Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for alignment. While texts partially meet some expectations, the majority of work done in reading, writing, speaking, and listening do not meet the expectations of the indicators. The materials do not include support for building students' knowledge and academic vocabulary.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
33
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
4
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
0
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

Grade 1 instructional materials partially meet the expectations for text quality for complexity, and do not meet the criteria for alignment to the standards. Most tasks and questions are not text based and are not grounded in evidence. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous, evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. Materials provide opportunities to increase oral and silent reading fluency across the grade level.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
15/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials partially meet the criteria for including anchor texts that are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading and/or listening, and consider a range of student interests. Texts meet the text complexity criteria for each grade. The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels). Materials are not accompanied by a text complexity analysis. Students engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are high quality, including rich language and engaging content. Accompanying illustrations are high quality as well, supporting students' understanding and comprehension of the associated text.

Examples of central texts that are worthy of careful reading include, but are not limited to:

  • In Theme 1, Get Up Rick by Isabel Campoy contains engaging vocabulary and multiple sentence types.
  • In Theme 2, Jobs by Anne Mansk is of high interest and is an engaging text with which students can identify.
  • In Theme 3, Land of Ice by Norman Wu is an engaging text with high interest content and vibrant photographs.
  • In Theme 4, Tomas Rivera by Jane Medina is an engaging text with vibrant photographs.
  • In Theme 5, Mystery of the Nightsong by Eloise Greenfield is a multicultural text that is engaging and suspenseful.
  • In Theme 6, What Brad Found by Linda Barr is a suspenseful, modern story that contains brilliant photographs.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.



Anchor and paired texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. Each of the six Themes for the year integrates various genres to support student’s understanding of the Theme. Additional self-selected reading selections are suggested as part of the classroom library to support the Themes. Text types include: fantasy, nonfiction, realistic fiction, travel journal, informational narrative, science fiction, fairy tale, play, historical fiction, folktale, interview, advice column, photo essay, mystery, biography, and news script.

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Theme 1: Tag by Nancy Furstinger
  • Theme 1: Trailer Truck by Bobbi Katz
  • Theme 2: Get Up Rick by F. Isabel Campoy
  • Theme 2: Roads by Elizabeth Spires
  • Theme 3: Little Red Hen Gets Help by Kenneth Spengler
  • Theme 3: King Midas and his Gold by Josee Masse
  • Theme 4: Caterpillars by Aileen Fischer
  • Theme 4: Snow Surprise by Lisa Campbell Ernst
  • Theme 5: Little Rabbit’s Tale by Wong Herbert Yee
  • Theme 5: Flake, the Missing Hamster by Stephen Krensky
  • Theme 6: The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay
  • Theme 6: Ebb and Flo and the Baby Seal by Jane Simmons

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • Theme 1: Let’s Tap by Alex Moran
  • Theme 1: Big Rigs by Paulette R. Novak
  • Theme 2: All on the Map by Lucy Floyd
  • Theme 3: Let’s Make Tortillas
  • Theme 3: “Gold and Money”
  • Theme 4: A Butterfly Grows by Stephen Swinburne
  • Theme 4: “The Snowflake Man”
  • Theme 5: Ways People Live by Emily Neye
  • Theme 5: Three Reasons Why Pets are Great
  • Theme 6: Amazing Animals by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Theme 6: “Fellini the Fur Seal”

Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

The majority of texts are at the appropriate quantitative level. Qualitatively, the texts present complex ideas, vocabulary, and themes that allow students to acquire knowledge and conduct analysis of complex texts and how they relate to each thematic unit. Books identified for small group instruction are noted as below level, on level, advanced, and intended for ELL students. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

Texts that are above or below grade level quantitative bands have qualitative features and/or tasks that bring it to the appropriate level for students to access the text. Examples of text that are at appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task include:

  • Theme 1: Bear at Home by Stella Blackstone with a quantitative measure of NC 420L
  • Theme 2: There’s a Billy Goat in the Garden by Laurel De Gugler
  • Theme 3: “My Father’s Feet” by Judy Sierra
  • Theme 4: Tomas Rivera by Jane Medina with a quantitative measure of 300L
  • Theme 5: Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson with a quantitative measure of AD 500L
  • Theme 6: Sand Castle by Brenda S. Yee with a quantitative measure of 440L

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

Each theme has a separate skills focus. In Theme 1 the text complexity of student texts are appropriate for the beginning of the school year. Students focus on the skills of making predictions, classifying, and story elements. Students hear a Read Aloud connected to the theme, read and discuss the main selection, and then read and discuss a paired selection. In each selection the focus skills of the theme are discussed. In Theme 3, the text complexity is appropriate for Grade 1 mid-year. Students focus on the skills of details, compare and contrast, plot, and setting. Students hear a Read Aloud connected to the theme, read and discuss the main selection, and then read and discuss a paired selection. In each selection the focus skills of the theme are discussed. In Theme 6 the text complexity of student texts are appropriate for the end of Grade 1. Students focus on the skills of alphabetizing, story elements, and details. Students hear a Read Aloud connected to the theme, read and discuss the main selection, and then read and discuss a paired selection. In each selection the focus skills of the theme are discussed. Focus skills are not revisited during the year. Though questions and practice become more complex through each individual theme, there is not a clear progression of the focus skills as they become more complex over the course of the school year

The materials partially support students' ability to read increasingly complex texts across the school year with appropriate support from the teacher according to the quantitative and qualitative measures. However, two days of guidance and scaffolded support from the teacher is suggested regardless of the complexity of the main selection text. Although scaffolded activities are provided throughout the materials, every text is allocated the same amount of time for reading and analysis. More complex texts may not get more instructional time focused on understanding and analyzing them since there are fixed routines in place every week for close reading and rereading.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are not accompanied by a text complexity analysis or a rationale for educational purpose and placement in Grade 1. The publisher identifies anchor text by genre and leveled readers are suggested by Below-Level, On-Level, and Advanced. Texts are identified as Below-Level, On-Level, and Advanced no specific complexity level or rationale is provided.

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

In each lesson, students interact with a getting started story, a read-aloud, a whole-group vocabulary selection, an anchor text, paired text read, big books, decodable books, and a self-selected text read during center work. Leveled readers are provided for small-group, differentiated work.

There are opportunities for students to read a range and volume of texts. The materials provide some experiences with independent reading. Teacher materials lack explicit directions to help students build their skills to read on grade level independently by the end of the year, and weekly lessons have minimal time dedicated to students reading independently.

Reading Adventure Magazine is used for supplemental lessons to extend the Common Core. Additional texts related to the themes are provided as leveled reading selections. These selections are suggested in the Resources section of the Teacher Edition.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
5/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The Grade 1 instructional materials do not meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are not text-dependent and do not build towards a culminating task that integrates skills. The instructional materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials do not provide opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, 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).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, 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).

