Alignment: Overall Summary

Benchmark Grade 2 materials partially meet the expectations of alignment. The materials meet most expectations of text quality and complexity, and many tasks and questions are grounded in evidence. . Some speaking and listening activities may need to be supported with extensions to dive deeper into the text, but focus on teaching protocols and modeling academic language are in place. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. The materials partially meet expectations for building knowledge within the grade level. Academic vocabulary is addressed in each module. There is partial evidence of the materials providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks partially meet the criteria for requiring students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge.

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
53
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
26
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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-
Gateway One Details

Grade 2 instructional materials meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. Most tasks and questions are text based and grounded in evidence. The instructional materials include some texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous, evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Some speaking and listening activities may need to be supported with extensions to dive deeper into the text, but focus on teaching protocols and modeling academic language are in place. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. Materials also provide opportunities to increase oral and silent reading fluency across the grade level.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
16/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials partially meet the criteria for including anchor texts that are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading and/or listening, and consider a range of student interests. Texts meet the text complexity criteria for each grade. Students engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria for anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary), are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading/listening, and consider a range of student interests.

Informational texts are of high quality. Some examples include the following:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, “A City Park Habitat” is a Shared Read informational science text that has accompanying photographs of a squirrel, rabbit, and pigeon. The text contains content-rich vocabulary such as habitat and burrow.
  • In Unit 8, students listen and read “Tornado!” Students participate in a Shared Read of “I am Wind” a poem by Constance Andrea Keremes. These texts focus on a variety of vocabulary words including unpredictable, uproots, wondrous, and moan.

Literary texts include vibrantly colored illustrations that help students to make meaning of the written text, but revised versions of stories and some literary texts are less engaging in terms of syntax and semantics. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, “Rough-Face Girl” is a different version of Cinderella that contains descriptive words such as callous, cruel, and idle, but is simplistic in syntax.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, “A Lucky Accident” is a Short Read biography that contains some vocabulary such as invention, overcoat, prickly, and burrs. Photographs are included with captions and vocabulary words in a text box with arrows pointing to examples of the words in the photographs.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, “The Paper Dinosaurs” by Janine Scott is an Extended Read fantasy text that is read over the course of two days.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials in Benchmark reflect a balance of informational and literary reading selections. Each three week unit contains high quality shared read, short read, and extended read texts. A variety of genres are represented in each unit including poetry, folktales, fables, nonfiction, historical, scientific, and technical texts. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • “Smokejumpers” (Unit 1, Week 1, Short Read, Informational Text)
  • “Our Government’s Laws” (Unit 1, Week 2, Extended Read, Informational Text)
  • “Milo and The Dragon” (Unit 2, Week 1, Shared Read, Fantasy)
  • “Two Men and A Bear” (Unit 2, Week 3, Shared Read, Fable)
  • “News About Scorpions” (Unit 3, Week 1, Shared Read, Informational Text)
  • “Lost in the Desert” (Unit 3, Week 3, Extended Read, Realistic Fiction)
  • “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” (Unit 4, Week 1, Shared Read, Fable)
  • “Stone Soup” (Unit 4, Week 2, Extended Read, Folktale)
  • “Eletelephony” (Unit 5, Week 2, Shared Reading, Poetry)
  • “Robots go to School” (Unit 5, Week 3, Extended Read, Informational Text)
  • “The Size of Kindness” (Unit 6, Week 1, Shared Read, Pourquoi Tale)
  • “The Lion and the Man” (Unit 6, Week 2, Shared Read, Fable)
  • “A Gift to America” (Unit 7, Week 2, Shared Read, Informational Text)
  • “In the British Museum” (Unit 7, Week 2, Shared Read, Poetry)
  • “Beautiful Sand Dunes” (Unit 8, Week 3, Shared Read, Opinion)
  • “Surf Haven Debates its Future” (Unit 8, Week 3, Extended Read, News Article)
  • “Market Day” (Unit 9, Week 3, Shared Read, Realistic Fiction)
  • “Bartering” (Unit 9, Week 3, Shared Read, Informational Text)
  • “Soap Shapes” (Unit 10, Week 1, Shared Read, Procedural Text)
  • “Old Faithful” (Unit 10, Informational Science)
  • “How Mount Rushmore was Made” (Unit 10, Week 3, Extended Read, Informational Text)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary), have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

The anchor texts at the Grade 2 level contain quantitative and qualitative measures that are at the appropriate level of rigor/text complexity for Grade 2 and contain text components that support tasks and students’ literacy development to achieve grade level proficiency. The materials contain a variety of interactive read aloud and shared reading texts with Lexile levels of 220-600, which are at or above the complexity levels of what most Grade 2 students can read independently.

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students read the text, “Rough-Face Girl.”
    • Quantitative: Lexile 510
    • Qualitative: The meaning of the text is implicit and subtle. The meaning is revealed at the end of the text. The illustrations assist the student in understanding the text. The sentences are simple with straightforward language.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, the Extended Read is “On One Wheel” by Carly Schuna.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 460
    • Qualitative: The story has moderate complexity. The story conveys a simple theme and a chronological structure with sequential events not easily connected to the theme. Sentences are short and simple with common usage and simple vocabulary.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students read the text, “The Oregon Trail.”
    • Quantitative: Lexile 570
    • Qualitative: The text requires inferring for the reader. The structure of the text is complex since it is diary entries. The structure requires students to make connections to unfamiliar subject matter. The vocabulary contains historical words, and there are compound and complex sentences.
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, the Extended Read is “Changing Matter” by Jay Brewster.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 640
    • Qualitative: The text has moderate complexity. The purpose is simple and requires the interpretation of highly detailed information. The text is ordered logically in sections mostly presented in an easy to follow question and answer mode. Sentences are generally simple, but the conceptual difficulty is high, especially when coupled with science words such as transformed, vapor, liquids and solids.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The complexity of anchor texts students hear and/or read provides an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year through a series of texts that include a variety of complexity levels. In the Teacher’s Resource System, lessons contain the gradual release of responsibility to guide teachers through teaching complex texts. The scaffolded components of the lessons include teacher modeling and teacher think-alouds. In Guided Practice, scaffolds include rereading to find text-dependent evidence, note-taking in a graphic organizer with text details, and collaborative conversations between students about the text. Although scaffolded activities are provided throughout the materials, two Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed over Week 1, two Short Read texts are shared and analyzed over Week 1, two more Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed over Week 2, an additional two Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed in Week 3, and two more Extended Read texts are shared and analyzed in Week 3. More complex texts do not receive increased instructional and analysis time. There are specific weekly routines for close reading and rereading that do not allot additional time for more complex text.

  • In Unit 1, Weeks 1-3, students hear and/or read the Short Read texts and Extended Read texts from 390L to 780L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students analyze the Short Read texts, “Smoke Jumpers” and “Can you Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” For “Smokejumpers,” students identify main topic, and for “Can you Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” students recount story events. In Week 2, students hear and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, “Our Government’s Laws,” and students identify the main topic, identify author’s purpose, and describe the connection between a series of events. In Week 3, students read and analyze the Extended Read 2 text, “Getting a Message to General Washington,” and students recount story events and acknowledge different points of view.
  • In Unit 8, Weeks 1-3, students hear and/or read the Short Read texts and Extended Read texts ranging from 600L to 860L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students hear and analyze the Short Read texts, “Tornado!” and “Water’s Awesome Wonder.” For both Short Read-texts, students identify the main topic. In Week 2, students read and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, “Earth Changes,” and students identify main topic, describe the connection between events, and identify the main purpose of the text. In Week 3, students read the Extended Read 2, and students identify the main topic and analyze how reasons support specific points.

The tasks students complete over the three week unit are similar, and there is a missed opportunity for the tasks to increase in rigor when the tasks are repetitious.

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast two texts on the same topic, “Habitats Around the World (Extended Read 1) and “Lost in the Desert” (Extended Read 2). The teacher reads the Close Reading Question: “The topic of this unit is plant and animal habitats. Compare and contrast the habitats present in “Habitats Around the World” and “Lost in the Desert. Annotate! Be sure to mark evidence in both texts that supports your response.” The teacher models how to compare and contrast. During Guided Practice, the teacher reads a second reading prompt: “Choose an animal from ‘Habitats Around the World.’ Compare and contrast that animal with a Sonoran Desert animal in ‘Lost in the Desert.’ What traits does each animal have? How do those traits help it survive in its habitat? Annotate! Jot down notes in the margin and underline details.” Students are invited to annotate the text to respond to the prompt. Student select two animals to compare and contrast. During Show Your Knowledge, students choose another animal from “Habitats Around the World” and from “Lost in the Desert.” Students write a sentence about how the animals are similar and a sentence about how the animals are different.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast two texts on the same topic, “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box” (Extended Read 1) and “The Paper Dinosaurs” (Extended Read 2). The teacher reads the Close Reading Question: “In ‘The Paper Dinosaurs,’ the children reuse paper to make something new. How is that the same or different from what children in ‘From Pine Tree to Pizza’ can do to reuse cardboard?” During Collaborative Conversation, groups of students annotate and fill in a Compare-and-Contrast Chart. During Show Your Knowledge, write a few sentences to explain how the purposes of reusing paper are alike or different in the two texts.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The Program Reference Guide provides rationale for the texts in the materials.

  • Shared Readings connect to the unit topic and are intended to be used to model fluency.
  • Mentor Read-Alouds are short reads that connect to unit topics and are used to model making meaning in complex texts.
  • Texts for Close Reading selections are designed to capture students’ interest and imagination. These texts state standards for achievement.

The materials for Grade 2 contain a detailed text complexity analysis including quantitative, qualitative and reader and task information for Mentor Read-Alouds and Extended Reads throughout the year. The quantitative measure is provided in the form of a Lexile score. The qualitative measure (QM) is based on an analysis of four dimensions of qualitative text complexity. The scores for each dimension are added together to determine the overall score. The Grade Resources Section contains a Guide to Text Complexity with a rubric for the qualitative dimensions within the literary and informational texts. Examples analysis provided include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, the first Mentor Read-Aloud is “The Coldest Place on Earth” which has a Lexile level of 630. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. The second Mentor Read-Aloud is “Postcards” which has a Lexile level of 470. The qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “Habitats Around the World” with a Lexile level of 560. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “Lost in the Desert” with a Lexile level of 450. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, the first Mentor Read-Aloud is “Fresh from the Market” which has a Lexile level of 800. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. The second Mentor Read-Aloud is “Goat and Bear in Business” which has a Lexile level of 660. The qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box” with a Lexile level of 630. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “The Paper Dinosaurs” with a Lexile level of 650. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

The materials for the Grade 2 reading program contain a 70-80 minute ELA block. The block allows time for Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Short Reads, Extended Reads, and Small Group Reading. Each three-week unit provides two shared readings per week, two short reads per unit, two extended reading texts per unit, leveled readers to use within small group instruction and two Reader’s Theater texts per unit.

