Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 9-12 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the 9-12 materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
33
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

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 1. The materials include texts that are of high quality and provide students the opportunity to read deeply and broadly across multiple genres and text types, and support access to increasing rigor and challenge over the course of the school year. Most questions and tasks are text-based as well as are the majority of written and spoken student tasks. Students have opportunities to learn and practice varied writing modes in different lengths, both on-demand and via process writing. The materials partially meet the expectations of supporting the language demands of the grade.

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.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials include texts that are of high quality and provide students the opportunity to read deeply and broadly across multiple genres and text types, and support access to increasing rigor and challenge over the course of the school year. Materials partially meet the expectations for anchor texts and series of texts connected to them being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are written by well-known writers/authors. The texts provide high interest, relevant, and current topics appropriate for the grade level that encompass multiple universal and multicultural themes relevant to the units’ topics. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students read The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson. This text is an engaging and mature narrative of a slave boy taught as a wealthy white child would be as an experiment. During the Revolutionary War the owners turned on the boy and his family. The Pox Party is Volume 1 of a series that accounts this painful experience.
  • In Unit 1, students read a text set that includes texts such as the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America, “A Kind of Revolution” by Howard Zinn, “A Nation of Law” by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, “What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?” by Frederick Douglass, Scott v. Sandford: Opinion of the Court by C.J. Taney, Plessy v. Ferguson: Opinion of the Court by J. Brown, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education: Opinion of the Court by C.J. Warren. These texts are important historical texts that are both engaging and high quality.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley.
  • In Unit 2, students read They Had a Dream: Civil Rights Struggle from Frederick Douglass...Malcolm X, an epoch biography published in 1996 by Puffin Books.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Road to Equality: American Women Since 1962 by William H. Chafe, an already published text as the tenth book in the Young Oxford History of Women in the United States.
  • In Unit 2, students read "Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez" by Rudolfo Anaya. Published in 2000, this is a poem modeled after Percy Shelley’s "Elegy on the Death of Jack Keats".
  • In Unit 3, students read Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American work by Zora Neale Hurston. The text is full of rich dialect and robust characterization as well as descriptive symbolism and metaphor
  • In Unit 3, students read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan has an engaging plot that students will find not only relatable, but also learn from as they encounter rich vocabulary.
  • In Unit 4, students read The Economics of the Super Bowl by Lizann Flatt, The Story of Starbucks by Sara Gilbert, and The Story of Google, by Adam Sutherland; all engaging topics for high school students.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials reflect a balance of informational and literary reading selections. Teachers have a variety of options from which to select what material students read together in the class. Similarly, students have a variety of choices on what to read independently.

The materials include core texts that teachers use for instructional shared reading. In addition, there are a variety of anchor texts for teachers to use as read alouds and/or experts as shared reading in the classroom. There are a few short stories available in the texts provided.

The reading materials for Grade 11 include a variety of text types, including Autobiography, Biography, Drama, Economics, Guide, Historical Fiction, History, Investigation, Personal Viewpoint, Realistic Fiction, and Science.

Literary texts include, but are not limited to:

  • City of Orphans by Avi
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curti
  • Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
  • The Secret LIfe of Bees by Sue Kidd Monk
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • ...and The Earth Did Not Devour Him/...y No Se Trago la Tierra by Tomas Rivera

Informational texts include, but are not limited to:

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • “Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez” a poem by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders by Susanne Alleyn
  • To The Mountaintop by Charlayne Hunter-Gault
  • All the People: Since 1945 by Joy Hakim
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Enrenreich
  • The Story of Google by Adam Sutherland
  • Business Without Borders: Globalization by David Andrews

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials are designed for schools to determine which units they want to teach at which point in the school year. ARC Core has its own readability system (Independent Reading Level Assessment - IRLA), and, when cross-referenced with Lexile scores, the majority of texts align with the recommended Lexile grade bands.

Core texts for Grade 11 students fall within the recommended measurement levels. Texts that fall below the recommended grade band serve as informational resources or mentor texts for the unit task; texts which are quantitatively lower are typically paired with more rigorous texts. Grade 11 materials utilize multiple primary source texts, as well as renowned texts that are appropriate quantitatively and qualitatively. Examples of texts that fall below the recommended quantitative band, but are still appropriate include:

  • The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson, with a Lexile score of 1060L, is Young Adult historical fiction recommended for Grades 9 and up and is the first CORE text read in the unit. Qualitatively, the scope is immense in both its technical challenges and underlying intellectual and moral questions. Students will need background information on the Revolutionary Boston in order to understand the story.
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, with a Lexile score of 1120L, is a memoir about the growth of the Black Muslim American Movement. Because of the content, strength of diction, and the content, it is appropriate for this grade.
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, with a Lexile score of 930L, features contexts and storylines consistent with an adult novel, and thus must be scaffolded with instruction. The content and style of writing, memoir/vignettes, connect to the theme of the unit.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

The materials provide a wide variety of texts that are both grade-band appropriate, as well as leveled ancillary texts that support the theme while helping students to continue to build their literacy skills. Students develop increasingly sophisticated writing skills over the course of the year as they use the texts from the unit as mentor texts for their culminating project. The materials' inquiry through apprenticeship process moves students through a gradual release model where the teacher models a variety of literacy skills and methods while working with students to build knowledge, to provide them the opportunity to practice those skills in a carefully scaffolded setting, and to eventually demonstrate their skills independently.

The program follows a pattern for all grade levels:

  • Unit 1 is a Literacy Lab where students are introduced to the program's structure. Students begin their year with core literary and informational texts referred to as “hook books”-- grade level texts that are high-interest and paired to build knowledge and engage students in topics that will provide a foundation for literary and informational text analysis conducted through both discussion and writing. During Unit 1, students also undergo initial assessments with the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) to determine instructional supports that may be needed and to help determine appropriately-leveled books for daily reading in self-selected texts. Students set goals with their teacher based upon their reading skill level to demonstrate their ability to read increasingly more complex texts and to write with greater sophistication. In this unit, students work with the Core fiction text, the paired informational texts, and their self-selected independent reading texts to build core analytical reading skills of theme, literary elements, authors (and bias), genres, and world knowledge. The unit is divided into weeks beginning with Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community and Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting during which students analyze “What did the author say? Why?” through the specific learning targets: “Generate hypotheses on an author’s theme(s), determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies, analyze how an author’s word choices shape a text, and analyze the impact of specific word choice (figures of speech) on meaning, tone, and theme.” In Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/Building Expertise, students shift to analyze author’s craft and the learning target: Evaluate and critique authors. Students practice evaluating author’s purpose in both literary and informational texts and write a literary essay.
  • Unit 2 is an informational research lab that focuses on the Civil Rights Era as students work entirely with informational texts to progress through two phases of research: Phase 1: Develop Expertise in Research Topics & Central Idea/Key Details and Phase 2: Research-Based Informational Writing. Phase 1 covers four weeks during which students “build knowledge in order to determine appropriate research topics” by analyzing different aspects of determining a central idea when reading informational text. All in-class reading comes from the Core informational text and the Research Lab books. Throughout Unit 2, students work to build skills to read and deeply analyze informational text, including:
    • Identification of the central idea of the text
    • Analysis of how the author develops the central idea over the course of the text
    • Identification and linking of key details and supporting ideas to the central idea of the text

Students also work to develop their own piece of informational writing using mentor texts. Within their writing they learn to:

    • Develop a central idea with a focus on word choice (including an understanding of connotation vs. denotation)
    • Appropriately incorporate figurative language into their writing to add depth and texture to their writing
    • Work through the writing and revision process
    • Prepare visuals, edit, publish, and present their work
  • Unit 3 is a genre study focusing on modern American historical fiction. Throughout the unit, students develop their literary analysis skills through:
    • Character-theme analysis, setting-theme analysis, and plot-theme analysis
    • Identification of factual elements and fictional elements of the story and how to determine when something has been fictionalized
    • Examining why this time and place was chosen by the author and what they want the reader to know and learn about the events and setting
    • Researching the actual historical events portrayed in the fictional pieces to learn how this research can enhance their understanding of the text
    • Compare characters across texts to see how various authors developed and used characters in the historical setting and context
    • Compare across multiple texts how authors used historical facts and the levels of accuracy, the quantity, worthiness of inclusion, and scope of the facts incorporated into the texts

Midway through the unit, they begin work on a historical fiction writing of their own as well as a short story using the historical fiction texts from the unit as mentor texts.

  • Unit 4, an argument research lab, focuses the topic of economics. Argumentative writing and research are the primary focus as students read increasingly complex texts as they begin working through a series of eight research tasks/questions that guide students as they prepare to compose their own argument piece. These tasks/questions guide the students as they read the unit’s texts, conduct research, and are designed to bring coherence to their writing. The research tasks/questions include:
    • Capitalism: Make a timeline of your product/service.
    • Goods and Services: Describe your product/service and propose a new innovation to it.
    • Innovation: Describe the role of innovation and entrepreneurship associated with your product/service.
    • Production: Explain the production history of your product/service.
    • Distribution: Explain the distribution channels of your product/service.
    • Capital: Describe how capital is used by, invested in, or generated by your product/service.
    • Consumption: Describe the marketing and consumption of your product/service.
    • Regulation: Explain how the production, distribution, and/or consumption of your product/service has been regulated.

Throughout all units, students receive instruction that meets the needs for remediation, growth, and challenge and are monitored closely to assure growth in reading, writing, speaking/listening, and literacy skills.

Indicator 1e

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.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the expectations for anchor texts and series of texts connected to them being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

Only the core texts that are provided by the publishers are accompanied by a rationale. The materials assign grade level core and accompanying texts based on the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) system that considers quantitative and qualitative text complexity.

The materials provide a color coding system for supplementary text that is found at the beginning of each unit (p. 30). This system provides a taxonomy of reading levels and corresponding colors at each level. This information is a guide for teachers in the use of reading baskets for the 100-Book Challenge reading activities for each unit. Resources at the end of each unit (p. 359) list the color coded levels for each “Hook Book” in the series. A one-page guide, “Text Complexity and Title Selection” provides short rationales for how the publisher determined text complexity, the process for selecting paired core texts, and the requirements for Core Novels and Core Informational Text is also provided at the beginning of each unit (p. 50).

A text complexity analysis and qualitative information for the core and anchor texts is included with the materials. Qualitative information is included outlining the placement, including purpose and structure description, some language description, and an overview of knowledge demands.

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the expectations for anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts to achieve grade level reading.

Students are asked to read 100 books during the year and to participate in the 100 Book Challenge, which includes reading independently for 30 minutes a night. The instructional materials provide daily opportunities for students to read a variety of texts in and out of class, in order to become better independent readers. Core and accompanying texts, as well as the leveled library texts, encompass a diversity of topics in history, culture, science, technology, politics, geography and current social issues. Most core texts in each unit are within or slightly above the recommended grade level band; however, the independent reading libraries are leveled, so that students can practice and build reading skills at their individual reading levels as indicated by the publisher’s IRLA leveling system.

The daily and weekly components of lesson plans contain high expectations for a range of reading tasks. Students read a substantial volume of literary and informational texts across each unit. Literacy blocks are designed around a variety of reading tasks such as reading and discussing, a Readers’ Workshop piece in which students apply reading strategies to text they’ve read, as well as allotted time for independent reading from self-selected texts. Each unit includes a roster of lesson components with times allotted to each component, organized by 75-90-minute or 120-minute blocks. Each literacy block establishes a weekly goal of 5 hours of student reading. This includes “some time spent reading texts within the Thematic Unit and some time in complete free-choice.”

In Unit 1, students read/write/discuss the CORE complex text for 20-35 minutes a day (Time ranges vary intentionally. Depending on the lesson and student energy, teachers may spend more time writing or more time reading.) The goal is to finish the CORE novel in 5 weeks. Students read independently for 35-45 minutes a day applying the day’s “Focus” to self-selected texts at a variety of levels. At least a portion of this time is spent with texts within the Thematic Unit.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

Most questions and tasks are text-based as well as the majority of written and spoken student. Students have opportunities to learn and practice varied writing modes in different lengths, both on-demand and in process. The materials partially meet the expectations of supporting the language demands of the grade.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent, 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; this may include work with mentor texts as well).