The materials reviewed contain questions and tasks in multiple locations that require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support answers. Questions asked include those which require both explicit answers and inferences from the text. Materials include questions requiring students to engage with the text in multiple sections including practice books and student editions. Students must engage with the text to answer questions and complete activities. Examples of text dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments include, but are not limited to:

  • Throughout the grade level materials, ‘Think Critically” questions are available to the reader following the end of each reading selection.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 2, Lesson 4, the children retell “Pick a Sack.” Students name characters in the story and retell the story. The class identifies the events as the beginning, middle, or ending of the story.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 3, Lesson 7, students listen responsively to a text before answering both explicit and implicit questions such as: “How do the characters answer each time the Little Red Hen asks for help? How do the characters change?” Students use specific details from the text to provide evidence that the story is a folktale.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 3, Lesson 8, students provide details from the text to provide information about “Beth’s Job.” The teacher and students use a completed graphic organizer to determine what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • In the Teacher Edition Theme 5, Lesson 21, students use a text to identify problems and solutions present in the story. Students identify problems and solutions from “Flake, the Missing Hamster.” Children apply their knowledge of identifying problem/solution structures by completing page 20 of the Practice Book.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 5, Lesson 22, Day 1, Making Inferences, students are asked implicit questions, such as “What clue tells us that Spike and Mike will not hike?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

The themed volumes provide opportunities for the students that prompt thinking, speaking, or writing tasks, but do not always focus on the central ideas. While text based questions and activities are evident, the two do not appear to be cohesive nor do they build toward a culminating task. There is a lack of evidence of high-quality sequences of text-based questions to support the building of a body of knowledge. Although each theme has a labeled culminating task of a wrap up and review along with a reading–writing connection, the general theme of the unit does not consistently present itself in a manner that can build up to a culminating task. The writing connection is frequently disconnected from the theme and focuses on the task.

Text based questions are included but these questions are isolated to the story and do not build toward a culminating task. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 2, Theme Wrap Up and Review, students are to choose one of their favorite illustrations from this theme and write a caption sentence.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 3, Lesson 10, For Monitoring Comprehension, the teacher says, “Frog looks worried. Let’s read to find out what Ming is saying and what Frog is doing.” The students answer the following questions: What body part does Ming ask if frogs have? What is happening in the middle of the story? How do you think Frog feels now? How do you know?”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 4, Lesson 14, Monitor Comprehension, students answer questions about note details, make comparisons, and draw conclusions. Students look back at the illustrations to help them recall the important story events.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 6, Lesson 28, students identify details in a selection and inform the teacher of those details.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 6, Lesson 29, Details, the teacher and students recall the story “The Ugly Vegetables” from the Read-Aloud Anthology. The students identify important details from that story. They answer who, what, when, and where questions. For independent practice, they apply their knowledge of details by completing page 34 in Practice Book.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in discussions but not all are rich and rigorous. The opportunities provide limited protocols to support vocabulary and syntax throughout each unit or within lessons. Materials include practices to build robust vocabulary and application of content words, but not academic vocabulary and syntax. Themes provide limited information on how teachers can provide support and scaffolds with collaborative conversations. Most discussions are whole group with limited opportunities for small group or peer-to-peer discussion. Although speaking and listening tasks are included in various spots throughout the year, there is limited instruction to support students’ mastery of listening and speaking skills. The opportunities do not adequately address the mastery of grade-level speaking and listening standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Page T54, students make predictions and generalizations about the text prior to the read aloud. Students talk about what is happening in the pictures. Then, students identify personal experiences and picture clues to help them make predictions.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Page T167, students review Robust Vocabulary. The teacher reminds students of the Student-Friendly Explanations of “applauded,” “chatty,” and “gather.” They discuss each word using the following example:
    • Applauded - When was the last time you applauded? When have you applauded at school? How would Beth feel if her class applauded for her?
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Page T267, For guided practice, the teacher asks the students the following questions:
    • If you classify animals into two small groups, Pets and Wild Animals, what are animals in the Pets group? In the Wild Animals group?
    • What is the function of a bed?
    • If you could have a nutritious food now, what would you eat?
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 24, Page 520, students prepare for retelling and drawing conclusions. The teacher tells students that they can use clues in the story to figure out things that the author does not tell them. They revisit the graphic organizer. The teacher displays the completed Transparency GO1 and guides the students to use the chart to make inferences about the story.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, S8, the teacher uses Routine Card 15 to reintroduce all six words. The class reviews the Student-Friendly Explanations until students are familiar with the words. Then, the teacher asks questions the following questions to check for understanding:
    • Would you be courteous if you held the door for your teacher?
    • Is a devious person honest and truthful or sneaky and sly?
    • If I told you that it is going to snow tomorrow, would you be gullible if you believed me?
    • If you do something very slowly and carefully, are you doing it hastily?
    • Would you be more likely to walk rapidly or slowly if you were late for school?
    • Would it be unreasonable for your teacher to give you 100 hours of homework?

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Grade-appropriate speaking and listening opportunities are provided frequently over the course of the year. Students have opportunities to ask classmates and their teacher questions and answer questions about ideas presented. Anchor text for each lesson are read by students with the teacher asking whole-group discussion questions throughout the reading to monitor comprehension. Teachers are provided some direction or protocols for these discussions. Each Theme has a Reader’s Theatre that provides some opportunity for students to read and share. Students are asked with each In Theme project to share what they like about the project. However, this evidence is limited in relating follow-up questions with weekly text. Although speaking and listening tasks are included in various spots throughout the year, there is limited instruction to support students’ mastering of listening and speaking skills. Many discussions do not require students to return to the text or provide evidence for their thinking.

Opportunities are provided for students to speak about the text, but limited or no opportunities are provided for follow-up discussions or questions.Throughout additional opportunities to speak and listen, referencing of text is often not required. The discussion could occur without the students experiencing the text. The following examples provide opportunities to answer questions orally and to listen, but do not provide follow-up questioning opportunities:

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, students speak about the text while making comparisons from the story. Students also make connections with home activities.
  • In Theme 1, Speaking and Listening, the teacher is directed to ask students to “share their sentences with the class. Discuss with students a few of their sentences that are complete and the reasons why they are complete.” The discussion is not focused on a text but on sentence structure.
  • There are few identified Speaking and Listening activities for the entire first grade year in the Teacher Support Book.
  • In Theme 1 and 2, Lesson 2, Practice/Apply: Guided Practice, partners take turns reading aloud, partners listen for accuracy. During Independent Practice, students use character cutouts as they read to act story out.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, students engage in repeated reading and reading with a partner through multiple practices. Practices provide an opportunity to speak when they read aloud but not to discuss. In other instances, students are directed to practice listening skills but not to discuss the text.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Each Theme includes a Reading-Writing Connection that spans the five week Theme incorporating the stages of the writing process, prewrite, draft, revise, proofread, and publish. The theme writing assignment appears at the beginning of each Theme with no guidance or pacing suggestions. Theme writings are not included in suggested pacing documents.

Each week students participate in writing lessons. On Day 1 students participate in a modeled writing, on Days 2 and 3 students work on shared writings. Then on Days 4 and 5 students work on independent writings. Each of these writing prompts are connected by writing form and trait that students are studying. These writing lessons do not connect to theme texts.

At the end of each anchor text students answer the final question in an on-demand writing prompt.

  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 1, Teacher's Edition page T49, students draw a web, and the teacher guides them to use their web diagram to plan their web to plan their description plan.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 2, Teacher's Edition page T73, students dictate sentences as the teacher writes them on chart paper using Step by Step Writing Instruction as a guide.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 3, Teacher's Edition page T85, the teacher reads the finished description that the students dictated on Day 2, and students draw pictures to accompany the description.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 4, Teacher's Edition page T95, students use the word web to write a descriptive sentence.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 5, Teacher's Edition page T105, students read with a partner, revise, and share their writings.
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 5, Day 1, Modeled Writing, Practice/Apply, p. T421, teachers are directed to “Have children draw a picture of the thing they have chosen. Ask them to use tablet paper or their notebook to write their sentence about it. Save children’s pictures to use on Days 2-5.”
  • In Theme 4, Reading Writing Connection, Page T114, students prewrite and generate ideas related to the text selection “Land of Ice.”
  • In Theme 6, Reading Writing Connection, Page T111, students complete a personal narrative within the Reading Writing Connection.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Page T269, the students and teacher write together for shared writing. The students and the teacher create a list of plants after drawing pictures of the plants during the previous day.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Page T105, students add sensory details to descriptions that they have previously written.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Throughout the grade and unit, students are primarily exposed to personal narrative writing. There is little evidence of students engaging in expository or opinion writing. Texts and materials do not provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing throughout the academic year. For example, the teacher and student editions lack engagement in students informing or explaining the subject to the reader, stating an opinion and influencing the reader, and using their five senses to paint a picture and incorporate imagery and specific details. Writing does not rise to the level required by the standards.

