or hold something that helps with this distinction.) Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently. Have two students model the process for the class. The teacher reminds students they can read either the pictures or the words. The teacher picks students by twos and make sure they all select books, return to their spots/desks/tables, and “read” them. As students finish with their books, carry a basket of books to each pair and have them select another book. If time remains, read the first page to the pair. Continue this only as long as all students remain engaged. Ten minutes is a good time, but it can be shorter at first.
  • In Unit 3, the Unit Overview offers a guide of daily reading activities including: the Interactive Read Aloud, wherein students experience connected text during a first read and a repeated read, Science Lab, where students do independent research reading practice, Reader’s Workshop, where there are read alouds, shared reading, and partner and independent practice. Additional read alouds and independent reading time are included, although this is not consistent in the daily schedule.
) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the primary-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

[rating] => meets ) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

Kindergarten materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The four units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Kindergarten: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Zoology, Ecology, and Entomology. The materials contain daily opportunities for whole and small-group instruction, including flexible grouping based on learning needs as determined by the IRLA assessments. The materials emphasize their daily routine as including a basic structure and multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, including opportunities to have personalized instruction to meet their specific needs, read books that are appropriate for their reading skills/level as well as books that are self-selected (from within a teacher-directed menu of choices), work with other students, and spend time researching and writing on topics of interest, for multiple purposes and audiences.

The materials list four weekly literacy goals for students:

  • Students listen to at least 25 above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Teacher meets with a minimum of 10 students 1:1 or in small groups to focus on their Power Goals.
  • Students spend 2.5 hours a week in school reading and enjoying books independently or with a partner/buddy.
  • Students spend 2.5 hours a week enjoying reading and listening to books at home.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Interactive Read-Aloud, Science Lab, Phonological Awareness, Phonics/Word Work, Readers’ Workshop, Centers, Writing, Music/Drama, and Read-Aloud) for a 120 minute reading block and offer flexibility for the order in which the components are completed. Each day’s lesson plans have a clear set of directions and are supported by educative materials within the lesson plans that explain why certain practices are supported or not supported by research and recommendations for carrying out the evidence-based practices.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Each unit comes complete with a pacing guide. There are four units designed for 36 weeks of instruction. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Materials include: “Words We Love” Chart, One-to-One Correspondence Tools: blocks, sentence strips cut up, magic pointer fingers • Songs/Rhymes you are using this week on chart paper (See lesson for sample songs/rhymes.)”
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, “Return to the Reptile Stages Chart. Yesterday, we identified the stages in a reptile’s life. Today, we will look at how a reptile grows and changes. Graphic Organizer: Reptile Life Cycle Chart As you discuss this with the children, use Interactive Writing to draw and write a basic reptile life cycle on a large chart.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Think aloud as you set up a two-column chart to record students’ observations. Label the columns: Living and Non-Living.”
  • Unit 4, Week 2, “Graphic Organizer: Insect Physical Adaptations Chart On a large chart paper, write the title: Insect Physical Adaptations. Draw three columns and label them Insect, Body Parts, Use. Start recording insects and their interesting body parts. Model distinguishing between known facts and speculation by putting question marks to note the things that you aren’t yet sure are true.”
) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide contains a chart listing the Common Core State Standards Scope & Sequence for every unit broken down by unit theme and the weeks in which they are addressed. It includes Reading, Foundational Skills, Writing, Speaking/Listening and Language.

Each Unit also contains a Unit Overview that lists Best Practices and Focus Standards. The Pacing Guide includes the Week and the CCSS Focus of that week and each week begins with a “Daily Framework” that also lists the standards being addressed in the learning that week.

  • Unit 1, Week 3, “RL.K.6: With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.”
  • Unit 2, Week 5, “• Retell the story to me. Include the title, main character, problem and solution. (Prompt for key details of story if necessary.) CCSS RL.K.2”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Main Topic/Key Details (RI.K.2) What do you think is the main topic of the book we just read? Solicit answers. Clarify as needed.”
  • Unit 4, Week 2, “Discuss (RI.K.1, RI.K.2) • What did you learn from this book about the body parts of a __(insect)___? How do you know this is true?”
) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content; however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction, would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. "Building Instruction in Units of Study" is presented in the back of the Unit 1 Teacher Edition for Kindergarten. This section details such topics as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material.

  • Unit 2, Week 1, “Reinforce the Foundational Skills students are using in their reading and writing. Have students take turns holding the marker and coming up to circle, box, and underline things in the writing that will support their ability to express ideas in print.”

Teachers may need more guidance on which foundational skills they should be reinforcing; it is also unclear how this writing will support their expression of ideas in print.

  • Unit 4, Week, 3, “Choose a book about bee life cycles to read aloud. Read the book(s) once through, giving students enough time to think and absorb, but without interrupting the flow with too many comments or clarifications. Use scientific thinking to develop a question and speculate/form a hypothesis about bee life cycles.”

Much of the scope of lessons center around the teacher choice of book. There is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying. Also, in this example, there are no examples of the scientific thinking and/or sample questions to help lead the teacher, students, and or lesson.

During Research Labs, the Teacher Work section gives an overview of what the teacher should be doing, for example, the Teacher Edition asks teachers to, “Monitor for Engagement: Ensure all students are on task. Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.” Teachers may need more guidance as to what would constitute adequate progress at that point in the unit as well as what a great example might look like.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, in Unit 2, Week 2, the Teacher Edition suggests the use of technology but does not give any other information to support the use and enhance student learning. The Teacher Edition states, “Identify and use basic tools and technology to extend exploration in conjunction with science investigations.”

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, “At this stage of K, students should write lots of words with an initial letter and a magic line. The initial letter might not be correct, but it should make sense (“s” instead of a soft “c,” “j” instead of “g,” a letter that actually represents the second sound in the word, etc.).”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, an aside in this lesson is titled, “Associative Learning” and explains the meaning to teachers; “Associative learning, like sandwiching (see Power Word Action Plans in IRLA), uses low-meaning, high-frequency words in association with concrete things the children like to help store the words in long-term memory.”
  • Unit 4, provides “Background Information” for the Research Unit; “The six most common invertebrate groups are: arthropods (e.g., insects, crustaceans, and arachnids), mollusks (e.g., snails, octopuses, and clams), cnidaria (e.g., jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals), sponges (porifera), worms, and echinoderms (e.g., starfish and sea urchins).” (p23)
) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

The beginning of each unit also contains a table detailing the specific standard for the grade (Kindergarten) and which unit or units (literacy, zoology, ecology and entomology) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to specific weeks of instruction.

The materials state, “The books in the Literacy/Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels.

The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example:

  • Unit 1, Week 6, “Asking students to think, share, and write about opinions/preferences supports their ability to do CCSS W.K.1.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “Today, as you walk around, notice who is able to use the cover, title page, and/or other parts of the book to find books about mammals. (RI.K.5)
  • Unit 3, Week 1, “Review RI.K.5, RL.K.5 and/or RI.K.9 as necessary. Make note of students who might need small group interventions with these Focus Standards. • RI.K.5: Review the front cover, back cover, and title page of the book. • RL.K.5: Discuss what type of text you are reading (informational, story, poem, etc.) and how you know.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Review the Focus Standards from Ecology as necessary: CCSS RI.K.2, RL.K.2 RI.K.8, and RI.K.1 Make note of students who might need small group interventions with these Focus Standards.”
) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There are also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

  • Unit 1, Core Overview, “Research Labs: Standards-Based Thematic Instruction Teachers use the Research Labs structure to orchestrate highly engaging, content rich inquiry units in which students are the drivers of their own learning, preparing them for 21st century success.”
  • Unit 3, Week 3, Lesson Sidebar, “As you work with individuals and facilitate the discussion, use the Focus Reading Standards Assessment Record to note observations about proficiency with RI.K.2: topic/key details.”
) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. Throughout all of the units, students are expected to read every night at home as part of “The 100 Book Challenge” and parents/caregivers are given an involved role. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • “The classroom teacher—in collaboration with the student, parent, and school reading specialist—should be the final arbiter of whether or not a reader can handle a given reading level.”
  • “The parent is the Home Coach and in charge of deciding what “counts” for 100 BOOK CHALLENGE reading at home.”
  • “Today, you are going to learn how to fill out your logsheet. Next week, you will teach your parents about logging Steps, so you will need to be an expert.”
  • Engage Home Coaches, “Determine who Home Coaches are (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). • Help Home Coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success.”

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress.

  • In Unit 4, “Dear Parents and Guardians, We are ready to begin an exciting nine-week reading, writing, and science inquiry unit called ENTOMOLOGY.”
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”

Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to each lesson, and while the beginning of the lesson includes standards being emphasized, they are not always clear or explicit as to how the assessments are measurable.

  • Unit 1, Week 5, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1, “Assessment and Record-Keeping Do a quick and informal scan to see if everyone can explain the difference between plants and animals and give examples of each.”

There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics and/or WOW Facts that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

  • Unit 4, Week 1, “We know scientists give evidence to support what they say and write. We will use this rubric to remind us how to give evidence.”
) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance.

Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.
Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting: Check for Understanding; Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, “Reading Standards Assessment and Record-Keeping: As you work with individuals and facilitate Independent Research/ Reading Practice, use the Focus Reading Standards Assessment Record, located at the end of Topic 1, Lesson 1, to note observations about proficiency.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, “Assessment and Record-Keeping: Do a quick and informal scan to see if everyone can name a few living organisms and non-living things found on a savanna. Make a quick record of who has it and who doesn’t on your Status of the Class Chart.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, “Power Word Assessment Continue collecting information about how many Power Words each child knows.”
) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Reading Logs “If you are tracking Steps, have students record one book on each line of their Reading Logs for every 15 minutes of reading they completed today.”
  • Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, the students are instructed, “As you read today, practice getting your mouth ready to make the sound of the first letter in the new word and THEN look at the picture for something that matches that sound and makes sense.” The Teacher Edition then states, “Have students read as many Yellow books as their attention spans allow. Have them read beside their partners or to stuffed animals or plants (living organisms or non-living objects). Have them try to read the titles. “

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”

Unit 2, Week 1, Reading Logs “If you are tracking Steps, have students record one book on each line of their Reading Logs for every 15 minutes of reading they completed today.”

Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, the students are instructed, “As you read today, practice getting your mouth ready to make the sound of the first letter in the new word and THEN look at the picture for something that matches that sound and makes sense.” The Teacher Edition then states, “Have students read as many Yellow books as their attention spans allow. Have them read beside their partners or to stuffed animals or plants (living organisms or non-living objects). Have them try to read the titles. “

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There are some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners; however, the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and discussion.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. The Teacher uses evidence from students’ work to decide if/what to clarify or reteach on the spot, and to plan for next day’s instruction through, “Embedded Formative Assessment.”

Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectation that materials provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards,while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.
Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first.“

) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels.

Student who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

Partner work is embedded as part of the Literacy Lab Routine across the Units:

  • “Accountable Talk: Students share with a partner and a few share out to class. Teacher coaches appropriate Speaking & Listening skills. Teacher uses Accountable Talk as feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction.”
  • “Partner Share: Model the partner share routine you expect students to participate in every day. Spend extra time establishing this now. Explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.”

Reader’s Workshop also includes partner work across the Units:

  • “Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back Model and practice partner reading routines: • Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. • Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently.”

Students also work and share with peers in collaborative writing and discussion groups across the Units.

  • “Collaborative Writing Students share their work with a partner. Author: • Describe your lesson/message. • What I like most about my story is ___. Partner: • What I like about your story is ___. • A question I have is ___.”
  • “Discussion Groups: Genre Have students share with partners and then work as a small group. Use this time to teach/reinforce sharing and discussion group routines. The content of students’ conversation today is less important than that everyone understands HOW to do pair share/discussion groups so that later days the focus can be on the content of the conversations.”
) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => effective-technology-use [type] => component [report] => ) [64] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s3v [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

) [65] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

) [66] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional material for Kindergarten does not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

) [67] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [68] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

) [69] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

) [70] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). For Kindergarten, the Teacher Edition recommends using the school website to post resources; “Post parent reading tips, sample questions, and word attack and comprehension strategies on the school website and/or in the school newsletter.” In Unit 4, for Topic One, the Teacher Edition lists interactive websites that would be helpful for resources for teaching ‘Entomology’. Those websites include, but are not limited to, “www.insectidentification.org (Identify the bugs you find by searching by state or description) http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/ (Students control a scanning electron microscope to view insects over the web by working with students at the University of Illinois.)”

) ) [isbns] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-982-3 [custom_type] => [title] => IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-885-7 [custom_type] => [title] => IRLA CCSS Version 8 [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-494-1 [custom_type] => [title] => Y-2R Foundational Skills Toolkit [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-495-8 [custom_type] => [title] => Y-2G Foundational Skills Toolkit [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) ) ) 1

First Grade

                                            Array
(
    [title] => ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/first-grade.html
    [grade] => First Grade
    [type] => ela-k-2
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 54
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 30
            [rating] => meets
        )

)
1                                            stdClass Object
(
    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 356
    [title] => ARC Core (2017)
    [report_date] => 2017-06-08
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 9
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [gateway_1_points] => 54
    [gateway_1_rating] => meets
    [gateway_1_report] => 

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are therefore worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions and task develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills; although, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

[gateway_3_points] => 30 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

[report_type] => ela-k-2 [series_id] => 80 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/first-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] => ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 1 students. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and or award winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests, including animals, family stories, plants, real-world topics, historical fiction, fantasy, poetry, and biographies. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

The following are texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold is a Caldecott Honor book about Harlem, New York in 1939. This book contains historical references, and the text has colorful illustrations of quilts.
  • The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee is an amusing text about a scary teacher. Students will identify with the characters since meeting the teacher can be frightening for some students.
  • The Adventures of Taxi Dog, by Debra and Sal Barracca and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a rhyming text with interesting vocabulary such as gritty and fare. Some illustrations are full page spreads.
) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 1 provides students the opportunity to engage in above-level, complex read alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain eight baskets of leveled readers and four baskets of read-aloud immersion texts that are intended to engage all types of readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards (50% informational and 50% fiction). Texts include diverse topics and genres such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and a poetry anthology.

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1

  • The Planets, by Gail Gibbons
  • Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger

Unit 2

  • Birds, by Jayson Fleischer
  • How Animal Babies Stay Safe, by Mary Ann Fraser

Unit 4

  • Trees, by Trace Taylor and Gina Cline
  • Seeds, Bees, and Pollen, by Julie K. Lundgren

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1

  • Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen
  • The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton

Unit 2

  • Time To Sleep, by Denise Fleming
  • Tigers at Twilight, by Mary Pope Osborne

Unit 3

  • My Brother, Ant, by Betsy Byars
  • My Family History, by Jane O’Connor

Unit 4

  • Our Tree Named STEVE, by Alan Zweibel
  • The Dandelion Seed, by Joseph Anthony
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials are designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple text sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text, though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards that all read alouds be above grade level. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small- and whole-group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success for students in grades PreK through 12.”

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include the following:

  • In the book Junie B. Jones: First Grader at Last, by Barbara Park with a quantitative measure of 250L with qualitatively moderately complex knowledge demands with more than one storyline and moderately complex language demands with figurative and academic language and complex dialogue.
  • The book, Fly High! The Story of Betsy Coleman, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger has a quantitative measure of 710L and a qualitative measure with moderately complex structure that is supported by illustrations. The language demands are also moderately complex with academic language and domain-specific terms. The knowledge demands are moderately to very complex in that they explore multiple themes and possibly unfamiliar cultural elements.
  • The book, Dinosaurs, by Gail Gibbons is measured at an NC750 Lexile and quantitatively has slightly to moderately complex knowledge demands with domain specific terms supported by the text and illustrations. There are multiple sources of information and text features that place its structure at moderately complex.
) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The supplemental text baskets are leveled according to the publisher’s system called the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). There are core texts and complex read alouds for teachers to select from for anchor read alouds, all leveled 2-3 years above the reading level of most students in Grade 1.

Text options are at differing levels of material. The materials provide text sets (baskets) that are leveled and expose students to a myriad of levels and complexity. Students are provided access to the texts that are both of interest and are at the appropriately challenging level, according to the IRLA.

Materials provide students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts from the beginning to the end of the year require careful monitoring using the IRLA and suggested instruction based upon the IRLA results. The rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year. Students will engage with texts at varying levels unit to unit, according to their skill levels.

Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. The teacher companion to the research lab contains general instruction outlines, speaking and listening strategies, and general comprehension questions. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation that anchor (core) texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) Framework, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. “To determine reading level, every book is double-blind and hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

Title: Elizabeti’s School, by Stephanie Stuve Bodeen

Text Complexity Level: 2R (end of 2nd Grade)

Quantitative: AD 590L (3rd-4th)

Qualitative: Lexile slightly overestimates the difficulty of the text because:

Purpose/Structure: Slightly Complex. The text follows a simple, explicit narrative structure in which the order of events in entirely chronological.

Language: Slightly to Moderately Complex. The language is largely contemporary and familiar, though occasional use of academic vocabulary, as well as a smattering of Swahili, add to the complexity. Knowledge Demands: Slightly to Moderately Complex There is a single level/layer of meaning. Because the setting of this story is rural Tanzania, some experiences and cultural references may be unfamiliar to some readers; however, the experience of starting school is a common experience with which Grade 1 readers can easily identify.

Reader and Task: Although set in Tanzania, the experience of going to school is common for most readers, and although occasional use of Swahili in the text may be unfamiliar, it is accompanied by support within the text. In addition, the text is written in familiar, conversational language, making it an excellent above-level Grade 1 read aloud for exploring both another culture and the commonality of the school experience.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading, and Readers' Workshop/Research Reading.

During the Shared Reading segment of the class, the teacher models the reading/thinking strategies expected from a proficient, grade-level reader (i.e., reading Power Words, chunking- finding Power Words inside words, etc.) through a read aloud.

Students then practice the modeled skills during independent reading from self-selected texts while also gathering additional evidence to support their research.

Students then reflect on how they used the modeled strategies and what evidence they found that supports their research in an Accountable Talk segment of Research Reading.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources.

Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about a topic.

Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus for research and literacy labs is to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or an extended composition piece.

The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Opportunities to explicitly learn grade-level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.For example:

Unit 1:

  • “What happened in the story, based on the words and the pictures? What did you learn about ___ from the words and the pictures?"

Unit 2:

  • “What is the author saying? How does this relate to ___? How does this compare to what you already know/thought about?"

Unit 3:

  • “Who is a supporting character in this story? What role does s/he play? How do you know? Which event(s) cause the problem in this story?" and "What part of the text and/or the pictures supports your answer?"

