Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially 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, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition in early Kindergarten. Materials partially include explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness and phonics. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words. 

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Standards and Research-Based Practices

0
28
50
58
32
50-58
Meets Expectations
29-49
Partially Meets Expectations
0-28
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

0
24
44
50
29
44-50
Meets Expectations
25-43
Partially Meets Expectations
0-24
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

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

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially 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, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition in early Kindergarten. Materials partially include explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness and phonics. The materials partially meet the criterion for materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words.

Criterion 1a - 1b

Materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition.
6/10
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Instruction materials partially meet the criteria that materials provide explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 letters; however, materials include opportunities for students to engage in identifying letters by locating the letters on mats. Students frequently practice letter formation through a variety of sensory and multi-modal experiences. Instruction occurs during center activities, which are flexible. Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that 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.i

Materials provide explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase) (K).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials provide explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). (K)

The materials do not contain explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 upper and lowercase letters in isolation. There are many activities that instruct students about letter sounds, and some for the formation of letters, but no lessons exist for the explicit teaching of each specific letter. The instruction sequence is presented as the letters occur in order of the alphabet. In the I Am Ready program, consonant letters are taught one letter a week ending on Day 130. Vowel letters are then taught one letter per week ending on Day 155. The instructional routines for teaching each letter are similar across all 26 letters. Students have opportunities to hear the teacher identify each letter and to find the letter that the teacher names in a book, worksheet, or letter cards. Instruction in uppercase and lowercase letters is sometimes embedded in sound practice. However, for some letters, the focus of instruction is on the sound of the letter and not the letter name itself. For example, while the teacher shows the letter H, the students briefly hear the teacher say the letter name before beginning instruction on finding two words that start with h.

Materials contain limited isolated, systematic and explicit instruction for all 26 letters (recognize and name uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 21-25, in the “I Spy a Letter,” the teacher says, “I spy the letter B.” The lowercase B is located somewhere on the wall. The students find the letter B after the teacher gives three clues and a hint as to the general area where the B is located.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 26-30, the teacher displays the second C sentence page and asks the students if they recognize any of the sentences in the sentence, “I can eat carrots and cake.”
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 41-45, in the whole/small group lesson, the teacher explains to students they will be learning more about the letter F. The teacher holds up a sound card and the students say the name/word and enunciate the sound.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 51-55, in the Whole Class Lesson, the teacher says, “Today we are going to learn about the letter H, and we will be beginning to practice what H looks like, what H most often sounds like, and how to write H.” The teacher points to the H on the alphabet display and says, “H says /h/.” The teacher points to two pictures that start with the letter H.

There is a limited sequence for letter instruction to be completed in a reasonable time frame over the school year. Consonant letters are taught sequentially through the alphabet starting with letter a on Day 1 and ending with letter z on Day 125. Vowels are taught on Days 136-150. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, in the scope and sequence on Days 1-125, students work on learning uppercase and lowercase letters embedded in sound practice.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Scope and Sequence, pages 3-4, all 26 letters are reviewed in lessons 1-25 through Mini-Lessons including Alphabet Sound Songs and Sort by Sound which contain sound-spelling correspondence and in Whole Group lessons including Letter Tap. In Days 1-5, students review the alphabet through Alphabet Sound Songs and Alphabet Aerobics. On Days, 6-10, students review consonant letters: b, c, d, f, g, h. On Days 11-15, students review consonant letters: j, k, l, m, n. On Days 16-20, students review consonant letters: p, q, r, s, t. On Days 21-25, students review consonant letters: v, w, x, y, z.
  • The Alphabet Display contains a separate card for each letter of the alphabet, displaying both the upper- and lowercase forms of the letter. It is referenced during Alphabet Song and Alphabet Aerobic activities.

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials engage students in sufficient practice of letter identification.(K)
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials engage students in sufficient practice of letter identification.

Materials include opportunities for students to engage in identifying letters by locating the letters on mats. Each uppercase and lowercase letter is introduced as a pair for students to learn, typically over the course of five instructional days. Some activities require that students locate specific letters. Students name all letters by singing the Alphabet Song, but this practice is limited in the materials.

Materials provide students with opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 26-30, “Sounds Song” Mini Lesson, the teacher displays the C card and states, “This week we will be learning more about the letter C, and we will be beginning to practice what C looks like.” Students sing the song “C says /k/.”
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, “Letter Tap” Mini Lesson, Days 126-130, students are given an Alphabet Checklist. They point or tap a letter that the teacher reads. There is a list of different ways this activity can be completed.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 126-130, the teacher names and points to an uppercase letter, and the students locate the lowercase form of the letter on their mats.
  • In “Ready to Read” Teacher Guidebook, page 2, each letter has a corresponding “Letter Find” page. Students are to locate the target uppercase and lowercase letters (10 of each form).

Materials provide opportunities to engage in practice locating all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, in the Whole Class Lesson, Alphabet Book, Days 16-20, students are asked to circle the target letter in words on the page. This is repeated for each letter of the alphabet.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 126-130, Mini-Lesson, the teacher calls out a letter name, and students tap the corresponding letter with their wands.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 16-20, Whole Class Lesson, students have six letter cards with lowercase P, Q, R, S, T, and U in front of them. The teacher calls out a letter, and the student slaps/taps the letter.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 41-45, Whole Class Lesson, the teacher says a letter name, and students put their fingers on that letter. The teacher repeats this process until all letters have been called.

Materials provide opportunities to engage in naming all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Mini Lesson-Sounds Song, Days 16-20, each week students sing the Sounds Song using the Alphabet Display Cards. They say the letter name along with the sound it makes.

Indicator 1a.iii

Materials embed letter identification practice in meaningful print use.(K)
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials embed letter identification practice in meaningful print use.

Materials include some activities with letter identification practice in meaningful use. The “I am Ready” lessons provide opportunities for students to identify letters in various ways, such as the letters in a child’s name and in sentence solving activities. There are activities where students are asked to find objects in the environment that start with a particular sound, but not to identify a letter. Additionally, activities require students to focus on the sound of the letter rather than the identification or naming of the letter.

Materials contain limited tasks/activities that apply letter identification and naming of all 26 uppercase letters to meaningful print use (e.g. initial letter of a child’s name, environmental print, letter assortments, alphabet books, shared writing). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 56-60, the teacher says, “I spy the Letter I.” The students look around the room and find the uppercase letter I.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 91-95, Alphabet Book mini-lesson, students turn to the R page in the book and are instructed to “put their finger on the letter that says /r/”. The teacher asks, “What is the name of that letter?”
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 96-100, in the Mini Lesson, students write the first letter of their names on the “On” sign with a blue crayon.

Materials contain limited tasks/activities that apply letter identification and naming of all 26 lowercase letters to meaningful print use (e.g. initial letter of a child’s name, environmental print, letter assortments, alphabet books, shared writing). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 66-70, the teacher presents the sentence, “I like to learn,” to students. The teacher points to the word “learn” and asks students what letter they see at the beginning of the word. Sentence Solving is included in almost all of the weekly plans.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 81-85, the teacher explains that during the mini-lesson, students will be working with words that start with p. The students take out their Alphabet Book for p. Students are asked what letters are the same and what letters are different.

Indicator 1a.iv

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

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

Students frequently practice letter formation through a variety of sensory and multi-modal experiences. Students have opportunities to practice forming letters with a variety of materials and through large-muscle and small-muscle activities.

Materials provide consistent, specific directions on where students should begin and end their letter formation. There are directions to support the teacher in how to model and write all of the letters. However, multi-modal instruction and practice occurs primarily in center activities, which are flexible. There are activities for students to practice printing uppercase and lowercase letters.

Materials include directions for the teacher concerning how to explain and model how to correctly form each of the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 46, the teacher uses the Flower Handwriting activity as a model for “petal”, “root”, and “stem” letters (letters written above, below, or within the lines on a paper), with an explanation for each one.
  • In "Ready to Read" Activities Book, "I am Ready" Program, Rainbow Letters, pages 139-235, the directions guide students on how to form both lowercase and uppercase letters.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 46-50, for the letter G, objectives are listed for learning and practicing the correct formation of the letter G in both uppercase and lowercase forms.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 1-5, the teacher models how to form the uppercase and lowercase letter A using a toy car and directions to “drive down diagonally to the left and stop on the red stop sign” for the first letter stroke. The teacher proceeds to explain subsequent letter strokes.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6-10, the teacher gives specific instruction of how the students write an A, by using a car on a green and red light for upper and lowercase letter A. “The teacher starts the toy at the top right on the green-go-light, Go. Move in a circular motion up to the left, and then down and around, until you reach the green light again.”

Materials include some opportunities for students to practice forming all of the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, Handwriting, pages 250-275, Handwriting Practice Sheets are provided for students to practice writing each letter of the alphabet.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 6-10, the teacher and students sing a song, “A says /a/, A says /a/,” and then the teacher says two words. The students are given wait time to write which words start with A and B on their pages.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 91-95, students practice writing uppercase and lowercase R.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, the teacher provides students with flower handwriting displays to indicate where students form letters on lined paper. Students practice writing letters by identifying which are “petal”, “root”, or “stem” letters (letters written above, below, or within the lines on a paper). All lowercase letters are written in this lesson.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 36-40, page 173, students complete the Flower Letter Sorting Sheets. Before they glue the letter down, they trace the uppercase or lowercase letter.
  • In Road to Writing and Rainbow Letters lessons are repeated for every letter of the alphabet. In the Rainbow Letters center, students practice tracing uppercase and lowercase letters multiple times, using a different crayon color each time.

Materials include some opportunities for students to practice forming letters using multi-modal and/or multi-sensory methods. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 81-85, the teacher calls out a letter of the alphabet and whether the letter is to be uppercase or lowercase. Students write an invisible, large letter with their finger pointing in the air, forming the letter with correct directionality. This activity is repeated on Days 86-90 and Days 116-120.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 26-30, students practice “writing in the correct formation in the air with a finger, an arm, a leg, or toes.”
  • Other multi-sensory and multi-modal activities are available in centers. However, centers are supplemental and optional, so students might not have the opportunity to participate in these activities.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

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

There are many instructions for teachers to use when teaching general concepts of print, such as initial lessons on word spacing and directionality in reading left to right. However, the Kindergarten materials do not contain explicit instruction for teaching all print concepts. There are limited experiences for students to learn about print concepts with actual books, including Class Books and Phonics Readers. While the materials do provide some opportunity for review of print concepts, letter identification, and letter formation, the review is not systematic or frequent.

Materials include some instruction for all students about the organization of print concepts (e.g. follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1-5, the teacher is given directions on modeling how to hold a book (right-side up, starting at the front cover, turning one page at a time, being careful with the pages).
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1-5, the teacher demonstrates tracking from left to right and from top to bottom.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35 objectives listed for the whole class lesson are to practice proper book handling skills and tracking while reading.

Materials provide students limited opportunities to recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 11-15, the teacher models tracking the words to demonstrate the concept of spoken words connecting to written words
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 16-20, the directions for the Whole Class Lesson prompts the teacher to ask students if they know any of the letters in the long word or any of the sounds of letters.

Students have limited opportunities to understand that words are separated by spaces in print.Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6-10, in the Whole Class Lesson, the students point to the first letter in the sentence while the teacher indicates that the first letter is always a capital letter. The students point to the end mark while the teacher indicates that a period “signals the end of a sentence.”
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 41-45, in the “Sentence Solving” activity, the students count the number of words in the sentence.

