Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning partially meets expectations. The materials include three-dimensional learning opportunities and opportunities for student sensemaking with the three dimensions. However, the formative and summative assessments do not consistently measure the three dimensions for their respective objectives. Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning partially meets expectations. Phenomena and problems are present, connected to DCIs, and presented to students as directly as possible. The materials consistently elicit but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the phenomena and problems present. Phenomena and problems drive learning and use of the three dimensions in multiple instances at the chapter level and in some instances at the unit level.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope. The materials connect units and chapters in a manner that is apparent to students, and student tasks increase in sophistication within and across units. The materials accurately represent the three dimensions across the series and only include scientific content appropriate to the grade level. Further, the materials include all DCI components and all elements for physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. The materials include all of the SEPs at the grade level and all of the SEPs across the grade band. The materials include all grade-band crosscutting concepts and provide repeated opportunities for students to use CCCs across the grade band. The materials include NGSS connections to Nature of Science and Engineering elements associated with the SEPs and/or CCCs.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Designed for NGSS

0
14
24
28
18
24-28
Meets Expectations
15-23
Partially Meets Expectations
0-14
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Coherence and Scope

0
16
30
34
34
30-34
Meets Expectations
17-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-16
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
30
50
59
N/A
50-59
Meets Expectations
31-49
Partially Meets Expectations
0-30
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Designed for NGSS

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning partially meets expectations and Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning partially meets expectations.

Criterion 1a - 1c

Materials are designed for three-dimensional learning and assessment.
10/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1a-1c: Three-Dimensional Learning. The materials consistently include integration of the three dimensions in at least one learning opportunity per learning sequence and nearly all learning sequences are meaningfully designed for student opportunity to engage in sensemaking with the three dimensions. The materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level that build towards the performance expectations for the larger unit, but do not consistently assess to reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives. The units also include three-dimensional objectives in the form of 3-D statements and include corresponding assessments but do not consistently address all three dimensions of the objectives.

Indicator 1a

Materials are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) into student learning.
0/0

Indicator 1a.i

Materials consistently integrate the three dimensions in student learning opportunities.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) into student learning opportunities. Throughout the grade level, all learning sequences (chapters) include three dimensions and consistently integrate SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs in student learning opportunities (lessons). The materials are designed for students to actively engage in the SEPs and CCCs to deepen understanding of DCIs. Three-dimensional connections are outlined for teachers at the unit, chapter, and lesson level.

Examples of where materials are designed to integrate the three dimensions into student learning opportunities.

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Modeling Shells and Armor, students model how animals with shells defend themselves. Students begin by watching a video of an alligator trying to eat a turtle (SEP-DATA-P3). Then they discuss how the turtle’s structure (shell) helps it defend itself (CCC-SF-P1, DCI-LS1.D-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Offspring Defenses, students review various types of defenses used by parents of organisms and then compare the defenses of their offspring. Students review what they have learned about patterns between parent and offspring defenses (CCC-PAT-P1) in Parents and Offspring before watching a video about a family group of iguanas using camouflage to avoid being eaten by a hawk. Students apply their understanding by writing an explanation for how a sea urchin parent and offspring use their structures to defend themselves (DCI-LS3.A-P1). They further apply their understanding (SEP-INFO-P4) through a Shared Writing activity to explain how Spruce the Sea Turtle’s offspring will survive in the ocean.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Making Sense of Full and Partial Transmission, students learn how some different materials allow different amounts of light to pass through them. Students develop and use models (SEP-MOD-P3) to construct an explanation (SEP-CEDS-P1) about what caused a dark surface after shining light on one material and what caused a medium-bright surface after shining light on a different material (DCI-PS4.B-P2). Students engage in peer conversations that use cause-and-effect language frames (CCC-CE-P1) to explain the causes and effects of the differences in the amount of light that passes through a material.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: After Sunset, students compare what the sky looks like in the daytime and nighttime. Students try to figure out why the sky looks different to different people at the same time of day (DCI-ESS1.B-P1, DCI-ESS1.A-P1) but in different locations. Students compare what they see in the sky to what Sai and his grandma saw in the sky. Students make and record observations of the sky during the school day. Students draw and label what they observe (SEP-INV-P4). Students read the book After Sunset to gain content knowledge of what the sky looks like at night (CCC-PAT-P1). Students make predictions and then check their predictions as they read. Students are introduced to the terms daytime and nighttime, and add words to their chart about what they should see in the sky during both times.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: Explaining What Sai will See, students learn where the sun is in the sky during daytime and nighttime. Students review what they know about daytime and nighttime. Students explain what is happening in the sky at different times (DCI-ESS1.A-P1, SEP-CEDS-P1, and SEP-DATA-P3). Students engage in a shared-writing routine to show what they have learned about the pattern of the sun in the sky (CCC-PAT-P1) during daytime and nighttime.

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions. Each learning sequence (chapter), includes multiple lessons where students progress towards the goals of the respective chapter and unit. While the materials consistently include opportunities for students to engage in the three dimensions in each chapter, not all lessons provide opportunities for students to build and use all three dimensions for sensemaking. However, the materials do consistently provide an opportunity in at least one lesson per chapter for students to engage in using the science and engineering practices (SEPs) and the crosscutting concepts (CCCs) to meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions.

Examples where SEPs and CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions in the learning sequence.

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Modeling Spikes, students engage in a learning sequence to understand and model how animals with spikes defend themselves. Students make sense of how the shape of the spikes functions to keep an animal safe. They begin with a ball of clay to represent an animal’s body and a comb to represent the sharp teeth or claws of another animal. Students first draw the model of their animal with spikes (SEP-INFO-P4). Then, students share their model with the class. After sharing, students each work on their spike model and then demonstrate how the spikes provide protection (SEP-MOD-P3, DCI-LS1.D-P1, and CCC-SF-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Light Makes Surfaces Look Bright, students engage in a learning sequence that introduces the concept that light is needed to see objects. The three dimensions are integrated by having students make sense of why objects can be seen (DCI-PS4.B-P1). Students develop models (SEP-MOD-P3) that show the cause and effect relationship of light shining on a surface and the brightness of the surface (CCC-SYS-P2). Where the light shines on the surface, it appears bright; where light does not shine on a surface, it appears dark (DCI-PS4.B-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.6: Explaining the Puppet-Show Scene, students engage in a learning sequence that provides an understanding of how some materials allow light to pass through them while different materials allow only some light to pass through them. The three dimensions are integrated by having students make sense of the different puppet-show features (bright surface, dark surface, and medium-bright surface) (DCI-PS4.B-P2) through the construction of explanations (SEP-CEDS-P1). As the students construct their explanations with a partner, they use language frames that help frame their thinking around the cause and effect of shadows and light passing through materials (CCC-CE-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: The Pattern of Daytime and Nighttime, students engage in a learning sequence about what they see in the sky at different times. Students revisit their sky observations chart, organizing their data into two categories: daytime observations and nighttime observations. Students engage in a role play to try to make sense of what is happening during daytime and nighttime (DCI ESS1.A-P1) by demonstrating actions. The teacher introduces students to patterns (CCC-PAT-P1) by reading, asking questions, and giving examples throughout the book. Students add to their chart showing what they know about daytime and nighttime and what they see in the sky (SEP-INFO-P1, SEP-DATA-P3, and SEP-INV-P4).
  • Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Nighttime Investigation, students engage in a learning sequence of the pattern of the sun in the sky. Students revisit the sky mural, observing the sun’s location throughout and discussing the patterns they notice. Students engage in a shared reading of Nighttime Investigation, making predictions as they read. Students discuss how the scientist organized data in the book to make sense of how they could reorganize their data on the sky mural (SEP- MOD-E4) to show the sun’s daily pattern. Students use the sky-mural data and pictures to individually reorganize their data (SEP-INFO-P1, SEP-DATA-P3, and SEP-INV-P4) to better make sense of the pattern of the sun in the sky (DCI-ESS1.A-P1, CCC-PAT-P1, CCC-CE-P2, and CCC-MOD-E4).

Indicator 1b

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Lessons consistently provide learning objectives connected to the 3-D Statements for the lesson. The lesson-level 3-D Statements build to support the 3-D Statements for the chapter, and the chapter level 3-D Statements build toward the 3-D Statements for the unit. Lessons have assessment tasks that are designed to reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives, but not consistently. Often, one or more crosscutting statements (CCCs) within the 3-D Statements are not assessed.

Across the grade, lessons and units consistently incorporate tasks for the purpose of supporting the instructional process. Lessons and units have assessment tasks that are designed to reveal student knowledge and use of some of the dimensions within the targeted objectives. These opportunities are provided through the use of two assessment types used throughout each unit: On-the-Fly Assessment and Critical Juncture. A Pre-Unit Assessment can also be used for formative purposes. This assessment is identical to the End-of-Unit Assessment. While the assessments do not consistently reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions for all objectives, each assessment opportunity indicates specific concepts and practices to observe student progress within the learning experiences, followed by suggestions to the teacher based on what might be observed.