Unit 4:

  • “What in the text/pictures helped you learn it? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?"
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Across Units 2-4, the culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

  • Unit 1, Week 2: Students will express an opinion about a favorite author/illustrator: "I like ____because...” Week 3: "Today, you will write your opinion on which book about _(e.g., character/topic)_ was your favorite and why.”
  • In Unit 2, students complete a set of seven text-dependent research questions and graphic organizers. Students use both verbal and written responses to demonstrate learning throughout the unit. The culminating task is publishing an informational piece focused on an animal and presenting the findings.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Welcome to our Research Lab. We are going to read lots of great stories in __(genre)__ together and on our own. We will read, analyze, and write _(genre)_ stories every day. You will learn to compare two __(genre)__ stories. You will write and publish your very own short story collection.
  • In Unit 4, students write and respond to seven text-dependent research questions. The culminating task is to form opinions and craft well-reasoned and supported arguments on the topic of plants to be published and presented at the end of the unit.
) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Literacy Lab, after the first read of the connected text, the teacher tells students to tell the person beside them what their favorite part of the story was and why.
  • In Unit 3, Accountable Talk, Partner Share: Each partner takes one minute to share. Pick one of the books you read today. Describe one of the supporting characters using details from the text and/or the pictures. Tell what role s/he plays in the story.
  • In Unit 3, Accountable Talk, Partner Share: Each partner takes one minute to share. "Pick one of the books you read today. Use our Retelling a Story rubric to do a 3-point retelling. Identify the MOST important detail about the setting, and explain why it is the most important. Retell this story, including the key story elements. Partners, did your partner earn the first three points? Why or why not?"
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • In Unit 1, students share with the person next to them her/his favorite part of the book and why. The teacher guide states, “What do you love to read about? Tell the person beside you what you love to read about.”
  • In Unit 2, students analyze what authors did to make their text organized, interesting, and entertaining. The question in the teacher’s guide is, “What is the author saying?”
  • In Unit 3, each partner takes one minute to describe the differences between the settings and lessons in two stories the teacher read. “Pick one of the books you read today. Use our 'Retelling a Story' rubric to do a 3-point retelling. Identify the MOST important detail about the setting and explain why it is the most important. Retell this story, including the key story elements. Partners, did your partner earn the first three points? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 4, students share a different WOW! fact from the text with a partner. Partners check, and the teacher listens to make sure that students are sharing facts (not opinions) and using evidence from the text to prove their answers are accurate.
) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece.

Examples of on-demand writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 1 Literacy Lab, Week 2, the teacher sets the writing focus: “We are going to continue drawing and writing every day. Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Today, each of you will: Draw and write for 15 minutes, use everything you know to help you write, and write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, during Interactive Writing, both students and the teacher share the pen to compose a Morning Message related to what students did yesterday or will do today.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, students are working on writing stories that teach lessons: “Today, we examined how professional authors use major events to teach a lesson. Now, it is your turn. You will create a story whose problem and solution teach a lesson. Let me show you how I might get started…”
  • In Unit 4, Week 8, students work on “adding as much information as you can to their organizer for today’s Research Question.”

Examples of extended writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 2, we are going to spend the next 9 weeks reading, writing, and talking about the big ideas in the unit. Each of you will pick one topic on which to become an expert. You will research this topic and write an informational book about it. By the end of this Unit, you will: 1. Be an expert on the unit. Be an expert on your research topic. Write and publish an informational book on your topic (or other piece of informational writing as decided by the teacher).
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students select a piece of writing from the week to revise, edit, and add to their short story collections as the fifth story.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, students will publish the opinion piece they wrote yesterday. Students will work through revising and editing their pieces to make them “the best things they have ever written.”
) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, students engage in writing by asking and answering questions, examining fiction and nonfiction, story elements, retell, and compare and contrast elements. On Week 2, the daily framework is to write about books being read in class. The teacher will model and monitor progress by observing, underwriting, and collecting student writing.
  • In Unit 2, there is a rubric and a thinking map on pages 146 and 147 for students to use throughout the unit to guide their writing. On Week 5, day 4, students continue using research question #4 to convert graphic organizer notes into paragraphs. After teacher modeling and student-guided practice, students share their work with a partner to ask for and provide constructive feedback.
  • In Unit 3, there is a retelling rubric, a narrative writing rubric, and a retelling map on pages 26-28 to guide students. Weeks 1-3 focus on story elements, weeks 4-6 focus on retelling, and weeks 7-9 focus on compare and contrast. Students complete one writing piece each week. Writers Workshop occurs at the end of the literacy block.
  • In Unit 4, pages 26-29, students are shown the “Wow” rubric, the opinion and drafting opinion organizer and rubric, and the proficient answer rubric. On Week 3, day 3, during the write to text block students use a text and the opinion organizer/rubric to generate an opinion. The teacher models the process before students begin guided practice.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are required to write daily for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • Unit 1, Week 1, Days 2-5: “In order to get to know each other, we’ll write about our favorite things this week. These are our opinions about different things we like.”
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1: “You will write and publish your very own short story collection.” Then, on Day 5: “Today, you will pick your favorite piece of writing from the week to turn into a beautiful, polished piece. This will be the first piece for your short story collection. We will work through revising and editing your pieces to make them the best things you have ever written."
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students write to retell a favorite story they heard in a read aloud or one they read on their own.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 4, students select an aspect from their research that they really care about to write an opinion piece using the Drafting an Opinion Piece organizer/rubric.
) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 0 [rating] => does-not-meet [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Opportunities to explicitly learn grade- level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete editing tasks through the units, but the editing tasks are often not based in Grade 1 Language standards, and the tasks include only general checklists.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Grade 1 standards:

  • Unit 1: Students work individually or in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. Introduce, model, or reinforce conventions as necessary.
  • Unit 3: Using your text or a student volunteer, model how a writer edits to make sure the following have capital letters: e.g., first word in every sentence, proper nouns (the proper name of any person, place, or thing), major words in a title, and the word “I”.
) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o1t [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities. Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading as well as to provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including structures and features of text.

The instructional materials partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression. There are instances where students move quickly between concepts and some students may not have frequent and adequate practice opportunities to solidify their understanding of the different vowel sounds.

) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, students learn initial blends and digraphs. In the following lessons, students learn:

  • Lessons 1-2: Initial consonant -L blends: bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl
  • Lessons 3-4: Initial consonant -R blends: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr
  • Lessons 5-6: Initial S- and Tw- blends: sc, sk, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tw
  • Lessons 7-8 Initial Consonant Digraphs: ch, ph, sh, th, wh, wr

To teach the blends and digraphs, the lessons include teacher modeling with a text from the Guided Reading Texts basket. Activities to teach blends include tongue twisters such as: “Snakes and snails sneezed and snorted” (p. 50). Students have the opportunity play Blend Bingo.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, students learn 1-syllable word families. Students learn onset and rime through chunking. In Zone 1, students produce single-syllable words by blending. For example, in Lesson 2 Who Can I Call (-all), students use a Power Word and initial letters to create real and nonsense words. Students can also participate in a game called Rhyme Boggle, which has students write as many real -all words they can in one minute. In Zone 2, students learn to decode regularly spelled one-syllable words. In Zone 4, phonemes with common vowel patterns are taught which includes teaching the final -e pattern.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2B, students learn decoding of 2-syllable words. In Lesson 1, students learn the concept of a syllable. In Lessons 2 and 3, students learn compound words. Inflectional endings are taught in Lessons 4-12.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, Lessons 43-50, students learn to distinguish long and short vowel sounds using onset and rime to decode one-syllable words, paying special attention to the role vowels play in these word families. For example, in Lesson 46, students learn to distinguish the different sounds of i. Students help the teacher read Three Blind Mice, and the students are directed to listen for the different sounds i makes in the nursery rhyme. Students also read a guided reader text. Each Zone 4 lesson teaches a different vowel and its sounds.

) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), and structures and features of text (1-2).

Students have opportunities to learn print concepts:

  • In Unit 1, Day 1, during Morning Meeting, the teacher is directed to post a Morning Message. The teacher is to state: “Every sentence in this Morning Message ends with a period or a question mark. I will put two lines under each period. Let’s count how many sentences there are” (p. 71). During Morning Meeting in Days 2-5, the teacher is to reinforce Foundational Skills by having students find and mark capitalization and punctuation of the Morning Message. For example, the teacher can state: “How many sentences does our message have? How do you know? Who can come and circle the periods?” In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, during Editing, the students are responsible making sure each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with an end mark (period, question mark, or exclamation point).

The materials contain opportunities for students to learn text structures:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, the lesson has a focus on main ideas and key details. The lesson includes the teacher modeling identification of main ideas and key details, followed by students using their IRLA assigned leveled text for application. Learning to identify and find main idea and details is also in Unit 3 and Unit 4.
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 3-4, the lesson focus is sequence of events. In the Mini-Lesson, the teacher introduces the concept of sequence of events by mapping the beginning, middle, and end of the Core Novel. The teacher maps the sequence of events in the Plot-Sequence of Events graphic organizer. The teacher asks questions such as: “What is the beginning? What happens in the beginning and why is that important to the sequence of events? What about the middle? The end?” Students use the graphic organizer to map the sequence of events for a second story from the Core Novel. Then students write, using sequence of events. “Pick an event from your life that you’d like to retell. Write the story of that event, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Does yours have a problem? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students learn about story structure. In Week 2, Day 1, the teacher introduces the Describing Plot Anchor Chart to teach about problem. The teacher guides the students through identifying problem with questions such as: “Why is this a problem? Do all the characters think this is a problem?”

The materials contain opportunities for students to learn about text features:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, the teacher uses mentor texts to help students understand how authors use text features to organize their books. The lesson includes modeling, guided practice, and group share. Students apply their learning of text features to drafting a book which includes text features such as cover, page numbers, and table of contents. In Week 5, Day 3, students learn more text features such as glossaries, captions, and labels. The instructional materials contain information for teachers: “Print Features: help readers locate information that SURROUNDS the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 1, the lesson reviews informational text basics such as table of contents, headings/subheadings, glossaries/index. In Week 9, Day 5, students are taught about short story collection text features. Students put together their short story collections and use additional text features to pull the stories together into a cohesive collection.
  • Through Units 2-4, during Formative Assessment One-on-One Conferences, the teacher is to assess students’ understanding of text features. “Do they know how to use text features (table of contents, index) to efficiently locate information?"
) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1q [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins.

In Foundational Skills 2G, students learn 120+ high-frequency Power Words at Flash Speed. According to the teacher materials, “They will be able to read these words in books they have never seen before and out of context (lists, flash cards, etc.) at Flash Speed” (p. 9). Starting in Lesson 9, students are told they will be learning 60 more words. In Lesson 9, students learn to read and spell six new words: as, some, many, these, eat, and too. The students practice these words in the following ways: see/hear it, say it orally, trace it, skywrite it, write it, and practice it by playing games. As students learn the high-frequency words, students use a variety of strategies to figure out the words in the guided reader text. The teacher directions state: “Remember the students shouldn’t be asked to try to 'sound out' any word in a 2G text. If students can’t use syntax, meaning, and the initial consonant sounds to figure out a word, tell students the word” (p. 87).

In Foundational Skills 1B, students have fluency practice of decodable words such as -all words. Students participate in a scavenger hunt. They find a page that has 3 -all words and identify the words. Students also read a guided reading text, short passages such as Humpty Dumpty and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

In Foundation Skills 1B, students learn to recognize and read grade-level irregularly spelled words. During Zone 3, students learn new key words with high leverage phonograms and Tricky Words which are often in 1B books.

To practice reading text fluently, the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G directs the teacher to have students read one-page passages and guided reader texts. The directions state: “Students choral read, partner read, and practice until they can read the text without effort” (p. 27). In Foundational Skills 1B and 2B, the directions are identical for the guided reader texts. As students read guided reader texts, the purpose is for students to use their new learning of Power Words in text. For example in Lesson 20 of 2G, students read Mondays and are told this goal: “Now, you will use the Power Words you know to read this book” (p. 131).

) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1r [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, when students learn initial blends and digraphs, students practice reading the blend type in a sentence. For example, in Lesson 2, students read “Glamorous gladiators gladly glue glitter to their gloves” (p. 30). Students also practice reading a passage called Clean Up, which the teacher models. Students learn 60 Power Words at Flash Speed and also have the opportunity to practice those words in context with guided reader texts and with cloze passages. Students learn category words such as colors, the days of week, and contractions and then students practice reading those words in a guided reader text or cloze passage.

In Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, students learn word attack strategies to help them figure out words. Word attack strategies include, but are not limited to: Stop if something doesn’t look right, sound right or make sense; Blend: Say the first two letters; Cover part of the word; Think of a word that looks the same and rhymes. In 1B Lesson 1, students fill in a cloze activity of sentences using -all words from a word box. Students also read a 1B book where all the hard words use -all.

The directions for the teacher to help students figure out all words they don’t know include:

  • Can you find a word you know inside?
  • Use your finger(s) to cover up the beginning/end of the word.
  • Add the first letter sound.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2B, students learn to decode 2-syllable words and practice those decoding skills in Guided Reader texts and single page passages such as Forest Trails and Berries for Baby Birds.

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1s [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ learning of foundational skills. These are the following steps to using IRLA:

  • Identify IRLA Reading Level.
  • Use the IRLA to diagnose specific instructional needs.
  • Use corresponding Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons to teach and model specific skills.
  • Provide guided and independent practice differentiated to support students who learn at different paces.

IRLA helps provide the teacher with baseline data about each Grade 1 student’s reading proficiency. This gives teachers information about which foundational skills each student needs to learn, and the teacher can use the data to sort students into similar groupings. A teacher will assess a Grade 1 student for different stages of acquisition. In Grade 1, a teacher can assess students for different levels of foundational skills. According to IRLA, Grade 1 students are in 2G, 1B, and 2B, which include the following stages of acquisition: sight words, word families, vowel patterns, and syllabication. For 2G entry, a student can recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words, can make the initial sound for a minimum of 13 blends/digraphs, and can use a combination of initial sounds/blends, sight words, and context clues to read a 2G text with purpose and understanding. The teacher also documents a student’s reading during a running record. IRLA contains many assessment opportunities for the teacher to assess each student.

With IRLA, a teacher can assess students’ progress toward learning grade level standards. In IRLA, there are Coaching Records for teachers to document students’ learning. For example, in Coaching Record 1B (for a student in 1B) the teacher documents a student’s ability to chunk words, to read 1-syllable word families, to read tricky words, to use reading strategies, to demonstrate reading comprehension.

Coaching Tips and Warning Signs are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example in 1B, a teacher can assess students’ ability to know sight words. “Warning Signs: All students should be able to read these 10 sight words at Flash Speed (no sounding out). If they can’t, they need additional sight word work in 1G or 2G.”

Foundational Skills lessons include opportunities for students to progress quicker if students know the skills based on the Passing Lane: Assessment. This helps a teacher make instructional adjustments, so students can make progress in learning foundational skills. In 2G, Lesson 9, there is a Passing Lane: Assessment: “Any student who can read most of these words should be re-tested to see if s/he may need to move IRLA levels and/or strategy groups.”

) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1t [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities.

Instructional materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units (Literacy Lab, Wild and Endangered Animals, Family Stories and Families, and Plants). After placing students into skill-based groupings based on assessment results from IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), students are provided learning opportunities at their individual levels. Students placed in the 2G are ready to learn another 60 “know on sight” words, and students learn to self-prompt 2-letter consonant blends and digraphs. Students have access to 1G and 2G Guided Reading Books. If a student is not ready for 2G small group, the IRLA materials help place students in a small group teaching prerequisite skills for 2G. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in Blue or Red small group. These students learn onset + sight word, 1-syllable word families, 2-syllable words, and multisyllabic words.

During Literacy Lab Grade 1 lessons, students participate in games that develop students’ ability to hear different sounds in words. “At the beginning of 1st grade, provide plenty of practice with consonant sound review (3Y/1G), blends & digraphs (2G), and rhyming (getting ready for 1B).”

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 1B, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning onsets/rimes. “Students who struggle with any of the Zone 2 lessons will need additional practice (or are working in the wrong level). Use the ideas below in any order based on student interest and need.” Examples of ideas for student practice are: use chunks (rimes) you know to make new words, flashcards, spelling champs, independent reading from self-select 1B books, rhyme boggle, letter/sound switch, nursery rhymes/silly stories.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for a teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1B, the Action Plan contains: “Have an older student come down at the same time every day to read with his 1B book buddy. Consider using an older student who is seriously behind in reading, but is at least a 1R. Both students can afford to miss everything else for this activity.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In 2G, Lesson 2, the Coaching Tip is: “Resist teaching the vowel sounds at this time. This will slow down the process. Keep the focus on blends, pictures, and sensemaking.” Another example of how the materials provide guidance to teachers is found in the Lesson 15 Coaching Tip:

  • Kidwatching: Who is having trouble and what is it they don’t know or aren’t remembering to do? What is the one thing in their way?
  • Buddy Reader: Is there another student who is particularly good at this who could spend some time as this student’s Buddy Reader?

In Lesson 9 of Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, if students can read most of the 2G Power Words, the teacher is directed to retest the student with IRLA for a different level of instruction. In Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, in Lesson 19, teachers are directed in the Passing Lane to differentiate for a student who can reliably use rhyming with a sight word to read a new word to Zone 3.

) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as animals, family stories, plants, literary stories, and more.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in science, social studies and literary genres including the subjects of family, culture, school, animals, and poetry that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • In Unit 1, the topic of beginning school uses the themes of individual likes and families to build a reading community, establish routines, and individual student literacy levels.
  • In Unit 2, the topic of Wild and Endangered Animals uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, Week 5, Lesson 2, page 287: Students have opportunities during the Morning Message and Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading/Research Reading and Research Writing (students only use the text when needed). The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as the Magic Tree House series #19 and a common shared experience book Birds.
  • In Unit 3, the topic of Family Stories is used as content for a genre study. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Jamaica Tag-Along and All Families are Special. With prompting and support students use the poem, Clean Your Room Harvey Moon.
  • In Unit 4, the topic of Plants uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as The Dandelion Seed and a common shared experience book Trees.
) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students are asked, “Why do you think the author included __ in both books? Based on the lessons in these two stories, what might be important to the author? What information is included in one text but not the other?” and“Do any of the differences contradict each other? Where?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying? How does this relate to RQ #__? What do you wonder about this?” and “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”
  • In Unit 3, students used a rubric to retell stories and were scored on plot, setting, characters etc. Each day they would work with a partner and would be asked, “Did your partner earn the first four points? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, students are asked to reflect on specific Research Questions (RQ): “What is something you already know about _(RQ #4)_? Did you know that...? Why does it matter to our study of...? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about...? What questions does it raise for you?” and “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”
) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. During interactive reading, students engage in analyzing parts of text(s) for class discussion, addressing any given number of questions that may include responses in the form of graphic organizers, quick writes, or quick draws that involve drawing on textual evidence to support their answers. The general format of the reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers, and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, “After our Independent Reading, you will compare/contrast two books that you read today. Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two books about _(topic)_.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying? The text is all about ____ so far. How does this relate?” and “How does this compare to what you already know/thought about?”
  • Unit 3, Week 7. “This week, we are going to compare and contrast two stories in our genre. We will think about how they are the same and different. We will form opinions about the most interesting similarities and differences we find. By the end of the day, you will be able to use a Venn diagram to compare the main characters in two stories.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying about RQ #__? How do you know? Why does it matter to our study of ___? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?" and "How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”
) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

Examples include:

  • Unit 1, Week 2. “Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Today, each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Use everything you know to help you write. • Write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.” The teacher is then guided to underwrite the student work with, “The primary goal of beginning writing is that students learn to represent their own speech in print.”
  • Unit 2: Students complete a set of seven text-dependent research questions and graphic organizers. Students use both verbal and written responses to demonstrate learning throughout the unit. The culminating task: publishing an informational piece focused on an animal and presenting the findings.
  • Unit 3, Week 9. Students put together all the stories they have written, illustrated, revised, and edited to create a short story collection. "By the end of today, you will have a published collection.” Presentations can be as simple as sharing with partners or as formal as organizing an event to which parents and/or community members are invited as the audience.
  • Unit 4, Week 3. “Have students demonstrate mastery of Research Question #2 Science/Social Studies key concepts through a variety of exit tickets, graphic organizers, and/or writing prompts as appropriate to students’ current writing abilities.”
) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. The established Literacy Lab routines state, “Teacher uses daily Read Aloud as an opportunity to increase students’ academic vocabulary, background knowledge, and speaking & listening skills.” Each lesson has Interactive Read Alouds to bolster students’ receptive vocabulary, and strategies quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, during the first read of the connected text, the teacher’s guide states: “Use the ‘drop-in’ vocabulary strategy to quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words.
  • Unit 2, Week 1. “The primary goal of today is to use the Research Library to capture and engage students in studying this Unit. As you do this, students will also begin to notice academic and technical vocabulary related to the Unit.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “As we research, we will encounter new vocabulary words. Words that are specific to our Unit and help us become experts on our Unit are called technical vocabulary words. You will each be responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. Today, as we read, I noticed the word _____. I think this word is important in understanding __(Unit)__. I’m going to add this word to our Class Glossary.”
  • Unit 4, Week 6. “Highlight and discuss high-leverage terms (e.g., important Unit vocabulary, words that indicate an opinion, function words [e.g., transition words]).”
) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes, which include composing opinion pieces, informational/explanatory texts, and simple narratives. Each lesson contains protocols for students to share their writing and receive feedback from both the teacher and his/her peers. Students engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine, and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. “We are going to continue drawing and writing every day. Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Use everything you know to help you write. • Write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students use the Problem/Solution graphic organizer to think about how their characters might respond to the problem(s) they’ve created. "Think about what kinds of responses would be fun to read/write about. Decide how your problem will be solved. Focus 2: Write or finish a story that includes a problem and a solution. Make sure you describe how at least one character responds to this problem."
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, the 20-40 minute Writer’s Workshop focus is retelling a favorite story as if the students were the authors. The teacher models a think aloud for planning writing, drawing and writing before students begin.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students select a plant to become an expert on. During the 20-40 minute research writing block, students write one “Wow” fact about their topic. The teacher models planning their writing, drawing, and writing using a think aloud. Writing samples are collected as evidence of students’ learning. Students work individually or in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure.

The daily literacy block includes a 20-60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing. Students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one-to-one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres. Students will bring a piece to final publication by the end of the week as well as at the end of the unit, with final presentations of the entirety of the work done during each unit.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
Units are designed for students to act as researchers and gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to to complete a culminating writing task in each lesson. Writing tasks ask students to interpret, analyze, and/or synthesize information from above grade-level interactive read alouds and texts from independent leveled libraries from a range of sub-topics within the larger context of a literary or scientific field of research. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times of about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students will, “Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure."
  • In Unit 2, in the Research Labs, students "will become an expert on one wild animal and be able to stand in front of the class and say, 'Ask me ANYthing about my animal.' Then, they take a final written product through the entire writing process from note-making to publication."
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “We are going to read lots of great stories in __(genre)__ together and on our own. We will read, analyze, and write __(genre)__ stories every day. You will learn to compare two __(genre)__ stories. You will write and publish your very own short story collection.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1. “We are going to spend the next 9 weeks reading, writing, and arguing about the big ideas in __(Unit)___. Each of you will pick one topic on which to become an expert. You will research this topic and write research-based opinion pieces about it. By the end of this Unit, you will: 1. Be an expert on __(Unit)__. 2. Be an expert on your research topic. 3. Be able to write great opinion pieces.” An organizer is used for research writing today as students compile “WOW” facts about their topic.
) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Texts are of publishable quality and worthy of close reading. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can select. Students can use text features and visual cues within the books to help him/her read and understand. Sufficient teacher guidance/support from the teacher includes modeling the thought process, guided practice, using mnemonic devices/chant, and when students are proficient, there are opportunities for them to help other students.

Procedures are organized for independent reading using the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) and the teacher’s guide. There is scheduled independent reading time daily. The 100 Book Challenge is an instructional system that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes; any book counts for the 100 Book Challenge. The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A Home Coach is provided (a parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the Home Coach to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their in class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. Daily Framework, Independent Reading uses structures described in Readers’ Workshop to ensure every student reads for as close to 30 minutes as possible, in as many short reading periods as needed. Every student will be expected to complete 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading every day by the end of Week 3.
  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. The 100 Book Challenge begins. Directions, log sheets and online SchoolPace instructions are found here. Suggestions for engaging families as Home Coaches is found here. Steps build gradually. For example, Week 3 begins with 1 step a day instead of 2, Week 4 increases to 2 steps a day, Week 5, 3 steps a day- 2 in school, 1 at home, and Week 6, 4 steps a day- 2 in school and 2 at home. This will continue the rest of the school year.
  • Units 2 and 4. In the research units, a Resources Check Sheet is provided for students to record the number of good books they find in each color level.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1. Independent Reading. Students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected books in the genre.
  • In Unit 4, the Research Lab Daily Structure provides a guide and description of daily reading activities which include: Interactive Read Aloud, where teachers model and provide guided practice; Shared Reading, where teacher model and support student practice; and Research Reading, where students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected Research Lab books.
) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the primary-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability. The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3-5 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the intermediate-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

[rating] => meets ) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

Grade 1 materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The four units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Grade 1: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Animals, Family Stories, and Plants. The materials contain daily opportunities for whole and small-group instruction, including flexible grouping based on learning needs as determined by the IRLA assessments. The materials emphasize their daily routine as including a basic structure and multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, including opportunities to have personalized instruction to meet their specific needs, read books that are appropriate for their reading skills/level as well as books that are self-selected (from within a teacher-directed menu of choices), work with other students, and spend time researching and writing on topics of interest for multiple purposes and audiences. Each unit is accompanied by specific goals. For example, the materials list four literacy goals for students for the Literacy Lab (Unit 1) as:

Students will

  • Listen to at least 100 above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts.
  • Write every day, for a variety of purposes and in a variety of modes.
  • Practice applying a variety of Grade-Level Standards to both reading and writing.

There are also weekly goals, including the teacher meeting with a minimum of 10 students 1:1 or in small groups to focus on their Power Goals, students spending 2.5 hours a week in school reading and enjoying books independently or with a partner/buddy, and students spending 2.5 hours a week enjoying reading and listening to books at home.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Interactive Read-Aloud, Phonological Awareness, Readers’ Workshop, Centers, Writing, Music/Drama, and Read-Aloud) for a 120 minute reading block and offer flexibility for the order in which the components are completed. Each day’s lesson plans have a clear set of directions and are supported by educative materials within the lesson plans that explain why certain practices are supported or not supported by research and recommendations for carrying out the evidence-based practices.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Each unit comes complete with a pacing guide. There are four units designed for 36 weeks of instruction. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, materials include, “Words We Love” Chart • Word Wall/Environmental Print: Add to your Word Wall and to continue to support student reading and writing (1G & 2G Power Words, Key Words for remembering initial consonants, blends, and digraphs). • Songs/Rhymes you are using this week on chart paper”
  • In Unit 2, there are several graphic organizers for the “Final Project Organizer” including Topic Choice, KWL, Research Question(s) 1-6, a Glossary, and a Works Consulted Page.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Create a Describing Characters Anchor Chart with your class, adding to it as you work over the next few days. There are many ways to describe a character. Today, we will practice describing a character’s personality and actions.”
  • In Unit 4, there is a “Final Project Rubric” for the project on Plants. Included in the rubric are points for Authentic Voice, Information, Text Features, Effort, and Quality of Writing.
) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide contains a chart listing the Common Core State Standards Scope & Sequence for every unit broken down by unit theme and the weeks in which they are addressed. It includes Reading, Foundational Skills, Writing, Speaking/Listening and Language.

Each Unit also contains a Unit Overview that lists Best Practices and Focus Standards. The Pacing Guide includes the Week and the CCSS Focus of that week and each week begins with a “Daily Framework” that also lists the standards being addressed in the learning that week.

  • Unit 1, Week 4, “RL.1.6. Identify who is telling the story.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “RI.K.2: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “RL.K.3: With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.”
  • Unit 4, Week 3, “Establish Today’s Learning Goal: W.1 & RI.8 By the end of today, you will have a completed draft of an opinion piece for RQ #2. We will start by looking at the opinion piece I wrote with you this morning.”
) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content; however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction, would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. "Building Instruction in Units of Study" is presented in the back of the Unit 1 Teacher Edition for first grade. This section details such topics as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material.

  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Create a Describing Plot Anchor Chart with your class, adding to it as you work over the next few days. Read aloud a great story in the genre.”

Much of the scope of lessons center around the teacher choice of book. There is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying. Also, in this example, teachers are told to create a Plot Anchor Chart, but there is no other information or model.

  • Unit 2, Week 3, “Establish basic comprehension (pictures and text), modeling as necessary. • What is the author saying? • How does this relate to RQ #__? Keep this brief.”

In the above example, there are no asides, models, examples or information for specifically what or how teachers should be modeling.

During Research Labs, the Teacher Work section gives an overview of what the teacher should be doing, for example,the Teacher Edition asks teachers to, “Monitor for Engagement: Ensure all students are on task. Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.” Teachers may need more guidance as to what would constitute adequate progress at that point in the unit as well as what a great example might look like.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, Unit 4 lists the standard for use of technology, “With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.” However, that is the only mention of it in the Teacher Guide.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, the Teacher’s Edition introduction includes a section on “Playing Through Centers” that provides suggestions and guidance in designing centers for differentiation; “Practice the centers—don’t just assume all children are familiar with the different objects, materials, and options, or even with the concept of self-selected “centers.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Types of Conflict/ Problems Character vs. Character: The protagonist and antagonist are both characters that oppose each other. The protagonist usually needs to overcome the antagonist in order to resolve the conflict.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Interactive Writing is writing with children. You 'share the pen' with the children so they may write whatever words or letters or punctuation they are able to contribute. Through conversations with the children, invite them to participate in composing the text and support their attempts to do so.”
) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

The beginning of each unit also contains a table detailing the specific standard for the grade (One) and which unit or units (Literacy, Animals, Family Stories, Plants) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to.

The materials state, “The books in the Literacy/Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels. The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example:

  • Unit 1, Week 1, “In order to get to know each other, we’ll write about our favorite things this week.” With an aside that states, “Asking students to think, share, and write about opinions/preferences supports their ability to do CCSS W.1.1.”
  • Unit 2, Week 3, “Post and refer to standard RI.2. By the end of this week, each of you will have written an informational text about RQ #2. By the end of today, you will be able to identify which details in the text are the key details.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Continue adding to the Describing Plot Anchor Chart with your class.” This is followed by an aside, “College & Career Anchor Standard Reading #3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Have your Research Lab Libraries arranged in a row, from easiest to hardest. Do not use the Yellow basket, because 1Y- 3Y readers can’t read them without help.” [College & Career Readiness Anchor Standard: Reading #10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.]
) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There are also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

  • Unit 1, Core Overview, “Research Labs: Standards-Based Thematic Instruction Teachers use the Research Labs structure to orchestrate highly engaging, content rich inquiry units in which students are the drivers of their own learning, preparing them for 21st century success.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson Sidebar, “Academic Vocabulary: Script Beginning of Pair/Share Ensure students are speaking in complete sentences and practicing academic vocabulary by giving students specific phrases to begin their partner sharing.
) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. Throughout all of the units, students are expected to read every night at home as part of “The 100 Book Challenge” and parents/caregivers are given an involved role. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • “The classroom teacher—in collaboration with the student, parent, and school reading specialist—should be the final arbiter of whether or not a reader can handle a given reading level.”
  • “The parent is the Home Coach and in charge of deciding what “counts” for 100 BOOK CHALLENGE reading at home.”
  • “Today, you are going to learn how to fill out your logsheet. Next week, you will teach your parents about logging Steps, so you will need to be an expert.”
  • Engage Home Coaches, “Determine who Home Coaches are (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). • Help Home Coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success.”

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress.

In Unit 2, “Dear Parents/Guardians: During the upcoming weeks, your child will investigate the answers these questions and more as they explore life science in the world of wild and endangered animals.”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations.

  • In Unit 3, Week 5, “Give students opportunities to share their work with their peers/the community. • Author’s Chair • Presenting to other classrooms • Inviting in parents/families.”
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”


Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to each lesson, and while the beginning of the lesson includes standards being emphasized, they are not always clear or explicit as to how the assessments are measurable.

  • Unit 1, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. As students write, move among them, making certain to visit all students, encouraging them to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever way they can..”

There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics and/or WOW Facts that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

  • Unit 4, Final Project Rubric, “Authentic Voice • Text was clearly composed by the student and not copied from other books. Information • The project is packed with factually accurate and interesting information about the topic. • The project demonstrates an understanding of the plant. Text Features • Text features are used effectively. • Illustrations demonstrate knowledge of the plant. Effort • The author was clearly invested in making this a work of high quality. • The author feels that this is one of the best things he or she has done. • The project is beautiful”
) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.
The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance.

Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.
Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Writing; Coach 1-on-1 Writing Conferences and Underwriting: As students write, move among them, making certain to visit all students, encouraging them to express themselves in drawing/ writing in whatever ways they can. Once the student has completed his/her best attempt at writing, you will “underwrite” the student’s writing using pencil.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, “Formative Assessment; Check for Understanding: Check individual students to assess their current proficiency in retelling. Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re) teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Formative Assessment 1-on-1 Conferences During the Collecting phase, start with brief check-ins. Try to get to every student every day, focusing on keeping everyone moving in the same direction.”
) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”
  • Unit 1, Week 1, Reading Logs: “Keep track of self-selected reading on these logsheets after reading. 15 minutes = 1 Step, (Count Steps, not Books.)”
  • Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 4, Week 1, the students are instructed, “As you read today, continue to look for the most interesting, surprising, and/or important things you can learn about __(Unit)__. Be ready to tell your partner: • One interesting fact you learned • What in the text/pictures helped you learn it. Review routines for Independent Reading.”

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”

Unit 1, Week 1, Reading Logs: “Keep track of self-selected reading on these logsheets after reading. 15 minutes = 1 Step, (Count Steps, not Books.)”

Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 4, Week 1, the students are instructed, “As you read today, continue to look for the most interesting, surprising, and/or important things you can learn about __(Unit)__. Be ready to tell your partner: • One interesting fact you learned • What in the text/pictures helped you learn it. Review routines for Independent Reading.”

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time. ) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There are some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners; however, the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and discussion.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. The Teacher uses evidence from students’ work to decide if/what to clarify or reteach on the spot, and to plan for next day’s instruction through, “Embedded Formative Assessment.”

Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectation that materials provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards,while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first.“

) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels.

Student who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

Partner work is embedded as part of the Literacy Lab Routine across the Units:

  • “Accountable Talk: Students share with a partner and a few share out to class. Teacher coaches appropriate Speaking & Listening skills. Teacher uses Accountable Talk as feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction.”
  • “Partner Share: Model the partner share routine you expect students to participate in every day. Spend extra time establishing this now. Explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.”

Reader’s Workshop also includes partner work across the Units:

  • “Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back Model and practice partner reading routines: • Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. • Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently.”

Students also work and share with peers in collaborative writing and discussion groups across the Units.

  • “Collaborative Writing Students share their work with a partner. Author: • Describe your lesson/message. • What I like most about my story is ___. Partner: • What I like about your story is ___. • A question I have is ___.”
  • “Discussion Groups: Genre Have students share with partners and then work as a small group. Use this time to teach/reinforce sharing and discussion group routines. The content of students’ conversation today is less important than that everyone understands HOW to do pair share/discussion groups so that later days the focus can be on the content of the conversations.
) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => effective-technology-use [type] => component [report] => ) [64] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s3v [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

) [65] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

) [66] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 1 do not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

) [67] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [68] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

) [69] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

) [70] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 4, Week(s) 1, 3, and 8 the Teacher Edition states, “Final Project Publication Ideas • Formal Essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.) • Blog entry • Class/school website • Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper • Class newspaper/periodical • Journal • PowerPoint • Brochure • Book • Public Service Announcement/Public Awareness Campaign/ Advertisement.”

) ) [isbns] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-982-3 [custom_type] => [title] => IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-885-7 [custom_type] => [title] => IRLA CCSS Version 8 [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-494-1 [custom_type] => [title] => Y-2R Foundational Skills Toolkit [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [type] => teacher [number] => 978-1-63437-496-5 [custom_type] => [title] => 1B-2B Foundational Skills Toolkit [author] => [edition] => Copyright: 2017 [binding] => [publisher] => American Reading Company [year] => 2017 ) ) ) 1

Second Grade

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    [title] => ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/second-grade.html
    [grade] => Second Grade
    [type] => ela-k-2
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 56
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 30
            [rating] => meets
        )

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1                                            stdClass Object
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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 357
    [title] => ARC Core (2017)
    [report_date] => 2017-06-08
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 11
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [gateway_1_points] => 56
    [gateway_1_rating] => meets
    [gateway_1_report] => 

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are therefore worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions and task develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills; however, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

[gateway_3_points] => 30 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

[report_type] => ela-k-2 [series_id] => 80 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/second-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] => ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 2 students. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and/or award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including poetry, heroism, cultural diversity, insects and animals. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

The following are texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and Other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos and illustrated by Mike Reed contains funny poems about school life. Some poems include rhyming, and some poems are silly. Students will be able to relate to the poems.
  • The Stories Julian Tells, by Ann Cameron is engaging, positive text that contains humorous characters such as Julian. This character is mischievous, which makes him an interesting character to follow.
  • Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later), by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard is a text with rich illustrations about visiting an aunt who takes pride in her hats. Students learn about how hats can contain a story about the past.
  • Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse is a text about hoping for rain in a drought. The text contains interesting, engaging vocabulary such as endless, rumble, and sizzle.
) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 1 provides students the opportunity to engage in above-level, complex read alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain eight baskets of leveled readers and four baskets of read-aloud immersion texts that are intended to engage all types of readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards (50% informational and 50% fiction). Texts include diverse topics and genres such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and a poetry anthology.