Materials include limited lessons, tasks, and questions for all students about the organization of print concepts (e.g. follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1-5, there are directions on book handling, tracking words left to right, and word spacing.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 11-15, there are centers and a whole group activity on book handling skills.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 16-20, the teacher is prompted to read a book from the classroom library to students while tracking her finger left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, students point to the first letter in the sentence.The teacher instructs students that this letter is always uppercase.

Materials include limited physical books (teacher-guided, such as big books) that are suitable for the teaching of print concepts. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1-5, the teacher guides students to use books from the classroom library to explore the inside of a book.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 41-45, as the teacher reads the book to students, she points to the words as students track in their own copy. The Alphabet Book is read every time a new letter is introduced.

Materials include limited instruction about the organization of print concepts (e.g. follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing) in the context of a book. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1-5, the teacher guides students to use books from the classroom library to explore the inside of a book. The teacher introduces “Word Walking” to students as a way to track print from left to right. In addition, there are explicit directions to show students that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 41-45, students track print from left to right as the teacher reads the sentence and later, when students “read” the sentence to the teacher. Students count words in the sentence to practice understanding that words are separated by spaces.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 21-25, refers to a routine to be completed for sentence solving. Students get a copy of a sentence and count the words. The teacher models how to track left to right when reading. The teacher models how to blend the word “am”. Students read and point to the A while saying /a/ and the M while saying /m/.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, the directions for the short /ă/ book has the teacher read the book out loud while students track with their fingers and follow along.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, Step 1 Book: Bug Has a Hut, in the lesson plan, the directions instruct the teacher to read the book with students, helping students to track the sentences while reading, to say sounds according to letter to sound correlations, to find the sight words and use prior knowledge to read those words, and to pause reading at end marks and understand where sentences begin.

Materials consistently include some opportunities for students to engage in authentic practice using print concepts in the context of student books. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 151-155, the teacher reads the book to students while students track with their finger.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 156-160, the teacher reads the book to students while students track with their fingers.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, students have a copy of the book, Dog Is. Students are instructed to discuss the cover and title, holding the book upright, and tracking words as they are read. This is a routine used with eight student books in Step 1
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 66-70, Step 1 Book, Cat Can, the teacher directions state that it is important for students to begin reading with the black and white reader in order to set them up for success in reading the color version of the phonics book. Students manipulate and highlight parts of the black and white reader to help them identify how to read the text properly and then can move to the color book for practice without support.

Materials contain periodic cumulative review opportunities during which the teacher reminds students about previously learned grade level print concepts, letter identification, and letter formation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 21-25, the teacher presents a simple sentence to students. Students track the print while the teacher reads and then later track again while “reading” the sentence to the teacher. Teachers ask students to identify letters in new words presented.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 166-170, the teacher reviews book handling skills at beginning of lesson. Students track words with their fingers as teachers read the book.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 26-30, instructs the teacher to choose letters that students need to review and practice letter formation. The teacher gives explicit instruction on how to form the letters chosen for students to practice.

Materials include limited students’ practice of previously learned print concepts, letter identification, and letter formation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Lesson Planner, Center #4: Handwriting Practice Sheets, Days 166-170, Handwriting Practice Sheets are stapled together in a book for students to practice writing the letters, to learn and practice correct spacing of letters in words and sentences, and to further practice letter recognition for all 26 letters in uppercase and lowercase forms. Students work on this packet at their own pace.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 81-85, the teacher asks students to point to letters in the sentence, particularly in unfamiliar words.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Step 2 and Step 3, Days 96-100, students practice spelling and writing the letters of each word.

Criterion 1c - 1e

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness.
6/12
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that materials have daily opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities through Kindergarten and early Grade 1. There are limited opportunities for students to engage in activities and practice phonological awareness. Materials provide limited systematic and explicit instructions for phonological awareness. Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that materials provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the Kindergarten-Grade 1 band.

Indicator 1c

Materials have frequent opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities during Kindergarten and early Grade 1.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

There are limited opportunities for students to engage in activities and practice phonological awareness. While there is practice of skills such as beginning sounds, onsets, rimes, and rhyming words, activities often involve sound cards which contain graphemes, or sorting sounds to letter names, focusing on phonics skills rather than phonemic awareness. Materials do not include a variety of activities for phonological awareness in both the “I am Ready” Program and Steps 1-5. In the Gray Space activities, students say rhyming words, they blend words, and they identify sounds in the middle of the word. Students practice these skills every day during some weeks. However, the Gray space activities are supplemental and optional. Therefore, there is no assurance that students will participate in these activities.

Materials include limited activities for phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 11-15, the teacher flips a card with a picture on it for the class to see. Students say three to five rhyming words for each card flipped. The teacher repeats this activity five to ten times.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, the teacher explains that the vowel sounds can be at the beginning of the word, but they are inside the word. The teacher says short words with medial short vowel sounds, and students do a specific body movement if they hear the short /ĭ/ in the middle.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, the teacher says a Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) word, and the students change the middle vowel sound to a different one to create a new word.

There are limited opportunities for students to practice phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 41-45, Whole Class Lesson, the teacher segments a word by saying it “in pieces,” and students blend the word together. Suggested words that the teacher might segment include fan, bat, tub, pig, and sit.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, the teacher thinks of a word, and students practice naming a word that rhymes with that word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 36-40, the teacher explains that a vowel sound can be at the beginning of a word, but they are most often inside in the word. Students come up with examples of short /ŭ/ sounds. When students hear a word with a short /ŭ/ in the middle, they do a specific body movement. They do a different motion if they don't hear the /ŭ/ sound in the middle of the word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-64, the teacher tells students, “I’m going to say a word in three sounds. You need to blend the sounds together.” The teacher gives students an opportunity to pause between each sound. Students say the word at that time or on the count of three.

Indicator 1d

Materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the K-1 grade band.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the Kindergarten-Grade 1 band.

Materials provide limited systematic and explicit instructions for phonological awareness. Materials include some instructions for counting and segmenting syllables, for blending sounds into words, and for blending onsets and rimes into words; however, no explicit instructions are provided for phoneme isolation, phoneme addition, or phoneme substitution. Many activities are included in Gray Space Activities or given as options for the teacher to choose. Because these activities are optional, the activities may not be presented to all students. Some activities are identified as Listen and Blend where students are asked to listen and blend words from individual phonemes; however, the examples provided do not align with instruction and the option to blend onset/rime is also present in the materials. Sound activities include a grapheme when students complete activities. Materials do not systematically advance students through the development of phonological awareness skills. In the Yellow Teacher Planner,"I am Ready" Program, materials present one sound a week with the matching grapheme.

Materials provide the teacher with limited systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Recognize and produce rhyming words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 11-15, Whole Class Lesson, the teacher or student flips over a picture card, and the teacher prompts the students to produce a rhyming word. There is no explicit instruction for teaching students how to rhyme or what rhyming is.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 46-50, Whole Class Lesson, the teacher displays Sound Cards: ball, doll, bat, bug, banana. The teacher states, “Which one rhymes with TALL?”
  • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Mini Lesson: “Word Wiggles”, Days 76-80, the teacher explains words have one or more syllables by saying, “Every time your chin drops down when you say a word is a syllable.” The teacher says multi-syllabic words and asks the students to wiggle each time they see the teacher’s chin drop down. The teacher asks the students how many syllables were in the spoken word.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, Mini-Lesson: “Word Wiggles”, page 281, the teacher explains that words have one or more syllables by saying, “Every time your chin drops down when you say a word is a syllable.” The teacher says multi-syllabic words and asks the students to wiggle each time they see the teacher’s chin drop down. The teacher asks the students how many syllables were in the spoken word. Materials state for teachers to, “point to the word;” however, Clip art is provided with no words.
  • Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words. This is presented as an optional task when blending individual phonemes.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 81-85, Mini-Lesson, the teacher has the option of presenting the onset and rime to students and having students blend the word. Instructions include, “Put your finger on the circle, /r/-pause-/at/.”
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Gray Space Activities, “Listen and Blend”, Days 46-50, the teacher tells students the teacher will say a word in three sounds. Students blend the sounds together to make a word. While materials provided the example of blending individual phonemes, the option to blend onset/rime is also provided.
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with l,r, or x.)
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, Gray Space Activities, the teacher says a short word out loud. If the student hears the target sound in a specific place, such as in the beginning, they do a specific movement, such as putting their hands on their heads. If they do not hear that target sound in the desired place, they do another movement, such as touching their knees.
    • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 106-110, Gray Space Activities, the teacher says a simple word with one long or one short vowel. Students make a motion to indicate if the word has a long or short vowel, and students repeat the medial vowel sound in the word.
  • Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 91-95, Gray Space Activities: “Switch a Sound”, the teacher says a Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) word and tells students to change the middle vowel sound for a different one to create a new word. The teacher calls on one student or has students respond in unison.
    • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and Step 3, Days 111-115, Gray Space Activities, students are instructed to change the word crack to black. The teacher models segmenting the blend, and students use letters to build and change the words.

Materials provide the teacher with examples for instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words called for in grade level standards. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 146-150, there is a list of possible rhyming groups to use with the Sound Card activity.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 91-95, page 412, Gray Space Activities, materials provide examples for changing initial, medial, and final sounds. Initial: man/pan, pet/vet. Medial: pan/pen, bad/bed, mop/map, cat/cut, cap/cop. Final: dog/dot, mug/mud, bat/bag.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 56-60, Mini-Lesson, the teacher instructions include instruction for students: “Words have one or more syllables. A syllable is one unit of a sound and has a vowel. Every time our chin drops down when you say a word is a syllable.”
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 111-115, the teacher directions include an explanation of how to segment a word: “Teachers leave at least one second for the pause between sounds (phonemes)” and “Teachers then blend together the blend but still leave the word segmented.”

Indicator 1e

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

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

Materials include limited multi-modal/multi-sensory activities for student practice of phonological awareness. Routines for multi-modal/multi-sensory activities are not consistent over the course of the year. Students have some opportunities to use body actions and their senses to practice skills, such as letter sounds. Opportunities are limited for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern. Additionally, many of the opportunities to practice multi-modal and multi-sensory activities are found in the Gray Space Activities, which are optional and therefore may not be presented to all students. Limited examples are provided for the teacher and materials often prompt the teacher to find additional examples to use in lessons. While students have opportunities to count syllables, materials include limited opportunities for students to pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words and isolate and pronounce final sounds in words with three phonemes.

