Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Mirrors & Windows: Connecting with Literature - Grade 9 partially meets expectations of alignment. High quality anchor texts are paired with text-based writing and some speaking and listening work. Students have frequent opportunities to engage in research activities and integrated writing to build grade-level writing skills. The materials are not organized around topics and themes and therefore do not build knowledge and vocabulary consistently across a topic. Culminating tasks to do not require demonstration of knowledge built throughout a unit and do not require integration of skills.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

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

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
18
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. Text are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. Materials meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis. Students encounter a wide variety of texts with a range of length and difficulty throughout each unit and throughout the year. Materials meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency. Materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly. Materials provide opportunities and some protocols for evidence-based discussions. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice a mix of both on-demand and process writing along with opportunities to engage in writing activities over the course of the year in a variety of modes, including argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing as well as research writing and writing to sources. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

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.
16/16
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that texts are worthy of students’ time and attention. Materials meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. Materials meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis. Students encounter a wide variety of texts with a range of length and difficulty throughout each unit and throughout the year. The texts are quantitatively supported by a Lexile level and qualitatively supported by purpose and rationale; this is provided for every unit and found within The Scope and Sequence Guide located in the Annotated Teacher’s Edition. Materials meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.

The materials meet the criteria as many of the anchor texts are previously published and widely read works of literature, including selections from the Common Core Exemplars. Both the authors and content of the texts represent a variety of cultures and cross-curricular connections that address a range of student interests appropriate for 9th grade students.

Examples of publishable and worthy texts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, the anchor text is “American History” by Judith Ortiz Cofer. This text is a cross-curricular link to Social Studies, includes Spanish vocabulary, and addresses the topics of racism, prejudice, and coming of age.
  • In Unit 2, students read “Only Daughter” by award-winning Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. This text includes Spanish vocabulary along with cultural connections and relatable content.
  • In Unit 3, the anchor text is “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. This thought-provoking text is a cross-curricular link to Social Studies and has a link to music. It has rich language and addresses topics of racism and activism.
  • In Unit 4, the anchor text is The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. This is a grade-level appropriate text with relatable themes.
  • In Unit 5, students read the legend, “The Mosquito” retold by George F. Schultz. This text has cultural connections to Vietnam and relatable themes.
  • In Unit 6, students read “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. This high-interest, dystopian text has cross-curricular connections to science.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials present students with a variety of text types and genres including, but not limited to, articles, autobiographies, short stories, poems, novel excerpts, plays (dramatic and tragic), speeches, graphic novel excerpts, memoirs, and mythology. Many of the literary texts consist of short stories and poems; however, units are divided by genre not text type, thus, texts that identify as poem, short story, article, etc. are specific to said unit. For example, Unit 2 is dedicated almost exclusively to nonfiction texts, while Unit 3 is mostly dedicated to poetry. Most informational texts stand as supports for literary text to provide context, criticism, or analysis. All texts within the curriculum can be found listed in the Range of Reading section located at the beginning of the Teacher Edition in the Program Overview.

Literary Texts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unit 1: “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes
  • Unit 2: “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie
  • Unit 3: “Metaphor” by Eve Merriam
  • Unit 4: “The Seven Ages of Man” by William Shakespeare
  • Unit 5: “The Story of Daedalus and Icarus” from The Metamorphoses by Ovid; translated by Rolfe Humphries
  • Unit 6: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

Informational texts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unit 1: “TV Coverage of JFK’s Death Forged Medium’s Role” by Joanne Ostrow
  • Unit 2: “Trapped New Orleans Pets Still Being Rescued” by Laura Parker and Anita Manning
  • Unit 3: Excerpt from How to Haiku: A Writer’s Guide to Haiku and Related Forms by Bruce Ross
  • Unit 4: “Romeo and Juliet Over the Centuries” by Dorothy May
  • Unit 5: “Understanding Homer’s Epics” - textbook article
  • Unit 6: “New Directions” by Maya Angelou

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis.

The majority of texts are at the appropriate quantitative level. Within the series, quantitative texts levels range from 650L-1450L, with some texts above and below the current grade level Lexile and stretch bands. Texts that are above or below grade level quantitative bands have qualitative features and/or tasks that bring them to the appropriate grade level. Along with Lexiles, each text is labeled as moderate, easy, or advanced. Texts are scaffolded with Units 1-5 as Guided, Directed, and Independent Reading, and Unit 6 is centered on Independent Reading. Supports are provided in the additional resource materials, particularly the Meeting the Standards Resource Guide that has guided reading activities with graphic organizers, vocabulary development, and practice quizzes. The Program Planning Guide contains lesson plans that provide student tasks and multiple reading strategies to support student learning.

Examples of texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 9 include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, students read “Close Encounter of the Human Kind” by Abraham Verghese, Lexile 1040. This text is appropriate for this grade level. While reading, students will encounter empathy, drawing conclusions, and critical thinking. A difficulty consideration could be complex vocabulary.
  • In Unit 4, students read “Romeo and Juliet over the Centuries” by Dorothy May, Lexile 1240. This text is appropriate for this grade level because students practice skills finding the main idea, using academic vocabulary, character analysis, and making text connections.

Examples of texts that are above the quantitative measure, but are at the appropriate level for Grade 9 based on qualitative analysis and associated tasks include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, students read “Birmingham Bomb Kills 4 Negro Girls in Church” by Claude Sitton, Lexile 1150L. This text is appropriate for this grade level due to the irony, compare and contrast media coverage, historical reference, and research.

Example of text that are below the quantitative measure, but are at the appropriate level for Grade 9 based on qualitative analysis and associated tasks include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students read “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, Lexile 600. In this Close Reading model, students determine important details and analyze questions. While the Lexile is below what is appropriate for 9th grade, this text is appropriate due to its content.
  • In Unit 6, students read “Blue Highways: A Journey into America” by William Least-Heat Moon, Lexile 680. This text is written as a travelogue. Students are tasked with making inferences, finding irony, asking grade-level questions, clarifying and summarizing the text, along with using context clues, which make it appropriate for grade 9.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The materials contain six units over the course of the school year. Students encounter a wide variety of texts with a range of length and difficulty throughout each unit and throughout the year. Students read and analyze these texts through a gradual release of responsibility model - beginning with guided reading, moving to directed reading, and ending in independent reading. In the early sections of each Unit, the teacher supports the students with before, during, and after reading questions. These supports are identified for ease of teacher use, and they are designed to lessen over the course of the school year. Unit 6 is an Independent Reading unit, designed to allow students to apply the literacy skills that they have developed over the course of the preceding five units. At this stage in the year, students have the routines for questioning themselves about the text in place, so the selections have minimal Refer and Reason questions at the end. There are Differentiated Instructions for students who require continued support. Each unit’s Scope & Sequence Guide lists which reading skills students will work on in each text. The end of unit writing tasks are independent of one another and do not appear to increase in difficulty or complexity.

In the beginning of the year, the students are establishing routines for reading the selections in each unit. They are guided through the process of building background knowledge about a text, setting a purpose for reading, and taking note of reading skills that will benefit them when they start reading the text. They are also guided through the process of using reading strategies and making connections while reading. Lastly, they are guided through the process of remembering details about the text and interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating the text after they have read it. By the end of the year, students are provided practice to comprehend, and examine texts independently through established routines for thinking about the text before reading it, asking self-generated questions of the text while reading it, and answering provided questions that ask them to refer to the text and reason with the text after reading it. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students read “The Ravine,” a short story by Graham Salisbury. Students independently answer the following Refer and Reason question: “Compare and contrast Vinny with his friends. What type of characters are the friends? With which of the characters would you most likely be friends? Why?”
  • In Unit 2, students read “It’s Not Talent; It’s Just Work,” by Annie Dillard. The reading skill identified in the Scope & Sequence is Author’s Purpose and Compare and Contrast. Also in this section, students read “An ‘A’ in Failure,” by Twyla Tharp where Main Idea and Compare and Contrast are listed as Reading Skills addressed.
  • In Unit 3, students read two lyric poems, “The Secret” by Denise Levertov and “Poetry” by Pablo Neruda. These two poems are used to Compare Texts with a Compare and Contrast lesson using a Venn Diagram. In the Independent Reading section, students read “The Past” by Ha Jin and “Theme For English B” by Langston Hughes. Both have Compare and Contrast identified as the Reading Skill addressed in the lessons.
  • In Unit 4, two selections in the Directed Reading section address Compare and Contrast. Students read The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Act II and Act IV by William Shakespeare and “Pass it On,” Folk Literature. Students use a Compare and Contrast chart to outline their answers to questions. In the Independent Reading section, students read “The Mosquito” by George F. Schultz and continue to develop their skills in Comparing and Contrasting.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The texts that are present within the materials are quantitatively supported by a Lexile level and qualitatively supported by purpose and rationale; this is provided for every unit and found within The Scope and Sequence Guide located in the Annotated Teacher’s Edition. Each selection in the Teacher’s Edition also has a Preview the Model or Selection section that has notes on text complexity, difficulty considerations, and ease factor. In every Before Reading section, teachers are presented with objectives that students should master by the end of the text selection and a Launch the Lesson section that gears students toward questions that reflect the theme(s) and issues present within the text selection. Although Grade 9, Unit 3 is dedicated to poetry, poems often do not provide Lexile levels; therefore, the texts are rated as Easy, Moderate, and Challenging to make up for the absence of Lexiles. All of the texts chosen are connected and appropriate for Grade 9, while allowing for differentiation and flexibility for students and teachers.

Examples of instructional and text notes found in Grade 9 materials include the following:

  • In Unit 3, students read “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall, identified as an anchor text. Since Unit 3 is comprised of poetry, Lexile levels are not available; however, each poem is identified as Easy or Moderate in terms of difficulty. Randall’s “Ballad of Birmingham” is identified as Moderate. Within the Annotated Teacher Edition, difficulty considerations are also listed for teachers as well as ease factors. The qualitative analysis consists of Build Background, Analyze Literature: Context and Setting, Set Purpose, Meet the Author, and Use Reading Skills. All of these elements within the Before Reading section identify the rationale for educational purpose that connect to the standards: cause and effect, context and setting, and irony of situation. The rationale for educational purposes is also extended in Launch the Lesson section: “If possible, show part of Spike Lee’s 4 Little Girls, a documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, to provide more context. Alternatively, you may want students to complete the collaborative learning and Media Literacy activities on page 377 before reading the section.”
  • In Unit 4, students independently read The Devil and Daniel Webster, a one-act play by Stephen Vincent Benet. The Preview the Selection provides teachers with the Text Complexity; Independent Reading; Reading Level: Challenging, Lexile NP. Difficulty Considerations: Exaggerated, unlikely events; dialectic, vocabulary. Ease Factor: few characters. Launch the Lesson instructs teachers to “Ask students to recall court cases they have seen on television or in movies. Ask them to describe the trials, specifically the tactics used by the lawyers. Explain that there will be a trial in the play they're about to read and that the lawyer will have to be creative and persuasive to win his case.”

