Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Fourth Grade do not meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations. The materials do not consistently integrate the three dimensions into learning opportunities for students. No opportunities for student sensemaking occur with the three dimensions and few opportunities for student sensemaking are two dimensional with SEPs and DCIs. The summative assessments are not consistently three dimensional and do not consistently measure the three dimensions for the topic-level objectives (PEs). The lesson level objectives are also not three dimensional. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations. Phenomena are not present and only three problems are present and therefore they are not able to be connected to DCIs. The problems present are not presented to students as directly as possible and do not elicit or leverage student prior knowledge or experience related to the problems. The program does not include phenomena or problems that drive learning and use of the three dimensions within or across lessons.

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Designed for NGSS

0
14
24
28
1
24-28
Meets Expectations
15-23
Partially Meets Expectations
0-14
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Coherence and Scope

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

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Designed for NGSS

Does Not Meet Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations for Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS. Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations. Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations.

Criterion 1a - 1c

Materials are designed for three-dimensional learning and assessment.
0/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations for Criterion 1a-1c: Three-Dimensional Learning. The materials do not consistently include integration of the three dimensions in at least one learning opportunity per learning sequence. Few learning sequences are meaningfully designed for student opportunity to engage in sensemaking with the SEPs and DCIs, and no learning sequences provide opportunities for three-dimensional sensemaking. The materials do not provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level and the respective assessments are not consistently three-dimensional. The materials provide three-dimensional objectives at the topic level, but summative tasks do not measure student achievement of all learning objectives (PEs) or their associated elements, and few summative assessment tasks are three-dimensional in design.

Indicator 1a

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

Indicator 1a.i

Materials consistently integrate the three dimensions in student learning opportunities.
0/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) into student learning opportunities. The instructional materials are organized by segments (four per grade level), with one to two topics, and within the topic are the Quests PBLs, Lessons, and Lab Activities (uConnect, uDemonstrate). Each topic includes two to four 5E lessons. Each 5E lesson consists of four sections: Engage, Explore, Explain and Elaborate, and Evaluate and includes the Quest, texts, and Lab Activities. In two of the 23 lessons, the materials integrate the three dimensions within at least one learning opportunity or activity. Across the grade, learning sequences or lessons consistently provide students with an opportunity to engage with and/or develop understanding of the SEP and DCI, but miss the opportunity for students to develop understanding of the CCCs.

Examples where the materials do not incorporate all three dimensions into a learning sequence:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 3: Weathering and Erosion, students develop an understanding of how weathering and erosion change earth’s surface. In the Explore section, students predict which rock sample will be affected more by water. They plan and conduct an investigation to test their prediction (SEP-INV-P4). Students state their conclusions about which rock is most affected by water (DCI-ESS2.A-E2). In the Quest Check-Ins, students predict what will happen to a landform model if it is weathered and eroded. They design a model to test their prediction and conduct the investigation (SEP-MOD-E6). They compare their findings with other students and give evidence of any effects of weathering or erosion they observed (DCI-ESS2.A-E2). Student presentations include sketches, photos, and a description to show how a mountain, plateau, or cliff is weathered and eroded (DCI-ESS2.A-E2, SEP-MOD-E4, SEP-INFO-5E). There is a missed opportunity for students to use crosscutting concepts as they develop their understanding of weathering and erosion.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 4, Topic 7, Lesson 1: Properties and Patterns of Waves, students develop an understanding of the basic properties of waves and how waves can cause objects to move. In the uConnect Lab, students use their prior knowledge to make a model to describe waves (SEP-MOD-P3). In the uInvestigate Lab, students model how energy moves along a wave using ropes, springs, and strings to understand the concept. (SEP-MOD-E3; DCI-PS4.A-E2). There is a missed opportunity for students to use crosscutting concepts as they develop their understanding of the properties of waves.

Examples where the materials incorporate all three dimensions into a learning sequence but do not integrate within a learning opportunity:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 2: Patterns of Earth's Features, students develop an understanding of where patterns of mountains, earthquakes, and volcanoes are seen on earth. In the Explore section, students move two sponges into different positions to represent different ways earth’s plates could move. In the Explain and Elaborate section, students read that mountains and volcanoes form where plates interact and this forms a pattern (CCC-PAT-P1, DCI-ESS2.B-E1). In the Evaluate section, Quest Check-in, students use the model to test what will happen to their landform model if it is weathered and eroded (SEP-MOD-E6, DCI-ESS2.A-E2). They sketch or take photos of their model as it changes. While all three dimensions were present in this lesson, they were not integrated within a learning opportunity.