Examples where the materials do not elicit direct, observable evidence of elements of all three dimensions in the learning objectives:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Lesson 1.4: Surviving by Not Being Eaten, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students again play the Survival Game to obtain and evaluate more information that living things also need to avoid being eaten to survive (cause and effect). Students communicate this new understanding by using Explanation Language Frames to explain how different plants and animals use their structures to keep from being eaten (structure and function).” Students make progress toward the objective by playing the Survival Game and determining if the animals survived based on four factors: food, water, air, and avoiding being eaten. Students use explanation language frames, focusing on the word “because” to show the relationships between the presence of the factor and the animal’s survival (DCI-LS1.A-P1, CCC-CE-P2). Students then learn about different structures plants and animals have that help them do what they need to do to survive (DCI-LS1.A-P1). Students choose an animal and draw pictures (SEP-INFO-P4) showing how their animal uses their body parts in different ways for survival (DCI-LS1.A-P1). The teacher is directed to circulate around the room and ask each student to show their picture and describe what the animal they chose does to survive (SEP-INFO-P4). While students discuss parts of plants and animals used for survival (DCI-LS1.A-P1), no elements of the CCC of structure and function are assessed.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Lesson 2.3: Introducing Modeling, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students create physical models of structures that animals and plants use to defend themselves from being eaten (cause and effect, structure and function), inspired by the information they gathered from the book Spikes, Spines, and Shells: A Handbook of Defenses.” Students make progress toward the objective by creating physical models of structures that animals and plants use to defend themselves from being eaten. Students develop models (SEP-MOD-P4) of a structure (external body part) that a plant or animal would use to protect itself from being eaten (DCI-LS1.A-P1) and describe why their structure would be useful for defense. Students discuss how their model differs from an actual plant or animal (SEP-MOD-P2) and make connections to their model and real plants or animals. While students discuss that plants and animals have protective external body parts that are used for survival (DCI-LS1.A-P1), no elements of the CCCs of structure and function or cause and effect are assessed.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: What We See as Earth Spins, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students watch a video of Earth spinning and engage in role-play with the Mt. Nose Model to obtain additional evidence that the sky looks different to us because we face different directions as Earth spins (patterns, systems and system models, cause and effect).” Students make progress toward the objective by watching a video of earth spinning then look at a photograph and predict what a person at a specific location on earth would see in the sky. Students role-play the Mt. Nose model to obtain additional evidence (SEP-MOD-P3) of how the sky looks as we face different directions as earth spins. During the On-the-Fly Assessment, students spin in place and discuss what they observed; they use their observations to explain why a person on Mount Nose would see different things in the sky at different times. Students explain why it looks like the sun changes position in the sky as the earth spins (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). They relate the picture of the sun in front of them to when it is overhead during the day and when the picture is behind them, it is similar to night when the sun can’t be seen from their location (CCC-CE-P2). The materials do not assess any elements of the CCC for systems and system models.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Explaining the Sun’s Repeating Pattern, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students read the book What Spins? and use the Mt. Nose Model to gather information and construct explanations that the sun appears to move across the sky in the same pattern every day because Earth is always spinning (patterns, systems and system models, cause and effect).” Students make progress toward the objective by discussing that the sun makes a pattern in the sky every day. To figure out how to explain that daily pattern (CCC-PAT-P1), students read What Spins? and make predictions of what students in the book will see out the window, based on the patterns of the sun and stars in the sky (CCC-PAT-E2). Students then use the Mt. Nose Model (SEP-MOD-P3) to investigate why the sun appears to move across the sky in the same pattern every day. The On-the-Fly Assessment provides an opportunity to assess students’ understanding of the patterns produced by earth’s continuous spin. Students use sentence frames with “because” statements to state the time of day, what they will see in the sky, and what causes the patterns they see each day (CCC-CE-P2, DCI-ESS1.A-P1). The materials do not assess any elements of the CCCs of systems and system models.

Example where the materials do not provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level, and do not assess all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Planning and Making our Stencils, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students make diagrams of their proposed solutions for stencils that will project a puppet-show scene that enables all, some, or no light to pass through (cause and effect).” This learning objective does not clearly indicate the targeted DCI, since this is written as design criteria rather than understanding of why light doesn’t pass through all materials the same way. Students make progress toward the objective by making diagrams of their proposed stencils that meet the criteria of allowing all, some, or no light to pass through. In Activity 2, during the Critical Juncture formative assessment, students draw and label pictures of their stencil and explain how the different materials allow different amounts of light to pass through (SEP-CEDS-P2, DCI-PS4.B-P2) before building their puppet-show scenes. No elements of the CCC of cause and effect are assessed.

Example where the materials provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level, and assess all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.5: Sharing Light and Sound Solutions, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students write and draw explanations and make claims based on evidence to demonstrate that part of a sound source vibrates to make a sound (cause and effect).” Students make progress toward the objective by completing their mini-book. Sentence stems are provided for students to state their object and that it made sound because a part of it vibrated. Students use “because” to show the cause-and-effect relationship between the vibration and the part of the sound source (CCC-CE-P2, DCI-PS4.A-P1). In the On-the-Fly Assessment, students present the design of their puppet-show scenes to each other (SEP-INFO-P4), using any drawings to help provide details about their design ideas. The teacher is directed to listen for complete student explanations of how their scene uses materials that let different amounts of light pass through (DCI-PS4.A-P1), and how part of their sound source vibrates to cause the sound to be made (DCI-PS4.B-P1).

Indicator 1c

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives for each unit. The summative tasks are designed to measure students’ achievement of all three dimensions but only partially assess the dimensions described in the targeted 3-D Statements for the units. In most cases, one or more science and engineering practice (SEP) or crosscutting concept (CCC) identified in the 3-D Statements was missing. In Unit 2, the assessment of the disciplinary core idea (DCI) included light but did not assess students’ understanding of sound.

The summative assessments are found in the last lesson of each unit, as an End-of-Unit Assessment. These assessments are designed to reveal students’ understanding of the unit’s core content, including unit-specific DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs. Rubrics are provided for assessing to support teachers in providing additional prompts and understanding whether student responses addressed each prompt.

Examples where the materials provide three-dimensional learning objectives for the learning sequence; summative tasks partially measure student achievement of the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Animal and Plant Defenses, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “How can a sea turtle survive in the ocean after being released by an aquarium?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students investigate how animals and plants, as well as their offspring, use their structures to meet their needs for survival (structure and function). Students apply what they learn by developing models and constructing explanations to communicate their ideas about how aquarium animals use their defenses to survive (cause and effect).” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs. Rubric 2 assesses the CCC of structure and function, and how the shape of an animal’s structures can be used for protection. Additionally, it does not assess the other CCC identified in the 3-D statement for the unit: cause and effect. Rubric 3 assesses the SEP of constructing models. To answer the questions in this prompt, students refer to activities they conducted in the unit that also demonstrate an understanding of the other SEPs in this unit’s 3-D Statements.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Light and Sound, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “How can we use light and sound to design shadow scenery and sound effects for a puppet theater?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students investigate and construct explanations about how light and sound can be used to create solutions for a puppet-theater company (cause and effect). Students apply what they learn to design solutions to create shadow scenery and sound effects for a puppet-theater show (patterns).” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs related to light but does not ask students any prompts related to sound. Rubric 2 assesses the CCC of cause and effect related to night and day on earth. However, it does not assess the other CCC identified in the 3-D statement for the unit: patterns. Rubric 3 assesses the SEP of designing and evaluating a solution. During the unit, students designed their solution and assessment prompts required students to refer to the investigations that informed their designs as they evaluated their solutions.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Spinning Earth, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “Why doesn’t the sky always look the same?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students collect and analyze data from first hand investigations and secondary sources to explain why we see the patterns that are visible in the daytime and nighttime sky (patterns, cause and effect, systems and system models).” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs. Rubric 2 assesses the CCC of patterns related to night and day on earth. However, it does not assess the other CCCs identified in the 3-D statement for the unit: cause and effect and systems and system models. While students interpreted data from the earth-and-sun system, students were not prompted to demonstrate their understanding of systems or system models in this assessment. Rubric 3 assesses the SEP of collecting and analyzing data for students to recognize patterns related to night and day.

Criterion 1d - 1i

Materials leverage science phenomena and engineering problems in the context of driving learning and student performance.
8/12
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 11% of the chapters and problems in 54% of chapters. Of those phenomena and problems, they consistently connect to grade-level appropriate DCIs and are consistently presented to students as directly as possible. Multiple instances of phenomena or problems driving learning and use of the three dimensions were found within the chapters. The materials consistently elicit but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the phenomena and problems present. The materials incorporate phenomena or problems to drive learning and use of the three dimensions across multiple chapters within some of the units.