An independent reading program is available in the section Managing an Independent Reading Program within the grade resources under the additional resources, “Within Benchmark Advance, students may participate in daily independent reading during the Independent and Collaborative Activity block, while the teacher meets with small groups of students to conduct differentiated small-group reading instruction, model fluency skills through Reader's Theater, or reteach skills and strategies.”

Each unit provides students with multiple opportunities to engage with text. For example:

  • The focus of Unit 10 is States of Matter. Throughout Unit 10, students engage in six shared readings, two mentor read-alouds, and two extended reads. The genres and texts in Unit 10 are: Week 1, a procedural text shared read (“Soap Shapes”); Week 1, an end-rhyme poem shared read (“It’s All Water”); Week 1, a procedural short read (“The Art of Origami”); Week 1, an informational science short read (“Sand Sculpture”); Week 2, an informational science shared read (“A Solar-Powered Solution”); Week 2, a procedural shared read (“That’s Cool!”); Week 2, an informational science extended read (“Changing Matter”); Week 3, an informational science shared read (“Old Faithful”); Week 3, an informational science shared read (“Driftwood Art”) and Week 3, an informational science extended read (“How Mount Rushmore was Made”). During small group reading, students read from eight texts such as What is Matter? and Four Faces in Rock. Students can read and participate in Reader’s Theater with The King’s New Crown and The Gift-Guessing Kid. Trade books are available in the unit such as Who’s Buying, Who’s Selling: Understanding Consumers and Producers by Jennifer S. Larson and Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The Grade 2 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and build towards a culminating task that integrates skills. The instructional materials provide multiple opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials include frequent opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions. Questions, tasks, and assignments are mainly text-based and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the year. Throughout each Grade 2 lesson, the teacher is utilizing texts for Close Reading. Each student has a set of texts that they can annotate as they read. Focus shifts to making inferences and predictions based on the text they are reading. Teachers frame questions to help students make sense of the read texts as well as use strategies that support student understanding of the texts which align directly to the weekly essential question. Teachers utilize text-based questions and discussion, to guide students to deeply analyze and appreciate various aspects of the text, such as key vocabulary and how its meaning is shaped by context; attention to form, tone, imagery and/or rhetorical devices; the significance of word choice and syntax; and the discovery of different levels of meaning as passages are read multiple times.

The Teacher’s Manual provides support for planning and implementation of text-dependent questions that support writing and speaking activities. Text-based questions are asked during read aloud texts, shared reading texts and viewing of videos. Shared readings begin by utilizing an essential question to set the focus of listening for key details in the text. Assignments and activities require students to stay engaged with the text. Text-based questions are varied and have different levels to them starting with easier questions in the beginning units and moving toward more difficult questions as the year progresses. Teachers frame questions to help students make sense of the read texts as well as use strategies such as inferring that supports student understanding of the texts.

Text-based questions and tasks that students answer include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, students work with the text, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” In the Guided Practice, students answer three questions: “According to the text, what happens when Big Billy Goat Gruff starts to cross the bridge? What does Big Billy Goat Gruff think when Troll says he will eat him up? How does the reader know? What happens at the end of the story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.” All of these questions require students to interact with the text and look back to find the answers.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, when the text for Shared Reading is introduced, students are asked to “predict and/or infer what the story will be about” after the title is read. This unit’s focus strategy is “making inferences and predictions.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 4, students engage with the text, “Smokejumpers” to identify the main topic. Students highlight important and key details in the text as the teacher reads the story. During Guided Practice, students answer the following question, “Do the labels and caption with the photograph repeat information from the text, or do they give new information? Show me an example of a caption providing new information.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 1, skills and strategies taught in the unit are reviewed. Part of this lesson includes a section on drawing inferences. Students are asked “to draw an inference about Goat and Bear’s appetites using text evidence from “Goat and Bear in Business” and their own knowledge.”
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 1, students are asked to infer what the passage might be about after having the title read to them.

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

Grade 2 materials provide culminating tasks for students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts examined throughout each unit. Essential Questions guide student learning throughout every unit within the curriculum where sequences of high-quality text-based questions, activities, and tasks are synthesized by students into an integrated production of speaking and/or writing.

  • In Unit 2, the Essential Question is “What can we learn when we face problems?” In Week 1, Day 1, students demonstrate understanding the character’s problem by answering text-based questions such as: “What does Rough-Face Girl do after her sister visits the Invisible One? What does Rough-Face Girl tell the Invisible One’s sister?” In Week 2, Day 3, students collaboratively discuss and complete the Major Events/Response Chart based on “According to the text, how does Little Billy Goat Gruff respond when the troll threatens to eat him? What do his words and actions tell the reader about his character?” In Week 3, Day 5, Reflect on Unit Concepts, students rewatch the video from the first day of the unit and discuss how the video fits with the unit. In small groups, students share what they think about the Essential Question. As a whole class, students share ideas and the teacher collects the ideas for an anchor chart. At the end of Reflect on Unit Concepts, each peer group chooses a scene from one of the texts where a character solved a problem. Groups practice the scene, and the teacher helps students create a video.
  • In Unit 8, the Essential Question is “How do we react to changes in nature?” In Week 1, students compare and contrast the most important points from two texts from the week (“Tornado!” and “Water’s Awesome Wonder”). In Week 2, students compare and contrast the most important points of two texts (“Earth’s Changes” and “Water’s Awesome Wonder”). In Week 3, Day 5, Reflect on Unit Concepts, students rewatch the video from the first day of the unit and recall and retell information from the selections. In small groups, students share what they think about the Essential Question. As a whole class, students share ideas and the teacher collects the ideas for an anchor chart. At the end of Reflect on Unit Concepts, the class is to create a digital scrapbook of their own reactions to changes in nature. The teacher is to help students make an audio or video recording.
  • In Unit 10, the Essential Question is “How can something old become new?” In Week 1, Day 3, students identify main ideas and details based on questions such as: “What holds the slippery grains of sand together? Which details in paragraph 4 explain how the artists make their sculptures?” In Week 2, Day 4, students use information from the text to infer from the following question: “Based on the details in these paragraphs, what temperature change do you think could turn a gas back into a liquid?” In Week 3, Day 5, Reflect on Unit Concepts, students rewatch a video from the first day of the unit and discuss in a whole-group information from the texts. In small groups, students share what they think about the Essential Question. As a whole class, students share ideas and the teacher collects the ideas for an anchor chart. At the end of Reflect on Unit Concepts, each peer group choose an art form they read about and describe the materials used to create the art as well as how it is changed into something new. The teacher is to help students create an audio recording of their description.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

This indicator supports students’ practice and application of speaking and listening skills in concert with practice in reading for understanding. Materials provide multiple opportunities and support of protocols and implementation focused on using academic vocabulary and syntax for evidence-based discussions as well as teacher guidance across the year’s curricular materials to support students’ increasing skills. These materials are found in the Review and Routines section titled “Build Respectful Conversation Habits” and “Turn and Talk”.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, the Collaborative Conversation section reminds students of the visualization that was done the day before and students visualize the end of the story. In the Transfer Skills to Context section: the Dialogue Genre Feature, students are given the definition of dialogue. The teacher models how to use dialogue to understand the character's point-of-view. In the Close Reading section, students compare and contrast two versions of the same story. The teacher gives the initial close reading prompt and annotation directions. The teacher uses these to model how to “think about the prompt.” Students work with a partner to discuss and complete a Compare and Contrast Chart.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3, students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Partner. Partners are to complete the Key Details and Main Ideas Chart together. The teacher is to observe students’ conversations in order to determine support students need. During Share, partners are to share the key details they noted for each section and the main ideas they formulated.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, on Day 1, students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Make Inferences and Predictions.The teacher models making an inference. Students are invited to use sentence frames to help them make inferences. “While reading, I can make an inference about …. The words...help me infer that….”
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 3, students begin the Shared Reading by sharing a prediction of a poem with a partner. In the Model Fix-Up Monitoring Strategies, the teacher discusses ways to monitor reading. The teacher models how to ask questions, stop and think, and the write fix-up monitoring strategy. The teacher introduces how to complete a close read using images to clarify understanding of the text. The teacher models the use of a specific close reading prompt and directions on annotating. The teacher uses a Close Reading Chart to model the process. Students are grouped to address another close reading prompt and annotation activity. Student groups assign specific jobs to each member and complete the task.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 1, students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Partner. The teacher states: “When I have a conversation with a partner, I listen carefully to what they say, and I always think before I speak.” Partners are asked to discuss the key details they underlined in “The Paper Dinosaurs.” The teacher observes partner pairs and can use the following guided questions to help students: “Why do the students bring newspaper to school? What do they decide to make? Why do they watch videos of dinosaurs? What happens at night?” During Share, partner pairs share the key story events they identified.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, students learn how images contribute to and clarify a text. During Guided Practice, students help the teacher make connections between text and images. During Reflect on the Strategy students turn and talk to a partner to answer the following questions: “How do images make a text clearer? What can images do that a text cannot do? While this discussion may support general understanding, it does not contribute to the students' using speaking and listening to learn more about the texts being read.
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, during Shared Reading, students start out with a partner-reading of the text. Students are given reminders to monitor their understanding as they are reading and use fix-up strategies to ensure they understand what they have read. In the next activity, Collaborative Conversation: Ask Questions, students are guided to review the text to answer specific questions while reading the text. Students are then instructed to preview the remaining text and think of questions “they expect to have answered” in the day’s reading. This strategy does not engage students in deeper comprehension of the text itself.

