Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the primary-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability. The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3-5 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the intermediate-level materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
54
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
30
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

+
-
Gateway One Details

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are therefore worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions and task develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills; although, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

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.
20/20

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 1 students. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and or award winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests, including animals, family stories, plants, real-world topics, historical fiction, fantasy, poetry, and biographies. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

The following are texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold is a Caldecott Honor book about Harlem, New York in 1939. This book contains historical references, and the text has colorful illustrations of quilts.
  • The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee is an amusing text about a scary teacher. Students will identify with the characters since meeting the teacher can be frightening for some students.
  • The Adventures of Taxi Dog, by Debra and Sal Barracca and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a rhyming text with interesting vocabulary such as gritty and fare. Some illustrations are full page spreads.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 1 provides students the opportunity to engage in above-level, complex read alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain eight baskets of leveled readers and four baskets of read-aloud immersion texts that are intended to engage all types of readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards (50% informational and 50% fiction). Texts include diverse topics and genres such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and a poetry anthology.

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

Unit 1

  • The Planets, by Gail Gibbons
  • Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger

Unit 2

  • Birds, by Jayson Fleischer
  • How Animal Babies Stay Safe, by Mary Ann Fraser

Unit 4

  • Trees, by Trace Taylor and Gina Cline
  • Seeds, Bees, and Pollen, by Julie K. Lundgren

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

Unit 1

  • Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen
  • The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton

Unit 2

  • Time To Sleep, by Denise Fleming
  • Tigers at Twilight, by Mary Pope Osborne

Unit 3

  • My Brother, Ant, by Betsy Byars
  • My Family History, by Jane O’Connor

Unit 4

  • Our Tree Named STEVE, by Alan Zweibel
  • The Dandelion Seed, by Joseph Anthony

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials are designed with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple text sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text, though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards that all read alouds be above grade level. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small- and whole-group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success for students in grades PreK through 12.”

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include the following:

  • In the book Junie B. Jones: First Grader at Last, by Barbara Park with a quantitative measure of 250L with qualitatively moderately complex knowledge demands with more than one storyline and moderately complex language demands with figurative and academic language and complex dialogue.
  • The book, Fly High! The Story of Betsy Coleman, by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger has a quantitative measure of 710L and a qualitative measure with moderately complex structure that is supported by illustrations. The language demands are also moderately complex with academic language and domain-specific terms. The knowledge demands are moderately to very complex in that they explore multiple themes and possibly unfamiliar cultural elements.
  • The book, Dinosaurs, by Gail Gibbons is measured at an NC750 Lexile and quantitatively has slightly to moderately complex knowledge demands with domain specific terms supported by the text and illustrations. There are multiple sources of information and text features that place its structure at moderately complex.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The supplemental text baskets are leveled according to the publisher’s system called the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). There are core texts and complex read alouds for teachers to select from for anchor read alouds, all leveled 2-3 years above the reading level of most students in Grade 1.

Text options are at differing levels of material. The materials provide text sets (baskets) that are leveled and expose students to a myriad of levels and complexity. Students are provided access to the texts that are both of interest and are at the appropriately challenging level, according to the IRLA.

Materials provide students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts from the beginning to the end of the year require careful monitoring using the IRLA and suggested instruction based upon the IRLA results. The rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year. Students will engage with texts at varying levels unit to unit, according to their skill levels.

Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. The teacher companion to the research lab contains general instruction outlines, speaking and listening strategies, and general comprehension questions. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation that anchor (core) texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) Framework, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. “To determine reading level, every book is double-blind and hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

Title: Elizabeti’s School, by Stephanie Stuve Bodeen

Text Complexity Level: 2R (end of 2nd Grade)

Quantitative: AD 590L (3rd-4th)

Qualitative: Lexile slightly overestimates the difficulty of the text because:

Purpose/Structure: Slightly Complex. The text follows a simple, explicit narrative structure in which the order of events in entirely chronological.

Language: Slightly to Moderately Complex. The language is largely contemporary and familiar, though occasional use of academic vocabulary, as well as a smattering of Swahili, add to the complexity. Knowledge Demands: Slightly to Moderately Complex There is a single level/layer of meaning. Because the setting of this story is rural Tanzania, some experiences and cultural references may be unfamiliar to some readers; however, the experience of starting school is a common experience with which Grade 1 readers can easily identify.

Reader and Task: Although set in Tanzania, the experience of going to school is common for most readers, and although occasional use of Swahili in the text may be unfamiliar, it is accompanied by support within the text. In addition, the text is written in familiar, conversational language, making it an excellent above-level Grade 1 read aloud for exploring both another culture and the commonality of the school experience.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading, and Readers' Workshop/Research Reading.

During the Shared Reading segment of the class, the teacher models the reading/thinking strategies expected from a proficient, grade-level reader (i.e., reading Power Words, chunking- finding Power Words inside words, etc.) through a read aloud.

Students then practice the modeled skills during independent reading from self-selected texts while also gathering additional evidence to support their research.

Students then reflect on how they used the modeled strategies and what evidence they found that supports their research in an Accountable Talk segment of Research Reading.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
14/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources.

Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about a topic.

Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus for research and literacy labs is to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or an extended composition piece.

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

Opportunities to explicitly learn grade-level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.For example:

Unit 1:

  • “What happened in the story, based on the words and the pictures? What did you learn about ___ from the words and the pictures?"

Unit 2:

  • “What is the author saying? How does this relate to ___? How does this compare to what you already know/thought about?"