Indicator 1d

Phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). Within the grade, the materials provide opportunities for students to build an understanding of grade-level DCIs through unit-level or chapter-level phenomena or problems. In many cases, multiple lesson investigations work together to connect to a single phenomenon and/or problem to develop an understanding of corresponding DCIs. Across the series, students engage in a variety of disciplines including life science, earth and space science, and physical science while developing a deeper understanding of the engineering design cycle as they apply DCIs to the design problem.

Examples of phenomena and problems that connect to grade-band DCIs present in the materials:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, the design problem is for students to design a puppet-show scene using light. Students choose a material, cut it into the desired shape, and create cutouts for their puppet scene. Students test their cutouts then reflect on whether their solutions met the design goals. Students complete a diagram to show how a dark area is made when light is blocked by a material. Students discuss what allows them to make a dark area on a surface. Students write in their notebooks about how they understand that when a light source is blocked by an object, a dark area is created (DCI-PS4.B-P2). Knowing which materials do and do not show light allows students to start thinking about what to use to create the scene for the design problem.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Explaining the Dark Part of the Surface, the design problem is to create a dark space for a puppet-show scene and design a puppet-show scene using light. Students create a diagram that shows the flashlight shining upon a surface and color it in showing the corresponding amount of darkness the material creates between the light and the surface (DCI-PS4.B-P1). This allows students to show how shadows and dark spaces work in relation to the design problem of creating a scene for a puppet show.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Testing and Revising our Solutions, Activity 2, the design problem is to design a puppet show using light. Students test their design solutions that show a bright, medium-bright, and dark area for the designed scene of the puppet show (DCI-PS4.B-P2). They test to see if their stencils make the appropriate “brightness” in the scene and revise as needed to meet the design goal (DCI-ETS1.C-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, the phenomenon is that the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone. Students observe the sky in six different places across the world using a webcam. Students observe that some places are daytime and others are nighttime. Students read about Maya and Rico and record their observations of the different things Maya and Rico see in the sky at the same time. Then, they explain whether they think Maya and Rico live in the same place based on their observations and why. Students write a letter to Sai to explain why he and his grandma see different skies when they talk to each other on the phone (DCI-ESS1.A-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 3: Why did daytime change to nighttime while Sai talked on the phone?, the phenomenon is that Sai observed the sky change from daytime to nighttime. Students observe a timelapse video that shows it going from daytime, to sunset, to nighttime. Students watch a globe spin and use what they know about the earth spinning and where a location on earth is in relation to the sun to properly understand when it changes from daytime to nighttime. Students continue to make observations as needed to understand that the sun is in different positions in the sky at different times of the day (DCI-ESS1.A-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2: Exploring and Explaining Daylight in Different Seasons, the phenomenon is that it is nighttime in the winter when Sai calls his grandma but it is daytime when he calls in other seasons. Students read about the pattern of daytime and nighttime in different seasons and compare how the same time in different seasons can be daytime or nighttime, depending on the season (DCI-ESS1.B-P1).

Indicator 1e

Phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible. Across the grade level, lessons present phenomena and problems to students as directly as possible. In multiple instances, students are initially presented the phenomenon or problem through pictures and videos that are accompanied by a scenario.

Examples of phenomena and problems presented as directly as possible:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, the design problem is for students to design a puppet-show scene, using light. To design their scene, students need to make cutouts so they can create dark areas (shadows) of shapes they want in their scene. This is presented through a video showing students what is meant by a cutout and how to make one. This is as direct as possible because it provides students with visuals to understand what they are trying to accomplish prior to working with the materials.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: Designing Sound Sources, the design problem is for students to design a sound source for a puppet-show scene. At the start of the chapter, students view an image of a puppet-show scene with musicians in the background, and are asked to think about where the music and sounds will come from. In this lesson, students are provided criteria for the sounds that they will design. This is as direct as possible because students have already investigated how sound works and are now applying that understanding to this design.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, the phenomenon is the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone. The phenomenon is presented to students through two photographs. One shows the setting-sun in the sky as a little boy, Sai, is speaking to his grandma on the phone. The other shows an image of a dark sky with stars, showing what the sky looks like at Sai’s grandma's house at the same time while they are talking on the phone. Students are asked to help Sai figure out why the sky looks different in different places on earth at the same time. This is a direct way to present this phenomenon to students for them to experience how the sky can look different in two places at the same time.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2: Exploring and Explaining Daylight in Different Seasons, the phenomenon is the amount of daytime and nighttime changes in different seasons. Students look at pictures in the big book, Patterns of Earth and Space, that show the same location photographed multiple times a day (daytime and nighttime) in different seasons. Because of the time frame needed to make this observation, the images provide the most direct way to present students with the phenomenon.

Indicator 1f

Phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual chapters using key elements of all three dimensions. Two of the three units at this grade include a unit-level phenomenon or problem; the third unit focuses on science concepts. Near the start of each unit, students are asked to play the role of a scientist or an engineer tasked with explaining the phenomenon, solving the problem, or understanding the science concept. In two units, the phenomenon or problem drives learning across the unit, and may drive learning of a single lesson or chapter. In other chapters, the phenomena and/or problems serve as a central component of learning and can be explained through the application of targeted grade-appropriate science and engineering practices (SEPs), crosscutting concepts (CCCs), and disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), but are not driving the learning of the chapter or lesson.

Examples where a chapter or lesson within the grade uses a phenomenon or problem to drive student learning and engages students with all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, the design problem is for students to design a puppet-show scene using light. The design problem drives the learning throughout the lesson as students utilize the information they have learned about how different materials block light to create their cutouts that will project a dark surface onto the scene. Students utilize the engineering cycle as they plan, test, then evaluate their designs to see if they met their design goals (CCC-CE-P1). Students design cutouts from materials (DCI-PS4.B-P2) that will create a dark area on the surface of their puppet scene. Students then work in pairs to test their cutouts and record their observations (SEP-DATA-P5). Finally, students review their data and evaluate the effectiveness of their designs to determine if the cutout design met the design goals (DCI-ETS1.C-P1).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Explaining the Dark Part of the Surface, the design problem is for students to create a dark space for a puppet-show scene. The design problem drives instruction throughout the lesson as students record their ideas of how different materials interact with light to block different amounts of light, creating dark spaces (CCC-CE-P1). Students use what they know about being engineers to complete a diagram (SEP-MOD-P3) in their notebook to record their thinking about how the light source interacts with the materials (DCI-PS4.B-P2) they chose for designing their dark areas.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Planning and Making Our Stencils, the design problem is for students to create a puppet show using light. The design problem drives instruction throughout the lesson as students create stencils that project onto the puppet-show scene that create a dark, bright, and medium-bright light. Students determine the materials needed for each type of stencil, depending on the amount of light needed to pass through (CCC-CE-P1, DCI-PS4.B-P2). Then, they create a diagram and build the stencils for their puppet-show scene to show bright, dark, and medium-bright areas (SEP-MOD-P4).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Explaining Sai’s Problem, the phenomenon is that the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone. This phenomenon drives the learning of this lesson. Students place a pin on a globe where Sai lives and figure out where on the globe Sai’s grandma lives based on what they know about what Sai and his grandma each see. Students apply what they know about earth’s position in relation to the sun, moon, and stars (DCI-ESS1.A-P1) to determine where Sai’s grandma lives in relation to Sai based on what they both see. Students participate in a shared-listening activity and provide evidence to support their claim of where Sai’s grandma lives; they support their claim based on patterns in the sky that can be seen from each location at a given time (CCC-PAT-P1, SEP-ARG-P6).
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.6: Explaining Sunset to Sai, the phenomenon is that Sai observed the sky change from daytime to nighttime. This phenomenon drives learning of this lesson. Students use a globe and cards placed in different parts of the classroom to represent the sun and the moon to help them understand why Sai saw daytime turn to nighttime (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). Students use their bodies to model what Sai sees when he is on the phone with his grandma. Students spin in place, to see the change from daytime to nighttime; the sun card moves out of view as they spin towards the moon card (DCI-ESS1.B-P1, SEP-MOD-P3). They indicate by raising their hands whether it is daytime or nighttime based on what they are facing to see the repeated pattern (CCC-PAT-P1) of daytime and nighttime.

Examples where a chapter or lesson within the grade does not use a phenomenon or problem to drive student learning:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2: How can Spruce the Sea Turtle survive where there are sharks?, is not driven by a phenomenon or problem. The chapter focuses on structures animals use for survival. Students learn that plants and animals have external body parts that protect them from being eaten (DCI-LS1.A-P1) and that some animals use camouflage to hide themselves. Students develop clay models (SEP-MOD-P4) to demonstrate how the external parts can protect the plant or animal.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2: How can Spruce the Sea Turtle’s offspring survive where there are sharks?, is not driven by a phenomenon or problem. The chapter focuses on structures that young offspring of adult animals use for survival. Students also learn that young offspring of animals have external body parts that are similar to their parents and protect them from being eaten (DCI-LS1.A-P1). They also learn that many animals need their parents to protect them and help them survive, but plant parents do not care for their young (DCI- LS1.B-P1).


Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include both phenomena and problems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 are designed for students to solve problems in 54% (7/13) of the chapters. Throughout the materials, 11% (7/13) of the chapters focus on explaining phenomena.

The Grade 1 materials are designed as three instructional units, further organized into four to five chapters per unit. Each chapter is divided into multiple 45-minute lessons, comprising smaller activities. Each unit is structured to include 20 lessons plus two 45-minute assessment days.

Two of the units have a phenomenon or problem that is introduced during the first chapter of the unit and labeled as an Anchor Phenomenon. Subsequent chapters in the unit are designed around guiding questions that help students develop an explanation of the phenomenon or problem.

In the Animal and Plant Defenses unit, students are introduced to a sea turtle currently living in an aquarium. Students engage in activities to learn about how the sea turtle could survive in the ocean; and while this provides context for learning, the unit focuses on science concepts related to defenses, rather than a phenomenon or problem. In the Light and Sound unit, students engage in design problems as they work to create a puppet show. In the Spinning Earth unit, students explain several phenomena as they investigate the patterns of day and night in different time zones.

Examples of problems in the materials:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, the design problem is for students to design a puppet-show scene using light. Students choose a material, cut it into the desired shape, and create cutouts for their puppet scene. Students test their cutouts then reflect on whether their solutions met the design goals. Students complete a diagram to show how a dark area is made when light is blocked by a material. Next, students discuss the cause-and-effect relationship of making a dark area on a surface. Students write in their notebooks about how they understand that when a light source is blocked by an object, a dark area is created.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, How do we make bright, medium bright, and dark areas in a scene?, students create a diagram and build the stencils for their puppet-show scene showing bright, dark, and medium-bright areas. Students use the evidence collected from previous investigations to determine the materials needed for each type of stencil depending on the amount of light needed to pass through.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: Designing Sound Sources, the design problem is for students to design a sound source for a puppet-show scene. Students test and record observations of various types of sound sources and how well they adhere to the design goal. Then students exchange their findings from their tests and determine what changes they would make in the design process based on the results of their initial design solutions.

Examples of phenomena in the materials:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, the phenomenon is that the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone. Students observe the sky in six different places across the world using a webcam. Students observe that some places are daytime and others are nighttime. Students read about Maya and Rico and record their observations of the different things Maya and Rico see in the sky at the same time. Then they explain whether they think Maya and Rico live in the same place based on their observations and why.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 3: Why did daytime change to nighttime while Sai talked on the phone?, the phenomenon is that Sai observed the sky change from daytime to nighttime. Students observe a timelapse video that shows it going from daytime, to sunset, to nighttime. Students watch a globe spin and use what they know about the earth spinning and where a location on earth is in relation to the sun to properly understand when it changes from daytime to nighttime.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2: Exploring and Explaining Daylight in Different Seasons, the phenomenon is the amount of daytime and nighttime changes in different seasons. Students use evidence from a book to discuss which seasons have longer and shorter days. Students conclude that the length of daytime and nighttime follows a seasonal pattern.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2: Exploring and Explaining Daylight in Different Seasons, the phenomenon is that it is nighttime in the winter when Sai calls his grandma but it is daytime when he calls in other seasons. Students read about the pattern of daytime and nighttime in different seasons and compare how the same time in different seasons can be daytime or nighttime, depending on the season.

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations that they intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems. In Grade 1, the materials consistently elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena and problems, but do not consistently leverage throughout the materials in a way that allows students to build from their own knowledge and experiences. The materials elicit content knowledge from previous activities but also utilize What We Think We Know and Our Experiences charts for the teacher to document students' prior knowledge and experiences related to the phenomenon or problem. The teacher is also directed to post the student thinking charts on the wall so they can return to it throughout the unit. This routine for elicitation of prior knowledge and experience is used consistently across units. The information students share or that is elicited is not incorporated in subsequent activities but instead is frequently connected to at the end of instruction for students to reflect on, missing the opportunity to leverage the prior knowledge and experience.

Examples where the materials elicit prior knowledge and experience related to phenomena and problems, but miss the opportunity to leverage:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, the design problem is for students to design a puppet-show scene using light. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of shadows and light. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3: How do we make bright, medium bright, and dark areas in a scene?, students create a diagram and build the stencils for their puppet-show scene showing bright, dark, and medium-bright areas. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of how the amount of light present can vary from brightness to darkness. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Explaining Sai’s Problem, the anchor phenomenon is that the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of how the sky changes at different times during the day. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Investigating the Sunset, the phenomenon is that Sai observed the sky change from daytime to nighttime. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of how the sky changes at different times during the day. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.

Indicator 1i

Materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations that they embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. The instructional materials provide numerous chapters that use phenomena or problems to drive student learning and to engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons across the grade. Each chapter of the unit consists of multiple lessons. The phenomenon or problem does not drive learning of all lessons within the chapters. Instead, many lessons are driven by a science topic or concept that builds background knowledge that can then be applied to the phenomenon or problem. Two units contain multiple chapters where one or more of the lessons within the chapter are driven by the phenomenon or problem. One unit is driven by a science topic, rather than a phenomenon or problem. The materials provide multimodal opportunities for students to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as students figure out phenomena or solve problems. Students have frequent opportunities to engage in multimodal learning to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking across within each unit.

Examples of units where a phenomenon or problem drives student learning across multiple lessons in the unit and students engage with the three dimensions across the unit:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, the phenomenon that, “the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma when they talk on the phone,” drives learning across multiple lessons. Students engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons and are provided with multimodal opportunities to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as they make sense of the phenomenon. In Chapter 1, students make observations from live webcams around the world to determine that the sky looks different in different places at the same time. Students engage in activities that allow them to make observations and draw on those observations of the daytime sky. Students begin to develop an understanding of patterns (CCC-PAT-P1) as they learn more about the daytime and nighttime sky (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). Students write a letter to Sai that explains why the sky looks different to him than to his grandma (SEP-CEDS-P1). In Chapter 2, students figure out why it was daytime for Sai when it was nighttime for his grandma. To do this, students learn more about what causes daytime and what causes nighttime (DCI-ESS1.A-P1) through reading a book, watching videos, and using a globe to model their thinking (SEP-INFO-P1, SEP-MOD-P3). In Chapters 3–5, students continue to build knowledge about what causes the repeatable patterns in the sky and why the sky looks different for Sai than for his grandmother.
  • In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, the challenge of designing shadow scenery and sound effects for a puppet show drives learning across multiple lessons. Students engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons and are provided with multimodal opportunities to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as they solve the design challenge. In Chapter 1, students view images of puppet-show scenes and are introduced to the design challenge. The rest of this chapter is driven by students testing how to make a surface area brighter or darker with light (SEP-INV-P2) and observing that objects can only been seen when a light-source illuminates them (CCC-CE-P1, DCI-PS4.B-P1). In Chapter 2, students are informed that knowing how to make shadows will help them build scenes for their puppet show. Students then research and test how different materials block light (DCI-PS4.B-P2) as they develop an understanding of the relationship between shadows and light (CCC-CE-P1); they incorporate the understanding of how to make areas dark into the designs of their puppet-show scene. Students design and test their scene, then generate revised solutions based on how well the design met the needs of their scene (SEP-CEDS-P2). In Chapter 3, students research and test how different materials block light (DCI-PS4.B-P2). Students develop an understanding of how different materials allow different amounts of light to pass through them (CCC-CE-P1); students incorporate that understanding into the designs of their puppet-show scene as they determine how to make some parts of the scene brighter than other parts. Students design and test their scene, modifying it from the last chapter where they create bright, medium-bright, and dark areas, then generate revised solutions based on how well the design met the criteria for their scene (SEP-CEDS-P2). In Chapter 4, students research how vibrations work (DCI-PS4.A-P1) as they develop an understanding of sound (CCC-CE-P1) and incorporate that understanding into the designs of their puppet-show scene. Students design and test their sound for the scene, then generate revised solutions based on how well the design met the needs of their scene (SEP-CEDS-P2).