Materials provide some opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern called for in grade-level standards. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Students have opportunities to recognize and produce rhyming words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 11-15, Gray Space Activity: Rhyming Words, students are asked to state a word that rhymes with a word spoken by the teacher. The sentence stem provided for the teacher states: “I can think of a word. _______. Can you rhyme with the word you heard?” The word mop is provided as an example.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 46-50, the teacher says, “I am going to say a word and you need to circle the picture of the word that rhymes. We will do this as a class.”
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, page 50, Gray Space Activity, students put their hands on their head if they think of a word that rhymes with bat.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 16-20, students are presented with picture cards and are asked to think of three to five rhyming words for each card.
  • Students have limited opportunities to count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Mini Lesson: “Word Wiggles”, Days 106-110, the teacher says each syllable of a word slowly, placing a hand beneath the chin. Students wiggle each time they see the teacher’s mouth open and the chin drop down. The teacher asks how many syllables are in each word.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81-85, the teacher orally states words, and students wiggle with each syllable spoken. Students are asked to count the syllables.
  • Students have opportunities to blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 81-85, the teacher has the option of presenting the onset and rime to students and requesting students blend the word. Instructions include, “Put your finger on the circle, /r/-pause-/at/.”
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 26-30, page 129, the teacher has the students put their fingers on the circle, then the triangle, heart, square and then the moon, which is two sounds: onset and rime. The teacher has the students share their answers.
  • Students have opportunities to isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.(This does not include CVCs ending with l,r, or x.)
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Mini Lesson: “Sound Card Sort”, Days 91-95, the teacher has sound cards with words that begin with r and 10-15 that do not. The teacher says the picture name, and students repeat the word. The teacher enunciates and stresses the beginning sound, then asks which category the Sound Card belongs.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, Gray Space Activity, the teacher says the word pat. The teacher tells students to change the a to an o. After wait time, the students say what sound they hear.
  • Students have opportunities to add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 121-125, after the students build the word yam, the teacher says, “What would I do if I wanted to make the word yak?” The teacher explicitly states, “I only need to change one of the letters. Listen to the two words, yam and yak. Which sound is different?"
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, page 234, Gray Space Activity, the teacher says a CVC word and tells students to change the middle vowel to create a new word. The teacher states, “The word is pat. Change the /a/ sound for /o./ What word do you hear?”
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 91-95, after the teacher says a word, the student practices changing the middle vowel sound for a different one to create a new word.
    • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 101-105, Gray Space Activity: “Switch a Blend”, the teacher says a word with a blend and tells students to change the blend for a different one to create a new word. The substitution can occur at the beginning or ending of a word. Suggestions include clock/block, truck/cluck, and duck/dump.

Materials include limited multi-modal/multi-sensory activities for student practice of phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 86-90, Gray Space Activity: “Word Wiggles”, the teacher says a word, and students wiggle each time they see the teacher’s chin drop to count syllables. Students count the number of wiggles in each spoken word.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 136-140, the teacher says a word, and the students find all of the pictures that rhyme with the word in the box.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 36-40, Whole Class Lesson, the teacher states short words with medial short vowel sounds. Students do a decided-upon body movement when they hear short /o/. Examples include: “Put your hands on your head if you hear short /o/ in the middle of the word” or “Put your hands on your knees if you do not hear the short /o/ sound.” As an extension, the teacher may select movements that require more advanced large motor skills when students hear a chosen sound.

Criterion 1f - 1j

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of researched-based and/or evidence-based phonics.
12/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that materials emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling. Materials meet the criteria that 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. Materials include opportunities for students to decode phonetically regular words in the sentence-solving activities, which occur one time per five-day instructional sequence. Some instructional guidance is available for teachers to help students in self-correcting procedures; however, there is a lack of direct, systematic practice for decoding words. The materials contain limited teacher-level instruction and modeling for building, manipulating, spelling, and encoding words using common and newly-taught sounds and spelling patterns. Materials provide limited opportunities for application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks.

Indicator 1f

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

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

Materials include repeated teacher modeling of each newly taught letter and sound by providing consistent instructional routines to learn the letters and sounds. Students are introduced to each letter and sound through the display of letter cards, sound songs, and identifying pictures that begin with the focus letter in a picture find book. However, some phonics skills do not consistently include explicit instruction and contain limited examples and limited modeling of the skill from the teacher. Lessons do not fully provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade level phonics pattern because there is not always explicit practice with hearing, saying, writing and reading the phonics skills for each week.

Materials contain some explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of grade level phonics standards. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 21-25, the teacher tells students that every letter makes one sound or multiple sounds. The teacher says, “We are going to continue learning those sounds. B says /b/. Your lips start curled in and are forced out by the sound.” The teacher enunciates and stresses the beginning sound when showing a picture to students.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 71-75, the teacher points to the Mm Alphabet Display card and gives the example of “M says /m/ like mouse and mitten.” In the Whole Class lesson, the teacher uses the Alphabet Book for the m page. The teacher points to the word mad and says the sound for each letter, blending in an exaggerated manner.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 16-20, the teacher holds up a picture and says the name of the picture, stressing the beginning sound. Then the teacher places the three index cards with p, qu, and r and says the letters and sounds of the three cards for students.
  • Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 16-20, the teacher tells students that every letter makes one sound or multiple sounds. The teacher says, “The first sound is short /a/.A is a vowel and is often found INSIDE a word, but we will be practicing the times we find it at the beginning of a word. /A/ has a short sound and a long sound. The long sound says /ā/ and says its own name. The short sound is the sound we will practice and it says /ă/.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 36-40, the teacher tells students that every letter makes one sound or multiple sounds. The teacher says, “We are going to continue learning those sounds. Ee has a short sound and a long sound. The long sound says /e/ and says its own name. The short sound is the sound we will practice and it says /e/.”
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 56-60, the teacher tells students that every letter makes one sound or multiple sounds. The teacher says, “Ii has a short sound and a long sound. The long sound /ī/ and says its own name. The short sound is the sound we will practice and it says /ĭ/.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 76-80, the teacher displays the letter Oo and states “Oo has a short sound and a long sound. The long sound says /o/ and says its own name. The short sound is the sound we will practice, and it says /o/.”
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 106-111, the teacher displays the letter Uu. The teacher states, “Uu has a short sound and a long sound. The long sound says // and says it own name. The short sound we will practice and it says /ŭ/.
  • Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 36-40, the teacher guides students in making the word bed with letter cards. Then the teacher says, “We are going to make a new word, but we are going to keep all the letters on our mat. We are ONLY going to change ONE. If we want to build the word bad, we only need to change ONE letter. Can you hear which sound is different, the beginning, middle, or end?”
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, the teacher instructs students to “substitute a letter to help students make a new word.” Students change map to mop, identifying the middle sound and substituting the letter o for the letter a.

Lessons provide teachers with some systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade level phonics pattern. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 61-65, the teacher introduces the letters Jj and Kk and their corresponding sounds. Students sing the alphabet song to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.” They are instructed to stop at the j and k, and the teacher points to the letters and says the sounds of /j/ and /k/. Students produce words that begin with /j/ and /k/. The routine is consistent for all letters and sounds in previous and subsequent lessons.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, students complete the Wonder Word activity where the teacher says the letters for each word and says a sound for each letter. The students create the word on the mat. The example word is cab.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 36-40, students practice writing the letter o. Then students color or circle the pictures that contain short vowel /o/ sounds. Students label each picture that contains a short /o/ with a letter o.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, after practicing writing words during the whole-group lesson, students practice writing words for a second time on the practice writing sheets. They practice writing sentences using those words. The word list contains the following words: fox, job, got, fog, not, nod, top, pop, mop, and lot.

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that 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 present instruction focused on identifying beginning sounds and segmenting, blending, and decoding CVC words. Students are consistently given the opportunity to read word lists of newly taught sounds prior to practicing writing the words. There are a variety of activities which include reading word family flip books, reading lists of words, and building words where students have practice opportunities to decode words.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode (phonemes, onset and rime, and/or syllables) phonetically spelled words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 136-140, Whole Class Lesson, Word Family Flip, students blend and segment words in the -at, -ap, -in word families. Students practice reading word families by changing the first letter and blending the words.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 141-145, Whole Class Lesson, Word Family Flip, students blend words in the -op, -ug word families. Students practice reading word families by changing the first letter and blending the words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 146, Days 31-35, the teacher chooses three Couple Cards, such as cat, bug, mop. There are three examples for students to practice onset and rime.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 180, Days 36-40, the students receive one strip of Strips 1-10, Version 1. Students look at the picture provided and say the word for the picture out loud. Students build the word on their mat by listening to the three phonemes in the word and finding the corresponding letters for each sound.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 136-140, students practice reading the A book, blending words with medial short /a/ words on every page.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 171-175, in the instructions, the teacher gives students letter names to be placed on their mat for word for Activity Option #1. Students blend the letters and then find the correct word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 291-292, Days 61-65, the teacher sets up the words in the Frog and Bug container. Students pick one word from the Bug group and one word from the Frog group and place them on the correct spaces in the Sentence Strip. Students copy the sentence in their booklet and read the sentence.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 60, Whole Class Lesson, Wonder Words, students build the words cab, mop, map with their Wonder Word Mat. For example, the teacher tells them to put the letter C on the first spot, the letter A in the middle, and the letter B in the last box of the word. Students make the sound for each letter to sound out the word.

Materials contain opportunities for students to review previously learned grade-level phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 111-115, students complete the Wonder Words activity. The teacher asks the students the first sound they hear in the word van. They pick up the V and place it on their map. This is repeated with the remaining letters. The students slowly say each sound, /v/ /a/ /n/, and blend the sounds to make the word van.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 26-30, the teacher calls out a sound or word, and the students taps on the corresponding letter or the letter of the beginning sound in the given word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, students read or decode a word beneath the picture and circle the word with a crayon. Students find the object within the picture that corresponds to the word that was just read.

Materials contain a variety of methods to promote students’ practice of previously taught grade level phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 126-130, is a five-day instructional sequence focused on consonant letter review. Students participate in singing the entire alphabet song with letter sounds and review identifying consonants and vowels.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6 -10, students create a Phonics Picnic plate with foods that start with long and short /a/ and /b/ words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 71-75, students complete a Reader’s Theater. They highlight their part in the script and color every first letter of the sentence in green crayon. Students practice reading their part.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, students are given a Mat Match. Students read each word on their Mat and copy those words onto the lines provided at the top of the paper. Students draw pictures that involve all of the words.

Indicator 1h

Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials include opportunities for students to decode phonetically regular words in the sentence-solving activities, which occur one time per five day instructional sequence. Some instructional guidance is available for teachers to help students in self-correcting procedures; however, there is a lack of direct, systematic practice for decoding words. Throughout the Step 1 Program, the sentence solving activities indicate, in bold lettering, that students will read the sentences from memory and “are not expected to decode or read this sentence independently yet.” Also, teachers are instructed to decode words with the students, which does not provide opportunities for students to decode words on their own. The Step 1 program provides decodable books for students to practice decoding words in a sentence. The teacher models reading the book, and then students practice on their own.

Materials provide limited explicit, systematic practice for decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 76-80, in the pre-teaching section, the teacher sets up the material and uses a sample paper and teacher materials to demonstrate how to do the activity. The teacher picks one Bug word and one Frog word to place on the sentence strip. The teacher models how to decode each word, one at a time, recognizing the word the at the beginning of the sentence.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81-85, the students read the book, Pig Has a Pet. The teacher is directed to help students track sentences, to say sounds according to the letter to sound correlations, to find the Sticky Words, and to use prior knowledge to read those words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, the teacher decodes words get, up, and in with students. The teacher asks students for a word that might be in the classroom on the chart. The teacher points out the word, stressing the beginning sound, asking students to name some of the sounds, and explaining to students that the word will be decodable in the future. The teacher reads the sentence again for/with the students as they point to each word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 16-20, students are given the sentence, “I am a kid” on a strip of paper. The teacher points to the word kid and explains that the k says the same sound as hard c (/k/). The teacher points to each letter in the CVC word and says each sound for students. The teacher says the sounds faster to model decoding and blending the CVC word.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode words in a sentence. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 71-75, students practice reading words ending with the /s/ and /ll/ sounds in the book, Dog Gets a Job.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 91-95, students draw a picture to respond to the sentence, “I get to school by …,” and then they read the sentence.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56-60, students read the book Bug Gets Wet. Students first read the book with the teacher, and then they read the book a second time by taking turns, in partners, switching off by page, or in small groups.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 96-100, students read the book, Duck and his Mom and practice with a pattern, switching off reading sentences in the book out loud.

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials contain limited teacher-level instruction and modeling for building, manipulating, spelling, and encoding words using common and newly-taught sounds and spelling patterns. Students are routinely presented with Wonder Word mats in a whole class format where they are guided through building words and sounding the words out. Lessons provide students with several opportunities to build, manipulate, spell, and encode words; however, this practice is not provided on a daily basis. Starting in Step 1, the Wonder Words activity continues until days 51-55, when Express Spelling is introduced. Express Spelling has seven practice pages in which to practice the words for the week.

The materials contain limited teacher-level instruction/modeling for building, manipulating, spelling, and encoding words using common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns of phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 141-145, the teacher says a letter name, and students find the letter on the Wonder Words Mats. The teacher then says the sound of the letter, and students echo the teacher as they build CVC words. The routine is repeated with different CVC words.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 161-165, students are provided Wonder Words mats and letters of the alphabet. The teacher says a letter name, and the student places the letter on their mat, saying the name of the letter and the sound of the letter. The teacher guides them through saying the sounds of each letter in the CVC word, and the students echo back.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, the teacher asks students to name the five vowels. The teacher has students say the short vowel names when holding up the Wonder Word Letter Cards. The teacher reminds them that long vowels say their own name. The teacher shows students two motions, holding hands out wide to the side to depict long vowels and hands clapped together to show short. The teacher holds up the correct Long or Short Bug Card.

Lessons provide students with limited opportunities to build/manipulate/spell and encode words in isolation based in common and newly-taught phonics patterns. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 16-20, students build the words pot, bus, and bug. The teacher says a letter name and has the students point to the letters. The students read the CVC words and echo back to the teacher after they create the word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 36-40, students sound out and read each word on the mini-book and then practice writing the word on the blank line. Students put the short /a/ and short /i/ sound book together.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 41-45, students practice writing short /e/ words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, students are given a list of words to read, pretend to type, then practice writing each word on the practice writing sheets.

Indicator 1j

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials promote application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. (mid Kindergarten-Grade 2)

Materials provide limited opportunities for application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. There is limited evidence of explicit, systematic instruction and modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks. Materials include limited activities and tasks that promote application of encoding words in sentences. Activities frequently involve drawing or coloring pictures that match sentences or words requiring decoding. There are limited opportunities for students to write words and/or sentences using encoding or phonetic spelling.

Materials include limited explicit, systematic teacher-level instruction of teacher modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, Silly Sentences, the teacher models how to write sentences using a Bug card word and a Frog card word, with an emphasis on the initial uppercase letter and ending punctuation at the end of the sentence.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 66-70, the teacher pre-teaches the skill and writes the sentence, “The red box is on a mat.”
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 106-110, the teacher draws words from two piles to create a sentence. The teacher demonstrates writing the sentences, modeling the uppercase letter at the beginning of the sentence, correct word spacing, and ending punctuation.

Lessons provide students with limited activities and tasks to promote application of phonics as they encode words in sentences or in phrases based on common and newly taught phonics patterns. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 96-100, the students receive a copy of the sentence, “I get to school by _____” and phonetically try to spell words for the blank about what method they use to get to school.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, students complete the sentence writing page, writing a short sentence for four of the words with /o/.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 66-70, students copy the sentence they created from Silly Sentences. They practice using an uppercase letter to start a sentence, an end mark at the end of the sentence, and leaving finger space between each word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, students complete the Problem and Solutions page. Students write a sentence phonetically to describe each drawing on the lines provided.

Criterion 1k - 1m

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

Materials include a list of high-frequency words called Sticky Words for each step of the program. Although students are introduced to these words, there is an absence of explicit instruction regarding reading the words in isolation and spelling the words. There are multiple opportunities for students to read high-frequency words through the use of decodable books and sentence solving activities; however, materials lack opportunities for students to write high-frequency words in sentences. Materials partially meet the criteria that 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.

Indicator 1k

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

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

Materials include a list of high-frequency words called Sticky Words for each step of the program. Although students are introduced to these words, there is an absence of explicit instruction regarding reading the words in isolation and spelling the words. Students are routinely asked to listen for specific high-frequency words when reading stories or to locate a high-frequency word heard orally. Practice pages for writing Sticky Words are included in the student activities books, and instructions are included in center activities. However, these activities are optional and supplemental. Students in Kindergarten are taught about 23 Sticky Words, as some of the Sticky Words are repeated in Steps 1-3. If students do not progress to Steps 2 and 3, they would only be introduced to 17 high-frequency words.

Materials include some systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 31-36, the teacher points to the word play. The teacher explains that this is a Sticky Word. Materials state: It is a word that is too hard to sound out right now, and students will need to memorize and practice this word.
    • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 41-45, the teacher explains to students that there are Sticky Words in the sentence. The teacher explains that Sticky Words are words that they may not be able to read yet using decoding and knowledge of letter sounds.
    • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, the teacher displays all the Sticky Word displays cards for Step 1 and points to the word go. The teacher reads any book from the class library, and students are instructed to put their hands on their head if they see or hear the word go. Students are given all of the Sticky Words flashcards to keep.

Materials include some opportunities for the teacher to model the spelling and reading of high-frequency words in isolation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 96-100, the teacher has the students underline the Sticky Words cards, I and to. The teacher points to each word, and the students repeat the word. When the students are done illustrating their sentence, the teacher has them practice reading the sentence with the Sticky Words in it.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 121-125, the teacher tells the students the Sticky Word in the sentence, “The yak eats the yams,” is the. The teacher asks the students if they remember that word from anywhere before. The teacher points to the word, says the word, and then has students repeat the word. The students find the word and underline it on their page.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, the teacher reads all of the Step 1 trace words. Students are instructed to trace the Sticky Word with a crayon and continue to choose additional colors to trace the word multiple times.

Students practice identifying and reading high-frequency words in isolation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, the teacher displays the Sticky Word cards, to and for. Students are given the Sticky Word activity book for the word to. Students first scan and track through the words to find and color any Sticky Words. Students count how many times they find the word and write the number in the box. Students find the words to and for, and color each box that contains the word. Once the student colors in all of the boxes, a hidden picture is revealed. Students trace the Sticky Words at the top and practice writing them on the lines below.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 76-80, students use the book to go on a Sticky Word hunt. They color all of the Sticky Words in the book with a yellow crayon.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81-85, the teacher displays the Sticky Word cards for the words I and when. The teacher points to the words and then has students repeat the words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 151- 155, the teacher places Sticky Words on the floor. The teacher says a word, and the students jump to that word. The teacher calls out the words in varying orders and the students hop to them.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 161-165, the students use Step 3 Sticky Words flash cards. The students line up the flashcards, and the teacher calls out one of the words. The students slap or tap the word being read aloud.

Materials include a minimal quantity of grade-appropriate high-frequency words for students to make reading progress. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, provides a table that lists all sight words introduced in the phonics books and the corresponding grade levels. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) words include two words, I and a. Kindergarten was identified as corresponding to Steps 1-3. Step 1 includes nine words (be, for, from, go, he, the, to, too, was), Step 2 includes seven words (come, does, have, like, of, put, see) , and Step 3 includes five words (all, are, good, she, where).
  • In Student Activities Book, Steps 1-5, students are provided with flash cards for all Sticky Words in Steps 1-3.

Indicator 1l

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

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

There are multiple opportunities for students to read high-frequency words through the use of decodable books and sentence solving activities; however, materials lack opportunities for students to write high-frequency words in sentences. Students are provided opportunities to write sentences as they complete sentence starters; however, the completed sentences may or may not contain high-frequency words.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to read grade-level high-frequency words in a sentence. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 16-20, each student receives a copy of the sentence, “I am at school,” along with an additional paper where the student will glue the sentence and draw a picture that corresponds to the sentence. Students count the number of words in the sentence. The teacher reads the sentence for or with the students as they point to each word.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 96-100, students read the decodable book Duck and His Mom. The Sticky Words in the book are see, the and go. Students are told to color the Sticky Words in the book with a yellow crayon. The teacher reads the book with the students.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 121-125, students read the short story, Frog and The Plant. The story contains Sticky Words that are underlined in the text.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 161-165, students color the Sticky Words on the practice page. Students read the entire text before beginning the practice page, and then they return to each sentence and read it again.

Lessons provide students with limited opportunities to write grade level high-frequency words in tasks (such as sentences) in order to promote automaticity in writing grade appropriate high-frequency words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81-85, students complete the sentence starter, “I am happy when...” by completing the sentence in writing. The student traces the high-frequency word I at the beginning of the sentence.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 106-110, students pick words from the Bug and Frog Box. The teacher models decoding each word at a time and recognizing the word, the. Students create silly sentences and write them on their paper. Sticky words are a part of the silly sentences.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, Days 111-115, the students practice writing the words on Step 2 Spelling List #4. There are two Sticky Words on the right that students write.

Materials provide limited instruction in how to use student-friendly reference materials and resources and reading high-frequency words (e.g., word cards, word lists, word ladders, student dictionaries). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Student Activities Book, Steps 1 -5, Step 1, page 27, there are Sticky Words display cards that can be printed for students.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, the directions state, “Teachers give each student a copy of the Sticky Words Flash Cards to cut and keep in the desk/at their table for activities or to take home for practice.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that 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 provide limited explicit instruction in word analysis strategies. Instruction for phoneme/grapheme recognition through introducing letters and sounds occurs simultaneously. Students learn syllabication through an activity that requires students to wiggle each time the teacher’s chin drops when saying a word. Students are provided opportunities to apply word analysis strategies by changing the onset and to read rhyming words as well as learning how to blend sounds when reading CVC words. No evidence was found for multiple and varied opportunities provided over the course of the year for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis strategies. Instead, the same routines are repeated over the course of the year for these skills.

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of word analysis strategies (e.g. phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 101-105, the teacher explains that every letter makes one sound or multiple sounds and focuses on the /t/ sound for the letter t. Students sing through the “Alphabet Song,” naming each letter and letter sound while the teacher points to the corresponding letter.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6-10, the teacher holds up a picture of an object and says the name of the object, stressing the beginning sound. The teacher places three index cards with the letters f, g, and h and says the names and sounds of these letters. The teacher says the name of different pictures, and students choose the beginning letter of that object"s name.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, the teacher provides instruction on segmenting the sounds in words. The teacher displays a card and indicates that the students are going to say a word in pieces, then put the word together. The teacher provides the example of saying “/b/-pause-/u/-pause-/g/,” and students blend the word together. The teacher explains that individual sounds make up a word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56-60, the students count the number of words in the sentence, “I can sit on the rug.” The teacher puts her finger on the word can and asks students to put their finger on the letter that says /k/ on their Sentence Solving Strip. The students say the sounds with the teacher. They repeat this process with the letters a and n and with the word sit.