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

The materials are organized into six units. Units 1-5 are arranged by genre, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and folk literature; Unit 6 covers a variety of genres under the blanket of Independent Reading. Within each unit, students are exposed to a volume of reading in the particular genre under study, with reading that is varied in length. There is a range of Lexile levels from easy to moderate to challenging within the curriculum. Taken as a whole, the grade-level materials cover a wide variety of texts in various genres and of various lengths. Following the gradual release of responsibility model, each unit begins with a Close Reading Model which exposes students to the before, during, and after reading process. The Close Reading Model is followed by Guided Reading Selections that help guide students further through the before, during, and after reading process. As students become more independent, they move from Guided Reading to Directed Reading to Independent Reading exercises.

During the course of Unit 1: Fiction, students read multiple texts, each with a suggested pacing of one to three days. Students read short stories, poems, a newspaper article, and a how-to writing, all varying in length. Unit 1 begins with a close reading of “Thank You Ma’am,” a short story by Langston Hughes, followed by three guided reading texts. The Directed Reading section includes the anchor text, “American History,” a short story by Judith Ortiz Cofer. The Independent Reading section includes texts such as “Rules of the Game,” a short story by Amy Tan.

During the course of Unit 3: Poetry, students read multiple texts, most of which are poems. Each text has a suggested pacing guide of one to two days. Students read the Anchor Text, “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. Overall, students read poems - including sonnets, haiku, narrative poems, concrete poems - two articles, a myth, and one how-to writing. Unit 3 begins with a poem by Ishmael Reed, “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem,” which is read as a Close Reading Model.

During the course of Unit 6: Independent Reading, the genre of readings include poems, journal, essay, memoir, travelogue, and short story intended to provide texts with themes to which students can make connections. Each text has a suggested pacing guide of one to two days. All of the texts in this unit are Independent Readings and most are written by well-known authors, such as Robert Frost, Ana Quindlen, and Joyce Carol Oates. The first text, selected for the topic of Journey, is an Independent Reading excerpt from “Song of the Open Road,” a poem by Walt Whitman. This short, six stanza section of the poem is used for an optional writing prompt: “Using evidence from the text, identify a theme Whitman experses. Then continue the theme in another stanza as the speaker continues his or her journey down the road.” The last two texts in this unit are “Designing the Future" by Anne Underwood, an interview with a Lexile level of 990, and “The Star” by H.G. Wells and Brad Teare, a graphic story with an easy independent reading level.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
12/16
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials provide opportunities and some protocols for evidence-based discussions. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice a mix of both on-demand and process writing along with opportunities to engage in writing activities over the course of the year in a variety of modes, including argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing as well as research writing and writing to sources. Materials provide opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply research-based and evidence-based writing to support analyses, arguments, and synthesis. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria 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).

The materials provide a consistent format for students to engage with text-dependent questions and/or tasks. However, text-dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments do not consistently support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Many questions have students recall key details within texts and do not build to questions that ask students to analyze or infer based on what they have read. Questions do not grow in complexity across the course of the year.

In Units 1-5, questions, tasks, and assignments can be found via the Close Reading Model: Before, During, and After Reading. The Before Reading section includes four subsections with questions embedded within the margins of the textbook: Build Background, Analyze Literature, Set Purpose, and Use Reading Skills. The During Reading section includes three subsections: Use Reading Strategies, Analyze Literature, and Make Connections. The After Reading section includes four subsections: Refer to Text, Reason with Text, Analyze Literature, and Extend the Text. The curriculum also includes Differentiated Instruction, Common Core Assessment Practice, Meeting the Standards, and Exceeding the Standards guides that also provide text-dependent questions. Each unit provides a variety of supports to text-dependent and text-specific questioning. Many questions that ask for student opinion require students to engage with the text directly as inferences are made, and students are required to provide support from the text in most of the work they complete within the unit.

In Unit 1, students read the short story, “Thank you, Ma’am,” by Langston Hughes. While reading, students respond to the following question: “What kind of person is Luella Bates Washington Jones?” To answer this question, students are asked to find the lines that suggest things about her character. During reading, the students are asked to make an inference regarding the persona of Luella Bates Washington Jones using explicit evidence. After reading, the students answer questions, such as, “What does Roger hope to steal from Mrs. Jones? Analyze why Roger might have made this choice when he and the opportunity to escape.” These questions require students to draw on textual evidence to support their answers.

In Unit 2, students read the personal essay, “Us and Them,” by David Sedaris and are asked to answer recall text-dependent questions in the Refer to Text and Reason With Text section, such as:

  • “Compare and contrast how a character feels in the beginning, and how his feelings change when he finds out an important fact about them.”
  • “List things the narrator thought the Tomkeys did not know because they did not have television.”
  • “Summarize the narrator’s idea about television.”

In Unit 3, students read the lyric poem, “Sympathy,” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and “Caged Bird,” a lyric poem by Maya Angelou. After students read both poems, they respond to Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions, such as: "Identify what the two birds in 'Sympathy' and 'Caged Bird' long for and dream about. Judge which poem--'Sympathy' or 'Caged Bird'--does a better job of depicting what it is like not to be free. Support your opinion."

In the After Reading Assessment, students then complete questions, such as: "In ‘Caged Bird,’ the caged bird sings because…. Does the caged bird in either poem have any hope for freedom?” Both examples above require students to revisit the text for explicit evidence; the open response questions push students to draw on textual evidence to support valid inferences from both poems.

In Unit 4, students read the poem, “Purgatory,” by Maxine Kuman and make a text-to-text connection with the play, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Students consider if Shakespeare had allowed Romeo and Juliet to survive their ordeal, might he have considered an ending similar to “Purgatory?”

In Unit 5, students read selections from The Odyssey, the epic poem by Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Within this section, students are asked to answer questions in the Refer to Text and Reason With Text section, such as:

  • Identify the goddess who serves as Odysseus’ protector.
  • Analyze why Homer selects that specific goddess as his hero’s protector.
  • As the mariners leave the land of the Cyclopes, what and to whom does Polyphemus call out?
  • Explain how Homer’s listeners might have responded to this incident. How might modern readers respond?

In Unit 6, students read a selection from Learning Joy from Dogs Without Collars, a memoir by Lauralee Summer. After reading, they answer text-dependent questions in the Refer to Text and Reason With Text section, such as: "Identify the places Summer and her mother stay in this excerpt noting how long they stay in each one. Describe who do you think would have a harder time adjusting to the sort of life described in this excerpt, an adult or child?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials containing sets of sequences of text-dependent/text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

After every text selection in the After Reading, Refer to Text, Reason with Text section, there are text-dependent questions, and throughout each reading, there are strategies and activities that build students’ skills to complete the end of unit activities. Each unit includes three types of culminating activities: Speaking and Listening Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Test Practice Workshop. The performance tasks that the students are asked to complete in these culminating activities correspond to the questions, discussions, and writing prompts that students have completed throughout the unit as they read the various selections. The lessons are detailed, follow a step-by-step process, have checklists to support students, and the Language Arts Handbook and the Exceeding the Standards Speaking and Listening Resource Guides support students by providing additional lessons on the skills necessary to complete each task. However, skills are often not integrated. Students complete each workshop independently of one another. Some tasks are loosely connected to unit texts, while others are not connected to texts. Students are often demonstrating mastery of the unit skills rather than demonstrating understanding or knowledge.

At the end of Unit 2: Nonfiction, there are three culminating tasks for the unit. For the Speaking and Listening Workshop, students deliver a persuasive speech where they convince others to adopt their opinion. The preparation for this speech includes being sincere and enthusiastic; maintaining good, but relaxed posture; speaking slowly; maintaining genuine eye contact; speaking in a genuine, relaxed, conversational tone; and communicating with the audience. Activities throughout the unit that build to this culminating task include:

  • Debating the pesticide issue after reading an excerpt from Silent Spring: “DDT is now banned in all major countries. However, there is increasing debate about allowing pesticides to be used in developing nations struggling with malaria and West Nile virus. With a partner or in a small group, research how developing nations might benefit from the immediate effects of a pesticide. Be sure to document your sources. Develop an argument that either supports or opposes the use of DDT in these nations and debate a team with an opposing view.”
  • Delivering a persuasive speech after reading “I Have a Dream”: “Write a three-to-five-minute speech that persuades an audience of your peers to participate in your vision for a better world.”

This task requires students to demonstrate the skill of persuasion, but does not build to integrate skills that demonstrate understanding.

In the Unit 2 Writing Workshop, students write an argument essay where they try to persuade readers to consider their point of view on a topic they believe in and care about. Students select their topic; gather information about their topic; organize their ideas into a pro and con chart; write their thesis statement; draft their introduction, body, and conclusion; evaluate their drafts; revise their drafts for content, organization, and style; proofread for errors; publish and present their work; and reflect on their work. Activities throughout the unit that build to this culminating task include:

  • Researching the use of propaganda after reading “The Teacher Who Changed My Life.”
  • Composing an argument writing after reading ‘Becoming a Composer.” “If an author was preparing your biography, he or she would spend a great deal of time researching your life. The biographer would certainly interview people who interact with you or know you well enough to provide insight into your life. Write a brief argumentative essay of four to five paragraphs convincing your biographer who should be interviewed, why those people should be chosen, and what questions should be posed.”
  • Writing “an argument essay that either supports or opposes the future growth of media” after reading “Us and Them.”
  • Analyzing an excerpt from Silent Spring. “Summarize the main points about pollution that Carson makes. Then list the types of evidence she provides in support of her opinions. Finally, write a short critique of the essay, in which you take a stand or express your own opinion on the issue.”
  • Locating and analyzing a great speech after reading “Glory and Hope.”

This task requires students to demonstrate the skill a written argument, but does not build to integrate skills that demonstrate understanding.