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1

  • Teammates, by Peter Golenbock
  • Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs, by Douglas Florian

Unit 2

  • Bug Out! The World’s Creepiest, Crawliest Critters, by Ginjer L. Clarke
  • Spiders, by Gail Gibbon

Unit 3

  • Let’s Classify Animals! By Kelli Hicks

Unit 4

  • What is a Government? By Baron Bedsky
  • How to Draw a Map, by Julia J. Quinla

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1

  • My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, by Patricia Polacco
  • Splish Splash, by Joan Bransfield Graham

Unit 2

  • James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  • Hey There, Stink Bug, by Leslie Bulion

Unit 3

  • After Happily Ever After, by Tony Bradman
  • Berlioz The Bear, by Jan Brett

Unit 4

  • Frankly, Frannie, by AJ Stern
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials are designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple text sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text, though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards for text complexity. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small and whole group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success for students in grades PreK through 12.”

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include the following:

  • The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and Other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos is quantitatively non-prose. It is moderately complex in structure with supporting illustrations and also moderately complex in language demands due to the amount of figurative language students are exposed to. Knowledge demands are slightly complex as there are multiple themes, but most are familiar to readers.
  • The Stories Julian Tells, by Ann Cameron has a 520 Lexile and qualitatively is slightly to moderately complex in knowledge demands with subject-specific terms and slightly complex structure with supportive illustrations and graphics. Some academic and figurative language use results in a moderately complex score.
) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The supplemental text baskets are leveled according to the publisher’s system called the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). There are core texts and complex read alouds for teachers to select from in each unit.

Text options are at differing levels of material. The materials provide text sets (baskets) that are leveled and expose students to a myriad of levels and complexity. Students are provided access to the texts that are both of interest and are at the appropriately challenging level, according to the IRLA.

Materials provide students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts from the beginning to the end of the year require careful monitoring using the IRLA and suggested instruction based upon the IRLA results. The rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year. Students will engage with texts at varying levels unit to unit, according to their skill levels.

Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. The teacher companion to the research lab contains general instruction outlines, speaking and listening strategies, and general comprehension questions. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that anchor (core) texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) Framework, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. “To determine reading level, every book is double-blind and hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

Title: The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos

Text Complexity Level: 1R (Early 2nd Grade)

Quantitative: NP (Non-Prose)

Qualitative: Lexile does not currently assign a measure to books that “comprise more than 50% non-standard or non-conforming prose.”

Purpose/Structure: Moderately Complex. The text is organized around things you would see in a school, yet the connection between one poem and the next is not necessarily predictable. Illustrations do aid in interpreting the text.

Language: Moderately Complex. Registers largely contemporary but does employ a considerable amount of figurative language, especially personification, in each poem in the text.

Knowledge Demands: Slightly Complex. The text explores multiple themes yet does so with experiences that are common to most readers.

Reader and Task: This collection of poems includes only words at an early 2nd grade decodability, yet challenges readers as they explore poetry as both a genre and a text structure. Using humor and figurative language, the text is highly engaging for 2nd graders and complex enough to provide different, interesting perspectives on those shared school experiences.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Read Aloud.

Reader’s workshop includes a Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text segment. Students reread and discuss core text and respond to questions such as:

  • Basic Comprehension: What is happening so far in this story?
  • Inference: Why? What makes you think that?
  • Reader Response: What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why? Do you like this story yet? Why or why not? Set the standard that students will use examples or details from the text to support all assertions.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources.

Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers.

Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus for research and literacy labs is to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or an extended composition piece.

The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Opportunities to explicitly learn grade-level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

For example:

Unit 1:

  • “What lesson/message/moral do you think the author wants us to learn? What in the text makes you think that?"

Unit 2:

  • While reading Nature’s Patchwork Quilt, by Mary Miché, students are asked, “According to the text, how is a habitat like a quilt?” and “Does this author think bugs are essential to the survival of life on Earth? How do you know?”

Unit 3:

  • “How might this character’s background create a problem for him/her? What is the most important thing about this character? What is the first event in this story? What is the most important event from the beginning, middle, and end of the story? Why do you think that?" and “Why do you think these stories belong together?”

Unit 4:

  • Students participate in Accountable Talk with a partner when they answer the prompt, “The WOW! Fact I learned today was ___ I know this because in the text it said/in the picture it showed ___."
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Across Units 2-4, the culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1: “Students, today we begin our study of poetry. We will read and write all different kinds of poetry. At the end of next week, we will publish our own anthologies of poems we’ve written.”
  • Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5: Each student will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish his/her informational piece. “Today, you will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish your section for RQ #2. You will revise to make sure you introduce a main idea that is developed and worth writing about.”
  • Unit 3: Students examine realistic fiction, fantasy, and traditional tales as they respond to and write about text-dependent questions. Culminating this unit, students will publish and present their short story animal collections.
  • Unit 4: Students complete text-dependent research questions using graphic organizers that prompt them to describe and analyze the most important facts of the their research topic in order to successfully produce the culminating task of publishing and presenting their information.
) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Literacy Lab, the teacher is directed to encourage thoughtful conversation about the text as appropriate, and listens in as students share responses to determine the next move. There are no steps explaining how to encourage conversation, what to listen for, or options for next moves.
  • In Unit 2, Accountable Talk Partner Share, each partner takes one minute to share. "Pick one of the books you read today. Identify and describe the main character’s background, using details from the text and the pictures."
  • In Unit 4, students work in pairs to practice forming and supporting opinions. The teacher models four complex protocols, and then students begin work without the provision of supports or explicit guidance.
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • In Unit 1, the teacher reads from the core novel to the whole group, asking, “What is this story about? How do you know? What happens in the beginning, and why is that important to the sequence of events?" and "Which stories that read so far have a problem?”
  • In Unit 2, students are asked to hold discussions with the whole group or with a partner as part of the peer review in the writing workshop (block). Small groups during reader’s workshops allow for students to peer talk and again during writing time.
  • In Unit 3, students are asked to publish and present about story elements.
  • In Unit 4, following research reading, students tell a partner two things: a “WOW!” fact and one question they still have without the use of materials other than discussion.
) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece.

Examples of on-demand writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 1, Literacy Lab, students complete a Constructed Response: “Write in response to one of the books you read today: I read the book by ____. One question I have is ____. I wonder this because in the text/pictures…“
  • In Unit 2, students write the 3-point response that was "shared with your partner.”
  • In Unit 3, students work individually (or in pairs) to fill out the “Response” and “Solution/Lesson” columns of the “Problem/Solution” graphic organizer for the major problem and at least one other problem in the Central Text.
  • In Unit 4, students write down a fact s/he learned today and give evidence from one of the Research Library books to support that learning.

Examples of extended writing:

  • In Unit 1, students review and select a previously published poem and rewrite it, replacing overused words for more interesting/precise verbs, adverbs, or adjectives.
  • In Unit 2, students re-read the informational piece they wrote on the prior day, evaluate it using the W.2 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first point with a great hook.
  • In Unit 3, students will practice turning their interesting and important comparisons into convincing opinions. By the end of the day, all students will have written a 5-point opinion piece in response to the question: What is the most interesting/important comparison in these two stories?
  • In Unit 4, students reread the opinion piece they wrote previously, evaluate it using the W.1 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first two points.
) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, students write poetry and personal narratives. A rubric on page 270 is used to guide narrative writing. On Week 3, day 3, students have the option to write a poem that mimics the style/structure of a poem as a class or use Jack Prelutsky’s Read a Poem, Write a Poem as a support structure. On Week 6, days 1-2, students pairs pick an important relationship and an event that is/was important to both to write about.
  • In Unit 2, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 28 to guide their informational text writing. On Week 7, day 5, students focus on using technical and academic language to make their piece interesting (which is the seventh item on the rubric).
  • In Unit 3, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 23 as in uUit 1 to guide their narrative writing. On Week 2, day 4, students use a setting organizer to design a setting and write a story that takes place in that setting.
  • In Unit 4, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 29 to guide their opinion/argument writing. Week 5, day 3 research question #4 is the focus. Students generate opinions based on evidence from their research and use transition words to connect opinions to the evidence.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are required to write daily for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 3-4, students recall a life event and write a story.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students review their reading and write their own notes related to Research Question #6: Identify and describe threats to the bug’s survival. Theorize about what might happen to the bug’s ecosystem were it to become extinct.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 1, students draw and write in response to the questions: What did you learn about ____ from this text? How does what you learned relate to ____ (Central Text/Core Novel)?
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, Day 3, students generate an opinion worth writing about based on their research. For example, Research Question #4: "How has this job changed over time?”
) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 0 [rating] => does-not-meet [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Opportunities to explicitly learn grade- level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete editing tasks through the units, but the editing tasks are often not based in Grade 1 Language standards, and the tasks include only general checklists.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Grade 2 standards:

  • In Unit 1, students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure.
  • In Unit 2, students work in pairs to edit their papers. Students focus on editing ONLY for the following: • Quotation marks indicate direct quotations. • If quoting, proper citation is used. • Proper punctuation (capitals, end marks).
) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o1t [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities. Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading as well as to provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including structures and features of text.

The materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonics that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

Small group lessons based in the Foundational Skills Toolkit provides students with the opportunity to learn grade-level phonics skills.

  • In Grade 2, the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1R (pages 17-21) provides four lessons on 3-syllable words, three lessons on 6 common suffixes, four lessons on 3-letter blends (8 beginning blends and 4 ending blends), and seven lessons on tricky sounds like /kn-/. In addition, Guided Reading texts support the phonics learning. For example in Lesson 21, the Independent Reading text by James Marshall is suggested as well as four other books from the same basket. The texts provide students opportunities to practice the phonics skills.
  • In Grade 2, Foundational Skills Toolkit 2R (pages 15-19) provides five lessons on eight additional sounds and eight lessons on 11 affixes. In Lesson 1-5, students learn Flexible Decoding for:
    • i says /ee/, long i, short i, i in patterns like -ion, -iest.
    • ch=k, ci=sh, c=s
    • Vowel splits
  • In Lessons 7-14, students learn affixes. Students learn -tion/-sion, -ier/-iest, -ful/-fully, ily, -able, un-, re-, mis-.

The 2R toolkit provides teacher-friendly coaching tips:

  • “If necessary, briefly clarify the meaning of any words with which students are unfamiliar (write, say, define student-friendly example, ask).”

Foundational skills are reinforced in Unit 1, Day 4. “Reinforce the Foundational Skills, Language, and Writing Skills students will be using in their reading and writing. On-level beginning of the year 2nd grade readers use words and patterns they know to read and write (2- and 3-syllable words). Have a few students take turns holding the marker and coming up to point out things in the writing. 'I need to write the word disagreed. What little words do you hear inside this word? Who can tell me how to spell the first part? Which part of this word means didn’t?'”

) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), and structures and features of text (1-2).

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students analyze the structure of a poem. During Morning Meeting, the teacher sets the focus as: “Today, as we read and write poems, we will examine how poets use ____ (an element of structure/style).
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 5 and 6, students analyze sequence of events and story structure. In Week 6, students use the writing of personal narratives to recount events. In the Week 5, Day 1 CCSS mini-lesson R.3), the teacher states: “For the next two weeks, we will read and write narratives. Most of these will be personal narratives, people writing about their own lives. Today, we will begin to talk about the ingredients of narratives.” During Read/Discuss Complex Text, students read the Core Novel and discuss story elements. Students respond to the following questions:
    • Identify and describe the characters in this story. Did they encounter a challenge? How did they respond?
    • Retell the major events. What is a problem in this story? What evidence supports your opinion?
    • Identify the setting of the story, using the text and pictures as evidence. What is the most important thing about the setting? Why? Identify three ways the setting shapes the story (reasons the story could only take place in this setting).
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 2-4, students learn about main topic, main idea, and key details:
    • In Week 2, Day 3, students are informed they will be able to identify main topic, main idea, and key details in an informational text. The teacher models through think aloud how to determine the topic, locate details, and determine main idea from the details. During Guided Practice, students work in pairs to find main topic, main idea, and key details.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1-4, students describe story elements:
    • In Week 1, students learn to describe characters.
    • In Week 2, students learn to describe setting.
    • In Week 3, students learn to describe plot.
    • In Week 4, students learn to describe central message/lesson.

Students have frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g., title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations):

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students learn about text features:
    • In Week 1, Day 4, students are shown different text features such as a print feature, an organizational/graphic aid, or a visual. The teacher models how to use text features to evaluate if the text will be a good source.
  • In Unit 2, Week 5, students learn about illustrations:
    • Students learn how authors use illustrations to teach about their main ideas and key details. The teacher introduces the different types of illustrations: drawn pictures, photographs, timelines, maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams.
    • On Day 3, students close read a text and analyze the illustrations.
    • During Formative Assessment, One-on-One Conferences, the teacher is to ensure students are able to identify different types of illustrations and explain what illustrations communicate.
) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1q [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins.

Students have opportunities to read grade-level text. For students in 1R and 2R, they read 2R Guided Reading Texts, Series/Author Study (6 Fox titles, 6 James Marshall), and additional chapter books (2 series, 6 books each).

The materials contain information for teachers about how to help students with fluency. The information is a section called Fluency: The Bridge from Decoding to Reading Comprehension. Choral reading, echo reading, “buddy” or “paired" reading are defined so a teacher can use those strategies to help students read with accuracy, rate, and expression. In the Foundational Skills Toolkit, fluency practice is always after comprehension activities. For example in 2R, Lesson 14, students can practice automaticity through Word Work. Then students can practice prosody through phrasing. For homework, students can read Top 10 Most Disgusting Facts About the Human Body with their Home Coaches or a reading buddy.

In 1R and 2R, students learn word attack skills to figuring out tricky words. Strategies include:

  • Stop if something doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense.
  • Look at the picture.
  • Say the first letter sound.
  • Reread: Go back and try again.
  • Blend: Say the first two letters.
  • Cover part of the word.
  • Chunk: Look for parts you know.
  • Think of a word that looks the same and rhymes.
  • Say “blank,” read on, and come back.
  • Try a different sound for the vowel.

In 1R, students learn word strategies to read three-syllable words. In 2R, students learn how to decode multisyllabic and irregularly spelled words. For example in Lesson 13, students learn to read words with re-. During guided practice, students work with the teacher to:

  • Generate a list of words they know that begin with the prefix re-.
  • Add the prefix re- to base words to create new words.
  • Add a suffix to those words to create additional new words.
) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1r [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that the materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In Foundational Skills 1R, students have opportunities to practice word recognition and analysis skills during the Guided Reading. In Lesson 2, students read George and Martha. This is an opportunity for students to practice using Word Attack Strategies. First, students read Story Number One: Split Pea Soup on their own using a whisper voice. The teacher listens to students read. “If a student hits a decoding challenge, s/he should stop and move chunk by chunk to repair/solve the challenge. If a student is UNABLE to figure out the word independently, give her specific steps that may help (e.g., Cover up the first half of the word. Do you see anything you know?).” Students also have opportunities to create words using roots and suffixes. In Lesson 2, students participate in How Many Words Can You Make? which is a task for students to create words using a list of roots and a list of suffixes.

In Foundational Skills 2R, students have opportunities to practice word recognition and analysis skills during Guided Reading. In Lesson 10, students read a book which contains suffixes. First, students independently read Top 10 Most Disgusting Facts About the Human Body. The teacher visits each student to listen to the student read. “Expect students to try to solve any hard words themselves, only helping when they are really stuck.” Students then practice reading difficult words from the text during Word Work. Students also practice reading words that end with -able. Students develop automaticity of -able by working with a partner to:

  • Read and reread -able words, developing automaticity with the suffix.
  • Give each other clues and play Jeopardy with the word lists.

Students can also play Spelling Champs with the list of -able words and/or students can select a word from the -able list and write why that word describes them.

) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1s [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ learning of foundational skills. These are the following steps to using IRLA:

  • Identify IRLA Reading Level.
  • Use the IRLA to diagnose specific instructional needs.
  • Use corresponding Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons to teach and model specific skills.
  • Provide guided and independent practice differentiated to support students who learn at different paces.

IRLA helps provide the teacher with baseline data about each Grade 2 student’s reading proficiency. This gives teachers information about which foundational skills each student needs to learn, and the teacher can use the data to sort students into similar groupings. A teacher will assess a Grade 2 student for different stages of acquisition. In Grade 2, a teacher can assess students for different levels of foundational skills. According to IRLA, Grade 2 students are in 1R and 2R, which include the following stages of acquisition: syllabication and chapter books. For 1R entry, a student can decode most 3-syllable words that follow a regular vowel pattern, can recognize and read 1R irregularly spelled words, can use a combination of decoding skills, sight words, and context clues to read 1R text with 98-100% accuracy, and can determine what a 1R text says explicitly. The teacher also documents a student’s reading during a running record. IRLA contains many assessment opportunities for the teacher to assess each student.

With IRLA, a teacher can assess students’ progress toward learning grade level standards. In IRLA, there are Coaching Records for teachers to document students’ learning. For example, for Coaching Record 1R, for a student in 1R, the teacher documents a student’s ability to read 3-letter blends, to read suffixes, to read tricky words, to use reading strategies, and to demonstrate reading comprehension.

Coaching Tips and Warning Signs are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example in 1R, a teacher can assess students’ ability to read 3-syllable words. “Students just learning to decode 3-syllable words will not yet be fluent readers of 1R text. Make sure they get coaching and practice with 1R phonics so that decoding becomes automatic before worrying about their fluency.”

) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1t [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities.

Instructional materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units (Literacy Lab, Bugs in their Ecosystems, Animal Stories and Animals, and Jobs in my Community). After placing students into skill-based groupings based on assessment results from IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), students are provided learning opportunities at their individual levels. Students placed in the 1R are ready to decode regular 3-syllable words, common suffixes, three-letter blends, and tricky letter sounds. Students have access to 1R Guided Reading Books. If a student is not ready for 1R small group, the IRLA materials help place students in a small group teaching prerequisite skills for 2R. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in 2R small group. These students learn how to decode multisyllabic words.

During Literacy Lab Grade 2 lessons, the materials contain an ARC Literacy Lab Routine Teacher Checklist. During Morning Message, the teacher and students compose a Morning Message together, which is an opportunity to practice and reinforce Foundational Skills. In Day 1 Lesson Focus, Readers are Thinkers, the Morning Message is for students to use their reading and writing: “On-level beginning of the year 2nd grade readers use words and patterns they know to read and write (2- to 3- syllable words).” Students take turns with the marker and pointing out things such as: “Who can find a word that begins with the sound spr-?”

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 2R, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning to read 3-syllable words. Students can use Multiple Modality Encoding (Kinesthetic, Auditory/Visual/Tactile) and association (Sound Sort and Crazy, Crafty, Connections). For Crazy, Crafty, Connections students can create picture cards of blends they know with a picture that they associate with the sound.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for a teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1R, the Action Plan contains: “At least one other 1R reader (could be a small group) who will read through the same basket of books in the same two days. Have them compare notes, decide which are the best books in the basket and why, and report to the class on their progress and evaluations.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In 2R, Lesson 1, the Coaching Tip is: “Phonics in Context: If students hit a word that they have trouble decoding, challenge them to be independent problem solvers with questions like: 'What other word do you know that could help you with this?'” Another example of how the materials provide guidance to teachers is in the front matter of 2R. Coaches ask students: "Does that sound almost like a word you’ve heard before? What else might you try?”

) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as bugs, animals, community, literary stories, personal narratives, and more.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in science, social studies and literary genres including the subjects of family, culture, school, animals, and poetry that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • Unit 1 uses themes of education, diversity, justice and heroism instead of topics. The poetry text set has 20 text parts. No list of books for the three read-aloud collections or the leveled boxes was provided.
  • In Unit 2, the topic Bugs uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, on Week 4, Day 1, students close read (a first read and second read for building comprehension, repeated reading, and independent reading). The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as James and the Giant Peach, Bugs, and poetry, Hey There Stink Bug!
  • In Unit 3, the topic Animal Stories is used for a genre study. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse and Turtles.
  • In Unit 4, the topic Jobs in My Community uses research questions and informational opinion writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Frankly Frannie and Communities.
) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students are asked, “What strategies do you already use for figuring out new words? What do you think that word might mean? What makes you think that? What questions do you have? What do you remember about this book? Listening to this book again, what are you thinking, now?” and “Which books should we all know about? Why?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students are asked, “Did we find the answers to any of our questions we had before reading today? What new questions do we have? Who can define ___ in your own words? Who learned something really interesting? Who learned something that changed your thinking about _(topic)_?" In Week 8: “Today we will look back at different sections of text to see how authors use concluding statements within a text. The author writes his/her conclusion right here...I know this is his/her conclusion because... Evaluate the conclusion: This is a strong conclusion because... (e.g., The author reminds us about his/her main idea by....)”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, students are asked, “What makes this a short story collection? What do the stories have in common? Why do you think these stories belong together? Does this author earn ALL the points on our narrative rubric? Why or why not?” and “How do you think the author could change his/her story to make it more interesting/better/fun to read?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students are asked, “What is the author saying? How does this relate to RQ#__? What do you wonder about this? What questions does it raise for you?” and, “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”
) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. During interactive reading, students engage in analyzing parts of text(s) for class discussion, addressing any given number of questions that may include responses in the form of graphic organizers, quick writes, or quick draws that involve drawing on textual evidence to support their answers. The general format of the reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers, and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students are asked, “What happened in the story? How do you know? • What did you learn about ___? What in the pictures/text taught you that? • What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why?" Students return to the text as they work with partners to answer each question.
  • Unit 2, Week 8. “The text is all about ___. The author’s main idea is___. The author writes his/her conclusion right here: ___. I know this is his/her conclusion because ___.” Which conclusion is best? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?” and “How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”
  • In Unit 3, students are asked, “How might this character’s background create a problem for him/her? What is the most important thing about this character? What is the first event in this story? What is the most important event from the beginning, middle, end of the story? Why do you think that?" and “Why do you think these stories belong together?”
  • Unit 4, Week 2. “Let’s re-read this text to learn more about the key concepts/technical vocabulary related to this Research Question. • Define • Explain • Give an example. How does this compare to what you already knew/ thought about ___? How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”
) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

Examples include:

  • Unit 1, Week 3. “Today, as we read and write poems, we will examine how poets use ___ (an element of structure/style [e.g, shape])." Each day, introduce a new element of structure/style, and add it to your What Makes a Poem chart. Students write a poem that mimics the style/structure of a poem you read together as a class.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Each student will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish his/her informational piece. “Today, you will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish your section for RQ #2. You will revise to make sure you introduce a main idea that is developed and worth writing about.”
  • In Unit 3, Students examine realistic fiction, fantasy, and traditional tales as they respond to and write about text-dependent questions. Culminating this unit, students will publish and present their short story animal collections.
  • Unit 4, Week 2. Use peer reviews, student-friendly rubrics, accountable talk, etc. so that students are working to impress the audience that matters most to them – their peers. • Instead of memorization, ask students to explain things in relationship to each other. For example, instead of asking them for the specific dates of the Boston Tea Party, the Stamp Act, Lexington & Concord, and the drafting of the Constitution, ask them to put the events in order and explain why this must be the sequence of events.
) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. The established Literacy Lab routines state, “Teacher uses daily Read Aloud as an opportunity to increase students’ academic vocabulary, background knowledge, and speaking & listening skills.” Each lesson has Interactive Read Alouds to bolster students’ receptive vocabulary, and strategies quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. Have students point out new/interesting vocabulary, especially words with prefixes. Discuss: What do you think that word might mean? What makes you think that?”
  • Unit 2, Week 1. “The author uses the words piece/pieces/pieced several times. Circle them. What are two meanings for the word piece as used by this author? What in the text supports your answer?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, as students bring closure to their research, technical vocabulary words encountered are discussed. Students are responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. The teacher is responsible for selecting the words and adding them to the class word glossary.
) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes, which include composing opinion pieces, informational/explanatory texts, and simple narratives. Each lesson contains protocols for students to share their writing and receive feedback from both the teacher and his/her peers. Students engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine, and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students edit their personal narratives and draw illustrations to prepare for publishing. “Students publish their pieces in a way that will be meaningful to them.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, using a Final Project Rubric, students focus on one research question each week to develop expertise, mentor text, draft, and revise and edit. Students begin to plan their book layout. Once students have a plan, they begin to turn their notes and graphic organizer information into paragraphs. The teacher shares good examples. Some students will share with the whole group, others will share with a partner.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students use a rubric for a Constructed Response Baseline by story retelling including the story introduction and main character description. After reviewing the main character Character Study graphic organizer and partner think pair share, students watch the teacher model the process, practice with a partner, and then do independent practice.
  • In Unit 4, a research unit, students use several graphic organizers to research a job. Students use the information on the organizers to write information in paragraph form using opinion as a focus of their research writing. In Week 5, Day 3, students generate an opinion about their reading and provide evidence and reasons from the text to convince the audience of their opinion.

The daily literacy block includes a 20-60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing. Students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one-to-one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres. Additionally, they will take a fiction piece and an informational piece of writing to publication.

) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Units are designed for students to complete a culminating writing task in each lesson. Writing tasks ask students to interpret, analyze, and/or synthesize information from above grade-level interactive read-alouds and texts from independent leveled libraries from a range of sub-topics within the larger context of a literary or scientific field of research. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times of about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • Unit 1, Week 3. “Collect poems students write over the next few weeks into a Poetry Anthology of their own. 2. Model: Think aloud as you compose a poem. Voice how you: • Choose a topic. • Choose style/organization. • Decide upon visuals to use/not use. • Decide on word choice.”
  • In Unit 2, students begin to research a topic. “1. Classify the bug. Identify the group it belongs to, and describe the characteristics they have in common. 2. Describe the bug’s ecosystem. Explain how the bug relies on its habitat to meet its basic needs. 3. Describe the bug’s physical characteristics. Explain how these adaptations help the bug survive. 4. Describe the bug’s social behavior and explain how these adaptations help it survive. 5. Identify organisms that rely on the bug for their own survival. 6. Identify and describe threats to the bug’s survival. Theorize about what might happen to the bug’s ecosystem were it to become extinct. In Week 8, Day 4, students convert their notes and graphic organizer information into paragraph form.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, students work in pairs to compare and contrast two stories from the collection, using a graphic organizer. Teacher listens to and observes students. Students read independently and end with a partner share of which books he/she read that would go into a short story collection. During the writing block, students look back at stories they have written and decide which ones to include in a short story collection. Students will revise/edit and write new stories.
  • Unit 4, Week 8. “Decide how you want students to publish their final pieces. Consider different formats as the weeks progress: • Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.) • Letter to selected audience (principal, parent, etc.) • Blog entry • Class/school website • Submit to relevant newspaper • Class newspaper/ periodical/journal • PowerPoint • Create a book.”
) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Texts are of publishable quality and worthy of close reading. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can select. Students can use text features and visual cues within the books to help him/her read and understand. Sufficient teacher guidance/support from the teacher includes modeling the thought process, guided practice, using mnemonic devices/chant, and when students are proficient, there are opportunities for them to help other students.

Procedures are organized for independent reading using the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) and the teacher’s guide. There is scheduled independent reading time daily. The 100 Book Challenge is an instructional system that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes; any book counts for the 100 Book Challenge. The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A Home Coach is provided (a parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the Home Coach to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their in class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. The 100 Book Challenge begins. Directions, log sheets and online SchoolPace instructions are found here. Suggestions for engaging families as Home Coaches is found here. Steps build gradually. For example, Week 3 begins with 1 step a day instead of 2, Week 4 increases to 2 steps a day, Week 5, 3 steps a day- 2 in school, 1 at home, and Week 6, 4 steps a day- 2 in school and 2 at home. This will continue the rest of the school year.
  • In Unit 1, Independent Reading, students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected books while teacher “kidwatches.” If students are unable to sustain 30 minutes of Independent Reading now, the teacher will provide time at the end of the literacy block so each student completes 30 minutes today. During this time, teachers conduct one-on-one conferences and establish baseline reading levels using the IRLA/ENIL. The baseline reading level for each student is entered in SchoolPace by the end of Week 3.
  • In Units 2 and 4, the research units, a Resouces Check Sheet is provided for students to record the number of good books they find in each color level.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1. Homework Reading: Students need to read independently every night from books they both can and want to read. This does not mean students should only read books in their IRLA levels or with IRLA-level tape on the spines. Any book a student is interested in reading and motivated to read can serve as homework reading. Homework reading does not need to be in the genre. If a student is really hooked on a book from the Genre Library, you might decide to make an exception and allow the student to take it home.
) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the primary-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

[rating] => meets ) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

Grade 2 materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The four units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Grade 2: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Bugs in their Ecosystems, Animal Stories, and Jobs in the Community. The materials contain daily opportunities for whole and small-group instruction, including flexible grouping based on learning needs as determined by the IRLA assessments. The materials emphasize their daily routine as including a basic structure and multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, including opportunities to have personalized instruction to meet their specific needs, read books that are appropriate for their reading skills/level as well as books that are self-selected (from within a teacher-directed menu of choices), work with other students, and spend time researching and writing on topics of interest for multiple purposes and audiences. Each unit is accompanied by specific goals. For example, the materials list six literacy goals for students for the Literacy Lab (Unit 1) as:

Students will

  • Listen to and discuss dozens of above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Read and discuss at two grade-level shared reading texts, one poetry and one narrative.
  • Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts.
  • Write every day, for a variety of purposes and in a variety of modes.
  • Take both a collection of poems and a personal narrative through the writing process to publication.
  • Practice applying a variety of Grade-Level Standards to both reading and writing.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Mini-Lesson/Interactive Read-Aloud, Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Aloud, and Reflection) for a 120 minute reading block and offer flexibility for the order in which the components are completed. Each day’s lesson plans have a clear set of directions and are supported by educative materials within the lesson plans that explain why certain practices are supported or not supported by research and recommendations for carrying out the evidence-based practices.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Each unit comes complete with a pacing guide. There are four units designed for 36 weeks of instruction. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, “Introduce Personal Narrative Unit Post the Narrative Writing Rubric. Distribute copies to students.”
  • In Unit 2, there is a “Final Project Rubric” for the project on Bugs. Included in the rubric are points for Authentic Voice, Information, Text Features, Effort, and Quality of Writing.
  • In Unit 3, students are provided sentence starters in the Retelling a Story Rubric. Examples of the sentence starters include, “The main character is ____ and he/she is _____.” And “At the end, the problem is resolved by ____.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, there is a Fact vs. Opinion Rubric for Facts, Reasons/Evidence, and Opinion.
) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide contains a chart listing the Common Core State Standards Scope & Sequence for every unit broken down by unit theme and the weeks in which they are addressed. It includes Reading, Foundational Skills, Writing, Speaking/Listening and Language.

Each Unit also contains a Unit Overview that lists Best Practices and Focus Standards. The Pacing Guide includes the Week and the CCSS Focus of that week and each week begins with a “Daily Framework” that also lists the standards being addressed in the learning that week.

  • Unit 1, Week 5, “Common Core Standard L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “Now, you will re-read the informational piece you wrote yesterday, evaluate it using our W.2 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first point with a great hook.”
  • Unit 3, Week 7, “CCSS W.3 Rubric: This rubric will help us write strong _(genre)_ stories. You will recognize each of the points as something we practiced earlier in this Unit.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Post the R.1/W.1 Rubric. In this Unit, each of you will become really good at writing opinion pieces. To do this, we first need to be clear on the difference between a fact and an opinion. Today you will practice forming opinions and using reasons to support it.”
) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content; however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction, would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. "Building Instruction in Units of Study" is presented in the back of the Unit 1 Teacher Edition for second grade. This section details such topics as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material.

  • Unit 2, Week 2, “Select a rich text from the Central Text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of today’s Research Question. The class will read and re-read this selection over the course of the next two days, so select a text (or set of texts) that is worth the time and attention. Read the text in appropriate chunks (1–2 pages at most).”

Much of the scope of lessons center around the teacher choice of book. There is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying. Also, in the above example “a text that is worth time and attention” is not defined.

During Research Labs, the Teacher Work section gives an overview of what the teacher should be doing, for example, the Teacher Edition asks teachers to, “Monitor for Engagement: Ensure all students are on task. Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.” Teachers may need more guidance as to what would constitute adequate progress at that point in the unit as well as what a great example might look like.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, Unit 4 lists the standard for use of technology, “With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.” However, that is the only mention of it in the Teacher Guide in regards to lessons.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 2, meet expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, Week 1, “'Successful with just a little bit of help from the teacher' is the Zone of Proximal Development, also called the student’s instructional or guided reading level. It is not the independent level, and it is not the level at which students must work most of the day or during state testing.”
  • Unit 3, Week 5, “Teach students the conventions and have them edit to the best of their abilities, but don’t spend your evenings editing for them. Students’ own authentic approximations are the goal.”
  • Unit 4, Week, 4, “Using a mentor text (ideally the same mentor texts as last week), model how you identify and analyze the author’s use of a concluding statement to convince the reader to agree with his/her opinion.”
) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

The beginning of each unit also contains a table detailing the specific standard for the grade (One) and which unit or units (Literacy, Bugs, Animal Stories, Community) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to.

The materials state, “The books in the Literacy/Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels. The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example:

• Unit 1, Week 1, “Read aloud as many above-level, engaging books as your class will listen to.” Is followed by an aside that states, “A Note on Text Complexity & Reading Aloud For the majority of the rest of the year, Read-Aloud should be from texts that are at or above grade level to ensure all students engage with grade-level complex text and its academic vocabulary regularly.”

• Unit 2, Week 3, “Post and refer to standard RI.2. By the end of this week, each of you will have written an informational text about RQ #2. By the end of today, you will be even better at identifying the topic, a main idea, and key details in an informational text.”

• Unit 3, Week, 2, “Model Applying R.3: Identify & Describe the Physical Setting Let me show you how I use the text and the pictures to describe the first setting... Use a combination of modeling and pair/share to describe the first setting. Don’t worry about addressing every bullet. Only address the ones that are applicable to this setting.”

• Unit 4, Week, 4, “Establish Today’s Learning Goal: W.1 & RI.8 By the end of today, you will have a completed draft of an opinion piece for RQ #3. We will start by looking at an example of a great opinion piece as inspiration for our own writing- we will pay careful attention to how much evidence the author uses to support his/her opinions.”

) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There are also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

  • Unit 1, Core Overview, “Research Labs: Standards-Based Thematic Instruction Teachers use the Research Labs structure to orchestrate highly engaging, content rich inquiry units in which students are the drivers of their own learning, preparing them for 21st century success.”
  • Unit 3, Week 5, Lesson Sidebar, “Encourage students to read from the Informational Library this week. Informational texts regularly include linking words, conclusions, and other specific elements of writing craft that are not unique to opinion writing.”
) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. Throughout all of the units, students are expected to read every night at home as part of “The 100 Book Challenge” and parents/caregivers are given an involved role. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • “The classroom teacher—in collaboration with the student, parent, and school reading specialist—should be the final arbiter of whether or not a reader can handle a given reading level.”
  • “The parent is the Home Coach and in charge of deciding what “counts” for 100 BOOK CHALLENGE reading at home.”
  • “Today, you are going to learn how to fill out your logsheet. Next week, you will teach your parents about logging Steps, so you will need to be an expert.”
  • Engage Home Coaches, “Determine who Home Coaches are (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). • Help Home Coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success.”

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress.

  • In Unit 3, “Dear Parents/Guardians: “During the upcoming weeks, your child will investigate animal stories from the ¬Three Little Pigs to Little Bear to ¬ the Velveteen Rabbit. Students will become experts in the genre, examining the characters, the plots, and the lessons learned.”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations.

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Give students opportunities to share their work with their peers/the community. • Author’s Chair • Presenting to other classrooms • Inviting in parents/families.”
) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”

Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to each lesson, and while the beginning of the lesson includes standards being emphasized, they are not always clear or explicit as to how the assessments are measurable.

  • Unit 1, Week 1, “Embedded Formative Assessment Record on your Status of the Class what you learned about individual readers and their interests/preferences.”
  • In Unit 2, the Pre-Assessment for Reading and Writing Informational Text, does not denote specific standards. For Example, “How is a water bug able to eat a frog? What in the text supports your answer? 2. What does the word mush mean in this text? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.”

There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics and/or WOW Facts that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

  • Unit 4, Final Project Rubric, “Authentic Voice • Text was clearly composed by the student and not copied from other books. Information • The project is packed with factually accurate and interesting information about the topic. • The project demonstrates an understanding of the plant. Text Features • Text features are used effectively. • Illustrations demonstrate knowledge of the plant. Effort • The author was clearly invested in making this a work of high quality. • The author feels that this is one of the best things he or she has done. • The project is beautiful”
) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.
The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance.

Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.
Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, “Embedded Formative Assessment Record on your Status of the Class what you learned about individual readers and their interests/preferences.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach; Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach Check for Understanding Observe as students write, looking for gaps in understanding of the standard and/or text.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Formative Assessment 1-on-1 Conferences During the Collecting phase, start with brief check-ins. Try to get to every student every day, focusing on keeping everyone moving in the same direction.”
) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”
  • Unit 1, Week 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Readers do not have to write anything to “prove” that they have actually read. Home Coach signatures are good enough. Any book counts for 100 Book Challenge.
  • Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 3, Week 4, the students are instructed, “After you read today, be ready to explain a lesson/message the story teaches and what in the pictures and text supports your opinion.”
  • The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students. Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”

Unit 1, Week 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Readers do not have to write anything to “prove” that they have actually read. Home Coach signatures are good enough. Any book counts for 100 Book Challenge

Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 3, Week 4, the students are instructed, “After you read today, be ready to explain a lesson/message the story teaches and what in the pictures and text supports your opinion.”

