Alignment: Overall Summary

The materials meet the expectations of alignment to career and college readiness standards. Students are presented with texts and tasks that engage them in appropriately rich and rigorous ways as they grow over the course of the school year.

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality and Complexity

0
18
32
36
35
32-36
Meets Expectations
19-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-18
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
23
25
23
23-25
Meets Expectations
16-22
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

EL Education 6–8 Language Arts Grade 8 meets the expectations of Gateway 1. The core texts are engaging, rigorous, and relevant to students. Most tasks, from writing and reading to speaking and listening, are anchored authentically in the associated texts, providing true close reading practice and supporting students’ inquiry and analysis. Support for vocabulary development underscores what students are reading and learning.

Criterion 1a - 1e

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.

18/18
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Criterion Rating Details

Texts included in the program are high-quality and engaging, as well as encompassing many student interests. They provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to become independent readers at the grade level, including text complexities that increase over the course of the year. Core texts are appropriately rigorous and provide an opportunity for students to read about different cultures and experiences.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a.

The Grade 8 materials include anchor texts that are of publishable quality, consider a range of student interests, and are engaging to students because they are well-crafted and rich in content. At the heart of the program is the use of the anchor texts to engage and motivate students to increase time in text and enhance literacy skills. Anchor texts contain classic archetypal structures, frame-tale narrative, and argument-based prose. Students are likely to relate to characters and topics in the anchor texts. Anchor texts appeal to a range of student interests, such as Latin American folklore, food and health, surviving the Holocaust, and internment camps. 

Examples of anchor texts include:

  • In Module 1, students read Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.  The text contains a quest by five sisters in which they encounter characters from Latin American folklore in a retelling of The Odyssey.  The adventurous and mythical story is complex due to its strong use of symbolism and layered meaning, varied structure, figurative language, and aphorisms in Spanish. 

  • In Module 2, students read the Young Reader’s Edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  The text is an exploration of food production, and the impact of food choices on health and society. It is an adaptation for younger readers but examines complex topics and includes domain-specific vocabulary and scientific terms.

  • In Module 3, students read Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman. The text is a Pulitizer Prize-winning graphic novel about the author’s father’s experience during the Holocaust.

  • In Module 4, students read Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Huston and James D. Houston. The memoir contains the author’s memories of being incarcerated in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during WWII. It is told through young Jeanne Wakatsuki’s eyes and examines the many connections that are reflected in the complex text.

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 Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1b.

The Grade 8 materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. The texts provided reflect a variety of different genres including a folktale, long-form argument, poetry, graphic novel, memoir, and informational article. Memoir was heavily represented in Modules 3 and 4, while historical documents, drama, and speeches were not represented. Over the course of the year, the materials reflect approximately 70/30 balance of informational to literary text with an emphasis on literary nonfiction. There is a consideration for student interest in a range of genres.

Examples of text types and genres include:

  • In Module 1, students read the following genres: adventure fiction novel, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall; legend, “La Llorona” by Joe Hayes; and bibliography of tales, “The Latin American Story Finder” by S.B. Elswit.

  • In Module 2, students read the following genres: nonfiction selection, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; several accompanying informational texts, “Is Eating Healthy Really More Expensive?” by Margaret Marshall, “To GMO or not to GMO?” by George Erdosh, and Marcia Armidon, and “Sticking Up for Coke, Sort Of” by Froma Harrop.

  • In Module 3, students read the following genres: graphic novel, Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman; informational texts, “The Holocaust: An Introductory History” from the Jewish Virtual Library; and memoirs, “The Creed of a Holocaust Survivor” by Alexander Kimel, excerpts from Abe’s Story: A Holocaust Memoir by Abram and Joseph Korn, and excerpts from Night by Ellie Wiesel.

  • In Module 4, students read the following genres: nonfiction selection, Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston; informational texts, “Japanese Relocation During World War II” by the National Archives, “The Simplest Lesson of Internment” by the Los Angeles Times; and letters and memoirs, “In Response to Executive Order 9066” by Dwight Okita, “Letter from Louise Ogawa” from the Japanese American Museum, and “Life in the Camp” by Norman Mineta. 

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

The Grade 8 materials include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Each text is accompanied by thorough documentation and rationale for its inclusion. The analysis and rationale contain accurate information. While some of the anchor texts fall below the recommended range for Grade 8, qualitative measures such as meaning, text structure, language features, knowledge demands, and the associated tasks provide for a purposeful placement in the grade level.

Examples of text complexity and rationale include:

  • In Module 1, students read the anchor text, Summer of Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. The text falls below grade level according to quantitative measures (840L), but the qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands increase the complexity. Qualitative measures include complex themes, such as redemption, multiple layers of meaning and symbolism. Knowledge demands are very complex. Spanish words, aphorisms, and allusions to Mexican folklore and mythology can impact understanding of the text. Associated tasks include writing an informational essay comparing the original depiction of a monster from Latin American folklore with a modernized depiction.The text is placed at the beginning of the school year and strong systems of support are in place to encourage student success with reading the text and completing its associated tasks.

  • In Module 2, students read the anchor text, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen. The text falls below grade level according to quantitative measures (930L), but the qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands increase the complexity. The format of long-form argument is likely unfamiliar to students, but features like graphics, pictures, tables and charts help students make meaning. Students use the text to analyze and evaluate point of view, text structure, and the author’s arguments. Later in the module, students compare and contrast the anchor text with supplemental texts on the topic, paying special attention to “different mediums in presenting information on this topic.”  The texts are analyzed both for similarities and differences in the information presented and the advantages and disadvantages of different mediums in presenting information. Because of the highly complex nature of the tasks associated with the text, it is well-placed at Grade 8. 

  • In Module 3, students read the anchor text, Maus 1: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman.  Although there is not a quantitative measure for this text, the qualitative measures and reader and task considerations contribute to the complexity as well as appropriate placement to support students to increase their literacy skills. The anchor text contains multiple settings and subplots, complex characters, and background knowledge about the Holocaust. Students gain this background knowledge through supplemental texts. Students use the text to analyze characterization and change, theme and text structure. Students analyze how incidents in the text provoke decisions and reveal character, as well as how dialogue and word choice reveal tone and aspects of character. They track emerging themes and write a summary of the text . Students also compare the structures of a poem on the Holocaust to the structure of Maus I and explore how structure contributes to meaning in a text. 

  • In Module 4, students read the anchor text, Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatuki Houston and James D. Houston. This text falls within the grade level according to its quantitative measures (1040L), and its qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands also contribute to the complexity. “Throughout their work with the text, students identify significant ideas that emerge, including the ways in which Jeanne and her family members are impacted by internment. They use this information to analyze how the text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, and events, tracking these connections and distinctions in a Note-Catcher. They analyze the author’s point of view in the text and participate in several text-based discussions centered on the module’s guiding questions. Students also use the text to learn to write a literary argument essay in which they evaluate the effectiveness of the film version of Farewell to Manzanar in conveying a significant idea from the text.”

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet  the criteria for Indicator 1d.

The anchor and supplemental texts in the Grade 8 materials are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth. Quantitative measures range from 570L to 1390L. While some of the quantitative measures for the anchor texts are low for the grade level, the supplemental texts and qualitative measures make up for the lower level in the way of text complexity, knowledge demands, language features, meaning, and purpose. Many scaffolds and instructional techniques support literacy growth over the course of the school year.

Examples of the variety of text complexity and scaffolds include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students read Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Gonzales Mccall. Although the anchor text falls below the grade level band with a 840L, the qualitative measures of meaning, purpose, text structure, and knowledge demands make it appropriate for Grade 8 students. Many of the tasks require higher-level thinking. For example, in Unit 2, Lessons 1-2, students determine the theme and analyze a model summary for Chapter 13 of the anchor text. Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students while reading the complex text, including using Note-Catchers to organize information. Additional readings include “The Peuchen” (840L) and an excerpt from The Latin American Story Finder.

  • In Module 2, students read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Although the anchor text falls below the grade level band of 930L, the qualitative measures offer complexity and rigor in the way of meaning, purpose, language features, text structure, and knowledge demands. The author’s argument is built on abstract concepts such as sustainability, food production, and the economy. Scaffolds help students complete the tasks. For example, in Unit 2, Lessons 6-7, students research climate change and food shortages and write an informative essay. Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students while reading the complex text, including actively reading by annotating the text.

The following additional articles and informational texts on the topic food choices and issues are included: “Is Eating Healthy Really More Expensive?” (1050L) and “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pesticides” (1190L).

  • In Module 3, students read Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman. Although no quantitative measure is provided for the non-prose text, the qualitative measures of meaning, purpose, text structure, and knowledge demands are complex and rigorous. Supplemental texts help scaffold background knowledge on World War II and the Holocaust. Students complete tasks such as character, dialogue, and word analysis of the text to blend the background knowledge with the complex structure of poetry. For example, in Unit 1, Lessons 5-6, students analyze dialogue, tone, and character of the anchor text. Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students while reading the complex text, including engaging in time to think and using discussion protocols like Think-Pair-Share. Additional texts, mostly memoirs, are presented on the topic of the Holocaust, including an excerpt from Night (570L) by Elie Wiesel.

  • In Module 4, students read Farewell to Manzanar by Jean Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. The anchor text is appropriate for Grade 8 with a Lexile level of 1040. The qualitative measures for this text are complex, particularly in meaning, purpose, text structure, and knowledge demands. Supplemental texts and resources help students gain background knowledge needed to fully comprehend the anchor text. Tasks address point of view and the psychological effects of internment. For example, in Unit 3, Lesson 2, students closely read and determine the central idea of “Psychological Effect of Camp” (1390L). Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students with complex text including completing short writing tasks that encourage them to revisit the text multiple times. Another supplemental text included is “Japanese Relocation during World War II” (1220L).

Indicator 1e

Materials 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, including accountability structures for independent reading.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The Grade 8 materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to become independent readers at the grade level, including text complexities that increase over the course of the year. Students engage in a volume of reading through robust anchor text sets and texts on suggested reading lists that are largely read independently. Independent reading is completed both in class and as homework. A variety of instructional techniques are used to move students progressively toward understanding and independence. Most texts are organized with built in supports and/or scaffolds to foster independence. In the Teacher Edition, descriptions and explanations are included for how teachers can provide successive levels of temporary support. In the Student Edition, anchor texts that are read independently have an accompanying list of key points for each chapter.

Students are provided with two types of reading time to build independence at grade level reading. Work Time is used to read anchor and supplementary texts in class, while Independent Research Reading time is used to read related texts at home. This time allows students to pick from a list of supplemental texts identified for each module that build background knowledge and provide additional information on the topic of the module. The materials include student routines and a tracking system for assigned Independent Research Reading. While the materials provide a variety of texts and complexities to build independence, there is little evidence to support building reading stamina as the amount of time to read anchor and supplementary texts is limiting and does not change for the duration of the school year.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities for students to engage in reading a variety of texts to become independent readers at the grade level.

    • Materials include a suggested reading list at a variety of Lexiles beyond the anchor and core texts for students to engage in independent reading.  The list includes both informational and literary topically-relevant books.  For example, in Module 3, which centers on Voices of the Holocaust, suggested independent reading includes The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistence during the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport.

  • Instructional materials provide sufficient teacher guidance and support to foster independence.

    • The Independent Reading Plans provide teacher guidance for launching and maintaining independent reading, communicating with parents, goal-setting and accountability, conferring, and publishing authentic reviews.

  • Instructional materials provide procedures for teachers, proposed schedule for students, and a tracking system for independent reading.

    • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, teacher guidance for methods of conducting independent reading are as follows: encouraging teachers to provide the choice for students to read silently, with a partner, or read silently and then confer with a peer.

    • For anchor texts, students engage in the routine of pre-reading a selection of the text as homework to prepare to discuss the next day.  For example, in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students pre-read “The Holocaust: An Introductory History” as homework and then examine vocabulary and closely read the text during class work time.  

    • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3 in the Student Workbook, students can use the Holocaust Glossary to support their comprehension throughout the unit.

    • Materials recommend that “students should complete 20 minutes of Independent Research Reading for homework when they are not reading a chapter from the anchor text.  Students should also continue Independent Research Reading over weekends.”

    • The Independent Reading Journal is used throughout each module as a tracking system. Students keep an Independent Reading Journal in which they record their goals and their thoughts about the book. The Independent Reading Plans encourage teachers to “check in with students about their reading” and a conference protocol.

Criterion 1f - 1m

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

17/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials meet the expectations of high quality questions, tasks, and practice that is text specific and attends to the demands of the standards. Students have practice with speaking and listening, writing, and reading that is rich and rigorous and consistently encourages attention to the text itself. Tasks and questions allow readers to uncover details and meaning that they could miss in cursory reading. Academic vocabulary development is supported over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1f

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f.

The Grade 8 materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-specific and text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly.  Explicit and inferential questions are included, with prompting that students should use textual evidence to support their inferences. Materials encourage students to gather insight, knowledge, and evidence from the texts rather than relying on personal experience and prior knowledge. Tasks and questions allow readers to uncover details and meaning that they could miss in cursory reading. Teacher materials, particularly the student workbook and supplemental resources, provide for the planning and implementation of the text-based questions and tasks, and include examples of valid student responses and additional prompts to aid students who may need support. In the student materials, students monitor their independent reading progress with a rubric that includes the expectation to use text evidence. 

Examples of text-specific and text-dependent questions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students read Summer of the Mariposas and answer an open-ended text-dependent question: “On pages 76-77, what happens to the narrator that the reader knows about, but the other sisters don’t?” Then they answer these text-specific questions: “Why might the author have chosen to give the reader this perspective? What effect does it create? Which line from the text best supports your response? Remember to record the page number.” Teachers are provided guidance to support students including prompting students to notice and record specific words and phrases from the texts.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students read texts about Holocaust upstanders. They complete a chart to track text details, central idea, and evidence that supports the central idea. The Teacher Guide contains sample responses for questions as well as additional prompting questions to aid students who may struggle with giving a text-based response.

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 2, students read the article, “Psychological Effects of Camp” and write a paragraph arguing that the “internment of people based on the group they belong to has long-lasting harmful effects.” They are instructed to “include evidence from the first section of the article.”

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

The Grade 8 materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for discussions that are varied throughout the year.  Students participate daily in informal structured discussions, such as small group discussions, Turn and Talk, and Think-Pair-Share. More formal opportunities are also provided, such as Socratic Seminars, Chalk Talks, Fishbowl Discussions, and other collaborative discussions. The Teacher Guide and Your Curriculum Companion provide protocols for speaking and listening and to encourage full engagement including “drama or role play,” “sketching,” and “Equity Sticks,” which includes communicating ideas. 

Examples of opportunities and protocols for discussions include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 15, students review the Discussion Norms Anchor Chart and participate in a text-based Socratic Seminar to discuss the question, “What does the encounter with the nagual reveal about Velia, Delia and Pita?” 

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 12-14, students present research findings through a Desktop Teaching Activity. A protocol for presentations is provided. To prepare for the presentation, students research a food-related case study and develop a “Teaching Activity Lesson Plan” to teach their classmates using visual aids. While students practice their presentation, the teacher reminds students to “make eye contact...refrain from reading aloud directly from their lesson plan, project their voice...and clearly pronounce their words.” Sentence starters are provided for students to use during peer feedback, and the lesson begins with students practicing academic vocabulary pertinent to their case study.  

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 5, in partner groups, students discuss the term relevant from their learning target: “I can distinguish between relevant and irrelevant evidence.” At the start of the lesson, students complete an Entrance Ticket to answer questions about relevant evidence supporting the claim that “eighth graders should start school at 9:00 AM.” After individual work time, they Turn and Talk about their answers to clarify any misconceptions about the relevant evidence they identified. Later in Lesson 5, students participate in a series of Think-Pair-Share protocols to delineate an argument. Students complete a graphic organizer to help them organize their thinking about the text. Questions are provided for the teacher to help students discuss in a Turn-and-Talk, such as “Why is it important to identify irrelevant information when you are delineating an argument?” After students Turn-and-Talk, the teacher uses Equity Sticks to call on students to share with the class. As the lesson concludes, the teacher uses a Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol to help students identify varying viewpoints in real-world scenarios.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 14, students present a commemorative poster of a “Voice of the Holocaust” that they have researched throughout the unit. Initially, students share the posters silently, using a protocol and Note-Catcher to collect their thoughts. Then, they discuss their observations and reflections with the class. The teacher reminds students to build on their classmates’ responses, using their Note-Catcher to “strengthen and clarify'' their comments. The following questions to facilitate are provided for the teacher: “What new or important notices did you have about the themes presented in the Commemorative Posters? Are there trends in the themes that stand out?”  

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lessons 10-11, students participate in an Activist Organization Presentation. Students research an activist organization in triads, synthesize research, create a visual display, and present the organization to another group. Student roles are provided, such as greeters, emcees, facilitators, and recorders to organize student participation during presentations. Students share their activist organization while peers take notes on an anchor chart to facilitate active listening and participation in the question and answer segment. After presentations, students answer questions from their peers and community members. 

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1h.

The Grade 8 materials provide opportunities for students to regularly speak and listen about what they are reading for a variety of different purposes. End-of-Unit Assessments often include a presentation that requires students to use evidence from texts. Throughout the year, students share what they are learning through their Independent Research Reading.  Teachers remind students that “the purpose of research reading is to build their content knowledge and domain-specific vocabulary on the topic.”

Examples of opportunities for students to speak and listen about what they are reading and researching include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 14-16, students prepare for and participate in a text-based Socratic Seminar about characterization in Summer of the Mariposas.  In Lesson 14, the teacher leads students through Discussion Norms, reminding them that “effective participation is about listening to others and asking and answering questions to be completely clear about what others are saying and to clarify their own points.”  Students participate in a practice Socratic Seminar, providing peer feedback via Think-Pair-Share.  In Lesson 16, students participate in the full-length Socratic Seminar. The following prompt is provided for the teacher to start the seminar: “What does the encounter with the nagual reveal about Odilia and Juanita?” Follow-up questions include: “Can you say more about that? Can you give an example?” 

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 7, students participate in a collaborative discussion.  A Collaborative Discussion Sentence Starters Anchor Chart is provided to encourage students to use academic vocabulary and syntax. Questions are provided for the teacher to help start the discussion, such as “What are the similarities or differences between the themes and structures we have encountered in Maus I, ‘Often a Minute,’ and ‘The Action in the Ghetto of Rohatyn, March 1942?’” 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 5, students participate in a collaborative discussion about Farewell to Manzanar. Students use a Discussion Norms Anchor Chart to guide their participation. Students discuss the prompt, “What overarching lessons can be learned from Japanese American internment? and How have these lessons been embodied in the redress movement?” Prior to discussion, students use their Lessons from Internment Note-Catchers and their copies of Farewell to Manzanar to complete a Quick Write that includes evidence so they can stay anchored in the text as they discuss.

Indicator 1i

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 Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1i.

The Grade 8 materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing that covers a year’s worth of instruction. The materials include QuickWrites and Entrance Tickets for informal, on-demand writing that provide opportunities for students to express thoughts and ideas in response to texts on a daily basis. Each module contains one or two process writing tasks in which students plan, draft, and revise their work. After some process writing tasks, students complete an on-demand version of a similar task to demonstrate understanding. Process writing using digital resources and multiple opportunities to revise and edit are offered in each of the four module units across the grade levels. The tasks at the end of the year are multi-faceted writing and presenting opportunities.

Examples of  on-demand writing opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 4-5, students write a literary summary of Summer of the Mariposas after analyzing and composing summaries earlier in the unit.

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 11-12, students write an on-demand argument essay that defends a healthy food choice.  

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 4, after completing a close read of an excerpt from the anchor text, Maus I, students complete this task: “Describe the tone the author’s words create on page 23, panels 5 and 6.” Students provide text evidence and an explanation of the statement. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 2, students read “Psychological Effects of Camp” and complete a Note-Catcher activity which asks a series of questions requiring text evidence and analysis. In the culminating activity, students write a paragraph that develops the central idea that internment of people based on the group they belong to has long-lasting harmful effects.

Examples of process writing opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lessons 6-11, students write a compare and contrast essay comparing the portrayal of La Llorona in Summer of the Mariposas to a more traditional telling of the myth. Students analyze a model using a writing checklist and draft introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs. Students provide peer feedback then revise. After completing the heavily-scaffolded essay, in Lessons 11-12, students write an on-demand compare and contrast essay in which they explain what they have kept the same and what they have modernized in the new scene they wrote for Summer of the Mariposas.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 1-6, students write an informative essay comparing and contrasting the structure and meaning in two texts, “Often a Minute” and Maus I. Students read a model, analyze criteria for success, plan their essay, write a draft, participate in a peer critique, and revise. After composing this process essay, students write an on-demand compare and contrast essay about structure and meaning in two texts, a new poem and Maus I.  

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lessons 7-12, students write a fictional “narrative in interview form” inspired by a Holocaust upstander they have read about in the module. In Lessons 7-10, students analyze a model; write a profile of their upstander; create a plan considering pacing, dialogue, and sensory details; and draft an “exploded moment.” Throughout this process, there are opportunities for feedback and revision. In Lesson 11, students write the narrative. In Lesson 12, students participate in a Praise, Question, Suggestion protocol and revise their narrative interview.  

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lessons 10-16, students write a literary argument essay on Farewell to Manzanar.  Students analyze a model argument essay based on success criteria, create a plan, draft proof paragraphs, develop a counterclaim, and write a conclusion.  Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to give and receive feedback, prompting students to use feedback to revise their writing. After completing their heavily-scaffolded “practice essay,” students plan and write an on-demand independent argument essay in Module 4, Unit 2, Lessons 17-19.

Indicator 1j

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 Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.

The Grade 8 materials provide different modes of writing that are distributed across the school year and are always connected to the anchor and/or supplemental texts. Lessons are sequenced so students understand the reading content before they begin to formally write. In each module, Unit 3 offers a scaffolded writing task and a critique process to strengthen writing. Writing tasks guide students through a formal process that results in a culminating presentation. Argument and informative writing are areas of focus and the materials focus on developing counterclaims within argument writing.

Examples of argumentative writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, based on the text, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and additional research, students write an argument essay to defend a claim about how communities can make healthy food choices.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, students write a literary argument essay to evaluate the effectiveness of the choices made in the film, Farewell to Manzanar, in conveying the text using points, evidence, and reasoning to support a claim and to address a counterclaim.

Examples of informative/explanatory writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, students write an essay comparing the original depiction of another “monster” from Latin American folklore with their own modernized depiction from the Unit 2 narrative essay.

Examples of narrative writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, students research a “monster” from Latin American folklore and write an additional chapter for Summer of the Mariposas in which the characters encounter a modernized version of this “monster.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, after reading informational accounts of upstanders during the Holocaust to learn more about how and why many people took action against the Nazis, students write a narrative depiction a fictional interview with an imaginary upstander during the Holocaust. They also create and present a graphic panel representing a scene from their narrative. 

Indicator 1k

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1k.

The Grade 8 materials provide opportunities for evidence-based writing. Students frequently work closely with the anchor and supporting texts to make claims and support them with specific evidence from the texts. Materials require students to develop text-based claims, using evidence to support them. Frequent opportunities are available across the school year for students to acquire and practice skills in daily assignments, performance tasks, and assessments. Over the course of the units, students complete informal and formal writing tasks that require evidence to support claims, such as Using QuickWrites, Entrance Tickets, Close Read exercises, argumentative essays, and informational essays.

Examples of evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students complete a quick write based on the excerpt in Chapter 2 of the anchor text, Summer of the Mariposas, by answering the following prompt: “From reading this excerpt, what do you, the reader, know that mama doesn't know? What effect does this create?” 

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students are provided with the Author's Purpose and Point of View: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Note-Catcher. As students read the anchor text, they complete sections concerning the author's point of view and evidence from the text that supports that claim. In addition, students determine the author's purpose and how this adds to understanding the text. Finally, students begin recording conflicting viewpoints and how the author handles these viewpoints. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students respond to a close reading lesson on tone by writing about their learning. They read an excerpt from Maus I and answer the following questions: “What does this reveal about Vladek’s character? What evidence makes you think so?  In your response be sure to include a description of the tone that Vladek’s statement creates, evidence from the text that supports your description of Vladek’s tone, and an explanation of what the statement reveals about Vladek’s character.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 11, in preparation for an argument essay, students complete a Writing Plan Graphic Organizer to help them produce a claim and provide adequate evidence to support that claim. Questions on the graphic organizer include: “What context about the text or topic does your reader need in order to make sense of the rest of your essay? Main Claim: What are the two main points you will be offering to support this focus? What evidence from the text supports this point? What reasoning develops your point and ties it back to the claim? What counterclaim might others raise to refute your claims? How do you respond to this counterclaim?”

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

The Grade 8 materials include instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards; however, explicit instruction is rare. Instruction for usage is regular and seen throughout all modules. Most explicit instruction for grammar and conventions occurs in mini lessons, but only for some standards. While explicit spelling instruction does not occur, students evaluate their own writing on checklists that prompt them to check for spelling, formal style, and usage. Opportunities for application in context are available; however, some application is out of context. Language Dives provide a routine for students to analyze grammar in focus sentences from the anchor texts and then mirror the structure in their own writing. While increased emphasis and more direct instruction of grammar and conventions standards is found primarily in Modules 2 and 3, practice writing opportunities for grammar and conventions standards are found throughout the four modules. Practice writing opportunities use the anchor text as either a model or the content for the sentences.

Examples of explicit instruction of some grammar and usage standards include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 12, students have opportunities to use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break. They use punctuation to correct a run-on sentence.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students have opportunities to explain the function of verbals in general and their function in particular sentences. They analyze a sentence from The Omnivore’s Dilemma containing an infinitive phrase.  Then, they use the sentence as a mentor to write two sentences of their own containing infinitive phrases.

  • In Module 3 Unit 2 Lesson 8, students have opportunities to form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood. They complete a grammar mini lesson to determine verb moods in sentences. Using a graphic organizer, students sort the verbs by indicative mood, imperative mood, interrogative mood, and conditional mood. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 5, students have opportunities to use verbs in the active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood to achieve particular effects. They complete a Language Dive in which they analyze active and passive voice in a sentence from Maus I.  Then, they write practice sentences blending active and passive voice to “deliver...shocking information” and “talk about students and a rule.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 3, students have opportunities to use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break. They complete a Language Dive to analyze a sentence using a coordinating conjunction and a comma.  Then, they use a comma and coordinating conjunction to combine sentences with related ideas.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Students have opportunities to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood. In the Mid-Unit Assessment, students “read a paragraph and will answer selected and constructed response questions about punctuation and verb voice and mood.”

Examples of opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills in context including applying grammar and convention skills to writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 9, students have opportunities to use verbs in the active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood to achieve particular effects. They use the linking verb “seem” to write a topic sentence for a paragraph of their essay.

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 7, students use a checklist to evaluate their narratives.  The checklist includes the criterion, “the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are correct.”

Examples of opportunities to spell correctly and maintain consistency in style and tone include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 11, students learn to change y to an i when adding a suffix to the end of a word ending in y.  Student materials provide instruction and practice.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 15, students learn about homonyms such as there, their, they’re and effect and affect. Students read a draft of a literary essay and correct improper homonym usage.

Indicator 1m

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m.

The Grade 8 materials include a cohesive year-long plan for vocabulary development. Teacher materials, including Your Curriculum Companion, outline the importance of teaching academic vocabulary and provide guidance on protocols for building vocabulary through domain-specific and academic vocabulary. Key topic-based words are introduced at the beginning of each module through the “Infer The Topic” routine, and students encounter these ideas frequently throughout the module. Vocabulary instruction is provided through meaningful context within the anchor and supplemental texts. Students connect new words to previous schema and practice these words by repeated shared use of the words throughout the year. Vocabulary is taught either indirectly or directly on a daily basis by using Vocabulary Logs, academic word walls, Entrance Tickets, Language Dives, Note-Catchers, and text-dependent questions. Language Dives are teacher-guided conversations with questions about specific meaning and language structures that provide a routine where students analyze vocabulary in context. Students frequently use different types of vocabulary in multiple ways, including to determine the meaning of new words with affix lists; practice inferring the meaning of new vocabulary; and incorporate domain-specific and academic vocabulary in their speaking, reading, and writing in the culminating tasks.

Examples of vocabulary instruction and activities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students break down unfamiliar from the following learning target, “I can identify strategies to determine the meaning of unfamiliar text.”  While reading, they use context clues to determine the meaning of key vocabulary words, such as exasperated and queasy

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students complete an Entrance Ticket to analyze the meaning of disappeared by breaking it down into prefix, root, and suffix. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students complete an Entrance Ticket to define the food chain from the anchor text, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and write a statement that relates it back to ideas in the book. Students also complete the activity, Analyze Language: The Omnivore's Dilemma, Section 8, to analyze language the author used and answer why the author chose to use this language. In Lesson 3, students use three definitions of sustainable to determine whether food practices detailed in the anchor texts are healthy and sustainable.

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3, student use the “Holocaust Glossary” to learn words that will be in texts in the unit, “The Holocaust: An Introductory History” and Maus I. Words include pogrom, reich, occupation. In Lesson 5, students define agency. The concept of agency is brought up through discussion and reading of Maus I.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 2, students complete a Language Dive to find the meaning of contempt in a dictionary. They compare the meaning to the figurative language found in the phrase from the text, “to bear the filth of hate.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 1, students complete an Entrance Ticket to break apart the domain-specific vocabulary word, internment,  into prefix, root, and suffix and provide a definition of each of the three parts. Then students consult a dictionary to determine similarities and differences from the parts to the whole. In Lesson 2, students complete a Note-Catcher to match a scene from the book to the appropriate form of academic language.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Carefully organized text sets and associated tasks support students’ knowledge building as they build their skills in research, writing, speaking and listening, and analysis. The program’s attention to building students’ literacy development with appropriately rigorous and integrated skills practice sets them up for successfully engaging in grade level work for the next year. Overall, the materials do provide enough material for teachers to build students’ learning, although the teacher may need to revise some work since extra included components may be a distraction.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

24/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials are organized to support students’ knowledge building in multiple topics. Texts are organized and linked together to amplify how students explore topics and grow their understanding of not just the content of the texts, but the construction of texts per the authors’ choices of syntax and text components. Culminating tasks and research supports require students to integrate literacy skills while staying close to the text and demonstrate knowledge.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials are connected by and organized into modules with grade-level appropriate topics. At the beginning of each module, guiding questions and big ideas are presented to thematically tie anchor and up to eleven supporting texts together. The texts build knowledge and vocabulary; they provide opportunities to comprehend complex texts across a school year. Academic and domain-specific vocabulary are introduced at the beginning of some lessons. Related narrative and expository texts are placed together to encourage students to make meaning of the texts; a variety of text types related to the topic are presented to build knowledge. Several nonfiction and fiction texts are used in reading, writing, speaking, and listening learning experiences. Differentiated supplemental texts, supports, and extensions provide learners at multiple levels with independent reading opportunities.

Examples of how modules are organized around a topic include:

  • In Module 1, students read texts about Latin American folklore. The anchor text, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and supplemental texts support students to apply knowledge in various ways including answering Guiding Questions such as: “Why do we see evidence of myths and traditional stories in modern narratives? How and why can we modernize myths and traditional stories to be meaningful to today’s audiences?” Students also examine figurative language in the text. In Unit 1, Lesson 2, academic vocabulary terms gist and determine are introduced.

  • In Module 2, students read texts about food choices and its impact on personal health and the environment. The anchor text, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and supporting texts build knowledge about the topic. Guiding Questions include the following: “Where does our food come from? How do we analyze arguments about how food should be grown and processed?” In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students are introduced to the academic term, credibility, and the domain-specific vocabulary term, search terms.

  • In Module 3, students read texts about the history and impact of the Holocaust. The anchor text is a graphic novel, Maus by Art Spiegelman, and supplemental texts allow students to reflect on their learning and demonstrate their knowledge in a small group discussion and presentation. In Unit 1, Lesson 2, domain-specific terms about graphic novels are introduced: graphic novel, panel, and speech bubble.

  • In Module 4, students read texts about the history and effects of Japanese American internment. The anchor text, Farewell to Manzanar by James D. and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and a supplemental text help students answer the following Guiding Questions: “What were the causes and impacts of Japanese American internment camps? How can people effectively apply the lessons of internment to their own communities?” In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students are introduced to the academic vocabulary term, annotate.

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality questions and tasks.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Throughout the year, students analyze the structure, language, point of view, and characters of anchor texts in order to determine theme and central idea. The skills are practiced in various activities that include reading, writing, speaking, and listening and are embedded in students’ work through discussions, activities such as Language Dives, and collaborative anchor charts in the student workbook. Tasks are logically organized and increase in complexity over the course of a module and year. The materials place emphasis on comparison and synthesis of ideas, particularly providing opportunities to compare and contrast the ideas and concepts in the supplemental materials to the anchor texts.

Examples of questions and tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 5, students read an excerpt from Latin American Story Finder and complete a chart with a series of questions that address the following key ideas and details: “What is the central idea of this text? How does the author develop this idea?” The chart offers scaffolding by providing three main ideas and requiring students to provide the supporting details. A fourth main idea box is left blank, and students determine their own main idea and add the supporting details. After completing the chart, students orally summarize the article with a partner.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, as students read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, they complete a chart on the author's purpose and point of view. For each section of the text, students determine the author’s attitude toward the topic and collect evidence such as words or ideas that helped them determine the author’s purpose. They determine the point of view,  support with text evidence, and explain how the author’s point of view adds to their understanding of the topic. Students do the same exercise for three conflicting viewpoints in the text.

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students read a passage from Maus I and answer the following questions: “How would you describe the tone the author’s words create on page 23, panels 5 and 6 when Vladek says: ‘But this isn’t so proper, so respectful...I can tell you other stories but such private things, I don’t want you should mention.’ What does this reveal about Vladek’s character?  What evidence makes you think so? In your response be sure to include a description of the tone that Vladek’s statement creates, evidence from the text that supports your description of Vladek’s tone, and an explanation of what the statement reveals about Vladek’s character.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students read Farewell to Manzanar and complete a chart to track the connections among and distinction between ideas, individuals, and events. Then students determine the author’s methods from a list of techniques including allusion, categories, description, metaphor, simile, anecdote, dialogue, and reflection. Then they explain one of the connections or distinctions from each chapter. The first few chapters include sentence starters and examples, but later chapters do not include these scaffolds.

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 2c.

Texts and instructional activities are included to develop student knowledge about topics in science, social studies, arts, and technology. They read, discuss, and write about a topic across a module to integrate knowledge across multiple texts. The materials encourage students to provide evidence from text, show thorough understanding of concepts, and think creatively about applying the concepts. Reading tasks, question series, and culminating tasks provide coherent opportunities for analysis. The materials also provide guidance for teachers in supporting students’ integration of knowledge and ideas through Teacher Supporting Materials, ELL supports, and Additional Resources guides.

Examples of ways students integrate knowledge include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Module 1, students read supplemental texts to help them understand Latin folklore that is presented in the anchor text, Summer of the Mariposas. Students complete graphic organizers while reading to build vocabulary and answer questions to build knowledge and better understand the anchor text. For example in Unit 1, Lesson 5, after reading “The Latin American Story Finder,” students complete a graphic organizer with vocabulary tasks, main idea and supporting details tasks, and a culminating activity with the question:  “According to the author, how do magical Latin American folktales help people who have concerns in their own lives?”

  • In Module 2, students read texts and complete activities to increase their knowledge of “Food Choices.” Guiding Questions include the following: “Where does our food come from? How do we analyze arguments about how food should be grown and processed?”  Students read the anchor text, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and supplemental texts, including “Sticking Up for Coke, Sort of” and “Food Desert.”  For the End-of-Unit Assessment, students write an argument essay to defend a claim about how communities can make healthy food choices. The module ends with displays of learning, such as students write an argumentative essay about the food choices they think would most benefit their community, and present their claim to an audience.

  • In Module 3, students read texts and complete activities to increase their knowledge of the Holocaust. Guiding Questions include the following: “What was the Holocaust, and how did it occur? Why do we remember it? How did victims and survivors respond, and how can we honor their voices?” Students read the anchor text, Maus I, and supplemental texts, including “The Holocaust: An Introductory History” and “1994, Miep Gies”.  For the End-of-Unit Assessment, students write a narrative depicting a fictional interview with an imaginary upstander during the Holocaust. The module ends with displays of learning, such as students “create a graphic panel based on a narrative, and present it to an audience.”

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s)/theme(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials include culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated literacy skills. The culminating tasks, identified in the program as Performance Tasks, occur at the end of each of the four modules and allow students to apply their learning in experiential ways. Performance Tasks have authentic audiences, including classmates, school peers, and the wider community. They require students to demonstrate comprehension and application of the module’s topic through mastery of several different standards including reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills. The topics and anchor texts of each module together support the integration of Habits of Character, a key component of the curriculum which focuses on habits such as perseverance, responsibility and compassion.Throughout the course of each module, students complete coherently sequenced text-dependent questions to build knowledge and prepare them for the complexity of the Performance Task. 

Examples of how culminating tasks build knowledge and integrate skills include:

  • In Module 1, the Performance Task is a Class Website: Folklore of Latin America. In Unit 2, students research a “monster” from Latin American folklore and write an additional chapter for Summer of the Mariposas. In Unit 3, students write an essay comparing the original depiction of another “monster” from Latin American folklore with a modernized depiction from their Unit 2 narrative essays.  For the Performance Task, each student creates a webpage for the new scene and essay which are organized on a class website showcasing all of the work. The focus of web pages is on content rather than style; students follow a model website and criteria list.

  • In Module 2, the Performance Task is a Roundtable Presentation of Food Choices. In Unit 2, students research to answer the question, “How might climate change contribute to food shortage?” Then they participate in a desktop Teaching Protocol to share research about how the topic of choice impacts access to healthy food. In Unit 3, they write an argument essay to defend a claim about how communities can make healthy food choices. For the Performance Task, students create an infographic and a three-minute oral presentation of the argument essay from Unit 3. Students share their infographics in a roundtable presentation with an authentic audience of classmates, teachers, families, and community members.

  • In Module 3, the Performance Task is a Create and Present a Graphic Panel Depiction of a Fictional Holoocaust Upstander. In Unit 3, students write a narrative depicting a fictional interview with an imaginary upstander during the Holocaust. For the Performance Task, students create graphic panels to represent a key moment of the narrative and write a reflection. Students present their panels to an audience and answer questions about their work.

  • In Module 4, the Performance Task is an Activists Assembly: Focus Group on Applying Lesson from Japanese Internment. In Unit 2, students write a literary argument essay to evaluate the effectiveness of the choices made in the film, Farewell to Manzanar, in conveying the text using points, evidence, and reasoning to support a claim and to address a counterclaim. In Unit 3, they participate in a collaborative discussion about the overarching lessons that can be learned from Japanese American Internment and how the lessons are embodied in the redress movement. They deliver a presentation in triads about the research on how community organization embodies lessons from Japanese Internment today. For the Performance Task, students host and participate in the Activist Assembly. In discussion groups made up of two triads of students and visitors, students revisit and refine their research and then collaboratively discuss the question, “What are the most effective and meaningful ways to apply lessons from internment in our own community?” First, they discuss and record key ways in which organizations are applying lessons from internment. Then, they discuss and record ideas for how community members can apply lessons from Japanese American internment in their own community using an activist anchor chart. As an extension activity, the anchor charts and information about the organizations students researched are part of a display at the school so that others can learn where and how to contribute to their communities.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials align to the standards for the grade level and support writing growth over the course of the school year. Across the grade levels, the program uses the read-think-talk-write cycle. First, students analyze a model to help them understand how to effectively communicate their thinking about the content. Next, students write a practice piece that is similar to the model with direct instruction and support. Finally, using what they’ve learned, students write an independent piece. During this three-step process, students meet with their peers and teacher for further guided instruction and support. Process pieces are heavily scaffolded with well-designed lesson plans, models, exemplars, and protocols to support student writing. After each process piece, students complete an on-demand parallel writing piece with fewer scaffolds to assess understanding. Student materials include scaffolds such as Note-Catchers, checklists, and Reflection Guides to help them monitor their progress toward grade-level standards. Materials include suggestions for keeping “Track Progress” folders for students and teachers to monitor writing progress. Despite the extensive scaffolds, students make few choices about the organizational tools that work for them, and the writing tasks at the end of the year are similarly scaffolded as those at the beginning. 

Examples of a year-long plan for writing to meet standards include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, students write a compare and contrast essay comparing the original depiction of another “monster” from Latin American folklore with a modernized depiction from Unit 2 narrative essays. Throughout the units, students complete lessons that support them to write the essay. In Lesson 4, students use a Note-Catcher to compare depictions of La Llorona in “La Llorona” and in Summer of the Mariposas. In Lesson 5, students “choose strong evidence to support their contrast of the original myth of La Llorona and McCall’s reimagined telling.” In Lesson 7, students complete a Language Dive to determine how an author introduces a topic in order to prepare to write their own focus statements.

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lessons 4-12, students write both a practice argument and an assessment argument essay that defends a healthy food choice that they want their community to make. Students use The Painted Essay® template to examine a model argument essay. The template requires students to color-code parts of the essay depending on purpose. Materials include an argument writing checklist, an anchor chart, and graphic organizers to support students. Lessons include instruction on writing an introduction that captures a reader’s attention, provides context, and states a clear claim.  It also includes composing proof paragraphs that include reasons, evidence, and reasoning; writing an effective counterclaim paragraph; using transitions to show the relationship between ideas; and writing a conclusion that restates the claim and reflects on its importance.  Materials include Note-Catchers and graphic organizers to support students’ writing development. Students track their progress in argument writing by frequently referring to the Argument Writing checklist in the Student Materials. After students write the practice essay with a partner and scaffolding, they write an independent argumentative essay in an on-demand task using the same graphic organizers as they used while writing the process essay in the unit.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lessons 1-7, students write a pair of literary analysis informative essays, comparing and contrasting the structure and meaning of poems to Maus I.  Students use The Painted Essay® template to examine a model informative essay. The template requires students to color-code parts of the essay depending on purpose.  Materials include an informative writing checklist, an anchor chart, and graphic organizers to support students. Lessons include instruction on writing an introduction that captures a reader’s attention, provides context, and previews the focus and points of the essay; composing proof paragraphs that include robust evidence and effective elaboration; using transitions to sequence ideas; and writing a conclusion that restates the focus and reflects on its importance. Materials include Note-Catchers and graphic organizers to support students’ writing development. Students track their progress in informative writing by frequently referring to the Informative Writing Checklist in the Student Materials. After students write the practice essay with scaffolding, they write an independent informative essay in an on-demand task using the same graphic organizers as they used while writing the process essay in the unit.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, students write a literary argument essay analyzing the effectiveness of the choices made in the film, “Farewell to Manzanar.” Students determine a claim, gather evidence, provide reasoning that supports the claim, and address a counterclaim. Throughout the unit, students complete lessons that support them to write the essay. In Lesson 10, students examine the parts of a model argument essay and explain the purpose of each. The lesson also includes students using an Argument Writing Checklist and attending to the organization and development of an essay.  In Lesson 11, students use their knowledge of the element of an argument essay to create a plan for their practice essay. Additionally, students use a Think-Pair-Share protocol to discuss the topics of their essays. In Lesson 12, students draft an introduction that includes a hook to engage readers. They are provided with feedback to strengthen the introductions of their essays.  Students track their own progress in Argument Writing by frequently referring to the Argument Writing Checklist in the Student Materials. After students write the practice essay with a partner and heavy teacher scaffolding, they write an independent argumentative essay in an on-demand task using the self- selected supports they need.

Indicator 2f

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 Grade 8 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year to develop research skills based on grade-level standards. Students engage in activities requiring them to research both primary and secondary sources for the purpose of further understanding the anchor text or topic of the module. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources such as anchor texts within the unit and book lists for independent student research. Shorter and longer research projects are included as well as assessments to check development of research skills. Many useful supports for the student and teachers are included as guides through the research process, research mini lessons for teachers, and peer support for students.

Examples of short and long research projects and activities include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 7, students prepare to research a “monster” from Latin American Folklore. They review using effective search terms, determine the relevance and credibility of sources, gather information, paraphrase and quote, and cite sources during lesson activities led by the teacher.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 2-6, students research GMOs for a case study assignment. They learn about search terms, credible sources, and conduct research. In Lesson 6, they complete a research assessment in which they get a new research question and use their skills to answer questions and take notes. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 1-12, students participate in an Extended Research Project that culminates in an informative essay. They conduct research protocols around the question, “How do GMOs Influence Our Access to Healthy Food?” They are provided informational texts, model essays, Note-Catchers, and other graphic organizers and rubrics as guidance and feedback during the research process. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, students read provided resources to learn about Voices of Upstanders. They use the information to write an interview narrative from the perspective of an upstander to the Holocaust. In Unit 1, Lesson 10, students use class time to synthesize ideas about the theme of Maus I with questions such as: “What are the one or two most important or prominent themes you saw developed in Maus I? What makes you think that? How can we paraphrase these two themes? How would you state these themes in your own words? How are these themes developed throughout Maus I?” 

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 18-19, students write a literary argument in which they evaluate the effectiveness of the film, Farewell to Manzanar, in conveying a significant idea from the text. They use reasons, evidence, and reasoning to defend their stance and address a counterclaim.

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, students conduct research to learn more about activist organizations relating to Japanese American internment in their communities. In Lessons 6–12, students call a local organization and interview a representative of that organization. The materials include guidance for teachers to support students as they engage in these interviews.  The research contributes to the culminating task which is a presentation about “how a community organization embodies lessons from Japanese American internment today.”

  • In Module 4, the Performance Task requires students to research local activist organizations that connect to the lessons learned from Japanese American internment.  During an Activist Assembly, students share their information and synthesize their learning throughout the unit with classmates and community members. 

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials partially meet the expectations of criterion 2.2 While the materials consistently provide students practice with grade level material, the directions and extra supports may complicate integrity of implementation. The teacher may have to re-design to assure that the student truly does access the high quality grade level material provided by the program in the amount of time provided by a typical school year.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 2g.

The Grade 8 materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned  standards; however, several key standards in Reading Informational Text are assessed only once. Specifically, the majority of Reading Literary Text standards are taught at least twice, while the Informational Text standards (RI.8.2, RI.8.3, RI.8.5, RI.8.7, RI.8.8, RI8.9) are taught and practiced in several lessons, they are assessed once. The standards alignment is documented in teacher planning materials. Each lesson segment is aligned to grade-level standards with grade-level appropriate questions and tasks; assessments cover the key standards taught in each module. The program is organized so students encounter skills and topics with increased complexity that reinforce previous learning. The materials also are presented in a logical sequence and repeated in a way to address the full extent of the standard. Optional materials are rare, though there are opportunities for diverse learners to meet the standards through scaffolded questions, activities, and assessments rather than providing less rigorous instruction. A few questions and tasks per module focus on the curriculum’s habits of character teachings and learner-based reflections; however, most are directly standards-based. Consideration is given in the program to ensure students understand the quality of the standards, how they are addressed, and how individual students feel about their progress toward meeting standards.

Examples of how the curriculum is arranged include:

  • Key standards (RL.8.1, RI.8.1, RI.8.10, W.8.4, W.8.6, W.8.10, L.8.4, L.8.5, L.8.6) are taught and assessed to some degree in at least three modules.

  • In each module, students track their progress several times on the standards. For example, in Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 5, students use a chart to track how they feel they are performing on the standards. Both teacher and student provide a written reflection concerning progress toward the standards. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 14, students “identify advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present information on local sustainable food,” aligned to the standard RI.8.7. During the lesson, students answer questions: “What mediums have we discussed as we have reread sections of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and explored new texts? What medium(s) are most helpful to you, as a learner, when analyzing information or learning about a topic?” Then, they analyze excerpts from The Omnivore’s Dilemma and a short video, “What You Can Do,” to answer questions about the “motive, purpose, and advantages and disadvantages of mediums.”

  • Some lessons contain questions about the habits of character. In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, the materials address the habits in questions: “The text says, ‘For their actions, Vos and her husband received the title ‘righteous people’ in 1992.’ What makes Johtje and Aart Vos righteous people? Why do you think they helped 36 people? How did you feel about Johtje and Aart Vos as you read their story? Why?” While the second half of the questions are not standards-aligned, they do not represent more than 20% of provided questions.

  • For the Module 4, Mid-Unit 2 Assessment, students answer multi-part questions that require them to analyze connections, distinctions, and point of view in Farewell to Manzanar: “What method do the authors use in the last paragraph on page 168 to make a connection between Jeanne’s experience of interment and her life afterward?” (RI.8.1, RI.8.3), Which statement best represents the connection between Jeanne’s experience of internment and her life afterward as conveyed by the answer in Part A?” (RI.8.3), “What sentence from pages 165-177 best conveys the answer in Part A?” (RI.8.1, RI.8.3).

  • Some ELL support provides access to grade-level content. In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 7, ELL Materials include a scaffolded graphic organizer with sentence starters and occasional multiple choice options to support ELLs in completing the same task as the rest of the class. 

  • Some ELL support reduces cognitive demand. In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 2, supports include problematic sentence starters and multiple choice questions, such as “Based on your discussion in our previous lesson, what are some of the key structural elements of Maus I?” The options include, “A. Spiegelman uses his father’s flashbacks to portray a chronological recounting of his life.  B. Spiegelman uses a flash forward technique to preview his father’s life in this future.”  Then, the materials provide the sentence starter “The flashbacks to a chronological plot structure of Maus I emphasize…” By using the sentence starter to answer the previous question, materials undermine providing access to grade-level thinking and content.

  • In Modules 1 and 3, students have multiple opportunities for instruction in and practice of writing narrative texts.

  • In Modules 2 and 4, students have multiple opportunities for instruction in and practice of writing arguments.

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. 

The Grade 8 materials are organized to balance time and resources throughout the course of a year; however, because individual lessons and tasks may take longer than the curriculum estimates, it may not be possible to complete all modules in a school year. The materials provide 36 weeks of instruction, which does not allow for any variation in the schedule including state testing, assemblies, etc.  There are four modules that are each designed to last eight to nine weeks and include two assessments. Each module consists of three units. At the beginning of each unit, a time frame is given in weeks and daily sessions. Each lesson is designed for a 45-minute instructional day. Each lesson includes a time allotment for each of the four to six daily activities, aligned to core learning and standards-based objectives. At the lesson level, the requirements of the tasks would likely take longer than the allotted time. Most suggested times do not seem possible for students achieving below honors level. Standards are scaffolded to increase rigor and relevance over the course of a given year. While no optional activities are listed, diverse learners have scaffolds embedded in the lessons to assist with understanding which likely would take longer than the allotted time. Your Curriculum Companion offers a section called, “How Can I Stay on Track and on Target With My Pacing” to assist teachers in the pacing of the day, the unit, and the module.

Examples of implementation guidance and ways the program timelines may not allow for full implementation include, but are not limited to:

  • In all modules, most lessons are divided into the following segments: Opening, Work Time, Closing Assessment, and Homework. The allotted times for each segment would be challenging especially for novice teachers. For example, in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 2, the plan suggests that the Work Time segment of the lesson takes 35 minutes. This includes an introduction to how to read a graphic novel for ten minutes, students previewing the anchor text for ten minutes, and reading Chapter 1 of the anchor text for 15 minutes. The anchor text preview includes a student Think-Pair-Share activity that should be completed within the ten minute segment. 

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, the Teacher Edition a suggested pacing of two weeks or 11 days is suggested to complete the unit. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 3, students read and analyze “Psychological Effects of Camp,” a text at the high end of the Lexile level for the grade band.  Materials allot 20 minutes to read a small section of the text with a jigsaw group, working to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary and determining a central idea. Students share out the central idea of each section and write a summary of the section that they read. These activities would likely take longer than 20 minutes. 

Examples of information for alternate implementation to maintain alignment to the standards include, but are not limited to:

  • In each lesson, teachers are given suggested scripts to read prior to teaching. Your Curriculum Companion suggests using a printed version of the lesson and to “mark it up with a highlighter or use sticky notes to keep yourself focused and to aid a smooth delivery.” For example in Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 3, the Teacher Edition includes a script marked in red and italicized font to help teachers quickly identify and concisely give directions in the interest of pacing and clarity.

  • In the Module 1 Performance Task, options for students include creating an audio version of their narrative and creating their own artwork for their webpages to illustrate their narratives. The Performance Task also includes options for teachers to give time for students to peer review each other’s narratives and have a “website launch event” to showcase their narratives.

  • In Module 2, optional tasks to introduce The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the content of the module include inviting people involved in food production (farmers, grocers, etc.) to share with the class, visiting a farm or farmer’s market to learn about local food, and inviting community members to share how they make decisions about what they eat.  

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, standards are organized and scaffolded across the unit to increase rigor and relevance toward mastery of the lesson. For example, Lesson 8 (L8.1c) Using Verb Mood Organizer, Lesson 9 (L8.1c) Selected and Constructed Response Questions: Verb Mood and Voice, and Lesson 10 (L8.1c) Entrance Ticket - Read summary of supplemental text and answer constructed response questions concerning verb mood and voice.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 3, providing teachers ample supports to implement the materials with fidelity while they support students’ learning and grow their own professional expertise. Resources include an assessment suite to measure short- and long-term development, as well as differentiation scaffolds for students who demonstrate above- or below-grade level proficiency. The materials support engaging English learners in core curricular activities, emphasizing home language and background as an asset that enriches and improves students’ education.

Criterion 3a - 3h

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content.

9/9
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Criterion Rating Details

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content. Guidance and support for teachers include useful annotations and suggestions not only for basic implementation, but also for implementation in local settings. The materials include examples explanations for teachers to grow their own knowledge as they assure students have access to grade level practice. Alignment to the standards is clearly designated throughout the program, not just for the teacher but also in materials for community and families.

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials, with specific attention to engaging students in order to guide their literacy development.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3a. 

The Grade 6 materials include useful annotations in the Teacher Edition, Guide for English Language Learners, and supporting materials. The introduction in the Teacher Edition explains the design and principles of the curriculum. Each daily lesson is divided into Opening, Work Time, Closing and Assessment, and Homework. Lesson annotations include clear directions, scripting in red and italics when appropriate, time stamps, and bolded references to any student materials. Suggestions are included for varying levels of scaffolds for each lesson. Answer keys are provided for all activities, including homework. Text guides address sensitive issues in the anchor texts with suggestions of how to handle them.

Examples of lesson annotations and suggestions include:

  • Each teacher facing lesson begins by highlighting CCSS, daily learning targets, and on-going assessment. 

  • An agenda for the day is presented with time stamps for Opening, Work Time, Closing and Assessment, and Homework. 

  • Teaching Notes provide helpful information on ways to adapt the lessons. 

  • Teachers are provided with ways technology and multimedia may be used in the lesson.

  • Academic or domain-specific vocabulary is listed.

  • A list of materials needed to complete each lesson is listed.

Indicator 3b

Materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade/course-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3b.

The Grade 8 materials include explanations and examples so that teachers can improve their knowledge. Teaching Notes are included in each lesson and provide adult-level explanations on numerous topics: purpose of the lesson, information on alignment to the standards for assessments, ways to monitor instruction, support to make informed decisions on adapting the curriculum, suggestions for accommodations and differentiation, links to professional articles explaining the purpose of a protocol, opportunities and guidance to extend student learning and assessments, and a preview of upcoming lessons.

Examples of explanations include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, the Teacher Edition includes an explanation of the purpose of independent reading to build knowledge of a topic:  “Students will choose independent research reading texts, which are texts on the topic. See Independent Reading Sample Plans (see the Tools page at http://eled.org/tools) for ideas on how to launch independent reading. If using already established routines for launching independent reading, in this lesson students will choose a research reading text. The research reading that students complete for homework helps build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to Summer of the Mariposas, specifically of Latin American folklore. By participating in this volume of reading over time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of this topic.”

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 2, the Teacher Edition includes an explanation of an opportunity to extend learning: “To honor diverse cultural practices and to cultivate global awareness of food access and choices, build in time for students to research the prevalence of genetically modified foods worldwide. Invite students to focus on a country of their choice. Be sensitive to different preferences; some students may be enthusiastic about researching GMOs in a country of ancestry, while others will prefer to focus on an unfamiliar location.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 1, the Teacher Edition includes teacher instruction for purpose and best practices of annotating text: “Annotating Text goes beyond underlining, highlighting, or making symbolic notations or codes on a given text. Annotation includes adding purposeful notes, key words and phrases, definitions, and connections tied to specific sections of text. Annotating text promotes student interest in reading and gives learners a focused purpose for writing. It supports readers’ ability to clarify and synthesize ideas, pose relevant questions, and capture analytical thinking about text. Annotation also gives students a clear purpose for actively engaging with text and is driven by the goals or learning targets of the lesson.”

Indicator 3c

Materials include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3c.

The Grade 8 materials include a Teacher Edition that provides an overview of the standards that are addressed in each module. In each lesson, an agenda describes the lesson sections, including the Opening, Work Time, and Closing and Assessment, and identifies the standards that are addressed.  Supporting standards are also identified in each lesson. For supporting standards, the Teacher Edition states, “These are the standards that are incidental-no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.” In the Your Curriculum Companion, the key shifts of the CCSS are explained in the context of the curriculum. It explains previous practice, the instructional shift, and how the curriculum supports the shift. This section also includes a table that correlates the College and Career Ready ELA/Literacy Standards to the curriculum. A case study in this section illustrates in-depth how the Topic, Tasks, Targets, and Texts are used to achieve daily, unit, and module-length goals. The section gives teachers advice on making instructional decisions that keep the integrity of the standards intact.

Indicator 3d

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3d.

The Grade 8 materials include an introductory welcome letter in the Additional Resources tab that teachers send at the beginning of the year to give families an overview of the year’s modules, units, and goals. The letter includes an overview of the program and anchor texts students will read throughout the year. A rationale is given for including each text along with the main tasks for each module and how those tasks fit into a full year’s learning. In the Teacher Supporting Materials for each unit, homework resources are included for families. These detailed documents include, Guiding Questions and Big Ideas, homework per lesson, and information on independent reading and vocabulary.

Examples of resources include:

  • In Module 3, the homework resources for families include these Guiding Questions and Big Ideas: ”What was the Holocaust and how did it occur? Why do we remember it? What will your student be doing at school? How can you support your student at home?” Then the unit’s homework is presented including information on research, choice reading, and vocabulary logs. A chart of each lesson’s homework is presented. Next, instruction on how to keep an independent reading log is presented along with a list of example prompts for the student to choose from to respond to their reading.

Indicator 3e

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3e.

The Grade 8 materials include a section in the Your Curriculum Companion that explains how research impacts the design of the curriculum and how the curriculum addresses College and Career Ready standards. Chapter 1 describes how research impacts the vocabulary, knowledge-building, syntax, and fluency components of the curriculum to close the opportunity gap. It also includes chapters that explain the instructional approaches of the curriculum, including preparing to teach, supporting students to read complex texts, writing with evidence, supporting students to meet grade-level expectations, and helping students grow as learners and people. 

Examples of instructional approaches include:

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, the section, “How Did Research Impact the Design of the Curriculum, and What Difference Will It Make to My Students?” addresses student gaps due to varying levels of readiness. Research citing systemic inequities and the Matthew Effect, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” are included along with a mission from the publisher. This mission is to “give all students access to a challenging, engaging, and empowering curriculum built on best practices in literacy instruction in order to accelerate their achievement.” Included in this section is research for the following four elements of literacy instruction: vocabulary, knowledge-building, syntax and fluency.

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, chapters explain the instructional approaches, including preparing to teach, supporting students to read complex texts, writing with evidence, supporting students to meet grade-level expectations, and helping students grow as learners and people. The chapters include QR codes for videos showcasing the pedagogy within the curriculum, including the routines such as Language Dives, Peer Critique, Jigsaw, Unpacking a Learning Target, and Close Reading.  

  • In the You Curriculum Companion, the section, “How Will the Curriculum Help Me Address College-and Career-Ready Standards?” explains the three main shifts in the creation of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy. Details concerning how the shifts are more aligned with research on best practice is included along with an explanation of how the new shifts are more beneficial to student learning and closing the gap among all learners. In addition, a table is provided that describes how the curriculum materials address the specific aspects of the standards in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.

Indicator 3f

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities.

1/1
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3f.

The Grade 8 materials include a 6-8 Required Trade Books and Resources Procurement List, including titles, authors, publishers, quantities, ISBN or UPC codes, Text Types, Lexiles, and Publication Dates. These details are provided for all texts and videos used in the program. Each lesson includes a list of required materials, including “Materials from Previous Lessons” and “New Materials.”  Material lists are also categorized by items used by students and teachers. In each Module Overview,  the Texts and Resources section includes a list of required textbooks and resources and the number of each resource needed. The Preparations and Materials sections explain the materials the teacher needs to prepare in advance and the location of those materials. In addition, any new materials needed for both teacher and student are listed.

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Criterion 3i - 3l

The program includes a system of assessments identifying how materials provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards.

8/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials include clear and comprehensive information on which standards are assessed at which point in time, with accompanying assessment system supports. The materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in formal and informal ways. The materials also include guidance for the teacher to provide differentiated assessment where necessary.

Indicator 3i

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials include information on which standards are assessed. The Teacher Edition and the Teacher Guide for English Language Learners for each module provide an overview of the standards being taught and assessed in each series of lessons. Each module’s Teacher Supporting Materials includes an Assessment Overview and Resources section. This section details the standards assessed in each Mid-Unit and End-of-Unit Assessment. Each question in the assessments includes an annotation of what standard the question is intended to evaluate. For assessments that include a discussion, materials provide a checklist with the standards and performance criteria for teachers to aid in assessment.  For assessments that involve writing, materials provide an annotated exemplar showing where the exemplar achieves the standards being assessed. Assessment Design in Expeditionary Learning in Grades 3-8 is another document that provides details about the assessment design process and explains how modules assess student achievement of the Common Core Standards, the groupings of standards in each assessment, and how the learning of each module scaffolds students toward meeting the standards in the assessments.

Indicator 3j

Assessment system provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3j.

TheGrade 8 materials include assessments with scoring guidelines to interpret student performance; however, specific suggestions for follow-up or interventions are not provided. The discussion or performance assessments include a checklist with the standards and performance criteria for teachers to aid in assessment.  The speaking assessments include forms for running records of student performance with standards references. The writing assessments include rubrics and annotated exemplars showing where the exemplar achieves the standards being assessed. Assessments that include revising are accompanied by a Teacher Reference with the revisions made and an explanation of why each revision is necessary. Accommodations and extensions are suggested for the assessments, and opportunities for students to reflect on their own performance are included. Materials prompt teachers to provide students with specific feedback and allocate time to conferencing with students about performance. Because ELA standards are cyclical and often revisited, follow-up can be provided in that way, but the curriculum does not specifically provide suggestions.

Indicator 3k

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and practices across the series.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3k.

The Grade 8 materials include assessments that measure the expectations of the standards regarding rigor and depth. There are six unit assessments per module at mid-unit and the end of the unit. A variety of item types are presented including, selected response, sort and long constructed response, text-based discussion, written reflection, online research and note-taking, presentations and essays. Standards-based formative and summative assessments are included in each unit in all modules. Also, each lesson includes a section titled Ongoing Assessment at the beginning of the lesson, and an Assessment Guidance section within the Teaching Notes that detail the kinds of data the teacher can collect on student progress toward the standard. 

Daily formative assessments include writing and reflection, strategic observation and listening, and debriefs. Writing and reflection assessments include summary writing, Note-Catchers and Entrance Tickets, and Exit Tickets. Strategic observation and listening are assessments made by the teacher while students are engaged in conversation during a Turn-and-Talk or other conversation-based protocol. Debriefs occur at the end of each lesson when students reflect on their progress toward the learning targets and standards. 

Summative assessments are standards-based constructed responses to culminating discussions, presentations, or on-demand writing. Anchor writing standards are taught and assessed in every module. Students write essays to inform or to express a claim, or they write narratives. As a summative assessment, these writing tasks are independent and on-demand. 

Examples of formative assessment types include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students complete an Author’s Purpose and Point of View: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Note-Catcher (RI 8.1, RI 8.6).

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students complete an Entrance Ticket where they read a passage about a concentration camp and answer a short constructed response question concerning the passage (RI 8.1).

Examples of summative assessment types include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lessons 4-5, students complete the Mid-Unit Summative Assessment titled “Determine Theme and Write a Summary” (RL8.1, RL8.2, RL8.4, L8.4).

  • In Module 2, Unit 2,  the Mid-Unit Assessment directions state: “In this assessment, students are presented with a new research question, ‘How might climate change contribute to a food shortage?’ and use the skills they have developed to answer questions and fill in a graphic organizer with their research findings.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 12, students complete the End-of-Unit Summative Assessment titled “Language Assessment: Correct Verb Mood” (L8.1c, L8.1d, L8.3).

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, the End-of-Unit Assessment directions state: “In this assessment, students will complete a draft of a narrative essay that they have planned. They will bring their fictional profile of their upstander, interview questions, and explosive moments and will draft their narrative using these resources.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, the End-of-Unit Assessment directions state: “The End of Unit 3 Assessment is a speaking and listening assessment. Student triads present their visual display and the information about the organization they gathered from their research. Each member of the triad will participate in presenting information about the focus questions: (1) What is the organization, and what kind of work does it do? (2) How does the organization’s work connect to lessons from internment? (3) How can people get involved with this organization, and how can they carry out similar work in their own lives for their own communities? The assessment focuses on the use of the visual display to enhance the presentation (SL.8.5) and the use of formal language while presenting (SL.8.6, L.8.6).”

Indicator 3l

Assessments offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3l.

The Grade 8 materials include accommodations for students while taking assessments so they are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment. Teaching Notes for each lesson include a section titled “Support for All Students” and “Assessment Guidance” with suggestions for how to support students in completing the assessment. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners (ELLs) offers additional teacher assistance to guide teachers in providing the appropriate amount of support for ELLs. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners includes guidance for each lesson and a section titled, “Levels of Support” to document “lighter support” and “heavier support” for each assessment. Both types of supports are scaffolds only and do not change the content of the assessment.  

Examples of accommodations provided include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 12, Teaching Notes in the ”Support for All Students” section states: “If students receive accommodations for assessments, communicate with the cooperating service providers regarding the practices of instruction in use during this study as well as the goals of the assessment. For some students, this assessment may require more than the 30 minutes allotted. Provide time over multiple days if necessary. Provide students with individual photocopies of anchor charts for use during the End-of-Unit Assessment, and encourage students to annotate it to help with processing and planning writing.“

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 6, the Levels of Support section of the Teaching Guide for ELLs states, “Before the assessment, underline key vocabulary in the assessment directions and prompt and read aloud together as a class to ensure that students understand each task included in the assessment. Invite students who need lighter support to restate or clarify information for students who need heavier support. Review key terms (connection, distinction, method) aloud, and provide a glossary of terms that students can refer back to, as needed, to help them stay grounded while answering the questions on the assessment.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 6, the Teacher Guide for ELLs suggests heavier support for the Mid-Unit Assessment: “Display a ‘map’ of the assessment to reference while explaining directions to the Mid-Unit assessment. This will reduce ambiguity and give students a clearer picture of what they can expect so that they can better allocate their time and attentional resources. Provide students with colored pencils or highlighters so that they can mark up the ‘map’ as needed. An example is given below: 

    • Read the sentence. Then answer the questions about vocabulary and figurative language. 

    • Read the paragraph on page 37. Then answer questions about distinctions in the text.

    • Answer questions about relationships between individuals in the text.

    • Answer questions about connections in the text. 

    • Read the sentence. Then answer questions about connotation and distinctions in the text. 

    • Read the sentence. Then answer questions about word parts and the meaning of words in the text.”

Criterion 3m - 3v

The program includes materials designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level/grade-band/series content.

6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials provide clear supports for teachers to assure all students have access to the full demands of the standards, not just in isolation but also in application. Students have many opportunities for collaboration through various protocols and debriefs that encourage literacy development, skill improvement, and knowledge enhancement. Students have many opportunities to demonstrate knowledge in different ways and in different engagements with their peers as well as in independent work. Supports and guidance for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level are authentic, useful, and engaging. 

Students who are acquiring English are supported in these materials in specific guidance for the teacher throughout the core material, with varying degrees of support dependent on what each student needs. 

The materials highlight that all students must in that students work with rich, rigorous grade level work. Emphasis is placed on valuing students’ home language and cultural/social backgrounds, highlighting that what each child brings to the classroom is an asset to bolster knowledge and overall literacy development.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3m.

The Grade 8 materials include a Teacher Edition with a section called Support All Students that provides strategies and supports for students in special populations. Lessons provide opportunities and suggestions for differentiation and modifications as needed. In the Teacher Guide for English Language Learners, a black triangle signifies a differentiated version of student-facing materials to support all learners as needed. Lessons are designed to support small groups and individual students. Students also have many opportunities for collaboration through various protocols and debriefs that encourage literacy development, skill improvement, and knowledge enhancement.

Examples of strategies and supports include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, in the Support All Students section instructions state: “In Work Time A, provide choice in how to carry out the reading portion of the lesson: some students may prefer to read independently and silently, while others (especially ELLs) may wish to read aloud in groups with peers and/or with support. Still others may wish to read silently for a few pages and then process with a group.” Further instruction states, “Build in different options for expressing comprehension of the text (written reflection, voice recording, discussion with partners/groups).”

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 3, in the Support All Students section, instruction states: ”For students needing extra support with research, identify several sources (websites, articles, videos) at varying levels (e.g., from Newsela or Gale databases) that will answer as many of the research questions as possible, and make this list of sources available to them. Or, make the Researchers Do These Things anchor chart a checklist or roadmap that students can use to guide them in the process.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 4, in the Support All Students section, instruction states: “Taking notes while watching the film segment may be challenging for some students, as taking meaningful notes in class requires both a high level of listening comprehension and the ability to write quickly. Consider ways to scaffold this exercise for students who need heavier support. This may include giving time for students to skim and review chapters 1 and 2 of the text before beginning the film.” A Note-Catcher is provided for students to use with a graphic organizer as they compare text to film.

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3n.

The Grade 8 materials include extension activities that are authentic applications of higher learning, not just additional work given to students who finish early and accurately. The Teacher Notes include an Opportunities to Extend Learning section that provides extensions for every lesson. Extensions are included in daily lessons, Performance Tasks, and other activities that can be applied across an entire module. Extensions can be applied to daily lessons by assigning different or additional research on the module topic, practicing or deepening skills tied directly to a lesson’s standards, removing scaffolds so students complete tasks independently, and encouraging creative expression and leadership skills. Extensions can be applied to the Performance Tasks by increasing the complexity of the work through higher-order thinking skills; expanding the craftsmanship through increased demands of accuracy, detail, and aesthetic quality of the task; and requiring a higher demand of original thinking or authentic personal voice and ideas to the task. Extensions can be applied across the entire module by providing students with opportunities to listen to experts, conduct fieldwork, and engage in service learning projects. Your Curriculum Companion also provides guidance for which extensions should be considered for the whole class and which should be considered for small groups or individuals. Some extensions are geared to students who show more interest in the topic rather than above grade-level skill. While extensions occasionally amount to more work, on the whole, they provide opportunities for deeper learning.

Examples of extensions for students above grade level include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 2, the Opportunities to Extend Learning section suggests students research myths or traditional stories that may be a part of their own or another culture they choose to research. Students reflect on how these stories reflect and impact culture and identity.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 15, students create a goal for their performance in the End-of-Unit Assessment.

  • In Module 2, the Performance Task extensions have students provide an audio recording of their argument in the form of a podcast, work collaboratively on a group presentation and infographic, and create artwork to accompany their speech. They also have the choice to create a video of their presentation, which shows the visual component while recording the audio component. They could also compile their digital copies of their presentations and create a class website to house their arguments.

  • In Module 3, students research additional topics like Hitler Youth and other historical and current-day genocides. It also recommends that students write about how they can be an upstander. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 2, students conduct extra research on Japanese American internment camps and show quick proficiency in determining the gist of articles to create text-dependent questions about the chapter to share with their group.

  • In Module 4, students work with the school librarian to develop book displays or reading lists of texts about Japanese American internment. 

Indicator 3o

Materials provide varied approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for for students to monitor their learning.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials provide various ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge of content and apply specific ELA standards. Anchor writing standards are taught and assessed in each module in on-demand and independent writing tasks. On-demand and culminating tasks encourage students to demonstrate understanding of learning targets and encourage deep analysis of texts. Entrance and Exit Tickets, Note-Catchers, and summary writings are examples of formative tasks in lessons. Research skills are part of lessons and Performance Tasks to build information-literacy and multimedia presentation skills. Opportunities for pairs, trios, and group work are provided throughout the modules and across each grade level, allowing students to develop interpersonal relationships and collaboration skills. Students often consult with peers in pairs and small groups to receive feedback about their work. These collaborative opportunities take place at the lesson level and the end-of-module Performance Tasks. Students use creativity and higher-level thinking skills to complete summative assessments and Performance Tasks. Summative assessments vary in format and include constructed or selected response questions and discussions or presentations. Performance Tasks are designed to encourage student authenticity, complexity, and craftsmanship. They vary in design from creation of a website page to panels for graphic novels. Students complete self-assessments after each summative assessment using the Tracking Progress Form. A “debrief” at the end of one lesson during the closing and assessment phase is another opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning and inform next steps. At the end of the year, students review these forms to review their progress.

Examples of the variety of learning tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, after writing a new scene for the book, Summer of the Mariposas, involving a “monster” they have created based on Latin American Folklore, students write an informative essay comparing their modernized monster to that of its original depiction in Latin American Folklore. In the Performance Task, students create a web page for their new scene. Students’ web pages are organized on a class website. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, after completing an informative essay about GMOs and one other controversial food-related topic of their choice, students create and present an infographic in a roundtable presentation to their peers, teachers, families, and other community members.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, after reading about upstanders who took action during the Holocaust, students write a fictional profile of an upstander and write a fictional narrative of an interview. For their Performance Task, students create graphic panels to represent a key moment of their narrative essay and present the graphic panels to their classmates. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, in preparation for their Performance Tasks, students work in triads to research local and national activist organizations of interest. The triad then writes interview questions for the organization. Finally, students present their findings and a visual display that illustrates the work of the organization during the Activist Assembly which includes students, teachers, families and community members.

The Grade 8 materials provide a systematic approach for students to monitor their own learning. Each lesson begins with learning targets derived from the standards and written in student-friendly language. Students regularly break apart learning targets, determining what parts of the targets are most important. Throughout the module, students complete self-evaluation documents where they track their progress on each learning target. Students participate in debriefs at the end of lessons to reflect on their learning and complete self-evaluation. Students complete checklists to self-evaluate their progress and a protocol for students and teachers to share and accept feedback collaboratively. After each Mid-Unit and End-of-Unit Assessment, students reflect on their performance and set goals for the future. Before the subsequent assessments, students reflect on past successes and set a goal for the assessment at hand.

Indicator 3p

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials provide a variety of grouping strategies and protocols to encourage flexible groupings, higher levels of thinking, and knowledge retention. Partners, triads, and groups of four and five engage in learning experiences using various protocols like Face to Face, Back to Back, Chalk Talk, Collaborative Conversations, Fishbowl Discussions, and Socratic Seminar. Additionally, there are partner and small group options and support for text reading including, partner reading, Poetry for Multiple Voices, and Reader Theater Scripts. The protocols encourage students to learn to speak in front of their peers, listen actively, challenge ideas, and collaborate. 

Examples of grouping strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 15, students participate in a Think-Pair-Share activity to give each other feedback on how they performed in a Socratic Seminar.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 1, students work with a partner to conduct research about access to healthy food in preparation for their upcoming research paper about GMOs.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 12, students use the grouping protocols, Turn-and-Talk and Think-Pair-Share, to analyze graphic panels of an upstander during the time of the Holocaust. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 1, students work in predetermined pairs to complete the activity sheet, Infer the Topic, about the upcoming module and anchor text. 

Indicator 3q

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards to regularly participate in learning English language arts and literacy.

2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the criteria for Indicator 3q.

The Grade 8 materials provide strategies and supports for ELL students as they work with grade-level content. All students engage in the same anchor and supplemental texts. English Language Learner instruction and strategies are integrated into each lesson of the curriculum. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners provides support for each lesson to ensure that ELL students of differing abilities receive appropriate scaffolding for language proficiency standards. This includes unit and lesson highlights and Differing Levels of Language Support for the various items in each lesson to support learners in accessing content at the differing levels of language proficiency. 

In the standard Teacher Guide, a black triangle indicates instruction that is particularly supportive of intermediate ELL students. The curriculum includes specific approaches and strategies at the unit and lesson level, highlighting Language Dives as a high-yield strategy. Language Dives are provided throughout the modules and across all grade levels and provide the opportunity to “notice and wonder” about the ways in which language is used to convey meaning. Each Language Dive consists of a “Deconstruct, Reconstruct and Practice” routine which promotes building language, literacy and habits of mind. Conversation Cues are utilized at all grade levels and are designed to build the capacity for all students to engage in rich, collaborative discussions targeted at the ELA standards. Writing Scaffolds are provided throughout the modules and across grade levels. These scaffolds include teacher modeling and sentence and paragraph frames to assist students who need additional language support.

Examples of ELL supports include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 4, materials suggest the lighter support of sharing graphic representations of aliens, monsters, and ghosts to help students understand the meaning of “supernatural.”  Heavier support suggests having triads of students work together on one text-dependent question and sharing out to the class, rather than completing all of the questions independently.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 4, materials state that in order for ELL students to successfully complete the independent research required, teachers may help ELLs choose texts and subtopics that they feel confident about and lead a small group discussion coupled with written explanations before “introducing them to case-study texts in Work Time B.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 11, materials suggest lighter support of helping students chunk the text, circling unfamiliar words, conducting repeated readings and summarizing or paraphrasing parts of the text. For heavier support, materials suggest providing a translation of the text or a summary of the text in the student’s home language.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 11, materials provide a scaffolded, partially-completed graphic organizer to help students complete the Argument Essay Writing Plan graphic organizer. 

Indicator 3r

Materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials include two platforms for accessing the materials and both include images and information with people of various demographic and physical characteristics. One platform is the EL Education Open Up Resources; there are no images in the curriculum. The resources consist of PDF documents for the Teacher Guide and the student workbooks, and worksheets do not include illustrations. The other platform uses the Learnzillion Internet platform. When accessed through Learnzillion, the images include illustrated characters presenting the lesson information.These characters represent various racial and ethnic backgrounds and people of different physical abilities. Reading texts throughout the materials include diverse perspectives. 

Examples of diverse perspectives in the texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students learn about Folklore of Latin American. 

  • In Module 3, students learn about the plight of European Jews during the Holocaust. 

  • In Module 4, students learn about the Japanese American experience during Internment.

Indicator 3s

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 materials include The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners that provides guidance and strategies for teachers to encourage students to use their home language to facilitate learning. For each module and lesson, there are suggested levels of support from lighter to heavier based on the needs of the student. Heavier support usually includes suggestions for using the student’s home language. In addition, transcripts for some videos are provided to the student in their home language to facilitate comprehension. 

Examples of guidance and support include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, heavier support includes, “For classes with more than one ELL sharing the same home language, invite an ELL with strong proficiency in both English and the home language to provide an oral summary of the chapter in the home language.” 

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 3, in a lesson about paraphrasing and summarizing, three examples of heavier support include, “Invite students to find a short (one-paragraph) excerpt from an online resource about GMOs written in their home language. Invite students to write a paraphrase of the short excerpt in their home language. Invite students to write a one-sentence summary of the excerpt in their home language.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 11, heavier support includes, “ For ELLs who require heavy support, consider providing a version (or a summary of each version) of each excerpt in students’ home languages prior to reading the English version. This will orient ELLs to the content they will encounter, helping them to balance the cognitive and linguistic demands of navigating new texts.”

Indicator 3t

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.  In the daily lesson plans, the Support All Students Materials inform teachers about cultural or social issues that may be incorporated within students’ reading and give suggestions on how to support students. The Opportunities to Extend Learning notes frequently provides suggestions about connecting learning to student interests.  The Teacher’s Guides for English Language Learners (Unit Teacher Notes) encourage teachers to use cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning:  “Investigate the routines, practices, rituals, beliefs, norms, and experiences that are important to ELLs and their families.Integrate this background into the classroom as students engage with texts. Consider the values and narratives embedded in class texts, and try to anticipate their relevance to ELLs.” Additionally, diversity, inclusion, and cultural relevance considerations are provided in the teaching notes section of the Teacher Edition for each lesson.

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Criterion 3w - 3z

The program includes a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology (when applicable) with guidance for teachers.

0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials do not include interactive tools, virtual manipulatives, or dynamic software. Materials do not include digital nor embedded technology. Materials come in two formats which both have a visual design that supports learning. The design is not distracting or chaotic, and it neither adds to nor distracts from the subject matter.

Indicator 3w

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials do not include interactive tools, virtual manipulatives, or dynamic software. The materials are available in a digital format in the Learnzillion platform; however, it consists of slides with the lesson materials embedded that are not interactive.

Indicator 3x

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

N/A

Materials do not include digital technology.

Indicator 3y

The visual design (whether in print or digital) supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials come in two formats which both have a visual design that supports learning. The design is not distracting or chaotic, and it neither adds to nor distracts from the subject matter. One format includes PDF documents and workbook pages that are laid out in an accessible way. Graphic organizers are provided when needed to help with student organization. The use of typography, layout, and space are visually appealing, though there is little variance in color and no engaging images. The other format is the Learnzillion platform that presents lesson information in slideshows and is accompanied by illustrated characters who appear as presenters of the information on the page.

Indicator 3z

Materials provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

N/A

Materials do not include embedded technology.

abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/02/11

Report Edition: 2019

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
OUR EL G8 Tchr Guide Mod 1 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 1: Folklore of Latin America, Teacher Guide (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2580‑3 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Guide Mod 2 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 2: Food Choices, Teacher Guide (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2581‑0 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Guide Mod 3 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 3: Voices of the Holocaust, Teacher Guide (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2582‑7 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Guide Mod 4 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 4: Lessons from Japanese American Internment, Teacher Guide (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2583‑4 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Supp Mtrl Mod 1 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 1: Folklore of Latin America, Teacher Supporting Materials (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2592‑6 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Supp Mtrl Mod 2 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 2: Food Choices,Teacher Supporting Materials (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2593‑3 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Supp Mtrl Mod 3 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 3: Voices of the Holocaust, Teacher Supporting Materials (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2594‑0 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr Supp Mtrl Mod 4 Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 4: Lessons from Japanese American Internment, Teacher Supporting Materials (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2595‑7 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Mod 1 Sdnt Wkbk Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 1: Folklore of Latin America, Student Workbook (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2604‑6 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Mod 2 Sdnt Wkbk Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 2: Food Choices, Student Workbook (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2605‑3 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Mod 3 Sdnt Wkbk Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 3: Voices of the Holocaust, Student Workbook (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2606‑0 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Mod 4 Sdnt Wkbk Grade 8: Language Arts: Module 4: Lessons from Japanese American Internment, Student Workbook (Second Edition) 978‑1‑6836‑2607‑7 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr ELL Guide Mod 1 Teacher's Guide for English Language Learners, Grade 8: Module 1 978‑1‑6836‑2616‑9 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr ELL Guide Mod 2 Teacher's Guide for English Language Learners, Grade 8: Module 2 978‑1‑6836‑2617‑6 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr ELL Guide Mod 3 Teacher's Guide for English Language Learners, Grade 8: Module 3 978‑1‑6836‑2618‑3 Open Up Resources 2019
OUR EL G8 Tchr ELL Guide Mod 4 Teacher's Guide for English Language Learners, Grade 8: Module 4 978‑1‑6836‑2619‑0 Open Up Resources 2019

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 3-8 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 evaluates materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the 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