In the Test Practice Workshop in Unit 2, the first section asks students to practice the reading skill of identifying the author’s purpose through reading Sojourner Truth’s Speech to the Convention of the Equal Rights Association; answering reading comprehension questions on the text; responding to a constructed response prompt on the text: “Name at least three techniques Sojourner Truth uses to achieve her purpose and provide a specific example to support each one,” and completing an extended writing prompt on an issue presented in this prompt: “Some parents feel that their teenage children are given too many material things and don’t value property because they haven’t had to work for it. Other parents want to give their teenage children advantages that they can’t afford and don’t see any harmful effects in doing this. In your opinion, should parents buy everything for their teenage children without making them work to earn it? Write an essay in which you take a position on this topic. You may choose to support one of the two points of view given, or you may write about a third perspective on the topic. Support your position with specific reasons and examples.” For the second section, students practice revising and editing by reading a paragraph; identifying errors in the writing, and suggesting ways of improving the errors. Activities throughout the unit that build to this culminating task include:

  • Analyzing author’s purpose while reading an excerpt from Swimming to Antarctica: “Cox begins her autobiography with a swim she attempted as an adult but goes on to describe her early experiences as a swimmer. Why do you think she structured, or arranged, the opening of her book in this way?”
  • Analyzing the effect of the words in “Glory and Hope.” “Most of Mandela’s speech is written using formal language. Near the end, however, Mandela uses the phrase ‘skunk of the world’ to describe South Africa’s historical poison. What might have been the effect of this informal phrase on the listeners? How would this expression assist Mandela’s persuasive speech?
  • Practicing aspects of grammar and style such as prepositional, infinitive, and participial phrases; comma usage; possessive nouns and pronouns.
  • Practicing aspects of vocabulary and spelling such as figurative language.

The Writing Workshop for Unit 5 focuses on Narrative Writing, specifically Oral History. Within the Writing Workshop, the objective indicates that “Studying this workshop will enable students to write an oral history that does the following: “introduces the subject being interviewed, includes a thesis that states the focus of the story, records the narrative in chronological order, and concludes by closing the story and reflecting on the significance of the story.” Though this culminating task is somewhat supported by unit lessons, the task is not connected to a text nor does it demonstrate understanding. Students could complete this task without the unit lessons or unit texts. Students “Interview an older relative or a wise family friend, and document a story of special meaning. Prewrite, draft, and revise the oral history.”

  • The Writing Workshop directions specifically state that “As a child, most likely you listened to someone tell you spellbinding tales of heroes and heroines. Ella Young, author of ‘The Silver Pool,’ went to Ireland to sit by turf fires and listen, as she says, to poems ‘recited by folk who had heard the faery music and danced in faery circles.’ Folk tales, fables, and legends have profound reverberations; they allow us to deeply investigate life’s mysteries. They tell stories of decision and consequence that are both personal and universal, both literal and symbolic. In The Odyssey, readers relate to the lessons Odysseus learns on his journey, even through such things could never happen to them.”
  • The directions continue: “You also have heard the spellbinding stories your parents and grandparents tell about their parents and grandparents. These oral histories explain who you are and where you come from. They may be the foundation of an entire lineage. Besides their personal relevance, these episodes from people’s lives are history--family and cultural history. Capturing oral histories preserves them for generations to come.”
  • Tasks that occur throughout the unit that support students in their endeavors with this culminating tasks include, writing a one-page literary analysis explaining the moral, or lesson about life, that this tale offers. Use details from the story to support your conclusion. Then, after students complete “The White Snake,” a fairy tale, students will then complete a piece of narrative writing: “Fairy tales have traditional settings, such as castles and forests, and old-fashioned characters. Prepare a modern-day retelling of ‘The White Snake’ in a setting of your choice, such as a suburb or a big city. You can replace the old-fashioned characters with modern ones, too, if you wish. Your version can be one or two pages long.”

In the Unit 6, Exceeding the Standards, Speaking & Listening Workshop, Give a Descriptive Writing Presentation, students write a description that is not connected to unit lessons or texts. This task requires students to demonstrate the skills of descriptive writing, but does not integrate skills or demonstrate student understanding. Students are asked, “Select the Subject of Your Descriptive Piece. Answer the questions below to find the right subject to describe: Think about your life 20 years from now. What person, place, activity, or time will you best remember when you look back at your childhood? What feeling or mood would you like to create in your presentation: What subject brings that feeling or mood to mind? Then students are told to, “Select the Form Your Writing Will Take. Think about your purpose for writing. Are you going to provide information? Are you going to tell a story? Your purpose for writing can help you decide on the genre for your descriptive piece.” There are exercises provided to build students' skills of descriptive writing to complete this task. For example, students are given the directions, “The passages on the next page describe similar subjects. Read each passage and circle any words that contribute to the mood and imagery of the passage. Then write a paragraph comparing the passages’ descriptive techniques and explaining which genre appeals to you.”

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials provide opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions. There are opportunities for classroom discussion throughout the materials.The Program Planning Guide provides several evaluation forms for communication, such as: Communicating in a Pair Group (Self-Evaluation), Communicating in a Pair Group (Peer-Evaluation), Communicating in a Small Group, and Communicating in a Large Group. The Exceeding the Standards resource for speaking and listening includes rubrics for individual presentations. The Speaking & Listening rubric found in the Workshops gives explicit instruction on how students should share thoughts.

In Unit 1, within the Annotated Teacher Edition, students complete a Speaking and Listening Workshop where they must deliver a narrative presentation. Step five out of six steps has students practice their speaking skills with a friend before the narrative presentation and instructs students to do the following: "Choose your words and structure your sentences so that your audience can follow the story. Use appropriate intonation; this is, vary the pitch and tone of your voice, depending on the mood you want to set. Decide which parts of the story to stress, and find the best way of doing that, for example, by pausing or by raising your voice. Record your story and play it back. Are you speaking too fast? Too softly? Is the story missing anything?” Step six has students present the narrative: “Finally, present your narrative to the class, using facial expressions and gestures to bring the story to life. Try to tell the story without the aid of any notes. Remember, it’s not the exact words that your story that matter--it’s the way you tell it.”

Teachers are also instructed to “Divide students into pairs and have each partner read aloud the other partner’s story. The partner who is listening should close his or her eyes and visualize the story as it is read. Encourage students to use a variety of gestures and inflections as they practice their stories.” Within this example, students are also presented with a speaking and listening rubric that lists the following criteria that students will be scored on “Content” and “Delivery and Presentation”; this rubric is listed within the Annotated Teacher’s Edition:

  • Content: Clear chronology--beginning, middle, and end; strong opening and closing sentences; vivid description; and simple vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Delivery and Presentation: Appropriate volume, pace, and enunciation; effective tone, intonation, and stress; and effective nonverbal expression

Within the Exceeding the Standards resource, the Speaking and Listening section outlines the following contents:

  • Unit 1: Deliver a Narrative Presentation
  • Unit 2: Deliver a Persuasive Speech
  • Unit 3: Present a Poem
  • Unit 4: Present a Dramatic Scene
  • Unit 5: Gathering Information from an Interview
  • Unit 6: Give a Descriptive Writing Presentation

In Unit 2, Nonfiction, students are asked to debate the pesticide issue, " DDT is now banned in all major countries. However, there is increasing debate about allowing pesticides to be used in developing nations struggling with malaria and West Nile Virus. With a partner or a. in a. small group, research how developing nations might benefit from the immediate effects of a. pesticide. Be sure to document your sources. Develop an argument that either supports or opposes the use of. DDT in these nations and debate a team with an opposing view.

In Unit 5, Folk Literature, students analyze author's approach, " With a partner or small group, research the duties of the inspectors-generals of imperial Russia and analyze the author's approach to the subject. What criticism might Chekhov have been expressing in this play? Present your findings and analysis as a panel discussion."


Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The materials provide the teacher with ample questions to engage students in thinking about and responding to the text; however, no explanation is given on how the students will share this thinking - be it verbal or written, individual, or in groups. There are few supports or follow up questions to support students' listening and speaking to deeper their understanding about what they are reading and researching.

Throughout the Annotated Teacher's Edition, there are many places that prompt teachers to have students discuss in the context of pre-reading. Since these discussion opportunities occur prior to actually reading the text, discussions aren’t evidence-based. For example, in the Launch the Unit section, questions for a whole-class discussion on the text type being studied in the unit are provided. The Speaking and Listening portion of the Exceeding the Standards resource provides opportunities for students to prepare projects and to present information orally to the class through narratives, speeches, poems, dramatic scenes, and interviews, but these activities are not tied to the texts that are studied in the unit. In the Exceeding the Standards resource for speaking and listening, the majority of tasks are presentations--these supports tie to the speaking and listening requirements, but there are very few shared projects. Also, there are some relevant follow-up questions and supports, but the supports and follow-up questions are designed for students to respond to individually, rather than practicing through the Speaking and Listening standards with one another or in small and large groups.

Each unit includes a Speaking and Listening Workshop, but the emphasis is on the individual preparing for a particular presentation. There are collaborative research and discussion activities that can be found in the Teacher Edition, most notably as Teaching Note(s) that suggest activities for students to process the text they are reading through pair and small group work, often focused on generating questions about the text. Students may also take part in Collaborative Learning, which usually occurs in the After Reading section where students practice speaking and listening skills--this includes student planning for group activities, group skit presentations, short discussions, etc. There are other frequent questions and activities that are designed to have students speaking and listening, but they do not require the student to have interacted with the text being studied. Rather, they are based on personal thoughts and experiences and connections to themes.

The speaking and listening opportunities require students to provide evidence from what they are reading and researching. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 6, Independent Reading, students read two selections: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth and an excerpt from The Grasmere Journals by Dorothy Wordsworth. The Teacher Edition suggests that after reading the selections, the teacher should engage the students in a discussion about imagery: “Tell students that language that creates pictures by appealing to the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell is called imagery. Ask students to identify two words and one figure of speech in the text, The Grasmere Journals, that also appear in 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.' Have students discuss the significance of this overlapping vocabulary and imagery, found both in the journal and in the poem.”