Unit 3:

  • “Who is a supporting character in this story? What role does s/he play? How do you know? Which event(s) cause the problem in this story?" and "What part of the text and/or the pictures supports your answer?"

Unit 4:

  • “What in the text/pictures helped you learn it? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?"

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Across Units 2-4, the culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

  • Unit 1, Week 2: Students will express an opinion about a favorite author/illustrator: "I like ____because...” Week 3: "Today, you will write your opinion on which book about _(e.g., character/topic)_ was your favorite and why.”
  • In Unit 2, students complete a set of seven text-dependent research questions and graphic organizers. Students use both verbal and written responses to demonstrate learning throughout the unit. The culminating task is publishing an informational piece focused on an animal and presenting the findings.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Welcome to our Research Lab. We are going to read lots of great stories in __(genre)__ together and on our own. We will read, analyze, and write _(genre)_ stories every day. You will learn to compare two __(genre)__ stories. You will write and publish your very own short story collection.
  • In Unit 4, students write and respond to seven text-dependent research questions. The culminating task is to form opinions and craft well-reasoned and supported arguments on the topic of plants to be published and presented at the end of the unit.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Literacy Lab, after the first read of the connected text, the teacher tells students to tell the person beside them what their favorite part of the story was and why.
  • In Unit 3, Accountable Talk, Partner Share: Each partner takes one minute to share. Pick one of the books you read today. Describe one of the supporting characters using details from the text and/or the pictures. Tell what role s/he plays in the story.
  • In Unit 3, Accountable Talk, Partner Share: Each partner takes one minute to share. "Pick one of the books you read today. Use our Retelling a Story rubric to do a 3-point retelling. Identify the MOST important detail about the setting, and explain why it is the most important. Retell this story, including the key story elements. Partners, did your partner earn the first three points? Why or why not?"

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • In Unit 1, students share with the person next to them her/his favorite part of the book and why. The teacher guide states, “What do you love to read about? Tell the person beside you what you love to read about.”
  • In Unit 2, students analyze what authors did to make their text organized, interesting, and entertaining. The question in the teacher’s guide is, “What is the author saying?”
  • In Unit 3, each partner takes one minute to describe the differences between the settings and lessons in two stories the teacher read. “Pick one of the books you read today. Use our 'Retelling a Story' rubric to do a 3-point retelling. Identify the MOST important detail about the setting and explain why it is the most important. Retell this story, including the key story elements. Partners, did your partner earn the first three points? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 4, students share a different WOW! fact from the text with a partner. Partners check, and the teacher listens to make sure that students are sharing facts (not opinions) and using evidence from the text to prove their answers are accurate.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece.

Examples of on-demand writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 1 Literacy Lab, Week 2, the teacher sets the writing focus: “We are going to continue drawing and writing every day. Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Today, each of you will: Draw and write for 15 minutes, use everything you know to help you write, and write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, during Interactive Writing, both students and the teacher share the pen to compose a Morning Message related to what students did yesterday or will do today.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, students are working on writing stories that teach lessons: “Today, we examined how professional authors use major events to teach a lesson. Now, it is your turn. You will create a story whose problem and solution teach a lesson. Let me show you how I might get started…”
  • In Unit 4, Week 8, students work on “adding as much information as you can to their organizer for today’s Research Question.”

Examples of extended writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 2, we are going to spend the next 9 weeks reading, writing, and talking about the big ideas in the unit. Each of you will pick one topic on which to become an expert. You will research this topic and write an informational book about it. By the end of this Unit, you will: 1. Be an expert on the unit. Be an expert on your research topic. Write and publish an informational book on your topic (or other piece of informational writing as decided by the teacher).
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students select a piece of writing from the week to revise, edit, and add to their short story collections as the fifth story.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, students will publish the opinion piece they wrote yesterday. Students will work through revising and editing their pieces to make them “the best things they have ever written.”

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, students engage in writing by asking and answering questions, examining fiction and nonfiction, story elements, retell, and compare and contrast elements. On Week 2, the daily framework is to write about books being read in class. The teacher will model and monitor progress by observing, underwriting, and collecting student writing.
  • In Unit 2, there is a rubric and a thinking map on pages 146 and 147 for students to use throughout the unit to guide their writing. On Week 5, day 4, students continue using research question #4 to convert graphic organizer notes into paragraphs. After teacher modeling and student-guided practice, students share their work with a partner to ask for and provide constructive feedback.
  • In Unit 3, there is a retelling rubric, a narrative writing rubric, and a retelling map on pages 26-28 to guide students. Weeks 1-3 focus on story elements, weeks 4-6 focus on retelling, and weeks 7-9 focus on compare and contrast. Students complete one writing piece each week. Writers Workshop occurs at the end of the literacy block.
  • In Unit 4, pages 26-29, students are shown the “Wow” rubric, the opinion and drafting opinion organizer and rubric, and the proficient answer rubric. On Week 3, day 3, during the write to text block students use a text and the opinion organizer/rubric to generate an opinion. The teacher models the process before students begin guided practice.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are required to write daily for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • Unit 1, Week 1, Days 2-5: “In order to get to know each other, we’ll write about our favorite things this week. These are our opinions about different things we like.”
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1: “You will write and publish your very own short story collection.” Then, on Day 5: “Today, you will pick your favorite piece of writing from the week to turn into a beautiful, polished piece. This will be the first piece for your short story collection. We will work through revising and editing your pieces to make them the best things you have ever written."
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students write to retell a favorite story they heard in a read aloud or one they read on their own.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 4, students select an aspect from their research that they really care about to write an opinion piece using the Drafting an Opinion Piece organizer/rubric.