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of word solving strategies to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 141-145, the teacher explains that a word family is a family of words that have the same vowel sound and ending consonant sound. The teacher gives each student the /op/ and /ug/ cards and a stapled stack of different beginning sounds. Students flip through the stack and read the rhyming words.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 146-150, the teacher draws three circles on the board and writes one letter in each circle, spelling out a CVC word. The teacher practices with students how to tap each button, say the sound, and blend to make a word. The teacher chooses from the words bed, hen, jet, net, pen, and ten.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 11-15, in the Extra Activity Sound Hunt, students walk around the room with crayons or colored pencils and draw pictures of words that have i, j, k, l, m, n or o at the beginning of the word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, the teacher says, “I’m going to say three words in pieces, and you need to blend them together.” The words are cat, bug, and mop.

Limited varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis strategies. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 21-25, the teacher says the word bat, leaving at least one second between each sound. Students blend the sounds to say the word bat.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, students practice reading the book Pig is Sad. The teacher reads the book with the students as the students track along.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 66-70, students are given Spelling List #4. The teacher guides students to decode or take turns decoding the ten words on the list
  • In Green Teacher Planner Step 1, Days 86-90, students point to the first letter in the sentence, “I get up in the morning.” Students practice decoding the other words in the sentence.

Criterion 1n - 1q

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

Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that materials include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and practice opportunities of high-frequency words to develop automaticity. Materials include a list of high-frequency words called Sticky Words for each step of the program. Although students are introduced to these words, there is an absence of explicit instruction regarding reading the words in isolation and spelling the words. Materials provide limited explicit instruction in word analysis strategies. Instructional materials partially meet the criteria that materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors and 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
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials provide opportunities for students to practice decoding after the teacher has modeled decoding by pointing to sounds and blending the sounds together to read a CVC word. The instruction lacks explicit instruction on accuracy as well as specific checks of accuracy when students are practicing. Whole group Wonder Word lessons focused on decoding CVC words occur during each five-day instructional sequence with students decoding three words. The instructions call for teachers to check the spelling of words on a mat rather than the ability of the student to read the word aloud. There are minimal explicit instructions to demonstrate fluency and accuracy which occur during center activities. The resources advise teachers to instruct students to read Slow Down words and to avoid reading in a monotone voice. Practice focuses on rereading and does not allow students to specifically practice automaticity.

Materials provide some systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 141-145, Whole-Class Lesson: Word Family Flip Charts, students practice decoding phonetically regular words (CVC words). The teacher explains that a word family is a family of words that have the same vowel sound and end consonant sound.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 146-150, Whole-Class Lesson: "Buttons", the teacher has a list of six CVC words. The teacher draws three circles on the board and writes one letter in each circle, spelling out one of the CVC words. The teacher models how to decode by putting the finger on each circle and saying the sound of the letter.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 76-80, students read the book Dog Gets a Van. The teacher reads the book first with students, helping them to track sentences while saying sounds according to letter-to-sound correlations, to find Sticky Words and to use prior knowledge when reading these sounds.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81-85, the teacher instructions state that when the teacher is reading the book Pig Has a Pet, the teacher should model how to read with accuracy, rereading a sentence once they have decoded the words, and reading with proper rate, not too fast or too slow.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, the teacher instructions state that the teacher should help students decode each word in the book Dog and the Gum, and then reread the sentences for meaning once they have read the words.

Materials provide some opportunities for students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 141-145, students practice decoding phonetically regular words (CVC words) by changing the onset to the rimes /op/ and /up/ and blending each word. Each student has pre-cut word family cards.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 146-150, the teacher has a list of six CVC words and models how to decode one of the words. Students practice the remaining five words and draw a picture to illustrate the word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, students reread the book Pig was Hot. Once they read the sentences, the students draw a picture to make the sentence true.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 91-95, students reread the text Cup and the Nap. Students either read the book with a partner or in small groups.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors and emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.

Materials provide opportunities for students to read emergent-reader texts for purpose and understanding. However, the directions do not explicitly address having the teacher share with students reading for purpose for each reading. There is a lack of evidence regarding explicit modeling of thinking aloud and modeling by the teacher of their thought process for purpose and understanding to students.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year for students to read emergent-reader texts (Kindergarten) for purpose and understanding. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 161-165, students practice reading I am Bug and I am. Students take a Sequencing Base and Sequencing Strip and decide the order of the story.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, the teacher reads Pig is Sad with students. The teacher asks students to recall all of the things that make Pig unhappy. The teacher asks student to recall what makes Pig happy.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 71-75, the teacher provides students with the text, Dog Gets a Job. The objectives include, “to engage students in oral language and discussion of text being read.” The teacher is provided with example questions to ask students such as, “Who is the main character?” and “How do you think Dog feels when he realizes he can dig a den for a pal?”

Materials contain limited explicit directions and/or think-alouds for the teacher to model how to engage with a text to emphasize reading for purpose and understanding. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31 - 35, the teacher reads the short /a/ book for students. The teacher explains what Sticky Words are: “Those words are called Sticky Words because they are easy to get stuck on.”
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 66-70, the teacher asks the students to predict what the text, Cat Can, is about.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 76-80, the students are provided the text, Dog Gets a Van. The teacher asks students to predict what the book is about by looking at the picture on the cover. The teacher asks questions after the book is read such as: “What color is Dog’s van? Why does the van need gas?”
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 86-90, students read the text, Pig Was Hot. The teacher explains that stories always have some problem that needs to be fixed and, after reading the book, asks students what they think the problem was.

Gateway Two

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials provide comprehensive instructions for teachers to use when implementing routines, centers, activities, and practice pages to support student learning. There are adult-level explanations of some foundational skill concepts and a few examples of the concepts. The scope and sequence includes mini-lessons, whole-class lessons, and center activities with suggested instructional time frames. Many of the lessons that include grade-level standards are included in center lessons and will not necessarily be completed by all students. It is not clear if students will complete enough lessons to master standards for the grade level, especially if a student starts with materials below grade level. The materials do not include a scope & sequence for phonemic awareness. Materials include a limited cohesive, intentional sequence of phonics instruction and practice to build toward application of skills with no clear, research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence. Materials contain decodable texts that align with the scope and sequence of phonics instruction; however, the high-frequency words are not mentioned in the scope and sequence, and some of the decodable books have different high-frequency words than the words taught that week. Materials include assessments in phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition and analysis; however, materials do not include clear guidance on instructional next steps.

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.
10/20
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student materials. Materials partially meet the criteria that 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. Materials partially meet the criteria that 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. The materials do not include a scope & sequence for phonemic awareness. Materials partially meet the criteria that the 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. The I Am Ready and Steps 1-5 include a resource called Parent Posts, sample parent letters which can be customized and sent home to families.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that 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.

The materials provide comprehensive instructions for teachers to use when implementing routines, centers, activities, and practice pages to support student learning. The Teacher Planner outlines suggestions and hints for teachers on how to deliver instruction to students. Weekly overviews give sufficient detail on the skills that will be covered each week. Bold headings, tables, and suggested times are included for ease of use. Embedded technology is organized effectively and allows teachers to access assessments, reports, and documents online.

Materials provide a teacher resource (teacher edition, manual) for content presentation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, for Days 6-10, there are activities such as “Following the Leader” with a square labeled, “Simple Directions.”
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 301, on Days 66-70, there is a week-long look at the mini-lesson, whole group instruction, and centers that the teacher will cover that week.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 395, on Days 86-90, the Whole Class Lesson is broken down into activity, time, materials, objectives, and directions for each activity, including Sticky Words and Slow Down Words.

The teacher resource contains information and instructional routines that help the teacher to effectively implement all foundational skills content (i.e. phonological awareness, print concepts, letters, phonics, High Frequency Words ( HFW), word analysis, decoding). Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, on page 56, for Days 41-45, the “Can you hear it?” routine explains that the teacher says the short words out loud, while students do a body movement based on where the specific location sound is.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready" Program, Days 146-150, in the mini-lesson, the directions state that the teacher should explain to students that you can hear vowel sounds inside words and to listen carefully while the teacher stretches out the word.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 300, in the box entitled “Switch a Sound,” the teacher says a CVC word and tells students to change the middle sound to a different sound to create a new word. There is an example for the teacher, and there are beginning, initial, medial, and final sound changes.

Any technology pieces included provide support and guidance for the teacher and do not create an additional layer of complication around the materials. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • The online material includes six clear headers that include assessments, reports, and documents.
  • Each of the headers has subheadings underneath, with documents, student assessments, and blackline masters of the assessments.
  • In the subheading “Student Copy, ‘I Am Ready’ and ‘Steps 1 - 5,’” there are blackline masters of the uppercase and lowercase letter assessment.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, page 193, Assessment Guide - There are directions for teachers for how to access the website, expressreaders.org.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that 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.

The Teacher’s Guidebook summarizes what foundational skills concepts are included in the program. There are adult-level explanations of some foundational skill concepts and a few examples of the concepts, such as CVC word practice and practice with uppercase and lowercase letters. However, some definitions are limited in scope and do not provide enough information for teachers to understand the concept. There is a page in the “I am Ready” lesson plan book and in Steps 1-5 Teacher Guide books with some adult explanations of the foundational skills concepts, but the explanations are minimal and are provided in relation to how to present the skills to students. The explanations do not include information to help teachers improve their own base of knowledge on the subject.

Some detailed adult-level explanations are provided for each foundational skill taught at the grade level. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 111-115, Whole Class Lesson, The Alphabet Book, Specific Instructions for the Second Page, the directions explain that the word “and” is considered a sight word until students learn sounds for /a/, /n/, and /d/.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” program, Days 76-80, the instructions state that teachers should leave one second between each sound or phoneme.
  • In Teacher’s guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, pages 209-215, there are definitions that are written for teachers for CVC words, sight words, phonemes, phonological awareness, rime and medial vowel sounds, and blending.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2-3, pages 73-75, Whole Class Lesson, Day 2, the lesson provides explicit directions for finding Sticky Words, Slow Down Sounds, and comprehension questions along with fluency practice. There are suggestions for extensions, accommodations, modifications, and alternative activity ideas.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 213, Definitions by a Teacher, Definitions of terms, foundational skills, and Express Readers specific words are provided for teachers. For example, “onsets” is defined as the sound before the middle vowel. The definition goes on to say that not all words have onsets.

Some detailed examples of the grade level foundational skill concepts are provided for the teacher. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 286, the teacher reviews the words “that”, “to”, and “for” and explains that these words are Sticky Words, words that are easy to get stuck on.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, page 8, the directions explain that /kn/, /wh/, and /wr/ are not digraphs by definition and that the letters do not combine to make a new sound.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, pages 54-61, it provides routines for introducing rhyming words, listening for beginning, middle, or ending sounds, switching sounds, and blending words.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, page 251, it defines blends as 2-3 consonants that are next to one another and each phoneme can still be heard. Examples provided include: bl, cr, tr, spr.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that 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.

The scope and sequence includes mini-lessons, whole-class lessons, and center activities with suggested instructional time frames. This provides for teacher choice and flexibility within a five-day instructional sequence. Daily lessons are flexible and manageable for a variety of teacher schedules. However, the program lacks effective guidance for teachers in terms of pacing and delivering explicit lessons. Although time guidelines are provided for each activity, there is no indication of how lessons should be paced in order to cover all grade-level standards over the course of the school year. While materials provide lessons in five-day increments, there is no established number of lessons that would be completed in a school year, as students work at their own pace and begin work at their current level. Many of the lessons that include grade-level standards are included in center lessons and will not necessarily be completed by all students. It is not clear if students will complete enough lessons to master standards for the grade level, especially if a student starts with materials below grade level.

