Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Express Readers do not meet the criteria for alignment to standards and research-based practices for foundational skills instruction. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print. Materials provide explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness. The materials provide limited explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonics. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words. The materials do not include explicit instruction and practice in fluency.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Standards and Research-Based Practices

0
29
52
60
24
52-60
Meets Expectations
30-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-29
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

0
25
46
52
N/A
46-52
Meets Expectations
26-45
Partially Meets Expectations
0-25
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction

Does Not Meet Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for alignment to standards and research-based practices for foundational skills instruction. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print. The materials do not meet the criterion for materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness.  The materials partially meet the criterion for materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonics. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words. The materials do not meet the criterion for materials and instruction provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency.

Criterion 1a - 1b

Materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition.
2/4
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition in early Kindergarten. The materials partially meet the criteria for materials provide explicit instruction to print and to practice the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase) and partially meet the criteria for materials provide instructional support for general concepts of print and connect learning of print concepts to books and provide cumulative review of print concepts, letter identification, and printing letters.

Indicator 1a

Letter Identification
0/0

Indicator 1a.iv

Materials provide explicit instruction to print and to practice forming the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase).(K-1)
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials provide explicit instruction to print and to practice the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase).

Materials provide opportunities for students to practice forming all 26 letters, both uppercase and lowercase. Students rainbow write letters in their Student Activity book using crayons. The Accommodations section offers a suggestion for students to practice forming the letters in the air before writing or trace on the floor in front of them using their finger; however, materials do not include explicit instruction on how to form each letter. 

Materials include limited opportunities for students to practice forming all of the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include:

  • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Handwriting, page 10, students use Student Activity book pages 57-59 to rainbow write the letters b/B and c/C. Students first use the guides with dotted lines to trace the letters then trace the letters without the guides. Students use crayons to trace the letters. There is no explicit instruction on how to form the letters. 
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Handwriting, page 13, students use Student Activity book pages 60-61 and 64-65 to rainbow write the letters d/D and f/F. Students first use the guides with dotted lines to trace the letters then trace the letters without the guides. Students use crayons to trace the letters. The Accommodations section suggests to practice forming the letter in the air before writing or tracing or on the floor using their finger; however, no explicit instruction on how to form the letters is provided. 
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Handwriting, page 124, students use Student Activity book page 84 to rainbow write the letters i/I. Students first use the guides with dotted lines to trace the letters then trace the letters without the guides. Students use crayons to trace the letters 5-10 times with each color crayon. The Accommodations section suggests to practice forming the letter in the air before writing or tracing or on the floor using their finger; however, no explicit instruction on how to form the letters is provided. 

Indicator 1b

Materials provide instructional support for general concepts of print and connect learning of print concepts to books (K-1) and provide cumulative review of print concepts, letter identification, and printing letters. (K-early Grade 1)
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials provide instructional support for general concepts of print and connect learning of print concepts to books (K-1) and provide cumulative review of print concepts, letter identification, and printing letters. (K-early Grade 1).

Although there are many teacher models for use in teaching general concepts of print, the Grade 1 materials do not contain explicit teacher instructional materials for teaching all print concepts. There are multiple opportunities for students to practice with print concepts, such as starting a sentence with a capital letter and ending a sentence with punctuation, but these opportunities do not include specific, explicit instructions for teachers to use when teaching these concepts. 

Materials include some sufficient and explicit instruction for all students about the organization of print concepts (e.g., recognize features of a sentence). Examples of print concepts instruction include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
    • In I Am Ready, Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, page 132, an extension of the short story, “Chimp Chats,” is provided. Students are to color the first letter of the sentence green and color the end mark red to signify the end of the sentence. This activity is repeated on page 134 of the Blue Teacher Planner in Center 4, Short Story. 
    • In I Am Ready, Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, page 189, students create a sentence using one Bug word and one Frog word. The students read the sentence they created. Students are then prompted to write the sentence in their booklet, practicing using a capital letter to start the sentence and an end mark at the end of the sentence. 
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, days 106-110 there is a center called Train Sentences. This activity is described in detail on page 385 of the Student Activities Book. The engine shows the use of a capital letter to start a sentence and a caboose (p 407) is the end mark needed to complete the sentence.
    • Teachers can use interactions with books to teach print concepts, however materials lack explicit teacher directions in teaching the distinguishing parts of a sentence.

Some practice opportunities using print concepts in the context of student books include:

  • Students can use books to identify, practice, and reinforce print concepts, but the materials lack explicit direction for student practice with distinguishing parts of a sentence.
  • Students have frequent and varied experiences learning about print concepts with actual books. Materials include appropriate physical books which provide opportunities for students to interact meaningfully with books.