Examples where the materials integrate all three dimensions into a learning opportunity within a learning sequence:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, Lesson 2, Explore: uInvestigate Lab, students choose a variable to test with objects that bump into each other (speed, starting height, or moving/not moving). They predict the results, plan a way to test their prediction, conduct the investigation (SEP-INV-P2), and record results (SEP-DATA-P1). They identify the energy transfer that occurred and state how they know (CCC-EM-E3, DCI-PS3.C-E1). In the Quest Check-In, students build an understanding of how contact forces in collisions change the motion of objects by examining photos of a car crash and then use toy cars to model the collision interactions (SEP-MOD-E6). Students predict/infer causes of the accident, then use the model to test their ideas (CCC-CE-P1). They draw pictures to show the car locations before, during, and after the crash and then make inferences about energy changes that occurred in the crash (DCI-PS3.C-E1).
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 6, Lesson 2, Evaluate: Quest Check-In, students color layers and attach them to a paper towel tube as an abstract representation of a rock layer model (DCI-ESS1.C-E1, SEP-MOD-E3). They answer a question about rock layers before looking for patterns. Students look for rock formation and fossil type patterns in the dwarf elephant dig site diagram. The patterns students notice act as evidence for whether the discovery team's core samples contain the same patterns. Students use this information to explain whether or not the rock layer where the elephants were found is present in the core samples (CCC-PAT-E3).

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions. The materials contain no instances of three-dimensional sensemaking, where SEPs and CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with a DCI. The materials contain six instances of two-dimensional sensemaking, where SEPs or CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with a DCI. While most of the 23 lessons engage students with an SEP, the learning focuses on the DCI; these lessons are not consistently designed for the SEPs or CCCs to support student sensemaking in the context of or with that DCI.

Examples of learning sequence where students do not engage in meaningful sensemaking with multiple dimensions:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 5, Lesson 1: Internal Structures and Functions of Plants, students engage in a learning sequence to develop an understanding of internal structures that help plants survive and reproduce. Students read text that describes the function of the phloem and xylem in plants then design an investigation (SEP-INV-P1) to observe how the celery stem moves materials. Following the investigation, students are asked to make a claim about the location of the xylem in celery. However, this claim does not relate back to the DCI and how internal structures of plants and animals serve functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. In all three activities in this learning sequence, students are given opportunities to practice with the SEPs as they plan investigations and record their data. However, the SEPS are not used to support student sensemaking around the DCIs.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 4, Topic 7, Lesson 2: Quest Check-In Lab, students investigate how light energy moves and changes (SEP-INV-P2). Students shine a light on different materials (e.g., cardboard and different color gels or cellophane) and use light communication to send a message. Students use their observations from shining light to explain how effective their message was conveyed (SEP-CEDS-E2). While the activity often refers to “communication systems” it is not clear that students will make sense of how their process for using light to communicate a message functions as a system. No subsequent learning activities within this lesson sequence contain any of the three dimensions.

Examples of learning sequence where SEPs or CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 1: Maps and Data, uConnect Lab, students predict how different amounts of rain will affect different sized soil mounds. They make a plan to test their prediction, conduct it, and record their observations (SEP-INV-P4). They write a conclusion based on their evidence to explain how rain can affect land (DCI-ESS2.A-E2). Students do not have the opportunity to explicitly engage with or develop any CCCs for sensemaking.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 3: Weathering and Erosion, students engage in a learning sequence to develop an understanding of how weathering and erosion change earth’s surface. Students predict which rock sample will be affected more by water and plan an investigation, test their prediction, conduct the investigation, and record their observations (SEP-INV-P4). Students state what conclusions about which rock sample is most affected by water they can draw from their investigation. Students use information from the Quest Check-Ins to produce a presentation that shows how a mountain, plateau, or cliff is weathered and eroded (DCI-ESS2.A-E2). Students use a description and sketches or photos to provide evidence of their findings during their presentation (SEP-MOD-E4, SEP-INFO-E5).

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Two out of 23 lesson learning objectives are three-dimensional. Seven lesson learning objectives are two-dimensional and the remainder incorporate either one or zero dimensions.

Formative assessments are frequent and are spread across each lesson. The formative assessments target individual learning or group understanding. The uInvestigate Labs are at the beginning of each lesson before any reading or investigations, and do not measure any lesson learning. While information gained from the labs could provide formative data to inform instructional next steps, the teacher materials do not include support for using this data or adjusting instruction.

The majority of the Teacher Edition formative assessment questions are discussion-based and no directions are provided to support the teacher in eliciting ideas from each student or adjusting instruction based on student responses.

In the Teacher Edition questions that address student understanding directly, in the reading section, allow students to scan for the answer within the text. All Student Edition lesson checks, Interactivity, and Online Quizzes are taken by an individual student as there is a response area they fill in. Interactivities frequently only assess the DCIs. The online quizzes are all multiple choice. While materials rarely address the CCCs in the instruction, they regularly are used in a combination with the DCIs during assessments.

Examples of lessons that do not have a three-dimensional objective, the formative assessment tasks partially or do not assess student knowledge of all three dimensions; and the materials do not provide guidance to support the instructional process:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2, Lesson 2: Nonrenewable Energy Sources, the learning objectives are “Give examples of nonrenewable energy sources” and “Investigate how people extract and use natural resources.” These are not three-dimensional objectives, but they build towards the performance expectation of 5-ESS3-1. Out of seven formative assessment tasks in the lesson, one assesses DCI-ESS3.A-E1 and SEP-INFO-E4 and two assess the DCI only. Throughout the Explore reading, students answer questions that are labeled in the teacher edition as formative assessment. One of these noted formative assessment opportunities includes three questions: what are three examples of fossil fuels, what happens when fossil fuels are burned (DCI-ESS3.A-E1), and why do people rely so heavily on fossil fuels if they are nonrenewable? During Interactivity: Fossil Fuels, students read about how fossil fuels are formed (SEP-INFO-E4). The students are asked to state why fossil fuels are nonrenewable (DCI-ESS3.A-E1) and to fill in a table showing how coal, oil, and natural gas are formed and what they are used for. The materials do not provide guidance to teachers for using formative assessment data to support the instructional process, except in the Lesson Check when remediation activities are suggested if students have trouble with the questions.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 2: Patterns of Earth’s Feature, the lesson objective is “Identify patterns in Earth’s surface features.” While the objective is not three-dimensional, it builds towards the PE objectives at the topic level. Out of the six formative tasks in the lesson, individual understanding is assessed twice at the objective level (both DCI and CCC) and once with the DCI only. Throughout the Explore reading, students answer questions that are labeled in the Teacher Edition as formative assessment. One of these noted formative assessment opportunities includes two questions about the difference between a plateau and a butte and how you can locate the earth’s plates by looking at the earth’s surface features (DCI-ESS2.B-E1). The answers are stated in the text for students. In the Visual Literacy Connection, students are asked to state what a physical map shows, use the physical map to explain differences between the coastal plain region and Appalachian Mountain region, and answer the question of why are physical maps useful to a geologist studying resources (DCI-ESS2.B-E1). The materials do not provide guidance to teachers for using formative assessment data to support the instructional process, except in the Lesson Check when remediation activities are suggested if students have trouble with the questions.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 4, Lesson 2: Weather Hazards, the learning objective is “Describe how weather hazards can affect humans.” While the objective is not three-dimensional, it builds towards the PE objectives at the topic level. Out of six formative assessment tasks in the lesson, two assess individual understanding of the lesson objective and one assesses the DCI only. In the uInvestigate Lab, students plan and conduct an investigation to see how snow sliding down a mountain affects people. They state how the sudden, rapid fall of snow could affect people (DCI-ESS3.B-E1, CCC-CE-E1). During the Lesson Check, students answer three questions in a CER format: what is more dangerous, a hurricane or tornado; what evidence supports your claim; and explain how the evidence supports the claim (DCI-ESS3.B-E1). The Online Quiz, students answer questions on the cause and effects of hurricanes and floods (DCI-ESS3.B-E1, CCC-CE-E1). The materials do not provide guidance to teachers for using formative assessment data to support the instructional process except in the Lesson Check when remediation activities are suggested if students have trouble with the questions.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 5, Lesson 2: External Structures and Functions of Plants, the learning objective is “Describe some external structures that help plants survive and reproduce.” While the objective is not three-dimensional, it builds towards the PE objectives at the topic level. Out of five of the formative tasks in the lesson, three assess individual student understanding at the lesson objective level and two assess the SEP argumentation. In the uInvestigate Lab, students observe and compare leaves. Students conclude which external structures help the leaves survive in a dry climate (DCI-LS1.A-E1). In the Explore reading, students answer questions that are labeleNot quotesd in the Teacher Edition as formative assessment. Two of these questions include: explain how the cuticle and stomata work together and sketch an invention inspired by a plant’s external structures (DCI-LS1.A-E1). In the Lesson Check, students use Claim-Evidence-Reasoning to explain what would happen to a plant if a disease damaged its covering (SEP-ARG-E4; DCI-LS1.A-E1). The materials do not provide guidance to teachers for using formative assessment data to support the instructional process, except in the lesson check when remediation activities are suggested if students have trouble with the questions.

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. The materials provide three-dimensional learning objectives for the topic level in the form of performance expectations (PEs), but summative tasks measure student achievement of only some learning objectives (PEs) or their associated elements, and few summative assessment tasks are three-dimensional in design.

There are three assessments at each topic level: Evidence-Based Assessment, uDemonstrate Lab Assessment, and the Online Topic Test. The Evidence-Based Assessment is typically four to six questions, the uDemonstrate Lab is a performance-based assessment, and the Online Topic Test is mainly presented as a multiple-choice exam. The DCIs are most often assessed in at least one question on the assessments. The SEPs are occasionally assessed independently or in combination with the DCI. The CCCs are generally not assessed on any of the three assessments.

There are two assessments at the segment level: the California Performance-Based Assessment and the Summative Benchmark Assessment which consists of multiple-choice and free-response questions. The end of year assessment is 27 online questions on a variety of topics taken from across the year including: multiple-choice, drop-down-menu, short-answer, click-on-the-right-spot, and drag-and-drop.

Examples where objectives are three-dimensional, but summative assessment tasks do not fully assess the three-dimensional learning objectives and are not three-dimensional in design:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2: Human Uses of Energy, the objectives include two PEs: 4-ESS3-1 and 4-PS3-4. Not all of the dimensions addressed in these PEs are assessed. In the topic, there are three summative assessments. The Evidence-Based Assessment consists of four multiple-choice and short-answer questions using information from graphs. One of the two DCIs is included (DCI-ESS3.A-E1) and no other dimension is assessed. In the uDemonstrate Lab Assessment, students play a game and answer seven questions. While students might be learning these PEs by playing this game, none of the questions assess the objectives. The Online Topic Test has 18 multiple-choice or short-answer questions about human uses of energy. Questions six, seven, and ten assess DCI-ESS3.A-E1, questions eight and thirteen assess DCI-PS3.D-E1, and question four assesses SEP-CEDS-E4. None of the objectives are fully assessed in any of the assessments for this topic and the CCCs are never assessed.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3: Earth’s Features, the objectives include two PEs: 4-ESS2-1 and 4-ESS2-2. Not all of the dimensions addressed in these PEs are assessed. In the topic, there are two summative assessments. In the Evidence-Based Assessment, students are presented with a topographical map and a scenario of geologists studying natural processes and answer four questions. Of the four questions, only one assesses DCI-ESS2.A-E2. None of the other dimensions are addressed. For example, in Question 3, students do interpret data from maps but do not use this information to make sense of any phenomena which is required to meet the intent of the practice. The Online Topic Test has 20 questions. Zero questions assess 4-ESS2-1 and three of the 20 questions assess only DCI-ESS2.B-E1 of 4-ESS2-2. No other dimensions are assessed. For example, in Question 7, students analyze and interpret data to identify where damage occurred on the coastline, but they do not make sense of the damaged coastline and do not need any understanding of the DCI about weathering to answer the question.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 6: The History of Planet Earth, the objective includes one PE: 4-ESS1-1. Not all of the dimensions addressed in this PE are assessed. In the topic, there are three summative assessments. The Evidence-Based Assessment consists of two drawings of rock layers and four short-answer questions, one table to complete, and one multiple-choice question. The SEP of 4-ESS1-1 is assessed in one of the six questions. The remainder of the questions do not require any student understanding of the DCI. The DCI is about fossil evidence to indicate change, whereas the majority of questions only require students to understand that older rock layers are below newer ones. In the uDemonstrate Lab Assessment, students look at drawings of rock layers from three different dig sites and answer five short answer questions. One of the five questions assesses DCI-ESS1.C-E1 and another question assesses SEP-CEDS-E3. The Online Topic Test consists of 16 questions including multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, drop-down menu, and reordering questions. One of the 16 questions connects to the DCI. Nearly all questions are about fossils in general or how they are formed, which is not part of the DCI.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2: Sculpting Landscapes, the objectives include three PEs: 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS2-2, and 4-ESS3-2. Not all of the dimensions addressed in these PEs are assessed. In the segment, there are summative assessments and The California Performance-Based Assessment, which consists of seven questions to assess the three objectives for the segment. Students are presented with a reading passage about flooding concerns in Florida and how engineers are trying to find solutions that will not negatively impact the environment. Students answer two short-answer questions on this topic. The first question does assess the DCI-ESS3.B-E1 because students suggest solutions to reduce the impact of flooding, but there is no comparison of solutions or inclusion of cause and effect of impacts to meet the CCC or the SEP. Students are then given a second reading passage and a data chart about how different types of ecosystems can impact the size of the waves along the coast. Students make a claim supported by evidence and reasoning on how living things affect the coast. Out of the three objectives one of the seven questions assesses DCI-ESS3.B-E1 and two address DCI-ESS2.E1. In the Summative Benchmark Assessment, students take an online test with ten questions that are a combination of multiple-choice, free-response, selected-response, and fill-in-the-blank questions. While students may choose the best solution to a problem and identify criteria and constraints from sets of options, they never make a claim about the merit of a solution by citing evidence of how it meets the criteria and constraints as stated in the practice. Of the 10 questions, no SEPs or CCCs are assessed. DCI-ESS2.A-E2 and DCI-ESS2.E-E1 are not assessed, DCI-ESS2.B-E1 is assessed once, and DCI-ESS3.B-E1 is assessed twice.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 4: Patterns and the Human Body, the objectives include four PEs: 4-PS3-2, 4-PS4-1, 4-PS4-2, and 4-PS4-3. Not all of the dimensions addressed in these PEs are assessed. In the segment, there are two summative assessments. The California Performance-Based Assessment has five questions. Students first match the sensory organ to the information that it detects, describe the relationship between sensory organs and the brain, touch items and describe how they feel, and smell things and describe how they smell. Then students draw a diagram showing how different types of sensory information is transferred to the brain, use an example from their observations to describe their reaction to touching or smelling an object, and infer how animals’ brains process sensory information. This assessment has no connection to the PEs and does not assess the stated objectives. For the Benchmark Assessment, students answer 10 multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Out of the 10 questions, DCI-PS4.B-E1 is assessed once. While the remaining questions are about waves, energy transfer, or light entering the eye, they do not assess the DCIs specifically. For example, Question 4 says, “David creates a model. He filled a round tub with water. He places a rubber duck in the middle of the tub where it floats on the water. David creates a wave using his hand and watches the rubber duck move up and down … .” Students then choose from a drop-down menu to fill in the sentence: "____ is transferred to ___." Students are meant to choose the “wave transfers energy to the water nearby.” This question does not meet the targeted DCIs about waves being made by disturbing the surface and the water going up and down in place, nor does it meet the DCIs associated with 4-PS3-2 about energy being transferred by sound, light, heat, or electrical currents. Overall, out of the 15 questions asked at the segment level, only one question assesses a DCI. No questions address the SEPs or CCCs.

Criterion 1d - 1i

Materials leverage science phenomena and engineering problems in the context of driving learning and student performance.
1/12
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 0% of topics and problems in 42% of topics. Since phenomena are not present and only three problems are present, there is a missed opportunity for them to connect to DCIs. Two of the three problems present are presented directly as possible. None of the problems present elicit or leverage student prior knowledge related to the problem. The materials do not include phenomena and problems that drive student learning and use of the three dimensions within and across individual lessons. Across the grade, a concept or a question is used to frame learning across multiple lessons in the topic, rather than a driving phenomenon or problem.

Indicator 1d

Phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that phenomena and problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs). Across the grade, the materials consist of four segments, with each segment containing one to two topics. Each topic includes two to four lessons and activities. The Quest PBL is part of the launch of the topic and then revisited in each lesson and at the end of the topic. The three problems identified in the materials are located in the Quest PBLs; all three problems are connected to DCIs associated with the grade-level performance expectations.

While the materials include sections that label an Anchoring Phenomenon and Investigative Phenomenon, students do not figure out or explain a phenomenon. Rather, these sections contain questions to help build an understanding of the question that center around a DCI or content learning. Because students do not figure out phenomena, the materials present no opportunities to connect a DCI to a phenomenon.

Examples of problems connected to DCIs associated with the grade-level performance expectations:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, Quest PBL: Energy Changes in Collisions, the challenge is to design a new safety feature for a car in order to keep passengers safe. Students examine photos of a car crash and then use toy cars to recreate the collision. They draw pictures to show the car locations before, during, and after the crash. Finally, students explain what they think caused the crash and make inferences about energy changes that occurred in the crash (DCI-PS3.C-E1). To complete the challenge, students make a model of a safety alert device, including where it is located and how it will be turned on. Students demonstrate an understanding of energy transfer when they explain how energy will be transferred to turn on the safety alert device they designed (DCI-PS3.B-E3).
  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2, Quest PBL: Power from the People, the challenge is to design a device that can change the energy from exercising on the bike (i.e., mechanical energy) into electrical power for a laptop or phone (i.e., electrical energy). To complete the challenge, students design, build, test, and redesign a device that can use human energy to make an electric motor run. Students build an understanding of how electric currents transfer energy as they use a battery and circuit to produce motion (DCI-PS3.B-E3).
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2: Topic 4, Quest PBL: Protecting the City! Hazard Incoming!, the challenge is for students to find ways to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on the people of a city. To complete this challenge, students build and test a model, and compare their solutions with the class to demonstrate that humans can reduce the impacts of natural hazards, such as floods or volcanoes (DCI-ESS3.B-E1).

Indicator 1e

Phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible. There are four instructional segments in the grade, each comprised of one to two topics with a total of seven topics altogether. The Quest PBL is part of the launch of the topic and then revisited in each lesson and at the end of the topic. Within the Quest PBLs for this grade level, students solve three problems or design challenges; two of these are presented as directly as possible.

Example of problems presented as directly as possible:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, Quest PBL: Energy Changes in Collisions, the challenge is to design a new safety feature for a car in order to keep passengers safe. Students are introduced to the challenge by reading a letter from a vehicle safety engineer telling them they will design a new safety feature. Students watch a video about a crash reconstructionist telling about his job, which includes footage of crash testing (i.e., collisions). Students then look at photos of four types of safety features on cars showing that certain features on cars are designed to keep passengers safe. The photos provide a real-world context that introduces the challenge directly.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 4, Quest PBL: Protecting the City! Hazard Incoming!, the challenge is for students to find ways to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on the people of a city. Students are introduced to the problem by reading a letter from a volcanologist asking students to help find ways to mitigating the impact of natural hazards on the people of the city. Students watch a video of a person interviewing a volcanologist about volcanoes, why it is important to study them (including that people live near them and they are hazardous), and what it is like to be a volcanologist. The video includes images of erupting volcanoes so that students can see what they look like when they erupt. Since the video states the problem and shows an erupting volcano which students cannot experience in person, this is an appropriately direct introduction to the aspect of the challenge related to mitigating the impact of a volcano.

Example of a problem not presented as directly as possible:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2, Quest PBL: Power from the People, the challenge is to design a device that can change the energy from exercising on the bike (i.e., mechanical energy) into electrical power for a laptop or phone (i.e., electrical energy). The challenge is presented to students through a letter from an electrical engineer that asks students to help design a mechanical device that provides electric power. Students also watch a video about an electrical engineer describing her job. This is not the most direct way to introduce students to this design challenge or devices that change and use energy.

Indicator 1f

Phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.
0/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions. Across the grade, the materials do not use phenomena or problems to drive student learning within individual lessons. Frequently, the learning objective focuses on the learning of a DCI or associated element, resulting in a missed opportunity for students to use the three dimensions as they work towards explaining phenomena or solving problems.

There are three identified problems in the Quest PBL in Topics 1, 4, and 6. These problems do not drive the learning throughout the lessons. When these problems drive learning of individual Quest Check-Ins, key elements of all three dimensions are not incorporated, and most often exclude the CCC within a lesson. This represents a missed opportunity for students to engage with all three dimensions to make sense of a problem.

Examples where individual lessons or activities are not driven by phenomena and/or problems and do not engage students with all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 3, Lesson 1: Maps and Data, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning. Rather, students learn about reading maps and identify and compare data found on different types of maps. Students read about different types of maps and compare how different types of maps provide different types of information, using San Francisco as an example. Students draw a fictitious map to learn how to make and use a map legend. Students learn about desert trails and are asked to help design a trail, answering text-based questions about criteria and constraints and stating the materials they would choose for their trail. Students draw a part of the trail, labeling features that would meet the criteria and constraints. Students view an aerial image of a canyon with a river and determine which site is best to build a bridge for hikers. Students learn about features of three different bridge types and learn about the three soil types at the selected site. Students select which type of bridge to build and which soil to dig for footings.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 4, Lesson 3: Impacts of Natural Disasters, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning. Rather, students learn that weather hazards can affect humans and how humans can reduce hazard damage. Students build a cardboard building and test three locations to determine the safest location from an earthquake. Students read about other weather hazards and answer questions about ways that the hazards can negatively affect humans and solutions to reduce the impact of natural hazards. Students come up with a solution to reduce the impact of a flood or volcano on a city and explain how the solution will reduce the impact of the natural hazard. Students compare solutions. Within the instructional sequence, students design solutions (SEP-CEDS-E5) to reduce the impact of a disaster (DCI-ESS3.B-E1). They design and build a model to test their solutions (SEP-MOD-E6).
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 5, Lesson 3: Internal Structures and Functions of Animals, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning. Rather, students learn about internal structures of animals. Students compare cow and dog stomachs and record observations (SEP-DATA-E1). Students read about animal structures and answer text-based questions (DCI-LS1.A-E1). Students read about fish and think about how various inventions are similar to fish.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3,Topic 5, Lesson 5: Plant and Animal Responses to the Environment, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning. Rather, students learn about animal stimuli and biomimicry. Students engage in an activity to begin thinking about sound and how animals use sound to find things. Students read different texts about animals and summarize them. Students create a potential procedure for testing the idea that elephants respond to stimuli. In the Quest Check-In, students read about bat sonar, summarize the reading, and relate to how humans could benefit from locating objects through sound. After reading text and watching a video about animals' eyesight and the technology that was modeled after animals, students develop a model of an animal eye receiving a stimulus. They use the model to show how light travels when it enters the eye. Students choose a plant or animal structure and use that for inspiration to design a product that will help a human problem. Students draw a design and create a presentation. Within the instructional sequence, students learn how animals process and respond to sounds (SEP-MOD-E3), demonstrate how an animal sees, and design and build a model of a product inspired by animal structures (SEP-MOD-E6).
  • In Grade 4, Segment 4, Topic 7, Lesson 2: Waves and Light, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning. Rather, students learn about the topic of light waves and coding. Students investigate various materials to see what happens to light when it hits a shiny surface. They draw a diagram of their observations and use evidence from their model to explain how the light moves. Students read about light waves, coding, and seeing objects. Students construct a communication system that uses light to create a pattern or code. They identify criteria and constraints of codes. Students explain how their code works. Within the instructional sequence, students investigate how light energy moves and changes (SEP-INV-P2, DCI-PS3.B-E2) and how to use light communication to send a message (SEP-CEDS-E2).

Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include both phenomena and problems.
Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 were designed for students to solve design challenges in 42% of the topics (3/7 topics). Throughout the materials, 0% of the topics (0/6 topics) were designed for students to explain phenomena. There are four Instructional Segments in Grade 4, each comprised of one to two topics with a total of seven topics altogether. Each topic consists of two to four lessons, uConnect labs, uInvestigate labs, and uDemonstrate labs, a Career Connection page, and Quest Problem Based Learning (PBL). The Quest PBL is part of the launch of the topic and then revisited in each lesson and at the end of the topic.

Each Instructional Segment begins with a section labeled as an Anchoring Phenomenon that provides a focus question for the segment. For example, Instructional Segment 3 provides the question, “How can a community prepare for an Earthquake?” as the Anchoring Phenomenon. Each topic within a segment provides a question labeled as an Investigative Phenomenon; these questions help build an understanding of the segment-level question. The topic within Segment 3 labels the question, “How can you use maps to understand Earth’s features?” as the Investigative Phenomenon. Each of the three lessons within this topic focuses on smaller questions to help students answer the topic-level question. The learning at each of these levels focuses on answering a lesson-, topic-, or segment-level question centered around a DCI or content learning, resulting in missed opportunities for students to explain phenomena that they observe. As a result, students do not figure out phenomena in this grade level.

Examples of problems in the series:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, Quest PBL: Energy Changes in Collisions, the challenge is to design a new safety feature for a car in order to keep passengers safe. Students investigate how the motion of cars change during the collision, the effect of forces during crash tests, and how electrical circuits can be used to create an alert system to prevent rear-end collisions. To complete the challenge, students make a model of a safety feature, including where it is located and how it will be turned on.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2, Quest PBL: Power from the People, the challenge is to design a device that can change the energy from exercising on the bike (i.e., mechanical energy) into electrical power for a laptop or phone (i.e., electrical energy). Students define the challenge and identify criteria and constraints. Students draw and label their plan, then build, test, and redesign their devices. Students apply learning of how a circuit works to figure out how human energy can make an electric motor run. To complete the challenge, students design, build, test, and redesign a device that can use human energy to make an electric motor run.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 4, Quest PBL: Protecting the City! Hazard Incoming!, the challenge is for students to find ways to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on the people of a city. Students identify two problems that people in a city might face if a volcano erupts, think about how people could help reduce impacts from the volcano, and compare those solutions. Students research how flooding impacts people and how people can mitigate flooding. To complete this challenge, students design a solution to reduce the impact of floods or volcanoes, build and test a model, and compare their solutions with the class.

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they intentionally elicit or leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.

Of the three problems identified throughout the 23 lessons, students review what they learned from previous activities or prior knowledge about the DCI, but do not elicit experiences that students bring with them outside the classroom around the problem being presented. The materials do not address how student knowledge and experiences related to these problems will be leveraged and do not provide teacher guidance on utilizing the information elicited from the questions.

Examples where materials do not elicit or leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to problems:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1, Quest PBL: Energy Changes in Collisions, the challenge is to design a new safety feature for a car in order to keep passengers safe. The materials introduce the students to the question, “What is energy and how is it related to motion?” The teacher provides background knowledge on car safety laws and students watch a video about a vehicle safety engineer. In the first Quest Check-In, the discussion focuses around the design cycle and the science concepts of energy, speed, and motion. There are no examples of the materials eliciting or leveraging prior knowledge of car safety features in the lesson or during subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2, Quest PBL: Power from the People, the challenge is to design a device that can change the energy from exercising on the bike (i.e., mechanical energy) into electrical power for a laptop or phone (i.e., electrical energy). The materials introduce students to science concepts around energy and watch a video about electrical engineering. Teachers are prompted to discuss “ways that your community generates and uses energy,” but there is no clear or explicit inclusion of questions to elicit students’ prior knowledge about or experiences with the challenge. The first Quest Check-In begins with students thinking about the criteria and constraints with the materials provided by the teacher. Student’s prior knowledge and experiences are not leveraged during subsequent learning activities.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 2, Topic 4, Quest PBL: Protecting the City! Hazard Incoming!, the challenge is for students to find ways to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on the people of a city. Before students begin the Quest, they discuss common natural hazards in California. While this builds background on the DCI, the materials do not elicit students’ prior knowledge of the problem of protecting a city from the impacts of natural hazards. One of the Quest Check-Ins has students focus on the potential problem caused by a volcano and guides the teacher to lead a class discussion about safety relative to a volcano. The materials do not ask any questions to elicit students’ prior knowledge or experiences with the challenge.

Indicator 1i

Materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that they embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. Across the grade, a concept or a question is used to frame learning across multiple lessons in the topic, rather than a driving phenomenon or problem.

Within the seven topics in the grade, there are three problems in the Quest PBLs. The three Quest PBLs provide multimodal opportunities for students to engage in developing, evaluating, and revising their thinking as they solve the design challenge. There are few opportunities for students to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking outside of the Quest PBLs.

While the design challenges in the Quest PBL provide opportunities for students to apply the learning from the lesson and connect across multiple lessons in the topic, they do not drive the learning of the lesson or the topic. Students do not consistently engage in all three dimensions to solve these problems or design challenges.

Examples of topics that do not use phenomena or problems to drive student learning across multiple lessons:

  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 1: Energy and Motion, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning across multiple lessons. Rather, the question, “What is energy and how is it related to motion?” Students conduct an investigation to determine how the height of a ramp affects how fast an object moves down the ramp. Students read text about different forms of energy, energy transformations, and the relationship among energy, speed, and motion. Students conduct investigations and read text to learn about energy transfer between objects during collisions. In the Quest Check-In, students apply their understanding of how contact forces in collisions change the motion of objects, they examine photos of a car crash, and then use toy cars to model the collision interactions (SEP-MOD-E6). Students predict the causes of the accident and then use the model to test their ideas (CCC-CE-P1). They draw pictures to show the car locations before-during-and after the crash and then make inferences about energy changes that occurred in the crash (DCI-PS3.C-E1). Students conduct investigations and read text to learn how energy is transferred through heat, sound, light, and electricity. Students investigate how electricity flows through circuits to make a bulb light. In the Quest Check-In, students apply their understanding of electrical circuits to build an alert system that uses an electric circuit. The Quest PBL challenge to design an alert system that prevents car crashes connects multiple lessons, but does not drive the learning across multiple lessons. Instead, students apply what they learned about energy and motion as they analyze collisions and apply understanding of electric circuits as they design the alert system. The Quest PBL introduces the challenge and is revisited after each lesson and then again toward the end of the topic.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 1, Topic 2: Human Uses of Energy, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning across multiple lessons. Rather, the students learn about energy conversions, sources of renewable and nonrenewable energy, how humans use energy, and the associated environmental impacts. Students investigate how to use potatoes to light a bulb before reading text about energy use, sources of energy, and how chemical energy can generate electrical power. Students read how fossil fuels are formed, extracted, and used. Students learn about renewable energy sources by investigating how a windmill captures wind energy and then read informational text about various types of renewable energy sources. Students investigate environmental impacts of energy use as they clean an oil spill from sand and then read text about impacts of various types of energy production on the environment. Students write about the impact of solar energy on the environment (CCC-CE-E2). The Quest PBL challenge to design a device that can change mechanical energy into electrical energy connects multiple lessons, but does not drive the learning across multiple lessons. Instead, students apply what they learned about energy conversions as they design and build a device that uses a battery to produce motion (DCI-PS3.B-E1, DCI-PS3.B-E3, SEP-MOD-P4). The Quest PBL introduces the challenge and is revisited after each lesson, and then again toward the end of the topic.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 5: Structures and Functions, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning across multiple lessons. Rather, student learning focuses on internal and external structures in plants and animals that help them survive, reproduce, and respond to their environments. Students learn about different internal structures in plants that help them survive and reproduce. Students investigate the stem of a celery plant (SEP-INV-P4) of how the parts of a celery stem work to move water (CCC-SF-E2, DCI-LS1.A-E1). Students learn how different external structures help plants survive, examine different leaf and flower structures, and learn about pollination and seed dispersal. Students learn about internal structures in animals as they compare the stomachs of cows and dogs, read about the parts of the heart, and read about different structures of the brain. Students learn about external structures in animals as they design a model outer shell for an insect before reading informational text about exoskeletons and other animal external structures. Students learn how plants and animals respond to their environments as they locate an object using only sound then read how elephants and other animals respond to stimuli, read how animals survive changing environments, and make a model of an animal’s eye.
  • In Grade 4, Segment 3, Topic 6: The History of Planet Earth, a phenomenon or problem does not drive student learning across multiple lessons. Rather, student learning focuses on understanding changes to the earth over time. Students observe photographs of fossils and rocks in order to answer questions, draw conclusions, or make predictions. Students conduct short investigations to model rock layers, sequence fossils, and model changes in rock layers. In the uInvestigate Labs, students sequence pictures of fossils to draw conclusions about fossil patterns (DCI-ESS1.C-E1, SEP-CEDS-P1, CCC-PAT-E3) and model changes in rock layers (DCI-ESS1.C-E1, SEP-MOD-P2).

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Not Rated

+
-
Gateway Two Details
Materials were not reviewed for Gateway Two because materials did not meet or partially meet expectations for Gateway One

Criterion 2a - 2g

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

Indicator 2a

Materials are designed for students to build and connect their knowledge and use of the three dimensions across the series.
N/A

Indicator 2a.i

Students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from unit to unit.
N/A

Indicator 2a.ii

Materials have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication.
N/A

Indicator 2b

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

Indicator 2c

Materials do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.*
N/A

Indicator 2d

Materials incorporate all grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
N/A

Indicator 2d.i

Physical Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
N/A

Indicator 2e

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

Indicator 2e.i

Materials incorporate grade-level appropriate SEPs within each grade.
N/A

Indicator 2e.ii

Materials incorporate all SEPs across the grade band.
N/A

Indicator 2f

Materials incorporate all grade-band Crosscutting Concepts.
N/A

Indicator 2g

Materials incorporate NGSS Connections to Nature of Science and Engineering
N/A

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3d

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

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Criterion 3e - 3k

Materials are designed to support all students in learning.

Indicator 3e

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

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Indicator 3k

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

Criterion 3l - 3s

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Indicator 3n.i

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

Indicator 3n.ii

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Indicator 3s

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

Criterion 3t - 3y

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3v

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

Indicator 3w

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

Indicator 3x

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

Indicator 3y

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

Criterion 3aa - 3z

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

Indicator 3aa

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

Indicator 3ab

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

Indicator 3ac

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

Indicator 3ad

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

Indicator 3z

Materials integrate digital technology and interactive tools (data collection tools, simulations, modeling), when appropriate, in ways that support student engagement in the three dimensions of science.
N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2020/12/15

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
ELVSCI20 CA SGMNTS DCW 1YR LIC GR.4 013492634X 2020
ELVSCI20 CA NEW INST SEG 1 SE G4 0134980212 2020
ELVSCI20 CA NEW INST SEG 2 SE G4 0134980220 2020
ELVSCI20 CA NEW INST SEG 3 SE G4 0134980247 2020
ELVSCI20 CA NEW INST SEG 4 SE G4 0134980255 2020
ELVSCI20 CA NEW TE GR. 4 0134980352 2020

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.

Science K-5 Review Tool

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

For science, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning

  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning

  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions

  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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