Materials lack instructional writing support for students and teachers. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Theme 3, Reading-Writing Connection, Page XI, Develop Writing Forms through the Writing Process, students focus on sentences about us (shared writing), describing an event (shared writing), respond to a selection (shared writing), description (independent writing), and personal narrative (independent writing).
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Teacher’s Edition page T413, students are guided how to write sentences about events.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 23, students learn about and write a descriptive poem.
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 5, Day 1, Modeled Writing, Teach/Model, p. T421, teachers are direct to “develop a list of characteristics of well-written sentences about things” in collaboration with the students.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 22, Day 1, Modeled Writing, P. T323, teachers are directed to “Display transparency LA44, and explain that these sentences describe an experience someone had.”
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 22, Day 4, Independent Writing, P. T371, teachers are directed to “Ask children to use their web to write several sentences to describe a memory.”
  • In Theme 4, Teacher Edition, Lesson 13, Page T103, students sequence the story from Day 4 during Independent Writing.

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

Each Theme includes a Reading-Writing Connection that spans the five week Theme incorporating the stages of the writing process, prewrite, draft, revise, proofread, and publish. These theme writings are not evidence-based, are not included in unit planning and pacing, and do no require students return to a text. These writing prompts do not support the recall of information, opinions with reasons or relevant information.

Each week students participate in writing lessons. On Day 1 students participate in a modeled writing, on Days 2 and 3 students work on shared writings. Then on Days 4 and 5 students work on independent writings. Each of these writing prompts are connected by writing form and trait that students are studying. These writing lessons do not connect to theme texts and are not evidence-based writings.

During Small Group Literacy Centers students are prompted to write during Literacy Writing Center. These writing prompts are not connected to texts, nor do they require evidence.

At the end of each anchor text students answer one on-demand writing prompt that asks students to use details from the text to support their answer. Extending the Common Core State Standards Reading Adventure Magazines provide some text-dependent writing prompts. However, this does not support providing regular opportunities for evidence-based writing.

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Modeled Writing, Writing Prompt, p. T49, the prompt states, “Have children draw and write about a favorite place they have visited.” This does not require students to have read a text.
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 4, Writing Prompt, Page T335, students write a sentence that recalls something that their family has fun doing together.
  • In Theme 4, Reading Writing Connection, Apply to Writing, Page T115, students dictate sentences to the teacher based on their ideas of what they know about animals.
  • In Theme 6, Teacher’s Edition, Lesson 29, page T433, students brainstorm and create a story with characters, setting, and a plot.

Indicator 1n

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.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with limited opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Teacher Edition materials include a 5-day phonics, grammar, and writing sequence for each lesson within each theme. Lessons provide limited explicit instruction in grammar and conventions with modeling, guided practice, and opportunities for independent practice. Students engage in activities that support the grammar and convention standards; however, not all language standards are covered. Opportunities are missed for students to engage in learning about conjunctions, determiners, frequently occurring prepositions, and commas in dates and to separate single words in a series. In addition, the grammar and convention standards that are covered miss opportunities to meet the rigor of the Grade 1 standards and even includes days of instruction and practice for language standards from previous grade levels. Many of the grammar and convention lessons use sentence frames and dictated sentences that the teacher writes and students copy. Over the course of the year, students have limited opportunity to receive instruction for the letter formation of uppercase and lowercase letters. This is covered in the 20 inventory lessons at the beginning of the year. Materials also miss opportunities for students to review prior learning and to apply skills out-of-context. The lessons lack opportunities for students to practice the grammar/convention skills to mastery.

Materials include some instruction of most grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

  • Students have the opportunity to practice printing capital and lowercase letters. For example:
    • In the Inventory Unit, Lessons 1-20, students review the “Letter Talk” for each uppercase and lowercase letter of the alphabet. The teacher models the letter formation. Then students practice the letter formation independently on a sheet of paper.
    • In the Inventory Unit, Lessons 1-20, students practice writing uppercase letters and lowercase letters. For example, in Lesson 9, students write letter Dd in the Practice Book, p.19.
  • Students have the opportunity to use common, proper, and possessive nouns. For example:
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 11, Day 1, the students are introduced to proper nouns through introduction to special names and titles for people. Students are to understand how to capitalize and punctuate special names and titles.
    • In Theme 4, Lesson 17, Day 1, the teacher introduces possessive proper nouns and explains their purpose, students participate in a guided practice activity where they identify the possessive proper nouns within the context of sentence and then practice applying their knowledge of possessive proper nouns when writing sentences.
  • Students have the opportunity to use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences. For example:
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 10, Day 1, students learn that nouns name more than one. Students use classroom objects to name plural nouns. The focus of grammar in Lesson 10 is naming plural nouns. Opportunities to use plural nouns in sentences are limited.
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 10, Day 4, students practice adding words to phrases to generate complete sentences using nouns that name more than one.
  • Students have the opportunity to use personal, possessive and indefinite pronouns. For example:
    • In Theme 4, Lesson 15, Lesson 1, students learn how to use I and me. “Explain that I is used in the naming part of the sentence, and me is used in the telling--or action--part of the sentence.” Students share sentences using I or me.
    • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, Day 1, students participate in a lesson where they are taught to recognize that he, she, it and they can take the place of names of people, animals, places, and things. They are expected to use he, she, it and they correctly.
  • Students have the opportunity to use frequently occurring adjectives. For example:
    • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 5, students learn describing words: color, size, and shape. The teacher reads aloud a poem and has students touch their ears if they hear a word that describes sounds, touch their nose for smell, and hold up their hands for touch. In Practice/Apply, students complete sentence frames such as “There’s a ___ smell in ___.”
    • In Theme 5, Lesson 20, Day 1, students identify and use describing words that tell about taste, smell, sound, and feel. Students practice by dictating sentences about objects on a transparency with words that describe an object’s taste, smell, sound, or feel.
  • Students have the opportunity to capitalize dates and names of people. For example:
    • In Theme 4, Lesson 13, Day 3, students learn to capitalize the names of days and months. “The word Friday is the name of the day of the week. We always capitalize the first letter of the names of days and months.” In Theme 4, Lesson 14, Day 3, students learn to capitalize the names of holidays. “Have children write another sentence that could be added to the sentences about holidays….Remind them to check that the name of the holiday is written correctly.”
  • Students have the opportunity to use end punctuation for sentences. For example:
    • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 5, the teacher models writing a sentence and points out that a sentence includes a capital letter and period. During Guided Practice, students decide if a line is a complete sentence: “I like to ride my bike.” During Independent Practice, students write “My Best Day” sentences. The teacher is to encourage students to include details.
    • In Theme 6, Lesson 26, students identify the initial capital letter at the beginning of each sentence in the model and other children find the period at the end of each sentence
  • Students have the opportunity to spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions. For example:
    • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, students participate in a word building activity. Students build and read new words. Students use t-o-p and decode the word. Students change t to h and decode the word hop.
    • In Theme 5, Lesson 3, students participate in a word building activity. Students build and read new words. Students use p-i-n-e and decode the word. Students change i to a and decode the word pane.
  • Students have the opportunity to use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because). For example:
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 10, Day 3, students learn to respond to the shared writing text “Soccer Song.”