In some texts, students use speaking and listening practice strategies to grow and demonstrate their understanding of the text. Some examples:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, students work together to create a compare and contrast list about the story, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the Troll Returns.” Students work to compare characters, storylines and theme. Students answer questions such as, “What happened in both stories? What was different between the stories and why was the second meeting different?” During independent time students discuss with a partner what challenge was harder, “The troll trying to keep the goats off the bridge in ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ or trying to be nice in ‘The Troll Returns’.” In this instance, students are employing the speaking and listening components to explain what they know of the text at hand.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meets the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

During each three week unit, the Grade 2 materials support students engaging in writing across the whole school year. This includes a mix of on-demand writing, in which students respond to a text. Students complete short and focused projects such writing a letter and utilizing details from the text. The materials also contain process writing activities (e.g. shared writing, multiple drafts, revision processes, protocols, and review). The Response and Process Writing section includes skill introduction, practice, application, and refinement with teacher support and guidance over shorter periods of time with shared writing activities and extended periods of time where students learn the complete writing process including planning, revising, editing, publishing, and sharing. Each three week unit also contains a Writing and Vocabulary section that explains types of writing including narrative, informative, and opinion and includes a mini-lesson. Examples of the mix of on-demand and process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students complete a quick write during class adding an adverb to the words, “I walk.” Once students have written a sentence, students check and revise narrative drafts from earlier in the week to check for adverbs. Students focus on a narrative draft where the focus is on a personal life experience.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students evaluate the purpose of different sources to get information about penguins. Students work in groups to practice taking notes from a variety of media sources. Students are prompted to use voice when writing. Students also practice and identify key details from the narrator. Students do a quick write answering the question, “Why it is important to watch and listen carefully to media sources?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students read the text “The Blind Men and the Elephant” and identify and underline story events such as key details. The teacher models this strategy using paragraphs 1-3 and students independently practice using paragraphs 5-9. The key details and events are recorded on a story events chart. Students utilize the text and the chart to write a summary.
  • In Unit 6, students go through the writing process to write a diary entry. Students analyze a Mentor Fictional Diary Entry and reread it for identifying sequence of events. Then students reread for finding supporting details. Students use the details to develop the character. In Week 2, students reread to find details about action, thoughts, and feelings, so student can include those ideas in their diary. Students plan their diary in Week 2. In Week 3, students describe actions, thoughts, and feelings and provide a sense of closure in the writing.
  • In Unit 8 students are guided through the writing process. In Week 1, teachers guide students through an analysis of an Informative Mentor Essay. In Week 2, teachers guide students to read and analyze a new prompt based on Texts for Close Reading. Students plan and organize writing in response to this prompt. In Week 3, teachers guide students to draft, revise, and edit responses to the writing prompt.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

During each of the three week units, the Grade 2 materials support authentic integration of writing with reading with teacher guidance and support. Writing is embedded across the school year with attention given to three different text types and purposes including narrative, informative/explanatory and opinion/persuasive. The Teacher Resources include well-designed lesson plans, models/exemplars and protocols to support student writing.

Students utilize literature, informational texts, poetry, and non-print sources such as videos to complete writing assignments. Student choice is encouraged with activities that come from the learning such as choosing the characters to write about in response to a prompt in the text. Materials support teachers in planning writing development and provide opportunities for monitoring progress. Writing tasks increase in rigor throughout the school year and sufficient instructional time is dedicated to teaching, practicing, applying, and presenting new writing skills. Examples of writing throughout the year include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, the teacher models how to complete a performance task by showing students that at least one sentence should directly answer the question, and at least one sentence should present supporting evidence or details from the text. The teacher introduces and explains how the rubric will be used to evaluate students’ writing. Students read Amelia’s Day and complete a performance task responding to the question, “What does Amelia’s father help her understand?” Students use details from the text and write 2-3 sentences to respond to the prompt.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, students write an informative piece about penguins and work with a group to evaluate peers’ writing using a checklist which includes information such as proper grammar and punctuation.
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 1-3, the focus is writing an opinion essay. In Week 1, the teacher guides students to read and analyze a Mentor Opinion Essay. In Week 3, students draft their opinion essay. In Week 3, students revise, edit and publish their opinion essay. In Week 3, Day 1, students learn how to improve sentence fluency by expanding their sentences.
  • In Unit 7, Weeks 1-3, the focus is writing an informative report. In Week 1, the teacher guides students through an analysis of an Mentor Informative Report and how to apply that analysis to student writing. In Week 2, teachers guide students to collect facts and details and draft an engaging introduction. In Week 3, students revise and edit their informational report. In Week 3, Day 2, students work on revising to maintain a formal voice. The teacher models for students how to evaluate and revise work to ensure that there is a consistent formal voice throughout the writing. Students continue with the comparison of the two paragraphs provided by the teacher. During independent writing, students continue to revise informative reports independently, focusing on sentence fluency and maintaining a formal voice. The teacher confers and monitors as students are engaged in the writing process.
  • In Unit 9, Weeks 1-3, the focus is writing a multimedia presentation. In Week 1, the teacher guides students through an analysis of a Mentor Multimedia Presentation. Students make a storyboard to plan their presentation. In Week 2, students draft their presentation focusing on an introduction, sequence of events, and a conclusion. In Week 3, students revise, edit, and present their writing. In Week 3, Day 2, students revise and create a visual display for their presentation.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Day 5, students choose a favorite piece of writing. Over the course of the year, students have written the following narratives: “stories, folktales, new story endings, dialogues, plays, journal entries, notes, first person character narratives, and personal narratives.” Students share the piece of writing with the class. Students write an opinion about why the student selected this piece of writing.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

During each three week unit, the Grade 2 materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice and apply writing with evidence. Lesson plans are well-designed and include guidance to support student writing. Many daily writing opportunities are focused around students’ recall of information from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources.

Materials in the sections titled “Unit Writing and Vocabulary” and “Unit Strategies and Skills” support teachers in guiding students’ understanding of recalling information, claiming opinions with reasons, and using relevant information. Examples of opportunities for evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, after reading “Rough-Face Girl,” students write a list in the margins of the text of the story events. Students number the events to show the sequence of events.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students write an informative report based on the prompt, “ Describe grasslands and the plants and animals that live in them. Support your ideas with facts and definitions from ‘Habitats Around the World’ and information from ‘Plant Life of the Australian Savanna.’” Students plan and organize writing in response to the prompt.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students write an opinion responding to the prompt, “Is “The Blind Men and the Elephant” a story you would recommend to your friends? Why or why not? State your opinion in an essay. Supply reasons, based on details from the story, to support your opinion.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, after reading “A Woman with a Vision,” students write a brief paragraph that tells what they learned about Mary Anderson’s life and what she accomplished.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, students write an informative text report about the story, “The Oregon Trail.” The informative text should include a topic sentence that opens the paragraph about the story and uses a sentence that catches the reader's attention. Students not only cover what should be in an informative text but, practice editing a peer’s text to highlight key areas where informative text requirements have been used.

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Grammar and conventions lessons are primarily addressed during the Shared Writing Mini-lesson portion of the Whole Group Materials. Lessons are also often tied to Model Texts or Shared Read Alouds, giving the students a cohesive way to apply their foundational skills knowledge. In each unit, during the writing and language mini-lessons, there is a portion of the mini-lesson called Build Language, that focuses on grade-level grammar and conventions standards. All grammar and conventions standards are covered over the course of the year and most standards are revisited throughout the year in increasing complexity such as application to the text. Each grammar and convention lesson is similarly structured with teacher modeling, partner share, graphic organizer/chart, and oral language practice. Students have opportunities to practice these skills in isolation during whole group instruction and then practice applying these skills with a partner during Oral Language Practice.

Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level.

  • Students have the opportunity to use collective nouns. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, Writing to Sources, students learn nouns.. Students are reminded that common nouns name general things and are not capitalized (teacher, boy, street, school, kindness), while proper nouns name a specific person, place, or thing and always start with a capital letter (Mrs. Castro, Sam, Parker Street, Winston Elementary School). Students are reminded of possessive nouns, usually formed by adding ‘s to the singular common or proper noun (Mrs. Castro’s desk, Sam’s jacket, the girl’s book), or an apostrophe s to a singular proper noun ending in s (Jess’s dog), or an apostrophe after the final s to a plural proper noun ending in s (the Smiths’ house).
  • Students have the opportunity to form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns. For example:
    • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 5, Process Writing, the teacher writes the words storm and tornado on the board. The teacher reviews add -s or -es to the end of a singular noun to make it plural. Then the teacher writes the plural forms of storm and tornadoes on the board: storms, tornadoes and explains that some nouns, called irregular plural nouns, do not follow these rules. “We have to remember these nouns and how they are spelled. We can do this by using a dictionary to check their spelling and creating an Irregular Plural Nouns Spelling List to refer to.”
  • Students have the opportunity to use reflexive pronouns. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, Process Writing, students summarize what they learned in yesterday’s lesson and to talk about how using past tense verbs correctly helped them improve their personal narratives. Reflexive pronouns are reviewed and explained to students.The teacher models reflexive pronouns with: “The cat washed itself with its tongue. I helped myself to some pizza. In the first sentence, itself refers to the cat. In the second sentence myself refers to me.”
    • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 5, there is a lesson on reflexive pronouns and irregular plural nouns. The teacher explains what a reflexive pronoun is to students, “Sample think-aloud: I know that is a reflexive pronoun. It always goes with the subject I. There is only one I or me, so the reflexive pronoun should be singular: myself not myselves.When I check in the dictionary, I see that myselves in not even a word. I’ll circle myself.” Afterwards, students practice circling the correct form of reflexive pronouns and irregular plural nouns in a modeling text.
  • Students have the opportunity to form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, Process Writing, Model Display the Irregular Past Tense Verbs Chart. The teacher writes the following present tense verbs in the first column: do, make, know, and sit and models how to form the past tense verbs. Sample think-aloud: “I want to use the verb do in the past tense. I’ll add -ed to do and use it in a sentence: Yesterday, I doed my homework. That doesn’t sound right at all. The past tense form of do is definitely irregular. Let me try the sentence again with the past tense verb did: Yesterday I did my homework. That sounds right. I’ll check the dictionary, though, to make sure I’m using and spelling this past tense verb correctly.”
    • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 1, students review regular and irregular past tense verbs as they relate to writing the students are working on. “Sample modeling: In my draft Personal Narrative Draft, from Day 2, the verbs got and went don’t give much of a description about my actions. In my Personal Narrative Draft, from Day 3, I replaced got with jumped. This verb shows that I was excited about getting on my bike. I replaced the verb went with two verbs to better show what happened. I wobbled and fell. I think this revision will really help readers picture what happened. It sounds better, too. I wrote fell instead of falled because fall is an irregular verb, which means its past tense has to be memorized.” Students then practice changing verbs in their own writing to be more specific.
  • Students have the opportunity to use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified. For example:
    • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 5, Shared Reading, students learn that adjectives are words that describe nouns, or naming words. Students also learn that adjectives can describe other adjectives. The teacher points out the adjectives large and rocky in paragraph 1 and hot in paragraph 3 and asks students to use these adjectives in original sentences that describe Earth’s mantle or the characteristics of a volcano. “What are some other adjectives you could use to describe parts of a volcano or a volcano itself?”
    • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher reviews adverbs with students. “Adverbs show the action you’re describing more clearly to readers. Adverbs can help readers visualize any actions that you’re describing in your personal narrative more clearly.” Students then work with a partner to come up with adverbs that could be added to the sentence, “I rode my bike.”
  • Students have the opportunity to produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences. For example:
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 5, there is a lesson on expanding simple sentences and combining two sentences to form a compound sentence. After teacher modeling on both skills, students have the opportunity to practice with a partner. “Redistribute the Mentor Opinion Text, and invite partners to experiment with ways to expand upon sentences in the text. Remind them that they can expand sentences by adding descriptive details that give more information about the five w’s who, what, where, when, why and by combining shorter simple sentences into longer compound sentences.”
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 5, Writing to Sources, the teacher explains that a sentence states a complete thought and has two parts: a subject and a verb. Then the teacher explains a conjunction as a word, such as and, or, but, so, or because is used to join the two thoughts.
  • Students have the opportunity to capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names. For example:
    • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 4, Writing to Sources, students are reminded that in this unit they have learned some new capitalization rules. They have learned that the names of holidays, product names, and geographical names must be capitalized. The teacher shows them how to edit their writing for the specific purpose of checking that they have capitalized correctly.
  • Students have the opportunity to use commas in greetings and closings of letters. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, Writing to Sources, students view the Personal Letter Checklist. The checklist is read aloud with students. Students will use this and the Personal Letter Planning Guide from Day 3 to help them include all the parts of a personal letter in their draft. The teacher uses think-alouds to model how to do this. Sample think-aloud (heading): “First I needed a heading. The Personal Letter Anchor Chart showed me that it should include the return address (the letter writer’s address) and the date the letter was written. Sample think-aloud (greeting): In the greeting, I wrote “Dear _____,” (notice it is followed by a comma). I looked at the “Who is my audience” on the Personal Letter Planning Guide to see whose name to write here. For the rest of the letter, I imagined that I was writing to this person.”
  • Students have the opportunity to use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives. For example:
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 5, Process Writing, the teacher explains that possessive nouns are usually formed by adding an apostrophe and an s to the end of the noun.The teacher displays the Possessive Nouns Modeling Text and reads aloud the sentence 1. The teacher thinks aloud to demonstrate how to identify the correct possessive.
  • Students have the opportunity to generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study. The teacher writes the definitions of the week’s spelling words on the board. Students copy the definitions and then write the spelling words that go with them.
  • Students have the opportunity to determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, Process Writing, students learn about how to use adverbs. Students learn to use adverbs to make their writing more descriptive and entertaining.

Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, at the beginning of the year students, work on basic collective noun identification. Students learn to identify collective nouns such as, “flock, bunch, crowd, herd and school.” By the end of the school year in Unit 8, Week 2, Day 5, students work on applying their knowledge of collective nouns as they relate to possessive nouns. “Sample think-aloud: The word family is a collective noun because it describes a group of people. That also means that family is a singular noun. I know the sentence is about one family because of the word my and the singular noun home. I also know that should be a possessive noun. I can ask, “To whom does the home belong?” The answer is, “My family.” I need to show that the one family owns, or possesses, the home. The correct form adds an apostrophe and an s to the noun: family’s.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, students review reflexive pronouns such as: myself, yourself, herself, himself, ourselves, themselves, itself, yourselves. Afterwards, students edit their personal narrative for correct reflexive pronoun usage. Later in the school year, students work on reflexive pronouns and irregular plural nouns in conjunction with one another. Students also work more on the correct spelling of these as the year progresses. Then in Unit 8, Week 3, Day 3, students review irregular plural nouns and reflexive pronouns and practice editing the following paragraph for the correct usage of each. “Some people/peoples/persons complain that recycling is too much work and messy. I decided to volunteer at the local recycling center, where paper, plastic, glass, and cans are sorted, to see for meself/myselve/myself. The volunteers at the center make it so easy and even fun to recycle that both grown ups and childs/children/childrens really enjoy doing it. If we all work together to make recycling easy, then more people in the community will do it.” Students also apply what they have learned to their informative essays they are in the process of editing.

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction and multimodal practice to address the acquisition of print concepts including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Materials meet expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.Materials meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

Indicator 1o

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

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

The materials at Grade 2 provide students numerous opportunities to practice phonics skills. These skills are primarily addressed during daily phonics lessons. Daily phonics lessons focus on a skill, provide either new/review high frequency word practice and a weekly spelling list that was tied into the phonics skill students were focused on for the week. While skills were often taught out of context, opportunities were provided in lessons for students to practice the skills in context. For example, in Unit 8, Week 3 when students are learning about the -est and -er, students have the opportunity to practice this skill on Day 3 in the context of the text “Zoos: Yes or No?”

Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students learn and practice blending long and short /o/ words. “This is the letter g. It stands for /g/. This is the letter o. It stands for /o/. Listen as I blend these sounds together: /gooo/. This is the letter t. It stands for /t/. Now listen as I blend all three sounds together: /gooot/, got. Say it with me: got.” Then the teacher models adding an a to make the word goat “I can add an a to the o to make the vowel team oa. The vowel team oa stands for the long o sound. Listen as I blend the word: /gooot/. Say the word with me: goat.” The teacher continues modeling the words and changing out letters to make different words.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students practice decoding multisyllabic words with long vowels. “Write the word coat and ask students to identify the vowels and the vowel sound. Point out that the letters oa are a vowel team, which means they stand for one sound and must stay together in the same syllable. Write the word coating. Model how to read the longer word. Point out the added syllable (ing) is a suffix.” Students practice reading go, going; gold, goldfish; hold, holding; snow, snowball.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, after the shared reading of “News About Scorpions” and “All the Penguins”, the teacher reviews suffixes with students, using one of the words from the stories - playfully. The teacher explains to students that they can use root words to figure out the meaning of a longer word. The teacher points out the word playfully in the fourth line of the poem and talks about how this word is made up of three parts: a root word, a suffix, and another suffix. The teacher underlines the root word play in playfully, and explains that looking for root words will help students read and understand longer words.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, when learning the two spelling patterns for the /ow/ (ow and ou), students are introduced to the new spelling pattern. The teacher points to each spelling on the card and provides a sample word: ou as in loud, ow as in down. “Look at the first word I wrote: l-o-u-d. I see /ou/ spelled ou. Listen and watch as I sound out the word: /loud/, loud. Run your hand under the word as you sound it out.” Students then practice blending words with /ow/ such as cloud, clown, town and found.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, there is a lesson on related root words, focusing on the prefix re-. The teacher writes the words reader and reread. “Many words are related because they come from the same root word, like reader and reread. You can use a known root word as a clue to figure out the meaning of an unknown word with the same root.” The teacher points to each word and explains the these two words have something in common. “Look at the first word I wrote: I see the root word. I also know that the -er ending on a noun usually means ‘someone who.’ So a reader is “someone who reads.” Identifying the root word in the longer word helped me pronounce the word and figure out its meaning.” The teacher continues by modeling with the word reread and points out that the prefix re- means “again.”

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. Over the course of the school year, all phonics skills were taught in second grade. These skills were taught in a logical progression that increased in difficulty as the school year progressed. At the beginning of the school year, students work on more basic phonics skills in Unit 1 such as short vowels, initial blends, and long a spelling patterns, midway through the year students have moved on to more complex vowel patterns in Unit 5 such as /oi/ spelled oy and oi and /ou/ spelled ou and ow, by the end of the school year students are working on using possessives, prefixes and suffixes. For example:

  • In Unit 1, the phonics focus is short vowels, initial blends, final blends and consonant digraphs (ch, sh, tch, dge, th, wh, ph), closed and open syllables, and long a (ai, a, ea, ay).
  • In Unit 2, the phonics focus includes long o (oa, o, oe, ow), long e (ee, ea, e, e_e, y, ey, ie), and long i (ie, i, y, igh).
  • In Unit 3, the phonics focus includes long u (ew, ue, u, u_e), and r-controlled vowels (ar, er, ir, ur).
  • In Unit 4, the phonics focus includes r-controlled vowels (or, oar, ore, ear, eer, ere, air, are, ear, ere).
  • In Unit 5, the phonics focus includes vowel consonant e, consonant -le syllables, and vowel teams /oi/ (oi oy), /ou/ (ou, ow).
  • In Unit 6, the phonics focus includes vowel teams /oo/ (oo, ou), al, aw, au.
  • In Unit 7, the phonics focus includes compound words, inflectional endings with spelling changes and related root words.
  • In Unit 8, the phonics focus includes irregular plural nouns, words with -er, -or endings and comparatives (-er, -est)
  • In Unit 9, the phonics focus includes words with -y or -ly, schwa, and silent letters.
  • In Unit 10, the phonics focus includes possessives, prefixes (un, re, dis) and suffixes (ful, less).

Indicator 1p

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

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

Text structures are taught in the Grade 2 materials. Through the use of Story Maps, students frequently had the opportunity to identify characters, setting, key events and the problem and solution in a story. Students also frequently compared and contrasted two different texts they had read over the course of the week. While text features were minimally taught in whole group lessons, these text features did come up more frequently in the Small Group reading texts as evidenced below.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures (e.g. main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, Shared Reading, the class completes a sequence of events chart on the story, “Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” The setting, characters and problem in the story are also identified. The class also reflects together on why it is important to understand the structure of a text, “How does knowing about story structure help you know what to look for in a story? How does identifying the sequence of events in a story help readers?”
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, Shared Reading, after reading the story, “Our Government’s Laws,” students identify key details of the selection and the main topic. “Now I’ll review the key details I underlined to determine the main topic of the section. Key details from paragraph 1 tell me what government is. Key details from paragraph 2 introduce the kinds of government in the United States. So, the main topic of this section is what government is and what kinds of government are in the United States.” Students are also assigned the task of identifying key details and main idea for two more paragraphs of the selection during independent time.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, students compare and contrast the “Rough-Face Girl” and “Yeh-Shen.” The teacher models using a Venn Diagram to document details about the two stories. Through the use of questioning during guided practice, the teacher assists students in filling in more of the chart. “Rough-Face Girl” is a fairy tale. What kind of text is “Yeh-Shen?” “Rough-Face Girl” and “Yeh-Shen” are both versions of the Cinderella story. What evidence in each story supports this?” The class also reflects on why using compare and contrast is a useful strategy. During independent time, students are assigned the task of writing one compare and one contrast sentence about the two stories.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students participate in a lesson on the story structure of the text, “Postcards from Alex.” During the lesson, the teacher displays a story map to guide students in analyzing the story structure. As part of the map, students discuss, the setting, characters, problem, key events, and how the problem is solved.