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Opportunities to explicitly learn grade- level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete editing tasks through the units, but the editing tasks are often not based in Grade 1 Language standards, and the tasks include only general checklists.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Grade 1 standards:

  • Unit 1: Students work individually or in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. Introduce, model, or reinforce conventions as necessary.
  • Unit 3: Using your text or a student volunteer, model how a writer edits to make sure the following have capital letters: e.g., first word in every sentence, proper nouns (the proper name of any person, place, or thing), major words in a title, and the word “I”.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
20/22
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities. Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading as well as to provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including structures and features of text.

The instructional materials partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression. There are instances where students move quickly between concepts and some students may not have frequent and adequate practice opportunities to solidify their understanding of the different vowel sounds.

Indicator 1o

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, students learn initial blends and digraphs. In the following lessons, students learn:

  • Lessons 1-2: Initial consonant -L blends: bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl
  • Lessons 3-4: Initial consonant -R blends: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr
  • Lessons 5-6: Initial S- and Tw- blends: sc, sk, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tw
  • Lessons 7-8 Initial Consonant Digraphs: ch, ph, sh, th, wh, wr

To teach the blends and digraphs, the lessons include teacher modeling with a text from the Guided Reading Texts basket. Activities to teach blends include tongue twisters such as: “Snakes and snails sneezed and snorted” (p. 50). Students have the opportunity play Blend Bingo.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, students learn 1-syllable word families. Students learn onset and rime through chunking. In Zone 1, students produce single-syllable words by blending. For example, in Lesson 2 Who Can I Call (-all), students use a Power Word and initial letters to create real and nonsense words. Students can also participate in a game called Rhyme Boggle, which has students write as many real -all words they can in one minute. In Zone 2, students learn to decode regularly spelled one-syllable words. In Zone 4, phonemes with common vowel patterns are taught which includes teaching the final -e pattern.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2B, students learn decoding of 2-syllable words. In Lesson 1, students learn the concept of a syllable. In Lessons 2 and 3, students learn compound words. Inflectional endings are taught in Lessons 4-12.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, Lessons 43-50, students learn to distinguish long and short vowel sounds using onset and rime to decode one-syllable words, paying special attention to the role vowels play in these word families. For example, in Lesson 46, students learn to distinguish the different sounds of i. Students help the teacher read Three Blind Mice, and the students are directed to listen for the different sounds i makes in the nursery rhyme. Students also read a guided reader text. Each Zone 4 lesson teaches a different vowel and its sounds.

Indicator 1p

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

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

Students have opportunities to learn print concepts:

  • In Unit 1, Day 1, during Morning Meeting, the teacher is directed to post a Morning Message. The teacher is to state: “Every sentence in this Morning Message ends with a period or a question mark. I will put two lines under each period. Let’s count how many sentences there are” (p. 71). During Morning Meeting in Days 2-5, the teacher is to reinforce Foundational Skills by having students find and mark capitalization and punctuation of the Morning Message. For example, the teacher can state: “How many sentences does our message have? How do you know? Who can come and circle the periods?” In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, during Editing, the students are responsible making sure each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with an end mark (period, question mark, or exclamation point).

The materials contain opportunities for students to learn text structures:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, the lesson has a focus on main ideas and key details. The lesson includes the teacher modeling identification of main ideas and key details, followed by students using their IRLA assigned leveled text for application. Learning to identify and find main idea and details is also in Unit 3 and Unit 4.
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 3-4, the lesson focus is sequence of events. In the Mini-Lesson, the teacher introduces the concept of sequence of events by mapping the beginning, middle, and end of the Core Novel. The teacher maps the sequence of events in the Plot-Sequence of Events graphic organizer. The teacher asks questions such as: “What is the beginning? What happens in the beginning and why is that important to the sequence of events? What about the middle? The end?” Students use the graphic organizer to map the sequence of events for a second story from the Core Novel. Then students write, using sequence of events. “Pick an event from your life that you’d like to retell. Write the story of that event, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Does yours have a problem? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students learn about story structure. In Week 2, Day 1, the teacher introduces the Describing Plot Anchor Chart to teach about problem. The teacher guides the students through identifying problem with questions such as: “Why is this a problem? Do all the characters think this is a problem?”

The materials contain opportunities for students to learn about text features:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, the teacher uses mentor texts to help students understand how authors use text features to organize their books. The lesson includes modeling, guided practice, and group share. Students apply their learning of text features to drafting a book which includes text features such as cover, page numbers, and table of contents. In Week 5, Day 3, students learn more text features such as glossaries, captions, and labels. The instructional materials contain information for teachers: “Print Features: help readers locate information that SURROUNDS the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 1, the lesson reviews informational text basics such as table of contents, headings/subheadings, glossaries/index. In Week 9, Day 5, students are taught about short story collection text features. Students put together their short story collections and use additional text features to pull the stories together into a cohesive collection.
  • Through Units 2-4, during Formative Assessment One-on-One Conferences, the teacher is to assess students’ understanding of text features. “Do they know how to use text features (table of contents, index) to efficiently locate information?"

Indicator 1q

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins.

In Foundational Skills 2G, students learn 120+ high-frequency Power Words at Flash Speed. According to the teacher materials, “They will be able to read these words in books they have never seen before and out of context (lists, flash cards, etc.) at Flash Speed” (p. 9). Starting in Lesson 9, students are told they will be learning 60 more words. In Lesson 9, students learn to read and spell six new words: as, some, many, these, eat, and too. The students practice these words in the following ways: see/hear it, say it orally, trace it, skywrite it, write it, and practice it by playing games. As students learn the high-frequency words, students use a variety of strategies to figure out the words in the guided reader text. The teacher directions state: “Remember the students shouldn’t be asked to try to 'sound out' any word in a 2G text. If students can’t use syntax, meaning, and the initial consonant sounds to figure out a word, tell students the word” (p. 87).

In Foundational Skills 1B, students have fluency practice of decodable words such as -all words. Students participate in a scavenger hunt. They find a page that has 3 -all words and identify the words. Students also read a guided reading text, short passages such as Humpty Dumpty and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

In Foundation Skills 1B, students learn to recognize and read grade-level irregularly spelled words. During Zone 3, students learn new key words with high leverage phonograms and Tricky Words which are often in 1B books.

To practice reading text fluently, the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G directs the teacher to have students read one-page passages and guided reader texts. The directions state: “Students choral read, partner read, and practice until they can read the text without effort” (p. 27). In Foundational Skills 1B and 2B, the directions are identical for the guided reader texts. As students read guided reader texts, the purpose is for students to use their new learning of Power Words in text. For example in Lesson 20 of 2G, students read Mondays and are told this goal: “Now, you will use the Power Words you know to read this book” (p. 131).

Indicator 1r

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, when students learn initial blends and digraphs, students practice reading the blend type in a sentence. For example, in Lesson 2, students read “Glamorous gladiators gladly glue glitter to their gloves” (p. 30). Students also practice reading a passage called Clean Up, which the teacher models. Students learn 60 Power Words at Flash Speed and also have the opportunity to practice those words in context with guided reader texts and with cloze passages. Students learn category words such as colors, the days of week, and contractions and then students practice reading those words in a guided reader text or cloze passage.

In Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, students learn word attack strategies to help them figure out words. Word attack strategies include, but are not limited to: Stop if something doesn’t look right, sound right or make sense; Blend: Say the first two letters; Cover part of the word; Think of a word that looks the same and rhymes. In 1B Lesson 1, students fill in a cloze activity of sentences using -all words from a word box. Students also read a 1B book where all the hard words use -all.

The directions for the teacher to help students figure out all words they don’t know include:

  • Can you find a word you know inside?
  • Use your finger(s) to cover up the beginning/end of the word.
  • Add the first letter sound.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2B, students learn to decode 2-syllable words and practice those decoding skills in Guided Reader texts and single page passages such as Forest Trails and Berries for Baby Birds.

Indicator 1s

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ learning of foundational skills. These are the following steps to using IRLA:

  • Identify IRLA Reading Level.
  • Use the IRLA to diagnose specific instructional needs.
  • Use corresponding Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons to teach and model specific skills.
  • Provide guided and independent practice differentiated to support students who learn at different paces.

IRLA helps provide the teacher with baseline data about each Grade 1 student’s reading proficiency. This gives teachers information about which foundational skills each student needs to learn, and the teacher can use the data to sort students into similar groupings. A teacher will assess a Grade 1 student for different stages of acquisition. In Grade 1, a teacher can assess students for different levels of foundational skills. According to IRLA, Grade 1 students are in 2G, 1B, and 2B, which include the following stages of acquisition: sight words, word families, vowel patterns, and syllabication. For 2G entry, a student can recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words, can make the initial sound for a minimum of 13 blends/digraphs, and can use a combination of initial sounds/blends, sight words, and context clues to read a 2G text with purpose and understanding. The teacher also documents a student’s reading during a running record. IRLA contains many assessment opportunities for the teacher to assess each student.

With IRLA, a teacher can assess students’ progress toward learning grade level standards. In IRLA, there are Coaching Records for teachers to document students’ learning. For example, in Coaching Record 1B (for a student in 1B) the teacher documents a student’s ability to chunk words, to read 1-syllable word families, to read tricky words, to use reading strategies, to demonstrate reading comprehension.

Coaching Tips and Warning Signs are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example in 1B, a teacher can assess students’ ability to know sight words. “Warning Signs: All students should be able to read these 10 sight words at Flash Speed (no sounding out). If they can’t, they need additional sight word work in 1G or 2G.”

Foundational Skills lessons include opportunities for students to progress quicker if students know the skills based on the Passing Lane: Assessment. This helps a teacher make instructional adjustments, so students can make progress in learning foundational skills. In 2G, Lesson 9, there is a Passing Lane: Assessment: “Any student who can read most of these words should be re-tested to see if s/he may need to move IRLA levels and/or strategy groups.”

Indicator 1t

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities.

Instructional materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units (Literacy Lab, Wild and Endangered Animals, Family Stories and Families, and Plants). After placing students into skill-based groupings based on assessment results from IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), students are provided learning opportunities at their individual levels. Students placed in the 2G are ready to learn another 60 “know on sight” words, and students learn to self-prompt 2-letter consonant blends and digraphs. Students have access to 1G and 2G Guided Reading Books. If a student is not ready for 2G small group, the IRLA materials help place students in a small group teaching prerequisite skills for 2G. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in Blue or Red small group. These students learn onset + sight word, 1-syllable word families, 2-syllable words, and multisyllabic words.

During Literacy Lab Grade 1 lessons, students participate in games that develop students’ ability to hear different sounds in words. “At the beginning of 1st grade, provide plenty of practice with consonant sound review (3Y/1G), blends & digraphs (2G), and rhyming (getting ready for 1B).”

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 1B, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning onsets/rimes. “Students who struggle with any of the Zone 2 lessons will need additional practice (or are working in the wrong level). Use the ideas below in any order based on student interest and need.” Examples of ideas for student practice are: use chunks (rimes) you know to make new words, flashcards, spelling champs, independent reading from self-select 1B books, rhyme boggle, letter/sound switch, nursery rhymes/silly stories.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for a teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1B, the Action Plan contains: “Have an older student come down at the same time every day to read with his 1B book buddy. Consider using an older student who is seriously behind in reading, but is at least a 1R. Both students can afford to miss everything else for this activity.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In 2G, Lesson 2, the Coaching Tip is: “Resist teaching the vowel sounds at this time. This will slow down the process. Keep the focus on blends, pictures, and sensemaking.” Another example of how the materials provide guidance to teachers is found in the Lesson 15 Coaching Tip:

  • Kidwatching: Who is having trouble and what is it they don’t know or aren’t remembering to do? What is the one thing in their way?
  • Buddy Reader: Is there another student who is particularly good at this who could spend some time as this student’s Buddy Reader?

In Lesson 9 of Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G, if students can read most of the 2G Power Words, the teacher is directed to retest the student with IRLA for a different level of instruction. In Foundational Skills Toolkit 1B, in Lesson 19, teachers are directed in the Passing Lane to differentiate for a student who can reliably use rhyming with a sight word to read a new word to Zone 3.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32
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Criterion Rating Details

Units and corresponding text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can choose topics of interest related to the unit.

Students engage in analyzing parts of texts, often for class discussion, supported by questions and tasks that require them to draw on textual evidence to support their answers. Culminating tasks give students the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics as well as mastery of several different standards across all areas of ELA.

Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials and call on students to think about the meaning of words.

Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year as well as to develop their stamina and a positive attitude about writing. Students examine and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

Units are designed for students to act as researchers and gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to build a body of evidence for the culminating task.

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as animals, family stories, plants, literary stories, and more.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in science, social studies and literary genres including the subjects of family, culture, school, animals, and poetry that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • In Unit 1, the topic of beginning school uses the themes of individual likes and families to build a reading community, establish routines, and individual student literacy levels.
  • In Unit 2, the topic of Wild and Endangered Animals uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, Week 5, Lesson 2, page 287: Students have opportunities during the Morning Message and Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading/Research Reading and Research Writing (students only use the text when needed). The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as the Magic Tree House series #19 and a common shared experience book Birds.
  • In Unit 3, the topic of Family Stories is used as content for a genre study. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Jamaica Tag-Along and All Families are Special. With prompting and support students use the poem, Clean Your Room Harvey Moon.
  • In Unit 4, the topic of Plants uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as The Dandelion Seed and a common shared experience book Trees.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students are asked, “Why do you think the author included __ in both books? Based on the lessons in these two stories, what might be important to the author? What information is included in one text but not the other?” and“Do any of the differences contradict each other? Where?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying? How does this relate to RQ #__? What do you wonder about this?” and “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”
  • In Unit 3, students used a rubric to retell stories and were scored on plot, setting, characters etc. Each day they would work with a partner and would be asked, “Did your partner earn the first four points? Why or why not?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, students are asked to reflect on specific Research Questions (RQ): “What is something you already know about _(RQ #4)_? Did you know that...? Why does it matter to our study of...? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about...? What questions does it raise for you?” and “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. During interactive reading, students engage in analyzing parts of text(s) for class discussion, addressing any given number of questions that may include responses in the form of graphic organizers, quick writes, or quick draws that involve drawing on textual evidence to support their answers. The general format of the reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers, and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, “After our Independent Reading, you will compare/contrast two books that you read today. Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two books about _(topic)_.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying? The text is all about ____ so far. How does this relate?” and “How does this compare to what you already know/thought about?”
  • Unit 3, Week 7. “This week, we are going to compare and contrast two stories in our genre. We will think about how they are the same and different. We will form opinions about the most interesting similarities and differences we find. By the end of the day, you will be able to use a Venn diagram to compare the main characters in two stories.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students are asked, “What is the author saying about RQ #__? How do you know? Why does it matter to our study of ___? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?" and "How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

Examples include:

  • Unit 1, Week 2. “Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Today, each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Use everything you know to help you write. • Write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.” The teacher is then guided to underwrite the student work with, “The primary goal of beginning writing is that students learn to represent their own speech in print.”
  • Unit 2: Students complete a set of seven text-dependent research questions and graphic organizers. Students use both verbal and written responses to demonstrate learning throughout the unit. The culminating task: publishing an informational piece focused on an animal and presenting the findings.
  • Unit 3, Week 9. Students put together all the stories they have written, illustrated, revised, and edited to create a short story collection. "By the end of today, you will have a published collection.” Presentations can be as simple as sharing with partners or as formal as organizing an event to which parents and/or community members are invited as the audience.
  • Unit 4, Week 3. “Have students demonstrate mastery of Research Question #2 Science/Social Studies key concepts through a variety of exit tickets, graphic organizers, and/or writing prompts as appropriate to students’ current writing abilities.”

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. The established Literacy Lab routines state, “Teacher uses daily Read Aloud as an opportunity to increase students’ academic vocabulary, background knowledge, and speaking & listening skills.” Each lesson has Interactive Read Alouds to bolster students’ receptive vocabulary, and strategies quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, during the first read of the connected text, the teacher’s guide states: “Use the ‘drop-in’ vocabulary strategy to quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words.
  • Unit 2, Week 1. “The primary goal of today is to use the Research Library to capture and engage students in studying this Unit. As you do this, students will also begin to notice academic and technical vocabulary related to the Unit.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “As we research, we will encounter new vocabulary words. Words that are specific to our Unit and help us become experts on our Unit are called technical vocabulary words. You will each be responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. Today, as we read, I noticed the word _____. I think this word is important in understanding __(Unit)__. I’m going to add this word to our Class Glossary.”
  • Unit 4, Week 6. “Highlight and discuss high-leverage terms (e.g., important Unit vocabulary, words that indicate an opinion, function words [e.g., transition words]).”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes, which include composing opinion pieces, informational/explanatory texts, and simple narratives. Each lesson contains protocols for students to share their writing and receive feedback from both the teacher and his/her peers. Students engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine, and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. “We are going to continue drawing and writing every day. Today, we will write about the books we are reading. Each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Use everything you know to help you write. • Write at least one question about something you’ve read/listened to.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students use the Problem/Solution graphic organizer to think about how their characters might respond to the problem(s) they’ve created. "Think about what kinds of responses would be fun to read/write about. Decide how your problem will be solved. Focus 2: Write or finish a story that includes a problem and a solution. Make sure you describe how at least one character responds to this problem."
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, the 20-40 minute Writer’s Workshop focus is retelling a favorite story as if the students were the authors. The teacher models a think aloud for planning writing, drawing and writing before students begin.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students select a plant to become an expert on. During the 20-40 minute research writing block, students write one “Wow” fact about their topic. The teacher models planning their writing, drawing, and writing using a think aloud. Writing samples are collected as evidence of students’ learning. Students work individually or in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure.

The daily literacy block includes a 20-60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing. Students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one-to-one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres. Students will bring a piece to final publication by the end of the week as well as at the end of the unit, with final presentations of the entirety of the work done during each unit.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
Units are designed for students to act as researchers and gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to to complete a culminating writing task in each lesson. Writing tasks ask students to interpret, analyze, and/or synthesize information from above grade-level interactive read alouds and texts from independent leveled libraries from a range of sub-topics within the larger context of a literary or scientific field of research. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times of about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students will, “Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure."
  • In Unit 2, in the Research Labs, students "will become an expert on one wild animal and be able to stand in front of the class and say, 'Ask me ANYthing about my animal.' Then, they take a final written product through the entire writing process from note-making to publication."
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “We are going to read lots of great stories in __(genre)__ together and on our own. We will read, analyze, and write __(genre)__ stories every day. You will learn to compare two __(genre)__ stories. You will write and publish your very own short story collection.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1. “We are going to spend the next 9 weeks reading, writing, and arguing about the big ideas in __(Unit)___. Each of you will pick one topic on which to become an expert. You will research this topic and write research-based opinion pieces about it. By the end of this Unit, you will: 1. Be an expert on __(Unit)__. 2. Be an expert on your research topic. 3. Be able to write great opinion pieces.” An organizer is used for research writing today as students compile “WOW” facts about their topic.

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 for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Texts are of publishable quality and worthy of close reading. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can select. Students can use text features and visual cues within the books to help him/her read and understand. Sufficient teacher guidance/support from the teacher includes modeling the thought process, guided practice, using mnemonic devices/chant, and when students are proficient, there are opportunities for them to help other students.

Procedures are organized for independent reading using the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) and the teacher’s guide. There is scheduled independent reading time daily. The 100 Book Challenge is an instructional system that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes; any book counts for the 100 Book Challenge. The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A Home Coach is provided (a parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the Home Coach to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their in class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. Daily Framework, Independent Reading uses structures described in Readers’ Workshop to ensure every student reads for as close to 30 minutes as possible, in as many short reading periods as needed. Every student will be expected to complete 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading every day by the end of Week 3.
  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. The 100 Book Challenge begins. Directions, log sheets and online SchoolPace instructions are found here. Suggestions for engaging families as Home Coaches is found here. Steps build gradually. For example, Week 3 begins with 1 step a day instead of 2, Week 4 increases to 2 steps a day, Week 5, 3 steps a day- 2 in school, 1 at home, and Week 6, 4 steps a day- 2 in school and 2 at home. This will continue the rest of the school year.
  • Units 2 and 4. In the research units, a Resources Check Sheet is provided for students to record the number of good books they find in each color level.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1. Independent Reading. Students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected books in the genre.
  • In Unit 4, the Research Lab Daily Structure provides a guide and description of daily reading activities which include: Interactive Read Aloud, where teachers model and provide guided practice; Shared Reading, where teacher model and support student practice; and Research Reading, where students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected Research Lab books.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Grade 1 materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The four units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Grade 1: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Animals, Family Stories, and Plants. The materials contain daily opportunities for whole and small-group instruction, including flexible grouping based on learning needs as determined by the IRLA assessments. The materials emphasize their daily routine as including a basic structure and multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, including opportunities to have personalized instruction to meet their specific needs, read books that are appropriate for their reading skills/level as well as books that are self-selected (from within a teacher-directed menu of choices), work with other students, and spend time researching and writing on topics of interest for multiple purposes and audiences. Each unit is accompanied by specific goals. For example, the materials list four literacy goals for students for the Literacy Lab (Unit 1) as:

Students will

  • Listen to at least 100 above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts.
  • Write every day, for a variety of purposes and in a variety of modes.
  • Practice applying a variety of Grade-Level Standards to both reading and writing.

There are also weekly goals, including the teacher meeting with a minimum of 10 students 1:1 or in small groups to focus on their Power Goals, students spending 2.5 hours a week in school reading and enjoying books independently or with a partner/buddy, and students spending 2.5 hours a week enjoying reading and listening to books at home.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Interactive Read-Aloud, Phonological Awareness, Readers’ Workshop, Centers, Writing, Music/Drama, and Read-Aloud) for a 120 minute reading block and offer flexibility for the order in which the components are completed. Each day’s lesson plans have a clear set of directions and are supported by educative materials within the lesson plans that explain why certain practices are supported or not supported by research and recommendations for carrying out the evidence-based practices.

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 materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Each unit comes complete with a pacing guide. There are four units designed for 36 weeks of instruction. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

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 1 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, materials include, “Words We Love” Chart • Word Wall/Environmental Print: Add to your Word Wall and to continue to support student reading and writing (1G & 2G Power Words, Key Words for remembering initial consonants, blends, and digraphs). • Songs/Rhymes you are using this week on chart paper”
  • In Unit 2, there are several graphic organizers for the “Final Project Organizer” including Topic Choice, KWL, Research Question(s) 1-6, a Glossary, and a Works Consulted Page.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Create a Describing Characters Anchor Chart with your class, adding to it as you work over the next few days. There are many ways to describe a character. Today, we will practice describing a character’s personality and actions.”
  • In Unit 4, there is a “Final Project Rubric” for the project on Plants. Included in the rubric are points for Authentic Voice, Information, Text Features, Effort, and Quality of Writing.

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide contains a chart listing the Common Core State Standards Scope & Sequence for every unit broken down by unit theme and the weeks in which they are addressed. It includes Reading, Foundational Skills, Writing, Speaking/Listening and Language.

Each Unit also contains a Unit Overview that lists Best Practices and Focus Standards. The Pacing Guide includes the Week and the CCSS Focus of that week and each week begins with a “Daily Framework” that also lists the standards being addressed in the learning that week.

  • Unit 1, Week 4, “RL.1.6. Identify who is telling the story.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “RI.K.2: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “RL.K.3: With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.”
  • Unit 4, Week 3, “Establish Today’s Learning Goal: W.1 & RI.8 By the end of today, you will have a completed draft of an opinion piece for RQ #2. We will start by looking at the opinion piece I wrote with you this morning.”

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content; however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction, would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

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 1 partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. "Building Instruction in Units of Study" is presented in the back of the Unit 1 Teacher Edition for first grade. This section details such topics as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material.

  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Create a Describing Plot Anchor Chart with your class, adding to it as you work over the next few days. Read aloud a great story in the genre.”

Much of the scope of lessons center around the teacher choice of book. There is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying. Also, in this example, teachers are told to create a Plot Anchor Chart, but there is no other information or model.

  • Unit 2, Week 3, “Establish basic comprehension (pictures and text), modeling as necessary. • What is the author saying? • How does this relate to RQ #__? Keep this brief.”

In the above example, there are no asides, models, examples or information for specifically what or how teachers should be modeling.

During Research Labs, the Teacher Work section gives an overview of what the teacher should be doing, for example,the Teacher Edition asks teachers to, “Monitor for Engagement: Ensure all students are on task. Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.” Teachers may need more guidance as to what would constitute adequate progress at that point in the unit as well as what a great example might look like.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, Unit 4 lists the standard for use of technology, “With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.” However, that is the only mention of it in the Teacher Guide.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, the Teacher’s Edition introduction includes a section on “Playing Through Centers” that provides suggestions and guidance in designing centers for differentiation; “Practice the centers—don’t just assume all children are familiar with the different objects, materials, and options, or even with the concept of self-selected “centers.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Types of Conflict/ Problems Character vs. Character: The protagonist and antagonist are both characters that oppose each other. The protagonist usually needs to overcome the antagonist in order to resolve the conflict.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Interactive Writing is writing with children. You 'share the pen' with the children so they may write whatever words or letters or punctuation they are able to contribute. Through conversations with the children, invite them to participate in composing the text and support their attempts to do so.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

The beginning of each unit also contains a table detailing the specific standard for the grade (One) and which unit or units (Literacy, Animals, Family Stories, Plants) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to.

The materials state, “The books in the Literacy/Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels. The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example:

  • Unit 1, Week 1, “In order to get to know each other, we’ll write about our favorite things this week.” With an aside that states, “Asking students to think, share, and write about opinions/preferences supports their ability to do CCSS W.1.1.”
  • Unit 2, Week 3, “Post and refer to standard RI.2. By the end of this week, each of you will have written an informational text about RQ #2. By the end of today, you will be able to identify which details in the text are the key details.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Continue adding to the Describing Plot Anchor Chart with your class.” This is followed by an aside, “College & Career Anchor Standard Reading #3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Have your Research Lab Libraries arranged in a row, from easiest to hardest. Do not use the Yellow basket, because 1Y- 3Y readers can’t read them without help.” [College & Career Readiness Anchor Standard: Reading #10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.]