Materials include limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. For example:

  • In Theme 4, Lesson 13, Day 5, students revise their independent writing. Students check for basic capitalization skills, such as capitalizing the first word in a sentence, the pronoun I, and proper nouns such as the names of days and months. In the 5-day Grammar Sequence in Lesson 13, students have been learning and applying the knowledge of capitalizing days and months.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
13/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectation 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 with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials partially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and multimodal practice to address the acquisition of print concepts including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Materials meet expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. 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. Materials 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. Materials meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for 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 for application both in and out of context.

Over the course of a year, each lesson includes word work focused on a phonics skill that includes a connected phonemic awareness activity. These lessons provide students the opportunity to practice reading and spelling words that include the phonics skill. The lessons engage students in explicit phonics instruction by having students read and repeat vowels, consonant blends, and inflectional endings. Students use manipulatives to make word parts that blend the individual phonemes to make one-syllable words. However, Kindergarten Common Core foundational skills standards are reviewed in Theme 1, 2, and 3 (short vowels) out of the six themes. Additionally, long vowels are only addressed in Theme 5. Opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in how to read one-syllable words. Materials include one lesson on determining the number of syllables in a word. The teacher support book, Extending the Common Core State Standards, provides one lesson per standard not addressed in the main materials. This one lesson does not allow for students to have opportunities to reach mastery of the foundational skill.

Students have opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g., distinguish long and short vowels, blend sounds, pronounce vowels in single-syllable words, and segment single-syllable words). For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 1, Warm-Up Routines, students blend syllables. Students say run, me, look, frog and listen for one syllable. Students say silly, before, chicken, simple and listen for two syllables. The teacher models putting syllables together with: “The syllables are fun...ny. When I put the syllables together, I make the word funny.”
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 1, Warm-Up Routines, students isolate the first sound they hear in words read aloud by the teacher such as mine, sad, window, and farmer.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 2, Warm-Up Routines, students isolate the last sound they hear in words read aloud by the teacher such as run, pack, cape, and girl.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 3, Warm-Up Routines, students isolate the middle sound they hear in words read aloud by the teacher such as mash, lick, and bone.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 1, Warm-Up Routines, students blend phonemes into words. The teacher states words very slowly and students blend the phonemes to make words. Examples include: /b/ /e/ /t/ bet, /p/ /e/ /n/ pen, and /w/ /i/ /n/ /d/.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Day 1, Warm-Up Routines, students segment words. The teacher models segmenting the word jet and holds up a finger per sound. Students say the sounds and hold up a finger for each sound of words such as tap, mugs, pass, and jump.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 22, Day 1, Word Work, students listen to the teacher say words with the long i and words with the short i. The teacher states, “When I say a word that has the long i sound, you hold up both cards and say long /i/. When I say a word that has the short i sound, you hold up the i Letter Card only.” Students discriminate between rid, ride, rip, ripe, twin, twine.

Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g., spelling-sound correspondences of digraphs, decode one-syllable words, know final-e and long vowels, syllable and vowel relationship). However, students do not receive explicit instruction in decoding one syllable words based on vowel sounds. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, students participate in a word building activity. Students build and read new words. Students begin with -am change the m to t, add c to -at, change t to n and change c to r and identify the word for each change.
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 4, Word Work, students learn inflection -s. During Teach/Model, the teacher has students read CVC words with and without -s. During Practice/Apply, students choose a sentence that contains inflection -s to draw and illustrate. Then students copy the sentence onto a strip.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 1, students blend words using Word Builder Cards. Students blend m-e-t to make met. Students also blend hen, bed and pen.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 13, students learn ch, tch for /ch/. In Day 1, the teacher starts with developing phonemic awareness of /ch/ in words such as cherry and check. The teacher displays the Sound/Spelling Card ch and tch states the letter names in each spelling. The teacher explains that c and h stand for /ch/. The students say /ch/ several times as the teacher points to the digraph. The teacher also explains that tch says /ch/. Students say /ch/ several times as the teacher points to tch. To practice discriminating the sound, students hold up a c and h when the teacher states a word that begins with /ch/.
  • In Theme 5, students learn long vowel sounds with final e and common vowel team conventions. In Day 1 of the lessons, the teacher shows the Sound/Spelling Card and instructs students about the vowel sound being made by the specific letters. Students discriminate sounds and blending words. In Days 2-3, students participate in word building.
    • In Lesson 19, students learn long /e/ with e, ee, ea.
    • In Lesson 20, students learn long /a/ with ai and ay.
    • In Lesson 21, students learn long /a/ with final e.
    • In Lesson 22, students learn long /i/ with final e.
    • In Lesson 23, students learn long /o/ with final e.
  • In Extending the Common Core State Standards, Theme 5, there is one lesson on syllabication. During Teach/Model, the teacher reviews syllables. The teacher draws a window on the whiteboard and writes window beneath the picture. “Point to the word, and read it aloud. Have children join you in reading the word again and clapping the two syllables.” The teacher breaks down understanding how vowels and syllables work together. During Practice/Apply, students read two-syllable words with a partner.

Materials have a limited cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness instruction to build toward application. Materials spend three of six themes reviewing prior grade level standards. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lessons 1-3, phonemic awareness lessons include word segmentation, syllable blending and segmentation and onset-rime blending and segmentation.
  • In Theme 2, Lessons 4-6, phonemic awareness lessons include phoneme isolation (all positions), phoneme categorization (all positions) and phoneme isolation, identification and categorization.
  • In Theme 3, Lessons 7-12, phonemic awareness lessons include phoneme blending and phoneme segmentation, phoneme blending and review of both.
  • In Theme 4, Lessons 13-18, phonemic awareness lessons include phoneme deletion, and a review of blending, deletion and segmentation, a review of blending segmentation, deletion, phoneme substitution and a review of blending and substitution.
  • In Theme 5, Lessons 19-24, phonemic awareness lessons include review of segmentation, substitution, deletion, blending, phoneme addition and a review of addition.
  • In Theme 6, Lessons 25-30, phonemic awareness lessons include phoneme deletion, addition, substitution, and a review of blending, segmentation, deletion, substitution and addition.

Materials have a limited cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. Materials spend three of six themes reviewing prior grade level standards.

  • In Theme 1, Lessons 1-3, phonics instruction includes relating a and i to short vowel sounds, words with inflection -s, and word building with -ap, -at, -ag, -and.
  • In Theme 2, Lessons 4-6, phonics instruction includes digraph ck /k/, short vowel o, variant vowel /o/a, inflection -ed and -ing, and contractions with n’t, ‘s.
  • In Theme 3, Lessons 7-12, phonics instruction includes diphthong /ng/ ng, r-controlled vowel /or/or, ore, digraph /sh/ sh, and initial blends with l, s, r.
  • In Theme 4, Lessons 13-18, phonics instruction includes digraph /ch/ch, tch, r-controlled vowel /ar/ar, digraph /kw/qu, /wh/wh, r-controlled vowel /ur/er,ir,ur, syllable /el/ -le, and long vowel /o/ ow,oa.
  • In Theme 5, Lessons 19-24, phonics instruction includes long vowel /e/e, ee, ea, long vowel /a/, ai, ay, long vowel /a/a-e, long vowel /i/i-e, long /o/o-e, consonants /s/c, /j/g, dge, and long vowel /a/a-e, /i/i-e.
  • In Theme 6, Lessons 25-30, phonics instruction includes long vowel /(y)oo/u-e, long /i/y, ie, igh, vowel diphthong /ou/ow, ou, long vowel /e/y, ie, vowel diphthong /oo/o, ew, and long vowel /i/i; /o/o.

Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge and directionality(K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).