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g. title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, “Before I read a text, I preview it. I read and think about the title. I look at the illustrations. Sometimes I skim the text, and I make predictions. I also determine text importance by noticing captions, labels, and bullets. I see a map and a photograph on page 6. There is a caption, and I think it probably explains the map and photograph. I think that is pretty important to understanding the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students participate in a lesson on How Images Contribute to and Clarify a Text. Students discuss how the captions, photographs, and information in the text are all related. “The text describes the emperor penguin’s body. How does the photograph on page 7 help you understand that information? Read about what the father penguins do. What does the photograph on page 8 show? What additional fact is in the caption?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students use illustrations to help demonstrate understanding of characters, setting or plot. Students are reminded that they have used illustrations and other images in the unit to preview the text and make inferences. The teacher explains that in this lesson, students will be shown how to use information from illustrations and words to understand the characters, setting, and plot in a text.

Indicator 1q

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

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Over the course of the year, students are provided with multiple opportunities to read on-level texts in the Shared Reading and Phonics & Word Study portions of the whole group materials. Students practice reading accuracy, rate, and expression through multiple reads of the shared reading text with partners. Each unit has Reader’s Theater texts that provide students the opportunity to read grade level texts with fluency. Students also have multiple opportunities to practice fix-up strategies of rereading, self-correction, and context clues during the Fluency portion of the shared reading text. Daily high-frequency word instruction provides students with ample opportunities to read irregularly spelled high-frequency words.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 2, Shared Reading, students read the shared reading text, “Ring the Bell.” The lesson’s purpose is stated in the student objectives. “I will be able to: Read a story about government with expression. Identify important events in a story. Name words with long a vowel teams.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students practice partner reading the shared reading text, “Milo and Dragon.” Students read with the purpose to practice paying close attention to the commas and periods. Students pause briefly after a comma and pause longer after a period.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 3, Shared Reading, students read the shared reading text, “Volcano!” with the following purpose:
    • “Read a poem orally at an appropriate rate to convey meaning. Identify and annotate rhyming words in a poem.”
  • In Small Group E-book, students read the emergent text A Bowl of Dust (J/18). Partners read the text to each other with the focus on reading expression.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and grade level decodable words. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Reading, “Since Hanna Moved Away,” the teacher reads the text aloud to demonstrate fluency. For the second reading, students read the poem with the teacher, working on their expression as they read.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students practice rereading the shared reading text, “News About Scorpions” to each other. Students are reminded to read at a rate that sounds like natural speech, and students are to be mindful of punctuation marks that signal when to pause or stop briefly as they read.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, Shared Reading, students read the “The Best Idea” to practice fluency and pacing after the teacher models. “Read aloud the text fluently and expressively, with appropriate pacing. Point out that the end marks period, exclamation point, and question mark are helping you decide where to pause as you read.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students practice rereading the “From Tree to Baseball Bat” with a partner for rate.

Materials support reading of texts with attention to reading strategies such as rereading, self-correction, and the use of context clues. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students practice using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown vocabulary. Students are reminded about using context clues with the text “Smokejumpers.” Students identify clues that help show the meaning of “gear” in paragraph 4.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, Shared Reading, students reread “Crow Learns a Lesson” with partners. Students work on rereading the story and are reminded to use context clues to help with decoding as they are reading.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Reading, students practice rereading “A City Park Habitat” for fluency and accuracy. Students work specifically on rereading to self-correct and are told to listen for any words that don’t seem to fit in the context and go back and check the words and then reread so that the sentences make sense.

Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students read and write high-frequency words (answer, brown, country, start, then, there, wash, went who your) which appear in the Shared Reading text. “Display the high-frequency word “cards. Say each word and have students repeat the word aloud together and spell it. Place letter cards, in random order, for one of the words in a pocket chart. Have a volunteer beat the clock to form the word. Allow 15 seconds. Then have the rest of the class check the spelling and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Next, have students turn to a partner and say a sentence using the word. Call on volunteers to check their sentences.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 5 during the Phonics and Word Study mini-lesson, students read and write high-frequency words (against, certain, door, early, field, heard, knew, listen, morning, several) which appear in the Shared Reading text.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, students read the high-frequency words air, along, begin, students, important, letter, open, own, sound, talk. Students read and spell each word. The words are compared to previously high-frequency words.

Indicator 1r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Throughout the Grade 2 series, students have the opportunity to apply word analysis and word recognition skills to connected texts through the use of shared reading lessons and small group reading lessons. Over the course of the year, students have multiple opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text as part of the Phonics and Word Recognition portion of the whole group materials. Students practice applying knowledge of grade level word recognition and word analysis to read the shared reading text and write sentences using high-frequency words and phonics skills learned from the shared reading text. Word work tasks incorporate some encoding skills, which consist mainly of making word lists and writing one or two sentences.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, with the text “City Park,” students work on identifying words with short vowel sounds within the text. Words students identify include city, if, can, cut, grass, trim, pick, litter.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, with the text “Milo and the Dragon,” students apply their knowledge of long o vowel teams by circling the letters within words in the story that create the long o sound. Some of these words include Milo, roamed, showed, boldly, tiptoed, over, moment.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics & Word Study, students read the informational article, “Kid Inventors,” which contains two-syllable words: mistake, always, able, amaze, bacon, baseball, Franklin, birthday, celebrate, invite, notebook. The teacher notes if students are able to blend and read words with vowel-consonant-e and consonant-le syllable patterns in the text and to read new high-frequency words with automaticity.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 2, Phonics & Word Study, the teacher displays the schwa frieze card and the sound is pronounced. Students are taught that a, e, i, o, or u in a multisyllabic word can spell the schwa sound. Students build words with the schwa sound using letter cards.
  • In Unit 10 Week 3, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, suffixes -ful and -less are taught. Students add -ful and -less to the words care, use, help, pain, fear, spot, color, speech, price and determine if a real word has been formed. If so, students turn to a partner and use the word in an oral sentence.

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students read and spell high-frequency words that are found in connected text. The teacher shows the high-frequency word cards and states each word. Students repeat the word aloud and spell it. The teacher places letter cards into a pocket chart, in random order, for one of the words. Students try to beat the clock to form the word. Next, students say a sentence using the word. The words can be found in the Shared Reading texts, “Why Sun and Moon Live in the Sky.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, students use high-frequency word cards to practice reading and using the word in a sentence. The teacher shows high-frequency word cards and reads each word. Students sit in a circle and pass the cards. Each student reads the word and uses it in a sentence before passing the card.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students practice reading and identifying previously learned high-frequency words in the shared reading text. “Tell students that this text contains some words that they have learned. Point to the previously taught words (carefully, facts) and ask students to turn and tell their partner the words. Remind students to look for words they know when they read a new text.”

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding in context and decoding words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Small Group, students complete the following word work activity, “Have partners locate one-syllable words with a CVCe pattern in the book. Write the words on the board. Ask students to make up sentences using each word.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students practice writing sentences using high-frequency words such as answer, brown, country, start, then, there, wash, went, who, your. The teacher uses the following routine: “Write simple sentences using each high-frequency word. Underline the word and discuss important features about it. Say the word and have students repeat. Then spell the word with students as you point to each letter. Finally, have students write the word as they spell it aloud.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students practice writing sentences using the high-frequency words (able, behind, carefully, common, easy, fact, remember, sure, vowel, whole) from the shared reading text.

Indicator 1s

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials supporting ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Materials provide students with multiple assessment opportunities over the course of the year that allow students to demonstrate progress towards mastery as well as provide teachers with feedback for instructional adjustments. Teachers are provided with a resource map they can use based on how students perform on the quick checks. The map directs teachers to specific lessons to use with students who struggled to pass a given quick check. Teachers are provided with informal and formal assessment materials within the core reading program. Assessments include a pre- and post- assessments, foundational skills screeners, weekly assessments, unit assessments, interim assessments, and weekly informal assessments of foundational skills taught within that week.

Weekly informal and formal assessment opportunities directly correlate with the standard focus for that week. Many of these are observational in Kindergarten and the program provides checklists to support this. The checklists show a student’s strengths and needs. Each week there is a chart to reference specific re-teaching lessons to support foundational skills included as a link in the Mini-Lessons at a Glance. These Lessons are labeled Reteaching/Intervention Lessons. These lessons give guidance to teachers to support students performing below grade-level standard for the week’s Shared Reading Mini-Lessons as well as the Phonological Awareness and Phonics Mini-Lessons. Unit assessments provide additional opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress towards mastery of the foundational skills taught within the given unit and directly correlate to the standards taught over the course of the unit. There are Language Development Assessment materials that help teachers to determine the language proficiency level of their students in different domains. There are instructional suggestions in the units that address how to differentiate for students within these levels.Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills.

  • Weekly assessments of foundational skills are provided in the Assessments portion of the Core Materials. Examples include:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, students complete a foundational skills assessment on ending, beginning, and vowel sounds. “Which word has the same vowel sound as jump? Which word has the same ending sound as fast? Which word has the same ending sound as rush? Which word begins with the same sounds as floor? Which word has the same vowel sound as kept?”
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, students complete a foundational skills assessment on vowel sounds. “The eer in peering has the same vowel sound as which word?”
    • In Unit 5, Week 2, students complete a foundational skills assessment middle sounds. “The oi in boiled is pronounced with the same vowel sound as which word?”
  • Each Unit contains an End of Unit assessment that assesses the foundational skills taught within the unit. Examples include:
    • Unit 1 End of Unit Assessment: Students complete foundational skills questions from the skills taught within that unit. “Which word has the same vowel sound as had? The ai in Maine is pronounced like the a in which word? Which word has the same beginning sound as thought? Which word has the same ending sound as best? The o in college is pronounced like the o in which word.”
    • Unit 6 End of Unit Assessment: Students complete foundational skills questions from the skills taught within that unit. “Your teacher will read questions 15–17 aloud. Listen to each word. Then choose the word that has the same vowel sound.”
  • Teachers are also provided with Quick Check assessments to use with students in the areas of fluency, language, phonics and word recognition, phonological awareness, print concepts and reading.
  • In addition to the weekly assessments, unit assessments, and quick check assessments, teachers are also provided with Foundational Skills Screeners. These tests are designed to catch when a student is struggling with a foundational skill early on. The teacher reads the questions aloud to students as the student bubbles in their answer on their answer sheet.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding.