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 1 meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There are also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

  • Unit 1, Core Overview, “Research Labs: Standards-Based Thematic Instruction Teachers use the Research Labs structure to orchestrate highly engaging, content rich inquiry units in which students are the drivers of their own learning, preparing them for 21st century success.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson Sidebar, “Academic Vocabulary: Script Beginning of Pair/Share Ensure students are speaking in complete sentences and practicing academic vocabulary by giving students specific phrases to begin their partner sharing.

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. Throughout all of the units, students are expected to read every night at home as part of “The 100 Book Challenge” and parents/caregivers are given an involved role. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • “The classroom teacher—in collaboration with the student, parent, and school reading specialist—should be the final arbiter of whether or not a reader can handle a given reading level.”
  • “The parent is the Home Coach and in charge of deciding what “counts” for 100 BOOK CHALLENGE reading at home.”
  • “Today, you are going to learn how to fill out your logsheet. Next week, you will teach your parents about logging Steps, so you will need to be an expert.”
  • Engage Home Coaches, “Determine who Home Coaches are (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). • Help Home Coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success.”

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress.

In Unit 2, “Dear Parents/Guardians: During the upcoming weeks, your child will investigate the answers these questions and more as they explore life science in the world of wild and endangered animals.”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations.

  • In Unit 3, Week 5, “Give students opportunities to share their work with their peers/the community. • Author’s Chair • Presenting to other classrooms • Inviting in parents/families.”

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

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 1 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”


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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to each lesson, and while the beginning of the lesson includes standards being emphasized, they are not always clear or explicit as to how the assessments are measurable.

  • Unit 1, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. As students write, move among them, making certain to visit all students, encouraging them to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever way they can..”

There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics and/or WOW Facts that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

  • Unit 4, Final Project Rubric, “Authentic Voice • Text was clearly composed by the student and not copied from other books. Information • The project is packed with factually accurate and interesting information about the topic. • The project demonstrates an understanding of the plant. Text Features • Text features are used effectively. • Illustrations demonstrate knowledge of the plant. Effort • The author was clearly invested in making this a work of high quality. • The author feels that this is one of the best things he or she has done. • The project is beautiful”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.
The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance.

Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.
Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, “Formative Assessment/Writing; Coach 1-on-1 Writing Conferences and Underwriting: As students write, move among them, making certain to visit all students, encouraging them to express themselves in drawing/ writing in whatever ways they can. Once the student has completed his/her best attempt at writing, you will “underwrite” the student’s writing using pencil.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, “Formative Assessment; Check for Understanding: Check individual students to assess their current proficiency in retelling. Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re) teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Formative Assessment 1-on-1 Conferences During the Collecting phase, start with brief check-ins. Try to get to every student every day, focusing on keeping everyone moving in the same direction.”

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 1 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”
  • Unit 1, Week 1, Reading Logs: “Keep track of self-selected reading on these logsheets after reading. 15 minutes = 1 Step, (Count Steps, not Books.)”
  • Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 4, Week 1, the students are instructed, “As you read today, continue to look for the most interesting, surprising, and/or important things you can learn about __(Unit)__. Be ready to tell your partner: • One interesting fact you learned • What in the text/pictures helped you learn it. Review routines for Independent Reading.”

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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 1 meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”

Unit 1, Week 1, Reading Logs: “Keep track of self-selected reading on these logsheets after reading. 15 minutes = 1 Step, (Count Steps, not Books.)”

Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 4, Week 1, the students are instructed, “As you read today, continue to look for the most interesting, surprising, and/or important things you can learn about __(Unit)__. Be ready to tell your partner: • One interesting fact you learned • What in the text/pictures helped you learn it. Review routines for Independent Reading.”

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone.

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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.
8/10
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There are some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners; however, the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and discussion.

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 1 meet the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. The Teacher uses evidence from students’ work to decide if/what to clarify or reteach on the spot, and to plan for next day’s instruction through, “Embedded Formative Assessment.”

Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectation that materials provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards,while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first.“

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 1 meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA.

Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels.

Student who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

Partner work is embedded as part of the Literacy Lab Routine across the Units:

  • “Accountable Talk: Students share with a partner and a few share out to class. Teacher coaches appropriate Speaking & Listening skills. Teacher uses Accountable Talk as feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction.”
  • “Partner Share: Model the partner share routine you expect students to participate in every day. Spend extra time establishing this now. Explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.”

Reader’s Workshop also includes partner work across the Units:

  • “Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back Model and practice partner reading routines: • Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. • Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently.”

Students also work and share with peers in collaborative writing and discussion groups across the Units.

  • “Collaborative Writing Students share their work with a partner. Author: • Describe your lesson/message. • What I like most about my story is ___. Partner: • What I like about your story is ___. • A question I have is ___.”
  • “Discussion Groups: Genre Have students share with partners and then work as a small group. Use this time to teach/reinforce sharing and discussion group routines. The content of students’ conversation today is less important than that everyone understands HOW to do pair share/discussion groups so that later days the focus can be on the content of the conversations.

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

Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 do not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

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 1 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 4, Week(s) 1, 3, and 8 the Teacher Edition states, “Final Project Publication Ideas • Formal Essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.) • Blog entry • Class/school website • Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper • Class newspaper/periodical • Journal • PowerPoint • Brochure • Book • Public Service Announcement/Public Awareness Campaign/ Advertisement.”

Additional Publication Details

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

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Y-2R Foundational Skills Toolkit 978-1-63437-494-1 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
1B-2B Foundational Skills Toolkit 978-1-63437-496-5 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCSS Version 8 978-1-63437-885-7 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook 978-1-63437-982-3 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017

About Publishers Responses

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

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

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