Grade 1 print concepts is primarily addressed through the writing and grammar portion of the instructional materials. In the 5-Day Writing sequence in each lesson, students have frequent opportunities to identify and apply knowledge of the features of varied types of sentences. At the start of a new text, the title, author, and illustrator are usually pointed out. In the 5-Day Comprehension sequence, students express understanding of the stories through the study of story structure using story maps (character, setting, plot). In addition, the Focus Skill includes skills such as: main idea, details, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and sequence. Instructional materials miss opportunities for students to learn about text features.

Materials include frequent, adequate lessons and tasks/questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g., recognize features of a sentence). For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 1, Modeled Writing, the teacher models conventions of a sentence and print concepts during the Modeled Writing lesson on Day 1: ‘Discuss whether the sentence is written correctly. Have volunteers point to the capital letter at the beginning and the period at the end.’ ‘Point out the spaces between the words. Demonstrate their importance by rewriting the sentence without space: Dancanbat.’
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 3, the teacher models sentences based on the text, “Big Rigs.” Students write their own sentence on a sentence strip and check their sentences for capitalization and end marks.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day1, Warm-Up Routines, the teacher reads aloud There’s a Billy Goat in the Garden. The teacher is to emphasize print concepts. Therefore, students point to letters, words, and spaces between the words in the title.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Day 2, the teacher models writing sentences from “The Trial of the Stone. ” Students copy a question and then identify the capital letter and question mark.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures (e.g., main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 4, Days 1-5, students learn that stories have beginning, middle, and end. In Day 2, the teacher explains that a story has three parts. The teacher models beginning, middle, and end in “Book! Book! Book!.” In Practice/Apply, students use pictures from the Student Edition p. 124 to identify beginning, middle, and end.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 1, the teacher works with students to fill in a flowchart that details the order in which things happen in the story.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 11, Day 2, The teacher models comparing and contrasting from excerpts of “Wild Horse Winter.” Students compare and contrast cats and dogs to increase understanding of compare/contrast, but students do not use a text to do the comparing and contrasting.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, Day 2, the teacher introduces the Focus Skill- Main Idea and tells students that what a story is mostly about is the main idea. Students independently work to tell the main idea of a picture.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 2, the teacher introduces the Focus Skill- Cause and Effect and explains to students that learning about cause and effect will help them to answer two questions as they read: “What happened? Why did it happen?”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 26, Days 1-5, student learn to identify story elements. On Day 1, the teacher reviews story elements based on “Billywise.” In Day 2, the teacher guides students through the graphic organizer about story elements for the text, Blast Off!

Materials include limited lessons and activities about text features (e.g., title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 1, Warm-Up Routines, the teacher is to discuss the cover: “Read the cover information and talk about the art. Elicit that an author writes a story and an illustrator creates pictures.”
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 1, the teacher displays Counting on the Woods. The teacher reads the title and the name of the poet and photographer. “Ask children what each did to help create the book. Explain the information found on the cover and title page.”

In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 1, students point to the names of the author and illustrator of Ten Eggs by Nancy Furstinger and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Instructional materials contain sufficient opportunities for students to learn different aspects of fluency such as expression and accuracy. Every lesson in every theme has a Decodable book that includes words with sounds that the students have learned in the 5-day phonics sequence. Each of the Decodable books gives a purpose for reading the book. Each week, there are explicit lessons in high-frequency words. While the instructional materials provide students with opportunities to read grade level and decodable texts, there are minimal opportunities for students to learn to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Day 2, the teacher sets the purpose for reading All on the Map. “Remind children that nonfiction selections give information. Ask children to set a purpose for reading this selection--for example, to learn about maps.”
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 13, Day 3, the teacher asks student to set the purpose for reading Caterpillars. “Guide children to use prior knowledge and set a purpose for listening.”

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and decodable words. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, students read On-Level Reader: Let’s Help with a partner. Students take turns reading alternate pages of the story several times with accuracy and expression.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 13, Day 5, students practice reading “A Butterfly Grows” with intonation. Students perform “A Butterfly Grows” as Readers’ Theater. The teacher models reading with appropriate intonation. Partners read the selection together and then select a part (caterpillar or butterfly) and practice reading with intonation. Partner read the selection to classmates.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 5, students practice reading “Little Rabbit’s Tale” with phrasing. Students perform “Little Rabbit’s Tale” as Readers’ Theater. The teacher models reading in phrases. The teacher assigns parts to students to read aloud. The teacher listens to the students and provides feedback. Students are invited to perform the text for others, and the teacher reminds students to read with proper phrasing.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 29, students perform “Sand Castle” as a Readers’ Theater. The teacher models reading the text with appropriate reading rate as students follow along. The teacher coaches children to read at just the right speed. The teacher reminds the students to focus on reading at an appropriate rate when they work in small groups to participate in Reader’s Theater with the text.

Materials provide limited support in reading of texts with attention to reading strategies such as rereading, self-correction, and the use of context clues. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Day 2, the teacher suggests students adjust reading rate as a comprehension strategy. “When I read a selection that tells facts, I read carefully to make sure I understand the information. Sometimes I read more slowly than usual and take extra time to look at the illustrations.” Students do not have the opportunity to practice that strategy.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 17, the teacher discusses the Focus Strategy with students. The teacher tells students that as they read they should think about whether what they are reading makes sense. The teacher goes on to tell students that if any section of the text seems difficult or confusing, they should go back and reread that part.

Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 2, the teacher introduces find, much, thank. The teacher points to find on the board and reads it. Students say find with the teacher. The teacher spells the word and then students spell the word. The teacher repeats the routine with much and thanks. In Guided Practice, students read aloud each word from a list on page 162. Students read sentences from page 163. Then students point to and reread highlighted words in the sentences.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 14, Day 3, Warm-Up Routines, students practice eight high-frequency words: again, feel, house, know, loud, Mrs. put, say. The teacher states each word, a student points to the word, and children read the word aloud. The teacher then points to words at random and students reread the words.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 20, Day 3, the teacher displays high-frequency words: cool, dry, four, holes, moves, place, warm. A student reads one word, the teacher erases the word, and students spell the word. During Guided Practice, students spread word cards out, and students pantomime actions for the words. During Independent Practice, students word with a partner to give clues about high-frequency words. The teacher models: “This word has four letters. It rhymes with pool. What is the word?”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 26, Day 2, students learn the following high-frequency words: climbed, earth, fooling, thought, table. The teacher writes the words on the board and reads the words. Students repeat and spell each word. During Guided Practice, students point to and read aloud the highlighted words. Volunteers read the sentences aloud.

Indicator 1r

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Instructional materials provide students with opportunities to practice word recognition and word analysis in connected texts and tasks. Every lesson in every theme includes a Decodable book that incorporates words with sounds that the students have learned in the 5-day phonics sequence. Students have opportunities to read leveled readers to practice high-frequency words and digraphs in context. While there are opportunities for students to apply the phonics skills and read/recognize high-frequency from the lessons, there are minimal opportunities for students to encode in connected tasks.

Materials support students’ development learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g., spelling-sound correspondences of digraphs, decode one-syllable words, syllable and vowel relationship, decode two-syllable words, read words with inflectional endings) in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 4, the teacher writes four sentences on the board. Each sentence contains words with inflected endings of -s. Students select a sentence, draw a picture of the sentence, and write the sentence on a sentence strip.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, students read Decodable Book 5. The phonics focus for the book is inflection -ed. Students decode: lifted, tilted, wanted, acted, handed, landed and sifted.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 15, Leveled Readers, students read texts with qu and wh digraphs. Students reading below-level read Susan L. Roth. Students reading on-level read Amy Hest. Students reading advanced read Joseph Bruchac.
  • In Extending the Common Core State Standards, students practice reading two-syllable words from Copying Master CC5. When students finish the page, students trade papers and read each other’s sentences.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 20, students read long vowels of a (ai, ay), in sentences that are on the board. An example of a sentence includes: We must wait for the rain to stop.