  • Teachers are provided with a weekly outline to record observations of students progress towards mastery on the foundational skill and frequency words taught that week and record any additional notes.
  • In the Informal Assessments portion of the Core Reading materials, teachers are provided with checklists to help observe student growth throughout the year. “Use these assessment tools periodically throughout the year to record observations and notations of student growth.”
  • Teachers are provided with Foundational Skills Screeners to monitor students’ proficiency. “The Foundational Skills Screeners give you a quick way to assess any student’s general proficiency and provide with you data you can use to tackle challenging and developing skill areas before they become serious problems.” An example includes:
    • Foundational Skill Screener C Question 1, “Which word has the same beginning sound as yarn...yarn?” The student must then choose on their answer sheet whether to bubble in “a. wet b. yet c. vet”
  • The Individual Reading Retelling Rubric provides the teacher with information of what the students instructional needs are to provide an oral or written retelling of what has been read.
  • Anecdotal notes are the observations teachers made. On page 3 of Grade K-6 Informal Assessments, it is suggested teachers analyze these to inform instructional moves.
  • There are five, Skill-Area Specific Quick Checks- Phonological Awareness, Print Concepts, Fluency, Phonics, and Word Recognition. These skill based assessments assist teachers in evaluating student proficiency in key skill and knowledge areas. This data is used to inform decisions on implementing intervention steps.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. For example:

  • Teachers are provided with Interim Assessments to help make instructional adjustments, including a pre and post test. Examples include:
    • Interim Assessment 1: Teachers are provided with 15 questions to assess foundational skills. “Which word has the same vowel sound as noon?”
    • Interim Assessment 2: Teachers are provided with 15 questions to assess foundational skills. “Which word has the same beginning sounds as brave?”
  • If a student scores below a 66% on the quick check the teacher is directed to, “Use additional resources shown in the Resource Map to provide the student with opportunities to remediate skills.” An example includes:
    • On the Phonological Awareness Quick Check Resource Map if a student struggles with Phoneme Addition (Quick Check 29 and 30) the teacher is directed for Grade 2 to use, “Lesson 19: Produce a Spoken Word When Sounds are Added or Substituted.” In Lesson 19 of the Phonological Intervention teacher’s manual, the teacher introduces the skill and then has students practice changing sounds in words such as “oar-boar, cake-rake, hand-band.” The teacher is then provided with a formative assessment box with four questions she can ask about the lesson and additional interventions she can try with students. One example is, “Did the student add the first sound to the first word?” If the answer is no, the teacher is given the suggestion to, “Say the first sound, then the word. Blend the sounds until the student can repeat the sounds together to make the word.”
  • Teachers are also given specific instructions for how to score different assessments, and for unit assessments are given the following criteria, “A score of 90–100 percent correct is excellent; 80–89 percent is good; 70–79 percent is proficient. Anything below 70 percent would merit further analysis, which could indicate a need for additional instruction in the following week or in following units. A score below 50 percent could indicate a need for reteaching before the student moves to the next week or unit.”

In Unit 4, Week 1, Phonics Mini-Lessons include r-Controlled Vowels or, oar, ore and High-Frequency words long, now, our, some, them, through, upon, was, when work. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • r-Controlled Vowels or, oar, ore: PWR QC #101-102, pp. 102-103
  • Rate: Pacing; FL lesson 2b, pp. 10; FL QC #17, pp. 34-35; FL QC # 19, pp. 38-39; FL QC #20, pp. 40-41; FL QC #21, pp. 42-43

In Unit 6, Week 2, Phonics Mini-Lessons include Vowel Teams /o˘o/: oo, ou and the high-frequency words: add, between, close, example, food, group, hear, home, left, mountain. Also spelling words are: book, look, cook, foot, stood, good, shook, could, would, should. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • Vowel Teams /oo/: oo, ou: PWR QC #115, p.116-117, PWR lessons 68, pp. 136

In Unit 10, Week 3, Phonics Mini-Lessons include Suffixes -ful, -less, High-Frequency Words: dark, clear, explain, force, minutes, object, plane, power, produce, surface. Weekly Spelling Words: careful, useful, helpful, painless, fearless, spotless, colorful, speechless, priceless. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • Suffixes -ful, -less: PWR QC #159-160, pp. 160-161 PWR lessons 32, pp. 64
  • Prosody/Intonation: FL lesson 2a, pp. 8FL QC #17, pp. 34-35FL QC # 19, pp. 38-39FL QC #20, pp. 40-41FL QC #21, pp. 42-43

Indicator 1t

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

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.

For each unit, there are different leveled texts used for small group lessons. These texts include foundational skills lessons, so that all students can practice foundational skills in context. For each unit, there are Reader’s Theater activities that allow students at different levels to have access to the high-frequency words and the opportunity to read text for a purpose. There are intervention lessons for fluency, phonics and word recognition, phonological awareness, and print concepts to support all students in mastery of foundational skills.

The materials do provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for students to reach mastery of foundational skills. For example:

  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, teachers use high-frequency word cards to teach high-frequency words. “Review: across, become, complete, during, happened, hundred, problem, toward, study, wind -Display the high-frequency word cards. Read each word and have students repeat the word and spell it aloud together. Have students sit in a circle. Pass the cards, one at a time. Each student reads the word and uses it in a sentence before passing the card.”
  • Teacher instructions during lessons are explicit and important concepts/skills are often written in bold so a teacher can easily find the important information/skills they need to go over with students. An example includes:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, when introducing the Long O sound, the teacher is provided with very explicit directions, “Say: This sound is /o/. The /o/ sound is spelled many ways: oa, o, oe, o. Model: oa, o, oe, ow. Point to each spelling on the card and provide a sample word: oa as in float, o as in gold, oe as in doe,ow as in crow. Write each sample word and underline the long o spelling. Say: Look at the first word I wrote: f-l-o-a-t. I see long o spelled oa. Listen and watch as I sound out the word: flooot, float.”

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs.

  • Materials include a sidebar with recommended support and cues for observations during the lesson and application of foundational skills. An example includes:
    • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 3, Phonics & Word Study, teachers are provided with information to support students in mastering lesson objectives. “Monitor Student Reading of Word Study (Decodable) Text-As students read the word study (decodable) text and answer questions, ask yourself these questions: Are students able to… blend and read words with silent letters in the text? read new high-frequency words with automaticity? demonstrate comprehension of the text by answering text-based questions? Based on your observations, you may wish to support students’ fluency, automaticity, and comprehension with additional word study reading practice during intervention time.”
  • Materials provide additional support for ELL students in the teacher sidebar “Integrated ELD” with information on light, moderate, and substantial support. An example includes:
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, when students are learning about vowel teams - oo, ui, ew, ue, u, ou and oe, teachers are provided with the following instructions for light support for their ELD students. “Write ew, ui, ue, u, ou, oe, and oo across the top of the board. Students add nouns with /o¯o/ to each category. Have partners take turns using /o¯o/ words in sentences, and identifying the /o¯o/word and what letters make the /o¯o/ sound.”
  • Over the course of the year, teachers are provided with a Differentiated Instruction Planner for all 10 units that provide Unit-Specific Leveled Text, Reader’s Theater, English Language Development, and Intervention materials with guidance on how to use the materials. “Group students by instructional level to support their reading development. Use the lesson-specific Teacher’s Guide and Text Evidence Question Card for each title.” Examples include:
    • Unit-Specific Leveled Texts for Differentiated Instruction - “Group students by instructional level to support their reading development. Use the lesson-specific Teacher’s Guide and Text Evidence Question Card for each title.” (For Unit 2, teachers are provided with 2 level H titles, 1 level I title, 2 level J titles and 2 level K titles.)
    • Reader’s Theater - “Group students heterogeneously for multi-leveled reader’s theater experience that build fluency and comprehension.” Teachers are provided with 2 reader’s theater titles for this unit.
  • Teachers are also at times provided with helpful If…. Then… boxes with ideas to help students out during lessons. An example includes:
    • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 1, during a lesson on recounting events from the story “A Foxy Garden,” teachers are provided with a box titled “Ways to Scaffold the First Reading.” Teachers are provided with ideas for scaffolding the lesson if “students are struggling readers who may decode with little comprehension” and “students need some support to read unfamiliar texts with comprehension.”

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery.

  • Over the course of the year, foundational skills are taught primarily in the Shared Reading & Phonics & Word Study portion of the whole group materials. Each week addresses a new foundational skill with opportunities to apply to context and review and assess. Skills are taught daily and reviewed in and out of context. Lessons include a focus skill and student objectives. Students also review and apply words from the decodable reader each week. An example includes:
    • In Unit 10, Week 2, students focus on learning the prefixes un-, re- and dis-. This skill is introduced on Day 1 and practiced throughout the week with a review and assessment opportunity on Friday. Weekly spelling words also follow the phonics pattern for the week. For example, in this week, some of the spelling words include unsafe, unlock, reheat, reuse and unhappy.
  • High-Frequency words are also taught on a daily basis over the course of the school year. Words are reviewed and/or introduced each day. An example includes:
    • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 1, students are introduced to the high-frequency words able, behind, carefully, common, easy, fact, remember, sure, vowel and whole. Students also review the previously taught words covered, cried, figure, horse, money, products, questions, since, usually and voice.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Grade 2 instructional materials partially meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials partially support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with appropriate grade-level complex text organized a topic. Academic vocabulary is addressed in each module. There is partial evidence of the materials providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks partially meet the criteria for requiring students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. Materials meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
26/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students' knowledge and vocabulary which will, over time, support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Each three week unit contains shared reading, mentor reading and extended reading texts covering a variety of genres related to an essential question which sometimes focuses on a topic and other times focuses on a genre or issue.

Examples of text sets that are not centrally focused on units to build knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, the Essential Question is, “What can we learn when we face problems?” Students listen to the read aloud, “Crow Learns A Lesson.” In the story, the crow learns how to shift from talking about himself to complimenting others. After students read the story, they engage in activities such as visualizing during collaborative conversations in order to understand what the characters look and sound like, as well as the lesson that Crow may have learned from the text.
  • In Unit 4, the Essential Question is, “How can a story change depending on who tells it?” Texts read in the unit include: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “Stone Soup,” and “The Blind Men and The Elephant.” During Week 2, Day 4, students read the story, “Ira and Jeb.” Students read the story and complete an activity focused on what would be different if Jeb acted differently in the story and whether Ira may work harder after he learned the reward Jeb received by working hard.
  • In Unit 6, the Essential Question is, “What can different cultures teach us?” “A Gift for Mom” focuses on characteristics of different characters. The little girl wants to give her mom a birthday gift, and she has to understand what her gifts are. In the poem, “Try, Try Again,” students read about how not giving up is important to moving forward in life, no matter what your cultural background is.

While these units explore literary themes, they do not focus on the topical knowledge-building called for in the standards.