The lesson design structure includes both whole group and small group instruction. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 41-45, the planner contains directions for a whole group or small group lesson, based on what the teacher thinks the class needs.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 61-65, the lesson focuses on the letters Jj and Kk. A scope and sequence for the five-day course of instruction is included prior to the lesson plans and includes a suggested time frame to be spent on each component. Five mini-lessons are presented first, followed by whole class lessons, and then center activities.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 66-70, during the whole group lesson, the teacher’s and students’ tongues lightly touch their teeth when they say letter L. Then the teacher displays the L sentence page.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 31-35, during whole group instruction, the teacher introduces the skill of isolating and pronouncing medial sounds.

The pacing of each component of daily lesson plans is partially clear and appropriate. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 36-40, the planner recommends that the mini lesson should take 5-10 minutes.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, pages 3-7 contains the scope and sequence for 95 instructional days. Focus lessons are presented in a five-day teaching sequence. Each five-day sequence includes mini-lessons, whole class lessons, and centers. Page 5 explains how the centers overlap between Teacher Planners in order to individualize instruction.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 178, Days 36-40, the planner suggests that the whole class lesson should take 20-25 minutes.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 323, Days 71-75, the planner states that the whole group/small group activity should take 15-25 minutes.

The suggested amount of time and expectations for maximum student understanding of all foundational skill content (i.e. phonological awareness, print concepts, letters, phonics, HFW, word analysis, decoding) can partially be completed in one school year and should not require modifications. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready" Program, pages 9-17, the guidebook states that students should take roughly 125 days to complete the letter recognition activities for sound recognition.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready" Program, page 15, Days 131-150, students work on activities learning medial short vowel sounds /e/, /o/, and /a/.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Steps 1-5, Days 46-95 focus on CVC words, which is 10 weeks of practice with CVC words.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, pages 3-11, contain the scope and sequence for 175 days of instruction. Each five-day teaching sequence includes mini-lessons, whole class lessons, and center/small group activities. Letter names and letter sounds are introduced in the order of the alphabet.

For those materials on the borderline (e.g. approximately 130 days on the low end or 200 days on the high end), evidence does not clearly explain how students would be able to master ALL the grade level standards within one school year. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready" Program, page 9-17, the guidebook has a scope and sequence with 175 days of activities.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, pages 9-13, presents a scope and sequence for 125 lessons, including introducing beginning sounds, medial short vowels, CVC words, spelling, and writing sentences.

Indicator 2d

Order of Skills
0/0

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)

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that the 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.

The materials do not include a scope & sequence for phonemic awareness. The materials provide a general outline of phonics skills taught, but phonemic awareness is not listed. There is no cohesive sequence to build towards application listed in the materials. Lessons focus on letter order rather than a cohesive sequence building a hierarchy of phonemic awareness. While there are activities planned throughout the course of study that address phonemic awareness skills, there is not a clearly defined sequence of instruction from one skill to another. There are no clear, evidence-based explanations for the phonemic awareness skills that are addressed from week to week; instead, materials repeatedly list activities week after week with no scaffolding from skill to skill where phonemic awareness is developed and built upon as students learn.

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.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that the 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.

The Kindergarten materials reviewed in the “I am Ready” Program include a delineated scope and sequence beginning with teaching the letters of the alphabet and their most common sound. This is followed by a focus on short medial vowels in CVC words. In Step 1, the letters of the alphabet and their most common sounds are retaught at a faster pace, followed again by instruction on short medial vowels. In Step 2, consonant blends are taught, but there is not a specific sequence to how these blends are taught. There is no clear, research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence. Although single grapheme letter sounds are introduced in the order that they occur in the alphabet, there is an absence of evidence that the sequence introduced was built upon a research-based explanation.

Materials delineate a Scope and Sequence. Materials include a limited cohesive, intentional sequence of phonics instruction and practice to build toward application of skills. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I Am Ready” Program, each letter is broken down into which days to teach along with Main Focus Class Lessons (ex. Consonant Play Book, Class Picture Find, Sound Card Sort, etc) and five centers (ex. Rainbow Letters, Find 8, Mini Book, etc)
  • In the Ready to Read, Teacher’s Guidebook, page 9, the author states, “[A]ll consonants are practiced first, short vowels second and CVC words last.” Each letter receives five days of instruction.
  • In Ready, Set, GO!, Teacher’s Guidebook, page 14–15, there is a scope and sequence for Green Planner, Sections 1–3. In Section 1–3, this is the scope and sequence:
    • Days 1–5: Consonants b, c, d, f, g, h
    • Days 6–10: Consonants j, k, l, m, n, p
    • Days 11–15: Consonants qu, r, s, t
    • Days 16–20: Consonants v, w, x, y, z
    • Days 21–25: Short a
    • Days 26–30: Short i
    • Days 31–35: Short o
    • Days 36–40: Short u
    • Days 41–45: Short e
    • Days 46–60: Short vowel and consonant review
    • Days 51–85: CVC words

Materials have a clear research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence.

  • No evidence found

Phonics instruction is based in high utility patterns and/or common phonics generalizations. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, the common sounds are taught for A-Z in alphabetical order.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Scope and Sequence, page 3, students work on short /a/, /e/, /o/, and /u/ on Days 1-20.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Scope and Sequence, page 4, students work on medial sounds in words featuring the short vowel sounds /a/, /i/, /o/, /u/, and /e/.

Patterns and generalizations are carefully selected to provide a meaningful and manageable number of phonics patterns and common generalizations for students to learn deeply. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, the Scope and Sequence explains that each five-day instructional cycle covers one to two alphabet letters and sounds. Instruction then progresses to decoding CVC words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Scope and Sequence, the Scope and Sequence lays out the sequence of reviewing one to five beginning sounds over a five-day instructional cycle, progressing to covering one to two medial short vowels over an additional five-day instructional cycle.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

The I Am Ready and Steps 1-5 include a resource called Parent Posts, sample parent letters which can be customized and sent home to families. These newsletters contain descriptions of the letter formation process, vocabulary terms specific to the program, and explanations and examples of routine activities such as “Listen and Blend.” Some of the Parent Posts provide stakeholders with strategies and activities to support student progress. There are limited strategies or activities for practicing foundational skills at home to help students review and reinforce what they have learned in class. Students can bring decodable books home to read with their families. Phonics practice pages are available to be sent to stakeholders to reinforce instruction. Resources are jargon free and user-friendly for stakeholders. Assessment check-ins are explained, but there is no mention of further discussions or specific suggestions to stakeholders based on assessment results.

Materials contain jargon-free resources and processes to inform all stakeholders about foundational skills taught at school. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 150, there is an example of a Parent Post that contains a description of the Express Readers program.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 155-158, there is a newsletter that explains what Gray Space activities are, what skills students will be working on, and directions for these activities.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 164, there is a letter about the purpose of check-ups and how they are used to assess students' learning.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, pages 169-172, there are parent letters explaining the program’s letter formation instructions, how students will be assessed during the program, and examples of classroom routines for teaching rhyming words, blending words, and substituting sounds.

Materials provide stakeholders with strategies and activities for practicing phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, and print concepts that will support students in progress towards and achievement of grade level foundational skills standards. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • The program provides students with black and white practice pages that are read in class. Directions in the “I Am Ready” Teacher’s Guidebook on page 147 states that these practice pages should be sent home for students to practice. On page 148, an example ticket is supplied that can be sent home explaining what the Take Home book is.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, Parent Post, page 167, the Parent Post describes developing fine motor skills at home to help with handwriting skills.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, Parent Post, page 169, the Parent Post describes how students form letters using materials sent home in a previous Parent Post.

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.
6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Kindergarten materials contain decodable texts that align with the scope and sequence of phonics instruction. Kindergarten materials contain a scope and sequence for instruction using decodable readers; however, the high-frequency words are not mentioned in the scope and sequence, and some of the decodable books have different high-frequency words than the words taught that week.

Indicator 2f

Aligned Decodable Texts
0/0

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include decodable texts with phonics aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

Kindergarten materials contain decodable texts that align with the scope and sequence of phonics instruction. Materials outline which phonics skills will be introduced throughout each step of the program. The phonics patterns in the decodable texts are introduced in whole class instruction prior to the introduction of the decodable text.

Materials include decodable texts to address securing phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 5, there are four decodable readers: I am Bug, I am, Cat’s Hat, and Cub Hid.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 166–170, Whole Class Lesson, students have a copy of a book with decodable words and spaces to complete sentences. The teacher decodes the words with students. Sample text includes, “Dog is up. Dog is not up. Dog is ____.” The student fills in a word that means the opposite of up.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, there are eight decodable readers focused on short vowels: Bug Gets Wet, Bug has a Hut, Cat Can, Cub and The Nap, Dog Gets a Job, Dog Gets a Van, Pig has a Pet, and Pig was Hot.

Decodable texts contain grade-level phonics skills aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, The Express Readers Book Layout outlines the scope and sequence for the phonics skills introduced in the decodable books. According to the scope and sequence, Step 1 books contain short vowels and CVC words. Step 2 books contain short vowels and blends, and Step 3 books contain short vowels and digraphs.
  • In Teacher Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, Days 151–155, students review short vowel words by reading the book I am Bug.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 166–170, Whole Class Lesson, students receive the decodable book Pig Is Sad. The grade-level phonics include CVC words. The decodable is introduced after students have been exposed to instruction for all alphabet letters and sounds.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56–60, students receive the decodable book Bug Gets Wet. The decodable book includes CVC words and the inflectional ending -s on some CVC words. The book is introduced after students have been exposed to instruction for all alphabet letters and sounds in the “I am Ready” Program as well as a review of all alphabet letters and sounds covered at this point in the Step 1 Program.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61–65, Whole Class Lesson, students receive the book, Bug Has a Hut. The text contains CVC words and short vowels.

Materials include detailed lesson plans for repeated readings of decodable texts to address securing phonics skills. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 151–155, in the whole group lesson, the teacher reads the book I am Bug. Then in Center #5, during the week, students practice reading the black and white copy of the book.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 156–160, the teacher reads the book I am, while students follow along in their own books. During the week in Center #5, students practice reading the book again.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56–60, students receive the decodable book Bug Gets Wet during a whole class lesson. Center 6, an optional center, details one objective as practicing “reading a text multiple times to work towards accuracy and automaticity.” Students reread the book either with an adult, a stuffed animal, or a classmate.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61–65, Center 6, students reread the book Bug Has a Hut either with an adult, a stuffed animal, or a classmate. Directions include, “The teacher facilitates the reading of the book one more time with the students,” and “Teacher reminds students to read with expression,” “read with accuracy,” and “read with the proper rate.”

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

Kindergarten materials contain a scope and sequence for instruction using decodable readers; however, the high-frequency words are not mentioned in the scope and sequence, and some of the decodable books have different high-frequency words than the words taught that week. Instruction of "Sticky Words" builds upon previous lessons, and “Sticky Words” are practiced in multiple books over the course of the "I am Ready" and Step 1 Program. Students have opportunities to reread the decodable books, but these opportunities are not guaranteed to occur, as the books are reread primarily in optional centers or at home. There is no evidence that there is explicit instruction of all high-frequency words before students encounter them in text. The Scope and Sequence does not provide a list of "Sticky Words" that will be taught. Materials do not include detailed lesson plans for repeated readings to secure knowledge of high-frequency or irregularly spelled words.

