Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

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

|

Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
38
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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 develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills, however, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

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
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for core texts (anchor) being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading that considers the range of students’ interests. Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards and include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The instructional materials reviewed meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Texts are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading. Texts address diverse cultures, differing historical periods as well as other content areas such as the sciences.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 5 students. Many of the central (anchor) texts have won awards or are written by award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including endangered species, detective work/mysteries, personal narratives, survival stories, cultural texts, early American exploration, Native American history, and scientific non-fiction. Text sets are also rich in academic language. Furthermore, texts present universal and multiple multicultural themes which integrate other content areas.

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

  • Unit 1: My Teachers is an Alien is of publishable quality and written by Bruce Coville. The text has been recognized with several children’s literature awards.
  • Unit 1: UFO Crash Sites is of publishable quality and written by Dinah Williams, an award winning author. The text is highly engaging and would interest Grade 5 students as it describes eleven UFO crash sites around the world.
  • Unit 2: Escape: Choose Your Own Adventure #8, by R.A. Montgomery is one of many in this well-known series published by Chooseco.
  • Unit 3: My Teacher Flunked the Planet is of publishable quality and written by Bruce Coville, an award winning author. The science fiction text is humorous and Grade 5 students could easily relate to the context.
  • Unit 4: War Comes to Willy Freeman, by Christopher and James Lincoln Collier is a historical fiction novel published by Yearling. This novel portrays the story of a 13-year-old black girl who searches for her missing mother after her father was murdered by British troops in the Revolutionary War. This text would engage Grade 5 students.

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 5 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 5 provides students the opportunity to engage in paired core texts as well as leveled readers, independent reading, supplemental texts. The materials contain 8 baskets of leveled readers and a basket of Hook Books that are intended to engage even reluctant readers. The baskets of leveled readers are not a required part of the core curriculum, but provide students a 100 Book Challenge by rotating fresh reading materials that expose students to a variety of topics and genres. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards. Texts include diverse topics and genres, such as historical/realistic fiction, novels, science and social studies informational text, adventure stories, and personal narratives.

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

  • Unit 1- My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
  • Unit 3- My Teacher flunked the Planet by Bruce Coville
  • Unit 4- Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters

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

  • Unit 2- Jaguar by Anita Ganeri
  • Unit 3- Exploring Space
  • Unit 4- Life on the Homefront During the American Revolution by Helen Mason

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

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

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

From the Teacher's Edition: "The core novel is a grade-level novel in the genre that is exemplary in terms of both content and craft. The teacher uses the provided class set of this text to engage students in rich and rigorous in evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The ARC team of educational experts selects the best option for the core text for each unit and each grade that meets the following requirements: At grade-level IRLA level, in print and in stock, exemplar for this genre at this level, broad appeal to a diverse group of students, mentor text-worthy writing passages, and reflects multiple perspectives/diversity."

Some examples of text complexity measures indicated by the materials include, but are not limited:

  • In Unit 2, students read an exemplar text pack as the core text and then read multiple anchor texts. Students read texts such as, Ecology: The Study of Ecosystems, by Susan H. Gray which has a Lexile score of 750. Students also read Weather and the Water Cycle: Will it Rain? by Emily Sohn and Erin Ash Sullivan that has a quantitative measure of 730L. Content-specific vocabulary and student and task considerations make these texts appropriate for Grade 5 students.
  • In Unit 4, students read, The Home front of the Revolutionary War, by Patrick Catel with a Lexile score of 920 which falls within the range of the grade 4-5 band and is labeled very complex according to the provided qualitative analysis.
  • Each unit is accompanied by Book Boxes that provide a range of text complexities. Students work with these texts each day.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

ARC provides students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year, and students will engage with texts at varying levels from unit to unit.

The Publisher Notes explain that the leveled libraries provided with each unit will increase in complexity throughout the school year. The Field Guide (Teacher Manual) explains that students work independently in these libraries; however, teacher guidance supports them to continue to raise their reading levels. Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc.).

The Field Guide directs the teacher to “...read and discuss at least two related grade-level texts, one literature and one informational. (Texts may be drawn from a school/district’s existing texts and/or those supplied with this unit.)” While grade-level texts are recommended there is limited guidance to help schools or teachers choose grade-level texts, apart from the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework) system that accompanies the program.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectation that anchor (core texts) and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company (ARC) utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) System, drawing on the three measures of text complexity, to level texts. To determine reading level, every book is double-blind, hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

An example of a text complexity analysis and purpose and placement for the core texts is as follows:

Title: The Home Front of the Revolutionary War (Why We Fought), by Patrick Catel

Text Complexity Level: Purple (6th Grade)

Quantitative (Lexile) 920L (4th-6th)

Qualitative: Lexile slightly underestimates the difficulty of the text because: Purpose/Structure: Moderately to Very Complex. The text is organized topically with each section discussing a region of Colonial America or a group (African Americans, Native Americans, women). Connections between ideas are often subtle (i.e., why each group/region supported the Revolution). The photographs and text features aid in comprehending the text. Some pages include primary sources and connecting prompts. Language: Very Complex. Simple and compound sentence construction is seen throughout. Language use is contemporary with frequent use of literary/academic vocabulary (i.e., "Street lamps brightened walkways; colonists were determined; they were treated as a conquered people.”) Knowledge Demands: Very Complex. The text requires some discipline-specific content knowledge about multiple topics including Europe, Early American History, Geography, Government, and Parliament.