Frequently, questions and activities provide speaking and listening opportunities about what students are reading and researching, but do not require students to have interacted with the text being studied. Discussions are based more on personal thoughts and experiences and connections to the themes. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 4, Annotated Teacher's Edition, instructors are given directions in the Launch the Lesson section. For the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet: “Have students recall some recent movies about love and relationships. Ask them to choose one of the moves and write out its basic plot. Have students compare and contrast the representation of love and relationships in their movie with the representation in a movie another student wrote about. Students can compare these movies to The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet as they read.” This support given in the Annotated Teacher Edition also correlates to the Mirrors and Windows question that “the end of Act I focus[es] on the theme of true love.” Teachers are further instructed to support students by the following: “Before reading, engage students in a discussion of true love by posing these questions: Is there such a thing as true love? If so, how might you recognize it?” These supports have students recall and discuss considering students are practicing sharing information that is summarized and synthesized both individually and within a large group. However, this discussion is not evidence-based and does not require students to gather evidence from the text.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.

The materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice a mix of both on-demand and process writing. At the end of every reading selection, students are presented with an After Reading section that includes an Extended Text section. Within this section, students are presented with two on-demand writing options. At the close of every unit, students are presented with a Writing Workshop opportunity, which is a process writing where students prewrite, draft, and revise over time. Students are given both examples and steps to follow to ensure success. There are focused projects that incorporate digital resources where appropriate, as explained in the Introduction to Media Text and Visual Media resource.

Examples of on-demand and process writing that meet the criteria for this indicator include, but are not limited to, the following:

In Unit 1 of the Annotated Teacher Edition, students read “ Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird,” a short story by Toni Cade Bambara. In the Extend the Text, Writing Options section, students are given an on-demand creative writing task to write a character description: “In a few short paragraphs, write a character description that illustrates pride. Focus on the character trait. It may be helpful to brainstorm how pride is demonstrated by organizing your thoughts in a graphic organizer similar to the one below.” Students create a multi-circle tiered graphic organizer that has “Pride” at the top, “Actions” to the left in a circle, and “Interactions” to the right, attached to each bigger circle are two smaller circles for additional notes.

In the Unit 2 Writing Workshop, students are given the opportunity for process writing with the following argumentative essay prompts:

  • Persuasive words have power: Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Nelson Mandela’s “Glory and Hope” speech, and Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring all inspired important changes in society. Each author stated his or her opinion and provided convincing reasonable evidence to support it. They felt passionately about the truth of their position. Their words have had a lasting effect.
  • Expressing an informed opinion is an attempt to win an audience, to convince people to agree with or understand your argument or point of view. You encounter persuasive language every day. Advertisers persuade you to make a purchase; newspaper editorials persuade you to consider an opinion on an issue. Persuasion combines passion with logic and reasoning to influence the minds and sometimes change the lives of others.
  • For this assignment, choose a topic you believe in and care about. Prewrite, draft, and revise an informed argumentative essay that expresses your opinion of this important topic.

At the end of Unit 3, there is a test practice workshop where students complete a piece of timed, on-demand writing: “Read the following quotation from Oscar Wilde, and then consider the assignment. Allow 30 minutes to write your response to the prompt. ‘Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.’ Assignment: Do you agree that color can affect your mood or express certain properties or emotions? Write an essay in which you support your response by discussing one or more examples from your personal experience, your observations, your reading, or your knowledge of popular culture, the arts, science and technology, or current events.”

In Unit 5, students read “The Story of Daedalus and Icarus,” from The Metamorphoses, an epic poem by Ovid, translated by Rolfe Humphries. In the After Reading section, students have an opportunity to practice the Extend the Text section, which focuses on two on-demand writing options:

  • Creative Writing: Create a three-paragraph myth that explains the origin of something in the world around you. You might describe the origin of a natural object or a technological innovation, such as television or computers. If you wish, include supernatural elements such as the gods who intervene in the process.
  • Informative Writing: In the library or from the Internet, choose a myth that is not in this textbook. Write a one-page literary analysis explaining the moral, or lesson about life, that this tale offers. Use details from the story to support your conclusion. If you need help in selecting a myth to analyze, ask your teacher or librarian to assist you.

In Unit 6, students read an excerpt from “Song of the Open Road,” a poem by Walt Whitman. Once students complete the reading, students are provided two on-demand writing options:

  • Using evidence from the text, identify a theme Whitman expresses. Then continue the theme in another stanza as the speaker continues his or her journey down the road.
  • Work with a partner to find evidence from the text to create a character profile of the speaker. Speculate on the speaker’s life before and after setting off on the journey.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. (Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.)

The materials provide students ample opportunities to engage in writing activities over the course of the year in a variety of modes, including argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing as well as research writing and writing to sources. Within these general categories, there is also a wide variety of specific writing tasks. Each of the reading selections is followed by two writing activities in two different modes, and the writing workshop at the end of each unit gives an in-depth exploration and practice of a specific mode as well. Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Each lesson offers a purpose for the writing, a teaching and modeling section, examples to help guide students, and independent writing time.

In Unit 1, students read “The Interlopers,” a short story by Saki. In the After Reading, Extend the Text, Writing Options section, students practice Argumentative Writing: “Write a conflict/resolution paragraph about how to bring two opposing groups together to make peace or reach a settlement. You may choose any two groups you know about, whether it be two arguing friends or two political factions. Your audience depends on the group you choose, describe the conflicts before making suggestions about how to settle the matter.”

In Unit 2, students read “from Swimming to Antarctica,” an autobiography by Lynne Cox. In the After Reading, Extend the Text, Writing Options section, students practice Descriptive Writing: “The idea of swimming a long distance in a frigid sea is truly extraordinary. Do you know of other people who took remarkable risks, perhaps even endangering their own lives? In four or five paragraphs write a descriptive essay describing an event where someone put his or her life at risk. Conclude your essay with a final paragraph reflecting on his or her motives.”

In Unit 3, after reading “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar and “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, students complete a text-extension activity where they compose a piece of creative writing: “Imagine that you meet the person who has caged the bird in ‘Sympathy’ or ‘Caged Bird.’ Write a short dialogue in which the person explains his or her reasoning, and you counter the reasoning with an argument to convince that person to free the bird. Before writing, jot down ideas about what freedom might mean for a bird.”

In Unit 5, students read “The White Snake,” a fairytale retold by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Lucy Crane. Once students have read the fairytale, they have two writing options, which are located in the After Reading section:

  • Narrative Writing: Fairy tales have traditional settings, such as castles and forests, and old-fashioned characters. Prepare a modern-day retelling of "The White Snake" in a setting of your choice, such as a suburb or a big city. You can replace the old-fashioned characters with modern ones, too, if you wish. Your version can be one or two pages long.
  • Argumentative Writing: In a story, flat characters remain the same from beginning to end: They don’t change at all. Write a one to two-page character analysis in which you argue whether or not the young man is a flat character. Support your opinion with details from “The White Snake.”

In Unit 6, students read Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, “History Lesson.” Once students complete the Independent Reading, they are presented with two writing options:

  • Narrative Writing: Imagine the Venusians have set up an exhibit about life on the Third Planet based on the items left in the cairn. Write a museum guide to this exhibit that includes a short description of each piece including its possible function. Explain these items from a Venusian point of view.
  • Informative Writing: Write a compare-and-contrast essay comparing Venusian society to today’s human society. Compare the differences in the values of each society, and any other elements that you should in the story.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

The materials provide opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply research-based and evidence-based writing to support analyses, arguments, and synthesis. At the end of every reading selection, in the After Reading/Extend the Text section, students are presented with two on-demand writing options that prompt students to complete short, research-based writing using the texts read within the section. The writing prompts that require students to interact with the text explicitly state that the students need to cite evidence. Students experience research-based and evidence-based writing within every Writing Workshop section that occurs at the close of each unit. Many writing opportunities are focused around each student’s analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

In Unit 1 students read “The Cask of Amontillado,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In the After the Reading, Writing Options, Extend the Text section, students use descriptive writing to respond to the following prompt: “Imagine you are a detective in charge of briefing a local police department on the events that took place in ‘The Cask of Amontillado.’ The police have asked you to analyze the victim's character based on Montresor's confession, write a one-page character analysis of Fortunato. In your analysis, examine the aspects of Fortunato's character that enabled Montresor to entrap him. Use specific examples of his words or actions to support your analysis.”

In Unit 1, students read “Destiny,” a short story by Louise Erdrich. In the After the Reading Writing Options, Extend the Text section, students use descriptive writing to respond to the following prompt: “Choose one of the characters in the story and write a two to three paragraph character description. Find text references to the characters physical appearance, as well as personality descriptions given by other characters, if applicable. Describe how the character acts in the story and offer suggestions to what his or her behavior indicate about the character.”

In Unit 2, students read “The Obligation to Endure, from Silent Spring,” an argumentative essay by Rachel Carson, and the related informational text “When it Comes to Pesticides, Birds Are Sitting Ducks.” In the After the Reading, Writing Options, Extend the Text, Creative Writing section, students respond to the following prompt: “Write a letter to a fictional chemical company expressing concern over its production of pesticides. Cite the evidence found in ‘The Obligation to Endure’ and the related article ‘When It Comes to Pesticides, Birds Are Sitting Ducks.’ Your letter should be polite yet forceful and should contain three clear elements: the reason you are writing, the evidence that supports your position, and the course of action you expect the company to take."

In Unit 3, after reading “Gifts” and “To the Oak” by Shu Ting, students complete a text extension activity where they write a critical analysis of one of the poems, requiring them to seek evidence about the text and from the text: “Imagine that you are trying to explain the meaning of one of these poems to a classmate. In two paragraphs, write a critical analysis that explains what the poem is about. Explain who the intended audience for the poem is, and what ideas you believe the speaker is trying to convey. You will need to discuss the relevant information about the poem’s cultural and historical context, as well as describe the imagery used in the poem.”

In Unit 3, after reading “Cold as Heaven” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Gentle Communion” by Pat Mora, students complete a text extension activity which requires them to seek evidence from the texts: “Write a compare-and-contrast paragraph of both speaker and tone in ‘Cold as Heaven’ and in ‘Gentle Communion.’ Compare what is revealed about the speaker in each poem, the tone of each poem, and the techniques the author uses to convey the tone.”

In Unit 3, after reading “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe, students complete a text extension activity which requires them to use evidence from the text: “Write a three-paragraph position statement that argues which of the stanzas in Poe’s ‘The Bells’ is the most interesting and insightful. Use examples from the selection to support your arguments.”

In Unit 4, students learn from a literary model, “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Daniel Benet. They then refer to the model to answer the following questions: "What description in Benet’s stage directions convey the overall atmosphere of the set? What specific items in Benet’s description of the set add to the comfortable atmosphere? Give three examples of how Benet’s stage directions describe the position of certain items, whether by themselves or in relation to other items on the stage?" After the above lesson, students write stage directions for a specific setting.