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, students practice reading high-frequency words (help, let’s, now) in the Cut-Out/Fold-Up Book “Pam and Cat.”
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, students read high-frequency words (always, by, Cow’s join, nice, please, room) in the Leveled Readers.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Day 4, students read story strip sentences and write the missing words in the blanks: “Oh, ___! The ___ is falling!” he yells. Students read the high-frequency words (dear, door, hurry, mother, should, sky, told) in the Cut-Out/Fold-Up Book “Can I Keep Him?”

Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. However, opportunities are missed for students to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 4 students dictate words from sentences which contain the digraph ck. For example, students write: Do not pick up the sick cat.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 14, the 5-day phonics focus is r-controlled vowel /ar/ar and inflections -s, -ed, -ing. In the Decodable Book, “Charming Carmel” students decode words, such as: charming, started and artists.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 15, Day 5, students complete the following sentence frames which contain the qu and wh digraph: I am a whiz at _____. We had a quick quiz on _____.

Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting 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.

In Grade 1, there are Benchmark Assessments that are administered three times a year. Theme tests are available at the end of each theme to assess students’ mastery of the standards they have been taught. Weekly Lesson Tests are used to check understanding of each lesson before moving on. Weekly Tests assess phonics/spelling, high-frequency words, and grammar focus from that lesson. There are reteach lessons contained in the Small Group Instruction section of the Teacher’s Manual that give instructional options for students Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced. Theme Tests assess phonics/spelling, high-frequency words, and grammar (fluency begins in Theme 4). There are specific resources that teachers are directed to use based on students results on these assessments that are in addition to the core instruction. The resources are for students that perform in the Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced category based on the Theme Test. Materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills.

  • Each Theme contains Tested Skills. In Theme 1, phonics/spelling and high-frequency words are assessed. In Theme 2, phonics/spelling and high-frequency words are assessed.
  • In Theme 2, page A1 under the assessment tab, it explains that there are benchmark assessments that are administered 3 times a year. Theme tests are administered at the end of each them and assess students’ mastery of the standards that have been taught. Weekly lesson tests check the understanding the students have of each lesson (or parts of it) before the teacher moves on to the next lesson. Monitor Progress notes are available on a daily basis to help the teacher check for understanding and reteach or extend instruction.
  • In Theme 2, page A5 under the assessment tab, the Weekly Test for Lesson 4 includes:
    • Phonics/Spelling- digraph /k/ck
    • High-Frequency Words
    • Grammar- Telling Parts of Sentences
  • In Theme 1 and 2, page A8 under the assessment tab, Theme 1 and 2 Test includes items that assess: Phonics/Spelling, High-Frequency Words, and Grammar (Fluency is assessed beginning in Theme 4).

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. The materials contain the following sentence: “To determine whether children need even more support, use your district-approved diagnostic and screening assessments.” The materials do not contain complete diagnostic and screening assessments to help teacher know students’ current levels.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills.

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7 in the Small-Group Instruction section (follow up lessons based on student performance on the Theme Test), page S2, students practice and apply knowledge of short vowel e. Below Level students are reintroduced to short /e/e and practice word blending with e and are guided through Decodable Book 7, “Help! Help” On-Level students build one syllable words that include short e and read aloud Decodable Book 7, “Help! Help!” Advanced level students brainstorm a list of words with short vowel e. The group of students then create a story using as many short e words as they can.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 17 in the Small-Group Instruction section (follow up lessons based on student performance on the Theme Test), page S43 students read high-frequency words. Below-Level students are reintroduced to the lesson’s high-frequency words. Students match the words from two different sets. Students then read the words as they are displayed. On-Level students read the high-frequency words and then write each word on the board, on chart paper, or in their notebook. Advanced students play “Speed”. The teacher randomly holds up cards and children name each word. Students try to quicken the pace each time the cards are displayed. Students then work in partners to play the game and try to increase their speed. Students may time their friend.
  • Based on Theme Tests, the teacher is directed to prescriptives to help students gain more instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics, and high-frequency words. For example, in Theme 2, Lesson 5 for digraph /k/ ck, if a student does not do well, the prescriptive is Reteach, p. S32.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 14, Day 5: “Assessment Monitoring Progress Periodically, take a timed sample of children’s oral reading and measure the number of words read correctly per minute. Children should be accurately reading approximately 60 words per minute by the end of Grade 1.” Guidance is not provided to the teacher as to how to help students gain fluency to 60 words per minute.

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

Each week contains multiple opportunities for students to learn and practice foundational skills. Guidance and suggestions are provided in lessons in order for teachers to differentiate learning opportunities for students below-level, student on-level, and for students who are advanced. There are Small-Group learning opportunities for students to learn phonics, phonemic awareness, and high-frequency words. Each lesson includes a 5-day sequence of instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics/spelling, high-frequency words, fluency and grammar. Within these 5 days of instruction, teachers are provided with activities that provide opportunities for reteach, reinforcement or extension of the skill. Each lesson includes Leveled Readers and Leveled Practice to reinforce skills and strategies. The Leveled Readers include a Below Level, On Level, Advanced and ELL option for students. The Leveled Readers include words with the phonics focus and high-frequency words from the week. The Classroom Library for Self-Selected Reading includes an Easy, Average and Challenge level book. Many of the lessons include Below-Level differentiation options for students, and there is an ELL Teacher Guide that provides direction with scaffolding lessons.

Materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 3, during fluency learning of accuracy, there is guidance provided to the teacher about helping the students who are not reaching mastery. “Below-Level Fluency Practice Have children reread for fluency, using “Come In!” in the Strategic Intervention Interactive Reader, “Pat Can Help” in Decodable Book 2, or the appropriate Leveled Reader (pages T196-T199). Guide them to select a small portion of a story and practice reading it several times.”
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, the Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced Leveled readers include words with digraph /th/th and the high frequency words don’t, her, line, Mr., new, says, water. All students reread their Leveled Reader to practice reading with expression.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 14, Day 1, Word Work, students are learning r-controlled vowels. The lesson contains Word Building. Students use their Word Builder Cards and Word Builders. Students build far. Then students add an m to the end. Students remove the f and read arm. For learners Below-Level, the materials contain: “Build Spelling Words Have children use Word Builder Cards a and t to build the word at in their Word Builders. Then have them add an r between the a and the t. Lead them in reading aloud the word art as they track the letters. Repeat with am to build arm and pat to build part.”
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 21, the Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced Leveled readers include words with long vowel /a/a_e and the high frequency words around, found, near, tired, might, open, gone, hears. All students reread their Leveled Reader with expression.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 28, Day 4, Word Work, students are learning high-frequency words (able, almost, blue, great, poured, took, traveled). The teacher reviews the high-frequency words using a strip story from the Teacher Resource Book. Students Practice/Apply students read the story strip sentences and write the missing words in the blanks. During Independent Practice, students read the words in context in the Cut-Out/Fold-Up Book “Mike in the Sky.” For learners Below-Level, the materials contain: “Read and Write Words Read aloud the sentences as children track the print; when you come to a blank, say blank. Reread, but this time when you come to a blank, pause for children to say the word that makes sense. Point to the displayed word and have children write it. Have children echo-read the sentences to check their work.”

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs.