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students. Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There are some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners; however, the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and discussion.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. The Teacher uses evidence from students’ work to decide if/what to clarify or reteach on the spot, and to plan for next day’s instruction through, “Embedded Formative Assessment.”

Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

) [60] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectation that materials provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first.“

) [61] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels.

Student who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

Partner work is embedded as part of the Literacy Lab Routine across the Units:

  • “Accountable Talk: Students share with a partner and a few share out to class. Teacher coaches appropriate Speaking & Listening skills. Teacher uses Accountable Talk as feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction.”
  • “Partner Share: Model the partner share routine you expect students to participate in every day. Spend extra time establishing this now. Explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.”

Reader’s Workshop also includes partner work across the Units:

  • “Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back Model and practice partner reading routines: • Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. • Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently.”

Students also work and share with peers in collaborative writing and discussion groups across the Units.

  • “Collaborative Writing Students share their work with a partner. Author: • Describe your lesson/message. • What I like most about my story is ___. Partner: • What I like about your story is ___. • A question I have is ___.”
  • “Discussion Groups: Genre Have students share with partners and then work as a small group. Use this time to teach/reinforce sharing and discussion group routines. The content of students’ conversation today is less important than that everyone understands HOW to do pair share/discussion groups so that later days the focus can be on the content of the conversations.”
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Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

) [65] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

) [66] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional material does not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

) [67] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [68] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

) [69] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

) [70] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 3, Week(s) 5 and 9, the Teacher Edition states, “Publishing Decide how you want your students to publish their essays. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas, Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint, or Create a book.”

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Third Grade

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    [title] => ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/third-grade.html
    [grade] => Third Grade
    [type] => ela-3-5
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 37
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 30
            [rating] => meets
        )

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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 354
    [title] => American Reading Company - Grade 3
    [report_date] => 2017-08-16
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 13
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [gateway_1_points] => 37
    [gateway_1_rating] => meets
    [gateway_1_report] => 

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are therefore worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills, however, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

[gateway_3_points] => 30 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

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The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for core texts (anchor) being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading that considers the range of students’ interests. Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards and include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The instructional materials reviewed meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Texts are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading. Texts address diverse cultures, differing historical periods as well as other content areas such as the sciences.

) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 3 students. Many of the central (anchor) texts have won awards or are written by award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests, including ocean predators, personal narratives, survival stories, cultural texts, natural disasters, traditional tales, and scientific non-fiction. Text sets are rich in academic language. Furthermore, texts present universal and multiple multicultural themes which integrate other content areas.

The following are texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • Unit 1: Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark is written by an award winning author, Mary Pope Osborne. This text is a high-interest literary text.
  • Unit 2: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005, by Lauren Tarshis is a historical non-fiction text that recounts the author’s survival adventure through one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history. This is a selection from the I Survived series published by Scholastic.
  • Unit 3: It’s Not About the Pumpkin, by Veronika Martenova Charles includes engaging versions of the story Cinderella. The text is written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and illustrations to engage the reader.
  • Unit 4: Wobbly Walruses, by Charles Rotter is content-rich and engaging. This volume from the Nature Book series presents facts about walruses for young readers. Each two-page spread has one page of text next to a colorful, full-page photograph. The wide margins and double-spaced, large print give the book a simple, clean format, and the text is clear and informative. The easy-to-use layout and bright color photographs will appeal to students.
) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 3 provides students the opportunity to engage in core texts and read-alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, supplemental texts. The materials contain 8 baskets of leveled readers and a basket of Hook Books that are intended to engage even reluctant readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards. Texts include diverse topics and genres, such as realistic fiction, poetry, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and historical fiction.

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1- Knights and Castles, by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne
  • Unit 2- Weather, Poems for All Seasons, by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Unit 3- BigFoot Cinderrrrrella, by Tony Johnston and James Warhola
  • Unit 4- Under Water Andrew Lost 5, by J.C. Greenburg

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1- Life in the Middle Ages, by Louise Park
  • Unit 2- Meteorology, The Study of Weather, by Christine Taylor- Butler
  • Unit 3-What is Culture? by Bobbie Kalman
  • Unit 4- Wobby Walruses, by Charles Rotter
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

ARC is designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple text sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text, though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards for text complexity. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small and whole group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success, for students in grades PreK through 12.”

From the Teacher's Edition: "The core novel is a grade-level novel in the genre that is exemplary in terms of both content and craft. The teacher uses the provided class set of this text to engage students in rich and rigorous in evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The ARC team of educational experts selects the best option for the core text for each unit and each grade that meets the following requirements: At grade-level IRLA level, in print and in stock, exemplar for this genre at this level, broad appeal to a diverse group of students, mentor text-worthy writing passages, and reflects multiple perspectives/diversity."

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include, but are not limited:

  • In Unit 1, Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osbourne falls below the grade level band according to its quantitative measures. This literary fiction book has a Lexile measure of 240. While the text includes a simple text structure and falls below the grade band, the vocabulary is complex, which places it appropriately in Grade 3.
  • In Unit 2, in addition to the core pack for Climate and Weather, students read anchor texts such as I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005, by Lauren Tarshis. With a Lexile of 560 this text falls within the expectations of the grade band. This is a historical non-fiction text that recounts the author’s survival adventure through one of the most destructive hurricanes in the U.S..
  • In Unit 3, It’s Not About the Pumpkin, by Veronika Martenova Charles is not accompanied by a quantitative measure. Though labeled an easy read, the qualitative measure provided by the publishers indicates that the book is moderately complex due to double narratives.
  • In Unit 4, the core text Wobbly Walruses, by Charles Rotter has a quantitative score of 590L. This text is an engaging read for students.The associated student tasks add complexity to the text.
  • Each unit is accompanied by Book Boxes that provide a range of text complexities. Students work with these texts each day.
) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

ARC provides students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year, and students will engage with texts at varying levels from unit to unit.

The Publisher Notes explain that the leveled libraries provided with each unit will increase in complexity throughout the school year. The Field Guide (Teacher Manual) explains that students work independently in these libraries; however, teacher guidance supports them to continue to raise their reading levels. Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

The Field Guide directs the teacher to “...read and discuss at least two related grade-level texts, one literature and one informational. (Texts may be drawn from a school/district’s existing texts and/or those supplied with this unit.)” While grade-level texts are recommended there is limited guidance to help schools or teachers choose grade-level texts, apart from the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework) system that accompanies the program.

) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that anchor (core texts) and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) System, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. To determine reading level, every book is double-blind, hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

An example of a text complexity analysis and purpose and placement for the core texts is as follows:

Title: Ocean Food Webs in Action, by Paul Fleischer

Text Complexity Level: Black (4th Grade)

Quantitative: 510L (2nd-3rd)

Qualitative: Lexile underestimates the difficulty of the text because: Purpose/Structure: Moderately Complex. The text’s seemingly straightforward purpose (ocean food webs) in fact adds to its complexity. It attempts to use ocean food webs as an organizing structure to teach other concepts (i.e., marine ecology, marine plants, marine animals, human impact upon marine life), thereby compounding its complexity. Language: Moderately Complex. The text over all uses simple sentence structures. However, regular use of academic vocabulary requiring background knowledge from the reader adds to its complexity. Knowledge Demands: Moderately Complex. The text requires discipline-specific content knowledge related to oceans, animals, plants, and basic chemistry concepts, which present a challenge to readers.

Reader and Task: The text attempts to be less complex through the use of very short sentences. However, the multiple objectives of its purpose (teaching about marine life through ocean food webs) as well as the regular use of general academic vocabulary (i.e., burrow, creatures) and domain-specific terms (i.e., carbon dioxide, gas, starch, nutrients) all add significantly to the complexity of the text.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Read Aloud.

Reader’s Workshop includes a Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text segment. Students reread and discuss core text and respond to questions such as:

  • Basic Comprehension: What is happening so far in this story?
  • Inference: Why? What makes you think that?
  • Reader Response: What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why? Do you like this story yet? Why or why not? Set the standard that students will use examples or details from the text to support all assertions.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

Materials include mechanisms for teacher's to monitor progress, such as explicit guidance to determine student's IRLA and reading log sheets for independent reading. Students also have access to Research Lab Baskets that are organized by reading levels from which students select.

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Materials meet the expectations of materials providing multiple opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening skills in concert with their practice in reading for understanding. Students are provided multiple opportunities to work with partners to have evidence-based discussion across the year and support is provided for students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Most of the curriculum embeds a variety of writing types throughout the school year that includes a mix of both on-demand and process writing and provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in every unit. The materials for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers. and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students are asked to draw on textual evidence to respond to the following basic comprehension and inference questions. Basic Comprehension: “What is happening so far in this story?" Inference: “Why? What makes you think that?”
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, students compare and contrast the story elements of the Magic Tree House books that they have read.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 3, students identify the topic of a text and locate and identify details and images that tell more about the topic.
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, Day 1, students reread a connected text and identify the main idea and key details.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 4, students draw on textual evidence in order to participate in a literary debate. Students are given the following prompt to debate: “Which supporting character is most important to this novel? Why?” Teachers are provided with the structures that encourage the inclusion of textual evidence for the debate such as, "I Couldn’t Disagree More: A student/group stands and states his/her/their opinion. Another student stands and disagrees, using reasons to support why they disagree. A third student then stands and decides who is more convincing and why. The game then starts over with a new student."
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 2, students participate in a shared reading activity which includes flagging quotes to use to describe and analyze conflicts, resolutions, and their relationship to theme.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 4, students examine and identify evidence from the text to answer text- dependent questions around the author’s point of view.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 2, students are guided to determine an author’s point of view and purpose and explain their thinking with evidence from the text.
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

Examples from the units include:

  • In Unit 1, students use previous responses to general text-dependent questions such as: “What do you know so far about the characters in the books in this series? What do you notice about the settings of books in this series? What do you notice about the events of books in this series?” and graphic organizers that examine characters, settings, plots, and other story elements found in texts from the Magic Tree House series in order to help with the creation of their own Magic Tree House narrative.
  • In Unit 2, students complete graphic organizers and answer general text-dependent questions that encourage them to examine the details and conclusions of previously-read informational texts in order to be able to write an informative essay on weather and climate.
  • In Unit 3, students read traditional stories then complete graphic organizers and general text-dependent questions about story elements in order to prepare them to write a traditional tale of their own.
  • In Unit 4, students select a marine animal, answer text-dependent questions, and complete graphic organizers to gain knowledge that includes information about its physical characteristics, behavior, classification, lifestyle, habitat, ecosystem, and food web. Students use this information to produce an opinion piece and participate in a formal debate.
) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, students are asked to discuss the text they are reading with a partner through the discussion technique Think Pair Share.
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 2-3, students reread a section of the core novel to identify new vocabulary and use context clues to create synonyms.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students read author introductions, examine a rubric that identifies elements of great introductions, and discuss as a whole class which author did the “best job” with their introductions and provide rationales.
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, Day 4, students identify a word to add to the class glossary to conclude the lesson. The class glossary is a chart that includes words that they are responsible for being able to define and use correctly.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students share with partners the plot of a story and identify the main problem or central conflict of the story.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, Days 2-3, students review a Powerful Language chart to discuss word choice and syntax as well as discuss how tone is affected by different language decisions.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day, 3, students engage in accountable talk as they identify and extend new learning of the day’s research question.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 5, students work with a partner to read and discuss their conclusions and to determine if they need to add or delete anything from the writing piece.
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, on Days 2-3, students work in pairs to identify and discuss the setting of a series they are reading. Students add to a chart which identifies texts with similar settings.
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, on Day 4, students reread a passage of a core novel. Students discuss and analyze author’s word choice by locating strong, interesting, and/or beautiful words. Students identify synonyms and discuss similarities and differences between related words.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, on Day 1, students are asked to read and discuss the most interesting or surprising parts of a text with a partner as well as discuss what is confirmed or contradicted from prior knowledge during the second reading of the text by completing a chart which displays this information.
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, on Day 2, students engage in a close reading of an informational text and share with partners the main idea and key details.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, on Day 3, students analyze characters by collecting textual evidence and then determining who the most important characters are in the text. Students write opinion pieces based on the collected information. Students read written opinions aloud to partners, who use rubrics to provide feedback.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, on Day 1, students participate in a discussion group to identify and discuss effective examples of analogies.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, on Day 2, students read a text on a particular topic and share what was learned. Students also share the author’s opinion with a partner.
  • In Unit 4, Weeks 8-9, students participate in formal debates to demonstrate their abilities to present their expertise through oral argument.
) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece.

Examples of on-demand writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students write a short persuasive piece that must include three details that support their opinion.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 1, students are guided, working in pairs to take notes using bullet points and key words, and then cite sources to collect information for the Final Project which includes writing and publishing an informational book.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students are prompted to use the core novel and respond in writing to complete the following task: “What about the setting will be most important to this book? Why? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1, students use key words, phrases, bullets, and cite sources to write a response to the research question. Students review notes for accuracy.

Examples of extended writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 1-3, students use a mentor informational text as a model and begin drafting their own informational text.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, students are provided with a three-point practice rubric that defines a proficient answer to respond to the following questions: “Which research topic is most interesting to you? Why?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 8, Day 2, students revise their short story, focusing on the sequence of events.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 1, students determine the opinion and write the first draft of an argument that they will utilize for their opinion pieces.
) [14] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1l [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, students use their heart maps to respond to the prompt, “Today you will write about something on which you are already an expert. This might be a sport, a video game, an author or series, how to take care of a pet, or how to make something. Make sure you include relevant facts that demonstrate your expertise.”
  • In Unit 1, students are applying different genres of writing; students culminate the unit with the publication of two pieces, fiction and informational.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, students write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide a sense of closure.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 3, students complete a thinking map to identify and write about various elements of a text, including identifying the topic and main idea.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, students complete a literary analysis relating to character genre.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students participate in a character study and write to describe the protagonist of their independent reading book.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, students respond to a writing prompt to demonstrate their current expertise in the key concepts of the research question.
  • In Unit 4, students conclude this unit of study by producing an opinion piece pertaining to a topic of choice.
) [15] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for the materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are required to write daily for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text but some do not require evidence-based writing. The suggestions are divided into categories such as opinion/argument, personal nonfiction/narrative, fiction narrative, and informational.

Prompts are available from each category including the following:

  • Students write an opinion/argument response to the prompt, “Something that would make this book much better is ___ because ___.”
  • Students write a personal/nonfiction narrative response to the prompt, “When have you been treated the way that ___ was treated by ___ ?” This response is relating an experience from the text to a student’s personal experience.
  • Students write a fiction narrative response to the prompt, “Imagine yourself as ___’s (main character's) best friend. How would the story be different with you in it?”

Other evidence-based writing opportunities include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, students create a three-point response using a practice rubric and evidence from the text. The teacher models how to use the rubric to write a three-point answer, including how to use the text evidence to prove the veracity of the facts.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, students complete a graphic organizer that includes the questions, “What did you learn?” and “What evidence supports what you learned?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students read and use a short piece of informational text, collect evidence to identify the factual basis of elements found in the core text, and complete a graphic organizer page.
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Days 1-5, students compare and contrast two texts about traditional tales in order to write a comparative essay with a well-defended claim and clear information.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students use a recently-read text to take a position on something, and write an explanation using textual evidence.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Days 1-5, students draft an opinion piece from a research topic related to marine life that includes a careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
) [16] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1n [type] => indicator [points] => 0 [rating] => does-not-meet [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete tasks throughout the units; however, few opportunities for explicit instruction in context are presented. No evidence of students engaging with grammar and conventions out of context is found.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages the engagement with grammar and conventions in context but does not show any explicit instruction based on Grade 3 standards:

  • Unit 1, Week 5, Day 5: Students are given an Editing Rubric and are to edit their writing for publishing.
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1: Students work in pairs to edit their papers for quotation marks indicating direct quotations, proper citations in quoting, and proper punctuation.
  • Unit 3, Week 7, Day 2: Students experiment with creating several different characters and writing scenes for these characters, using punctuation and sentence structure to convey how the character feels.
  • Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1: Students work in pairs to edit their papers for quotation marks, properly cited notes, and abbreviations with periods.
) [17] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o1q [type] => criterion [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills that build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and decoding in a research-based and transparent progression. All lessons contain general guidance, however, some lack specific teacher directions for explicit instruction of some skills.

Students have multiple opportunities to silently read on-level texts. Opportunities to orally read grade-level text are in partner reading. Instruction of accuracy, rate, and expression are not modeled and explicitly taught to Grade 3 students in on-level materials.

) [18] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1o [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for Foundational Skills that build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and decoding in a research-based and transparent progression.

The program includes IRLA: Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework, which is a standards- aligned assessment to help teachers provide targeted instruction. If students are placed in Yellow, Green, Blue, or Red groupings based on IRLA, students will receive Foundational Skills instruction.

  • If Grade 3 students are placed in 1 Red (1R) based on IRLA, students will be explicitly taught how to decode three-syllable words. Students learn that syllables are a number of "beats" in a word. Students are also taught word attack strategies such as:
    • Chunk: Look for parts you know
    • Try a different sound for the vowel
  • If Grade 3 students are placed in 2 Red (2R) based on IRLA, students will be explicitly taught how to decode multisyllabic and irregularly spelled words.

Grade 3 students assessed through IRLA and placed in White (Grade 3), Black (Grade 4), or higher, do not receive Foundational Skills instruction for decoding multisyllable words (RF 3.3.c) or for reading grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words (RF 3.3.d). Students in White (Grade 3) are required to be able to decode multisyllable words for entry into the White designation. In IRLA for White, students are assessed on basic decoding mastery. “At White level, the following are all review (no points assigned), but they are required and may need reinforcement.” Reinforcements are not suggested or provided for the teacher.

  • Rules of syllabication are assessed. “Every syllable must have a vowel. Closed syllables: End in consonant. Vowel is short. Open syllables: End in vowel. Vowel is long.”
  • Different sounds for letters/chunks in unfamiliar words is assessed.
  • Tricky words in White designation are assessed.

Materials include word study lessons during Literacy Lab Grade 3, Week 4, which allows students to use prefixes and suffixes to determine the meaning of words.

Fluency practice methods are suggested in the Red (Grade 2) Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. Choral reading, echo reading, and Buddy, or Paired Reading, are described.

) [19] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1p [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks, guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of Foundational Skills and making meaning from reading. The lessons for teaching students how to determine the meaning of unknown words is in the Literacy Lab Grade 3. The lessons contain general guidance, but not exact directions to the teacher as to how to teach students to explicitly apply word analysis skills in decoding multisyllabic words and to read grade-appropriate, irregularly spelled words to make meaning.

In the Literacy Lab, Week 4: Days 1-3, students practice analyzing meaningful prefixes. In the CCSS Mini-Lesson R.4/L.4, the teacher introduces and reviews prefixes. The teacher shows the “Word Analysis” Anchor Chart and then reviews common prefixes. With a partner, students analyze a few words using prefixes from a list in order to determine word meanings. During Read/Discuss Complex Text, students are to practice noticing new vocabulary and word parts for making meaning based on the Core Novel #2. Suggestions for how to help students recognize new vocabulary words and word parts they do not know are not in the teacher materials. Students also use word parts to learn new vocabulary during Readers’ Workshop. As students independently read, their Set Focus is to flag at least one new word with a prefix to learn and share. In Accountable Talk, students explain how prefixes help them figure out the meaning of a new word during reading.