Materials include decodable texts that utilize high-frequency/irregularly spelled words. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 151-155, students read the story, I am Bug, and they learn the words I and a in the beginning of the book.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51-55, page 241, the decodable book, Pig is Sad, practice pages 241-248, the "Sticky Words" contained in the decodable book include the and a.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56-60, students receive the decodable book Bug Gets Wet. The "Sticky Words" contained in the decodable include the and go.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65 ,Whole Class Lesson, page 283, students receive the book Bug has a Hut. The "Sticky Words" include the words the and for.

Decodable texts at times contain grade-level high-frequency/irregularly spelled words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Teacher’s Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, the Express Reader’s Book Layout, page 5, indicates the sequence in which the high-frequency, or "Sticky Words", are introduced. In the "I am Ready" Program, the words I,a, go, to, too, from, the, was,and of are introduced between four decodable books. In Step 1, the additional words he ,be, was,and from are introduced in addition to practicing words from the "I am Ready" Program.
  • Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 171-175, Whole Class Lesson, introduced the, was, and from. Lessons from the decodable book Cat’s Hat, contain the words go, to, too, from, and the.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 76-80, page 352, the Sticky Words in the book Dog Gets a Van are of, does, see, sees, put, puts, come, like, and have.
  • Green Teacher Planner, The Step 1 Tool Kit contains the decodable book, Dog and the Gum. The sight words for that book are from, he, and the.
  • In the Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days, 91-95, students read the decodable Cub and the Nap, and they learn the Sticky Words the, to, too, for, and he.

Materials include do not include lesson plans for repeated readings of decodable texts to address securing high-frequency words/irregularly spelled words in context. Lessons are general and do not provide detailed information for repeated readings. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days, 91-95, page 419, students read the book Cat Got Wet to themselves first and then are organized into partners and read by switching off sentences. The Sticky Words to, be,and from are in the decodable text.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56-60, students read the decodable book Bug Gets Wet. Center 6, an optional center, details one objective as practicing “reading a text multiple times to work towards accuracy and automaticity.” Students reread the book either with an adult, a stuffed animal, or a classmate.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, page 283, students read the book Bug has a Hut. The Sticky Words are the and for. Students read the book a second time with peers.
  • Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 61-65, Center 6, page 289, students reread the book Bug has a Hut either with an adult, a stuffed animal, or a classmate. Directions include, “Teachers facilitate the reading of the book one more time with the students” and “Teachers remind students to read with expression,” “read with accuracy,” and “read with the proper rate.”

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.
13/22
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials provide multiple opportunities for assessing letter recognition and printing of letters, but there is no evidence of an assessment of print concepts. The Teacher’s Guidebook provides formal assessments and refers to lessons for informal assessments throughout the program. Although assessments are provided, the materials do not provide teachers with next steps for addressing the needs of students who are unable to demonstrate mastery on any given assessment. The Kindergarten materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed in assessments. The Kindergarten materials provide a brief discussion of the needs of English language learners in the alignment section of the Teacher Guidebooks; however, materials do not provide suggestions for teaching or reteaching in order for students to work towards meeting or exceeding grade-level standards. The Kindergarten materials provide some modifications and accommodations for mini-lessons, whole-class lessons, centers, and extra activities for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. Materials provide extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Indicator 2g

Regular and Systematic Opportunities for Assessment
0/0

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).

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress through mastery of print concepts (Kindergarten-Grade 1), letter recognition (Kindergarten only), and printing letters (as indicated by the program scope and sequence) (Kindergarten-Grade 1).

Express Readers provides multiple opportunities for assessing letter recognition and printing of letters, but there is no evidence of an assessment on print concepts. The guidebook directions do indicate that, based on assessment results, teachers should reflect on lessons that were effective. However, the directions do not elaborate further on the steps that should be taken next for print concepts. While the online website has directions for the assessment management system, lack of access to the website prevented observations of what reports or next steps might be available for teachers and students.

Materials provide some assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate students’ progress toward mastery and independence of print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 76-80, 131-135, 161-165, the teacher uses the provided assessment to have the students name all 26 letters.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 117, it contains a student assessment record for some concepts of print such as reading from left to write and tracking with finger/hand.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, the assessment tab provides the scope and sequence for assessing each letter throughout the program. Pages 121-136 provide checks for student understanding of uppercase and lowercase formation as students are consistently asked to “write each letter, starting where you have learned to start a letter.” Uppercase and lowercase letters are pre-printed on the pages and students must form the letters inside of the font.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, Whole Class-Formal Assessment, Days 16-20, the teacher assesses students individually on letter names and letter sounds. This assessment is repeated three times throughout the year.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Small Group-Formal Assessment, Days 16-20, the teacher assesses students in small groups of 2-4 students in order to observe each student’s formation of each letter. This assessment includes both uppercase and lowercase letters. Materials include a Handwriting Assessment Notes Sheet for teachers to indicate which letters were formed incorrectly either in shape or directionality. This assessment is repeated three times throughout the year.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with some information concerning students’ current skills/level of understanding of print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Express Readers Online Assessment, Assessment Guide, the online assessment provides several reports including singular student assessment report, class assessment report, student error report, and singular student comparison report. The reports can be printed to share information or notes that you have taken about a student's work on an assessment, and an error report can be printed to show any of the incorrect responses that a student submitted on an assessment.
  • In Express Readers Online Assessment, Home Page, in the third paragraph, it states that the online assessment assists the teacher by placing children within the Express Readers Program, giving record of the current skills of students, and organizing all data automatically.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1-5, page 50, it contains the teacher recording sheet for handwriting assessment. The recording sheet has each uppercase and lowercase letter for teachers to “circle any of the letters that students formed incorrectly” as well as a space for observational notes.

Materials support teachers with some instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students to progress toward mastery in print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1-5, page 157, provides a program correlation to assessments.The guide indicates what lesson a student should begin at according to their assessment results.
  • The Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 72, provides general considerations for teacher reflection. It indicates that the purpose of assessment is “to identify which lessons taught were effective.”

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)

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress of phonological awareness (as indicated by the program scope and sequence).

The Teacher’s Guidebook provides formal assessments and refers to lessons for informal assessments throughout the program. Although assessments are provided, the materials do not provide teachers with next steps for addressing the needs of students who are unable to demonstrate mastery on any given assessment. The instructions indicate that teachers should use the assessments to determine possible areas of review but there is no further explanation or guidance. The program includes teacher observation and one formal auditory discirmination and rhyming assessment. The assessment lacks a corresponding explanation of next steps based on assessment results. No materials were found that support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students progress toward mastery in phonological awareness.

Materials provide some assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate students’ progress toward mastery and independence in phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In “Ready to Read” Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 118–119, during the Auditory Discrimination and Rhyming Assessment, the teacher orally assesses students on rhyming, beginning sounds, ending sounds, and middle vowel sounds.
  • In “Ready to Read” Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 71, teachers may access the assessment schedule for the program. Phonological awareness check-ups begin at Check-up 5 with rhyming. The teacher gives the student two opportunities to circle or cross out a picture that rhymes with a spoken word. Similar assessments occur with Check-ups 6, 7, 8, and 9.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 105–106, the materials provide guidance on administering an auditory discrimination and rhyming assessment. The assessment has four to five questions for auditory rhyming, beginning sounds, ending sounds, and middle vowel sounds. In all four categories, the teacher orally presents a word and three choices that rhyme or have the same beginning, ending, or middle vowel sound as the given word.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 245–249, the materials provide an alignment for formal and informal assessment of skills. Phonological awareness is informally assessed through “Word Family Flip,” “Rhyming Lists,” “Wonder Words,” and Gray Space Activities located throughout the Teacher Planners.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with limited information concerning students’ current skills/level of understanding of phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 104, teachers may access a general observation assessment checklist used to note the student’s level of proficiency. Teacher guidance points out occurrences such as, “child skips/omits letters when saying sounds or names” and “child skips/omits sounds when blending.” The proficiency levels are “always,” “often,” “sometimes,” “rarely,” or “never.” The Teacher’s Guidebook does not address how the teacher should use the information gathered from the assessments to guide future instruction.
  • In “Ready to Read” Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, pages 118–119, the materials provide guidance on administering an auditory discrimination and rhyming assessment of four to five questions in each of the four categories of rhyming, beginning sounds, ending sounds, and middle vowel sounds. The teacher documents the correct number in each category and the correct number out of a total of 18 questions on the record sheet provided.

Materials do not support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students to progress toward mastery in phonological awareness. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In “Ready to Read” Teacher’s Guidebook, “I am Ready” Program, page 72, the materials provide definitions, such as “to ensure students are developing and growing as readers, while advancing through the material,” for the use of formal assessments.
  • In “Ready, Set, Go!” Teacher’s Guidebook Steps 1–5, page 107, the materials provide assessment instructions, such as “for the purpose of teacher reflection, to guide student placement evaluation, to inform home-to-school discussions, and to use as a general teacher awareness of possible areas for review,” for check-ups.

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)

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics (as indicated by the program Scope and Sequence).

Materials provide Check-Up assessments of discrete phonics skills; however, support regarding the teacher’s instructional adjustments is lacking. Recommendations for reteaching and instructional support are limited to a general suggestion stating, “Teachers decide how to redirect lessons and plan activities to further support students’ areas of need,” without any indication of how to redirect the lessons within the program or how to align activities to assessed deficits. Students have resources and tools for some assessments. There are no regular, systematic assessments in phonics except for the spelling assessments. There are short Check-Ups scattered throughout the program; the teacher may administer the Check-Ups as a quick check of students’ proficiency on specific skills. All nine Check-Ups are part of the “I am Ready” Program. There are two Check-Ups in Step 1 and one Check-Up in Step 2. There are some suggestions on where to start students in the program; however, if students’ skills are beyond those guidelines, there is not another benchmark in which to compare students’ skills until the students reach the next Step. With the exception of the weekly spelling assessments, there are not multiple opportunities for regular, systematic methods of assessment. There is minimal evidence of instructional guidelines for students once the spelling assessment has been completed.

Materials provide some resources and tools to collect ongoing data about students’ progress in phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 71, the Assessment Schedule and Options outlines the schedule for collecting ongoing data about student progress. Days 31–35 begin with a Check-Up of letter sounds /a/, /b/, and /c/, and progresses through the alphabet through Days 135.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 99 and 101–103, teacher resources include recording sheets for assessing letter sounds, CVC words, words with blends, digraphs, Sneaky e, and vowel teams.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 111–127, teacher resources include blackline master copies for student Check-Ups assessing letter sounds, digraphs, and decoding words. Pages 128–130 include answer keys for the Check-Up assessments.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 131, students read sentences and draw pictures to go along with the sentences.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 136, students read the following sentences: “The sled is black.” and “The duck has a nest.” Students read the sentences and add to the picture to make the sentence true.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 51–55, page 242, students take a spelling test on the short vowel /a/. Students write the words in sentences.