Reader and Task: The way in which this text presents the history of the American Revolution from multiple perspectives places significant knowledge demands upon readers but also makes it a worthwhile read.

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 5 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Independent/Collaborative writing.

Reader’s workshop includes a Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text segment. Students reread and discuss core text and respond to questions such as:

  • Basic Comprehension: What is happening so far in this story?
  • Inference: Why? What makes you think that?
  • Reader Response: What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why? Do you like this story yet? Why or why not? Set the standard that students will use examples or details from the text to support all assertions.

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

Materials include mechanisms for teacher's to monitor progress such as explicit guidance to determine student's IRLA and reading log sheets for independent reading. Students also have access to Research Lab Baskets that are organized by reading levels from which students select.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Materials meet the expectations of materials providing multiple opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening skills in concert with their practice in reading for understanding. Students are provided multiple opportunities to work with partners to have evidence-based discussion across the year and support is provided for students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Most of the curriculum embeds a variety of writing types throughout the school year that includes a mix of both on-demand and process writing and provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The program addresses evidence-based and evidence-supported writing in every unit. The materials for Grade 5 partially meet the expectations that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers. and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

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

For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, students respond to text-dependent questions that require them to identify and examine text features: “Which is the best informational text that you read today? Why? How did the text features influence your opinion?”
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-2, students work with partners to reread a section of a text and answer text-dependent questions regarding comprehension, author’s purpose, and craft/structure.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, students work in pairs and reread a text to identify textual evidence that confirms or contradicts their prior knowledge.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, students work in pairs to complete a Thinking Map that includes text- dependent questions around main idea and key details.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, students work with partners to share responses to text-dependent questions pertaining to character descriptions: “Have we been introduced to a protagonist and an antagonist? What other character types have we met so far? What is each of these characters like? What can you learn about each of these characters through his/her thoughts? Actions? Body language? Reaction to other characters? How does the author use events and/or dialogue to tell you about this character? How/why do you think these characters will matter to the story? What evidence from the text best supports your answer?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, students share with partners the theme and details that support the theme of their independent reading texts.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 3, students answer text-dependent questions that determine if they have a basic understanding of the text: “What is the author saying about Reading Question #__? How do you know? Why does it matter to our study of...?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 3, students examine body paragraphs from a mentor text and are guided to answer text-dependent questions with evidence.

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

Examples from the units include:

  • In Unit 1, students answer text-dependent questions as they complete a graphic organizer that prompts them to describe and analyze the most important points in a biography about Rosa Parks in order to be able to successfully produce one of the culminating tasks of writing a biography of a Civil Right’s Leader.
  • In Unit 2, students respond to general text-dependent questions pertaining to main idea and key details in order to be able to include main ideas and key details in their final product of producing an informational writing piece on a topic of their own choice.
  • In Unit 3, students read science fiction and answer text-dependent questions to complete a graphic organizer regarding story elements in order to be able to create a short story as part of the culminating task of the unit.
  • In Unit 4, students complete a text-based writing task about point of view in order to be able to write an opinion piece that includes their own point of view as part of the culminating project. The writing task states: “What is your point of view on (a key concept from this Research Question)? State an opinion and support it with evidence from today’s reading.”

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

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

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Days 4-5, students use word parts to help determine the meaning of new vocabulary found in core text.
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Days 3 & 4, students listen to the core text and discuss places where figurative language is used by the author.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 2, the teacher explains the three tiers of vocabulary, and students discuss the synonyms of various words during whole-group instruction.
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, Day 4, students work with partners to examine short passages to analyze word choice.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students work in pairs and use the core novel to complete the setting row of the graphic organizer, Story Elements.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, students read a text to identify the language that the author uses in their writing and discuss their findings with a partner.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 2, students examine a text in order to respond to questions that prompt them to analyze text structure.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 4, students read and discuss a text to identify the vocabulary and language that an author uses in their writing.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

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

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

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, on Day 3, students read a self-selected book for 15-20 minutes and discuss with a partner the degree of engagement of the book jacket/cover and why the book was selected.
  • In Unit 1, Week 4, on Days 4-5, students participate in a class discussion and respond to text-dependent questions pertaining to author’s purpose.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, on Day 2, students have discussions about information gained from reading text. Students answer questions that seek to identify confirmation of prior knowledge, contradiction of prior knowledge, and the building of new knowledge.
  • In Unit 2, Week 9, on Day 1, students present their published final project using various presentation formats such as PowerPoint, class/school website, and blog or newspaper/periodical.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, on Day 2, students work in small groups to discuss how the author uses the setting to influence the characters and theme in the text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, on Day 2, students participate in discussion groups to identify generalizations about conflicts found in informational texts.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, on Day 3, students work with a partner to share about potential research topics, and students are required to include reasoning and evidence.
  • In Unit 4, Week 6, on Day 4, each student writes a rebuttal to a partner’s opinion and then shares the rebuttal with that same partner.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece

Examples of on-demand writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-2, students are prompted to write a summary of a text that they are currently reading to demonstrate comprehension.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students respond to the prompt: “What about the setting is the most important to this book? Why? Use evidence from the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, students work in pairs to edit their research papers for mechanics, usage, and structure.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 2, students reread their papers to clarify ideas with analogies. They add analogies with the goal of creating a more compelling work.

Examples of extended writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 1-2, students select and read one of the opinion/argument pieces that they have written to ensure that it is logical and appropriate for publication.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 2, students compose drafts of their own informational books and focus on a main idea, key details, and vocabulary.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 3, students describe scenes from their independent books and use a graphic organizer to maintain focus and brainstorm scenes to use in a story of their own.
  • In Unit 4, Pre-Assessment, students are prompted to analyze an opinion piece in order to identify and explain the presented argument.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

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

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, Days 1-3, students respond to the following writing prompt, “Decide what you think the author’s theme/message is in our Core Novel. Support your claim with evidence from the text.”
  • In Unit 1, students culminate this unit of study with two publications, a narrative and a biography of a civil rights leader.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students draft an essay to answer the following: “What is the author’s main idea in this text? How does the author support this main idea with key details?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, students work in pairs and use current reading and a 4-point rubric to respond to the following writing prompt, ”What is the author’s main idea in this text? How does the author support this main idea with key details?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, Day 2, students write a piece in which they attempt to mimic the techniques and style they just analyzed in a text. The teacher uses the following guide, “Pick a scene without much dialogue and rewrite it using dialogue, mimicking the author’s style.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 8, Days 1-5, students draft a short story using characters, settings, sequence of events, and narrators from a previous lesson selected by the teacher.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 4, students use informational texts that they have been currently reading and respond to the following prompt, “Compare and contrast the information, presentation, and language of these two texts on ____. How do these differences relate to each author’s point of view? Support your analysis with evidence from today’s reading.”
  • In Unit 4, students reread a teacher-selected passage of the central text and create questions about the passage to add to a chart.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for the materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are required to write daily for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text but some do not require evidence-based writing. The suggestions are divided into categories such as opinion/argument, personal nonfiction/narrative, fiction narrative, and informational.

Prompts are available from each category including the following:

  • Students write an opinion/argument response to the prompt, “Something that would make this book much better is ___ because ___.”
  • Students write a personal/nonfiction narrative response to the prompt, “When have you been treated the way that ___ was treated by ___ ?” The response is relating an experience from the text to a student’s personal experience.
  • Students write a fiction narrative response to the prompt, “Imagine yourself as ___’s (main character) best friend. How would the story be different with you in it?”

Other evidence-based writing opportunities include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 1-2, students use textual evidence to write a summary of an informational text.
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 1-2, students write an argument piece that has a careful analyses, well defended claims, and clear information.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5, students use textual evidence to draft an essay that discusses the author’s main idea and explains how the main idea is supported.
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, Days 1-2, students use careful analyses and clear information from their research (conducted throughout the unit about ecosystems) to revise their informational book.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 3, students use textual evidence from central text and complete a graphic organizer around the social setting.
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, Days 1-2, students compare and contrast two science fiction stories from the core curriculum in order to revise, edit, and publish a comparative essay with a well-defended claim and clear information.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 2, students use textual evidence to identify the author’s purpose of the central text.
  • In Unit 4, Week 9, Day 1, students present an opinion piece/debate from a research topic related to the American Revolution (previously presented from the core curriculum) that includes a careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

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 5 do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete tasks throughout the units; however, few opportunities for explicit instruction are presented. The editing tasks are often not based in Grade 5 language standards, and the tasks include only general checklists.

In Unit 4, American Revolution, Week 6, Day 1, students use a writing rubric called W.1 Rubric for Proficient Opinion Piece. For checking grammar and conventions the checklist says, “I cite credible sources and use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.” No specific Grade 5 standards are explicitly required for the writing.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages the engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not show any explicit instruction based on Grade 5 standards:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Days 4-5, students interpret word parts as they are used in text.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, students work in pairs to edit their papers, focusing only on quotation marks.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students work in pairs to edit their papers for direct quotation marks and correctly-cited sources.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 3, students review their writing and revise their use of nouns and verbs.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
4/6
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 artially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills that build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and decoding in a research-based and transparent progression. All lessons contain general guidance, however, some lack specific teacher directions for explicit instruction of some skills.

Students have multiple opportunities to silently read on-level texts. Opportunities to orally read grade-level text are in partner reading. Instruction of accuracy, rate, and expression are not modeled and explicitly taught to Grade 5 students in on-level materials.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for Foundational Skills that build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, morphology and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression.

The program includes IRLA: Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework, which is a standards- aligned assessment to help teachers provide targeted instruction. Grade 5 students assessed through IRLA and placed in appropriate groupings for instruction which could include small-group instruction. Students placed in Black (Grade 4), Orange (Grade 5), or higher groups, do not receive Foundational Skills instruction for syllabication patterns (RF 5.3.a) through small group instruction. Students placed in Orange are expected to use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology in order to be in the Black group. “Any student having significant trouble with this (RF 5.3.a) is working at the wrong level.”

Materials include word study suggestions and activities that allow students to use prefixes and suffixes to determine the meaning of words. These are found in Literacy Lab 4-5, Week 3.

Students placed in Black are expected to have 99-100% word accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression. Fluency practice methods are suggested in the Red (Grade 2) Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. Choral reading, echo reading, and Buddy, or Paired Reading, are described.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading. The lessons for teaching students how determine the meaning of unknown words is in the Literacy Lab Grades 4-5. The lessons contain general guidance, but not exact directions to the teacher as to how to teach students to explicitly apply word analysis skills in decoding multisyllabic words to make meaning.

In the Literacy Lab, Week 3: Days 2-3, students practice different types of context clues (definition/explanation, restatement/synonym, contrast/antonym, comparison, cause and effect, and inference/general) to determine the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases. In Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, during Use Context Clues to Learn New Vocabulary students identify new vocabulary and use context clues to figure out synonyms. The teacher asks: “Context Clues: What might this word/phrase mean? What in the text supports your answer? Synonym Check: What is a good synonym for this word? Reread the sentence, replacing the unknown word with your synonym. Does this change the meaning of the sentence? Why or why not? Analysis: Why do you think the author chose this word/phrase instead of __(synonym)__?” In Readers’ Workshop, students independently read with the Set Focus to flag at least one new word they want to learn and share. In Accountable Talk, students explain how they figured out the meaning of a new word from their reading.

In the Literacy Lab, Week 3: Days 4-5, students practice analyzing word parts. In the CCSS Mini-Lesson R.4/L.4, the teacher introduces and reviews looking at word parts. The teacher explains affix and root. Students demonstrate using word parts to determine meaning. During Read/Discuss Complex Text, students are to practice noticing new vocabulary and word parts for making meaning based on the Core Novel or Core Informational Text). Students also use word parts to learn new vocabulary. In Readers’ Workshop, students’ Set Focus is to flag at least one new word to learn and share. In Accountable Talk, students explain how to figure out the meaning of a new word during reading.

In the Vocabulary Best Practices, the Literacy Lab instructs the teacher to put up a Word Analysis Chart in the room. The chart contains commonly-used prefixes, suffixes, and roots, which will help students figure out word meanings. The teacher is also directed to post and hand out copies of high-leverage roots that students should learn. The lists can come from the Black Independent Reading Level (4.00-4.99) or Orange Independent Reading Level (5.00-5.99). Examples of roots on the Black Independent Reading Level are: aud, gram, spir. Examples of roots on the Orange Independent Reading Level include: log, macro, micro. Students in the Black Independent Reading Level (Grade Level Equivalency 4.00-4.99) have to determine the meaning of 3-5 words and/or phrases.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for providing students frequent opportunities to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, as well as to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression. Students have multiple opportunities to silently read on-level texts. Opportunities to orally read grade-level text are in partner reading. Instruction of accuracy, rate, and expression are not modeled and explicitly taught to Grade 5 students.

All units include opportunities for independent reading. Students read silently from self-selected books. During Readers’ Workshop, students build stamina to read 15-30 minutes each day during Independent Reading time.

There are potential opportunities for students to read orally with a partner. The directions do not explicitly state that students should read orally. For example, in the Literacy Lab Grades 4-5, Week 1: Day 3 Lesson Focus: Literature Text Features, there is a time to have students participate in a second read of the core text. “Students return to the text as they work with partners to answer each question.” No explicit directions suggest students should read orally with the partner.

The teacher can use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to assess students’ accuracy, appropriate rate, and fluency. The teacher can also document students’ fluency ability to read text comfortably, with confidence, purpose, and understanding in the Orange foundational skills assessment. The materials do not provide teachers with direction as to how to use the assessment to teach students how to purposely practice accuracy, rate, and expression.

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 to 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 (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 aliens, ecosystems, science fiction, and American history.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in life science, physical science, world history, geography, American history, and literary genres that provide differentiated reading practice.

Topics for each unit include:

  • Unit 1: ARC Literacy Lab: A Community of Readers and Writers: As a class, read and discuss at least two related grade-level texts, one literature and one informational. Take at least two pieces of writing through to publication.
  • Unit 2: Research Lab: Ecosystems: Each student will become an expert on one ecosystem. Each student researches a topic of his/ her choice and publishes a final project.
  • Unit 3: Research Lab: Science Fiction: Students will read, analyze, and write about one grade-level novel in this genre as part of a whole class intellectual community. Students also read multiple books in the genre on his/her own (at any level, from the Genre Library or elsewhere) and write four very short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre. Finally, students write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.
  • Unit 4: Research Lab: American Revolution and New Nation: Each student will become an expert on one event about the American Revolution and New Nation. Each student researches a topic of his/ her choice and publishes a final project.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 1, students are asked, “Basic Comprehension: What did the author say? • Purpose/Agenda: Why did s/he say it? • Craft: How did s/he say it? • Reader Response: Which parts of the book so far drew your interest? Why? Which parts weren’t interesting? Why?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students are asked, “Research Question #4, Decomposers. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students are asked,“Where does the author use strong opinion words like best, incredible, andterrible when describing the topic? Why do you think s/he uses these words? What point is she/he trying to make?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students are asked,“Where does the author use strong opinion words like best, incredible, terrible when describing the topic? Why do you think s/he uses these words? What point is s/he trying to make?”

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 5 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In Unit 1, Week 6, Day 1 students, “Analyze the Structure in Self-Selected Text Set Focus: Read informational texts. Locate an example of the Elements of Argument structure. Is it actually an argument? Why or why not? Teacher Work: Begin small-group lessons for groups of 1-4 students who have the same Power Goal. Accountable Talk: Show your partner an example of the Elements of Argument structure. Is it actually an argument? Why or why not?”

In Unit 2, the beginning of the teacher materials that accompany the research lab provides a text-dependent question sheet for each text that has a “Going Deeper” and “Compare and Synthesize Across Texts” section. In Week 2, Day 1 teachers are given the questions stems of, “How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about...? How does this relate to what other authors have written about...?” during the lesson wrap up.

Unit 3 takes students through a novel study in which they focus on plot, character, setting, and theme. In Week 5, Day 5, students write to answer the prompt, “ For the last four weeks, we have been reading, writing, and thinking about the __(genre)__ genre—specifically about themes in this genre. Now each of you has become expert enough to have something to contribute to the field of literary analysis. Over the next two weeks, you will each write an essay in which you state an opinion based on a connection you’ve discovered between two texts in the genre. Because each of you brings your own background knowledge, identity, and experience to your reading, thinking, and writing, your analysis will be different from anyone else who decides to compare the same books or write on the same theme. Today, we will practice comparing texts in order to prepare to write this essay.” Research Labs for Units 2- 4 take students through a series of Research Questions (RQ) that at times ask students to analyze information from several texts. In Week 1, Day 1 students are given the prompt, “Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.”

In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 4 when discussing how the author point of view and purpose shapes a text, the Teacher’s Edition states, “It is easiest to see how an author’s point of view or purpose might have shaped his/her text when you compare two texts on the same topic. Have students work together to compare and contrast the information, presentation, and language of two texts by different authors on the same topic (these can be the same texts used on Day 2 of this week). Ask them to analyze how these choices change the way the reader receives the information/topic and to speculate on how each author’s point of view or purpose might have influenced the choices s/he made.”

Other examples of text-dependent questions and tasks that support this indicator include:

  • In Unit 1, students share about their independent text selections: “Carefully review, analyze, and evaluate the book jacket/cover of several fiction books. Which one did/does the best job of getting you to try it? Why? After you read, be ready to share whether or not the inside lived up to the outside marketing.”
  • In Unit 2, students read Food Webs and analyze models depicting the cycling of matter through an ecosystem and relate this to how energy flows through an ecosystem.
  • In Unit 2, students read What is Energy? by Anna Claybourne and answer this prompt: Select one of the examples of kinetic energy given by the author. Explain how this is an example of kinetic energy. Give an example of how you use kinetic energy in your everyday life.
  • In Unit 3, students analyze the theme of a science fiction text by completing the Story Elements Thinking Map.
  • In Unit 4, students respond to the following text dependent questions: “What is the topic? What does the author think or believe about this topic? What makes you think that? What opinions oppose this viewpoint? Where does the author use language to introduce conflicting viewpoints like: some believe, others argue? Why do you think s/he uses these words?”

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

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

  • In Unit 1, students explore how to create a written response to answer key, standards questions. A piece of the culminating project includes providing a proficient answer to the key question.
  • In Unit 1, students examine previously written narratives and select one to publish as part of a culminating task. They examine and restructure the organization/plot for coherence and engagement and share with partners in order to get feedback.
  • In Unit 2, students create a glossary of essential terms pertaining to their understanding of his or her ecosystem in order to publish a final project.
  • In Unit 2, students identify and discuss with partners good models of text features in order to create text features to put in their informational books as part of the final project.
  • In Unit 3, students begin the unit with a study of the definition of literary genre in order to write a literary essay analyzing multiple texts in the genre as part a culminating task.
  • In Unit 3, students explore tone as they are guided to answer questions that prompt them to compare the tone of two scenes. Students are then required to adjust the tone in their own writing that is included as part of the final project.
  • In Unit 4, students answer research questions such as, “Are there any connections between this event and the roles or rights of women?” and “What connections are there between this event and the major principles of the In United States Constitution?” in order to publish a final project.
  • In Unit 4, the teacher models how to identify weak, common, and/or overused nouns and verbs in order for students to experiment with replacing common nouns and verbs with powerful ones to improve their opinion piece which is included as part of the culminating task.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. For example, in Unit 2, the teacher’s edition provides suggested vocabulary and tasks for the student exemplar text packet.

Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, students identify new vocabulary encountered in text and respond to the following questions: “What new word did you notice? What Tier might it be? Why? What do you think it might mean?”
  • In Unit 2, students explore word choice and answer the following questions: “Who found an especially effective example of a powerful noun/verb/descriptor/technical vocabulary? What does this word mean? Why is it a better choice than __(everyday/more common synonym)__?”
  • In Unit 3, the teacher models the behavior or the use of key vocabulary, concepts, and thought processes as she/he wants students to do it. Students identify an example of what good looks like.
  • In Unit 4, students are introduced to “technical vocabulary words” and listen as the teacher models how to add to a class glossary: “As we research, we will encounter new vocabulary words. Words that are specific to our In Unit and help us become experts on our In 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 __(In Unit)__. I’m going to add this word to our class glossary.”

Indicator 2f

Materials support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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. They engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • In Unit 1, students write a summary for an informational book they just read that proves comprehension of the text.
  • In Unit 2, students are prompted to examine word choice in their writing as they complete the following task: “You will convert your notes from RQ #2 and RQ #3 into paragraphs. As you draft, think about the type of vocabulary you are using to explain your ideas.”
  • In Unit 3, students explore the writing process and are told the following: “‘When writing short stories, authors try to complete a first draft in one sitting. Then, go back to revise. Today, you will write a Quick-Write first draft of your short story. If you get stuck, draw a line and keep going. You may use any ideas/parts that you love from your writing last week in your draft today." Students quick-write as much of their first drafts as possible. If students have complete sections/scenes from last week they want to use, do not have them waste energy/flow by rewriting these. Show them how to leave a note in the draft to remind them what part they want where. If students want to go in a different direction than they went last week, encourage them to do so. Their practice drafts may have helped them develop their best ideas yet.”
  • In Unit 4, students are guided through the writing process and write to complete as much of their first drafts as possible.

The daily literacy block includes a 20 to 60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing, and students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one to one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context. Additionally, they will take a fiction piece and informational piece of writing to publication.

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 5 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Units are designed for students to act as researchers and to gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to build a body of evidence for the culminating task. For these tasks, students select a topic and spend about nine weeks reading, writing, and speaking about their topic. By the end of each unit, students write and publish an informational book or other project demonstrating their increased knowledge about their selected topic. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times for about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • In Unit 2, students provide a summary of any informational text, determine the main idea(s) of and key details of any informational text, examine how non fiction authors build on research to craft compelling informational texts, and publish and present a scientifically/historically accurate final project book on his/her research topic.
  • In Unit 3, students read, analyze, and write about one novel in this genre with the class. They read many books in the genre on their own and write four constructed responses and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre. They write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about the differences between democracy and monarchy, as well as the philosophical and political history behind the formation of the Constitutional Government of the United States. They read about the diverse people who came from many countries to live in the “New World,” setting up the social, economic, and political conflicts that still characterize our society today. Students encounter larger than life personalities known as the “Founding Fathers,” as well as America’s leading women (e.g., Abigail Adams, Phillis Wheatley) as they track key events from the French and Indian War to the War of 1812. They choose an event from this time period to research in depth.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Lessons require daily independent readings of text and tasks that reflect student accountability.

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

In Unit 1, a guide/instructions for the teacher to hold students accountable for daily independent reading is included: “Introduce the Rules for Independent Reading Anchor Chart. There are 3 rules for our reading time. The first rule is READ. The second rule is READ. And the third rule is…(students will supply, READ). And there is only one answer to any of your questions: May I go to the bathroom? May I get another book? May I ask you a question? May I switch books with Mary? Would you help me with this word? NO.”

In Unit 2, students complete a daily reading log sheet at home and parents sign the reading log sheet to verify that students read at home: “ATTENTION HOME COACHES: Please sign only if you heard or saw the student reading. 1 Step=15 minutes of reading."

In Unit 3, daily reading activities include, “1. Pre-Reading. Establish Today’s Learning Goal. By the end of today, each of you will be able to... introduce key concepts when necessary and introduce any key vocabulary, concepts, or thought processes required that are not taught by the text. 2. Read Text. Use a combination of teacher read alouds, partner reading, and/or independent reading as appropriate to the text and your students’ current abilities. 3. Discuss Literary Analysis, Text-Dependent Questions, Academic Vocabulary Work, Repeated Close Reading. Students participate in intellectual discourse around the text, genre, and Focus Standards.”

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 5 materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The 4 units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

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 5 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The year is divided into 4 Units of Study. The Literacy Lab is a 6 week unit of study, while the 3 Research Labs are 9 week Units. Each lesson is broken up into a suggested 90-120 minute reading blocks.

Each week of the Literacy Lab instruction has weekly goals for standards-based instruction, reading culture, and IRLA coaching. There is a teacher checklist for the week to help measure success. Focus Standards are listed for each week as well as an overview of the daily lesson plans. Each Lesson contains an overview of the key objectives, teacher work, and student work for each part of the literacy block. Daily lesson plans have a two column format. This provides detailed support for how to teach each part of the literacy block. During Week 1 there is a day by day detailed instruction, after that there is a framework in the following weeks. There is a lesson ticker at the top of the pages to show where you are in the lesson. Blackline masters that will be needed for each lesson are found at the end of each lesson. Literacy Lab lessons include a CCSS Mini-Lesson, Read-Discuss Complex Text-Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Aloud, and Reflection. Suggested times are given both at the beginning of the unit in a pacing guide and also in the ticker that runs across lessons.

Each Week of Research Labs instruction includes goals for expertise, reading, writing, vocabulary, art, and final projects. A unit introduction and research questions help to establish the unit. All graphic organizers and blackline masters can be found within the unit’s opening pages of the unit. There are weekly overview calendars and every lesson includes three parts: Read Complex Text, Independent Reading, and Writing. Standards are listed at the beginning of each week, as well as in the daily learning goals. Each daily lesson plan has two columns with teaching notes, suggested answers, and guided tips. Suggested times are given both at the beginning of the unit in a pacing guide and also in the ticker that runs across lessons.

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.There are 165 lesson provided, broken into four units. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

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

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

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

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

  • In Unit 2, students are provided with a blackline master for a text-dependent questions note catcher.
  • In Unit 4, Week 7, Day 5 students are provided with a Transition Words, Phrases, and Causes linking language list to use while 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 5 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Each day standards are listed at the beginning of the lesson and often referenced in the daily Learning Goal.

For Example, in Unit 4, Week 7, Day 5 students are refining essays and editing for formal style. The materials list the following standards:

  • Common Core Standard W.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Common Core Standard L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. Common Core Standard
  • L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Standards are also listed on student facing blackline masters and handouts, organizers, elements of genre cards, common core mini-lessons, rubrics, writing tasks and extended writings.

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 5 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 5 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.

There are places throughout the materials where explicit teacher directions are present and accompanied by additional support for teachers who may need additional help in presenting the materials. For example, Unit 4, Week 5, Day 5's lesson on writing.

1. Model: Crafting an Introduction

Model writing an introduction that:

  • Captures the reader’s interest—start with something that will make the reader care - a provocative statement, a funny quote, a snatch of dialogue.
  • Provides the basic background on the two texts you will write about (titles, authors, possibly a brief summary of each text).
  • Ends with your opinion statement.

2. Guided/Independent Practice

Now you will craft your introductions.

3. Teacher Work

Monitor for Engagement

  • Ensure all students are on task.

Formative Assessment

  • One-on-One Conferences
  • Make sure each student is making sufficient progress developing his/her introduction.

4. Collaborative Writing

Each partner shares his/her introduction.

Peer evaluates: What do you like about this introduction? Is there an element that could be more effective? Which part? How?

The Teacher Guide provides additional support for the teacher as they teach writing creative openings.

Creative Opening/Hook: the beginning sentences of the introduction that catch the reader’s interest. Ways of beginning creatively include the following [NOTE: the examples provided here are for teacher understanding - have students create/collect opening hooks that are appropriate to your topic/grade level.]:

  • A startling fact or bit of information
  • Example: Nearly two hundred citizens were arrested as witches during the Salem witch scare of 1692. Eventually nineteen were hanged, and another was pressed to death (Marks 65).
  • A snatch of dialogue between two characters
  • Example: “It is another thing. You [Frederic Henry] cannot know about it unless you have it.”
  • “ Well,” I said. “If I ever get it, I will tell you [priest].” (Hemingway 72).
  • With these words, the priest in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms sends the hero, Frederic, in search of the ambiguous “it” in his life.
  • A meaningful quotation (from the book you are analyzing or another source)
  • Example: “To be, or not to be, that is the question” {3.1.57}. This familiar statement expresses the young prince’s moral dilemma in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
  • A universal idea
  • Example: The terrifying scenes a soldier experiences on the front probably follow him throughout his life—if he manages to survive the war.
  • A rich, vivid description of the setting example: “Sleepy Maycomb, like other Southern towns, suffers considerably during the Great Depression. Poverty reaches from the privileged families, like the Finches, to the Negroes and ‘white trash’ Ewells, who live on the outskirts of town.” Harper Lee paints a vivid picture of life in this humid Alabama town where tempers and bigotry explode into conflict. —Christina Cheung, “A Guide to Writing the Literary Analysis Essay”, 2014

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material. For example, in Unit 2, Week 2, on Day 3, during a Close Reading of Informational Text, the Teacher’s Edition states, “Select a rich passage from the Central Text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of today’s Research Question. The class will read and re-read this selection over the course of the next two days, so select a passage (or set of passages) that is worth the time and attention. Read the text in appropriate chunks (1–2 pages at most). First Read: Experience Connected Text Read the text without interruptions. Interject with a quick one or two-sentence aside only when necessary to avoid a major misunderstanding.” Teachers may need more guidance on what a rich passage from the Central Text would need to have in order for students to be able to discuss with a partner the main idea of the text. Also, there is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, in Unit 3, Week 9, the Teacher Edition gives publishing ideas that include technology, but does not give any other information to support the use and enhance student learning. The Teacher Edition states, “Publishing: Decide how you want your students to publish their short stories. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas: Create a book, Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, or PowerPoint.”