In Unit 5, students read “The Golden Lamb,” a folk tale by Jean Russell Larson. As students complete the folktale reading, they are asked to write an informative writing, “‘The Golden Lamb’ is similar, in some ways, to the story of King Solomon in the Old Testament. Read the story of Solomon, or find a similar told tale, and then write a three- to four-paragraph compare-and-contrast essay in which you examine the likenesses and differences between the two narratives. Be sure to discuss the values that are promoted in each story. Share your work with classmates. Use a Venn Diagram, like the one below, to assist you.”

In Unit 5, students read “Iya, the Camp-Eater,” a Native American legend by Zitkala-Sa. Once students read the legend, they respond to, “Is ‘Iya, the Camp-Eater’ a typical Native American legend? Do research in the library or on the Internet, to learn what the tale has in common with other Native American legends. Write up your findings in a brief literary research paper.”

In Unit 6, students read “Homeless,” an essay by Anna Quindlen. Once students read Quindlen’s essay, students “Write a critical analysis of ‘Homeless,’ in which you touch on some of the elements that have likely contributed to the popularity of Anna Quindlen’s writing. Consider subject matter, language, tone, and other aspects that stand out for you.”

In Unit 6, students partake in a writing workshop on informative writing in the format of a research paper. This research paper is a process writing that students would complete over an extended period of time. Students compose an “I-search” essay, which is “written on a topic of personal relevance.” The assignment detail is as follows: “Plan, write, and revise an I-search paper in which you explore--and describe the process you undergo--a talent you’d like to develop and the potential careers it could lead you to.” Students are given “Prewrite,” “Draft,” and “Revise” directions.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

The materials contain several workshops in grammar and style, as well as vocabulary and spelling. Within each unit, students experience between two and six Grammar and Style Workshops; all workshops have students practice various grammatical and syntactical tasks that apply directly to the texts they read within the unit. However, there is inconsistent support for students to practice in increasingly sophisticated contexts. The skills instruction does not include opportunities for application both in and out of context. Additionally, the materials do not promote and build students’ ability to apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing. There are minimal opportunities to practice skills taught in the unit with the selected readings in the Teacher’s Edition, therefore limiting opportunities for increased sophistication of the addressed standards. While the resource workbook, Exceeding the Standards, includes “comprehensive skills development lessons," the same language standards are not necessarily addressed during the “Writer’s Workshop” task or other possible places within the unit of study. Therefore, students are not consistently given opportunities to apply the lessons on grammar and conventions in context.

In Unit 1, within the Exceeding the Standards resource, students practice nine different lessons. Within Lesson 9, students practice Indefinite Pronouns with 6 exercises. Exercise 6 states the following: “Write a paragraph about a problem you and someone else recently solved. Describe the problem and the steps you took to find the solution. Correctly use at least five examples of reflective and intensive pronouns in your paragraph.”

In Unit 2, students experience two Grammar and Style Workshops. Within each Grammar and Style Workshop, students practice Understand the Concept and Apply the Skill sections.

  • Possessive Nouns and Pronouns: In the Possessive Nouns and Pronouns Workshop, students read about different types of possessive forms of nouns and pronouns. Students are also presented with Review Terms. Within the Apply the Skill section students practice the following skills: Identify Possessive Nouns, Use Possessive Nouns Correctly, Identify Possessive Pronouns, Use Possessive Pronouns Correctly, and Extend the Skill. An example from Use Possessive Pronouns Correctly is as follows: “4. Spreading the word on the dangers of pesticides was mine intention.” An example from Extend the Skill is as follows: “With a partner, make a list of fifteen insect-related nouns, such as antenna, grasshopper, thorax, and horsefly. Then write the correct singular possessive and plural possessive forms of each noun on your list.”

Unit 3 Poetry includes two Grammar and Style Workshops, one on verb tense and one on active and passive voice. It contains two Vocabulary and Spelling Workshops, one on literal and figurative meanings and one on using spelling rules correctly.

  • In the verb tense workshop, students read about simple, perfect, and progressive tenses and complete practice exercises such as identifying the verb tense in a sentence: “1. Our teacher is speaking to the class about Poe’s poetry.”
  • In the active and passive voice workshop, students read about the difference between active and passive voice and complete practice exercises such as identifying whether a sentence is in active or passive voice: “1. Dunbar is considered by many critics to be the first professional African-American poet.”
  • The Vocabulary and Spelling section of the Exceeding the Standards booklet includes practice exercises to support the spelling workshop on spelling correctly, spelling patterns, and spell-check software and what it fails to do.

In Unit 5, Grammar and Style, Understand the Concept, students learn the concepts of Coordination, Subordination, and Apposition. After reviewing the terms, students Apply the Skill, by Identifying Coordination, Subordination, and Apposition in Sentences. Students then Improve the Use of Conjunctions by rewriting sentences using an appropriate coordinating or subordinating conjunctions. Students Practice using Conjunctions and Appositives in their writing. Students Extend the Skill by using a picture to practice describing the people using coordination, subordination, and appositives.

Unit 6, the Independent Reading Unit, contains grammar practice only in the Exceeding the Standards, Grammar and Style.

  • Lesson 52: students practice in Exercise 1, Identifying Sentence Fragments in Literature. In Exercise 2, Understanding Sentence Fragments, and in Exercise 3, Correcting Sentence Fragments.
  • Lesson 55: students practice using Transitions Effectively. In Exercise 1, students Identify Transitions in Literature, in Exercise 2, Understanding How to Use Transitions, and in Exercise 3, students practice using Transitions in Your Writing.
  • Lesson 62: students practice Summarizing and Paraphrasing. In Exercise 1, students practice Summarizing a Selection, and in Exercise 2, students practice Paraphrasing sentences.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. Materials do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic or theme/topic or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently. While there are targeted questions and series of questions for students that promote students’ ability to draw conclusions and cite textual evidence, determine theme, and analyze point of view, they do not promote students' building knowledge of the content and texts. Students are presented with text-dependent and text-specific questions; however, the questions do not require students to build knowledge across the text. Culminating tasks do not require students to demonstrate knowledge of a topic, nor do they integrate skills. Materials include vocabulary over the course of a school-year, but there is no cohesive plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials include a variety of resources and supports to provide a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks. Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in research activities that support the understanding of texts and topics within texts. Materials meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

18/32
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. Materials do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic or theme/topic or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently. While there are targeted questions and series of questions for students that promote students’ ability to draw conclusions and cite textual evidence, determine theme, and analyze point of view, they do not promote students' building knowledge of the content and texts. Students are presented with text-dependent and text-specific questions; however, the questions do not require students to build knowledge across the text. Materials include a variety of resources and supports to provide a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks. Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in research activities that support the understanding of texts and topics within texts. Materials meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic or theme/topic or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

The materials are organized by units consisting of broad genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, folk literature, and independent reading. A quote at the beginning of each unit is intended to give insight into the collection of literature in the unit. Along with the quote are guiding questions and commentary that are meant to expand upon the quote. While the quote, questions, and commentary at the beginning set the stage for defining a theme or topic, the texts throughout the unit do not consistently connect back to them.Many of the texts in the unit do not relate to each other with a common theme or topic, and students do not build knowledge to help them better read complex texts. Many of the Mirrors & Windows questions focus on text-to-student understanding, rather than the text, and they are not building the student's textual knowledge.

In Unit 1, Fiction, students are presented with the following in the Unit 1 Overview: “Has anyone ever shown you a random act of kindness? Forgiven you or held a grudge against you? Think of the last time you sought revenge or the last time you were truly afraid. As you read the stories in this unit, compare your own experiences with those being expressed. You may find that, though invented, fiction mirrors everyday life.” While there are questions being presented at the beginning of the unit, the questions themselves, along with the commentary, fail to identify an actual topic or theme; topics and themes are hinted at, but the presumed topic or theme is not clear. Students read “Thank You, M’am,” a short story by Langston Hughes. In the Annotated Teacher’s Edition, teachers are presented with the following Mirrors & Windows question: “The Mirrors & Windows questions at the end of the selection focus on the theme of trust. Before reading, ask students to think about what makes them trust someone. Do they consider themselves trustworthy?” Students, at the end of the reading selection, are presented with the Mirrors & Windows question: “Roger ‘did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.’ How do we learn to trust people? Are we more inclined to have faith in or to question the intentions of people we do not know well?” The preview of the Mirrors & Windows question, and the Mirrors & Windows question itself, do not directly reference the Unit 1 Overview questions presented.

In Unit 3 Poetry, students are presented with the following quote at the beginning of the unit: “Poetry is life distilled” by Gwendolyn Brooks. Included with the quote are guiding questions and a suggestion for students to approach reading the texts in the unit: “Could you describe your world in just a paragraph? Try expressing your dreams, opinions, and emotions in a few sentences. Is this possible? As you read the following unit, observe how complex ideas are condensed into a modest selection of words. You may find that while it is usually shorter than prose, poetry speaks volumes.” While there are questions being presented at the beginning of the unit, the questions themselves, along with the commentary, fail to identify an actual topic or theme; a topic or theme are hinted at, but the presumed topic or theme is not clear. Each of selections has its own questions for the students to explore; these are presented through the Mirrors and Windows questions. While these questions are engaging, students are not necessarily building knowledge, and the teacher will need to supplement with additional texts and questions to deepen knowledge.

Unit 6, Independent Reading, students are presented with the following in the Unit Overview: “As a reader, you read for different purposes. Whether you read for enjoyment, to learn, or for information, applying reading strategies and skills will help you become an active, independent reader. The selections in this unit are organized in thematically to include different genres you have studied in this textbook. Apply the strategy skills you’ve practiced in Units 1 through 5 as you read the following selections.” Students independently read “Homeless,” an essay by Anna Quindlen. The Mirrors & Windows questions at the beginning of the text asks students, “Before students begin reading, engage in discussion of what would motivate them to take positive action to help people who are dealing with troubles in their lives.” The Mirrors & Windows focus questions at the end of the text ask students, “What purpose does it serve to 'lessen our own participation' and the troubles of others? Why does this happen and what does it say about the people who allow this to happen? How might people resist this happening?” While these are compelling questions, the teacher will have to supplement with other texts and possibly questions to support building knowledge.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

While there are targeted questions and series of questions for students that promote students’ ability to draw conclusions and cite textual evidence, determine theme, and analyze point of view, they do not promote students' building knowledge of the content and texts. There are few questions that support students in analyzing author’s language and word choice. The questions that do focus on language and structure do not support students to analyze its effect on the text.