Materials for the literacy and research labs across all four modules provide an inquiry-based structure for students to engage with informational and literary texts directly. Teachers are provided discussion starters, key questions, writing prompts, graphic organizers, and instructional support tasks for students to collect and analyze textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. All the questions are text-dependent and specific to the genre type of reading that students are engaged with. The directions for teachers set the focus and purpose for reading, so students are prepared to discuss text-dependent questions. Students are asked to work in small groups or partners first, then questions are discussed with the whole group.

The questions are not text-specific, but are text-dependent. The publisher is transparent about the philosophy to build students’ “habits of mind” by providing a framework of inquiry; instead, the reading/writing questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks follow a general format that is designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels. Each of the four units per grade level provides a uniform set of text-dependent questions for the Core Text for that unit. Questions require students to read closely and to make inferences drawing on textual evidence. Teachers and students have reading choices within the four units, and text-dependent questions may be universally applied to texts throughout the school year. The materials specify that teachers decide when and how to use text-dependent questions. Moreover, the materials provide example questions to support the process and prompt teachers to create text specific questions, as well.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students are asked to read like a literary critic while reading informational text. In Day 1, students read complex text from the Informational Core Text. Following the second read, students work with a partner to answer text-dependent questions from four areas: "Basic Comprehension: What did the author say? Purpose/Agenda/Theme: Why did they say it? Craft/Structure: How did they say it? Reader Response: What did the author say? Why? How? How did it affect me? What new knowledge did I get from this? What questions do I have? What confused me? What did I love/hate?" In Week 4, students are asked to read like a literary critic by focusing on figures of speech. Teachers select an appropriate passage from the text and prompt students to answer questions such as: "What phrase is a figure of speech? What do you think this phrase might mean? Why do you think the author uses this figure of speech?"
  • In Unit 2: Informational Research Lab - Civil Rights Era, Week 3, Day 2, students read informational text to analyze organizational structure and how it develops the main idea. After close reading together and following a guided practice discussion led by the teacher, students write to the following questions: "What is the central idea of the text? How does the author develop this central idea over the course of the text?" Students are directed to follow a checklist to help answer the questions. In Unit 2, Week 8, Day 5, students participate in a Reader’s Workshop. Independent reading directions instruct students to “notice the variety of visuals an author uses and how the author uses the visuals to convey information. Pick one visual you think you might want to emulate in your text. Be ready to explain what information it communicates and why you like it.” After reading, students share with a partner based on the question, “What kinds of visuals did you find while you were reading?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, teachers are directed to set the learning goal for the day as follows: “Today we will begin our study of literary elements. By the end of today, you will be able to identify and analyze the setting of this novel and its various levels and dimensions” (p. 49). Students are asked prompts including: "What is the setting of this book so far? Why do you think it will matter to the story? What evidence from the text best supports your answer? What generalizations can you make about settings in this genre? How might setting be important to this genre as a whole?" (p. 49).
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 2, the lesson objective is to analyze clear and logical organization of an informational text in order to see how to organize their own writing. During a guided practice while close reading, students are asked: “Knowledge: How does the author organize his/her argument? Which organizing structure(s) does s/he use? Analysis: What is the purpose of each paragraph in the argument? How does this paragraph fit into the organizing structure of the argument? Why do you think the author grouped these specific pieces of evidence/reasons together into this paragraph?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

Daily, students read, write, and discuss about texts guided by questions and tasks that are organized for students to gather details or to practice skills needed for the culminating task. Culminating tasks, which are generally smaller weekly tasks as well as significant writing pieces or presentations provide opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and ability of what they have learned. Generally, tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to craft an essay, report, debate, narrative, or dramatic interpretation. Tasks are supported with coherent sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks.

  • In Unit 1, students read their paired core texts, The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson and an exemplar text pack on the Constitution, as well as selected independent texts for study to build their stamina for reading and text analysis skills to “read and write like an expert.” The introductory materials outline the unit framework and the sequence of student study. Each week builds student skill in analyzing informational and literary texts. For five weeks, students read literary and informational texts to analyze for theme, word choice, and figurative language while writing Constructed Responses related to the weekly topic. In Week 6 students begin writing a literary analysis essay directly related to the literary elements and the reading and discussions from previous weeks of study.
  • In Unit 2, students continue building reading and text analysis skills as they study the Civil Rights era through informational texts. The introductory materials outline the unit framework and the sequence of student study which is guided by seven sequenced research questions that help students study about a historical figure’s impact, organizational membership, connection to social issues, and government ties. The introductory materials also state that students “build Speaking, Listening, and Language facility as they collaborate, analyze, and debate across each day” and that the Research Labs integrate “Content & Language Arts Learning into One Seamless System” where the culminating task “requires proficiency in BOTH Reading (RI.2/5) and Writing (W.2) Standards.” Building to the culminating tasks occurs through reading class and independent texts. Students are asked text-dependent questions such as, "What is the author’s main idea in this text? How does the author support this main idea with key details? How does the structure of the text relate to the author’s central idea? How do the text features clarify or confuse the organizing structure?" Students write about these types of questions first and then share their thinking with a partner or small group. Students spend five weeks using readings and their own research to write about and discuss research questions/topics that build to the culminating research-based informational book.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2, students use Toulmin’s Argument Framework to support a claim made in argumentative writing. Students engage with a series of text-dependent discussion questions to prepare them for supporting a claim with text evidence including: "Which event (or person) was the most important in starting the American Revolution?" Students also respond to a series of questions associated with developing arguments including: "Who learned something really interesting? What reasoning and piece of text evidence supports your opinion? Who learned something really important? What makes it important? What reasoning and piece of text evidence supports your opinion? Who found an example of an author stating an opinion/making a claim? Did the author provide evidence or reasoning to support this claim? Who found an issue/controversy related to our Unit?"

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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.

The instructional materials set the expectation that students will talk daily with peers about what they are reading. In each lesson, students discuss text-dependent questions. In addition, the instructional materials provide protocols and steps for partner, small group, and large group discussions in which students communicate with peers around shared texts and independent reading selections. CCSS Speaking and Listening standards are highlighted within instructional materials, including the use of Accountable Talk methods, sentence stems, and rubrics for reflecting on discussion. Lessons prompt teachers to model patterns for daily practices that establish student discussion routines. Teachers are given strategies and tips on how to address struggling students’ needs.

Instructional materials and supports provide grade level appropriate opportunities for student discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. While addressing key concepts of the embedded research questions, students are frequently prompted to re-read texts to identify technical vocabulary and to share definitions and examples with a partner. The materials prompt teachers to have students highlight high-leverage vocabulary during group share and provide lesson call outs that highlight how lessons are designed intentionally to support and to enhance the oracy and literacy skills of all students, including English language learners at all levels of language proficiency.

The Unit 1 Scope and Sequence document of the ARC Core Overview outlines Speaking and Listening task across all 4 units, specifically:

  • Speaking & Listening #4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Speaking & Listening #5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
  • Speaking & Listening #6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, students work in pairs and go back to the text to investigate for bias - instances where the author’s opinion/perspective influences what is in the text. Teachers are prompted to “[m]odel only as much as necessary; your goal is to get students excited to INDEPENDENTLY read for bias. The fastest way to do that is to get them practicing. Guide students to investigate using questions like: Author: Who wrote the text? What is his/her purpose? How is s/ he qualified to write about this topic? Is it related to his/her personal identity? Is it related to his/her field of expertise? How do you know? How could we find out?” (p. 22).

In Unit 3, Week 1, teachers model “Accountable Talk” as part of the partner share routine in which students participate daily. Instructional materials exhort teachers to “[s]pend extra time establishing this now. No matter how old your students are, explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly." As part of the Partner Share, students are instructed to “[t]ell your partner: which novel you will finish; what you noticed about the setting, characters, or plot that you think might be important and why; why this novel belongs in our genre study,” (p. 39 ). As part of the Discussion Group, students answer: Who learned something that will help us understand __(genre)__? Teachers are instructed to “[c]ollect what students share on community graphic organizers (e.g., “Key Characteristics of the Genre” chart),” (p. 39 ). Also, in Unit 3, there are “Conversational Moves” for students to use in their discussions (p. 43).

In Unit 4: Argument Research Lab - Economics, students research to prepare for a major debate at the end of the unit. While Accountable Talk is used in each lesson as students discuss their reading and writing, the instructional materials recommend practice sentence stems using academic, argumentative language for student debate and rebuttal. Examples include: "At this point I would like to raise some objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me. She feels that I have been ignoring _________. She says to me, '_________.' Yet some readers may challenge my view that________. After all, many believe that______. Indeed, my own argument that ___________ seems to ignore _________ and __________. Of course, many will probably disagree with this assertion that______."

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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.

The instructional materials provide opportunities for students to talk and to question peers and teachers about ideas, texts, research, analytical strategies, and writing throughout the year. Materials across all labs present discussion as a daily expectation, and at times a rubric is provided to evaluate or to structure discussion. Speaking and listening instruction that support student growth over the course of the school year is applied frequently and includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports (such as clear directions for implementation) for teachers. Most unit lesson structures provide opportunities for teachers to pose questions, model, and guide class discussion as well as opportunities for students to share with peers. Speaking and Listening activities that demonstrate student comprehension of the texts associated with daily lessons are linked to the readings and to larger projects. Speaking and listening work requires students to marshal evidence from texts and sources. Students are encouraged to work both independently and together in the creation of various artistic, spoken, written, and digital representations of information. Student discussions are often based on text-dependent questions where they must use textual evidence to support their answers. At the end of each unit, students are asked to present their compositions or learning products through speaking and listening.

In addition, the Teacher’s Edition of the Argument Research Lab, Unit 4, provides teacher guidelines to engage students in a debate that demonstrates student end-of-year proficiency in analyzing author’s argument and use of literary elements. Moreover, Accountable Talk structures are embedded within the materials as students employ academic talk through partner share, small group discussion, conferences, peer reviews, and whole class discussion. Throughout the debate process, students use the Toulmin’s Argument Framework to ensure that they provide both evidence and reasoning to support their claims.

In Unit 1: Week 3, Days 1-3, students have the opportunity to workshop with a peer a written piece in which they analyze word choice and use new vocabulary in their writing. Students are provided ample, relevant follow-up questions to guide their discussion around word choice, including: “Pick the three most important words used by the author and explain what role they played in shaping the text (Meaning? Tone? Theme?). Use evidence to support your answer.” Teachers are directed to share a teacher-written example or other model with students. After writing for 15-30 minutes, students read their pieces to a partner according to an Anchor Chart that outlines guidelines for peer feedback (See Wilhelm guide on following pages). Students share their writing with a partner by sharing:

  • 1. One thing I would keep is ___ because ___.
  • 2. I wonder what would happen if you add/move/change/delete ____ because ___. Group: Whose partner wrote something great?

Writing Focus #2 provides students with a choice of prompts (suggestions on following pages) to build writing engagement and provide opportunities to experiment with new vocabulary.

In Unit 2: Informational Research Lab-The Civil Rights Era, students complete the following tasks:

  • Partner Share: Share what topics they might research and why they might research it.
  • Group Share: Who learned something really interesting about our Unit? Who found an example of bias in one of the texts you read? Why do you think this is an example of bias? Add to class graphic organizers.
  • Discuss Text (Group Share): Which key detail BEST supports this central idea? Why?
  • Target Vocabulary and/or Text Structure: Highlight any high-leverage (tier 2) vocabulary (see “Which Words Do I Teach and How?”). How does s/he say it?
  • Compare/Synthesize Across Texts: How does this compare to what you already knew/ thought about...? How does this relate to what other authors have written about...?