Criterion 1c - 1e

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness.
4/12
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criterion for materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness. The materials reviewed partially meet the criteria for materials have frequent opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities but do not meet the criteria for materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness . The materials partially meet the criteria for materials provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the K-1 band, as there is no evidence of opportunities for students to distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words and orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.

Indicator 1c

Materials have frequent opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities during Kindergarten and early Grade 1.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials have frequent opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities through Kindergarten and early Grade 1.

The materials contain lessons to engage students in oral language. Whole-group phonological awareness lesson plans do not contain guidance establishing if the lessons and activities are completed daily. In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 1-45, students practice phonological awareness in the center, Sort by Sound. After Day 45, Sort by Sound is removed and there are no more centers focused on phonological awareness. While there are many activities to choose from in the centers, there is no clear direction on which activities to do each day.

Example of lessons and activities for phonological awareness include:

  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, \Center #5: Beanbag Buckets, page 139, students sort picture cards into groups: words with the medial vowel sound /ŏ/ or words that do not have the medial vowel sound /ŏ/
  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Activity: Sort by Sound, Consonant Digraphs, pages 121-122, students say the names of the pictures on the Couple Cards. Students help sort the Couple Cards based on the beginning sound.
  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Activity: Flip and Rhyme, -nk/-ng, page 231, the teacher holds up a clipart picture, states the word, or flips a card at random. Students state as many rhyming words as possible.

Indicator 1d

Materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the K-1 grade band.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the K-1 grade band.

I Am Ready, Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, I Am Ready, Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, and I Am Ready, Orange Teacher Planner, Steps 4 and 5, do not describe consistent systematic practices, instruction, and experiences that culminate in explicit phonological awareness instruction of newly taught phonemes. 

Materials do not provide the teacher with systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words. For example:

  • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Activity: Sort by Sound, Short Vowel /a/, page 90, there is no explicit instruction about what the short a sounds like. The directions to the teacher are:
      • Explain that each vowel makes two sounds, one long and one short. The short vowel sound is what students will be learning first. The long vowel sound is when the vowel says its own name, but that will be learned later. It is important to mention that there are two sounds but to focus on the short vowel only.
  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
    • No evidence found.
  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
    • No evidence found.
  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
    • No evidence found.

Indicator 1e

Materials provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the K-1 band.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the K-1 band. 

Materials include multimodal/multisensory activities for student practice of phonics such as Beanbag Buckets, but there are few activities for phonological awareness. 

Materials provide limited opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern called for in grade level standards. For example:

  • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
    • No evidence found. 
  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
    • No evidence found.
  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Activity: Middle Vowel Sounds, Introduction, Short /e/, page 160, students participate in an activity focusing on short /e/.
      • Explain that vowel sounds can be at the beginning of a word, but they are most often inside a word. Ask students to listen carefully as you verbally stretch out the words that have a medial short vowel sound (i.e., bat, nap, run, get, etc.).
      • Ask students to come up with examples of short /e/ at the beginning of a word (i.e., exit, elephant, energy, exercise, echo, etc.).
      • Teachers practice saying short words with medial short vowel sounds, and students do a decided-upon body movement if they hear short /e/ in the middle. This helps students to practice listening for the sound, gives them examples of what the letter sounds like, and shows them how to stretch words apart to focus on the middle sound.
      • The materials state, “NOTE: The process of learning how to HEAR a medial sound can be very difficult and require extensive practice for a student. Repeat this process often and with patience.”
  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Listen and Blend #1, pages 197-198, teachers use Step 1 Couple Cards to say a word "in pieces" and the students "say the individual sounds that make up that word." This activity is repeated on page 203 of the Green Teacher Planner.  

Criterion 1f - 1j

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonics.
10/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criterion for materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonics (K-2).
The materials partially meet the criteria for materials emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling. The materials lack regular, explicit, and systematic phonics instruction. The materials meet the criteria for materials promote frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence. The materials partially meet the criteria for materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade level phonics, including common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns; however, the materials do not meet the criteria for materials promote application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks.

Indicator 1f

Materials emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling.

While there are opportunities to practice phonics skills learned through writing and reading in the materials, phonics instruction is not explicitly taught in a regular, systematic way.  The materials do not provide guidance for teachers that describes an explicit, systematic approach to instruction that focuses on modeling to instruct phonics. While the accommodations section of the plans sometimes includes modeling, not all students would be exposed to this feature. There are a variety of activities available for each consonant and short vowel; however, the materials do not provide for systematic modeling by the teacher. Materials do not indicate if these activities are to take place on a daily basis. There are not frequent opportunities for students to explicitly say letter names or sounds.

Materials contain limited explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. For example:

  • Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, page 121, students work on learning consonant digraphs. Students say the name of each picture on the Couple Cards. Then, each Couple Card is placed in a category based on the sound that it makes. The teacher initially begins sorting all of the cards by beginning sounds. Then, the teacher holds up the picture cards and the students decide which category the card goes in. The activity is completed by sorting the cards by ending sound.
  • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, page 173, students write en on the roof of the house. Then they write as many -en words as possible in the house. Students practice putting the beginning sound (onset) on an “ending chunk” (rime) to create a word.
  • Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
    • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Sneaky "e" Introduction, page 43, teachers place the Sneaky "e" postcard at the end of words to change them to long vowel words. This lesson is repeated on pages 46 and 49 of the Orange Teacher Planner. 
    • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Step 4 Book, Snake 1 and Snake 2, page 51, the Slow Down Sounds are sneaky "e" and a_e. "If students see this spelling, students need to slow down, take their time decoding, and think carefully about the phonics they have been taught."
      • During Center #2: Word Hunt, students look through the book and find six different words containing a_e
      • This cycle includes Making Couple Cards, Mat Match Pictures, Mini Book, Practice Pages, and Step Book activities and is repeated within the Orange Teacher Planner for o_e, i_e, soft c, and u_e/ue
    • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Vowel Team Introduction, pages 186-187, the directions state, "Review Sneaky "e" as a way to make a long vowel sound. Explain that the next way to make a long vowel is with vowel teams: 'When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking. When two vowels team up, they shout the first one's name.'" The teacher then displays the Vowel Team Mat and write the spelling of the first vowel teams being introduced, ee and ea, on the board. The teacher says a word with that spelling and students sound out and write the word on a piece of paper or a whiteboard.  The directions include the following: "Note: Explain that there are two ways to spell the long /e/ sound. Students do not need to spell the words using the correct one at first but need to be able to read both spellings." 
    • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Word Hop, pages 323-324, once students have covered all five vowel teams, ee, ea, ai, oa, and ui, they use them to make words. Students write each vowel team, along with 10 consonants, on a separate index card, lay the cards out on the floor, and hop to make vowel team words. Students blend the sounds, say the word, and take turns hopping. 
  • Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.
    • No evidence found.
  • Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Practice Pages, Step 3, page 246, students draw a line from the first syllable in a word to its second syllable to create the word that matches the picture.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Compound Words, page 247, students find the number of syllables in words by clapping for every syllable they hear, putting their hand under their chin and counting how many times their chin pulls down, or noticing how many times their mouth opens. The directions include the following: "Note: Two-syllable words can be just two-syllable words or they can be 'compound words.' Compound words are words made up of more than one word (not just more than one syllable).'"
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Sound Hunt: Multisyllabic Words, page 250, students use the Sound Hunt paper, located in the Student Activity Book, page 334, along with library books or magazines to find words with two to three syllables.  
  • Read words with inflectional endings.
    • No evidence found.

Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

  • No evidence found.

Indicator 1g

Materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to decode words that consist of common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns and provide opportunities for students to review previously taught phonics skills.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to decode words that consist of common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns and provide opportunities for students to review previously taught phonics skills.

The materials include activities for teaching each sound or spelling pattern but lack direction on the frequency of instruction. While students do have opportunities to learn how to decode words through phonics skills, such as beginning/medial/ending sounds in CVC words, there is no evidence that these practice opportunities occur daily. It is unclear whether the centers that focus on these skills are meant to be conducted on a daily or weekly schedule. The materials serve as a “menu” of choices rather than an explicit list of which lessons should be practiced in order for students to meet mastery of decoding words. 

Examples of opportunities for students to decode words include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Step 1 materials contain a 5-day cycle. For the first 50 days, all the letters and basic sounds are reviewed. For example, in Days 11-15, the following consonants are reviewed: qu, r, s, t. In Days 50-85, the focus is on CVC words. The Step 2 and 3 materials contain a 5-day cycle. The materials focus on different topics (blends, consonant digraphs, ng, nk, two-syllable words, and compound words), and materials contain some opportunities during centers to review the previously learned topics. The Steps 4 and 5 materials contain a 5-day cycle. The materials focus on different topics, such as long vowel sounds vs. short vowel sounds, sneaky e, and vowel teams. There are review weeks for sneaky e (Days 206-215) and vowel teams (Days 246-255), but no consistent daily opportunities to review previously taught grade level phonics skills.
    • In I Am Ready, Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, pages 3-5, 84-85, 196, and 264, the center layout illustrates the letter that is taught during each five-day cycle. Each cycle provides some phonics practice through reading The Consonant Play Book, practicing the letter/sound or skill for that week in centers, and completing practice pages using that sound/skill.
    • In I Am Ready, Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 171 and Student Activity Book pages 255-256, students sound out and read each short e word on their paper. Then students practice writing the word on the blank line and draw a picture to illustrate the word
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Practice Pages, students read the sentences that contain words with -nk and -ng

Examples of review for previously taught grade level phonics skills include:

  • In Ready, Set, Go, Teacher’s Handbook, Steps 1-5:
    • There are charts that list activities to reinforce students’ learning of letter sounds. (pages 30-32)
    • There are center ideas to practice letter sounds on pages 137-139. These centers can be used as whole-group instruction ideas and as independent learning centers.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6-10, students practice reviewing the beginning sounds of j, k, and l. Students say the name of the picture. Students decide on the beginning sound and color the box of the letter they heard.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Lessons 86-115, there are center activities that review letters and sounds. In Day 105, Center # 6: Act It Out, page 81, students review blends, do charades using words with blends/digraphs, and write those words.
  • In Orange Teacher Planner, Steps 4 and 5, Day 209, page 154, students participate in Word Hunt. Students look through the text, Cat Gets a Scare, and find six different sneaky e words. Students write each of the six words on the Word Hunt paper.

Indicator 1h

Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials promote frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence.

The materials provide regular and systematic practice for students to decode phonetically regular words in a sentence. These opportunities occur in centers, short stories, and practice pages, providing opportunities on a daily basis.

Examples of decoding opportunities in sentences include:

  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 137, page 189,  students create silly sentences using digraphs. Once students create a sentence, they read it aloud. 
  • In Steps 2 and 3,  Blue Teacher Planner, sentence decoding practice begins with Day 96 in the Silly Sentences center activity. Students choose a noun card and verb card, and read the sentence they created. They copy the sentence into a booklet and draw a picture. This center activity is repeated regularly after Day 96. Although students are decoding a noun and a verb, these “sentences” are intended to be nonsensical and provide no adjectives, modifiers, or prepositions to give a sentence meaning.  
    • On Day 101, students read a short story called “Cub and the Dream” in centers (page 80). This repeats in Steps 2-3.  
    • On Day 106, students begin the Train Sentences center (page 99), in which students use three cards or more to make a sentence. Students write the sentences. This activity repeats in Steps 2-3. 
  • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Day 201, Practice Pages: Add To The Picture, page 29, students read words next to the picture. Students add to the picture to make the statement true.
    • Students read: The five is on the side of a cube. A vase is on a black plate. The mug is red with stripes.
  • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Day 243, Practice Pages: Add To The Picture, page 98, students read words next to the picture. Students add to the picture to make the statement true.
    • Students read: The glass is full of red juice. Cat has on a pink swimsuit with dots. Fruit is on the plate.

Indicator 1i

Materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade-level phonics, including common and newly-taught sound and sound patterns.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade level phonics, including common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns.

Materials include opportunities for students to build/manipulate, spell, and encode grade level phonics; however, the practice is not always daily and does not consistently have students practice encoding words. In Steps 2 and 3 of the Blue Teacher Planner, there are six practice pages for encoding words in isolation. The centers in Steps 2 and 3 of the Blue Teacher Planner do not emphasize encoding a whole word, although there is practice in filling in the beginning, medial, or ending sound of words. The materials do not include protocols for teachers to model encoding.  

Limited opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade level phonics include:

  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Practice Pages, Word Families op, page 135, students practice putting the beginning sound (onset) on an “ending chunk” (rime) to create word families. 
  • In the directions pages for the Steps 2 and 3 Blue Practice Book, there are brief directions for the activities that have students build a word. There are brief directions for students to write sentences about a picture (p. 40), but teachers are directed not to use these until Steps 4 and 5 of the Orange Practice Book.

Indicator 1j

Materials provide application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. (mid K-Grade 2)
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials promote application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks.

The materials do not include activities for encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. All of the activities included in the materials for encoding phonics are done in isolation. There is no protocol for teachers on instructing students to perform this task.

Criterion 1k - 1m

Materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words.
4/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words. The materials partially meet the criteria for materials include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and practice opportunities of high-frequency words to develop automaticity. The materials partially meet the criteria for materials provide frequent practice opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in context (sentences), and they partially meet the criteria for materials explicitly teach word analysis strategies based on the requirements of the standards and provide limited practice opportunities for students to apply word analysis strategies.

Indicator 1k

Materials include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and opportunities to practice reading of high-frequency words to develop automaticity.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and practice opportunities of high-frequency words to develop automaticity.

High-frequency words in the Express Readers materials are called Sticky Words. There are nine sight words in I Am Ready, Step 1, seven words in I Am Ready, Step 2, five words in I Am Ready, Step 3, 12 words in I Am Ready, Step 4, and eight words in I Am Ready, Step 5, for a total of 41 words. Within the I Am Ready program, Sticky Words instruction begins on Day 51 in Step 1, Day 95 in Step 2, and Day 172 in Steps 4 and 5. There is some explicit instruction as to what the words are and how they sound; however, there is no explicit instruction on the meaning of the high-frequency words, such as all, again, and said. 

Materials include some systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words. Examples of high-frequency words instruction include:

  • Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
    • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Center 5: Sticky Word Detective, page 311, students participate in a center about Sticky Words. Students complete Sticky Word Hunt or students use a magazine to find the selected Sticky Word.  
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 100,  Activity: Sticky Word Detective, page 58, the teacher writes the Sticky Words in boxes on Sticky Word Hunt and then copy Sticky Word Hunt for each student. Students color each Sticky Word a color and count up the number of Sticky words. The teacher does not explicitly teach the Sticky Words.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 119, Activity: Sticky Word Detective, page 130, the teacher displays Sticky Word Display Cards for Step 3. The teacher puts the Sticky Word, she, in the middle of the display. The teacher then reads a story to the students that includes the Sticky Word, she. The teacher is not directed to teach or say the word, she, prior to reading the story.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 172, Sticky Words Intro, page 28, the teacher displays Sticky Word Display Cards. The teacher puts the Sticky Word, they, in the middle of the display. The teacher then reads a story to the students that contains they. The teacher is not directed to teach or say the word, they, prior to reading the story.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide frequent practice opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in context (sentences).
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials provide frequent practice opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in context (sentences).

The Express Readers materials provide students with limited opportunities to read and write Sticky Words (high-frequency words). In the I Am Ready program, students start reading and writing Sticky Words on Days 61-65 in Step 1, Days 91-95 in Steps 2 and 3, and Day 172 in Steps 4 and 5. Steps 4 and 5 have minimal opportunities for students to read and write Sticky Words in sentences. Over the course of all the materials, there are few activities for students to write Sticky Words in sentences. The sentence building/writing/reading activities are based on the phonics sound the students are learning.

Activities for students to practice reading and writing Sticky Words include: 

  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, page 299, students participate in Pick the Sentence. Students look at a picture and read each sentence next to the picture. Students then decide which sentence describes the picture and color in the box for the chosen sentence. The sentences contain the Sticky Word the. The sentences also contain high-frequency words not taught, such as has and is.  
  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, page 280, students participate in Center #3, Express Theater: “Dog Gets a Job.” Students select a role from the Express Readers and practice reading their part. “Dog Gets a Job” includes three Sticky Words: be, for, to.
  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 142, page 207, students participate in Pick the Sentence. Students look at a picture and read each sentence next to the picture. Students then decide which sentence describes the picture and color in the box for the chosen sentence. The sentences contain the Sticky Word the. The sentences also contain high-frequency words not taught, such as is and has.
  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Days 121-125, page 153, students participate in Center #6: Express Theater: “Chimp Gets a Check-up.” Students select a role and practice reading their part. “Chimp Gets a Check-up” has one Sticky Word: you.

Indicator 1m

Materials explicitly teach word analysis strategies (e.g., phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis) based on the requirements of the standards and provide students with frequent practice opportunities to apply word analysis strategies.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials explicitly teach word analysis strategies (e.g., phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis) based on the requirements of the standards and provide frequent practice opportunities for students to apply word analysis strategies.

Materials contain some instruction of word analysis strategies, such as letter sound recognition, beginning/medial/ending sounds, blends, digraphs, syllabication, and compound words. Materials contain instruction of word solving strategies to decode unfamiliar words, such as how to decode a CVCor CVCe word. Explicit instruction of word analysis is not consistent in lessons. There are no lessons that teach inflected endings, prefixes, or suffixes. Opportunities for students to practice and apply word analysis strategies are usually on a weekly basis with little variety. The activity stays the same, while the “letter of the week” changes. The majority of activities for students to apply word analysis come in non-instructional settings, in which students are doing practice pages, centers, or activities not under the teacher’s direct instruction.

Examples of the explicit teaching of word analysis strategies are limited and include:

  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, Listen and Blend #1, page 197, the teacher selects three different Couple Cards. The teacher tells the students that the teacher will say a word in pieces. The students have to put the sounds together to figure out their word.
  • In Step 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, page 41, the teacher picks a card at random from the Step 2 Couple Cards and the students say as many rhyming words as possible.
  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Consonant Digraph Introduction: Crash Letters Mat & Crash Cards, page 145, the teacher states, “When two to three letters crash into each other and make a NEW sound, they are digraphs.” The teacher holds up both hands and demonstrates how two letters say their own sound, but when the letters crash, a new sound is made. 
  • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, Making Couple Cards, ui, page 280, students think of words that have ui in each word. Students write one word per index card. Then students draw a picture to match the word. 

Word analysis practice opportunities include:

  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, students complete Practice Page Rhyming 9. Students read the word at the beginning of the row and then circle the pictures in the row that rhyme with that word. 
  • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, page 9, Long Vowel Sounds, students must determine the long vowel and decide whether it has a long /a/.
  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, page 58, Sound Tap, Segmenting, students identify beginning and ending sounds in words.

Criterion 1n - 1q

Materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words.
4/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criterion for materials and instruction provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency. The materials partially meet the criteria for varied and frequent opportunities are built into the materials for students to engage in supported practice to gain oral reading fluency; however, the materials do not meet the criteria for materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors and do not emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.

Indicator 1n

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity in K and Grade 1.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity in K and Grade 1.

There are few opportunities in the materials for Grade 1 students to engage in decoding practice. While students may read the books to themselves and others, there is not an expectation for attaining accuracy and automaticity. Students are asked to pay attention to Slow-Down Words, but there are no exercises in which they practice reading these words for accuracy and automaticity. Students are asked to read with fluency in the decodable reader, but the emphasis is on tone. There is no direct teacher instruction for showing students how to read fluently and check for decoding accuracy and automaticity. Practice does not occur daily.

Limited opportunities for students to decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity include:

  • In Ready Set Go Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, page 201, there are certain activities in the materials aligned to the fluency standard on reading with accuracy and automaticity. These activities are general in nature, spanning grades K to 2. One of the activities, Reading Aloud Practice, begins in Step 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 123, page 142. This is a center activity, in which students read Chimp Gets a Check-up to a partner and then listen as the partner reads to them. There is no direction on having students practice decoding words accurately or automatically.
  • In Step 1, Green Teacher Planner, page 221, Bug Gets Wet, Lesson E, students have the opportunity to reread a book to an adult, a Book Buddy, or a classmate.
  • In Ready, Set, Go! Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1 - 5,  page 12, the Buttons Activity is explained. Students touch each “button” saying the sounds and then slide their finger under the words to blend the three sounds into a word.

Indicator 1o

Instructional opportunities are built into the materials for systematic, evidence-based, explicit instruction in fluency. (Grades 1-2)
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are built into the materials for systematic, evidence-based, explicit instruction in fluency (Grades 1-2). 

The materials do not include explicit instruction in fluency. Modeling of fluency is an alternative activity in the Read Aloud Practice. There is no evidence that instructional opportunities that require students to understand the use and impact of phrasing, expression, punctuation, rate, or accuracy are built into the materials. There is no evidence of teacher modeling of phrasing, rate, and expression. 

Materials do  not include frequent opportunities for explicit, systematic instruction in fluency elements using grade-level text. For example: 

  • Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
    • The decodable readers are the only texts used in Steps 2-3. In the Blue Teacher Planner, page 46, students are asked to take note of the Sticky Words in the decodables and color the words, so they will recognize them when they are reading. Students are also asked to take note of the Slow Down Sounds, where they should take their time decoding. This process occurs for each reading lesson of decodable readers in Steps 2 and 3. The lesson does not include explicit, systematic instruction in the elements of fluency.
    • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 123, page 142, Reading Aloud Practice begins. This is a center activity, in which students read Chimp Gets a Check-up to a partner and then listen as the partner reads. An alternative activity for this center is to have one to two good readers read with intonation and fluency to the rest of the class (page 143). This alternative activity repeats in other Reading Aloud Practice center sessions. There is no explicit instruction for the center activity.

Indicator 1p

Varied and frequent opportunities are built into the materials for students to engage in supported practice to gain oral reading fluency beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2 (once accuracy is secure). (not scored for K and early Grade 1)
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for varied and frequent opportunities are built into the materials for students to engage in supported practice to gain oral reading fluency beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2 (once accuracy is secure).

Students have an opportunity to read decodable texts in the program, but there is no direct teacher instruction in oral reading fluency. Students have opportunities to read orally and listen to peers read orally, but these opportunities are not varied or frequent. There is no evidence that instructional opportunities built into the materials require students to understand the use and impact of phrasing, expression, punctuation, rate, or accuracy. There is no evidence of teacher modeling of phrasing, use of punctuation and expression.

Limited opportunities to practice oral reading fluency include:

  • In Steps 2 and 3, Blue Teacher Planner, Day 130, page 164, students read the book, Dog And The Gift, to a partner and then listen to the partner read to them. There is no instruction for students in how to correctly read orally.
  • In Steps 4 and 5, Orange Teacher Planner, page 113, Express Theater: “Pig Hikes,” students practice reading a script for the book Pig Hikes with tone and fluency.

Indicator 1q

Materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors (Grades 1-2) and emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria for materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors and emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.

The Express Readers materials do not contain explicit instruction for students on how to recognize an error in reading or to self-correct an error. There is no evidence of teacher modeling of self-correction or recognition of an error. Although multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year for students to read books or texts (decodable readers, Express Theater), these readings are not introduced with a purpose for student learning. Express Readers texts, books, and passages do not contain varying genres or types (informational, literature, etc.) for stated purposes for reading. There are no suggestions as to how to introduce text to be read (or read-aloud) or strategies on how to instruct reading for a particular purpose.

Materials do not provide explicit lessons for the teacher in confirming and self-correcting errors in fluency. For example:

  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
    • No evidence found.

Multiple opportunities are not provided over the course of the year for students to read emergent-reader texts (K) or to read on-level texts (Grades 1-2) for purpose and understanding. For example:

  • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
    • No evidence found.

Gateway Two

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

Not Rated

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

Criterion 2a - 2e

Materials are accompanied by a systematic, explicit, and research-based scope and sequence outlining the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program and the order in which they are presented. Scope and sequence should include phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, and print concepts.

Indicator 2a

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


Indicator 2b

Materials contain full, adult-level explanations and examples of the foundational skills concepts included in the program so teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details


Indicator 2c

Foundational skills lessons are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Content can reasonably be completed within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details


Indicator 2d

Order of Skills
N/A

Indicator 2d.i

Scope and sequence clearly delineate the sequence in which phonological awareness skills are to be taught, with a clear, evidence-based explanation for the expected hierarchy of phonemic awareness competence. (K-1)
N/A

Indicator 2d.ii

Scope and sequence clearly delineate an intentional sequence in which phonics skills are to be taught, with a clear explanation for the order of the sequence.
N/A

Indicator 2e

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

Criterion 2f - 2f.ii

Program includes work with decodables in K and Grade 1, and as needed in Grade 2, following the grade-level scope and sequence to address both securing phonics.

Indicator 2f

Aligned Decodable Texts
N/A

Indicator 2f.i

Materials include decodable texts with phonics aligned to the program’s scope and sequence and opportunities for students to use decodables for multiple readings.
N/A

Indicator 2f.ii

Materials include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence and opportunities for students to use decodables for multiple readings.
N/A

Criterion 2g - 2i.iii

Materials provide teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials also provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that students demonstrate independence with grade-level standards.

Indicator 2g

Regular and Systematic Opportunities for Assessment
N/A

Indicator 2g.i

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress through mastery of print concepts (K-1), letter recognition (K only), and printing letters (as indicated by the program scope and sequence) (K-1).
N/A

Indicator 2g.ii

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonological awareness (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-1)
N/A

Indicator 2g.iii

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics in- and out-of-context (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-2)
N/A

Indicator 2g.iv

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-2)
N/A

Indicator 2g.v

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress in fluency (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (1-2)
N/A

Indicator 2h

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment and assessment materials clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 2i

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

Indicator 2i.i

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

Indicator 2i.ii

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade-level with extensive opportunities for reteaching to meet or exceed grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 2i.iii

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

Criterion 2j - 2n

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

Indicator 2j

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

Indicator 2k

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 2l

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

Indicator 2m

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

Indicator 2n

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

Report Published Date: 11/13/2019

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Bug Gets Wet 978-1-941532-00-3 Express Readers 2014
Bug Has a Hut 978-1-941532-01-0 Express Readers 2014
Cat Can 978-1-941532-02-7 Express Readers 2014
Cub And The Nap 978-1-941532-03-4 Express Readers 2014
Dog And The Gift 978-1-941532-04-1 Express Readers 2014
Dog Gets a Job 978-1-941532-05-8 Express Readers 2014
Dog Gets a Van 978-1-941532-06-5 Express Readers 2014
Duck And His Mom 978-1-941532-07-2 Express Readers 2014
Duck And The Mess 978-1-941532-08-9 Express Readers 2014
Duck Has a Nest 978-1-941532-09-6 Express Readers 2014
Fish Had a Wish 978-1-941532-10-2 Express Readers 2014
Chimp Camps 978-1-941532-11-9 Express Readers 2014
Chimp Gets a Check-Up 978-1-941532-12-6 Express Readers 2014
Duck Up a Hill 978-1-941532-13-3 Express Readers 2014
Frog Hunts For a Pal 978-1-941532-14-0 Express Readers 2014
Pig Has a Pet 978-1-941532-15-7 Express Readers 2014
Pig Was Hot 978-1-941532-16-4 Express Readers 2014
Frog And His Sled 978-1-941532-17-1 Express Readers 2014
Cub Has a Picnic 978-1-941532-20-1 Express Readers 2015
Duck Sings a Song 978-1-941532-21-8 Express Readers 2015
Snake 1 And Snake 2 978-1-941532-22-5 Express Readers 2015
Dog And His Bone 978-1-941532-23-2 Express Readers 2015
Pig Hikes 978-1-941532-24-9 Express Readers 2015
The Snakes Race 978-1-941532-25-6 Express Readers 2015
Frog Has The Blues 978-1-941532-26-3 Express Readers 2015
Cat Gets a Scare 978-1-941532-27-0 Express Readers 2015
Pig At The Beach 978-1-941532-28-7 Express Readers 2015
Snakes On a Train 978-1-941532-29-4 Express Readers 2015
Dog's Feast 978-1-941532-30-0 Express Readers 2015
Duck Bakes a Cake 978-1-941532-31-7 Express Readers 2015
Duck Feels Sick 978-1-941532-32-4 Express Readers 2015
Fish Gets Clean 978-1-941532-33-1 Express Readers 2015
Cat On The Road 978-1-941532-34-8 Express Readers 2015
Cub On a Boat 978-1-941532-35-5 Express Readers 2015
I Am Bug 978-1-941532-43-0 Express Readers 2016
I Am... 978-1-941532-44-7 Express Readers 2016
Cat's Hat 978-1-941532-45-4 Express Readers 2016
Cub Hid 978-1-941532-46-1 Express Readers 2016
Practice Pages, Step 1, ED. 2 978-1-941532-52-2 Express Readers 2018
Tool Kit, Step 1, ED. 2 978-1-941532-53-9 Express Readers 2018
Practice Pages, I Am Ready, ED. 2 978-1-941532-57-7 Express Readers 2018
Practice Pages, Step 2 and Step 3, ED. 2 978-1-941532-68-3 Express Readers 2018
Tool Kit, Step 2 and Step 3, ED. 2 978-1-941532-69-0 Express Readers 2018
Practice Pages, Step 4 and 5, ED. 2 978-1-941532-70-6 Express Readers 2018
Tool Kit, Step 4 and 5, ED. 2 978-1-941532-71-3 Express Readers 2018
Express Readers Teacher Planner, Step 1 978-1-941532-72-0 Express Readers 2018
Express Readers Teacher Planner, Steps 2-3 978-1-941532-73-7 Express Readers 2018
Express Readers Teacher Planner, Steps 4-5 978-1-941532-74-4 Express Readers 2018
Express Readers Teacher Planner, I Am Ready Program 978-1-941532-76-8 Express Readers 2018
Student Activities Book 978-1-941532-77-5 Express Readers 2018
Ready To Read Activities Book 978-1-941532-78-2 Express Readers 2018
Ready, Set, Go Teacher's Guidebook 978-1-941532-80-5 Express Readers 2018
Ready To Read Teacher's Guidebook 978-1-941532-81-2 Express Readers 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA Foundational Skills Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA foundational skills review rubric identifies the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubric 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.

The ELA foundational skills rubric evaluates materials based on:

  • Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction
  • Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

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

NOTE: The ELA foundational skills rubric contains only two gateways. The structural pieces that we normally review as a part of Gateway 3 (e.g. differentiation) in our comprehensive reviews are critical to the success of a program, and are, therefore, interspersed and combined with other indicators in Gateway 2.

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