Some units do focus on topics that can build knowledge. For example:

  • In Unit 8, the Essential Question is, “How do we react to changes in nature?” In the Unit opener, students listen to a story about how rain and water can change the Earth through erosion and how different natural disasters can cause damage to Earth over time. In Week 1, Day 2, students read two different short stories including, “Volcano!,” and “I Am Wind.” Each story focuses on how natural disasters can impact humans and how humans react.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Mentor Read-Alouds, Shared Reading, and Extended Reads provide opportunities for students to analyze words/phrases and or author’s word choice according to grade level standards. Tables and charts are created to help students determine word meaning in various ways. Texts are used for comprehension strategies like key ideas and details, structure, and craft according to grade level standards. By the end of the year, components like language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure and craft are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly. Each three week unit focuses on an Essential Question that combines direct instruction with independent practice of skills.

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, the Shared Reading text, “Since Hannah Moved Away,” is used to help students to understand how a poet uses similes to make a description more vivid. In doing this, students must identify specific words that help them determine similes used in the text.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, Short Read 2 Mini-Lesson, students analyze how characters respond to major events and challenges. The teacher models how to describe characters’ responses to major events and challenges. During Guided Practice, the teacher uses text-dependent questions to guide students’ thinking: “What major events happen in paragraphs 3-5? How does Yeh-Shen respond to these events? What do we learn about Yeh-Shen?” During Show Your Knowledge, students select a character and write a sentence that describes what the character is like based on the way the character acts and reacts in response to a major event.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 2, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students identify the main topic of a text. Students read “George Washington Carver (1864-1943)’ and “Conclusion” and underline key details. Students use the details to note the possible main topic of the section. During Collaborative Conversation: Partner, students discuss their key details to distinguish between more important ideas and less important ideas in order to decide on the main topic.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students read the text, “The Best Idea” and make connections to understand the text. Students have collaborative conversations to better understand the story. Students answer the following questions, “What is the difference between Young Mouse and Old Mouse? Have you ever had an idea to fix something that seemed good at first, but then turned out to be more difficult to complete? What are some things that this story can teach us?”
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 2, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, “Earth’s Changes,” tasks students with identifying the main idea of a text. Students answer the following questions, ““How Does Water Change Earth?” and “How Does Wind Change Earth?” Tell them to annotate the section “How Does Water Change the Earth?” in order to answer the questions, students underline the key details in the text that supports the main idea.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Day 3, Extended Read 2 Mini-Lesson, students identify real-life connections between words and their uses. The teacher models how to make real-life connections to the author’s words and descriptions. During Guided Practice, students focus on mountain, sculpture, attraction, government officials and make connections to the words. During Show Your Knowledge, students write a sentence that explains the real-life connection that helps them understand the phrase, “climb hundreds of stairs.”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The materials for Grade 2 contain many coherent questions and tasks that support students’ development in analysis of knowledge and ideas as well as providing opportunities for students to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts, but texts are often focused on basic understanding of the texts and not on building knowledge.

Examples of text-based questions and tasks that do not necessarily build knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 1, Extended Read 1, students read “A Foxy Garden.” Students read the text with the purpose to recount story events. During Collaborative Conversation, students recount story events. In Day 2, students underline key story events and number them in the margins. During Collaborative Conversation: Partner, students recount key story events. During Show your Knowledge, students use their annotations to write one or two sentences summarizing the second half of the story in the text margins. During Day 3, students watch the teacher model how to draw inferences about characters, and during Productive Engagement: Peer Group, students work in groups to answer the following prompt: “In paragraph 3, Fox says to the other animals, ‘Bear is being his usual selfish self. We’ll have to do something about that.’ What can you infer from what Fox says?” During Show Your Knowledge, students reread and draw an inference about Fox. In Day 5, students compare and contrast “The Fox Garden” and “Why the Sky is Far Away.” These questions do not lead students to understandings beyond the text.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 3 students listen and read “Goat and Bear in Business” and underline key story events. The teacher asks, “Where do Bear and Goat go the next morning?” “What did Goat and Bear buy at the market? What did Bear do with the nickel he made?” and “What do the friends discover at the end of the story?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast two versions of the same story, “Stone Soup” and The Stone Garden.” The teacher displays the close reading prompt and annotation instructions and models comparing and contrasting based on the question: “”How is the visitor in “The Stone Garden” like the old man in “Stone Soup?” During Share, students share their answers to the close reading prompt from Guided Practice. In Show Your Knowledge, students write two or three sentences explaining how the soup in “Stone Soup” is similar to the garden in “The Stone Garden.”

Other series of questions do support students in building knowledge in some topics. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1, students recount story events after listening to “Getting a Message to General Washington.” The teacher models how to identify and annotate the key story events. During Guided Reading, students answer the following questions: “According to the text, how can the United States turn the war around?” How can Franklin help General Washington? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.” During Show Your Knowledge, students write two sentences in the text margin to recount key events. On Day 2, students recount story details. The teacher poses text-based questions such as: “What do the British soldiers do when they stop Tom? Find evidence from the text to support your answer. According to the text, why does General Washington smile when Tom hands him the message?”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast the most important points in two texts on the same topic. The students reread the text in order to answer the following question: “In Paper Dinosaurs,” the children reuse paper to make something new. How is that the same or different from what children in “From Pine Tree to Pizza” can do to reuse the cardboard? During Collaborative Conversation: Peer Group. In groups, student complete a Compare-and-Contrast Chart.
  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast key points in two texts on the same topic, “Our Government’s Laws” and Getting a Message to General Washington.” The teacher displays the close reading prompt and annotation instructions and models comparing and contrasting. During Guided Practice, the students collaborate with a partner to complete the chart. The teacher guides with: “Why did the people go to war against England? Who were Ben Franklin and General George Washington?

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The materials for Grade 2 contain tasks that integrate some knowledge and ideas from the provided sources. Culminating tasks support students’ ability to demonstrate their integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) but tasks don't consistently show students' building knowledge. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 5, students compare and contrast two biographies about inventors (“A Woman with a Vision” and “A Lucky Accident”). The teacher displays a Problem/Solution Chart and models how to compare and contrast the two texts. During Guided Practice, students contribute ideas about the texts based on questions such as: “What kinds of images are in “A Lucky Accident? What problem did hook-and-loop fabric solve?” During independent time, students write two sentences: how the selections are alike and how the selections are different. The focus of this activity is on the activity and reading strategy, rather than the content within the texts.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 5, the teacher engages students’ thinking by stating: “The unit we are completing is called “Plants and Animals in Their Habitats.” We have read informational and literary texts about habitats around the world. What are some interesting facts and ideas you learned about habitats and living things from different places?” Students share responses. Next, the teacher reads aloud the Essential Question: “How do living things get what they need to survive?”” Students view the short video shown at the beginning of the unit. Students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Peer Group. Students discuss the Essential Question. During Share, each group’s scribe shares the group’s answer. The teacher records students’ answers on an anchor chart. Each group is asked to select one animal or plant to read and develop a short script about how it gets what it needs. The focus of this set of activity is on repeating information collated rather than extending new knowledge.

Other tasks do support students as they build knowledge around topics. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5 students compare and contrast “Smokejumpers” and “A City Park" using the Compare and Contrast Chart. The teacher models how to use the chart and, during Guided Practice, students complete the chart with teacher guiding questions. During independent time, students write a sentence about how smokejumpers and city park workers are alike or a sentence about how they are different. In this example, students learn about different important jobs in cities and towns.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 5, students compare and contrast two texts (“From Pine Tree to Pizza Box” and “Fresh from the Market”) for most important points. Students reread and annotate the texts for the following question: “How are the goods described in “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box” similar to and different from the goods described in “Fresh from the Market?” Students discuss the answer in groups. During independent time, students write a few sentences to describe how people use the goods from both texts.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

The vocabulary instruction for Grade 2 provides opportunities for students to learn academic vocabulary in Shared, Mentor, and Extended Texts. Additionally, vocabulary is reinforced through activities completed in the Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary Workbook. Throughout each unit, students read, write, illustrate, manipulate and complete fill-in the blank prompts for practice and to gain competency with learned vocabulary words. Materials provide teacher guidance on the unit opener page for each unit. Routines, procedures, and lessons guide the appropriate use of vocabulary used in each unit. Vocabulary is repeated in contexts and across multiple texts. Attention is given to essential vocabulary supporting students comprehension of texts. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks.

Vocabulary lessons highlight the most relevant vocabulary words aimed at building knowledge of the unit topic and support comprehension. To support students’ understanding of complex texts, the following vocabulary words and mini-lessons are targeted. Opportunities to interact and build vocabulary include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, students build vocabulary through determining the meaning of words and phrases in the passage “Smoke Jumpers.” Terms discussed from the text are smoke jumpers, rough terrain, parachute, and gear. Students use context clues from the text to help determine what the words mean.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, students distinguish shades of meaning among related verbs. The vocabulary they work with in this unit are giggle and cackle. During the guided practice portion of the lesson, the students work with the story, “Billy Goats Gruff,” in order to find other verbs that are similar to determine what the meaning of the words are.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3, students fill out a word meaning chart based on the text, “Habitats Around the World.” The teacher begins by modeling how to note the meaning of the word “habitat” in the text. After reading the sentence which gives the definition of habitat in the text, the teacher is directed to use a dictionary to check the meaning of the word. Guided practice is done to find the meaning of the words: grasslands, prairie, savanna, blubber, and tundra. Students find the “definition for the word coral in paragraph 10 and explain how knowing the meaning helps them understand what a coral reef is.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2 students read the story, “The Blind Man and the Elephant.” The key vocabulary words during this story are proclaimed, announced, exclaimed, and declared. Students work with these key vocabulary words in order to identify and create a story of the characters point of view from the story.
  • In Unit 6, students analyze text for key vocabulary words, re-read to find supporting details and plan a writing event about the key details in a story. Each one of these tasks is built around the following key vocabulary words, “new, soon, book, look, crook, bitter and refreshing. Students read the story, “On One Wheel,” during Week 3, Day 3 and use a dictionary to define the words, pummeled and dismounted.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, the vocabulary instruction for Build Vocabulary includes great from “Buffalo Dusk,” great from “The Oregon Trail,” and great from “Helen Keller: Words through Touch,” wonderful from “In the British Museum,” and good from “Primary Sources.” Students distinguish meaning among related adjectives.
  • In Unit 8, students read stories about weather and how it impacts us. The vocabulary words that students work with are, damage, pollution, formal and informal. Students compare formal and informal uses of the text during the story, “Waters Awesome Wonder.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 3, the Build Vocabulary task is predicting the meaning of compound words. Words reviewed are newspapers, homework, whiteboard, overnight, classroom, footprint, snowman, and birdhouse. The words snowman and birdhouse are used to introduce the topic and the remaining words come from the text “The Paper Dinosaurs.”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed from Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