Example of a unit where a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning across multiple lessons in the unit but students engage with the three dimensions across the unit:

  • In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, the topic of plant and animal defenses drives student learning, rather than a phenomenon or problem. While the example of Spruce the Sea Turtle is referenced multiple times across the unit, it is provided more as context to apply the learning rather than a specific phenomenon that drives the learning for lessons, chapters, or a unit. Throughout Chapter 1, students learn that animals need air, water, and food to survive. They also explore the different structures of plants and animals and how organisms use these structures to survive. In Chapter 2, the topic of plant and animal defenses drives student learning throughout this chapter. Students learn that animals eat plants and/or other animals; for an animal to survive it needs to have protection from being eaten (DCI-LS1.A-P1, DCI-LS1.D-P1). In Chapter 4, students read a book about frog models and then partners choose among four marine animals to create their own model. Student models demonstrate how marine animals defend themselves using their structures to survive and avoid being eaten (DCI-LS1.A-P1, DCI-LS1.D-P1, and CCC-SF-P1). Students use their models (SEP-MOD-P3) in their oral explanation as to how the animal survives in the wild.

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope.

Criterion 2a - 2g

Materials are coherent in design, scientifically accurate, and support grade-level and grade-band endpoints of all three dimensions.
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for Criterion 2a-2g: Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions. The materials support students in understanding connections between chapters and units. The materials, and corresponding suggested sequence, reveal student tasks related to explaining phenomena or solving problems that increase in sophistication within each unit and across units. The materials accurately represent the three dimensions across the series and only include scientific content appropriate to the grade level. Further, the materials include all DCI components and all elements for physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. The materials include all of the SEPs at the grade level and all of the SEPs across the grade band. The materials include all grade-band crosscutting concepts and provide repeated opportunities for students to use CCCs across the grade band. The materials include NGSS connections to Nature of Science and Engineering elements associated with the SEPs and/or CCCs.

Indicator 2a

Materials are designed for students to build and connect their knowledge and use of the three dimensions across the series.
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Indicator 2a.i

Students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from unit to unit.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from chapter to chapter. The materials include three units comprising four or five chapters per unit. The Science Program Guide provides a recommended scope and sequence. The Unit Overview and Unit Map sections of the teacher materials provide information and support for teachers explaining how the chapters within a unit connect to each other. The Lesson Overview section of the teacher materials provides information and support for teachers that explains how the lessons within a chapter connect to each other. The first lesson of the unit (following the Pre-Unit Assessment) provides prompts that give context and goals for the entire unit. The first lesson of each subsequent chapter in the unit usually connects prior learning between the chapters in the unit. While there are connections among chapters within each unit, there are not connections among each unit and other units in the recommended sequence.

Examples of student learning experiences that demonstrate connections across chapters:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Animal and Plant Defenses, all the chapters focus on how animals defend themselves in their environment. The concept (DCI-LS1.A-P1) related to animal defenses is the focus of learning throughout the unit. Chapter 1 introduces students to the structure of sea turtles and how these animals defend themselves from predators. Chapter 2 expands on the sea-turtle defenses; students learn how other defenses, such as camouflage, help sea turtles and other animals stay safe. Chapter 3 connects animal defenses to how offspring protect themselves or are protected by their parents. In Chapter 4, students create a model of a specific animal defense mechanism to demonstrate understanding of how an animal protects itself.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Light and Sound, the chapters focus on understanding aspects of light and sound. Across the unit, students have multiple opportunities to plan and conduct investigations (SEP-INV-P2) as they learn about light and sound (DCI-PS4.B-P1) to support their design of a puppet show. In Chapter 1, students investigate a question to figure out how brighter and darker areas can be created. Students are introduced to light and how objects are seen because of light. Students investigate how light can make surfaces appear brighter by shining a light directly on them. In Chapter 2, students investigate how to stop light from getting to a surface. They use flashlights and block the light with objects to create shadows. In Chapter 3, students investigate and design a final puppet show scene. Students investigate how to make the light go through different objects to create bright, medium-bright, and dark areas. In Chapter 4, students create different sounds that would correspond to the puppet-show scene that was developed in Chapter 3. Students investigate sounds by differentiating between objects that make sounds and those that do not. Then students design sound sources for their puppet-show scene.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Spinning Earth, the chapters focus on understanding aspects of patterns in the sky. Across the unit, students have multiple opportunities to observe and describe patterns as students learn that patterns in the sky are determined by earth’s spin. Students assume the role of sky-scientists helping a young boy named Sai who lives in a place near them. They help Sai understand why the sky looks different to him than to his grandma. In Chapter 1, students are introduced to the concepts of daytime and nighttime. They gather data from live webcams to learn about what the sky looks like at different times and in different places. In Chapter 2, students organize webcam data on a globe to understand the patterns of daytime and nighttime. Students make connections between the places they observed experiencing daytime or nighttime and the position of the sun. In Chapter 3, students observe and record the sun’s position in the sky throughout the day and organize their data on a sky mural. Students read informational text, participate in a kinesthetic activity, and apply this understanding to explain the pattern of moonrise and moonset and the role played by earth’s spin. In Chapter 4, students conduct additional sky observations to figure out that the sun pattern they observed in Chapter 3 repeats every day because earth is always spinning.

Indicator 2a.ii

Materials have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication. Materials are designed with an intentional or suggested sequence and student tasks related to explaining phenomena and/or solving problems increase in sophistication within each unit and across the grade band.

Within the grade, the recommended sequence of units is Animal and Plant Defenses, Light and Sound, and Spinning Earth, in that order. Within each of these units, there is a single Anchor Phenomenon or topic that is presented to students, and student learning builds across the unit as students gather information to figure it out. Although the units are provided in a recommended order, there is no specific increase of rigor as these units are presented. Approaches to the assessment of the different dimensions are also consistent and similar throughout each unit. However, the learning tasks within the unit increase in sophistication as students work toward explaining phenomena or solving problems.

Examples of student tasks increasing in sophistication within a unit:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Animal and Plant Defenses, students utilize functional modeling as a means to understand the ways animals utilize defenses for survival. In Chapter 2, students use reference books and videos to learn about types of animal defenses and then apply what they have learned to create physical models of their initial ideas about animal and plant defenses using a variety of physical materials. Throughout the chapter, students focus on different types of defenses (spikes, spines, shells, and camouflage), build a model, then explore additional ideas about defenses as they apply that information to build a new model. In Chapter 4, students are introduced to conceptual models and learn how to develop an adequate model to explain an idea about a plant or animal’s defense. Students read about students' journeys as they develop models to explain frogs’ defenses and then utilize what they have learned and the model checklist to build conceptual models of animal defenses to showcase to parents. They write explanations to accompany their models and present their models and oral explanations in a fictional aquarium exhibit.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Light and Sound, students are introduced to a design problem about a traveling puppet show needing a portable puppet-show scene. In Chapter 1, students are introduced to the design problem where a traveling puppet show is in need of a scene that they can move around with them. They begin their design through the investigation of light. They learn that light is needed to see and that all light comes from a source. In Chapter 2, students investigate how to make a surface look dark after learning how to make a surface look bright from Chapter 1. Students continue to investigate the shadows of six different objects that may be used in their design for the portable puppet-show scene. Based on these investigations, students create cutouts that will make shadows in the puppet-show scene. In Chapter 3, students design their final puppet-show scene that considers all of the design goals. They investigate how different materials let different amounts of light through. Students are given time to make revisions, as needed, to meet their design goals through the utilization of investigation. Students use their test results to evaluate their design goals.
  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Spinning Earth, students use their investigation skills to discover why Sai and his grandma see different things in the sky when they talk on the phone. The level of investigation increases because students do more active observations, data collection, and looking at patterns to answer that phenomenon. In Chapter 1, students observe the sky during the daytime and read a book about the sky after sunset to gather data and investigate how the sky looks different at different times during the day. Students then investigate the patterns of how it is bright and the sun is out during the daytime, and the stars are out and it is dark during the nighttime. In Chapter 2, students investigate Sai’s problem more in-depth by learning how it’s daytime on part of the earth while it is nighttime on another part of the earth. They use a globe to mark Sai’s position and participate in an activity to simulate it being daytime on part of the earth while it’s nighttime on another part. In Chapter 3, students observe a video of the sunset so that they can gather data to continue investigating why/how the sky turns from daytime to nighttime. They investigate where the sun is at different times during the day in relation to the horizon.

In each K–5 grade level, there is one unit that emphasizes the practice of investigation, one that emphasizes the practice of modeling, and one that emphasizes the engineering practice of design. As students progress through the series, the materials connect learning of the three dimensions across the entire grade band. The way students engage with and use the three dimensions also increases in sophistication across the investigation, modeling, and engineering design units.

  • Investigation Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices related to investigations. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with simple classroom investigations and add in technology, maps, and thinking about system interactions. In Kindergarten, the Needs of Plants and Animals unit has students investigate what plants and animals need to live as they figure out why monarch caterpillars no longer live in Mariposa Grove. They conduct a series of investigations to determine the effects of light and water on plant growth. In Grade 1, the Spinning Earth unit focuses on students investigating patterns in the sky and why the sky looks different at the same time in different places. Student investigations increase in sophistication as they collect observational data, and also make observations using live webcams to learn about what the sky looks like at different times and in different places across the globe. In Grade 2, the Plant and Animal Relationships unit focuses on understanding why chalta trees aren’t growing in a specific location. Student investigations increase in sophistication as they interpret visual data from the study site and connect information from multiple investigations to explain how different components in the ecosystem impact the growth of the trees.
  • Engineering Design Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices and DCIs related to engineering design. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with simple, guided designs and increase in sophistication with the type of design and level of testing required. In Kindergarten, the Pushes and Pulls unit focuses on understanding the forces needed to design a pinball machine. Students conduct guided investigations then apply their learning to a design of a pinball machine. Each investigation guides students to designing the next component (launcher, bumper, flipper) of their pinball machine. In Grade 1, the Light and Sound unit focuses on understanding aspects of light and sound to be able to design a puppet-show scene. Student investigations guide students to designing the next component of their puppet show (lighting the stage, making shadow scenery, and adding sound), but students have more choice and flexibility in their designs than they did in the Kindergarten unit. Students also begin to understand the importance of testing and selecting different materials for their designs. In Grade 2, the Properties of Materials unit focuses on designing a new glue. Students understand properties of materials as they develop and test a new sticky glue for their school. As students work on their designs, they test properties of different materials and determine whether those materials combine to form a glue that meets criteria for stickiness and strength. Students have opportunities to make revisions to their recipe following testing.
  • Modeling Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the SEPs related to developing and using models. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with a simple model that they use to collect data, then develop their own physical models, and then use multiple models to explain a phenomenon. In Kindergarten, the Sunlight and Weather unit focuses on using a lamp model to simulate how sunlight can heat earth’s surfaces throughout the day. Students then use information from their models to figure out what causes the temperature differences between the two playgrounds throughout the day. In Grade 1, the Animal and Plant Defenses unit focuses on how animals defend themselves in their environment. Students learn about physical structures of sea turtles and other animals that are used as protection. Students then create a model of a specific animal defense mechanism to demonstrate understanding of how an animal protects itself. In Grade 2, the Changing Landforms unit focuses on how water and wind shape earth. Students use multiple models to explain various components of why a cliff near a recreation center eroded. Students use models to simulate how rocks hitting each other can break off small pieces and form sand. Students use models with chalk to investigate how water can change a landform by causing pieces of rock to break off. Students use a digital modeling tool to create their own maps of landforms. Students make a model and then erode the model to show how many small changes can add up to a bigger change. Students use this information to explain how the recreation center’s cliff eroded without the director noticing. Students use multiple erosion models to provide evidence that supports the idea that wind and water can quickly erode landforms made of loose materials.

Indicator 2b

Materials present Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) in a way that is scientifically accurate.*
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they present disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts in a way that is scientifically accurate. Across the grade, the teacher materials, student materials, and assessments accurately represent the three dimensions and are free from scientific inaccuracies in each of the three units.

Indicator 2c

Materials do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.*
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). Across the grade, the materials consistently incorporate student learning opportunities to learn and use DCIs appropriate to the grade.

Indicator 2d

Materials incorporate all grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
0/0

Indicator 2d.i

Physical Sciences
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for physical sciences. Across the grade, the materials include all of the associated elements of the physical science DCIs. These are found in one of the three units for this grade: Light and Sound.

Examples of grade-level physical science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • PS4.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: Designing Sound Sources, students review the three sounds that the puppet company wants in their show and select one. Students investigate different materials and how to make the material vibrate to make the sound they chose. They explain how they will make the sound and explain why vibrations make sound.
  • PS4.B-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Light Makes Surfaces Look Bright, students engage in a learning sequence that introduces the concept that light is needed to see objects. Students use a light source to determine that when light comes from or shines on the surface the surface appears bright, but that surfaces are dark when no light shines on them.
  • PS4.B-P2: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Designing a Cutout to Make a Dark Area, students work with blue cardstock, foam, foil, acetate, lighting filter, wax paper, and white cardstock to test shadows. They explore how different materials allow light to pass through them or block light. They identify materials that can block light to create shadows as they determine what materials to use for their puppet show scene.
  • PS4.C-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the teacher explains to students that light can be used to send signals. The teacher reads the book, Engineering with Light and Sound, and points out the design of an emergency signal mirror, which uses a mirror and the light from the sun to send a signal long distances to communicate to a search plane flying overhead.

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for life sciences. Across the grade, the materials include all of the components and associated elements of the life science DCIs; however, one element was partially met. These are found in one of the three units for this grade: Animal and Plant Defenses.

Examples of the grade-level life science DCI element present in the materials:

  • LS1.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Plant and Animal Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Introducing Modeling, students read about different structures plants and animals use for defense. Students then make a clay model of a structure that a plant or animal would use for defense from being eaten and provide reasoning for why they believe their structure would be useful. Throughout other parts of this unit, students also discuss how different external body parts can be used for survival.
  • LS1.B-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Plant and Animal Defenses, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Offspring Defenses, students watch a video of marine iguanas and crabs avoiding being eaten by a hawk. Students then discuss how the iguanas and their offspring were able to avoid being eaten. Students also learn that snails that have a protective shell and some butterflies use camouflage to protect themselves. The offspring of these animals have similar characteristics as their parents and can use the same strategies to avoid being eaten.
  • LS3.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Introducing Offspring, students learn what offspring are. Students discuss what they already know about offspring and predict what Spruce the Sea Turtle’s offspring might look like. Then, students explore the offspring of different plants and animals by looking at pictures and discussing similarities and differences between the offspring and their parents to learn that young plants and animals look similar, but not identical, to their parents.
  • LS3.B-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Introducing Offspring, students observe picture cards of various animals and plants with their offspring. This is to help them understand that animals and plants look similar, but not identical, to their offspring.

Examples of the grade-level life science DCI element partially present in the materials:

  • LS1.D-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Whose Lunch Is This?, students observe a video of a monkey eating leaves and then are asked about the structures that monkeys use to know where food is and to get information to survive. Notes to the teacher indicate that student responses should include the monkey’s eyes and nose to sense where food is, and ears to hear predators trying to eat it. This helps students understand that animal body parts capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival, and the way animals respond to these inputs help them survive. The materials do not address structures plants use to respond to external inputs.

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for earth and space sciences. Across the grade, the materials include all of the associated elements of the earth and space science DCIs. These are found in one of the three units for this grade: Spinning Earth.

Examples of the grade-level earth and space science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ESS1.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: The Pattern of Daytime and Nighttime, students observe and describe what they see in the sky at different times. Students organize their sky-observation data into two categories: daytime observations and nighttime observations. Students engage in a role play to make sense of what is happening during daytime and nighttime.
  • ESS1.B-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2 Exploring and Explaining Daylight in Different Seasons, students figure out why it is nighttime in the winter when Sai calls his grandma but it is daytime when he calls in other seasons. Students read Patterns of Sunlight on Earth to learn about the pattern of daytime and nighttime in different seasons, and compare how the same time in different seasons can be daytime or nighttime depending on the season.

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-band and grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for engineering, technology and applications of science (ETS) and all associated elements. In Kindergarten, three performance expectations (PEs) are associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI that also connect to an ETS DCI. The ETS elements within these kindergarten PEs are present in the materials.

Examples of the Kindergarten grade-level ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students are introduced to their role as engineers. During a teacher-led discussion, students are shown the What Engineers Do chart to learn that engineers find out about problems and then go through a series of processes to design a solution. Throughout this unit, students then work to solve the problem of designing a pinball machine.
  • ETS1.A-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that asking questions and gathering information are important parts of solving problems. Students determine that the milkweed plants don’t grow in the black pot because they don’t get enough water, but they do grow in the white pot because they have water. Students use this to understand that water for the milkweed plants will be important in their garden design.
  • ETS1.B-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on Needs of Living Things, students make their garden plan by gluing images of the plants to the location of their garden. This helps students communicate their design solutions to other people without needing to actually construct the garden.

In Grade 1, no PEs associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI connect to an ETS DCI. However, the materials do include opportunities for students to engage with ETS elements in this grade.

Examples of ETS DCI elements present in the Grade 1 materials:

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.6: Explaining the Puppet-Show Scene, students learn that people can create new approaches or solve problems through engineering. Students are asked to solve a problem from a fictitious play company that would allow them to carry fewer materials when putting on a puppet show.
  • ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Testing and Revising our Solutions, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. They work with partners to test their design solutions that show a bright, medium-bright, and dark area for the designed scene of the puppet show. They test to see if their stencils make the appropriate “brightness” in the scene and revise as needed.

In Grade 2, there are two PEs associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI that also connect to an ETS DCI. The ETS elements within these Grade 2 PEs are present in the materials.

Examples of the Grade 2 grade-level ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.B-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.8: Defending the Food Supply, students learn that models can be an effective way to communicate design solutions to other people. Students then make a physical model of their design to defend a food bag in an aquarium.
  • ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.9: Making Our First Glue, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. Students test whether their glue can pass the sticky-glue test to determine whether they need to revise their glue recipe.

The K–2 grade band includes three ETS PEs that are designed to be taught at any point across the grade band. These PEs include five elements. The materials provide opportunities to engage with ETS DCIs and their elements in all three grades within this band.

Examples of the K–2 grade-band ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students are introduced to their role as engineers. During a teacher-led discussion, students are shown the What Engineers Do chart to learn that engineers find out about problems and then go through a series of processes to design a solution. Throughout this unit, students then work to solve the problem of designing a pinball machine.
  • ETS1.A-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that asking questions and gathering information are important parts of solving problems. Students determine that the milkweed plants don’t grow in the black pot because they don’t get enough water, but they do grow in the white pot because they have water. Students use this to understand that water for the milkweed plants will be important in their garden design.
  • ETS1.A-P3: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 3: What ingredients can be used to make a glue that is sticky and strong?, students gain a better understanding of the problem to inform their glue designs. Throughout the chapter, students gather information about properties of glue to help inform their design process.
  • ETS1.B-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.8: Defending the Food Supply, students learn that models can be an effective way to communicate design solutions to other people. Students then make a physical model of their design to defend a food bag in an aquarium.

ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Testing and Revising our Solutions, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. They work with partners to test their design solutions that show a bright, medium-bright, and dark area for the designed scene of the puppet show. They test to see if their stencils result in the appropriate “brightness” in the scene and revise as needed.

Indicator 2e

Materials incorporate all grade-band Science and Engineering Practices.
0/0

Indicator 2e.i

Materials incorporate grade-level appropriate SEPs within each grade.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs) and associated elements. The materials include all of the SEP elements associated with the performance expectations (PEs) for the grade level. These are found across all three units for this grade.

Examples of SEP elements associated with the grade-level performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • INV-P2: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 1: How do we make brighter or darker areas?, students plan and conduct an investigation, collecting data to answer a question about how to make a surface light or dark with different light sources while designing their puppet-show scene.
  • INV-P3: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: After Sunset, students look at firsthand and secondhand ways to observe the sky at daytime and at nighttime. They use these observations to discuss how sometimes scientists need to use more than one way to collect information, and relate it to making direct observations of the sky during the school day but using pictures of the night sky to help understand what the sky looks like at night.
  • INV-P4: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Introducing Offspring, students observe pictures of offspring of different plants and animals and discuss their similarities and differences observed between the parent and offspring.
  • DATA-P3: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Modeling Shells and Armor, students watch a video of an alligator trying to eat a turtle. Then they discuss how the turtle’s shell is a way to protect the turtle and help it survive.
  • CEDS-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, students make and record observations of the daytime sky to collect evidence to support an account for why the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma.
  • CEDS-P2: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4: How do we design a sound source to go with a puppet show scene?, students use different materials to design a device that can use vibrations to make sound for their puppet-show scene.
  • INFO-P3: In Grade 1, Unit: Plant and Animal Defenses, Chapter 2: How can Spruce the Sea Turtle survive where there are sharks?, students obtain information using various texts, text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons), and other media that will be useful in answering a scientific question and/or supporting a scientific claim.

Indicator 2e.ii

Materials incorporate all SEPs across the grade band.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs) and associated elements across the grade band. The materials include all of the SEP elements associated with the performance expectations (PEs) for the grade band. Elements of the SEPs are found across all three grades within this grade band. Materials include few elements of the SEPs from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band appropriate SEP.

Examples of SEP elements associated with the grade-band performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Identifying New Design Goals, students watch the pinball video. After making observations from the video, the teacher is prompted to inform students that engineers ask questions, some of which come from their observations. The teacher models how to ask a question about the pinball video. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions based on their observations of the pinball machine design in the video.
  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Weather and the Playgrounds, after examining a weather graph and calendar, the teacher models how to ask a question about observations from the data. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions that would provide more information on the weather differences at the two playgrounds.
  • MOD-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces, students use a colored-surfaces model to determine the relative temperature (range from very cold to very hot) of the playground surfaces. Students use these models to determine that some surfaces get warmer than others when sunlight shines on them.
  • MOD-P4: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Modeling Shells and Armor, students observe a video of a turtle and an alligator to gather evidence about shells and armor as a type of defense against being eaten. The class gathers additional information about how shells and armor function to defend living things by revisiting sections of Tortoise Parts and the reference book. Then, students work together to develop a simple physical model that shows how living things use their shells or armor to defend themselves from being eaten.
  • INV-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3: How Do We Make A Pinball Move To A Certain Place?, students conduct an investigation with peers. Students investigate the direction a ball will go when they push on it. Groups of three students sit in a circle and roll the ball to each other, paying attention to where they are targeting to roll the ball.
  • INV-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.9: Making Our First Glue, students plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to determine if their recipe for their glue will pass the sticky-glue test.
  • INV-P3: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: After Sunset, students look at firsthand and secondhand ways to observe the sky at daytime and at nighttime. They use these observations to discuss how sometimes scientists need to use more than one way to collect information and relate it to making direct observations of the sky during the school day but using pictures of the night sky to help understand what the sky looks like at night.
  • INV-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Explaining Why There Are No Caterpillars, students collect data that can be used to make comparisons. Students read the Handbook of Plants to find out that monarch caterpillars eat milkweed plants. Then students compare pictures of the Mariposa Community Garden to the field that was there previously, comparing the different plants they see. Students determine that there is no milkweed in the garden and the caterpillars cannot live in the garden because they only eat milkweed.
  • DATA-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Force Happens Between Two Objects, students use observations to describe relationships between two objects. Students make observations of what happens to objects when they interact (such as a car pushing a block, or using a string to pull a tube). Students look at the relationship between the two objects to describe how force on one object acts on the other object.
  • DATA-P5: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Evaluating Second Glues and Revising Recipes, students test the strength and stickiness of their glue and analyze their findings to determine if their glue meets the design-goal properties.
  • CEDS-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, students make and record observations of the daytime sky to collect evidence to support an account for why the sky looks different to Sai than to his grandma.
  • CEDS-P2: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4: How do we design a sound source to go with a puppet show scene?, students use different materials to design a device that can use vibrations to make sound for their puppet show scene.
  • CEDS-P3: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Making Final Glues, students share successful design ideas with their classmates and compare and evaluate each-other's glue designs based on the evidence of data collected. Students use that information to revise and create their final glue designs.
  • ARG-P6: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Lesson 2.2: Exploring Heating and Cooling, students construct an argument about whether heating a cornstarch mixture produces the same substance or a different substance. Students list the properties of the substance before and after it was heated; then, they make a claim about whether or not the substance turns into something new provide evidence to support their claim.
  • INFO-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3: Why do the milkweed plants that get water grow differently?, students read texts and view images of different plants to obtain information that plants need light to grow.
  • INFO-P3: Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 1, Why aren’t new chalta trees growing in the Bengal Tiger Reserve?, students read and learn about habitats and types of seeds from different plants to determine that the trees need adequate sunlight and water, and depend on animals for pollination.
  • INFO-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2: Why do two milkweed seeds become plants, but the others did not?, students write and draw in a mini-book to communicate information about what milkweed plants need to grow.

Indicator 2f

Materials incorporate all grade-band Crosscutting Concepts.
8/8
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K-2 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level crosscutting concepts (CCCs) and associated elements across the grade band. The materials include all of the CCC elements associated with the performance expectations for the grade band. Elements of the CCCs are found across all three grades within this grade band. Materials include few elements of the CCCs from above the grade band without connecting to the grade-band appropriate CCC.

Across the grade band, students have multiple opportunities to engage with the grade-level CCCs that are implicitly connected to SEPs or DCIs as they build toward grade-level performance expectations. For example, students have frequent opportunities to use observations to describe patterns in the natural world to answer scientific questions (SEP-DATA-P3) but have limited opportunities to explicitly discuss the importance of using patterns as evidence to describe phenomena (CCC-PAT-P1). When the materials provide opportunities to make the crosscutting concepts explicit for students, this is generally through sentence frames to help students use targeted CCCs, or through teacher prompts that provide explicit connections and guide student discussions about how scientists and engineers use different CCCs to answer scientific questions or solve engineering problems.

Examples of CCC elements associated with the grade-band performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • PAT-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, students learn that, “A pattern is something we observe to be similar over and over again. Scientists look for patterns to help them understand and explain what they observe.” Students then read the Patterns of Earth and Space big book. Patterns in the natural and human-designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence. Students make observations of the daytime sky and begin to identify patterns from their observations.
  • PAT-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Gary’s Sand Journal, students discuss the pattern that Gary recorded by making observations of sand. Students learn that patterns in sand grains (size, color, and shape) can be used as evidence of the types of materials it is made of, the size waves that moved it, and the age of the sand.
  • CE-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Discussing Warming Over Time, students use data from their Warming Model to support or refute ideas about why one playground was warmer than the other. Students use their data showing about the time of day, the amount of sunlight, and the temperature to conclude that the difference in the amount of sunlight caused one playground to be warmer than the others.
  • CE-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Planning and Making Our Stencils, students learn that tests can be designed to gather evidence about causes. Students make diagrams of their proposed solutions for stencils that will project a puppet-show scene that enables all, some, or no light to pass through. Students explain why the difference in material causes some stencils to make the area darker than others.
  • CE-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Investigating Seed Needs, students learn that tests can be used to gather evidence to support a claim about what causes something to happen. Students use a test to determine that limited plant growth is caused by not giving the seeds enough water or by not giving the plants enough sunlight. Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence to support or refute student ideas about causes.
  • CE-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Strong and Gentle Forces, students move a ball on the floor, using both strong and gentle forces and observing the distances that the ball moved relative to the amount of force applied. Students discuss how the amount of force used to push the ball results in the observable patterns that stronger pushes cause the ball to move a longer distance and gentle pushes cause the ball to move a shorter distance.
  • CE-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Investigating Differences in Scale, students use a physical model of a mountain and create maps before and after the mountain erodes. Students use their model to help them understand that certain events create repeatable patterns, such as water causing erosion.
  • SYS-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Growing Toward the Light, students learn that systems have parts that work together and a plant is a system because it has different parts (roots, stems, leaves) that help it live and grow.
  • EM-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Can You Change It Back?, students review text and images in the book Can You Change it Back? showing popsicle sticks arranged in different configurations. The teacher leads a class discussion to elicit the idea that small objects can be combined into larger objects and rearranged to create different objects. This idea is revisited in Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2 when students take apart four popsicle sticks they glued together to rearrange them into a picture frame.
  • SF-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Introducing Modeling, students read Spikes, Spines, and Shells: A Handbook of Defenses, then create physical models of structures that animals and plants use to defend themselves from being eaten. Students explain how the shape of the structures are related to their function of protecting the organism.
  • SF-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Conducting the Seed Investigations, students model different ways that seeds move with and without propellers to determine which type of seed moves with the wind. They use this test to identify how the shape of seed structures are related to their function.
  • SC-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Investigating Differences in Scale, students use a physical model of a mountain and create maps before and after the mountain erodes. Students use their model to show how a lot of very small changes can result in a big change or may change slowly or rapidly.

Indicator 2g

Materials incorporate NGSS Connections to Nature of Science and Engineering
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 meet expectations that they incorporate NGSS connections to the nature of science (NOS) and engineering. The NOS and engineering elements are represented and attended multiple times throughout the grade-band units. They are used in correlation with the content and not used as isolated lessons. The NOS and Engineering elements are used in a variety of fashions throughout the units including videos, readings, and class discussions. Although most of the elements are present in the lessons, they are not explicitly called out in the instructional material.

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with SEPs present in the materials:

  • VOM-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Learning More About Models, students read about how scientists use different models as ways to study the world in the Handbook of Models big book. Students discuss how scientists use models before starting an investigation of their own that uses a model.
  • BEE-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Comparing Living and Nonliving Things, students determine whether the object shown on a card is living or nonliving and sort into categories. As they do so, a teacher prompt informs students that scientists look for patterns and look for how things are the same and different too, and this is one way that scientists figure things out about the world.
  • ENP-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Diagramming Landform Changes, students learn how scientists communicate ideas by using diagrams and models as a way to communicate ideas and information. Students learn what makes a diagram different from regular pictures. Students then create a diagram to show what they think happened to the cliff below the recreation center.

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • AOC-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Adding Sunset Data to the Sky Mural, students make a Sky Mural to document their observations of the sun’s position in the sky. A class discussion focuses on understanding that the patterns are observations that can be made over and over again, and that the Sky Mural helps students see the pattern that the sun repeats because the sun is in about the same position at the same time of each day.
  • AQAW-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.7, Activity 3: Reading: Jelly Bean Engineer, students read about jelly-bean engineers who make different recipes for jelly beans and then test the jelly beans for texture and flavor. During a class discussion, the teacher is prompted to point out that scientists study the natural world, including plants and animals, and that engineers study the material world, including solving problems that involve substances like jelly beans.

Examples of grade-band connections to ENG elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • INFLU-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: What If Rain Boots Were Made of Paper?, students read the book What If Rain Boots Were Made of Paper? to introduce the idea that different materials have different properties, and it is important for engineers to use their knowledge of the properties of the materials (natural or engineered) they choose when they design things.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

+
-
Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3d

Materials are designed to support teachers not only in using the materials, but also in understanding the expectations of the standards.

Indicator 3a

Materials include background information to help teachers support students in using the three dimensions to explain phenomena and solve problems (also see indicators 3b and 3l).
N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials provide guidance that supports teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences to engage students in figuring out phenomena and solving problems.
N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials contain teacher guidance with sufficient and useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3d

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

Criterion 3e - 3k

Materials are designed to support all students in learning.

Indicator 3e

Materials are designed to leverage diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students.
N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide appropriate support, accommodations, and/or modifications for numerous special populations that will support their regular and active participation in learning science and engineering.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials provide multiple access points for students at varying ability levels and backgrounds to make sense of phenomena and design solutions to problems.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials include opportunities for students to share their thinking and apply their understanding in a variety of ways.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials include a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.
N/A

Indicator 3j

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
N/A

Indicator 3k

Materials are made accessible to students by providing appropriate supports for different reading levels.
N/A

Criterion 3l - 3s

Materials are designed to be usable and also to support teachers in using the materials and understanding how the materials are designed.

Indicator 3l

The teacher materials provide a rationale for how units across the series are intentionally sequenced to build coherence and student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to NGSS.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts and Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3n.i

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts Common Core State Standards.
N/A

Indicator 3n.ii

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3o

Resources (whether in print or digital) are clear and free of errors.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials include a comprehensive list of materials needed.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials embed clear science safety guidelines for teacher and students across the instructional materials.
N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials designated for each grade level are feasible and flexible for one school year.
N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials contain strategies for informing students, parents, or caregivers about the science program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
N/A

Criterion 3t - 3y

Materials are designed to assess students and support the interpretation of the assessment results.

Indicator 3t

Assessments include a variety of modalities and measures.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Assessments offer ways for individual student progress to be measured over time.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities and guidance for oral and/or written peer and teacher feedback and self reflection, allowing students to monitor and move their own learning.
N/A

Indicator 3w

Tools are provided for scoring assessment items (e.g., sample student responses, rubrics, scoring guidelines, and open-ended feedback).
N/A

Indicator 3x

Guidance is provided for interpreting the range of student understanding (e.g., determining what high and low scores mean for students) for relevant Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
N/A

Indicator 3y

Assessments are accessible to diverse learners regardless of gender identification, language, learning exceptionality, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
N/A

Criterion 3z - 3ad

Materials are designed to include and support the use of digital technologies.

Indicator 3z

Materials integrate digital technology and interactive tools (data collection tools, simulations, modeling), when appropriate, in ways that support student engagement in the three dimensions of science.
N/A

Indicator 3aa

Digital materials are web based and compatible with multiple internet browsers. In addition, materials are “platform neutral,” are compatible with multiple operating systems and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
N/A

Indicator 3ab

Materials include opportunities to assess three-dimensional learning using digital technology.
N/A

Indicator 3ac

Materials can be customized for individual learners, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3ad

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
N/A
abc123

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 10/08/2020

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Light and Sound Book Set 978-1-64089-486-0 Amplify Education 2018
Spinning Earth Book Set 978-1-64089-654-3 Amplify Education 2018
Animal and Plant Defenses Book Set 978-1-64089-658-1 Amplify Education 2018
Light and Sound Investigation Notebook 978-1-943228-80-5 Amplify Education 2018
Animal and Plant Defenses Investigation Notebook 978-1-945192-76-0 Amplify Education 2018
Spinning Earth Investigation Notebook 978-1-945192-88-3 Amplify Education 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Please note: Beginning in spring 2020, reports developed by EdReports.org will be using an updated version of our review tools. View draft versions of our revised review criteria here.

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

Science K-5 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The science review rubric identifies the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubric supports a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then considers other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For science, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning
  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning
  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions
  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the rubric 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.

To best read our reports we recommend utilizing the Codes for NGSS Elements document that provides the code and description of elements cited as evidence in each report.

 

The EdReports rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of alignment to college and career ready standards and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum, such as usability and design, as recommended by educators.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators (gateway 1) to move to the other gateways. 

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?

Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. 

In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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