For example, the Assessment Guide for “Thank You, Ma’am,” Lesson Test, includes multiple-choice questions for students to analyze the language, details, and craft. These questions do provide some access to reading the text closely; however, they do not provide deeper knowledge building nor academic vocabulary practice.

  • What does Roger attempt to steal from Mrs. Jones?
  • Which of the following words is a synonym for "frail," as used in the sentence, "The boy appeared sickly and frail."
  • Which of the following quotations from the story is not an example of characterization?

In Unit 2, The Meeting the Standards Guide, Unit 2 Nonfiction, provides the following sets of questions:

  • In applying biography, autobiography, and memoir to the Selection, question 1: After students have read the selections in Unit Two, they explain why “The Teacher Who Changed My Life” is considered a memoir and not an autobiography.
  • In Assignment page Applying Traits of Essays to Selections, question 2: “Quote one sentence from ‘The Obligation to Endure’ that shows it is an expository essay.”
  • In Understanding Speeches, question 3: “What is the main difference between a formal speech and an informal speech?”
  • In Applying Traits of Informational Texts to Selections, students use a graphic organizer to summarize one fact and one opinion from each article read in Unit 2.

    These questions provide some opportunity for students to engage with the text; however, the teacher will need to supplement the questions and tasks to assure students dive into the craft, structure and, vocabulary beyond a surface read.

In Unit 3, students read “Metaphor” by Eve Merriam and “Simile” by N. Scott Momaday. In the Annotated Teacher Edition, teachers ask the students to complete a Mirrors and Windows task before reading “Metaphor”: “Before students read the poem, have them discuss their attitudes about the idea of starting over.” This task is directly followed by a Mirrors and Windows question once students have finished reading “Metaphor”: “Is there freedom in starting over? Is the prospect of starting over every morning invigorating, frightening, or tedious?” Next, students move on to read “Simile,” and instructors pose another Mirrors and Windows question before students read and deconstruct the poem: “Discuss how words can sometimes create rifts in a relationship.” This question is directly followed by a Mirrors and Windows question once students have finished reading “Simile”: “Under what circumstances might it be better to avoid confrontation and when might it be better to meet it head on? Can relationships sometimes benefit from avoidance?” While the questions are focused on the text, they do not support building knowledge of the content or a deep analysis of the effect of the language on the text.

In Unit 5, students read the fable, “The Princess and the Tin Box” by James Thurber as Independent Reading. Once students have read the fable, they complete the following Refer to Text and Reason with Text section questions located at the end of the text:

  • Outline the descriptions of each prince, including details of his arrival and gift for the princess. How are they different from the poor young man?
  • Evaluate whether or not you think the author does an effective job of setting up the reader to be surprised. Explain.
  • Sarcasm is sharp and satirical or ironic language designed to cut or give pain to another. Explain why the moral at the end of the fable is an example of sarcasm.

While these questions do focus on the text, the questions carry the majority of the intellectual load and reduce the actual knowledge demands placed on the student.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In the curriculum, students are presented with text-dependent and text-specific questions; however, the questions do not require students to build knowledge across the text. Included are some text-dependent questions for each selection in the form of During Reading questions and After Reading questions. The During Reading questions require only a surface amount of knowledge to complete. The After Reading questions are broken into Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions. The Refer to Text questions require surface knowledge of the text. The Reason with the Text questions are designed to increase in complexity from understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating; however, these questions comprise a small percentage of the questions and tasks that students are required to address.

Most questions and tasks do not require that students refer to the text, and it is unclear how the questions work to build knowledge across an individual text. Each unit includes two texts that are paired with the intention of teaching literary elements across texts. The individual paired texts have text-dependent questions at the end, but there is only one question that asks the students to compare the texts, and the question does not promote a deep analysis of the texts. There are other text-to-text connections established in the units, but the questions about these connections do not require an analysis of the integration of ideas.

The Mirrors & Windows questions are mainly text-to-student questions, where students are not required to read the text in order to be able to respond. The Annotated Teacher’s Edition presents verbal questions within the outside band as students are reading, but students are not practicing questions independently or in groups. The Exceeding the Standards and Meeting the Standards supplemental resources offer additional, yet limited, activities within the unit to compare a set of texts. Various texts within the units have student writing, speaking, and researching tasks for evidence of students’ need to perform analysis of texts to complete quality cumulative assignments and tasks.

In Unit 1, Fiction, students read and compare two texts: “The Good Deed” by Pearl. S. Buck and “Tears of Autumn” by Yoshiko Uchida. At the end of the second text, students are asked the following comparison questions: “Do Mrs. Pan and Hana Omiya come to the United States for the same reason? Is what motivates Lili to accept Mrs. Pan’s help in ‘The Good Deed’ the same as Hana’s motivation to volunteer for the marriage to Taro Takeda? How do you think each of the women view marriage?”

In Unit 2, Nonfiction, students read the speech, “I Have a Dream,” by Martin Luther King, Jr. At the end of the selection, students are asked text-dependent questions. In order to Refer to the Text, students are asked to “List phrases King repeats during his speech.” To further Reason with the Text, students are asked to “Examine why King repeats ‘I have a dream'.”

In Unit 3, Poetry, students read two lyric poems: “Cold as Heaven” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Gentle Communion” by Pat Mora.

  • The After Reading, Reason with Text questions have students refer to both poems, “Compare the grandparent/grandchild relationship in 'Cold as Heaven' with the relationship in 'Gentle Communion.' How does death or the possibility of death affect the relationships?”
  • In the Compare Literature: Speaker and Tone Section, students respond to the following: “Both Mora and Ortiz Cofer come from Latino immigrant families. Ortiz Cofer came to America as a small child, whereas Mora is a third-generation American. Discuss with a partner or small group how the immigrant experience comes into play between the speaker and the grandmother in each poem. How are the experiences of the speakers and the grandmother's different? How in these poems did immigration affect each character's experience?”
  • In the Extend the Text: Informative Writing section students: “Write a compare-and-contrast paragraph of both speaker and tone in “Cold as Heaven” and in “Gentle Communion.”

In Unit 4, Drama, students read, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Act V, a play by William Shakespeare and “Purgatory,” a poem by Maxine Kumin.

  • In Text to Text Connection, students respond to the following: “Consider if Shakespeare had allowed Romeo and Juliet to survive their ordeal. Might he have imagined their ending as similar to Kumin’s ‘Purgatory’? What question does Maxine Kumin's poem ‘Purgatory’ raise about the nature of Romeo and Juliet's relationship? If the speaker in Kumin’s poem could give advice to Romeo and Juliet, what do you think she or he would say? Compare ‘Purgatory’ to the Final Act of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. What are the greatest losses and the greatest gains in each ending?”

In Unit 4, Drama, Exceeding the Text resource, students read an “In-Depth Study of a Play and Its Criticism: The Devil and Daniel Webster.” After building background, students answer analytical questions about their thoughts on the play. “What was your overall first impression of the play after reading it? Students then read critical articles about the play. “Next, read the following excerpt, A, B, and C, from three scholarly articles about today's work. As you finish each section, reflect on the writers assertions and then fill in the blank provided with a brief summary of her or his main points." Then students are instructed to Compare Your Perspective to a Literary Critic’s: “Now look over your summaries of the 3 critics' main points. Which critics do you most agree with? Choose just one of these critics as the focus of your comparative essay. You will write a two-to-three page essay comparing your own perspective on Benet's play with that of your chosen critic. Your essay’s goal is to demonstrate why you have either a strong agreement or a strong disagreement with that critic.”

Unit 6 is presented as an Independent Reading Unit. Considering this unit is entirely dedicated to independent reading, Before Reading and After Reading sections have changed. In both the Annotated Teacher’s Edition and the Student Edition, there are no Before Reading sections; instead, there are short blurbs about the author and poem selection. So, as students are reading within the student textbook, they are not presented with a purpose, objectives, or additional guiding information. Although, students are still presented with Mirrors & Windows questions at the close of every text, and students also experience a Refer and Reason section that poses three questions at the end of every individual or paired reading; however, the questions presented are not sequenced in a way that builds student knowledge and integration of ideas across individual or paired readings.

  • Students read William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and an excerpt from Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal, The Grasmere Journals. In the student textbook there is a Mirrors & Windows question located after William Wordsworth’s poem: “They flash upon that inward eye/Which is the bliss of solitude.” How might past experiences assist in everyday life?” At the end of the two text selection, students are presented with “Refer and Reason” questions. There are two questions included for the excerpt from The Grasmere Journals, and there is only one question that requires students to build knowledge across both texts: “Both ‘Song of the Open Road’ and ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ show us a speaker who is on a journey. Compare and contrast how the speakers are affected by their journeys.”
  • Students read “Homeless,” an essay by Anna Quindlen. At the close of the text students are presented with a Mirrors & Windows question: “What purpose does it serve to ‘lessen our own participation’ in the troubles of others? Why does this happen and what does it say about the people who allow this to happen? How might people resist this habit?” After the Mirrors & Windows question, students are presented with the “Refer and Reason” section that has three questions. The questions are as follows:
    1. Summarize the essay and identify why Quindlen says she is better at looking at the details than at the big picture. Which has she tried to do in this essay?
    2. Critique how successful Quindlen has been in debunking stereotypes about homeless people. Explain.
    3. Do you think Quindlen’s essay might influence your future thoughts about and actions toward people who are homeless? Why or why not?”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Culminating tasks do not require students to demonstrate knowledge of a topic, nor do they integrate skills. Students complete each workshop independently of each other. Some tasks are loosely connected to unit texts, while others are not connected to texts. Students are often demonstrating mastery of the unit skills rather than demonstrating understanding or knowledge. After every text selection in the After Reading, Refer to Text, Reason with Text section, there are text-dependent questions, and throughout each reading, there are strategies and activities that build students’ skills to complete the end of unit activities. Each unit includes three types of culminating activities: a Speaking and Listening Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Test Practice Workshop. The performance tasks that the students are asked to complete in these culminating activities correspond to the questions, discussions, and writing prompts.

In Unit 1, some tasks are loosely connected to unit texts, while others are not connected to texts. Students demonstrate a mastery of the unit skills rather than demonstrating understanding or knowledge. For example:

  • Speaking and Listening Workshop: Students deliver a narrative presentation where they retell a self-chosen story. Students select a story; map out the story line; visualize the story; think about mood, tone, and language; practice; and present the narrative. This task does not demonstrate students' knowledge of a topic and has students simply retelling a story.
  • Writing Workshop: Students write a character analysis on a character from one of the short stories they read in the unit. Students gather information about the character; organize their ideas about the character into categories based on appearance, actions, speech, thoughts, and feelings; write their thesis statement; draft their introduction, body, and conclusion; revise their draft; proofread for errors; publish and present their writing; and reflect on their work.
  • Test Practice Workshop: Students practice the reading skill of making inferences through reading the short story, “The One Sitting There,” by Joanna H. Wo; answering reading comprehension questions on the text, responding to a constructed response prompt on the text: “In lines 11-12, the narrator says, ‘Throwing the food away was rational and reasonable.’ Does the narrator throw the food away for purely rational reasons? Why or why not? Use information from the passage to explain your answer.” Then students complete an extended writing prompt on an issue presented in this prompt: “How have you been affected by a significant local or national disaster? Plan and write a reflective essay that explains your experience with a specific disaster. Use details such as examples, observations, and feelings to make your position clear.” For the second section, students practice revising and editing by reading a paragraph, identifying errors in the writing, and suggesting ways of improving the errors. This workshop focuses on the skill of inferencing and does not build knowledge of a topic.

In Unit 5, some tasks are loosely connected to unit texts, while others are not connected to texts. Students demonstrate a mastery of the unit skills rather than demonstrating understanding or knowledge. For example:

  • Speaking & Listening Workshop: “In this lesson, you will conduct and gather information from an interview. In an interview, you meet with someone and ask him or her questions. Interviewing experts or individuals with unique experiences is an excellent way to gain information about a particular topic. Prior to meeting with your subject, do some background research on the topic and think carefully about the questions you would like to ask.” This task is not related to a text.
  • Writing Workshop on Narrative Writing: The assignment is to “interview an older relative or family friend, and document a story of special meaning. Prewrite, draft and revise the oral history. This workshop is not connected to a text, nor does it build knowledge.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/language in context.

Materials include vocabulary over the course of a school-year, but there is no cohesive plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is repeated in contexts, as seen in the Vocabulary and Spelling lessons which are integrated with two of the literature selections in each unit. These lessons incorporate vocabulary words from the preceding selection to provide context and repetition for students to increase their understanding and vocabulary knowledge. However, academic vocabulary is not repeated sufficiently across units throughout the course of the year.

The Teacher’s Edition has key terms with definitions, but there is little to no representation of academic vocabulary. When the academic vocabulary is mentioned within a unit or along with a reading they are not repeated sufficiently through the unit or throughout the course of the year.

A Language Arts Handbook is provided as a student resource at the back of the text which includes Vocabulary and Spelling, and teachers can direct students to these resources.

The Meeting the Standards Unit Resources do include cumulative vocabulary lists and the teacher’s edition provides a Building Vocabulary which includes an overview of all unit vocabulary words, academic vocabulary, and key terms. The Master word lists cover vocabulary from Common Core Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three words. Academic words included and addressed in the Vocabulary Practice Lessons that follow do not appear in other Vocabulary Lessons within the grade level and do not appear within the assessment practice or Writing Workshop within the same unit. Additionally, the Exceeding the Standards resource includes a vocabulary and spelling section that contains lessons and practice on word parts and word origins; borrowed words and informal language; testing vocabulary and choosing words; and working with academic vocabulary.

In Unit 1, Annotated Teacher’s Edition, after Scope and Sequence, there is a Building Vocabulary section of over 100 words: “The lists below identify the Words in Use, Academic Vocabulary, and Key Terms within this unit. These words are listed at the bottom of the Teacher’s Edition pages at the beginning of each lesson. Vocabulary development activities are provided in the Meeting the Standards unit book and in the Exceeding the Standards: Vocabulary & Spelling.” The Words in Use section “lists words for teachers along with the page number where they can be found. These words are taken from the sentences within each selection. These words are defined in the side margin or at the bottom of the pages on which they appear.” Next, there is a list of 100 Selection Words: “Selection Words are additional words that may be challenging, but are not central to the selection and are not identified in the pre-reading section. These words can easily be learned using the story, context, and they provide excellent practice for using context clues to find meaning without explicit instruction (Common Core Tier One Words).”

In Unit 2, Annotated Teacher’s Edition, the “Vocabulary & Spelling, Understand the Concept, Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes, a morpheme is a chunk of a word that has meaning. All words are made up of one or more morphemes. The four main types of morphemes are prefixes, suffixes, word roots, and base words.” The text goes on to define each type of morpheme and has a chart with lists of common prefixes, suffixes and root words. Students complete three exercises to Understand the Concept and Apply the skill. There is a Spelling Practice section: “Words with prefixes and suffixes, Being able to recognize common prefixes and suffixes will help to make you a better speller, because you will know how to spell the affix when you hear it. Some affixes you will recognize immediately, such as adding 's' or 'es' to the end of a noun to make it plural; others are less common. Examine this list of spelling word from ‘Yonder Sky Has Wept Tears of Compassion’ to determine which affixes have been used. Then choose five of the vocabulary words and write a brief narrative that clearly shows your understanding of the meanings of your chosen words.”

In Unit 2, Annotated Teacher's Edition, Vocabulary and Spelling, Understand the Concept section, students practice using Figurative Language: “Participating in this lesson will enable students to: Understand the concept of figurative language. Review terms relevant to figurative language. Practice the concept by completing skill exercises.”

In Unit 3, students read Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Bells.” Students are presented with Preview Vocabulary (balmy, voluminously, clamor, melancholy, and knell), Selection Words (foretells, molten-golden, ditty, impels, and resolute), and Academic Vocabulary (rendering, evoke, enhance, intentional, prosperous, embody, jingles, and menacing). The Preview Vocabulary definitions are included within the text, as students read. The student textbook also identifies where the words are located within the text; it is the student’s responsibility to identify the Selection Words and Academic Vocabulary.

In Unit 4, Lesson 14, Exceeding the Standards resource, students are presented with an activity on morphemes. Students then complete the Try It Yourself section; within this section there are two exercises. Exercise A requires students to “List five words that contain each of the following word parts.” Exercise B has students “Break each of the following words down into its morphemes, or word parts. Tell whether each part is a prefix, suffix, word root, or base word. Also, give the meaning of each part, as found in your lists of common word parts. Finally, using the dictionary and your knowledge of the word parts, write a definition of the word.”

In Unit 5, students take part in a vocabulary and spelling lesson on prefixes, roots, and suffixes. During the lesson they encounter these vocabulary words: context, incorporate, numerical, correspondent, and authentic. They review the following key terms: prefix, root, and suffix. Once they understand the key terms, they practice their understanding of these terms by defining words on a list.

In the introduction to Unit 6, during the introduction, students encounter the vocabulary words concept, progression, maturity, adrift, and equates. The also review or learn the key terms archetype, hero, setting, character, inference, poetry, skim, scan, theme, description, and narrator.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and practice which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

The materials include a variety of resources and supports to provide a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks. Throughout each unit, at the end of each reading selection, informal writing activities are provided. Students are gradually released to perform independent reading and tasks towards the end of each unit; each unit culminates with a Writing Workshop that has a highly scaffolded process toward a writing piece, as well as a scaffolded on-demand writing prompt. The assessments for Units 5 and 6 include an extended writing prompt, increasing the cognitive demand on students toward the end of the year. Throughout the year, both teacher and peers provide feedback to ensure that students' writing skills are increasing. Multiple additional writing supports can be found in the support materials of the curriculum.

  • The Common Core Assessment Practice booklet that contains reading selections with occasional short answer questions that refer to the text and constructed response writing prompts covering argument, informational/explanatory, and narrative writing types.
  • The Meeting the Standards booklet has short answer questions that relate to texts and the use of literary elements, and it has worksheets that can be used to scaffold some of the Extend the Text writing prompts.
  • The Exceeding the Standards booklet gives detailed, structured support for the entire writing process for one type of writing per unit.
  • The Assessment Guide has a summative assessment for each of the reading selections in each unit that includes a writing prompt that requires students to reference the text.

When all of the program resources are used in coordination with each other, teachers can provide a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Examples of a cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks to meet the criteria for this indicator include, but are not limited to, the following:

In Unit 1, Meeting the Standards Grade 9 Resource, students read “Thank You, Ma’m,” by Langston Hughes and are provided with the following prompt in the Writing Option, Narrative Writing section: “Use the steps below to complete the Narrative Writing assignment in your textbook on page 11. Under the Prewrite section, there is a Word Connotation Chart. In the Chart brainstorm a list of words that you might use to describe the events in your narrative paragraph. Draft. Write a rough draft of your narrative paragraph using words from your prewrite activity. Revise and Edit. Read your paragraph and use the writing rubric below to evaluate your draft to determine which sections need revising or editing.”

In the Unit 2, Annotated Teacher's Edition, students read “Aha Moment,” by Julie Alvarez. In the Extend the Text, Writing Options, Creative Writing section, students are provided the following prompt: “Pretend you are a news reporter assigned to cover the emergency landing in ‘Aha Moment.’ Write a newspaper article of approximately four paragraphs about the event.”

In Unit 3, students read “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem,” a poem by Ishmael Reed. Within the After Reading section, students complete a Creative Writing option: “Pretend that you are an advice columnist and someone has written to you expressing worry about being eaten by a poem. You will need to write the letter from the worried person, as well as the response of the columnist. Consider the metaphorical meaning of ‘being eaten by a poem’ as you write this letter and response.” This writing option is supported by The Mirrors & Windows question at the end of the selection that supports students in building and communicating substantive understanding of the topic of the poem as well as the poem itself: “The Mirrors & Windows questions at the end of the selection focus on the theme of obsession. Before reading, ask students to think about a hobby or an activity that they enjoy. How much of their time is consumed by this activity?”

In Unit 3, at the close of the unit, students are presented with a Writing Workshop. Students must complete a Compare-and-Contrast essay: “Choose a poet you like, one published in this book. Write an essay comparing and contrasting two author websites on the poet. Follow the three stages of the writing process: Prewrite, Draft, and Revise.”

In Unit 4, Annotated Teacher's Edition, students read, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play by William Shakespeare. In the After Reading, Extend the Text, Writing Options section, students practice Informative Writing: “Write a one-page character analysis examining a character in Romeo and Juliet. Do not simply describe the character, make a statement about his or her role in the play. For instance, you might state that Friar Lawrence chastises yet cares for Romeo, and his decisions unintentionally led to the tragedy. Explain how his or her particular traits made the character behave in certain ways. Include evidence from the play, and share your character analysis with the class.”

In Unit 5, after reading “The Princess and the Tin Box,” a fable by James Thurber, students are given two writing options. One of these is supported through scaffolded activities in the Meeting the Standards booklet: “The Writing Option on page 807 says, ‘Just what is it about ‘The Princess and the Tin Box’ that makes the tale so amusing? Write a brief two-paragraph analysis of the techniques Thurber uses in making the reader laugh.’ Fill in the chart and answer the questions below as prewriting for this assignment.”

At the end of Unit 6, students participate in a writing workshop where they complete an I-search Project: “Plan, write, and revise an I-search paper in which you explore -- and describe the process you undergo -- a talent you’d like to develop and the potential careers it could lead you to.” Every aspect of the writing process is detailed for the students, including selecting a topic; gathering information; organizing ideas; writing a thesis statement; drafting an introduction, body and conclusion; using proper documentation; and revising, proofreading, and publishing.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in research activities that support the understanding of texts and topics within texts. Each selection is followed by at least one opportunity for students to engage in a research task, which includes a variety of individual, partner, and small group projects. Throughout each unit, students are presented with an After Reading section after each text or grouping of texts. Within most After Reading sections, students complete tasks in categories such as: Media Literacy, Lifelong Learning, Critical Literacy, Collaborative Learning, etc. Within these categories, students compose research that is influenced by the topic(s), themes, and genre of the specified reading selection. The textbook offers research opportunities through various writing options also located within the After Reading section. Materials meet the expectations of including 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. Research projects are varied throughout the instructional materials and offer tasks that are connected to most texts within a unit.

In addition to opportunities in the textbook, the Exceeding the Standards resource provides extension activities for several selections that ask the students to engage in a more complex research process with multiple steps. The grade 9 research tasks support the intent and depth of the standards.

In Unit 1, in the Annotated Teacher’s Edition, students read, ”Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird,” a short story by Toni Cade Bambara. In The After Reading, Extend the Text Writing Options, Lifelong Learning section, students "Research the Blues: What do you think the title of the story means? The mockingbird is well-known for mimicking the sounds of other birds. What does that have to do with the musical style known as the blues? Use the Internet to research the history and characteristics of the blues. Use your research to draw conclusions about the meaning of the story's title, and write an essay in which you explain why the “blues ain't no mockingbird.”

In Unit 2, in the Annotated Teacher’s Edition, students read, ”Trapped New Orleans Pets Still Being Rescued,” a news article by Laura Parker and Anita Manning. In the After Reading, Extend the Text, Writing Options, Lifelong Learning section, students "Research Volunteer Organizations: Working as a part of a group, identify two local volunteer organizations that provide charity, assistance, or community service. You might find groups that provide meals for the homeless, support environmental protection, provide shelter for animals, or mentor foster-care children. Research the organizations and discuss how you might become involved. Call their offices to obtain information or look up the organization's on the Internet. In a group presentation to your class, discuss two of the organizations and explain how people could become involved.”

In Unit 3, students read “Gifts,” a lyric poem by Shu Ting. At the close of the text in the After Reading section, students complete a Lifelong Learning task: “Research the Misty poets. Use the internet and the library to identify other Misty poets from China. Choose one poet and research his or her life and work. Imagine that person is coming to your school to do a reading. Create a poster advertising the event. Include on your poster biographical details and accomplishments of the poet.”

In Unit 4, students read The Inspector-General, written by Anton Chekhov. At the close of the text in the After Reading section, students complete a Lifelong Learning task: “Research Author’s Life. The name 'Chekhov' is more commonly associated with serious dramas than with comedic farces like The Inspector-General. Research Chekhov’s life to find his influences and inspirations. Propose a theory about the elements of his life that are expressed in his writing. Write your findings in a brief essay for your school’s literary magazine."

In Unit 5, students read “The Story of Daedalus and Icarus” from The Metamorphosis, an epic poem by Ovid translated by Rolfe Humphries. At the close of the text, students are presented with an After Reading section. Students are given the following writing option: “In the library or from the Internet, choose a myth that is not in this textbook. Write a one-page literary analysis explaining the moral, or lesson about life, that this tale offers. Use details from the story to support your conclusion. If you need help selecting a myth to analyze, ask your teacher or a librarian to assist you.” Within the same section, students also practice media literacy: “References to mythological characters or occurrences are often found in contemporary media. With a partner, find three 20th or 21st century references to Greek or Roman mythology in entertainment, advertising, or popular literature. Photocopy or clip any articles and advertisements. Analyze the influences of Greek and Roman mythology you found in each example.”

In Unit 6, students complete a writing workshop. The paper that students must compose is known as Research Paper: The I-Search: “Write an I-search essay exploring a personal talent in order to learn how to develop it and use it in the future”; the purpose in completing this writing workshop is “to use various sources to gain insight into this talent or interest.” For this research paper, students must complete a “Prewrite” section that supports students in the following areas: Select Your Topic, Gather Information, Organize Your Ideas, K-W-L Chart, and Write Your Thesis Statement. Students then complete a “Draft” phase of their research that supports in the following areas: Draft Your Introduction, Draft Your Body, and Draft Your Conclusion. Students are then presented with an in-depth view and practice regarding direct quotations, parenthetical citations, paraphrasing, and works cited formatting. To close the research Writing Workshop, students must complete the “Revise” section that supports students in the following areas: Evaluate Your Draft; Revise for Content, Organization, and Style; and Proofread for Errors. Students then compose a “Writing Follow-Up”: Publish and Present and Reflect. Within this Writing Workshop, students see an exemplar example through all stages of the writing process.

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 9 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The materials use a gradual release of responsibility model in order to engage, motivate, and challenge students. The selections for Units 1-5 begin as Guided Reading, move to Directed Reading, and end in Independent Reading. Instead of students choosing texts that they would like to read, the textbook provides the independent texts. In the independent reading phase, there is minimal support before and after reading, and students apply the skills they have learned throughout the unit independently. At the close of every Independent Reading, students are held accountable for their independent reading task in answering three Refer and Reason questions and two Writing Options.

Unit 6 focuses entirely on independent reading, with selections that have students practice the reading strategies and skills that students have learned. At the end of each unit, there is a list of suggested readings that relate to the topics and subject matter in the unit as a reference for students who wish to further their interests. The Program Planning Guide includes a Reading Log for students to keep track of their weekly reading: date, title, author, pages read, summary/reactions, and genre. The Reading Log provides accountability for outside of class reading, and end-of-selection Refer and Reason questions provide accountability for in-class independent reading selections. Additional supports for students are found in several of the curricular resources such as the Meeting the Standards and the Exceeding the Standards resource guides.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

In Unit 1, students read the independent reading selection “The Ravine,” a short story by Graham Salisbury. Students answer Refer and Reason questions at the text to check their comprehension and interpretation of the text. Examples of these questions are as follows:

  • Distinguish the mood that the author creates by using details to describe the setting.
  • Compare and contrast Vinny with his friends. What type of characters are the friends? With which of the characters would you most likely be friends? Why?
  • Vinny’s decision not to jump comes from ‘a place of peace.’ How do you think that might affect how his friends treat the incident? Discuss how things might have been different if he had jumped.

In Unit 2, students read, “Climbing Mount Fuji,” a personal narrative by Dave Barry. At the close of the text, students are held accountable for their independent reading task in their answering of three Refer and Reason questions and two Writing Options:

  • An example of a Refer and Reason question is as follows: “3. List three facts about Mount Fuji. Using details from Barry's piece and the background information, write a brief description of Mount Fuji.”
  • An example of a Writing Options question is as follows: “1. Choose a save from the selection and write a paragraph describing it from the perspective of a Japanese citizen.”

In Unit 3, in the Directed Reading section, students read “Gifts,” a lyric poem by Shu Ting, and use the reading strategies of visualize and clarify. In the Mirror and Windows Meeting the Standards Grade 9 resource, there are additional supports for students such as a pre-reading activity to Build Background, a graphic organizer for diction and tone and symbolism, and a multiple choice Selection Quiz for accountability. Also, in the Independent Reading section, students read “Fifteen,” a narrative poem by William Stafford. In the Mirror and Windows Meeting the Standards Grade 9 resource, there are additional supports for students such as a graphic organizer to assist with analyzing the poem. After reading, students describe and critique the text and respond to the Refer and Reason text-dependent questions in the Student Edition Textbook.

In the Unit 4, Drama, Annotated Teacher’s Edition students form groups for the Independent Reading, Respond to Drama, Independent Reading Activity and do the following: “Each group should select a play and read it. Tell students to read the play independently, and then meet with their group members to read parts of the play aloud.” For Your Reading List offers students a choice of six plays.

In Unit 5, students read “Perseus,” a myth retold by Edith Hamilton. At the close of the text, students are held accountable for their independent reading task in their answering of three Refer and Reason questions and two Writing Options.

  • An example of a Refer and Reason question is as follows: “2. Assess why Polydectes wants to kill Perseus.”
  • An example of a Writing Options question is as follows: “1. Imagine that you are King Acrisius when he hears the priestess at the oracle of Delphi tell him what he must do to avoid the dreadful prediction. Create a diary entry to describe your dilemma.”

In Unit 6, students read an excerpt from a travelogue Blue Highways: A Journey into America, by William Least Heat-Moon. At the close of the text, students are held accountable for their independent reading task in their answering of three Refer and Reason questions and two Writing Options.

  • An example of a Refer and Reason question is as follows: “2. The author claims that ‘being alone on the road makes you ready to meet someone when you stop. You get sociable traveling alone.’ Evaluate the truth of this statement and judge to what extent living away from others has affected rural dwellers’ sociability.”
  • An example of a Writing Options question is as follows: “1. Many of the people whom Least Heat-Moon encounters show concern for his safety. Write a safety manual for people who wish to travel cross-country and combine your own advice with the advice of Least Heat-Moon.”

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

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0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
0/2

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
0/2

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
0/4

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
0/0

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
0/0

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
0/0

Indicator 3v

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

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Wed Oct 24 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Grade 9 Mirrors & Windows Student Edition 978-0-82197-334-9 EMC School 2016
Grade 9 Mirrors & Windows Teacher Edition 978-0-82197-335-6 EMC School 2016

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ELA HS Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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