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 3, during fluency learning of punctuation, there is guidance provided to the teacher about helping the students. “Monitor Progress Fluency IF children have difficulty understanding how to use punctuation marks, THEN have them echo-read a familiar story. Small-Group Instruction, p. S24: Below-level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend”
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Day 3, students read high-frequency words. The teacher is provided a modification for ELL students. The teacher explains to students the difference between the word be and bee. The teacher is also directed to the ELL Teacher Guide, Lesson 9, for support in scaffolding instruction.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 15, Day 1, during digraph instruction, there is guidance provided to the teacher about helping the students. “Monitor Progress Phonics: Digraphs /kw/ qu, /hw/ wh IF children have difficulty spelling words with digraphs /kw/ qu and /hw/ wh, THEN have them slide a finger under each word, read and spelling it aloud. Small-Group Instruction, p. S22: Below-Level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend”
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 21, students read words with phonograms -ane and -ade. Students are grouped according to their academic levels and assigned a practice page. Students Below-Level completes a page from the Extra Support workbook. Students On-Level complete a page from the Practice Book workbook and the Advanced students complete a page from the Challenge workbook. The teacher is directed to use the ELL Teacher Guide, Lesson 21, for support in scaffolding instruction for ELLs.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 28, Day 2, during high-frequency instruction, there is guidance provided to the teacher about helping the students. “Monitor Progress High-Frequency Words IF children have difficulty reading and spelling the words, THEN display a second set of word cards, and have them match the words. Small-Group Instruction, p. S33 Below-Level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend”

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery.

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, include:
    • Phonological Awareness: Rhyme Recognition and Production
    • Phonics: short vowel /i/i, contractions ‘s
    • Spelling: in, pin, big, dig, did, had, sat, no, too
    • High-Frequency Words: get, hold, home, so, soon
    • Fluency: Punctuation
    • Grammar: Naming Parts of Sentences
    • In this lesson, there is a 5-day sequence of instruction for each of these areas of foundational skills. The Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced Leveled Readers include words that have short vowel i and high-frequency words so, hold, get, home, soon. Students fluency focus for rereading is reading with exclamation. There are small-group instructions for each of the areas for Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced level students for reteaching, reinforcing and extending the skill.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Days 2-5, students learn the high-frequency words of how, make, of, some. In Day 2, the teacher introduces how, make, of, some. Students read each highlighted word. In Day 3, the teacher displays each high-frequency word and has a volunteer read the word, and then students spell the word. In Day 4, students read sentences that contain missing high-frequency words such as “The town has lots ___ land.” In Day 5, the teacher leads a review of high-frequency words which include the current week’s high-frequency words.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Days 1-4, students have three days to learn the consonant /th/ th. In Day 1, students learn /th/ and th through seeing the Sound/Spelling Card for th. Students learn to discriminate /th/ at the beginning of words and at the end of words. On Day 2, students learn /th/ th. Students learn the sound of /th/ and read words with /th/ th in them such as then, them, and this. In Day 3, students build words with th by changing out a single letter such as than to then to thin. In Day 4, the teacher reviews /th/ th with students.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 27, Days 1-5, students learn to read words with /ou/ ow, ou. In Day 1, students learn /ou/ ow, ou through seeing the Sound/Spelling Card. The image on the card is an owl. Students learn to discriminate /ou/ at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of words. In Day 2, student build spelling words that have /ou/ ow, ou such as how, down, and found. In Day 3, students build words with ou and ow such as loud, proud, crowd.In Day 4, students learn phonograms -out, -ow. Students decide if -out words rhyme and if -ow words rhyme. In Day 5, students learn phonograms of -own and -ound. The teacher builds a chart of words with -own and -ound. Students help place words into the appropriate category.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Grade 1 Storytown instructional materials do not meet the expectations for building students' knowledge and vocabulary to support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Criterion 2a - 2h

4/32
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Materials contain questions about key ideas and details, but do not include language, craft and structure questions. Questions are not presented in a coherent sequence. Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, year-long vocabulary development component. Materials partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. Opportunities for independent reading exist, but they are minimal and do not build students’ reading abilities or their knowledge base and vocabulary.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Each unit is organized around a central theme with a theme introduction entitled Build Theme Connections provided at the beginning rather than around topics. This section introduces the big idea or theme, and includes a poem and brief discussion. Unit themes are broad and do not focus on specific vocabulary or knowledge across daily lessons. Students are not supported in accessing texts and build conceptual knowledge throughout the five-week theme. The series of texts in each lesson are sometimes cohesive and related to the central theme, but there are limited opportunities embedded for students to build expertise on specific topics so that they can increase their knowledge and vocabulary.

Materials do not provide teachers with guidance to help connect the texts to broader concepts. Sufficient time is not always allotted for students to refine their knowledge in order to access and comprehend future complex texts proficiently.

Each Teacher’s Edition is divided into Themes, such as “Follow Me,” “One for All,” “Turning Corners,” “Wild and Wonderful,” “Where We Live,” and “New Places, New Faces.”

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

exts contain some questions requiring students to analyze key ideas and details, but do not provide students with frequent opportunity to study craft, structure and language. Students are asked questions during whole group instruction as the teacher monitors comprehension. Throughout the materials, students independently and as a whole group complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Grade 1 comprehension skills and strategies include, but are not limited to, cause and effect, story structure, using graphic organizers, problems and solutions, drawing conclusions, and making inferences. Though the questions are presented that ask students about language, key ideas, details, craft and structure, questions are not presented in a coherent sequence that would require students to analzye to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

  • In Theme 1, page T9, teachers are directed to “Have partners ask questions about other key details in the selections and work together to find the answers in the text” during the after reading component of the Lesson.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, page T45, students retell “Ten Eggs.” The students and teacher complete a graphic organizer by telling the order in which things occur within the story. The teacher works with the students to complete the flowchart.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, page T286, the teacher creates a chart with the following story titles as headings: “A Nut Falls,” “Whose Garden Is it,” “Plants Can’t Jump,” and “Ugh! A Bug!” The students write several details from each story under the correct heading.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 22, page T356, students recall the story “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” from the Read-Aloud Anthology. Students apply their knowledge of problem/solution by completing page 27 of the Practice Book.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 24, page T508, students make inferences. The teacher reads aloud the paragraph under Comprehension Strategy on page 232. The students work together to fill in the clues chart as they read “Mystery of the Night Song.”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain 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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria that materials contain 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.

Although text based questions do appear in the materials throughout the themes and lessons, there is lack of evidence that supports text-dependent questions systematically guiding students in extracting key meanings or ideas in the texts. The sequence of questions is sporadic and does not build towards a more coherent understanding and analysis.

Questions do not require the students to interact with the text supporting the student’s analysis of knowledge and ideas. Materials do not consistently guide teachers to support students’ literacy skills through complex text and building knowledge. There is a lack of text dependent questions as the questions require generalizations, predictions, and checks for comprehension.

The following questions do not require an analysis of ideas to complete:

  • In Theme 3, Comprehension, Day 1, p. T142, the teacher is directed to “Ask children how they think Squeak and Pepper helped the other animals.”
  • In Theme 5, Comprehension, Lesson 24, Day 1, p. T496, the teacher is directed to, “have children draw a picture that illustrates the part of the story that shows how thankful the shoemaker and his wife were to the elves.”
  • In Theme 5, Comprehension, Lesson 24, Day 4, p. T542, the teacher is directed to “Guide children to describe how the illustrations contribute to the text.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 15, Page T226: Monitor Comprehension questions, the students answer the following questions: “What is the red bucket on? Do you have a quilt on your bed? What does it look like?”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 30, Page T482: Read Aloud, the teacher is directed to invite pairs of students to try reciting their favorite page of the story and to encourage them to substitute their own words for words that they can’t recall.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Page T504, After Reading, The teacher talks about the humor in “The Trial of the Stone.” Then, he or she asks students if they have heard similar stories.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria 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, listening).

Each Theme has a big idea that aims to tie the unit together. Texts and discussions, directly or loosely, connect to the big idea. Each Theme also includes a Theme Project. Theme Projects do not consistently integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening, nor do they require close reading and comprehension of the texts read. Question sets that accompany texts within the Theme do not support students in integrating skills required for the Theme Project. For example:

  • In Theme 3, Theme Wrap-up and Review, Page T558, students add facts such as, that fact that plants need water to grow. Students recall that a plant begins as a seed, and it must grow new parts such as leaves and stems to become a plant. This task does not require an integration or building of skills.
  • In Theme 2, Teacher’s Edition, Page T568, Theme Wrap Up and Review, students make connections by identifying characters and story events. The teacher leads a discussion on which story best shows characters that work together and in what way is that shown. Students share and compare ideas.
  • In Theme 6, Teacher’s Edition, Page T560, Theme Wrap Up and Review, students make connections by identifying characters and story events. The teacher leads a discussion on which character a student would want to meet in the story and why.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Some vocabulary is repeated in various contexts (before texts, in texts, etc.) and across multiple texts. Some attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high value academic words, but the teacher will need to rework some lessons to assure this happening over the school year. Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, year-long vocabulary development component. Some examples of vocabulary work in the materials include:

  • In Theme 4, Lesson 14, page T213, the teacher monitors progress of Robust Vocabulary on pages 528 – 529. The teacher is not provided with direct instructions on a task to build students’ word development.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 17, Page T 393, teachers use photo cards to support word meanings.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 27, Page T257, teachers use the Robust Vocabulary words in student – friendly explanations, and the review the words through discussing ideas.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 28, Build Robust Vocabulary, Listening/Speaking, Review, Reinforce Meanings, the teacher is provided with the following questions to ask students: If you are properly coloring a picture of the sun, are you using vibrant colors or dull colors? If you arrived at school and found out that you had numerous tests to take, would you be excited? Why or why not? If a familiar movie star were planning a visit to your house, would you anticipate his or her arrival? Why?”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 29, Page T431, Build Robust Vocabulary, Listening/Speaking: Words from the Read-Aloud, Review Robust Vocabulary, Use Vocabulary In Different Contexts, the teacher reminds students of the Student-Friendly Explanations of “wriggle,” “prickly,” and “interested.” The teacher guides students to develop their vocabulary by discussing the meanings of these words. Then, the teacher asks students the following questions to engage them in these concrete experiences regarding the word “wriggle”: “How would you wriggle out of a shirt that is too small for you? Beside worms, what else might wriggle in the dirt? What animal might be able to wriggle out of your hand?”

Indicator 2f

Materials contain a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Writing instruction spans the whole school year, but materials do not always align to the standards for the grade level throughout the school year. This includes news (shared writing), poems (shared writing), story response (shared writing), and personal narrative (independent writing). There are language arts and shared writing connections that include listening, speaking, and words from the library books and interactive questions. Writing instruction does not support student growth in writing skills over the course of the school year and is disconnected from the context or theme within the lesson. Students utilize a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing that does not always narrate a single event or events. Examples include:

  • In Theme 5, Lesson 19, Suggested Lesson Planner, p. T26, a sequence of writing lessons including modeled writing, shared writing, and independent writing is listed under step 3.
  • In Theme 2, Teacher’s Edition, Lesson 6, Page T529, students record their reflections and tell what they like to do at their special place.
  • In Theme 6, Teacher’s Edition, Lesson 27, Page T271, students write a book review about the story that they just read. Students discuss the book review and track the print.
  • In Themes 9 and 10, the “At a Glance” Card includes the following examples:
    • Lesson 25-26: Friendly Letter
    • Lesson 27: Invitation
    • Lesson 28: Thank You Note
    • Lesson 29-30: Personal Narrative

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

There is evidence of students participating in shared research and writing projects. Projects support the topics of each theme in a sequenced way. The progression of research skills do not seem to build on each other and are disconnected. The only skills developed seem to be with speaking and listening as children are required to perform more difficult tasks in front of their peers. The projects represent a way for teachers to anchor the new theme and as an end cap for each unit to close the unit work out rather than capture skills mastered and knowledge learned. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Theme Project, Self-Portrait, p. T18, the objective is “to create a collage that reflects each child’s individuality.”
  • In Theme 3, Theme Project, Fact Forest, p. T18, the objective is “To research information and demonstrate learning through construction of a fact forest.”
  • In Theme 3, Theme Project, Theme Wrap-Up and Review, p. T558, the teacher is directed to “Review the pictures children made and their facts with the class. Then encourage children to add new facts they have learned during this theme.”
  • In Theme 5, Theme Project, Community Map, P. T18, the objective is “To create a community map that shows what can be found in a community.”
  • In Theme 5, Theme Wrap-Up and Review, p. T562, the teacher is directed to “Review the community maps with children. Have them assess their own work by describing what they learned…"

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria 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.

Opportunities for independent reading exist, but they are minimal and do not build students’ reading abilities or their knowledge base and vocabulary. Throughout the lessons, there is evidence of students reading with recordings and reading and responding in literacy centers. Students are expected to develop fluency by listening to familiar stories and reading them aloud. Documentation of student reading is not evident.

  • In Theme 3, the At-a-Glance fold out in the front of the book for each week provides three books for each week: Get Started Story, Main Selection, and Paired Selection. These books align with the Theme. There is no specific instruction for students to interact with the texts independently.
  • There is no plan for accountability for students’ independent reading.
  • Each Theme contains suggested titles for additional related reading by “Easy, Average, Challenge”; however, teachers are not given suggestions on how to set up the classroom library or how to help students select an independent reading book in the teacher edition.
  • Each anchor text has “Options for Reading” suggesting that below-level students read in small group, on-level students read in whole group or with a partner, and advanced students read independently.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

null
0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
0/2

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
0/2

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
0/2

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
0/8

Indicator 3f

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. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
0/2

Indicator 3g

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.
0/2

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
0/2

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
0/2

Indicator 3j

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.
0/0

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
0/8

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
0/0

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
0/2

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
0/2

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
0/0

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
0/10

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
0/2

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly 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.
0/4

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
0/2

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/2

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0

Indicator 3s

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.
0/0

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
0/0

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Thu Apr 12 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2008

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Storytown Student Edition Level 1-1 Grade 1 Spring Forward 978-0-1534-3168-5 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Zoom Along Level 1-2 Grade 1 Zoom Along 978-0-1534-3169-2 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Reach For/Stars Level 1-3 Grade 1 Reach for the Stars 978-0-1534-3170-8 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Make Your Mark Level 1-4 Grade 1 Make Your Mark 978-0-1534-3171-5 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Watch This! Level 1-5 Grade 1 Watch This! 978-0-1534-3172-2 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Teacher's Edition Level 1-1 Grade 1 Spring Forward 978-0-1535-3662-5 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Teacher's Edition Zoom Along Level 1-2 Grade 1 Zoom Along 978-0-1535-3663-2 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Teacher's Edition Reach For/Stars Level 1-3 Grade 1 Reach for the Stars 978-0-1535-3666-3 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Teacher's Edition Make Your Mark Level 1-4 Grade 1 Make Your Mark 978-0-1535-3667-0 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Teacher's Edition Watch This! Level 1-5 Grade 1 Watch This! 978-0-1535-3670-0 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Storytown Reading Adventure Teacher Support Book Grade 1 978-0-5476-8563-2 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Storytown Reading Adventure Student Magazine Grade 1 978-0-5476-8584-7 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

The publisher has not submitted a response.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the rubrics by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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