In the Literacy Lab, Week 4: Days 4-5, students practice analyzing meaningful suffixes. In the CCSS Mini-Lesson R.4/L.4, the teacher introduces and reviews suffixes. The teacher adds suffixes to the Word Analysis Anchor Chart. With a partner, students analyze a few words using suffixes from a list in order to determine word meanings. During Read/Discuss Complex Text, students are to practice identifying new vocabulary and word parts for meaning, based on Core Novel #2. Students also use word parts to learn new vocabulary during Readers’ Workshop. As students independently read, their Set Focus is to flag at least one new word the students want to learn and share. In Accountable Talk, students explain how suffixes help them figure out the meaning of a new word during reading.

In the Literacy Lab, Week 2: Days 2-3, students practice different types of context clues (definition/explanation, restatement/synonym, contrast/antonym, comparison, cause and effect, and inference/general) to determine the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases. In Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, during the Repeated Reading, students identify new vocabulary and use context clues to figure out synonyms. The teacher asks: “Context Clues: What might this word/phrase mean? What in the text supports your answer? Synonym Check: What is a good synonym for this word? Reread the sentence, replacing the unknown word with your synonym. Does this change the meaning of the sentence? Why or why not? Analysis: Why do you think the author chose this word/phrase instead of _(synonym)_?” In Readers’ Workshop, students independently read with the Set Focus to flag at least one new word they want to learn and share. In Accountable Talk, students explain how they figured out the meaning of a new word from their reading.

Students in the White Independent Reading Level (Grade Level Equivalency 3.00-3.99) have to determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words since White-leveled books contain 1-2 academic words and/or phrases.

) [20] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1q [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for providing students frequent opportunities to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, as well as to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression. Students have multiple opportunities to silently read on-level texts. Opportunities to orally read grade-level text are in partner reading. Instruction of accuracy, rate, and expression are not modeled and explicitly taught to Grade 3 students unless students receive instruction in the Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons, which end in 2 Red (2nd Grade, Second Half).

All units include opportunities for independent reading. Students read silently from self-selected books. During Readers’ Workshop, students build stamina to read 15-30 minutes each day during Independent Reading time.

There are opportunities for students to read orally with a partner. For example, in the Literacy Lab Grade 3, Week 1: Day 2 Lesson Focus: Ask & Answer Questions, there is time to have students participate in a second read of the core text. “Students reread portions of the text as they discuss.” No explicit directions suggest students should read orally with the partner.

The teacher can use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to assess students’ accuracy, appropriate rate, and fluency. The teacher can also document students’ fluency and ability to read text comfortably, with confidence, purpose, and understanding in the White foundational skills assessment. The materials do not provide teachers with direction as to how to use the assessment to teach students how to purposely practice accuracy, rate, and expression.

) [21] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-2 [type] => component [report] => ) [22] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a2h [type] => criterion ) [23] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as marine life, story elements, traditional tales, weather, and more.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in life science, physical science, world history, geography, american history, and literary genres that provide differentiated reading practice.

Topics for each unit include:

  • Unit 1: ARC Literacy Lab: A Community of Readers and Writers: As a class, read and discuss at least two grade-level novels from the same Magic Tree House series. Students listen to above-level texts on the history and science behind this series and write a new story for the Magic Tree House series and an informational text to accompany it.
  • Unit 2: Research Lab: Weather and Climate: Each student will become an expert on one type of weather. Each student researches a topic of his/her choice and publishes a final project.
  • Unit 3: Research Lab: Literary Genre: Students will read, analyze, and write about one grade-level novel in this genre as part of a whole-class intellectual community. Students also read multiple books in the genre on his/her own (can be at any level, from the Genre Library or elsewhere) and write four very short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre. Finally, students write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.
  • Unit 4: Research Lab: Marine Life: Each student will become an expert on one marine animal. Each student researches a topic of his/ her choice and publishes a final project.
) [24] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students are asked, “What phrase is an example of nonliteral language? What do you think this phrase might mean? Why? Why do you think the author chose this phrase?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students are asked, “Research Question 1: Tornado Alert. What weather conditions are required for a tornado to form? Which words in the text best support your answer? Could we have one here now?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students are asked, “What could the author have done to improve this sentence? The paragraph?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the topic? What is your point of view on this topic? What is the author’s point of view on this topic? How is it the same/different from yours? Where does the author use strong opinion words like best, incredible, andterrible when describing the topic? Why do you think s/he uses these words? What point is s/he trying to make?”
) [25] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, the teacher is directed to, “Reread a portion of the Core Novel with the class. As you read, ask students to locate at least one connection between the dinosaur facts they’ve just learned and the Core Novel. Discuss what about this section is fact, what is fiction, and what is still unclear, drawing on both texts as evidence to support assertions.”

In Unit 2, the beginning of the teacher materials that accompany the research lab provides a text-dependent question sheet for each text that has a “Going Deeper” and a “Compare and Synthesize Across Texts” sections. In Week 4, Day 3, during the lesson wrap up, teachers are given the questions stems of, “How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___? How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”

Unit 3 takes students through a novel study in which they focus on plot, character, setting, and theme. In Week 1, Day 4, students practice identifying and describing plot in a variety of texts in this genre. They also begin to generalize about plot in this genre.

Research Labs for Units 2- 4 take students through a series of Research Questions (RQ) that at times ask students to analyze information from several texts. In Week 5, Day 1 students are given the prompts, “Comparison Essays in Myths, Legends, Historical Fiction: To incorporate the cultural information related to these genres, you might vary this task by asking students something like: Compare two different versions of the same myth/legend from the same culture. Which retelling does a better job of reflecting the culture from which the story comes? Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal
of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period. How did the fiction author alter history in writing this fiction? Why?”

In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 4, when discussing how the author's point of view and purpose shapes a text, the Teacher’s Edition states, “It is easiest to see how an author’s point of view or purpose might have shaped his/her text when you compare two texts on the same topic. Have students work together to compare and contrast the information, presentation, and language of two texts by different authors on the same topics (these can be the same texts used on Day 2 of this week). Ask them to analyze how these choices change the way the reader receives the information/topic and to speculate on how each author’s point of view or purpose might have influenced the choices s/he made.”

Other examples of text-dependent questions and tasks that support this indicator include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, students are asked, “What new word did you notice? What Tier might it be? Why? What do you think it might mean?”
  • Unit 2. Look back to the Pre-Assessment text, Tornadoes. Which text does a better job defining and describing tornadoes? Why?
  • In Unit 2, students read The Water Cycle, by Michael Portman and The Water Cycle, by Elizabeth Miles and complete the graphic organizer that requires them to compare and analyze information from two texts to answer RQ#2: “Diagram a basic water cycle and explain the relationship between the water cycle and weather.”
  • In Unit 3, students discuss these questions about the novel It’s Not about the Pumpkin: Easy to Read Wonder Tales and genre of study. What do antagonists in this genre have in common? How are antagonists important to our genre as a whole? What makes you think that?
  • In Unit 3, students read a fairy tale and analyze the plot by completing the Plot-Scene graphic organizer.
  • In Unit 4, students work through a second section/new passage, using text evidence to identify and analyze how the author addresses and responds to a conflicting viewpoint.
) [26] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

  • In Unit 1, students examine how to complete a story planning chart and respond to prompts that require them to compare and contrast an A Magic Tree House story to one that they will create independently as part of a culminating task.
  • In Unit 1, students listen to and analyze a short piece informational text to use as a mentor to create their own informational text as part of a culminating task.
  • In Unit 2, students explore how to obtain a sufficient amount of sources on a topic in order to be able to determine if they can proceed with research. This task is to prepare for the final project of demonstrating expertise of a topic.
  • In Unit 2, students research and answer the following questions about a weather phenomenon in order to be able to publish final projects, “What is its role in the water cycle?” and “In which climates is it most likely to occur? Why?”
  • In Unit 3, students begin the unit with a study of the definition of literary genre in order to write a literary essay analyzing multiple texts in the genre as part a culminating task.
  • In Unit 3, students work with partners to read and use a rubric to evaluate their literary essays included in the final project. Students discuss with their partners things in their essay that need additional work.
  • In Unit 4, students answer research questions throughout the unit such as, “What kind of marine animal is it and how do you know?” and “How does it change throughout its life?” in order to complete the culminating task of publishing a final project about their marine animal.
  • In Unit 4, students are paired and engage in a collaborative writing segment and take one minute to discuss what is working in their writing which is part of the culminating task.
) [27] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2e [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. For example, in Unit 2, the teacher’s edition provides suggested vocabulary and tasks for the student exemplar text packet.

Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, students examine new vocabulary and respond to, “What new word did you notice? What Tier might it be? Why? What do you think it might mean?”
  • In Unit 2, students are introduced to the term weather and respond to the question, “What is weather? Underline the two definitions. Which is better? Why? Box two examples of 'bad' weather. Circle two examples of 'good' weather.”
  • In Unit 3, students explore word choice and respond to the following questions: ”Who found an especially effective example of a powerful noun/verb/descriptor/technical vocabulary? What does this word mean? Why is it a better choice than __(everyday/more common synonym)__?”
  • In Unit 4, students examine new vocabulary words and highlight any high-leverage (Tier 2) vocabulary words.
) [28] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2f [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes. Students engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • In Unit 1, students examine word choice and add and/or revise words by adding technical vocabulary to their informational text.
  • In Unit 2, students plan for writing and complete tasks such as, “Decide on a point for writing the main idea they want your readers to learn and/or do. Decide how you might say that as a topic sentence. Write it down using your selected narrator, voice, perspective. Read it out loud. Is it interesting/important, defensible/accurate, and developed (general and specific)? Would you want to finish reading the book if they read that sentence”?
  • In Unit 3, students are shown how to create an outline of an essay. The teacher states, “Now that you each have written an opinion statement and know about what makes a good argument, you will create a rough outline/map for your essay. Here is how I might make a quick, rough outline of my essay…”
  • In Unit 4, students examine their evidence in writing and are instructed to complete the following task: “Today you will rearrange the body of your opinion piece, looking for the most logical way to group your evidence and reasons. Be alert for gaps in your evidence. You will have time after writing to continue your research.”

The daily literacy block includes a 20 to 60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing, and students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one to one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context. Additionally, they will take a fiction piece and informational piece of writing to publication.

) [29] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2g [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Units are designed for students to act as researchers and to gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to build a body of evidence for the culminating task. For these tasks, students select a topic and spend about nine weeks reading, writing, and speaking about their topic. By the end of each unit, students write and publish an informational book or other project demonstrating their increased knowledge about their selected topic. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times for about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • In Unit 2, students read and research through an exemplar text pack to select a weather phenomenon to research and to answer a series of questions such as: “What is its role in the water cycle? In which climates is it most likely to occur? Why? What datasets do scientists collect on it? Why?” They then research topics of their choice and publish final projects.
  • In Unit 3, students read, analyze, and write about one novel in this genre with the class. They read many books in the genre on their own, write four constructed responses and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre, and write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.
  • In Unit 4, students select a marine animal to research and answer various questions. They research, draft, revise, edit, illustrate, and publish a final project about their marine animal.
) [30] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 2h [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Lessons require daily independent readings of text and tasks that reflect student accountability.

The 100 Book Challenge is an “instructional system” that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes (any book counts for 100 Book Challenge reading). The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A “Home Coach” is provided (parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the “Home Coach” to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

In Unit 1, a guide/instructions for the teacher to hold students accountable for daily independent reading is included: “Introduce the Rules for Independent Reading Anchor Chart. There are 3 rules for our reading time. The first rule is READ. The second rule is READ. And the third rule is…(students will supply, READ). And there is only one answer to any of your questions: May I go to the bathroom? May I get another book? May I ask you a question? May I switch books with Mary? Would you help me with this word? NO.”

In Unit 2, students complete a daily reading log sheet at home and parents sign the reading log sheet to verify that students read at home: “ATTENTION HOME COACHES: Please sign only if you heard or saw the student reading. 1 Step=15 minutes of reading."

In Unit 3, daily reading activities include, “1. Pre-Reading. Establish Today’s Learning Goal. By the end of today, each of you will be able to... introduce key concepts when necessary and introduce any key vocabulary, concepts, or thought processes required that are not taught by the text. 2. Read Text. Use a combination of teacher read alouds, partner reading, and/or independent reading as appropriate to the text and your students’ current abilities. 3. Discuss Literary Analysis, Text-Dependent Questions, Academic Vocabulary Work, Repeated Close Reading. Students participate in intellectual discourse around the text, genre, and Focus Standards: Partner Share, Discussion Groups, Whole Group Debrief.”

) [31] => stdClass Object ( [code] => alignment-to-common-core [type] => component [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3-5 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the intermediate-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

[rating] => meets ) [32] => stdClass Object ( [code] => usability [type] => component [report] => ) [33] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a3e [type] => criterion [report] =>

Grade 3 materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The 4 units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

) [34] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3a [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The year is divided into 4 Units of Study. The Literacy Lab is a 6 week unit of study, while the 3 Research Labs are 9 week Units. Each lesson is broken up into a suggested 90-120 minute reading blocks. Pacing Guides are provided for all units.

Each week of the Literacy Lab instruction has weekly goals for standards-based instruction, reading culture, and IRLA coaching. There is a teacher checklist for the week to help measure success. Focus Standards are listed for each week as well as an overview of the daily lesson plans. Each Lesson contains an overview of the key objectives, teacher work, and student work for each part of the literacy block. Daily lesson plans have a two column format. This provides detailed support for how to teach each part of the literacy block. During Week 1 there is a day by day detailed instruction, after that there is a framework in the following weeks. There is a lesson ticker at the top of the pages to show where you are in the lesson. Blackline masters that will be needed for each lesson are found at the end of each lesson. Literacy Lab lessons include a CCSS Mini-Lesson, Read-Discuss Complex Text-Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Aloud, and Reflection. Suggested times are given both at the beginning of the unit in a pacing guide and also in the ticker that runs across lessons.

Each Week of Research Labs instruction includes goals for expertise, reading, writing, vocabulary, art, and final projects. A unit introduction and research questions help to establish the unit. All graphic organizers and blackline masters can be found within the unit’s opening pages of the unit. There are weekly overview calendars and every lesson includes three parts: Read Complex Text, Independent Reading, and Writing. Standards are listed at the beginning of each week, as well as in the daily learning goals. Each daily lesson plan has two columns with teaching notes, suggested answers, and guided tips. Suggested times are given both at the beginning of the unit in a pacing guide and also in the ticker that runs across lessons.

) [35] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3b [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.There are 165 lessons provided, broken into four units. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

) [36] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3c [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as, note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5 students are provided with a Research Labs Editing Checklist that includes clear criteria for students to discuss with their small groups.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 2 students are provided with an Elements of Argument Chart that has students break apart the parts of an argument before writing.
) [37] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3d [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Each day standards are listed at the beginning of the lesson and often referenced in the daily Learning Goal.

For Example, in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5 the Big Idea: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words” activity lists the student outcome: Ask and answer questions about illustrations to support understanding and engagement. The following standards are also listed as applicable to the lesson:

Common Core Standard R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

3rd Grade: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Common Core Standard R.7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

RL.3.7: Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).

RI.3.7: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Standards are also listed on student facing blackline masters and handouts, organizers, elements of genre cards, common core mini-lessons, rubrics, writing tasks and extended writings.

) [38] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3e [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

) [39] => stdClass Object ( [code] => teacher-planning [type] => component [report] => ) [40] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f3j [type] => criterion [report] =>

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content, however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

) [41] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3f [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Front material of the Teacher’s Edition contains detailed instruction on multiple areas of instruction. For example, in Unit 1 in the section named Building Units of Study the Teacher’s Edition explains topics such as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

There are places throughout the materials where explicit teacher directions are present and accompanied by additional support for teachers who may need additional help in presenting the materials. For example, in Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, the lesson on Writing: Literary Analysis-- Setting, provides the following teacher directions:

1. Set Focus

Today, you will take a position on something you read and explain your reasons for taking that position. Your position is your opinion. Writing Prompt: What about the setting will be most important to this book? Why? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

2. Model

Introduce a rubric students can use to structure and strengthen their writing. Consider using the W.1 Rubric, which, if you’ve already used the Argument Research Lab Framework, will be familiar to your students. If this rubric is new to your class, introduce only the first three points for now. Either way, the goal this week is for students’ writing to earn the first three points: topic, opinion, evidence. Model stating your opinion and supporting your opinion with text evidence (e.g., I am reading ___. The most important part of the setting in this book will be ___ because ___).

Mechanics: Usage & Structure

  • Direct Quotations: When you want to copy a phrase, a sentence, or an entire passage that someone else wrote, you must use quotation marks and you must cite your source, including page number.
  • Citing Sources: Review use of bibliographic citations when using someone else’s work.

3. Independent Writing Students write independently.

  • Students write independently.

4. Teacher Work

Monitor for Engagement

  • Ensure all students are on task.

Formative Assessment/Writing Coach

  • Check for Understanding
  • Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.

Share Good Examples

  • As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.

Document

  • Collect student writing as evidence of students’ learning.

Use Status of the Class to record which students were able to answer the writing prompt proficiently.

Alongside the lesson, the Teacher Guide provides the information on Gradual Release of Responsibility to support students as they begin using the CCSS W.1 Rubric:

Gradual Release of Responsibility/ Apprenticeship*

  • I do/You watch: Model Clear Goal Teacher models the behavior or the use of key vocabulary, concepts, and thought processes as s/he wants students to do it. Students need an example of what good looks like.
  • I do/You help: Collaborative Productivity Teacher continues to model, inviting students to contribute as they are ready.
  • You do together/I help: Gradual Release of Responsibility Students practice together as teacher listens in and observes to assess proficiency. Teacher provides guidance, prompting, and coaching.
  • You do it alone/I assist, as needed: Independent Students apply during independent practice as teacher listens in and observes to assess proficiency.
  • Repeat until all students are proficient.

*Specific wording based on the work of Jeffery Wilhelm, 2007.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material. For example, in Unit 2, Week 4, on Day 1, during a Close Reading of Informational Text, the Teacher’s Edition states, “Select a rich passage from the Central Text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of today’s Research Question. The class will read and re-read this selection over the course of the next two days, so select a passage (or set of passages) that is worth the time and attention. Read the text in appropriate chunks (1–2 pages at most). First Read: Experience Connected Text: Read the text without interruptions. Interject with a quick one or two-sentence aside only when necessary to avoid a major misunderstanding.” Teachers may need more guidance on what a rich passage from the Central Text would need to have in order for students to be able to discuss with a partner the main idea of the text. Also, there is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, in Unit 3, Week 9, the Teacher Edition gives publishing ideas that include technology, but does not give any other information to support the use and enhance student learning. The Teacher Edition states, “Publishing: Decide how you want your students to publish their short stories. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas: Create a book, Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, or PowerPoint.”

) [42] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, “A Note on Text Complexity & Reading Aloud: For the majority of the rest of the year, Read-Aloud should be from texts that are at or above grade level to ensure all students engage with grade-level complex text and its academic vocabulary regularly. This week, focus on celebrating and legitimizing books at a variety of levels, including the easiest. Select engaging books that you think will “sell” your students on reading. Using informational text is a great way to legitimize low levels. Even proficient adult readers learn new information from low-level nonfiction books.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 3, “A Main Idea Can Be Stated or Implied: Sometimes authors of informational texts explicitly state their main ideas. They may state them multiple times in various forms, which makes it a challenge to determine which version best represents this main idea. In other texts, the author never explicitly states the main idea. In this case, the main idea is implied and the reader has to piece together a summary statement of the main idea by inferring from details in the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 5, “Creative Opening/Hook: the beginning sentences of the introduction that catch the reader’s interest. Ways of beginning creatively include the following [NOTE: the examples provided here are for teacher understanding - have students create/collect opening hooks that are appropriate to your topic/grade level.]” The Teacher Edition then gives examples of opening hooks.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2, “A Note on Terminology The Common Core uses the word “opinion piece” and “point of view/opinion” in the elementary grades and then moves to “argument” and “claim” in secondary grades. This handbook reflects the language of the 3rd to 5th Grade Standards, using opinion/point of view and opinion piece. At the same time, we chose to use the word “argument” in its general meaning as a position and the supporting information/ reasons one gives is defense of that position. We chose to include the use of the word “argument” for two reasons: the word “argument” works for both written and oral work (as opposed to “opinion piece”), there are many cases in which “argument” is simply less awkward in terms of grammar and phrasing.”
) [43] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

For example, in Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, the Teacher Edition states, “The books in the Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels. The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also includes Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example, in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Teacher Work: Model asking and answering a question or two about the Core Novel. As you model, make sure you explicitly refer to the text, explaining what in the text sparked your question. Categories to consider: Basic Understanding, Cause/Effect, Empathizing with Characters, and Learning From the Text. Questioning the Author Student Work: Generate questions about the Core Novel based on what the class has read so far.”

In Unit 4, the Teacher Edition states, “The Research Lab Units of Study integrate the 3 Shifts and the CCSS into teacher's’ daily practice. Teachers provide grade-level rigor through the use of complex text, grade-level ELA CCSS and Science/Social Studies content, and academic vocabulary. Leveled libraries of informational text and a carefully structured project-based learning format provide the differentiated support needed to ensure that every student is successful. Phase I: Content Area Research includes,

1. Teachers use close reading of complex text to teach the core content of a Science or Social Studies Unit, national/state content area standards, and grade level Common Core State Standards.

2. Students develop expertise on a specific Research Topic within the Science or Social Studies Unit through daily research in informational texts.

3. Students practice reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence in order to produce a final written product demonstrating their expertise in both the Unit and their individual Research Topics.

) [44] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There is also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

) [45] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3j [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress. For example, in Unit 2, the parent letter includes, “...Each student will become an expert on one weather phenomenon, focusing on its characteristics, measurement, prediction, effects on humans, and more. By the end of the unit, your child will be able to say to you, “Ask me ANYthing about my weather phenomenon.” You will be impressed with your child’s newfound knowledge and excitement about weather. You will also see improvements in reading and writing skills as well as vocabulary development as your child becomes a tempest of learning. Rigorous independent reading and discovery during this unit will set your child on his/her way to becoming a lifelong, self-sufficient learner. Thank you for helping your child have a fantastic learning experience!”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations. For example, in Unit 4, the Teacher Edition states, “This can be as simple as sharing with their partner or as formal as organizing an event to which parents and/or community members are invited as the audience. The following ideas are only to get you thinking.”

) [46] => stdClass Object ( [code] => assessment [type] => component [report] => ) [47] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k3n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

) [48] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”

Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

) [49] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l [type] => indicator [report] => ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.i [type] => indicator [points] => 1 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to the daily lessons include the standards being emphasized for the day's lessons at the beginning of the lesson. Some rubrics, such as the CCSS W.1 Rubric for a Proficient Opinion Piece include the standard being addressed. However, during the Research Lab Pre and Post Assessments there are no standards denoted. There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

) [51] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3l.ii [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.

Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to,

  • In Unit 2, Week 5, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment, One-on-One Conferences, Once students are making adequate progress in their research, check individual students to assess their current proficiency with R.2. Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re)teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 4 the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment, 1-on-1 Conferences, Once students are making adequate progress in their research, check individual students to assess their current proficiency with RI.6. What do you think is the author’s perspective in this book? What makes you think that? How does it compare to other authors you’ve read? Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re)teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4 the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach, Check for Understanding, Observe students as they write. 1-on-1 Conferences Coach students who need support to form an opinion, locate relevant evidence, add logical reasoning, and/or cite their sources. Share Good Examples, As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class”.
) [52] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3m [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily.

) [53] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3n [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently, for example, in Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, the Teacher Edition states, “Independent Reading, Students practice applying today’s Focus to self-selected texts at a variety of levels. At least a portion of this time is spent with texts within the Thematic Unit.” Students share answers to Focus questions with a partner and share out to class after independent reading and writing. The teacher uses Accountable Talk to inform instructional decisions.

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone. In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, the Teacher Edition states, “Student Work: Read from self-selected books, building stamina towards 15-30 minutes of Independent Reading. Accountable Talk: What was the best book you read today? Why? Share a question you asked yourself while you read this book. What in the text made you wonder that? Were you able to answer your question? Why or why not?”

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students. Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

) [54] => stdClass Object ( [code] => differentiated-instruction [type] => component [report] => ) [55] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o3r [type] => criterion [report] =>

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There is some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners, however the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and discussion.

) [56] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3o [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

) [57] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3p [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => partially-meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation that materials provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first. “

) [58] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3q [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet requirements for regularly, including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels. Students who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

) [59] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3r [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

For example, in Unit 1, Week 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Build New Knowledge, Partner Share, Tell your partner one new thing you learned from this text. Show him/her the evidence that proves this information is accurate. Group Share, Strategically call on a few people to share with the group. Add to class organizers: “WOW!” Chart, Questions Chart, Glossary. Identify possible research topics and add them to your chart.”

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Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials.Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

) [62] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3s [type] => indicator [report] =>

The materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

) [63] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3t [type] => indicator [report] =>

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology.

) [64] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u [type] => indicator [report] => ) [65] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.i [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed meet the expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in the materials.

) [66] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3u.ii [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

) [67] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 3v [type] => indicator [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 3, Week 6, Day 5 the Teacher Edition states, “Publishing: Decide how you want your students to publish their essays. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas, Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint, or Create a book.”

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Fourth Grade

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    [title] => ARC (American Reading Company) Core (2017)
    [url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/fourth-grade.html
    [grade] => Fourth Grade
    [type] => ela-3-5
    [gw_1] => Array
        (
            [score] => 37
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_2] => Array
        (
            [score] => 32
            [rating] => meets
        )

    [gw_3] => Array
        (
            [score] => 30
            [rating] => meets
        )

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    [version] => 2.0.0
    [id] => 359
    [title] => ARC Core (2017)
    [report_date] => 2017-06-08
    [grade_taxonomy_id] => 15
    [subject_taxonomy_id] => 27
    [gateway_1_points] => 37
    [gateway_1_rating] => meets
    [gateway_1_report] => 

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are therefore worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills, however, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

[gateway_2_points] => 32 [gateway_2_rating] => meets [gateway_2_report] =>

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

[gateway_3_points] => 30 [gateway_3_rating] => meets [gateway_3_report] =>

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

[report_type] => ela-3-5 [series_id] => 80 [report_url] => https://www.edreports.org/ela/arc-american-reading-company-core-2017/fourth-grade.html [gateway_2_no_review_copy] => Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One [gateway_3_no_review_copy] => This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two [meta_title] => [meta_description] => [meta_image] => [data] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [code] => component-1 [type] => component [report] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a1f [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for core texts (anchor) being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading that considers the range of students’ interests. Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards and include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The instructional materials reviewed meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Texts are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading. Texts address diverse cultures, differing historical periods as well as other content areas such as the sciences.

) [2] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1a [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 4 students. Many of the central (anchor) texts have won awards or are written by award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including endangered species, detective work/mysteries, personal narratives, survival stories, cultural texts, early American exploration, Native American history, and scientific non-fiction. Text sets are also rich in academic language. Furthermore, texts present universal and multiple multicultural themes which integrate other content areas.

The following are texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • Unit 1: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look is a humorous literary text that would be engaging and relatable to Grade 4 students.
  • Unit 2: Surviving in the World’s Most Extreme Places is one of several published works by award-winning zoologist Ross Piper.
  • Unit 3: The Buried Bones Mystery: Clubhouse Mysteries #1 is a literary mystery written by Sharon Draper, an award winning author, and is engaging for Grade 4 students.
  • Unit 4: Pennsylvania (Portraits of States), by Dana Meachan Rau is a nonfiction text that includes features and descriptions that would engage Grade 4 students with things such as sidebars, photos, pie charts, and "fun facts" that are scattered throughout the chapters.
) [3] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1b [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 4 provides students the opportunity to engage in paired core texts as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain 8 baskets of leveled readers and a basket of Hook Books that are intended to engage even reluctant readers. The baskets of leveled readers are not a required part of the core curriculum but provide students a 100 Book Challenge by rotating fresh reading materials that expose students to a variety of topics and genres. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards. Texts include diverse topics and genres such as realistic fiction, a visual dictionary, science and social studies informational text, detective stories, personal narratives, classics, and historical fiction.

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1- Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
  • Unit 2- My Side of the Mountain by Jean C. George
  • Unit 3- Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case by Donald J. Sobol
  • Unit 4- The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1- Food Chains and Webs by Andrew Solway
  • Unit 2- Endangered Animals:100 Facts by Steve Parker
  • Unit 3- How to Read Literature Like a Professor: For Kids by Thomas C. Foster
  • Unit 4- Exploring the United States by Nancy Golden
) [4] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1c [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

ARC is designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple text sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text, though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards for text complexity. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small and whole group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success, for students in grades PreK through 12.”

From the Teacher's Edition: "The core novel is a grade-level novel in the genre that is exemplary in terms of both content and craft. The teacher uses the provided class set of this text to engage students in rich and rigorous in evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The ARC team of educational experts selects the best option for the core text for each unit and each grade that meets the following requirements: At grade-level IRLA level, in print and in stock, exemplar for this genre at this level, broad appeal to a diverse group of students, mentor text-worthy writing passages, and reflects multiple perspectives/diversity."

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include, but are not limited:

  • In Unit 2, after engaging an exemplar text pack, students read anchor texts. One of these is My Side of the Mountain, by John Craighead George with a quantitative measure of 810L (only slightly complex) as well as qualitative measures, this text has an appropriate level of complexity.
  • In Unit 4, students read core text Pennsylvania: Portraits of the States, by Dana Meachan Rau and Jonathan A. Brown. The text-complexity analysis does not provide a quantitative score but indicates that the text is moderately complex based on the qualitative analysis of meaning and language and very complex in knowledge demands.
  • Each unit is accompanied by Book Boxes that provide a range of text complexities. Students work with these texts each day.
) [5] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1d [type] => indicator [points] => 4 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

ARC provides students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year, and students will engage with texts at varying levels from unit to unit.

The Publisher Notes explain that the leveled libraries provided with each unit will increase in complexity throughout the school year. The Field Guide (Teacher Manual) explains that students work independently in these libraries; however, teacher guidance supports them to continue to raise their reading levels. Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

The Field Guide directs the teacher to “...read and discuss at least two related grade-level texts, one literature and one informational. (Texts may be drawn from a school/district’s existing texts and/or those supplied with this unit.)” While grade-level texts are recommended there is limited guidance to help schools or teachers choose grade-level texts, apart from the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework) system that accompanies the program.

) [6] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1e [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectation that anchor (core texts) and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) System, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. To determine reading level, every book is double-blind, hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

An example of a text complexity analysis and purpose and placement for the core texts is as follows:

Title: Pennsylvania, by Dana Meachen Rau and Jonatha A. Brown

Text Complexity Level: Orange (5th Grade)

Quantitative: (Lexile) Not Available

Qualitative: Our qualitative analysis places this text at the 5th grade level because: Purpose/Structure: Moderately Complex. The organization is topical with each chapter dealing with a different Social Studies strand (Pennsylvania history, geography, economy, and government). Language: Moderately Complex. The text over all uses simple sentence structure, but with frequent use of academic vocabulary and discipline-specific terms. Knowledge Demands: Moderately to Very Complex. The text tries to rely on common, practical knowledge however some specific content knowledge related to History, US Government, and Economics is required.

Reader and Task: The breadth of topics discussed in this text (ranging from history and geography to economics and government) requires a robust knowledge base from the reader. Although some discipline-specific terms are explained, the abstract nature of most concepts (i.e., “The government has three parts, or branches.”) adds to the complexity of the text.

) [7] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1f [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Independent/Collaborative writing.

Reader’s workshop includes a Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text segment. Students reread and discuss core text and respond to questions such as:

  • Basic Comprehension: What is happening so far in this story?
  • Inference: Why? What makes you think that?
  • Reader Response: What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why? Do you like this story yet? Why or why not? Set the standard that students will use examples or details from the text to support all assertions.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

Materials include mechanisms for teacher's to monitor progress such as explicit guidance to determine student's IRLA and reading log sheets for independent reading. Students also have access to Research Lab Baskets that are organized by reading levels from which students select.

) [8] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g1n [type] => criterion [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Materials meet the expectations of materials providing multiple opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening skills in concert with their practice in reading for understanding. Students are provided multiple opportunities to work with partners to have evidence-based discussion across the year and support is provided for students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Most of the curriculum embeds a variety of writing types throughout the school year that includes a mix of both on-demand and process writing and provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in every unit. The materials for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

) [9] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1g [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers. and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Days 2-3, students use context clues and textual evidence to answer text dependent questions regarding new vocabulary: ”What might this word/phrase mean? What in the text supports your answer?”
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 1-2, students analyze a text’s structure by gathering evidence from an informational text and completing a graphic organizer.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, students are prompted to read independently to find interesting details to add to a class chart.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, students work with partners to identify key details that support the main idea of a text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students read independently to gather details and identify the setting of a text and complete a section of a graphic organizer pertaining to setting.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 5, students write an essay in response to a text-dependent question regarding identifying a text’s central theme: “What is a theme of our Central Text? What key details does the author use to communicate this theme?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 4, students write in response to text-dependent questions that prompt them to identify author’s point of view.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 3, students work with partners to reread a text and respond to questions around key concepts using textual evidence.
) [10] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1h [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

Examples from the units include:

  • In Unit 1, students examine and answer text-dependent questions around text structure that encourage increasing student knowledge to be able to create argument pieces of their own. For example, students use a self-selected informational text to analyze structure by answering the following question: “Locate an example of the Elements of Argument structure. Is it actually an argument? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 2, students select an endangered animal to research and answer general text-dependent questions such as: “Describe the biome in which this animal lives. What are the biggest survival challenges in this biome? What adaptations help the animal to survive in its biome?” Students gather information using graphic organizers to produce a culminating project including writing that demonstrates a deep understanding of the animal.
  • In Unit 3, students examine the organization and structure of mysteries and gather textual evidence to complete a Plot/Conflict/Resolution graphic organizer in order to be able to write a short story as part of the culminating task.
  • Unit 4, students answer text-dependent questions that prompt them to examine how authors engage readers in order to be able to engage their own readers as part of the culminating task, where students select a topic that they care about and write an opinion piece. Questions include: “What emotion does this story evoke? How? Consider content, language, and placement. Who is the author’s target audience? What makes you think that? Does the author’s story or example strengthen the opinion piece? Why or why not?”
) [11] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1i [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1, students work in groups to identify and explain new vocabulary from text they are reading using a vocabulary-tiered graphic organizer.
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Days 1-2, students work with partners to analyze and discuss the structure of a narrative text that they are currently reading.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 2, the teacher explains the three tiers of vocabulary, and students discuss the synonyms of various words during whole-group instruction.
  • Unit 2, Week 7, Day 2, students use sentence frames as they review their writings as well as conduct peer reviews.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 4, the teacher uses think aloud to model using the graphic organizer, Plot: Dialogue Analysis, to analyze dialogue in a text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, Day 2, students work in small groups to discuss technical vocabulary and synonyms for the words that they identified in a text.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, students are asked to define the term behavioral adaptations and explain how these adaptations relate to the survival of species.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, students highlight tier 2 and tier 3 words from a text during whole-group discussion.
) [12] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1j [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, on Day 1, students read the core text and have a class discussion to identify what the author stated, why the author stated that, and what was interesting to them.
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, on Day 2, students are prompted to discuss the kinds of informational texts they read and the reasons for reading them. Students begin to contribute to a chart entitled, Why We Read.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, on Day 2, students work in pairs to answer text-dependent questions about the topic, the main idea, and the key details using a 3-point practice rubric.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, on Day 5, students read the core text and discuss with a partner what was learned about the research question. Students also discuss the main idea of the text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, on Day 1, students participate in a discussion group to identify and discuss effective examples of analogies.
  • In Unit 3, Week 9, on Day 1, students publish and present their final project using various presentation formats such as Powerpoint, class/school website, and blog or newspaper/periodical.
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, on Day 5, students work in groups to develop mini-debates. Each group separates into two sides (Pro/Con). Each side of students crafts a short argument for their position.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, on Day 1, students meet with the teacher in one-on-one writing conferences to discuss and identify opinion statements for the culminating task of writing an argument/opinion paper.
) [13] => stdClass Object ( [code] => 1k [type] => indicator [points] => 2 [rating] => meets [report] =>

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece

Examples of on-demand writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-2, students write a summary of an informational book that they are reading.
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, Day 4, students are prompted to write a paragraph that includes the main idea and key details to show what they know about a nonfiction topic.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 5, students are encouraged to identify and write about the theme as well as key details that were used to determine the theme of a central text.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 5, students revise their opinion piece by adding and omitting transition words.

Examples of extended writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, Days 4-5, students create supporting claims about author’s purpose from the core novel/informational text they are currently reading. They provide written responses to the questions: “What is the author’s purpose for writing this text? How does this purpose relate to his/her theme(s)? What evidence supports your thinking?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, Day 2, students work on the revision process of their final project: writing an informational book and receiving feedback from a partner.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, Day 1, students revise their essay to make sure their argument includes powerful analogies. They add analogies to improve their opinion piece. The class participates in Author’s Chair: specifically, one student comes to the front of the classroom, sits in Author’s Chair, identifies writing goals, reads a short piece aloud, and receive suggestions.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 3, students work on the revision process of their final project (an opinion piece) and review word choice with a focus on nouns and verbs.