In Unit 3, Week 1, students participate in “Accountable Talk” daily. The instructional materials direct teachers to model the expected routine. Directions state, “No matter how old your students are, explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.” Activities include:

  • Partner Share: Tell your partner • which novel you will finish. • what you noticed about the setting, characters, or plot that you think might be important and why. • why this novel belongs in our genre study.
  • Discussion Group: Who learned something that will help us understand __(genre)__?

Teachers are instructed to collect what students share on community graphic organizers (e.g., Key Characteristics of the Genre chart).

In Unit 4, Week 4, students research to write an argumentative essay. Each day during the Accountable Talk section, students share with a partner for 1 minute on the focus of the day (rhetoric, claim, etc.) then share out to the whole group something important they learned. This is considered a speaking activity and is connected to the research project of the student, but discussion is not the focus of this unit at the end of the year.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

The ARC Core framework sets the expectation that students will write daily and includes rubrics, guidelines, lesson structures, and prompts for writing. Each unit of the curriculum embeds a variety of writing types and genres to allow students to engage in a mix of both on-demand and process writing as well as to participate in individual teacher conferences about their writing. Students often have choices on what to write in response to their reading, such “Opinions about the Text (Opinion/Argument), Personal Connections to the Text (Personal/Nonfiction Narrative), and/or Creative Writing Inspired by the Text (Fiction Narrative).” Writing is done independently and collaboratively with frequent opportunities for students to share and review writing with peers.

Teachers are encouraged to use exemplar texts as models for students or model the writing type for students. Daily writing practice and quick writes on constructed responses typically build to a constructed response or weekly writing task that prepares students for a final writing project in each unit that requires students go through the phases of the writing process (drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). The ARC framework does not include digital resources as a tool for teachers and students to use when writing. However, it does use digital resources as a platform for publishing student work, such as Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, students analyze author’s purpose. Students are provided focus questions: "Why do you think the author wrote this book? How do you know? What connections can you draw between this purpose and the content and style of the text?" Students are directed to use the Toulmin Argumentative Framework, and teachers are asked to write a model in front of students, naming the moves you make as you write. Students then write for 15-30 minutes. Students then share their writing with partners, provide feedback, and some share with the group.
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Write like a Literary Critic: During this week students have the opportunity to revise and edit. They are to use the W.1 rubric to evaluate one of the literary critiques they have written during the past few weeks. Then, student share with a partner which points they think need additional work to earn a proficient score. After revisions, student show their partners how they strengthened their critiques.
  • In Unit 2, the sequence of writing tasks demonstrates evidence of using the writing process (multiple drafts, revisions over time, etc.) by requiring students to create a final writing project using a “research topic of his/her own choice and publish a final project.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 5, students complete a process writing task to write an introductory and concluding paragraphs of a literary analysis essay. After independent writing time, students edit and revise their writing after peer evaluations and/or one-on-one conferences with the teacher. These tasks are aligned with standards and are part of the larger instruction for a longer writing task.
  • In Unit 4, students write an argumentative essay on a researched issue in economics. To prepare for their argumentative essay on a contemporary issue during the unit, students engage in frequent writing tasks such as:
    • Week 1, Day 5, “Take a position. Write a short argument where you state your claim and support it with evidence and reasoning.”
    • Week 2, Day 2, Writing prompt: “Set a prompt that helps students deepen or clarify their learning about today’s Research Question and relates to the idea of point of view/perspective. Possible writing prompts (see right column for additional suggestions):
      • How has your perspective on _(Unit)__ changed since we began our study?
      • When the author writes ______, it makes me think he/she might believe __________.
      • The author included ________, so now I think that the author believes _______."
    • Week 4, Day 2, Writing Prompt: “What is the author’s purpose? What in the text supports your answer? What types of appeals does s/he use? Cite examples. What can you infer about the relationship between an author’s purpose and his/her choices in rhetoric?”
    • Week 6, Day 4, Modeling: “Think aloud as you reread your draft and then write a rebuttal.
      • Generate potential counterargument.
      • Fairly present that argument.
      • Argue why it is incorrect, point by point.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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. May include “blended” styles.

In the four units (Literacy Lab, Research Lab, Genre Study, Research Lab), students have multiple opportunities across the school year to focus on a variety of different types of writing, to learn from models, and to practice. Each unit at each grade level contains opportunities for students to both read, discuss, and write texts from different genres. Students write in a variety of modes using mentor texts. The final writing projects for each unit provide students options for publishing. During these writing experiences (formal writing, quick writes, constructed responses) students learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Throughout the ARC Core framework the teacher serves as a Writing Coach during student writing time, checking for understanding, observing students writing, and making sure students are making adequate progress. Teachers are provided monitoring prompts and activities for their PLC time with their colleagues, which guide them to monitor the progress of students' writing. Students are provided with rubrics and collaborative structures which provide them the opportunities to monitor their own progress. Writing prompts are connected to text as prompts, models, anchors, and support.

By the end of the year, students will have written a substantial composition across the three main writing types: informative, argumentative, and narrative in tasks that include literary analysis, debates, personal narratives, research reports, peer reviews, reader’s response journals, and more. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the instructional materials direct teachers to set a focus for writing to summarizing one of the texts read that day. Teachers are asked to show a model of student writing that would be considered an exemplar. If teachers cannot find an example of student writing from their responses to the Informational Core Text, then teachers should model writing enough of a response to ensure student success. Lesson plans for Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-3 establish student learning goals related to examining the functions of literary and informational text: “Last week, we analyzed the ways that real world knowledge is required to really understand and analyze complex literature. Today, we will focus on one of the primary ways readers build that knowledge: reading informational text.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students explore different informational text types for developing writing around science and social studies concepts. Student instructions are to choose "(pieces of) text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of that day’s Research Question. For example, when teaching Marine Life RQ #1 (Physical Characteristics), a text that explains the specific physical characteristics of sharks may be interesting, but not as useful as a text that introduces the important concepts of physical characteristics, behaviors, adaptation, advantage, survival of the fittest, etc.”
  • In Unit 3: Genre Study Lab-Modern American Historical Fiction & American History, students analyze and write to multiple texts in the historical fiction genre to compose analyses across multiple texts and write a model narrative in that genre. On Week 1, Day 1, materials prompt teachers to share the unit outcomes with students in which they will compose literary analysis pieces and model a historical fiction narrative. Teachers tell students: “We are going to spend the next nine weeks becoming experts in __(genre)__. In this Unit, you will:
    • Read, analyze, and write about one novel in this genre with the class.
    • Read at least four novels in the genre on your own.
    • Write four constructed responses and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre.
    • Write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.”

Students frequently write independently and collaboratively. During the first half of this unit, students perform literary analysis on multiple texts in the unit to prepare for the final analysis essay on themes across American historical fiction texts. The remainder of the unit follows a similar structure of individual and collaborative practice for a weekly writing prompt that prepares students for the two final writing pieces completed by Week 9 of the unit. Students are prompted to write an essay in which they make a claim based on the unit Core Text (Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club) and one of the historical fiction texts they read independently address a similar issue or theme. Finally, students will write their own model of a historical fiction narrative.

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, during the Research Writing part of the lesson, teachers are directed to set a focus and model to whole class, small group, or individual students as needed for the 15-30 minute independent writing writing portion of the lesson. As an example of specific monitoring as the ‘Writing Coach,’ that teachers perform while students work independently, teachers “Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class." Following the independent writing time, students have a Collaborative Writing task where they “review the written answers of all group members and then either nominate an individual answer or work together to combine their work into a new answer. Goal: The best possible answer to the prompt; better than the answer of the other groups” (p. 154). This is an example of how students monitor the progress of their own writing.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.

The instructional materials meet the expectations for frequent writing opportunities across every unit. Each unit prompts teachers to use the daily instructional model which includes generally 20-40 minutes of writing. Each day students identify text evidence to support various research questions across the year. Each inquiry-based unit is organized around a series of research questions that helps students become knowledgeable about a specific topic through reading a variety of texts on that topic. The program addresses research-based and evidence-based writing through whole class and independent tasks across every unit.

The materials require students to demonstrate sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis of text in a number of written tasks at each grade level and across units. Students receive comprehensive supports as they use textual evidence to craft arguments such as the use of exemplars, writing workshops, and teacher feedback as they move through the writing process. The supports are designed to engage students in careful analysis of text using clearly articulated arguments.

Throughout all units, students practice narrative, argumentative, and informational writing based on using evidence from texts. Unit 4, the argument research lab, specifically teaches students the Toulmin Argument Framework for supporting claims and rebuttals. Various graphic organizers and rubrics are provided to help students organize their writing.

During Unit 1, students write daily and teachers collect writing as baseline samples. By the end of Unit 1, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in response to text and writing like the authors they read. Students will take at least 2 pieces of writing through to publication (one narrative and one argument).

By the end of Unit 2, students will publish a well-researched informational text for a meaningful audience that demonstrates their expertise on a given topic (Grade 11 - The Civil Rights Era).

By the end of Unit 3, students will write four very short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in the genre study (Grade 11 - American historical fiction). Students will write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre of study.

By the end of Unit 4, students will write four very short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre. Students will also write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre of study (Grade 11 - Economics).

Other specific examples from units include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 1-2, students use the “CCSS W.1 Rubric for Proficient Answer” as they continue developing the unit’s writing project, a literary critique. The rubric offers guidance for evidence-based writing as they craft an argument: “Introduce a precise, knowledgeable claim that is debatable, defensible, narrow, and specific. Establish the significance of the claim.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 5, students look at what makes a good informational text. Student-facing directions inform students to “begin drafting your own informational book. This week, we will look closely at the work of professional authors (or former students who got As) to investigate the decisions authors make to craft great informational texts.” Students write in response to the mentor text and what was discussed in class. Teachers are instructed to model writing strategies based on what students noticed about the Mentor Text and to listen for items on the W.2 Rubric that prompted the most discussion. Prompts include, “Consider the following examples: I like the way the author uses an extended metaphor in this section, by using _____ as a way to explain _____. I liked the way the author anticipated counterarguments by examining the inefficacy of certain solutions.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students draft a comparative essay that requires them to apply all the skills from the previous 4 weeks to make a literary analysis claim about theme that is supported with evidence from two different texts. The writing process and supports help students write the essay with evidence-based claims.
  • In Unit 4: Argument Research Lab - Economics, students are instructed, “Today you will take a position on something you read and explain your reasons for taking that position. Your position is your opinion. Another word for this is 'claim.' Today you will each make a judgment claim. Judgment Claim: To evaluate the importance, worth, and/or significance of something.” In Week 3, Day 2, students are instructed, “Outline two conflicting viewpoints on the issue of _____. Use evidence from our Central Text and at least one other text to support your answer.”

Indicator 1n

Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.

The materials do not teach the language standards explicitly but rather integrate them into the reading and writing instruction. Students do have opportunities to practice and to apply grammar and conventions/language skills at grade-level in a variety of contexts; however, there is little evidence of direct instruction of these skills other than the modeling of grade-level writing conventions during the editing phase of the culminating task.

The language standards for word meaning and usage are included more frequently throughout the unit as students read and analyze texts. Students demonstrate their understanding in writing responses to questions and in the culminating tasks. Grammar and conventions are taught in a sequence consistent with the demands of the standards and are integrated with the reading and writing instruction. The materials provide opportunities for students to grow their fluency with these standards through practice and application. Across a school year, materials have students apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing. However, over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is not used in increasingly sophisticated contexts but rather within a framework structure. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, the instruction of the language standards is found mostly within the first 3 weeks of the unit and includes determining the meaning of words in texts; demonstrating an understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances; and identifying and correctly using patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech. The rest of the weeks use the language standards relating to literary devices, and determining author use and meaning created by devices such as euphemism and hyperbole. There is mention of conventions on a Writing Rubric for a Proficient Answer and while editing the final essay.
  • In Unit 2: Informational Research Lab - Civil War Era, “Technical Vocabulary” appears across the unit. In Week 1, Day 1, student facing instructions state, “As we research, we will encounter new vocabulary words. Words that are specific to our Unit and help us become experts on our Unit are called technical vocabulary words. You will each be responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. Today, as we read, I noticed the word _____. Everyone find that word. Which sentence or phrase in the text do you think best defines ___? Why? Who can define ___ in your own words?” Also in Week 1, Day 1, teachers are instructed to “model citing the source of your quote with title, author, and page number” and are provided with MLA examples for students. Week 2, Day 1 focuses on editing, which occurs across the unit as students write. Instructions read, “Students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. Hold students responsible for the following and nothing else:
    • Quotation marks indicate quotations.
    • Each note has a source cited beside it.
    • All abbreviations end with periods.

In Week 4, Day 2 (p. 163), teachers are provided a one-page guide on word choice that highlights a variety of parts of speech and figurative language for the week’s instruction on word choice in reading texts and writing. One example of a task is: “Have students work individually/in pairs/small groups to discuss a group of synonyms. Determine the denotation of each. What connotations does each word carry? How do the words differ from each other? In what situations would each be used?Rank the word on a continuum of positive/neutral/negative connotations.”

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. Teachers are directed to Introduce or to reinforce conventions as necessary, as well as to hold students responsible for proper citations (including underlining the book title, and use of quotation marks to indicate direct quotes. In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, editing instructions direct teachers to hold students responsible for punctuation: “Each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with an end mark (period, question mark, exclamation point);” “Book title is underlined;” “All abbreviations end with periods;” and citation: “Quotation marks indicate direct quotation. Each note has a source cited beside it.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 5, students are provided an editing checklist for self and peer review. The checklist includes:
    • Word Usage: First-, second-, or third-person narrator is consistent. Verbs agree with nouns and pronouns. Verb tense is consistent.
    • Sentence Structure: There are no sentence fragments. There are no run-on sentences. The sentences used are varied in type.
    • Punctuation: Every sentence ends with an end mark (. ? ! ). Words in lists are separated by commas. Direct quotations are set up correctly. Apostrophes are used correctly.
    • Capitalization: Every sentence begins with a capital letter. The proper name of any person, place, or thing begins with a capital letter. Every major word in a title begins with a capital letter. “I” is capitalized.
    • Spelling/Usage: Every word is spelled correctly. Homonyms have been double-checked.

In this same lesson, the teacher is asked to use a student volunteer to model how a writer edits to make sure that: 1) First-, second-, and/or third-person narrator is appropriate and consistent; and 2) Verbs agree with nouns and pronouns. As appropriate, teachers are directed to review nouns, pronouns, and verbs. Students then read their work aloud to themselves or to a partner, and students work together to improve the grammar in their essays. Also within this lesson, student volunteers are encouraged to model how a writer edits to correct for sentence fragments and run-ons, and to ensure varied sentence structure. As needed, teachers are directed to teach students the four sentence types, to have students find examples in their reading and in their own writing of each sentence type; to help students identify and employ the use of simple and compound sentences; and to identify and employ the use of complex sentences. If appropriate, teachers help students to combine simple sentences and to embed clauses to improve their writing. As part of their Independent Writing, students read their work aloud either to themselves or to a partner, and students work together to improve the sentence structure in their essays.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Grade 11 materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are cohesively organized into sets and are engaged alongside a comprehensive writing and research plan. The partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks. Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

30/32
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Criterion Rating Details

The Grade 11 materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are cohesively organized into sets and are engaged alongside a comprehensive writing and research plan. The partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Materials 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). Materials 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.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently.

Each unit is centered around a topic and/or genre, and students build knowledge through inquiry via a variety of literary genres and different types of informational text. Each unit has a core text, anchor texts, and leveled libraries that students read focused around a particular genre. Students read, analyze, and write about a grade-level novel for each unit. Anchor texts are additional texts centered around the genre/topic. Teachers can use these as read alouds and/or copied excerpts for shared reading experiences. Leveled libraries also center around a genre and/or topic. Students read independently at least four novels in the genre, or about the topic, within each unit.

  • In Unit 1, the texts are part of the Literacy Lab, where instruction focuses on analysis of theme, interaction of individuals over the course of the text, structure of the text, and how multiple texts address a theme/topic. There is no topic for this unit, but the two texts chosen as core texts can be used to analyze those standards, and they fall within the appropriate grade band to build reading proficiency of complex texts: Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson and a Constitution Exemplar Pack as the paired informational text. The core texts are intended as whole group shared independent reading, while the additional texts are used as read alouds in class.
  • In Unit 2, the goal of the curriculum states, “The second Unit of ARC Core builds on the routines and engagement established in Unit 1 while adding a new layer: thematic inquiry into a Social Studies topic. As the class dives into [studying the Civil Rights Era] students will become an inquiry research community as they read, write, question, debate, and create knowledge together” (p. 30). Students read two classic literary nonfiction texts, Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. They are paired with nonfiction texts, Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deaveare Smith and They Had a Dream by Jules Archer. These core and paired texts build knowledge around the topic of the Civil Rights Era from memoir and informational text. All three of the texts are within the 11-12 grade band. The additional texts are informational texts and one collection of poems that provide context for the Civil Rights Era or a different Latino perspective (Under the Soprano Sky by Sonia Sanchez).
  • In Unit 3, students study the genre of modern American historical fiction as they learn about “the plots, characters, settings, and the inspiring events and the real-world problems that form the basis of the stories. They will consider questions like, ‘What does it mean to be an American?’ and ‘Is the American Dream real, and for whom?’ THey will learn how historical events relate to the genre, and will carry out research about interesting events in 20th century American life.”
  • During Unit 3, students will read the Classic and Paired Cores, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. From these texts, as well as books selected for independent reading from a Genre Library in which texts are organized by difficulty level, support them as they learn about the modern American historical fiction genre. Students select a minimum of 4 novels from the modern American historical fiction genre and must choose from at least 2 reading levels. Students read for 15-30 minutes during Independent Reading.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about the topic of economics, including economics concepts such as goods and services, entrepreneurship, production, capital, distribution, consumption/markets and regulation as well as where individuals fit in the economic chain as they trace a product or service through time and society. During Unit 4, students read the classic and paired core texts, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Enrenreich, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, and Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan. Students also select independent reading from a Genre Library in which texts are organized by difficulty level. Students select a minimum of 4 novels from among those selected for the unit, and must choose from at least 2 reading levels. Students read for 15-30 minutes during Independent Reading.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking 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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking 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.

The Literacy and Research Lab units are structured so that students engage with texts to build understanding through sequenced graphic organizers and question sets and to analyze all aspects of the Common Core Standards. Materials include coherently sequenced sets of of questions that teachers use for modeling and student practice around determining central idea, word study, author’s purpose, text organization, and other features. Questions are general for all units and provide a framework for teachers to build questions for individual texts. Most question sets are coherently sequenced and give students ample opportunity to analyze language and author’s word choice, key ideas and important details, author’s craft and structure, and other components of text.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-3 students are reading the informational core text. During the first read, they listen. During the second read, students answer a basic comprehension question, such as “What did the author say?”; A purpose question,” Why did he/she say it?”; A craft/structure question, “How did she/he say it?” Following these are reader response questions such as, “How did it affect me? What new knowledge did I get from this? What confused me?” The order in which these questions are presented build in complexity and are structured to help students make meaning of the text and topic.
  • In Unit 2: Informational Research Lab-The Civil War Era, students are instructed to use a central and supporting idea graphic organizer to collect and categorize key details and supporting ideas as they are uncovered in a text. Students start with supporting ideas by responding to prompts such as: Is the information in the text grouped into separate paragraphs/sections? If the central idea is explicitly stated, does it naturally break down into multiple sections? About key details, student prompts include: If the information is not grouped in paragraphs/sections, can the key details be categorized into groups that make sense? List all of the key details, organize them into categories that make sense, then name these categories.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students reading from the Informational Library. Student prompts include: "What have you learned so far? What about the novels we are reading might be true/factual? What makes you think that?"
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 2, the lesson objective is that students analyze clear and logical organization of an informational text in order to see how to organize their own writing. During a guided practice while close reading, students are asked a sequence of knowledge and analysis questions, including: "How does the author organize his/her argument? Which organizing structure(s) does s/he use? What is the purpose of each paragraph in the argument? How does this paragraph fit into the organizing structure of the argument? Why do you think the author grouped these specific pieces of evidence/reasons together into this paragraph?"

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The ARC Core framework is designed intentionally to be text-dependent rather than text-specific allowing teachers the freedom to select their own readings and related questions. No question is tied to a specific text, rather each unit is structured to take students through a series of research questions around chosen subtopic within the overall topic being studied, or a series of analysis questions related to standards. The publisher does offer one set of text-specific questions for the Unit 1 Core novel, but there are no other text-specific questions offered throughout the curriculum.

Most analytical questions and tasks within the lessons apply to individual texts; however, student discussion and graphic organizers help students cross-reference multiple texts to prepare for their unit tasks. With the exception of the research questions, all other questions and tasks are general, so that teachers and students can transfer them across any texts. Because of this, opportunities for students to analyze knowledge and ideas across specific texts is limited and little guidance is provided for how the texts may relate and would be left to the teacher to interpret. Additionally, teachers may need to create models and examples of well-crafted, text-specific questions to accompany the lessons.

Teachers are provided guidance on developing text-dependent questions on both literary and informational text. The introductory materials (pg. 27) contain a pre- and post-assessment framework in which students complete a constructed response assignment based on an informational text. Examples are offered such as “What is the central idea of the text?”

In Unit 1, text-specific questions for the book, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson, are included. The teacher guide provides support questions to be used "if necessary", including, but not limited to: "What does it mean that the men are 'lords of matter'? How do you know? How would you describe the relationship between Octavian’s mother and the men? Octavian and the men? What makes you say that? Reread the line on p.4: 'It is ever the lot of children to accept their circumstances as universal, and their particularities as general.' What does this line mean? In the context of the novel? How does it apply to you? What effect does the image of Bluebeard’s door and his dead wives have on you as a reader? Why do you think the author used it here in the first chapter?”

In the Genre Research Lab Unit 3, during the Week 1, Day 3 lesson, student answer the following series of questions about their shared reading text: “Who are the characters in this story so far? Have we been introduced to a protagonist and an antagonist? What other character types have we met so far? What is each of these characters like? What can you learn about each of these characters through his/her thoughts? Actions? Body language? Reactions to other characters? How does the author use events and/or dialogue to tell you about this character? How/why do you think these characters will matter to the story? What evidence from the text best supports your answer?” Next, as part of their discussion groups, students answer, “What generalizations can you suggest might be true about characters in this genre? What types of characters might be important to this genre as a whole? What makes you think that?”

Indicator 2d

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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).

The materials provide multifaceted, culminating tasks in which students are asked to demonstrate proficiency in multiple reading and writing standards. In the materials, students read, write, informally speak, and listen by participating in think-pair-shares and accountable talks, and by revising and editing drafts. Prior to writing formally in the unit culminating task, students read mentor texts and work collaboratively through activities and questions that provide opportunities to develop comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills. Throughout the program, “Teacher Work & Monitor for Engagement” directions prompt teachers to document and record their observations as students write and discuss as formative assessment evidence that informs their instruction and provides qualitative and quantitative information about student readiness to complete culminating tasks. Once students finish the final written culminating tasks they are given presenting/publishing options.

The introductory materials indicates in which units the reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards are addressed. While each unit focuses on a specific type of writing and may address certain reading standards aligned to that writing type, the materials indicate that the majority of writing, reading, and speaking and listening standards are addressed across all four units. Though each unit culminating task requires a significant piece of writing, the teacher can recommend how students will present their work such as peer reviews, oral presentations, slideshows, drama, blogs, debates, brochures, etc.

In Unit 1, the culminating task is a literary analysis essay on a specific topic. A few examples of supporting questions and tasks that integrate reading, writing, and discussion across the unit are:

  • Week 1 (p. 101): “Writing Focus: (Baseline) Constructed Response: Prove you’ve understood your book at a High School level by writing two things: a) an objective summary of the text so far. b) your hypothesis on what might be the author’s theme(s), based on the literary elements you’ve encountered.”
  • Week 2 (p. 179): "Write to Task/Prompt: Across the next two weeks, students write on a variety of prompts while they practice using the new vocabulary they are learning in their writing. Each day, choose 1-3 prompts that relate to the reading work in some interesting way (see Writing Prompts Suggestions after this lesson).”
  • Week 3 (p. 219): “Writing Focus #1: Pick the three most important words used by the author and explain what role they played in shaping the text (Meaning? Tone? Theme?). Use evidence to support your answer.”
  • Week 4 (p. 265): “Share the evidence/example(s) of paradox you flagged with a partner. Discuss what you think it means and how it helps develop the theme(s) of the book.”
  • Week 5 (p. 303): “Compose a review critiquing one of the novels you’ve read.”

Unit 2 builds student knowledge of significant people and their influence on the Civil Rights Era through a core informational text, recommended paired readings, and student selected texts. Each week, students study a different aspect of informational text analysis focusing on determining central idea and gathering evidence to support through questions and tasks that provide practice of the week’s focus of study. Students are also introduced to reading, discussion, and writing structures that will be used across the year. Daily lessons include close reading and teacher modeling of reading for a focused purpose. Students engage in prompted accountable talk about texts and write collaboratively or independently about texts through structured text-based questions and/or graphic organizers. For the culminating task, students will produce an informational book about a person who impacted the Civil Rights movement. Students spend time reviewing peer work and discussing their own before publishing their writing. Materials recommend various ways for students to publish their work such as a blog entry, school website, local periodical/newspaper, class-based media or newspaper, PowerPoint, or social media.

In Unit 3, students have a chance to present after finishing their comparative essays. Students are given several presenting options, from sharing with their partners to organizing an event to which parents and/ or community members are invited as the audience. Suggested options include:

  • "Peer Reviews: Ask students to read each other’s essays, sign their names to
    a list of readers, and make one or two positive comments about each essay.
  • Evaluation/Reflection: Have students reflect on their own writing and score it using the W.1 Rubric. Have them think about their goals for the next project.
  • Oral Presentation to Small Group: Each student plans and delivers an oral presentation on his/her topic to a small group.
  • Classroom Swap: Go to another classroom. Have each student read his/her essay to a student from the new classroom.
  • Fair/Museum: Have students plan displays and/or dress in costume and invite other students and/or families in for a visit. Final Projects can be on display or presented in small groups."

In Unit 4, students present a formal debate as one of their culminating projects. There are several formats students are provided to present their formal debate:

  • "Town Hall Meeting/Issue Debate Stage: A community (or classroom) forum on a heated topic that has emerged from the study of your theme.
  • Campaign Debate: Have two candidates/parties present their views on an issue raised during classroom debates.
  • Competition Debates: The debates described below are popular in high school debate. Each form has a proposition side (Affirmative or Aff) and an opposition side (Negative or Neg).
  • Team Policy Debate: Each side (affirmative and negative) is a team composed of two debaters.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate: L-D is a one-on-one debate.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Materials include a consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic and figurative language in context. Overall, students are provided support in accelerating vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading and speaking tasks.

In the ARC Core Framework, the foundation for studying language is a significant part of the Unit 1 Literacy lab designed to build student skills in determining word meaning, identifying denotation and connotation, studying word relationships, and analyzing figurative language in the context of literary and informational text.The IRLA toolkits guide students as they learn roots and affixes to support their ability to determine word meanings as they encounter unfamiliar vocabulary.

The Unit 1 materials provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, regularly-occurring vocabulary development component, including an emphasis on interaction with key academic vocabulary with and from a variety of text types. Students engage with new vocabulary and have frequent opportunities for practice in discussion and written work.

Students are provided frequent opportunities to identify and study unknown words and technical vocabulary from texts, using context clues. Additionally, there are lessons within the units where students analyze the purpose of author's word choice. There is a lesson in each unit providing an opportunity for students to use powerful language in their writing tasks. Teachers model and use academic vocabulary necessary for building literacy and analytical skills. Students discuss vocabulary in groups, utilize it in writing tasks, and track new words in a notebook regularly:

In Unit 1, Weeks 3 and 4 are devoted to analyzing word choice: denotative, connotative, patterns of word choice and figurative language, specifically figures of speech. This figurative language development is lengthy and strong in Unit 1; however, because the curriculum is a framework, the work of determining vocabulary is left to the teacher. It is expected in the curriculum that students continue to use these techniques and knowledge throughout the rest of the year.

In Unit 2, students extend their learning of language from Unit 1 to research informational texts and write an informational book. As students practice analyzing complex text and synthesizing information across texts, they also focus on author’s word choice, denotation and connotation, and figurative language. Lesson frameworks provide time for teachers to model and students to practice highlighting new words in texts, determining meaning, and understanding how those words impact the meaning of the text. Students also track their word learning in a notebook and the class maintains a glossary as a group. Though this occurs throughout the unit, Week 4 focuses on word choice and language in texts for students to model in their own writing. The following are a few examples of vocabulary tasks across the unit:

“Have students work individually/in pairs/small groups to discuss a group of synonyms:

    • Determine the denotation of each.
    • What connotations does each word carry?
    • How do the words differ from each other?" (p. 165)

“Evaluate the author’s word choices: What did you notice about his/her choices? Do they indicate any bias, either fair or unfair?:

    • Connect to the central idea: How do the author’s word choices help to develop the central idea?
    • RI.2 Rubric: Work with your partner and use the RI.2 Rubric to create a 7-point response.
    • Read like an Author: How might you imitate this in your own writing?” (p. 166)

In Unit 3, in the Modern American Historical Fiction and American History unit, there is a list of vocabulary words categorized by topics: Society, Conflict, Theme, Topics, Struggle for Rights, Literary Terms, Science, Politics. No other unit has this list. As students begin to write they are given a lesson on “powerful language” and engaging the emotions of the listener/reader; using their hearts to influence their heads. Following the lesson, students find examples of the author’s use of powerful language to appeal to their emotions, in their independent reading material.

In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 3, students focus on “powerful language.” Students are to look at choosing words to create emotional appeal. Students are instructed that ‘[w]hen selecting words, be careful you are clear on both the denotation and connotation of the words you use. Denotation: The literal, direct meaning of a word, as defined by the dictionary. Connotation: The secondary, implied meaning behind a word. Example: Seething, bristling, furious, rankled, and exasperated have the same denotative meaning: upset and angry. It is their connotations that change the meaning. A person might be exasperated if she cannot find a parking spot. She could be seething if she was fired without cause.”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year though engagement with texts. Each of the four units is built on a series of research questions that allow students to read, write, and discuss daily to develop substantive understanding of the texts and topics. Some of the topics covered in-depth are major American historical events, civil rights, and current issues in economics. Writing lessons and projects are authentically integrated with reading, speaking, listening, and language throughout the units providing students with a variety of tasks and prompts; however, the daily instructional model and unit structures are similar across units allowing students to understand the expectations and the process of writing across the year. Students learn and practice writing skills during the beginning of the units and then formally apply what they have practiced at the end of the units, writing formal pieces using the writing process.

The materials contain a year long, cohesive writing plan that engages students in the use of textual evidence to support analysis, arguments, and claims. Most of the writing tasks provide scaffolding for crafting strong and clear written pieces through the use of the writing process as well as teacher and peer feedback. Most written tasks require students to make meaningful connections between texts and their own writing. Writing instruction supports students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the year, and the instructional materials include a variety of guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Teachers are asked to model writing through think alouds and to use mentor texts as supports for student writing. Also, teachers engage in weekly PLC meetings to discuss the progress of student writing and are provided a variety of questions and activities to monitor writing.

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, teachers select passages from the Core novel or Core informational text that contain any euphemisms worthy of discussion to allow students to analyze author's use of euphemism and to discuss with a partner how euphemism helps to develop the themes of the text. Next in the lesson, students apply what they have read about and discussed in a constructed response using evidence from the text to support which figure of speech was the most important word choice the author made and why?
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, students explore text structures for their own writing by examining selected Mentor Texts. Students refer to multiple texts during this process and are asked to consider a multitude of text structures so they can better be equipped to write their own. Student prompts focus on knowledge, analysis, evaluation, and comparison across texts and include questions such as: "How does the author organize his/her ideas? Which organizing structure(s) does s/he use? What is the purpose of each paragraph in the text? How does this paragraph fit into the organizing structure of the text? Why do you think the author grouped these specific supporting ideas/ details together into this paragraph? Is the organization clear and logical? Why or why not? What could the author have done to improve the organization of this text/section? Compare and contrast the organization of these texts. How are they all similar? Which one is the most effective? Why? How could you imitate this in your own writing?"
  • In Unit 3: Genre Study Lab - Modern American Historical Fiction & American History, after analyzing multiple texts such as the Core Text The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, students spend week 5 and 6 drafting a comparative essay on their Core text and one other they have read. In Week 7, students do quick writes to practice fiction writing and in week 8 and 9 students draft, revise, publish, and present their own historical fiction narratives. Throughout the unit, students write analytical responses to the texts they are reading and share their writing with peers for feedback. The unit also includes teacher modeling of writing types and building narratives.
  • In Unit 4: Argument Research Lab - Economics, after practicing writing different types of claims and supporting or refuting those claims, students spend weeks 6 and 7 drafting and revising their own argumentative essay that requires them to use evidence collected from their readings. During Weeks 8 and 9, students publish and present their arguments through a debate or mock trial. Throughout the unit, students write analytical responses to the texts they are reading and share their writing with peers for feedback. The unit also includes teacher modeling of writing types and building arguments.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Over the course of the year, the four units of the ARC Core Framework require students to explore ideas and gather information to write informational reports, literary analyses, genre pieces, and arguments. Students develop knowledge of topics through research, and the three units that include research projects culminate with essays. While the materials do not provide a structure for including research from sources other than the books included with the materials, there is an expectation that students will find information online.

In each unit, students read core texts, teacher chosen texts, and independent reads selected from the publisher-provided leveled text sets to build a body of evidence. Unit activities require students to synthesize information by utilizing multiple graphic organizers, writing tasks, reader response tasks, and structured discussions completed as a whole group, within small groups, or as individuals. Generally, lessons allow time for students to engage in all three learning settings. Instructional materials provide students with daily independent reading, research, writing, and discussion opportunities per the model lesson framework.

The instructional materials provide opportunities for both “short” and “long” projects across grades and grade bands. Each grade level in Unit 4 has similar skills, objectives, and standards addressed. The progression of research skills do not change from grade level to grade level; however, progression is achieved through the complexity of text and topics students are reading about within each unit and the application those skills applied to the topics.

  • While there are no research activities in Unit 1, students engage in a Literacy Lab. Instructional materials indicate that the purpose of the Literacy Lab is for students to “fall in love with reading through books,” (p. 48). During this unit, students do not engage in a substantial research project, but instead read modern pieces of literary and informational text to practice writing in a variety of genres and to build knowledge of literary elements, word choice, text analysis, discussion methods, and healthy writing practices.
  • In Unit 2, students research major events and figures of the Civil Rights Era before selecting a specific person for closer study. Teachers are prompted on Week 1, Day 1 to tell students that they will become experts and write an informational book on the topic. Teachers can also recommend various ways for students to publish and present their findings such as blogs, news articles, slideshows, or dramatic interpretations. For this unit, students answer the following guiding questions across the 9-week research study: "1. Explain why the person was important to the history of Civil Rights. 2. Create a timeline of at least 10 key events in the person’s life and explain the importance of each event. 3. Explain how the person’s geographic location shaped his/her life, work, and perspective(s) 4. Describe two issues (racial, social, political, or economic) that were important to the person and explain their importance. 5. Describe an organization that was important to the person and explain why it was important. 6. Describe the role of the American government in this person’s life.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, students begin the culminating project to write a short story that allows the student to apply their knowledge of the various literary elements that will be taught throughout Weeks 7, 8, and 9. There are frequent opportunities for shared learning. For example, in the lesson on Week 7, Day 2, students have a collaborative discussion. Student prompts center around author's use of dialogue, action, and description, and include:
    • "Dialogue: What can we learn from this dialogue about the characters? How does the author use specific words or punctuation to develop each of the characters involved?
    • Action: Where does the author use the actions of a character to reveal something about him/her? Explain.
    • Description: Where does the author describe something about a character? What specific words does s/he choose? How are these words important to painting the picture of this character?
    • Application: What is one thing this author did that I want to try in my own writing?"
  • In Unit 4, beginning in Week 2, students engage in the first two of a series of progressive research questions. Students develop their understanding by selecting “(pieces of) text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of that day’s Research Question.” Students learn the topic’s key concepts in Research Question 1 through a combination of shared reading, writing activities, and direct instruction in preparation for their independent research. Students will then read deeply, working to learn everything they can about their individual topics and the research question. In Unit 4, Week 3, students focus on a controversial issue they found in their research by identifying the two conflicting viewpoints, generating a claim and relevant evidence for each, and crafting an argument from one of these viewpoints that acknowledges and responds to the other. Students write a brief argument for their position that effectively acknowledges and responds to the other side in preparation for a series of mini-debates.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 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.

Though students read a core set of texts in each unit, the materials are designed to offer students a voluminous amount of independent reading; students read independently every day in each unit. The publisher created its own text leveling and student reading leveling system, the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA), in which students are able to choose books at their appropriate level. The Teacher’s Guide offers an overview of the reading program and page 30 of the Unit 1 Literacy Lab shows how each reading level from early grades to 12th grade builds on a specific reading skill.

Students have “Independent Reading in Leveled Libraries” daily in class for 20–40 minutes. In all four units, students are expected to read at least four novels in the genre/topic of study on his/her own (these can be any levels, from the Genre Library or elsewhere). Reading homework for all units is suggested to be at students’ independent reading level. A reading culture is outlined in the prefatory materials, which strives for 100% on-target in-class reading and 95% on-target home reading through specific routines. The framework provides two leveled texts sets - the 100 Book Challenge and the Hook Book Library - both of which are designed to help students find a book that is engaging and at their reading level. The independent reading books from these libraries may be below grade level, but the texts for in-class independent reading are at or above grade level. Other examples include:

  • In Unit 1, during each daily Literacy Block laid out by the framework, students participate in 15-30 minutes of sustained independent reading in class. “Students practice applying today’s Focus to self-selected texts at a variety of levels. At least a portion of the reading is spent with texts within the Thematic Unit.” The framework also suggests a Weekly Goal: “Students read for 5 hours a week, with some time spent reading texts within the Thematic Unit and some time in complete free-choice. Reading time can be spread across the school day and/or at home." Unit 1, Week 4 introduces the Home Coach as a system to help students engage and remain accountable for their at-home reading. Teachers are instructed to “establish a connection with each student’s Home Coach. Organize a parent information session. Call homes. Use this week to: Determine who will serve as home coaches (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). Help home coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success. Set up in-class support systems (e.g., enlisting volunteers) for students who may need a surrogate home coach. Build routines for taking books home.”
  • In Unit 2, the Informational Research Lab, the same expectations is followed that was outlined in Unit 1. Students engage in daily independent reading of core texts and student-selected texts. At the beginning of the unit, students sample the leveled text sets to help determine their topic of study and choice of texts. The Unit 2 Introduction shares the expectation for reading in the inquiry-based units: “Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts, including texts on the topic and general wide reading.” Unit 2 also explains the framework for the Reader’s Workshop as the purpose of moving students to independence including a Focus for Independent Reading/Accountable Talk, and IRLA Conferences/Strategy Groups for Today.
  • In Unit 3, teachers are given a focus for student’s independent reading during Week 1: “Transfer to Independent Reading” Focus for Independent Reading/Accountable Talk. Ask and answer the Key Question (or part of it): "Will constraints need to be placed on student choice to ensure they have texts that work with the Key Question/Concepts? (Common constraints: read at least one fiction book or one informational text on ____, or one biography, etc.) Don’t constrain choice for all 30 minutes. IRLA Conferences/Strategy Groups for Today." Teacher coaching focuses on: "1st: reading engagement, 2nd: strategic instruction to move reading levels Allocate time equitably, not equally—spend more/more frequent time with students who are furthest behind/making the least reading growth."

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Teachers are prompted to give clear directions, and directions are also found on the graphic organizers or checklists provided in the units. The materials provide teachers with directions and guidance on usage and how to direct student use. Alignment documentation is provided for all questions, tasks, and assessments as general guidance to the teacher. The introductory materials of each Teacher Edition outline the standards that are addressed in each Literacy and Research lab, and the Teacher Editions explain the purpose of the ELA/Literacy standards for instruction and how they support the curriculum across the year. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians on how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success.

The IRLA Framework states the standards clearly, and each assessment component found in the materials articulates the learning standards assessed. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards, whether reading or writing. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation. The ARC Core Literacy Block is designed to embed all the best practices of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching into a literacy framework, in order to ensure that each child reads, writes, and collaborates on grade level. Within the framework, there are suggestions for students who are reading above grade level.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. The materials provide teachers and students ample flexibility within the outlined structure. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The framework is designed to allow teachers the freedom to adjust the pacing of daily lessons within weekly plans as needed. Teacher directions are very clear and an appendix in each unit provides lesson planning materials general to the unit. Alignment documentation is provided for all questions, tasks, and assessments as a framework with general guidance for the teacher.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The materials demonstrate effective lesson structure and take into account pacing. An ARC Literacy Lab Overview is provided for each unit. Components of the lesson are available for 120 or 75-90-minute literacy blocks and offer ranges of minutes within. The suggested times allotted for activities gives teachers flexibility in pacing lessons across days, weeks, and units according to the needs of students. A number of other supports give teachers options to effectively pace and structure learning.

The blocks of time for English in materials are for 90-120 minutes. The publisher materials state, “ARC frameworks are intended to be flexible structures that educators adjust as needed. Although the Literacy Lab is organized into “6 weeks,” it is common for educators to need 8 or 9 weeks in the first year.”

Each unit begins with students reading and analyzing texts based on the unit’s topic. Then students turn that analysis into a formal writing process. The first unit is a Literacy Lab where students focus on components of literature the first four weeks and then write literary critiques the last two weeks being a 6 week unit. Units 2, 3, and 4 are all 9 week units. Unit 2 is a research units where students are researching information based on a social studies or science topic. Unit 3 focuses on researching a specific genre. Every unit has a similar daily structure. Students read complex text, they write to the text, they read independently, and then write independently. Students read the complex text daily for about 15-30 minutes. They read independently for about 20-40 minutes. They write for about 20-40 minutes daily.

There are also checklists, rubrics, and reading logs for teachers to track student progress through the lessons. Focus Standards are provided each week, as well as an overview of the daily lesson plans. During Week 1 there is a day by day detailed instruction, after that there is a framework in the following weeks. Daily lessons provide teachers the outline of the lesson, as well as prompts for what the teacher may say or how to present tasks. These plans also include a column of teacher notes for additional guidance and research. The Literacy and Research Lab instruction includes parts such as CCSS Mini-Lessons, Read-Discuss Complex Text-Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Alouds, Small group and whole group work, Text-based discussions, and reflection opportunities. The Research Labs instruction includes goals for expertise, reading, writing, vocabulary, art, and final projects. Each unit also comes with a series of graphic organizers for collecting text evidence, independent reading support, task rubrics, and discussion rubrics/guidelines.

In the prefatory materials in each unit, the materials explicitly state that the framework provides teacher self-direction: “There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students” (Unit 1 p. 41).

A Pacing Guide provides a breakdown of each daily literacy block, either the 120 or 75-90 minute block. There are three parts to each daily block: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Writing. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in the pacing: “Depending on the lesson and student energy, teachers may spend more time writing or more time reading” (Unit 1 p. 60-61).

Additional pacing support is provided for the weekly lesson topics. For example, In Unit 1, the suggested time frame is 6 weeks. In Unit 2, the suggested time frame is 9 weeks. The curriculum is broken into three phases: Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community, Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting, Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/Building Expertise. The first two phases are the reading portion of the unit while the third phase is for the larger writing/research project. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in pacing: “*Weeks are approximate. Teachers should be welcome to expand or condense as needed” (Unit 1 p. 56).

In Unit 4, the design is typical of all units where students read about the topic the first four weeks and then write about the units topic the remaining weeks in the unit, for example:

  • Week 1: Introduce Unit & Topic Selection
  • Week 2: Research Questions #1 & #2
  • Week 3: Research Questions #3 & #4
  • Week 4: Research Questions #5 & #6
  • Week 5: Remaining Research Questions
  • Week 6: Drafting
  • Week 7: Revising
  • Week 8: Visuals & Editing
  • Week 9: Publishing & Presenting

The Unit 4 materials provide teachers a “Research Lab Daily Structure” document (p. 12) to guide them through the pacing of research activities throughout the unit. Moreover, a “Sample Daily Calendar” at the beginning of Unit 4 organizes days of the week by research questions students use to guide their inquiry for the culminating writing task (p. 18). In addition, a “Argument Research Lab Pacing Guide,” is a tool for teachers to organize learning activities throughout the unit.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

ARC publishers indicate that the materials are inquiry based and encourage self-directed learning with an emphasis on independent reading and study. Though there are guidelines for 165 lessons which can be completed in a school year, the publishers also indicate that the curriculum should be considered a framework. On Page 59 of the unit introduction, publishers indicate that there is “no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

The framework is designed to allow teachers the freedom to adjust the pacing of daily lessons within weekly plans as needed. In the prefatory materials in each unit, a Pacing Guide is provided with the weekly lesson topics. For example, In Unit 1, the suggested time frame is 6 weeks. In Unit 2, the suggested time frame is 9 weeks. The curriculum is broken into three phases: Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community, Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting, Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/ Building Expertise. The first two phases are the reading portion of the unit while the third phase is for the larger writing/research project. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in pacing: “*Weeks are approximate. Teachers should be welcome to expand or condense as needed” (Unit 1 p. 56).

Also in each unit, a Pacing Guide provides a breakdown of each daily literacy block, either the 120 or 75-90 minute block. There are three parts to each daily block: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Writing. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in the pacing: “Depending on the lesson and student energy, teachers may spend more time writing or more time reading” (Unit 1 p. 60-61).

In Unit 2, students become an expert on a figure of the Civil Rights Era by reading as much material as possible and focusing only on the following Research Questions/Prompts:

  • 1. Explain why the person was important to the history of Civil Rights.
  • 2. Create a timeline of at least 10 key events in the person’s life and explain the importance of each event.
  • 3. Explain how the person’s geographic location shaped his/her life, work, and perspective(s).
  • 4. Describe two issues (racial, social, political, or economic) that were important to the person and explain their importance.
  • 5. Describe an organization that was important to the person and explain why it was important
  • 6. Describe the role of the American government in this person’s life.

The “Genre Study Research Lab Pacing Guide” provides a realistic timeline for completing a culminating writing task within Unit 3.

The “Argument Research Lab Pacing Guide” provides a realistic timeline for completing a culminating writing task within Unit 4.

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.).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g. visuals, maps, etc.)

ARC Materials provide review and practice resources such as evidence and reading logs, reference charts, task checklists, constructed response rubrics and writing rubrics for larger writing projects, graphic organizers, masters, research cards (which include questions), and informational writing cards. The lessons provide teacher guidance for modeling, as well as opportunities for independent or small group practice. Teachers are prompted to give clear directions, and directions are also found on the graphic organizers or checklists provided in the units. The materials provide teachers with directions and guidance on usage and how to direct student use and also provide blackline masters that teachers copy and distribute to students.

The practice resources are specifically designed for each unit to help students to complete the culminating project. All other practice resources, such as questions posed by the teacher that students either speak or write about, are teacher directed. The reference aids and resources are correctly labeled. Teacher directions are very clear and an appendix in each unit provides lesson planning materials general to the unit. In the prefatory materials, all the worksheets for students are compiled together.

In Unit 1, students are provided with a reading survey, the Toulmin’s Argument Framework, a College- Ready Reader Scale, a Writer’s Log, a Genre Record Chart, a Genre Profile Chart, an Interest Inventory, Editing Checklist, etc. In the first section of the daily lessons of Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, teacher’s lead a lesson on the CCSS standard that connects genre and theme. Students use the handout, Genre Profile, in small groups while reading/discussing the Core novel. In the second section of the daily lesson, students determine the genre of their chosen books and consider “why it matters to the text.” Students fill in the Genre Profile independently with the characters, setting, plot/events, theme, structure, and language of their books. There are no directions provided to students on the worksheet. All the directions for completion are in the teacher’s edition and are part of the first section of the day’s lesson: Read/Discuss Complex Text. There are suggested questions to guide students in understanding how character, setting, etc. are related to genre. This is similar for the handout in all units.

In Unit 2, in the Civil Rights Era Unit, students are provided a Final Project Rubric, a Civil Rights Era Vocabulary list, two different types of reading logs, a Home Connection, a Resource Checklist, a Resource Checksheet, a Final Project Organizer Overview, a KWL chart, and research question graphic organizers.

Units 3 and 4 include a number of resources and documents related to the content, including graphic organizers, mapping documents, genre cards, sequencing organizers, thinking maps, rubrics, reading surveys, and other visuals and graphics that support student learning of specific content. Some of the resources, such as the reading surveys, are offered in several languages. Each of the resources is designed in a uniform fashion in terms of fonts and font size. The resources have visual appeal and are clearly labeled and titled.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Alignment documentation is provided for all questions, tasks, and assessments as a framework with general guidance for the teacher. Standards connect to all areas of the program and are included in the introductory materials for each unit, as well as on the writing rubrics, lesson planners, and assignments. An instructional focus is articulated at the beginning of each week. Within the daily lessons, standards are repeated and are connected to specific activities. Culminating performance projects are connected to standards as well, and several handouts provide students with teacher explanations of their connection to the standards. Teachers are provided a rubric for scoring these tasks.

The Unit 1 Literacy Lab requires students to address W.1 by writing a literary critique. Students are reminded of the CCSS Reading Literature standards (RL.2, RL.3, RL.4, RL.5, RL.6, RL.7, RL.9) covered in the unit. Some examples of how this instruction is achieved over the unit include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, in the Week 4 Framework pages, different figurative language devices are explained in great detail with mini-lessons that connect to the different standards for the unit. The mini-lesson for hyperbole, for example, states: “Teacher Work: Post the 9-10 Common Core Language Standard #5. Introduce the figure of speech hyperbole,” followed by a definition and lesson to help students understand and practice the device before reading a passage that contains hyperbole. (p. 317).
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, the culminating writing task is introduced and a rubric that directly connects to CCSS W.1 for writing a proficient answer is provided. Students follow the writing process: “Claim: Introduce a precise, knowledgeable claim that is debatable, defensible, narrow, and specific. Establish the significance of the claim” through “Conclusion: Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.”
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, engage in the editing and revision processes with a rubric designed to connect to CCSS W.5/W.6/L.1/L.2.

The Unit 2 Research Lab requires students to synthesize information across texts and write an informational book on their choice of topic in their Civil Rights Era research study. Students refer back to the CCSS Reading Information standards (RLI.1, RI.2, RI.3, RI.4, RI.5, RI.6, RI.7, RI.9, RL.9) they covered in the unit with a focus on RI.7, creating visuals for their informational book.

In Unit 3, the Week 1, Day 1 lesson plan for connects the CCSS to the culminating research task.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

All materials contain a simple, clean visual design that is neither distracting nor chaotic. The font, size, margins, and spacing are easily legible and with little variation. The consumable handouts present a neat, consistent layout that easy to understand with sufficient space for student notation. The supporting documents and resources engage students with a clearly labeled and focused purpose for the task.

Units are organized in a similar structure. The lessons are provided in a clear outline format and are accompanied by graphic organizers, charts, rubrics, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. Materials to be printed for students contain no distracting images and are user-friendly for students.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 contain the ARC Teacher’s Edition, which contains a volume of information, including annotations and suggestions for presenting unit content, as well as guidance on the use of embedded technology to enhance student learning. The teacher materials contain multiple ways for teachers to build their own knowledge. The introductory materials of each Teacher Edition outline the standards that are addressed in each Literacy and Research lab, and the introductory materials for the Literacy and Research Labs provide a series of explanations and research-based approaches. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians for how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success.

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The ARC Teacher’s Edition contains a volume of information, including annotations and suggestions for presenting unit content, as well as guidance on the use of embedded technology to enhance student learning. The IRLA school pacing guide provides supports for how to engage with the curriculum. The instructional materials regularly prompt teachers to model learning tasks and to share explicit directions with students. Teachers are also provided general questions, writing prompts, rubrics, and examples of how to address standards, vocabulary, discussion, and other topics. The teacher materials provide guidance for tracking student reading progress, recommendations for student projects, and rubrics or guidance for scoring student work and holding conferences with students

There are prefatory materials that thoroughly explain the purpose of each unit and how/when instructional handouts/graphic organizers should be presented to students. The weekly lessons have annotated sidebars with suggestions and recommendations for teaching different skills and standards; in fact, many annotations in the curriculum function as examples from outside experts and sources that might be provided in a professional development setting. Finally, the curriculum provides an online resource, SchoolPace, where teachers can visit the IRLA Resource Center.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material. Guidance in analyzing or teaching the unit texts is not provided; the materials do not contain specific answers or anticipated student responses.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

There is educational research found throughout this program providing the rationale and background knowledge for teachers as professionals and life long learners. The Teacher Editions for each unit contain ample descriptions, explanations, and examples of instructional literacy concepts that help students to deepen their understanding of the content being presented. All directions and explanations provide adult-level suggestions for how to teach the content. Prefatory materials thoroughly explain the purpose of each unit and how the literary concepts connect to the instruction. The weekly lessons have annotated sidebars for teaching different literary skills and standards, and many annotations in the curriculum function as examples from experts and resources that might be provided in a professional development setting.

The teacher materials contain multiple ways for teachers to build their own knowledge, including recommending external online resources for teacher development and literacy instruction support. Materials routinely offer supports and ideas for teacher PLCs, building data walls, and building student literacy.

Many of the materials include resources and references for teachers seeking to read further on a topic in order to expand their own content knowledge. An informational document in Unit 1 entitled “What Is Inquiry Through Apprenticeship and Why Should We Teach This Way?” (pp. 42-45) includes an extensive Works Cited list of additional readings.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The introductory materials of each Teacher Edition outline the standards that are addressed in each Literacy and Research lab, and the Teacher Editions explain the purpose of the ELA/Literacy standards for instruction and how they support the curriculum across the year. The Teacher Edition routinely offers CCSS mini-lessons with teacher guidance for what that looks like and how to engage students. Each weekly overview indicates what the focus standards for the week are and the first two weeks of instruction provide a one to two page framework for the teacher and student work in order to address the focus standards. This framework is used throughout the unit, and the curriculum emphasizes how the units, weekly lessons, and daily lessons, and individual parts within the daily lessons connect to the standards. Typically the specific wording of the standard is listed with each activity. Within weekly lesson plans, there are standards listed next to lessons; in every unit, there is a “Pacing Guide” at the beginning of each unit that states the week and the standard being focused on; and in Unit 1, there is a Scope and Sequence page that includes the CCSS included in each unit.

A unit pacing guide titled, “Genre Study Research Lab Pacing Guide Grades 9–12” is provided in Unit 3: “ Week 1 is to: 1) Introduce Genre, 2) Review of Literary Elements (RL.3), and 3) Constructed Response #1. Week 2 is to: 1) Character-Theme Analysis (RL.2/3) and 2) Constructed Response #2. Week 3 is to: 1) Setting-Theme Analysis (RL.2/3/9) and 2) Constructed Response #3.”

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

The ARC curricular materials provide descriptions of the instructional approaches featured. Throughout the program, instructional reasoning is explained and ELA experts are cited. This information is accompanied by the emphasis of evidence-based strategies and references to their origins. Many teacher-facing annotations serve as examples vetted by prominent academics in the field and as resources delivered in professional development settings. The introductory materials for the Literacy and Research Labs, for example, provide a series of explanations and research-based approaches such as inquiry, literacy development, reading culture, school success, and social purpose, to support the publisher rationale for the curriculum. Moreover, research-based strategies are embedded within units as lesson sidebars, and Works Cited/Consulted sections highlighting the foundational research used to design the program are included in each unit as well.

Several pages are devoted to explaining the program rationale for building student knowledge through teachers and students as researchers. The program also emphasizes student choice and ownership in learning as seen in this provided quote by Mike Anderson, author of Learning to Choose; Choosing to Learn: “When students leave school, they will enter a world where self-motivation, creativity, autonomy, and perseverance are all critically important, and these are characteristics that are hard to practice in an environment centered on standardization and compliance.”

In Unit 1, the article “What Is Inquiry Through Apprenticeship and Why Should We Teach This Way?” (pp. 42-45) explains in-depth the inquiry through apprenticeship model of teaching and learning. The document includes an extensive Works Cited list of additional readings.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Materials provide reading logs and supports for parents/guardians who are embraced as “home coaches” and encouraged to sign contracts to support student reading. Signed contracts, as well as student progress reports, are logged into the online tracking system, School Pace. Teachers are provided with letters outlining guidelines for the 100 Book to send home for a signature; these letters are printed in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The concluding materials for the Unit 1 Literacy Lab offer teachers in-depth guidance for sharing the reading program with parents to create a partnership that include recommendations for rallies, assemblies, parent meetings, and incentives. Teachers are prompted to include the outside community and are given model letters that can be used to request sponsors for the reading program. Materials also provide several pages to send to parents or home coaches as a guide for supporting reading, understanding phonics, and clarifying the IRLA color/coding system.

In addition, ARC provides a letter to parents/guardians about the purpose of each unit. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians for how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success. Parents/guardians are provided with instruction for what to observe in their student’s independent reading, how to assess if they are making progress, and evaluation/checklists to track progress.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. The IRLA Framework states the standards clearly, and each assessment component found in the materials articulates the learning standards assessed. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards, whether reading or writing. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences consistently assess student progress. The teacher materials indicate that the IRLA introduced in the Literacy Lab in Unit 1 is used to diagnose student reading levels and track their progress over the year. The assessment system helps teachers to identify what skills and strategies students have mastered or need to focus on.

Students are also assessed by a unit task that generally requires a substantial writing piece in the mode that they have studied in the unit. Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. The daily framework for lessons prompts teachers to monitor students and provide immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

Unit 3: Modern American Historical Fiction, pp. 22-23 provide a rubric for W.3 to score student work and short answer responses for the unit task of writing a memoir.

Page 24 offers guidelines for teachers to complete a pre-assessment of students and use the provided rubric to score:

  • “Part 1: Have students read a short text in the genre. The text should be at grade level.
  • Part 2: Ask students to write a response to the question: What is a central theme of this text? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?”

In Unit 4: Economics, page 5 provides the Final project rubric to score student work for the unit task of writing an argument. To support student learning around W.1, page 27 provides a detailed rubric for assessing student work as they practice argumentative writing.

Page 26 offers guidelines for teachers to pre-assess students based on the provided rubric:

  • “Ask students to write an argument related to the text they have just read. E.g., Should school administrators be able to go into students’ lockers without students’ permission?
  • Take a position and provide 3 good pieces of evidence in support of that position.”

Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The IRLA Framework state the standards clearly, and each assessment component found in the materials articulates the learning standards assessed. The prefatory materials, teacher instructional notes, and sidebars contained within the daily lessons provide thorough explanations that refer regularly to the standards.

The materials provide teachers recommendations for daily assessment or monitoring of student work that are connected to standards-aligned units. Unit pre-assessments are recommended for teachers to assess students based on the writing standard addressed. Rubrics assessing the writing standards are provided in each unit, as well as rubrics or checklists for editing, discussion, and student responses.

The weekly lesson plans contain sidebars of information denoting which standards are being formatively assessed. In Unit 1 (p. 89), for example, the Accountable Talk piece of the daily lesson plan is presented and explained relative to the standard being addressed, Speaking & Listening #4.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

ARC materials present teachers with rubrics and suggestions for assessments. The IRLA gives a framework for assessing and tracking student reading level and the teacher determines what skills or strategies should be addressed in differing types of instruction. As part of the curriculum, teacher work includes “1-on-1 Conferences: Baseline Reading Levels Use the IRLA/ENIL to conduct 1-on-1 formative assessment conferences to identify student baseline reading levels. Document Use the Status of the Class/eIRLA to document your observations about individual students’ levels. Goal: Baseline reading level for each student entered in SchoolPace by the end of Week 3. Accountable Talk Partner/Group Share Share a summary of a section/text that proves you understood what you read. Invite a few students to share out with the whole group.”

Most of the interpretation and follow up from assessment is done during the Monitor Engagement section of the daily lesson, as well as one-on-one student conferences. Teachers are given frameworks for these conferences, rubrics for scoring student work, and general recommendations for sharing work or grouping students. The culminating tasks in each unit have generic grading rubrics used for multiple tasks throughout the unit. There are tips for how teachers can use information from unit formative assessments in their PLC work.

In Unit 1, during the Reader’s Workshop and reading of self-selected texts, students are instructed to “Notice Vocabulary Set Focus: Flag at least one new word you want to learn and share.” Student directions state, “Read 15-30 minutes. Accountable Talk: What new word did you notice? What Tier might it be? Why? What do you think it might mean? Why?” Teachers are instructed to “Continue identifying individual students’ IRLA levels. All students should be leveled by the end of next week.”

In Unit 1, Week 2, under Assigning the CORE Novel, Wt to Or Readers: The vocabulary load will present an ongoing challenge to these readers. However, once students have a firm grasp of the characters, plot, language, and emerging themes in the first half of the text, assigning small, scaffolded portions as Home Reading may be appropriate. Look out for what reading selections may be more disengaging than they are worth. During Week 2, the teacher directions are to use evidence from students’ work to decide what to teach/reteach tomorrow.

A Unit 1 assessment, the “Reading Survey” (p. 93) provides teachers an opportunity to determine students’ self-perceptions about their reading habits and attitudes.

In Unit 4, the materials prompt teachers to monitor students while completing the pre-assessment (p. 28). “While students are working independently, move among them and have individual students quietly read the first paragraph aloud to you. Record each student’s errors on a copy of the passage. This will give you a quick, approximate, indication of which of your students are able to decode grade level material. Use what you learn to assign partners, small groups, etc.” Page 29 provides guidelines for scoring and sorting student work to determine small/whole/or individual instruction.

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The materials regularly provide routines and guidance that indicate opportunities to monitor student progress on a variety of skills and concepts being learned throughout each unit. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards, whether reading or writing. Individual or small group conferencing opportunities are provided for reading progress checks. Writing progress checks are offered in the form of small formative writing tasks that build to the larger culminating tasks.

The Materials are designed to track student progress daily through the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) that guides teachers to assess and monitor student reading levels. Teachers determine those skills and strategies that students have mastered and need to learn. Materials to document student progress through logs, class charts, and an online tracking system are provided. Teachers and students set Power Goals and routinely monitor these through assessment and one-on-one conferencing. Both small group and writing protocols and rubrics are provided. The unit tasks come with scoring rubrics and are presented to the class. Each lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress with side notes about addressing instruction or further assessment opportunities. Materials prompt teachers to monitor and conference with students frequently.

Some of the daily lesson plans contain sidebars that give teachers guidance and suggestions on monitoring aspects of student performance. In, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, for example, provides a number of discussion questions related to assessing student understanding of a passage (p. 10).

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The framework is designed to build students’ independent reading. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation. Materials are designed to build student reading stamina across the year. Shared and independent reading opportunities are built into the daily lesson framework via the recommended 20-40 minutes for independent reading. Students are held accountable through conferences with peers, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Students also track their own reading though logs that are shared with their parent or home reading coach. Independent reading is provided through the texts used for class research, as well as the 100 Book challenge found in Unit 1 (p. 372) which includes the rationale, how the program works, the home reading portion, the incentives, and goals (for schools and district); these include Back to School Night skits, Family Workshop ideas, using parents & families as volunteers, and Year-End Awards Celebration ideas. This material includes having parents and families as partners in on-going education. There are sample letters to enlist volunteers for reading coaches.

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read anything they want and the leveling systems guides them to select texts at their reading level. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone. Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and adjust. Teachers frequently document student reading status and teacher materials gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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.
10/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The ARC Core Literacy Block is designed to embed all the best practices of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching into a literacy framework, in order to ensure that each child reads, writes, and collaborates on grade level. Within the framework, there are suggestions for students who are reading above grade level. The daily instructional framework for ARC requires that students spend time in small-group and whole group discussion.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The ARC materials thoroughly support teachers to use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to evaluate, monitor, and increase student reading levels. Using the assessment helps teachers to determine the skills and strategies needed or mastered and to document them on paper and an online tracking system. Teachers then address student needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Based on the reading data, teachers and students set Power Goals and follow conferencing protocols to support each student. Materials offer guidance to teachers to help students who are stuck or need additional support. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

An “Interest Inventory” tool (p. 137) allows students and teachers to assess student interest around which to build a writing practice. The Week 1, Day 5 lesson plan offers a sidebar for teachers: “For students who find writing about their interests difficult, consider providing a prompt that you think students will enjoy writing about” (p. 135).

In Unit 2, “Before you Begin The lessons in Weeks 3 and 4 presuppose students’ ability to identify organizational structures. If students are unfamiliar with this basic level of understanding, use the graphic organizers (and/or other resources) to help students develop the background knowledge necessary to engage in analysis around organizing structures before continuing Week 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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that 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.

The ARC materials provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text. The framework is structured so that teachers can use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to assess, monitor, and augment student reading levels. Students also have daily practice with Core, Anchor, and Independent Reading texts; these text sets help students move towards grade-level reading. Within the weekly and daily lessons, all students read a grade-level Core text together and work to understand and to analyze the text through specific reading standards. Independent reading opportunities give students access to reading at their assessed level of reading to build to independence at grade level. Students who read below grade level can become engaged in reading texts that interest them to help them improve their reading level. The framework allows teachers to track student progress in meeting grade-level reading standards.

The ARC Core Literacy Block is designed to embed all the best practices of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching into a literacy framework centered on meeting the needs of the unique students in each room, in order to ensure that each child reads, writes, and collaborates on grade level. All students are provided with the same grade level texts and questions. There are opportunities for partner and small group work, and teachers may strategically place students into specific partnerships or groups. There are opportunities in the materials for the teachers use the “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach Check for Understanding” to observe students as they write to ensure students are making adequate progress in their note-making. Teachers are routinely prompted to support learners who are stuck or struggling with the material or content.

This statement is provided in the introductory materials of each unit: “English Language Learners The WIDA Can Do Descriptors are included as potential ways to scaffold English language learners’ successful participation in grade-level reading, writing, and conversation with their peers around grade-level complex text.”

The “Hook Books” library (p. 140) offers texts in a wide range of reading levels. The requirements of independent reading associated with the Hook Books include a process for teachers to ensure students are reading increasingly complex texts.

Unit 2 provides the following direction to teachers to assist students to work with the text who may struggle, “Say out loud the bulk of their idea (ELs), having the student fill in the key word. • Have the student copy onto the Class Glossary an important definition s/he has found. • Have another student who speaks his/her language translate what s/he has to contribute to benefit the whole group. • Give them extra time to write down/think about what they want to say, then invite them to share when ready. • Acknowledge and praise them for their contributions, even when the language output is minimal.”

The materials also offer suggestions for the following to be hung as a classroom poster. “Instead of "I don't know" May I please have some more information? May I please have some more time to think? Would you please repeat the question? Where could I find more information about that? May I ask a friend for help?”

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set.

Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels. Students who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process. Within the framework, there are suggestions for students who are reading above grade level.

The Unit 1 “Reading Survey” (p. 93) is provided to help teachers gauge student perceptions of their enjoyment of reading and its relative difficulty. Advanced students with a score in the high range of 20-24 are labeled “Engaged Reader” and told to “Keep reading!”

A “College-Ready Readers Scale” is provided in Unit 1 (p. 96) a tool for assessing a student’s current independent reading practices.

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The daily instructional framework for ARC requires that students spend time in small-group and whole group discussion. Reading often takes place as whole class with the Core text, and while independent reading is always an individual activity, conferencing with students begins as individual and moves to small groups as teachers feel comfortable with student engagement in independent reading.

The introductory materials indicate that ”students participate in intellectual discourse around the text, genre and Focus Standards: Partner Share, Discussion Groups, [and] Whole Group Debrief.” Each unit offers some guidance around being instructionally strategic in one-on-one and small-groups. The materials suggest that students discuss with a partner, small group, or whole class during the Read/Discuss portion of the daily lesson. Teachers are prompted daily to engage students in Accountable Talk through pair-share, small- and whole- group discussion. Students also work frequently in peer-review or peer-conferencing settings. There are also partner or small group writing opportunities.

In Unit 1, “Students Work: In pairs, then as a whole group, generate a list of real-world topics referenced in the Core Novel so far. What does this book assume you already know? Where does the author allude to a real-world event, person, cultural practice...?”

A “Co-Teacher Action Planner” (p. 321) allows teachers to record student names, focus areas, and reading levels.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. The materials provide teachers and students ample flexibility within the outlined structure. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class.

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. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. Reviewers able to access materials on Chrome, Explorer, and Safari and to view materials on iPhone and iPad.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
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Indicator Rating Details

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area.

The Introductory materials for many of the units indicate that one of the ARC focus standards is R7: “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.” For the unit performance tasks, students are invited to use technology to perform research and publish their work. However, there is little guidance for students or teachers in developing technological skills for this area, and specific media is not highlighted for use.

The Teacher Edition prompts teachers to seek help from librarians and other resources to help with using technology. There is a section called “Digital Solutions;” however, its purpose is not clear. In the research units there is a page called “Works Consulted Page” where students list the sources used for their research. It is assumed that students use the internet to become “experts” on their research topics because the materials provide no substantive guidance in this area.

The guidelines for publishing final written pieces in Unit 2 are in list format. The ideas include “bound books” or “digital books.” However, no additional information is provided as to how teachers can use specific types of technology to support student learning.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The materials provide extensive guidance on entering reading levels into SchoolPace (pp. 166-167).

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The materials provide teachers and students ample flexibility within the outlined structure. As ARC units are designed to be transferable across multiple texts and/or topics, the materials are designed to be customized to local contexts.

The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. Teachers can personalize lessons for all learners via independent reading and the Reader’s Workshop. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units are applicable across multiple texts. Students have an abundance of choice in terms of selecting reading materials; the Book Boxes can be customized to address students’ needs and reading levels.

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.)
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).

Teachers use a digital platform from ARC to track student reading progress based on the one-on-one conferencing and assessments. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class. In Unit 1, Week 6, for example, the Teacher Edition states, “Teacher Work: Decide how students will publish their literary critiques. For example,

  • Create a book
  • Blog entry
  • Class/school website
  • Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper
  • Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio
  • PowerPoint
  • Social Media.”

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
IRLA CCSS Version 8 978-1-63437-885-7 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook 978-1-63437-982-3 American Reading Company 2017

About Publishers Responses

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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.

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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.

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ELA HS 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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