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

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

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, the materials provide suggestions for “Creating a Community of Learners Every day, make sure you post information students are discovering by:
    • Adding interesting things to “WOW!” Chart.
    • Adding new domain-specific words to the glossary.
    • Adding new questions. What are your students wondering about?
    • Creating or adding to other graphic organizers as needed."
  • There is also a list of recommended Professional Reading for Grade-Level Instruction in the same section as above.
    • Campbell, Kimberly Hill. Less Is More: Teaching Literature With Short Texts, Grades 6-12, Stenhouse, 2007.
    • Duffy, Gerald G. Explaining Reading: A Resource for Teaching Concepts, Skills, and Strategies, Guilford Press, 2003.
    • Fisher, Douglas, and Nancy Frey. Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, ASCD, 2008.
    • Jackson, Robyn R. Never Work Harder Than Your Students, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, ASCD, 2009.
    • Schmoker, Mike. Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning, ASCD, 2011.
    • Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, ASCD, 2005.
  • In Unit 2, the front matter includes an article by Jeffrey Wilhelm, Distinguished Professor of English Education at Boise State University: "What is inquiry through apprenticeship and why should we teach this way?" The article describes the approaches, why it work, and how to establish it within the classroom." This framework undergirds a great deal of how the program is structured, and provides an overall view of why and how the materials are arranged with the students driving pieces of the daily work.

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

For example, in Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, the Teacher Edition states, “The books in the Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels. The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example, in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5 the Teacher Edition states, “Teacher Work: Introduce/Review Author’s Theme Teacher Work: Clarify Topic (the issue, idea, question the book explores) vs. Theme (the author’s perspective, position, lesson, or moral on a topic/issue/idea/question).”

In Unit 4, the Teacher Edition states, “The Research Lab Units of Study integrate the 3 Shifts and the CCSS into teacher's’ daily practice. Teachers provide grade-level rigor through the use of complex text, grade-level ELA CCSS and Science/Social Studies content, and academic vocabulary. Leveled libraries of informational text and a carefully structured project-based learning format provide the differentiated support needed to ensure that every student is successful. Phase I: Content Area Research includes,

  • 1. Teachers use close reading of complex text to teach the core content of a Science or Social Studies Unit, national/state content area standards, and gradelevel Common Core State Standards.
  • 2. Students develop expertise on a specific Research Topic within the Science or Social Studies Unit through daily research in informational texts.
  • 3. Students practice reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence in order to produce a final written product demonstrating their expertise in both the Unit and their individual Research Topics.

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 5 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.

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

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress. For example in Unit 2, the parent letter includes, “...Students will read various high-quality fiction and nonfiction books, all within their Reading Zone. Most of the reading will be completed in school, but everyone will need to read at home every night as well. You can participate at home by asking questions about what your child is reading, thinking about, and writing over the course of the unit and by making sure your child comes to school every day. Thanks to independent reading and discovery, along with your support, your child is becoming a life-long, self-sufficient learner.”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations. For example in Unit 4, the Teacher Edition states, “This can be as simple as sharing with their partner or as formal as organizing an event to which parents and/or community members are invited as the audience. The following ideas are only to get you thinking.”

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 5 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 5 partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to the daily lessons include the standards being emphasized for the day's lessons at the beginning of the lesson. Some rubrics, such as the CCSS W.3 Rubric for a Proficient Informational writing piece include the standard being addressed. However during the Research Lab Pre and Post Assessments there are no standards denoted. There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

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 5 meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment ( IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.

Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to,

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment, One-on-One Conferences, Once students are making adequate progress in their research, check individual students to assess their current proficiency with R.2. Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re) teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment Check for Understanding Once students are making adequate progress in their reading, check individual students to assess their current proficiency with R.3. ,Who is the antagonist in your book? ,Why do you think the author chose/created this character?, How does the author use the antagonist to communicate a theme/ message? What quote best supports your thinking? Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re) teach to everyone? Pull a small group?.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 4, the Teacher Edition states, “Formative Assessment, 1-on-1 Conferences, Once students are making adequate progress in their research, check individual students to assess their current proficiency with RI.6. What do you think is the author’s perspective in this book? What makes you think that? How does it compare to other authors you’ve read? Look for patterns in students’ misconceptions. Where should you (re)teach to everyone? Pull a small group?”

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 5 meet the expectation that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily.

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

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

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently, for Example in Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Set Focus, As you read today, continue to look for the most interesting, surprising, and/or important things you can learn about __(Unit)__. Also, flag any examples you find of: opinions, issues/controversies, Review routines for Independent Reading. Independent Reading, Students read for 15-30 minutes from self-selected Research Lab books.” Students share answers to Focus with a partner and share out to class after independent reading and writing. The teacher uses Accountable Talk to inform instructional decisions.

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone. In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, the Teacher Edition states, “Student Work: Read from self-selected books, building stamina towards 15-30 minutes of Independent Reading. Accountable Talk: What was the best book you read today? Why? Share a question you asked yourself while you read this book. What in the text made you wonder that? Were you able to answer your question? Why or why not?”

Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and redirect students. Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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

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

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 5 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 5 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 the materials.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels. Students who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

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

For example in Unit 2, Week 8, the Teacher Edition states, “Partner Share, What kinds of visuals did you find while you were reading? Students pick one visual and both describe what information this visual communicates and evaluate the visual’s effectiveness. Group Share, Who found a particularly informative visual? Select 1-3 students to share out their visuals findings. Continue to share out information to add to the posted classroom organizers”

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.).
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 3, Week 6, Day 5 the Teacher Edition states, “Publishing: Decide how you want your students to publish their essays. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas, Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint, or Create a book.”

Additional Publication Details

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

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
IRLA Toolkit - CCSS - Orange 978-1-63437-830-7 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

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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 3-8 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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