The Benchmark materials include support for Grade 2 students’ writing instruction for a whole year’s worth of instruction engaging students with the grade level writing standards. Writing lessons, tasks, and projects authentically integrate with reading, speaking, listening, and language. Writing tasks and projects are varied and include learning, practice, and application of writing skills. The teacher materials provide models, protocols, and plans to support implementation of the writing tasks, projects, and supports as well as guidance or support for pacing of writing over shorter and extended periods of time appropriate to the grade level.Examples of materials containing a year long, cohesive plan of writing include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students write a few sentences in the margin of the text that recount the key events of the story, using the text, “Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” The teacher models how to annotate the text “by underlining and writing any questions in the margin.” Guided practice is completed using paragraphs 5-12 of the story. The writing practice happens during Show Your Knowledge.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 3, the students and the teacher develop an opinion essay in response to the prompt, “Is ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’ a story you would recommend to your friends? Why or why not? State your opinion in an essay. Supply reasons, based on details from the story, to support your opinion.” The teacher tells students that they will respond to a quick write prompt, “How does a notetaking form help you organize your thoughts to write an opinion essay? “ The teacher begins by modeling for students using his/her own notes collected using the opinion essay notes from a source text. With a peer, students practice taking notes by providing facts from the reading to support their explanations/reasons. After this, students and the teacher come together for whole group sharing of their notetaking. Using information and supporting evidence students provide, the teacher adds to an anchor chart previously created. Support for teachers as they guide students is provided in the Integrated ELD. Discussion, sentence frames and a combination of both are included to aid students’ understanding of appropriate notetaking.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 1, students “write a few sentences that explain how the photographs in a journal can help readers figure out the main topics of journal entries” in the Share Your Knowledge part of the lesson. Students use the text, “A Dinosaur Named Sue” to identify the main topic of the text. Students annotate the journal entry as they read it, noting “the main topic of each journal entry.” Students compare their annotations with a partner. “Students work together to use the important details they underlined to determine the main topic of each journal entry.” During the Share portion of the activity, “Call on different students to share the key ideas for each journal entry and the main topics they formed. Ask other students to listen carefully to determine if the key details support the main topic. Revisit the text as needed to find each key detail and determine if the main topic in each entry was stated or unstated.” Once this is completed, students will then complete the writing to respond to the prompt.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 2, students write the body to an informative essay on how water and wind can quickly change earth. The teacher models this writing using the Informative Essay Planning Guide included in teacher resources. After teacher modeling, students work with a peer to develop the second main idea using the teacher completed Informative Essay Planning Guide. Students and the teacher gather in whole group so that peer groups can share writing. Students independently write the body paragraphs using specific details from the Informative Essay Planning Guide. Confer and monitor prompts help teachers aid students’ progress through directive feedback, self-monitoring, reflection, validating, and confirming. An Integrated ELD is also provided in the teacher resource for students at varying need for support, light, moderate, or substantial.
  • In Unit 10, students write about the acrostic poetry form. Students evaluate and narrow the focus and develop ideas through freewriting. At the end of the unit, students share the poem with their peers.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Benchmark Materials include shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. In the core materials, students have opportunities to participate in writing tasks that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources. Shared research is found in the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects section. The teacher will have to provide the resources for research in Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects. Research skills requires students to focus on a routine of investigation, creating, presentation, reflection and responding. Each unit includes three connect across disciplines inquiry projects. Most require a week to complete, and some extend beyond a week’s time. Over the course of a year, tasks within the inquiry project routines increase in the depth and difficulty of assigned tasks. Teachers must use supplemental resources, such as websites, books, and pictures that are not provided. A recommended trade books tab gives teachers additional books to potentially use and incorporate throughout the specific unit of study. Materials also provide opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking & listening in addition to language skills for students to synthesize and analyze grade level readings.

  • In Unit 2, Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students learn about a challenge an ancestor might have faced and begin an inquiry project called “Retell a Family Story.” Students retell a story about a family member and label a map with information about that family member. Teachers provide an outline of a map and colored pencils. Teachers refer back to the unit's reading as a review of how characters from these texts overcame different kinds of problems. Students engage in conversations about the readings. Students conduct interviews of family members who faced difficulties and ask how the situations were overcome. Students are encouraged to interview family members that may have moved to the United States as key interviewees. Notes are to be taken that include what, where and when events occurred. From these notes, students create and retell their family member’s story. Likewise, students locate on the map where the events occurred. Once completed, students present their stories and maps in a whole group setting. Students also use their skills to ask appropriate questions of their peers after presenting. Reflection includes a discussion of similarities and differences noticed between all presentations.
  • In Unit 3, students answer a prompt and write an informative report. During the first week, students write to a prompt, “Write an informative report that describes how emperor penguins survive Antarctica's harsh winters. Support your ideas with facts and definitions from “The Coldest Place on Earth” and information from ‘Adapting to Survive.’” In Weeks 2 and 3, the prompt is “In an informative report, describe grasslands and the plants and animals that live in them. Support ideas with facts and definitions from ‘Habitats Around the World’ and information from ‘Plant Life of the Australian Savanna.”
  • In Unit 5, students “will develop and draft an essay in which they express an opinion about the focus of this unit: technology.” Each day, students will be focusing on different aspects of the assignment. As noted on the Unit Writing and Vocabulary link: “In Week 1, teachers guide students through an analysis of a Mentor Opinion Essay and the pre-writing steps in the writing process: brainstorm, evaluate ideas, and plan. In Week 2, teachers guide students through the drafting steps in the writing process. In Week 3, teachers guide students through the revising, editing, and publishing steps in the writing process.” In each week thereafter, the teacher models the expectations and students write independently.
  • In Unit 6, Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects in which a plant experiment is performed to achieve the following objectives: 1) Conduct an experiment about the effects of sunlight on plants. 2) Make observations and record them. 3) Use my findings to draw a conclusion about the connection between sunlight and plant growth. Teachers provide small plants with green leaves, art supplies, tape, paper clips, and paper to record findings. Students and teacher refer back to the reading, “A Foxy Garden” to draw upon prior experience regarding how characters in the story planted and watered seeds to make a garden grow. Students engage in discussion about how to conduct an experiment for growing a seed into a garden and develop a plan to carry out an experiment. Students conduct experiments and are sure to include varying degrees of sunlight. Observations are done and noted on an observation record. Students participate in a discussion to develop a conclusion about findings. Presentations include showing plants, displaying observations, and sharing final conclusions about the experiment. Students are encouraged to listen carefully to their peers, speak in complete sentences, and discuss findings with peers. Final reflections tasks students to review the effectiveness of the experiments and potential changes if the same experiment were to be repeated. The inquiry project closes with posing the question, “What happens when plants don’t get enough sunlight?”
  • In Unit 9, students complete a multimedia presentation over the course of three weeks. As noted on the Unit Writing and Vocabulary link, “In Week 1, teachers guide students through an analysis of a Mentor Multimedia Presentation and introduce the pre-writing steps in the writing process. In Week 2, teachers guide students through the drafting steps in the writing process. In Week 3, teachers guide students through the revising and editing steps in the writing process. After the teacher has modeled each step in the process, students write independently. Students rehearse presentations and share final presentations with the class.”

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Benchmark materials provide the opportunity for students to read independently throughout the school year. The materials include a resource in Program Support titled, “Managing Your Independent Reading Program,” which details the expectations for teachers and students to be reading both in class and independently at home. The “Managing Your Independent Reading Program” includes: resources for organizing independent reading, the classroom library, room arrangement, anchor charts, mini-lessons for promoting independent reading, reading response journals and logs, discussion groups and book recommendations, guidance for conferring with students, and information on growing your classroom library. According to Benchmark materials, “Students should also be encouraged to develop a routine of reading daily at home for a minimum of 20 minutes, either independently or with a parent.” In the independent reading stage, students are required to self-select and to read materials at their own ‘just-right’ levels.” The Three-Finger Method is recommended for Emergent and Early Readers, which includes:

  1. Choose a book that you would like to read.
  2. Turn to any page and begin reading.
  3. If there are three words that you can’t pronounce or that you don’t understand, the book is too difficult for you.
  4. Repeat the process until you find a “just-right” book.

For Fluent Readers, the Five-Finger Method is recommended for book selection:

  1. Choose a book that you would like to read.
  2. Turn to any page and begin reading.
  3. If there are five words you can’t pronounce or that you don’t understand, the book is too difficult for you.
  4. Repeat the process until you find a “just-right” book.

A tracking system is recommended in the “Managing Your Independent Reading Program” to track students’ independent reading in the form of a reading log and reading response journal. Reading response journals are kept by students and used to record personal responses to texts they have read or will read. Teachers demonstrate proper techniques, provide mini-lessons on how to respond to literature, and model several prompts by listing them on chart paper, and hang the paper on the wall. The reading log is also suggested as an independent reading tracking tool. In reading logs, students keep a record of what they have read by writing the book title, author, illustrator, genre, and date read.

There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers and procedures are organized for independent reading included in the lessons. For example, as stated in the text, “Within Benchmark Advance, students may participate in daily independent reading during the Independent and Collaborative Activity block, while the teacher meets with small groups of students to conduct differentiated small-group reading instruction, model fluency skills through reader’s theater, or reteach skills and strategies.” Students complete a variety of reading activities in the reading block. Students have shared reading and mentor read-alouds each week. There are also a set of small group texts that will be used in small group time. Each set of texts is leveled according to Guided Reading levels. Student independent reading materials span a wide volume of texts at grade levels. These texts titles are included as a teacher resource, Recommended Trade Books.

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 - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
N/A

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
N/A

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
N/A

Indicator 3v

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

Report Published Date: 2018/03/16

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Texts for Close Reading Unit 2 978‑1‑4900‑3974‑9 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 7 978‑1‑4900‑9187‑7 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 3 978‑1‑4900‑9191‑4 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 7 978‑1‑4900‑9203‑4 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 6 978‑1‑4900‑9218‑8 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 2 Unit 1 and 2 978‑1‑5125‑2294‑5 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 2 Unit 3 and 4 978‑1‑5125‑2295‑2 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 2 Unit 5 and 6 978‑1‑5125‑2296‑9 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 2 Unit 7 and 8 978‑1‑5125‑2297‑6 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 2 Unit 9 and10 978‑1‑5125‑2298‑3 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Texts for Close Reading Unit 8 978‑1‑5125‑2960‑9 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 10 978‑1‑5125‑2961‑6 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 10 978‑1‑5125‑2962‑3 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 1 978‑1‑5125‑7852‑2 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2015

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

ELA K-2 Review Tool

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

For ELA, our review criteria evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complements the review criteria 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.

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.

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

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations