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 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Set during India’s independence, the novel has rich imagery, high vocabulary and language that bring comedy to a family saga about endowed magic.
  • In Unit 1, students read Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J.C. Young, The books in the Very Short Introduction series are engaging and accessible for students. The anthology contains works written by experts for the newcomer, which introduces students to concepts in a thought-provoking, witty way, making them of interest to students.
  • In Unit 2, students read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, This contemporary novel combines the ideas of banned books and romantic awakening. The content is appropriate for Grade 12 students. The text includes rich vocabulary, vibrant imagery, and engaging content.
  • In Unit 2, students read When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East" by Stewart Golden. This contemporary informational text, published in 2009, provides unique background information about the continent from 700-1500 AD.
  • In Unit 3, students read The Odyssey by Homer. This epic poem is engaging for students.
  • In Unit 3, students read a graphic novel interpretation of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds. This text is of high interest to students and presents an updated interpretation of a classic text.
  • In Unit 4, students read Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. This text is rich in vocabulary and figurative speech.

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 12 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 12 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:

  • The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson 1 by Rick Riordan
  • Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy
  • The Odyssey by Homer (Robert Fitzgerald translation)
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • Romeo and Juliet: Graphic Classics by Jim Pipe (adaptation)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • How to Raise Your Parents: A Teen Girl’s Survival Guide by Sarah O’Leary Burningham
  • Jason and Marceline by Jerry Spinelli
  • YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright

Informational texts include, but are not limited to:

  • Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J.C. Young
  • When Asia Was the World by Stewart Golden
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
  • Egyptian Mythology: Mythology Around the World by Janell Broyles
  • Attached by Amir Levine

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 12 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.

The Core texts for Grade 12 are at or above a Grade 12 text complexity. The Anchor texts for each unit represent a mix of appropriate complexity, with several texts falling into the grade level band for 11th-12th. A few anchor texts that support the core texts fall within the 9-10 grade band, with three texts falling within the 7-8 grade band.

Examples of texts that fall below the Lexile band, but are still appropriate include:

  • Who Am I Without Him? by Sharon Flake, with a Lexile score of 650L, contains a wide range of short stories that would be appealing to different teens.
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, falls within the 9-10 grade band and is written by a widely appealing author of teen literature.
  • Socialism and Communism by Nancy Shniderman and Sue Hurwitz, while listed within the 7-8 grade band, provides critical information to support the unit and is used as a resource along with the Core and Anchor texts that are all within the appropriate grade bands.

One text, Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J. C. Young, falls above the Grades 11-12 Lexile band and is a college-level text. It examines the political, cultural, and historical forces at work in post-colonial America and gives students an opportunity to look at the history of the United States through multiple lenses and philosophies.

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 12 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. Additionally, 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 own 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, provides them the opportunity to practice those skills in a carefully scaffolded setting, and eventually moves them to demonstrating their skills independently.

The program follows a pattern for all grade levels:

  • Unit 1 Is the Literacy Lab wherein students are introduced to the rhythm and flow of the program. 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 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 continent of Asia as students work entirely with informational texts to progress through two phases of research: Phase I: Develop Expertise in Research Topics & Central Idea/Key Details and Phase II: 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 world mythology. Throughout the unit, students develop their literary analysis skills through:
    • Analysis of the plot and theme, characters (flat or complex), and archetypes portrayed in the myths
    • Discovery of the myths culture of origin, cosmology, influence on the arts, and shared stories across multiple cultures
    • Comparing two retellings of a myth to examine the author’s content, literary devices, narrative techniques, artwork, and intended audience as well as to examine modern reworkings of ancient myths
    • Examination of the character types and times of the myths

Midway through the unit, students begin work on writing a myth of their own using the texts from the unit as mentor texts.

  • Unit 4 is a genre study focusing on the romance genre. Throughout the unit, students develop their literary analysis skills through:
    • Examination of the characters, setting, and plot, including a comparison of the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) as well as their values, ideas, and conflict with other characters.
    • Issues and themes throughout the texts, including author’s purpose, social boundaries, destiny vs. self-determination, relationship models, personal transformation, and the identify of self vs. couple.

As students work through the unit they will develop a narrative writing of their own focused on the theme/topic of the unit.

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 12 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 12 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 12 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 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. While the text-dependent questions do not provide complete support, the materials specify that teachers decide when and how to use them. Moreover, the materials provide example questions to support the process and prompt teachers to create text-specific questions, as well. Specific examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Days 1-3, students analyze author’s word choice from a self-selected text. Students are instructed to “Read from the IRLA level you think is right for you right now. Flag one new or interesting word the author used. Be ready to share why you think the author chose this word over other options with similar denotations but different connotations." As part of Accountable Talk, students must: "Share one new or interesting word the author used and explain why you think that word was important to the text."
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students read the CORE Novel and determine a theme. Students work with partners to discuss: "What is a central theme of this text? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme? What is the author’s purpose?" Students then read independently while continuing to focus on theme and thematic elements. As students have misconceptions, teachers are instructed to remediate by pulling out students individually or in small groups. Partners are then asked to work together discussing questions about theme. Also in Unit 3, Week 2, students focus on the protagonist. Text-dependent questions include: "What generalizations can you make about the protagonists in this genre? How are protagonists important to our genre as a whole? What makes you think that?"
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 4, students read a fiction text and analyze how an author organizes the sequence of events. After independent reading, students discuss the following questions with a partner: “Summarize for your partner the problem/complication(s)/resolution event sequence you think was the most engaging. Explain what you like about how the author created this event sequence and how you think you might apply that to your own writing?”

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 12 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.

Unit 1 builds student interest and stamina in reading and utilizes more text-to-self questions than other modules. Unit 1 also offers a list of writing prompts teachers can use; however, some of these prompts are not text-dependent or text-specific. In Unit 3 (World Mythology) students write a constructed response at the end of each week for Weeks 1-4. The constructed response for Week 1 focuses on the genre study. Weeks 2-4 focus on the central theme of the text and how the author uses the literary elements to develop the theme. The culminating task in Week 5 & 6 is writing a comparative essay. Weeks 7-9 is writing and presenting a short story based on the genre focus. In Unit 4, the students engage in Argument Labs. Students’ culminating task at the end of each week in Weeks 1-4 is a debate. These are smaller debates that will lead to a more formal debate at the end of the unit. The culminating task for Weeks 5-7 is to draft, revise, and edit an argument based on their research in Weeks 1-4. The culminating task for Weeks 8-9 is to publish and present the debate (argument) formally. More specific examples include:

In Unit 1, students read their paired core texts Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J.C. Young and select 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. Examples of the work in this unit includes the following:

  • Recommended Model for Culminating Task, Critiquing the Core Text (Week 6, Days 1-2): "What do you believe to be this author’s purpose for writing this text? How effective do you think s/he is in accomplishing that purpose? What details, events, or analyses does the author include to accomplish his/her purpose? Which, if any, are ineffective? What word choice/language, figures of speech, and/or structures does the author use effectively to accomplish his/her purpose? Which, if any, were ineffective? To what is the author blind?"

In Unit 2, students continue building reading and text analysis skills as they closely study a country in Asia 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 the ecosystems, religion, currency, and government, and current issues of an Asian country. Though these questions are not text-dependent, the daily students tasks require students to engage in multiple texts to answer the research questions. Each week builds student skill in analyzing informational texts and practicing informative writing based on models and peer collaboration. Instructional materials provide models of sequenced questions for students to use across multiple texts. Examples of how this is presented includes:

  • Practice in Identifying Structure to Write to Text (Week 3, Day 4): "Which structure is the writer using in this text? How do you know? Map out the supporting ideas/key details on the appropriate graphic organizer. Is this organizing structure typical for this mode/discipline? If there are multiple structures, combine/modify the organizer as necessary. How does the structure of the text relate to the author’s central idea? Why do you think that? Why did the author put ____ first? How does the choice of leaving ___ to the end shape the reader’s understanding of the central idea? How do the text features clarify or confuse the organizing structure? Why does it matter that the author used this structure? Is this choice appropriate to the central idea of this text? Is this the most appropriate structure for the content? Why or why not? Does the author use this structure effectively? Why or why not? If you could change one thing about the structure of this text to make it more clear or to better support its central idea, what would you change and why?"

In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 3, students analyze an author’s use of a “first scene” in establishing a setting, a skill they will demonstrate later in the unit as they craft a first draft of a short story. Guided questions for the lesson include: "Does the author establish all five threads (time, place, character, mood, subject) in this scene? What can we learn from the dialogue about setting? How does the author use what characters say and/or how they say it to establish the setting? Where does the author use the actions of a character to establish something about the setting? Explain. How does the author describe the setting? What specific techniques does s/he use and what effect do they have? What is one thing this author did that I want to try in my own writing?"

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 12 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 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 6, Day 5, a guided practice asks students to discuss evidence-based questions with a partner. Student prompts include: "How does the author try to convince you that this topic deserves closer attention? Does s/he succeed? Why or why not? Does the author indicate or imply his/her own perspective or potential biases? Does s/he do this in a way that builds your trust in him/her as an author? Why or why not?" Students then read independently with a focus on evaluating author’s conclusions. After reading, students follow the Accountable Talk protocol in which, “[e]ach partner takes a few minutes to share his/her favorite conclusion and explains why.”

In Unit 3, Week 6, Day 2, students have the opportunity to practice listening and speaking when they form collaborative writing groups. Each partner takes one minute to share a selection of his/her writing that is working. Then, as a class, or in small groups, students take turns to: 1) say what they are trying to achieve, 2) read a short piece aloud, and 3) accept suggestions. On Day 5 of the same week, students present their writing. Instructional materials provide teachers a menu of options to determine how formally or informally students present their essays; however, many of the options incorporate speaking and listening skills.

Unit 4: Argument Research Lab - Romance & The Science of Relationships demonstrates the academic vocabulary used for discussion in pairs and groups. Students are instructed to have each partner take one minute to share about the antagonist of his/her book and themes developed through this character. Students answer prompts including: "Who is the antagonist and what is s/he like? How is s/he complex? Why did the author choose/create this antagonist? How does the author use him/her to communicate a theme? What generalizations can you make about antagonists in this genre? How are antagonists important to our genre as a whole? What makes you think that?" Instructions for the discussion group state that each group works together to identify one generalization about antagonists they want to share with the whole class.

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 12 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.

Unit 1 sets expectations for the year, including how to respond to questions when discussing with partners or small groups. Teachers provide instructions such as:

  • Constructed Response Practice: Teach your students to begin all of their answers by including the key words from the question. For example: "Why do we always have to include the question in our answer? You always have to include the question in your answer because it gets you going in the right direction and helps organize your thinking." This simple habit gives students an extra point on most constructed response state tests in later years and helps them organize and focus their thoughts in the meantime.

In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, students participate in a literary debate around the question: "Which supporting character is most important to this novel? Why?" Teacher instructions allow for whole class or small group debate. A thorough description of four different kinds of debate is offered to the teacher, including I Couldn’t Disagree More, Four Corners (with a Stationary Variation included), Alley Debate, Fishbowl Debate. The materials include a quote from Learn NC contributors, Sharon Pearson and Pamela Myrick: “Fact-filled and passionate debates provide the incentive for students of all academic and socioeconomic levels to become engaged and to participate in the debate process.” After the debate, students read their independent books and prepare to share with a partner and small group with the following questions: “Who is the most important supporting character in your novel? Why? Is s/he complex? Why/why not? How does the author use this character to communicate a theme? What generalizations can you make about supporting characters in this genre? What makes you think that?” The discussion group instructions state: “Each group works together to identify one generalization about supporting characters they want to share with the whole class.” This speaking and listening activity covers the reading and research topics of the unit and prepares them for writing later in the unit.

In Unit 3: Week 6, Day 4, students engage in a peer-to-peer collaborative writing discussion using a rubric to evaluate domains of effective writing. Students are tasked with sharing those domains in which their writing does not yet demonstrate proficiency.

In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 1, students determine the central idea of their own essays. An option during the Accountable Talk portion for Partner Share or Group Share contains the guiding question: “What will be the focus of your essay? What central idea will you explore through your writing?” These questions are connected to students' research projects, but are not necessarily strong speaking and listening examples at Grade 12. This pattern follows throughout Week 6, 7, and 8.

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 12 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, amd 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 Core 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.

The final project instructions for student compositions of a proficient literary critique in Unit 1, Week 6, Days 3-4 requires students to engage with an evaluation rubric as they work through multiple drafts of their work: “Use the W.1 rubric to evaluate one of the literary critiques that you have written during the past few weeks. Share with your partner which points you think you still need to work on to earn a proficient score.”

In Unit 1, Week 6, the materials suggest that the publishing of the final literary critique can occur in a number of digital options:

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

In Unit 1, Week 5, teachers are encouraged to use online book evaluations for students to evaluate books. They encourage teachers to use these online sites to have students write well-crafted, thoughtful, and stylistically beautiful criticisms of literature. These online tools include a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon. The best of these online evaluations are filled with a multitude of evidence, whether including a critique of an author’s use of literary elements (like character, setting, and conflict), style (word choice, figures of speech), research, theme, and purpose. "If you habitually use a platforms like these to write reviews to help you pick your next book, build your beach reading list, share your reading opinions with friends, etc., you know what we’re talking about."

In Unit 3, the organization of the writing progresses from Constructed Response in Weeks 1-4 to the first drafts of an analysis essay to revise, edit, and present the essay. The second half of the unit starts with multiple quick writes for drafting practice that lead to the writing, editing, and publishing of a short story. Also in Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, an on-demand writing task is a literary analysis paragraph that includes a claim about a book they are reading. Students answer the question, “What about the setting will be most important to this book? Why? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.” Students follow a rubric provided to guide and strengthen their writing. After independent writing time, students read their paragraphs to a partner who provides feedback based on the rubric, and the writer is expected to edit and revise the paragraph.

In Unit 4, students will write a model romance narrative based on their study of the genre and its themes across texts from the Romance genre. Before the unit, students complete a writing pre-assessment for teachers to gauge student capacity with literary analysis writing. In the Introduction section of the materials, teachers are prompted to give students this two-part pre-assessment: “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?” Other examples in Unit 4 include:

  • Week 1, Day 4: “What is the most important episode/incident in this story so far? Why? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.”
  • Week 2, Day 1: Independent text response: “What is a central theme of this text? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?”
  • Week 3, Day 1: Collaborative Writing: “What generalizations can you make about the factual basis of texts in this genre? What makes you think that? How is research important to our genre as a whole?”
  • Week 3, Day 5: Constructed Response (based on the graphic novel Romeo and Juliet by Garth Hinds): “What is a central theme in our Core Novel? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?”
  • Week 5, Day 1: Write to Text:
    • "You will use this RL.9 Thinking Map to compare the Central Text to one of your independent texts. Under “Text 1” please write the title of our Central Text. You will work with your partner to complete this section now.
    • Now, you will complete the Thinking Map using a text you have read on your own. Consider the themes you’ve listed for the Central Text and decide which other text will make for the most interesting analysis. If you complete one Thinking Map and are dissatisfied with the conclusions you were able to draw, you may decide to try again with another book you’ve read.”

By the end of Week 9, students will have practiced writing and revising as well as debating about their chosen texts and topic in the romance genre to complete the full writing process to craft an argumentative essay themes or issues from the genre they studied in the unit as well as compose a model romance narrative.

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 12 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, Genre Study), 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. 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.

Unit 1 focuses on writing standard 9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Unit 2 focuses on writing standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content and standard 7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Unit 3 and 4 are both “genre studies” which is different than Grades 9, 10, and 11. Students write a comparative essay that is written as an argument.

In Unit 1, the writing goal by the end of this Unit is that students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in response to text and writing like the authors they read. They will take at least 2 pieces of writing through to publication. By the end of the unit, students will be able to Write Literary Critiques. In Unit 1, Week 4, students practice using figurative language in their writing using guidelines from a matrix of writing prompt suggestions organized by genre. For example, for a personal/nonfiction narrative, students may respond to the prompt: “So far the best analogy for my life is…” In Week 5, students explain author’s purpose and evaluate literature. In Week 6, students evaluate informational text writing and write an essay while taking it through the writing process of revising, editing, and publishing.

In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students begin a “Write to Text” constructed response within the informational genre. Student facing instructions state, “Now each of you will use our RI.2 Thinking Map to draft a short essay answering the question: What is the central idea of the text? How does the author develop this central idea over the course of the text?”

In Unit 3, the prompt directs students to write an essay in which they make a claim based on a connection they have discovered between their Central Text and one of the texts in the genre they read independently.

In Unit 4: Genre Study Lab - Romance & The Science of Relationships, students analyze and write to multiple texts in the romance 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:

  1. Read, analyze, and write about one novel in this genre with the class.
  2. Read at least four novels in the genre on your own.
  3. Write four constructed responses and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre.
  4. Write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.”

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 romance genre 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 (the graphic novel Romeo and Juliet by Garth Hinds) and one of the historical fiction texts they read independently address a similar issue or theme. Then, students will write their own model of a historical fiction narrative.

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 12 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. Specific examples of types of writing include:

  • 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).
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, the writing focus is to analyze an author’s theme. Students provide a written response that requires the use of textual evidence: “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.” In Week 3, Days 1-3, students analyze of an author’s diction in response to the prompt, “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.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 3, the independent practice asks students to engage in rewriting the body paragraphs of a research piece. Students are to reinforce a central idea so that it is “clear and interesting to the reader.” They are also encouraged to be alert to gaps in the information and use the text to locate additional ideas and details.
  • 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 12 - Asia).
  • In Unit 3 Genre Study Lab: World Mythology & Ancient Civilizations, Week 1, Day 4, students respond to the prompt, “What is the most important episode/incident in this story so far? Why?” and are instructed to “[u]se evidence from the text to support your answer.” Students are provided a “Write to Text” format/guide to use for each historical narrative text in the unit that instructs students to “make a claim based on everything you know from reading in the genre this week” and to explain “the most defining literary element” in the genre and why using “evidence from multiple texts to support your answer.” In Week 4, Day 4, students study the narrative elements of their texts to practice writing their own historical narrative pieces. The instructional materials include “Plot-Dialogue Analysis” and “Plot-Lines of Dialogue” graphic organizers that students use to draft dialogue for their own stories.
  • 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 12 - world mythology). Students will write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre of study.
  • In Unit 4: Genre Study Lab - Romance & the Science of Relationships, students spend nine weeks studying the genre during which time they read, analyze, and write about one novel in this genre with the class; read at least four novels in the genre independently; write four constructed responses and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre; and write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre. Student activities include classifying supporting characters encountered in novels so far by type and purpose. In Week 2, Day 4, students write an argumentative essay in which they make a claim based on a connection discovered between the Central Text and one of the texts in the genre read independently in Weeks 5 and 6.
  • 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 12 - romance).

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 12 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.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 4 and 5, the focus on determining meaning of words is found in instruction with lessons called Vocabulary 101: Vocabulary Matters. The days teach how to recognize and to use different types of context (p. 230) and then move to a reading activity where students ‘Notice Vocabulary’ as they “flag at least one new words you want to learn and share” (p. 231). Next students complete a writing task in which they “write on a variety of prompts while they practice using the new vocabulary they are learning in their writing...Student Work: Write 15-30 minutes. Use/add academic vocabulary. Read piece to a partner” (p. 231). A Vocabulary Best Practices section aims to teach students the different tiers of vocabulary and to monitor their own acquisition of new words. There is a challenge to increase students vocabulary to 40,000 words by graduating from high school.
  • In Unit 2, 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. In Week 4, Day 4, Figurative Language, students “Identify an important word choice: I notice the author chose to use _(selected word choice)_. What is the meaning of that figurative word/analogy? What proof can you find in the text to support this understanding?" Students also analyze author choice: “What other ways could the author have communicated this same idea? Why do you think the author chose this word/analogy instead of other options?” In Week 5, Day 3, Evaluating Informative Writing, teachers are given suggestions to help students evaluate informative reading and student writing, including punctuation, structure, syntax, sentence length and variety, and devices; however, no intentional instruction is provided beyond this list. In Week 7, Day 3, Revising for Word Choice, teacher instructions state, “As students revise their essay drafts, materials provide the teacher with a few guidelines for students to address such as using past tense, avoiding vague sentences, paraphrasing or quoting, and using academic voice.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. The lesson plan instructs teachers to “introduce or reinforce conventions as necessary,” however, no specific instructional approaches are mentioned, nor is there an opportunity for students to practice applying the skill.

Editing tasks center primarily on quotation marks, direct quotations, and proper citing of sources. For example, in Unit 4, Week 5, Day 1, the lesson plans advise teachers to “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.” Most of the materials related to grammar, mechanics, and usage consist of lists of definitions for certain terms, for example, in Unit 4, Week 6: Day 2 (p. 271) students are provided a “Powerful Language” handout that contains various definitions related to this skill. There is no evidence of students receiving individualized instruction or practice beyond the use of the handout.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Grade 12 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 12 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 12 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.

  • Unit 1 focuses on the analysis of theme, interaction of individuals over the course of the text, structure of the text, and how multiple texts address a theme/topic. 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: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J.C. Young as the paired informational text. There are no additional texts listed within the materials provided by the publisher, so it is assumed the activities used to analyze literary devices would use these two texts. 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 Asia] students will become an inquiry research community as they read, write, question, debate, and create knowledge together” (p. 30). Students read a classic literature text: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijiie. It is paired with the nonfiction text When Asian Was the World by Stewart Golden. The core and paired texts build knowledge around the topic of Asia from both literary fiction and informational text. The additional texts are mostly informational texts and one novel (The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston) that provide context for Asia. They also build student’s knowledge on the topic.
  • In Unit 3, students study the genre of World Mythology, including cross-cultural comparisons that demonstrate similar ideas and themes, as well as developing an understanding of the hero’s journey-- a common theme in mythology. For this unit, students read the classic core, The Odyssey by Homer paired with Beowulf, Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds. Students select independent reading from a Genre Library in which texts are organized by difficulty level. Students select a minimum of 4 novels from the world mythology genre.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about the topic of Romance and the Science of Relationships. The Teacher Guide states, “During the upcoming weeks, your child will investigate this popular genre by reading from a range of high-quality books. Students will become experts of the romance genre, identifying the protagonists and antagonists, examining the settings, and exploring how the plots set up the central relationships.

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 12 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.

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, "What did the author say?" A purpose question, "Why did he/she say it?" A craft/structure question, "How did she/he say it?" Then some reader response questions, "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 - Asia, students are asked a sequence of questions to identify the organizing structure, to analyze the development of the central idea, to analyze the interaction between ideas, and to evaluate author’s choices. Sample questions and tasks include: "Which structure is the writer using in this text? How do you know? Map out the supporting ideas/key details on the appropriate graphic organizer. Is this organizing structure typical for this mode/ discipline? How does the structure of the text relate to the author’s central idea? Why do you think that? Why did the author put ____ first? How does the choice of leaving ___ to the end shape the reader’s understanding of the central idea? How do the text features clarify or confuse the organizing structure? Look at your graphic organizer: What supporting ideas did you identify in this text? How are these supporting ideas related to each other? How does the order of ideas/ details work to develop the central idea? How does the organizing structure reveal the relationship between these supporting ideas? What connections is the author making between __(idea 1)__ and __(idea 2)__? Why does it matter that the author used this structure? Is this choice appropriate to the central idea/supporting ideas of this text? Is this the most appropriate structure for the content? Why or why not? Does the author use this structure effectively? Why or why not?"

In Unit 3, Week 3, students are focused on the social setting of their novel and respond to questions such as: "What is the most important part of the social setting in the novel? Why do you think it matters? What quote best illustrated that?"

In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 4, students read a fiction text to analyze how an author organizes the sequence of events. After independent reading, students discuss the following prompts with a partner: "Summarize for your partner the problem/complication(s)/resolution event sequence you think was the most engaging. Explain what you like about how the author created this event sequence and how you think you might apply that to your own writing."

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 12 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.

During the preliminary lessons of Unit 1, students read texts and answer questions. By Week 5 of the unit, students attempt to critique a piece of text. Teacher directions to students state, “Return to the Silver/Gold Learning Focus: Literary Analysis As we’ve worked to develop a critical lens, we’ve analyzed what an author says, why we think she says it, and how she uses literacy techniques to do it. Now we are going to move beyond analysis to evaluation: does the author accomplish his/her purpose? Is the book worth reading? Why?”

In Unit 2, Week 5, students are reading about their research topic. The teacher is to stop at key points (this is up to the teacher to determine) where students should work with partners and then as a group to unpack the content of the text. “Pair/share a question at a time. 1. What did we just read? (Basic Comprehension) 2. What are you thinking? Why? Why do you think the author wrote this part this way? What might s/he be suggesting here? (Inference) What are you thinking, feeling, or connecting to in what we just read? How/why? (Reader Response) 3. How does this relate to the Research Question?”

When specific language skills are presented within the units (i.e., figurative language p. 253), teachers are provided text-dependent questions that support students in applying knowledge to text. An example: “Why do you think the author uses this figure of speech?”

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).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 indicate 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, slide shows, drama, blogs, debates, brochures, etc.

Unit 1 is designed to increase student reading stamina and analytical skills. The culminating task expects students to write an essay critiquing an author’s work after engaging in a teacher modeled example with the core text. Each week, students study a different aspect of text analysis - such as author’s theme, word choice, and word meaning - and complete smaller 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 daily across the year. A few examples of supporting questions and tasks that integrate reading, writing, and discussion across the unit are:

  • Week 1: “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” (p. 101).
  • Week 2: "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)” (p. 179).
  • Week 3: “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” (p. 219).
  • Week 4: “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” (p. 265).

Unit 2 builds student knowledge of the ecosystems, politics, and economy of a country in Asia through a core informational text, recommended paired readings, and student selected texts. Each week, students study a different aspect of information text analysis focusing on determine 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 their chosen Asian country of study. 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 a blog entry, school website, a local periodical/newspaper, class based media or newspaper, PowerPoint, or social media.

  • Week 1 (and 9) Pre/post Assessment Constructed Response: Students practice writing about central idea throughout the unit.
    • “Part 1: Have students read a short passage of informational text. The text should be at grade level.
    • Part 2: Have students complete a constructed response to the prompt: Provide an objective summary of the text. What is the central idea of the text? How does the author develop this central idea over the course of the text?”
  • Week 2: “Constructed Response #1 What is the central idea of the text? How does the author develop this central idea over the course of the text?” (p. 94)
  • Weeks 3 and 4: Students continually research texts and add text evidence to graphic organizers to answer the designated research questions about their topic of choice while writing about the central idea of the texts they read.
  • Week 5: Analyze informational mentor texts - “What makes a good informational text? Next week, you will 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. By the end of today, you will be able to use this rubric to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of informational writing” (p. 217).
  • Weeks 6 and 7: Students complete drafts of their informational book and begin editing based on peer reviews and teacher conferences.
  • Week 8: “Select a visual from the text. Explain what information it communicates, drawing on evidence from both the visual and the text” (p. 346).
  • Week 9: Students present their informational book. Materials recommend possible ways to publish: bound book, digital book, poster, school website or blog, class newspaper or periodical, PowerPoint, brochure, or museum display.

In Unit 3, Week 5, students speak and listen about their comparative essay via Accountable Partner Talk to share evidence found to use in the comparison essay and ways to refine their claims. Students share important literary elements of the story (or provide a plot synopsis as a check for understanding) and the group considers other potential theme statements/claims that work for both this text and the central text. To ensure student success, teachers are directed to monitor (i.e. circulate around the room, observe, check in, and coach) as students work to create rough outlines for their essays.

In Unit 4, students demonstrate understanding of plot in the genre and how authors use plot to develop themes via a short essay answering the Key Questions: "What are two themes/central ideas of the Central Text? How does the author use literary elements to develop each theme?" (The Key Question reflects alignment to proficiency with the 9th–10th grade version of College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard Reading #2, useful as mastery of the 9th–10th grade version is a prerequisite to addressing the 11th–12th grade version.)

In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 5, students will write a constructed response. During this task students read in their Core Novel, knowing that they will write a short essay demonstrating their current ability to analyze plot and themes in the genre of romance. Then, students complete answers to the Writing Prompt encouraged to chart their thinking on the Thinking Map before drafting their essays. During this time, teachers are to monitor student work, ensuring all students are on task. The goal of today’s writing is to see what students can do under test conditions. Then students have partner talk taking one minute to share about the themes of their book and themes in the genre ("What is a central theme of this text? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?"). Then they have a “Discussion with the Group,” each group works together to identify one thing they want to share with the whole class.

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 12 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, page 15, materials indicate that across all four units, the CCSS language standards 4, 5, & 6 are addressed. This includes determining word meaning, analyzing context clues and word parts, and studying word relationships and figurative language. Students are also expected to acquire and use academic vocabulary in their speaking and writing. The foundation for studying language is a significant part of the Unit 1 Literacy Lab in which the lesson frameworks build student skills in determining word meaning, identifying denotation and connotation, studying word relationships, and analyzing figurative language.

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 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 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. Specific examples include:

  • “Word Choice Practice: Have students review the word choices in their responses to the above prompt. What word could be replaced with a stronger, more effective choice? How might the use of word connotation be leveraged to better support the central idea and/or supporting idea(s)? Make at least one revision to the word choice of your response” (p. 169).
  • “Use the Word Choice sheet provided on Day 2 to review types of figurative language. Have students brainstorm examples of figurative language they’ve encountered in the Unit thus far, and/or real life examples (e.g., busy as a bee; time is money, etc.), and have them determine which type of figurative language is used in each” (p. 181).

In Unit 3, students are taught to use “powerful language” in their writing. The teacher models how to “Revise for Powerful Language” showing students how to add powerful language in their writing to improve the emotional appeal of the essay draft. Students are shown how to use powerful verbs, nouns, descriptors, technical language, and analogies. They are also shown how to add/eliminate, combine, and rearrange as necessary.

In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 3, the objective for students is to focus on making sure the language they use sways the emotions of the audience. The guided practice during this lesson is to analyze, ”[w]hat about the language the author uses is powerful language/makes this an emotional appeal?” Next, students make comparison across texts to answer “[w]hich text did the best job of engaging your emotions with powerful language? Why?” Students are given a checklist on “Strategies for Successful Word Choice” as a resource.

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 12 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 12 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 by 12th grade are Asian culture, world mythology, and the romance genre. 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 that students understand the expectations and 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, the teacher PLC focus following Week 4 is “Author’s Theme/Purpose.” To help direct and plan writing instruction, teachers answer questions including, "What best practices do you already use for teaching students how to determine the theme of a piece of writing? For finding the author’s purpose? Is there anything specific we want to make sure we ALL cover? What best practices do you already have for teaching essay writing/literary critique? How would you like to publish student writing at the end of next week?" In the following week, teachers share and review student writing samples asking, "What can we learn from our students' work about the successes/challenges of our instruction this past week? Did anyone's students do better than the rest of the classes? What went differently in this room? What are the implications for our instruction for next week?"

In Unit 3: Genre Study Lab - World Mythology & Ancient Civilizations, students answer a series of research questions based on their in-depth study of the genre of world mythology and possible topics such as the history of myths, archetypes, and narrative elements of mythology. For the first 4 weeks, students use provided text-based questions, rubrics, and graphic organizers to study elements of the genre, central message, character analysis, conflict, and the use of dialogue in varied American mythological narratives and texts. After analyzing multiple texts such as the Core Text, Beowulf a graphic novel by Gareth Hinds, students spend Weeks 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 mythological narrative writing, and in Weeks 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: Genre Study Lab - Romance & The Science of Relationships, students answer a series of research questions based on their in-depth study of the genre of Romance and possible topics such as relationship models, the role of communication, and psychological and biological elements of relationships. For the first 4 weeks, students use provided text-based questions, rubrics, and graphic organizers to study elements of the genre, central message, character analysis, conflict, and the use of dialogue in varied American fiction narratives and texts. After analyzing multiple texts such as the Core Text, Romeo & Juliet a graphic novel by Gareth Hinds, students spend Weeks 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 Weeks 8 and 9, students draft, revise, publish, and present their own romance 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.

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 12 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 the continent of Asia and choose a specific country to study closer. 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. Draw a map of your country from memory and label the 15 most important political and physical features.
2. Compare and contrast the various ecosystems in your country.
3. Place 10 milestones in your country’s history on a timeline. Discuss the significance of each.
4. Describe the religion(s) in your country.
5. Describe the current government of your country and compare it to that of the USA.
6. Describe the economy of your country and some of the economic issues that it faces.
7. Discuss the current issues facing your country and how they impact the rest of the world.

In Unit 3, students participate in a genre study by reading a core text of a genre and additional independent reading within said genre. During this unit, students focus on literary analysis, text-dependent questions, academic vocabulary work, and repeated close reading of the genre study. In Week 3, Day 1, students are introduced to the graphic organizer, “Factual Basis for Literary Elements,” that requires them to synthesize knowledge from multiple text sources and will later be used to craft a research writing piece. The weekly lesson plans contain a Discussion Group element in which students share knowledge synthesized from several sources. For example, on Day 2, “Each group works together to identify one generalization about physical settings they want to share with the whole class (p. 138).

In Unit 4, students examine the literary elements of the romance genre through analysis of four different texts: the Core text, the Independent text, Other text (examples from other texts in this genre), and Generalizations they can draw about each literary element in the romance genre. Students begin by learning about general aspects of this type of genre when applied to the literary elements (Setting, Characters, Plot, Theme, Language) before writing a comparative analysis essay that synthesizes student knowledge and understanding of the romance genre.

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 12 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 called the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), in which students are able to choose books for Independent Reading 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 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 text 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 read during in-class independent reading are at or above grade level.

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” (p. 61). 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” (p. 297).

Unit 2, the Informational Research Lab, follows the same expectations 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” (p. 14). 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 (p. 33).

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 12 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 as to how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success.

The IRLA Framework state 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. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation. The ARC materials provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text. 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.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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. Teachers can personalize lessons for all learners via independent reading and the Reader’s Workshop. 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 12 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. 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 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 12 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).

The ARC Literacy Lab Overview contains an “Architecture of the Lesson” piece that provides “an overview of the key objectives, teacher work, and student work for each part of the literacy block” and indicates where to find blank lesson plan templates so that teachers can structure their own lessons.

In Unit 2, the materials are all structured the same. Students read about their topic the first four weeks and write about their topic the last five weeks.

  • 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 materials for Unit 3 provide teachers a “Research Lab Daily Structure” document (p. 10) to guide them through the pacing of research activities throughout the unit. In addition, a “Sample Daily Calendar” at the beginning of Unit 3 organizes days of the week by essential learning students use to guide their inquiry for the culminating writing task (p. 18).

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 12 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).

The introductory planning guides for each unit in each grade level demonstrate an emphasis on “engaging students in the unit of study,” a practice that allows for efficient pacing so that time is spent with content rather than ongoing techniques for student engagement.

In Unit 4 students spend four weeks studying the genre of romance. First, students examine setting, character, and plot and write Constructed Response #1 about these topics. Next, students examine theme/message, protagonist, antagonist, supporting characters to write Constructed Response #2. During Week 3, students study the Factual Basis of Texts in Genre, Physical Setting, Social Setting - Culture Social Setting - Power/Authority to write a Constructed Response #3 on those topics. In Week 4, students look at Factual Basis of Texts in Genre, Conflicts/ Resolutions, Episodes, and Dialogue to write a Constructed Response #4. Weeks 5-9 are spent writing a Comparative Essay on two romantic genre texts. Students revise, edit, publish, and present essays and then compose an original romantic text, first drafting the story, characters, settings, events, and narrator/point of view. To conclude, revise, publish, and present their short stories.

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 12 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 all handouts in all units.

In Unit 2, in the Asia Unit, students are provided a Final Project Rubric, a 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.

In Unit 4, Romance Genre, students are provided with a Literary Elements chart, a Thinking Map on literary elements, a rubric for writing a proficient narrative, Conversational Moves (for when they are having academic conversations), Character Study chart, etc.

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 12 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 country in their research study of Asia. 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.

The content pieces organized in the “Sample Daily Calendar” provided for Unit 4 are each connected to a CCSS.

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 12 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 12 include 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. There is educational research found throughout this program providing the rationale and background knowledge for teachers as professionals and life long learners. 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 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 12 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 12 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.

The materials offer clear and concise explanations of certain components of the framework. For example, The Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1 lesson plans for Unit 1 includes a definition and description of “Accountable Talk” which also gives key characteristics.

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 12 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.

Many components of daily lesson plans are accompanied by a sidebar that either provides the learning standard or explains why it is relevant to that piece of the lesson. In Unit 1, Week 1: Day 1 (p.89), for example, the “Accountable Talk” part of the lesson has an adjacent College & Career Readiness Anchor Standard for Speaking & Listening.

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 12 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.”

Each grade level, including Grade 12, includes an explanation of Toulmin’s Argument Framework, which is an evidence-based strategy that underscores the instructional approach of inquiry activities throughout the units.

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 12 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 12 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. The IRLA Framework state the standards clearly, and each assessment component found in the materials articulates the learning standards assessed. 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. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards. 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 12 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: World Mythology, pages 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?”

Unit 4: Romance, 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 12 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 introductory materials for Unit 2 (p. 22) explain to teachers the concept of backwards design, which emphasizes beginning with a learning standard and determining what practice opportunities are necessary for student mastery. Each of the practice activities offered in the unit is clearly denoted with the corresponding standard.

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 12 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.

Each unit begins with an assessment of students’ current background knowledge of a topic, i.e. “Asia” for Unit 2. In Unit 1, during vocabulary formative assessment, Teachers instruct students to continue reading the Core Novel or Core Informational Text. Student are instructed to “Practice noticing new vocabulary, categorizing it by Tier, and discussing what each word might mean based on evidence from the text. If students have difficulty, ask: Context Clues:What might this word/phrase mean? What in the text supports your answer? Synonym:What is a good synonym for this word? Check in Context:Reread the sentence, replacing the unknown word with your synonym. Does this change the meaning of the sentence? Why or why not?”

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 12 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.

Unit 1 provides a detailed list of guidelines for the “100 Book Challenge.” Some of the guidelines are suggestions as to monitoring the progress of classes and individual students (p. 199).

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 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 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 ongoing 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 12 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 provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text. 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 12 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.

Many of the lesson plans encourage partner reading or “Share Reading of Complex Text,” such as Week 1, Day 3, (p. 113) The guidance for teachers suggests that students “Help your partner remember where we are in this text: Summarize the key literary elements so far.” Struggling readers may benefit from a shared reading activity in which they work with a more skilled reader.

In Unit 2, support for English Learners included this strategy, “Assign roles ahead of time (the language learner being the listener first) and remind them that it is acceptable to ask for repetition, rephrasing, or clarification before deciding on the score. If appropriate, partners collaborate to craft together an answer that earns six points.”

“New Language Learners”: Students may need key concepts in their native language, teacher read-aloud or buddy reading with a higher-level reader, same-language partners for pair-share, sentence frames, pre-teaching of specific vocabulary or language structures, and/or additional supports.

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 12 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 a 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.”

In Unit 2, teachers are directed “Where possible, have students identify cognates in their home language that connect to content learned in English (e.g., classification/clasificación, characteristics/ características, reptile/ reptil).”

Unit 2 materials state, “Note-making requires not only language skills, but also higher order thinking skills (evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing). Some language learners might bring strengths in the latter; some might need help with all of it. Allow students to write their FPOs in both their home languages and in English as a way to assess where they are in all these areas.”

An assortment of tools designed to help teachers assess students’ grade-level reading skills, as well as move them to higher levels throughout the course of the year are offered in the “IRLA: Conferencing & Formative Assessment section (pp. 402-437).

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 12 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 group as teachers feels 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, “Collaborative Writing Partner Share Partners” read their writing to each other, with pencils in hand making corrections/improvements to their own work. Group Share Invite one or two students to share their writing with the class. Who wants to tell us about a book we should all read?

Guidance for teachers suggests that students “Help your partner remember where we are in this text: Summarize the key literary elements so far.” Struggling readers may benefit from a shared reading activity in which they work with a more skilled reader.

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 12 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. Teachers can personalize lessons for all learners via independent reading and the Reader’s Workshop. 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 12 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.

Some of the guidance provided to teachers misses opportunities to suggest relevant digital platforms for using technology to enhance student learning; a Unit 2 sidebar entitled “Writing Focus and Differentiation” (p. 25), for example, suggests students make a list or write a short paragraph of what they had learned from the day’s reading.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 12 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 12 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

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA 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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