Materials offer limited assessment opportunities to determine students’ progress in phonics that are implemented systematically. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Ready, Set, Go Teacher’s Guide, Steps 1–5, pages 67–68, the materials provide the assessment schedule for the program. Ten Check-Up assessments are spread throughout Days 46-260
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 114–115, students complete Check-Up #4. The teacher says a word, and the students identify which word is correct.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 31–35, the Focus page refers to Check-Up #1 found on pages 121–122 in the Teacher’s Guidebook. During Check-Up #1, students circle an object that “begins with the letter a and the sound /a/.” Additionally students cross out an object that begins with /b/ and draw a line under an object that begins with /k/. The assessment checks for understanding of the three letters and letter sounds introduced prior to Days 31–35.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Whole Class Lesson, Formal Assessment, the Formal Assessment on letter names and sounds is given at the end of Step 1 as a progress report of how far students have come and if they should move on to Step 2 or higher. It assesses student knowledge of letter sounds for 21 consonants, short and long sounds for the five vowels, blending real CVC words, blending nonsense CVC words, and reading simple sentences with CVC words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Center #1, Formal Assessment Step 1, this Step Assessment is given at the end of Step 1 to create a written record of student understanding and ability with the given material. The assessment pieces in Step 1 include Read and Draw, Add to the Picture, Missing Letter, and Rhyming Words.

Limited assessment opportunities are provided regularly for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence with phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Scope and Sequence, a formal assessment of letter names and sounds is given during Days 16–20 as a baseline. It is given again during Days 76–80, 131–135, and 161–165. A formal assessment of CVC words is given during Days 171–175. The CVC assessment includes blending real and nonsense words.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Scope and Sequence, students complete the spelling tests each week.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with some information about students’ current skills/level of understanding of phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 99–103, the materials provide record pages for use when assessing letter sounds and students’ ability to decode additional phonics patterns throughout Step 1. Additional phonics patterns include CVC words, nonsense words, words with blends, digraphs, vowel teams, and Sneaky e words. The record sheet includes a score out of the total number of items in each category.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 157, teacher guidance states that if students correctly decode the sentences in each section, students will begin instruction at Day 96, Step 2.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Whole Class Lesson, Formal Assessment, the Formal Assessment on letter names and sounds is given at the end of Step 1 as a progress report of how far students have come and if they should move on to Step 2 or higher.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Step 2, Center #5, Formal Assessment Step 2, this Step Assessment is given at the end of Step 2 to create a written record of student understanding and ability with the given material. The Step Assessments should be used along with the Express Readers Assessment to decide if students need more practice before moving on to the next Step in the program. By finding errors, the teacher can assess what types of practice students need as well. The Step 2 Assessment includes Read and Draw, Add to the Picture, Missing Letter, Rhyming Words, and Pick the Sentence.

Materials do not genuinely measure students’ progress to support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in phonics. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Ready To Read Teacher’s Guide, "I am Ready" Program, page 143, the materials include the following teacher guidance, “Mistakes will help teachers decide how to redirect lessons and plan activities to further support students’ areas of need.”
  • In Ready To Read Teacher’s Guide, "I am Ready" Program, page 145, the materials offer this teacher guidance, “Teachers would always place students in a prior Step or program if there is any question of mastery of a concept.” The placement requirements include the following:
    • “0–50% letter names or letter sounds—’I am Ready’ Program”
    • “75–100% letter names, 0–50% letter sounds—’I am Ready’ Program”
    • "90–100% letter names and letter sounds—Step 1, Days 126–175.”

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)

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis (as indicated by the program scope and sequence).

Assessments provide some opportunities throughout Steps 1–3 to assess Sticky Words and CVC words. Although assessments are provided throughout the program, explicit information regarding instructional next steps based on assessment results is absent. The materials provide information regarding a starting point for placement into the program and provide general directions that students should be “placed in a prior Step or program” if students are unable to demonstrate mastery. A formal assessment is completed at the end of Step 1 to evaluate students’ knowledge of Sticky Words. A student error report is generated after each administration of the formal assessment, but the report does not explain what is included in this report and how much information it provides concerning students’ current skills and levels of understanding of word recognition and word analysis.

Materials provide limited assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate students’ progress toward mastery and independence of word recognition (high-frequency words or irregularly spelled words) and analysis. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, there is a formal assessment for Sticky Words. The high-frequency words being assessed are as follows: the, to, was, go, he, for, too, from, be.
  • In Blue Teacher Planner, Steps 2 and 3, there is an assessment for Sticky Words. The high-frequency words assessed include: like, of, have, come, see, puts, does, she, good, all, are, where.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information concerning students’ current skills/level of understanding of word recognition and word analysis. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • No evidence found.

Materials do not support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students to progress toward mastery in word recognition and word analysis. Example is limited to the following:

  • In Ready to Read Teacher’s Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 145, teacher guidance indicates that students should be placed in a prior Step or program if there is any question of mastery of a concept.
  • No other evidence was found.

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.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that assessment 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.

The Kindergarten materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed in assessments. The documentation lists the standard content from Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the location in Express Readers assessment in which this content can be found. There is no evidence of alignment documentation showing specific standards correlated to specific questions and tasks. Materials contain a general correlation outline that states where the standards can be found in the instructional materials by component types.

Materials include denotations of the standards being assessed in the formative assessments. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 245–247, the Assessment Alignment: Kindergarten outlines the standard content from the CCSS for print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. Next to each standard, there are notations of where these standards can be found in Express Readers assessments.

Materials include denotations of standards being assessed in the summative assessments. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 245–247, the Assessment Alignment: Kindergarten outlines the standard content from the CCSS for print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. Next to each standard, there are notations of where these standards can be found in Express Readers assessments.

Limited alignment documentation is provided for tasks, questions, and assessment items. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 245–247, the Assessment Alignment: Kindergarten outlines the standard content from the CCSS for print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. Next to each standard, there are notations of where these standards can be found in Express Readers assessments.

Alignment documentation contains standards correlated to lessons. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In “I am Ready” Teacher Guidebook, page 165, the Alignment Documentation: Standard guide denotes which standard goes with each Express Readers activity.
  • In Teacher’s Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 215, the Alignment Documentation: Standard guide denotes which standard goes with each Express Readers activity.

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.

0/0

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.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen in a language other than English with extensive opportunities for reteaching meet or exceed grade-level standards.



The Kindergarten materials provide a brief discussion of the needs of English language learners in the alignment section of the Teacher Guidebooks; however, materials do not provide suggestions for teaching or reteaching in order for students to work towards meeting or exceeding grade-level standards. Additionally, the information provided for teachers does not vary for each standard. There is a lack of guidance in terms of specific strategies to use with English Language Learner (ELL) students in the lessons, and there is a lack of specific scaffolding and instructions within the Teacher Guidebooks. After the Reading Standards and the Speaking and Listening Standards, there is a list of examples for “Emerging, Expanding, & Bridging of English Language Development (ELD) in Express Readers in Kindergarten.” However, there is no explanation of these levels to teachers, and the examples do not explain how to adapt the examples for the various levels. There is a reference to modifications for students who are English Learners for Center 2 in some lessons, but not all five-day instructional sequences. Instructions for Center 2 include identical modification instructions from week to week and do not provide extensive opportunities for reteaching.




Materials provide limited support for ELL students. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 217, notations include, “Teachers play an immense role in language acquisition in every facet of education, especially in the case of EL students, requiring teachers to drive instruction and lead discussion in ways that foster and grow student language.” No further guidance is given.



General statements about ELL students or few strategies note at the beginning of a unit or at one place in the teacher edition are then implemented by the materials throughout the curriculum. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 165, PIII.K, Oral Skills, materials include the following teacher guidance regarding students who have little or no spoken English proficiency: “Students will need instruction recognizing and distinguishing the sounds of English as compared or contrasted with sounds in their native language (e.g., vowels, consonants, consonant blends, syllable structures).”
  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 169, Print Concepts, PIII.K, Print Concepts, materials provide the following teacher guidance regarding students who have foundational literacy proficiency in a language not using the Latin alphabet, (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Korean, or Russian): “Students will be familiar with print concepts and will need instruction in learning the Latin alphabet for English, as compared or contrasted with their native language writing system.”
  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, page 171, Phonics and Word Recognition, 3: Know and apply grade-level phonics, materials include information regarding students who have some foundational literacy proficiency in a language using the Latin alphabet (e.g., Spanish): “Students will need instruction in applying their knowledge of print concepts, phonics and word recognition to the English Writing system, as compared or contrasted with their native language alphabet (e.g., letters that are the same or different, or represent the same or different sounds) and native language vocabulary (e.g., cognates) and sentence structure (e.g., subject-verb-object vs. subject-object-verb word order.)”
  • In Yellow Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, Days 31–35, Center 2 Modification, materials include the following guidance: “Students who are English learners will be exposed to more vocabulary by using picture cards and repeating the name of the object.”
  • In Yellow Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, Days 41–45, Center 2 Modification, teacher guidance is as follows: “Students who are English learners will be exposed to more vocabulary by using picture cards and repeating the name of the object.”
  • The Yellow Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, Days 96–100, Center 2 Modification, guidance includes, “Students who are English learners will be exposed to more vocabulary by using picture cards and repeating the name of the object.”

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.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that 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.



The Kindergarten materials provide some modifications and accommodations for mini-lessons, whole-class lessons, centers, and extra activities for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. No evidence of opportunities for small group reteaching was found. While there are some general accommodations and modifications, there are no lessons that teach the skill in a different way to help students who have not mastered the skills. Not all lessons provide modifications, and often the modifications lack differentiated instructions. Instead, the teacher sits with the student to complete a worksheet or task or write words slowly and largely. Although Gray Space activities and mini-lessons can be repeated, intention regarding specifically reteaching a skill is unclear. Small group instruction is recommended for specific lessons using the accommodations designed for students performing at grade level.



Materials provide some opportunities for small group reteaching. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, Days 71–75, Focus page, teacher guidance is as follows: “Mini lessons can be repeated daily or in a Gray Space. These lessons repeat a skill that needs to be practiced frequently to obtain mastery.” Each five-day instructional sequence typically contains two Gray Space activities and three mini-lessons, which are all teacher-led.


Materials provide some guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level in extensive opportunities to learn foundational skills at the grade-level standards. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 56–60, in the accommodations section, the teacher rewrites the sentence in large writing on the board. The teacher or another student circles the words in the sentence and counts how many words there are. There is also a modification suggestion that the teacher displays the Sentence Solving Strip but rewrites the sentence in larger print and at a slower pace in front of students, saying each word when writing it. Then the teacher writes each word in the sentence and has students count along.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 71–75, Center 4, students complete a “Thought Report” opinion paper. In the accommodation section, students reread a familiar phonics book. The materials then direct teachers to give students a version of the “Thought Report” based on ability.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81–85, in the modification section, the teacher helps students to complete the practice writing page. Alternatively, students work with a partner to complete the pages.
  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, the Yellow Guidebook Starter Explanations state, “Modifications offer ways to alter lessons for those students who cannot yet erach the level of the lesson provided.”
  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, Days 26–30, Center 1, activity instructions note, “Teachers do the worksheet WITH students” and model each step.
  • In Green Teacher Guidebook, Step 1, Days 11–15, page 60, teacher guidance states, “[R]ewrite the sentence larger and slowly in front of the students.” The teacher circles each word as the students and teacher count the number of words in the sentence.
  • In Green Teacher Guidebook, Step 1, Days 36–40, scaffolds include, “Teachers choose one letter to focus on” and “use large scrap paper...the larger letters will help visibility.”

Indicator 2i.iii

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

4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials regularly provide extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.


The program includes extension activities that students further investigate and develop their skills. Practice opportunities for above students include additional instruction at an advanced level. Additionally, due to the design of the program, students can work within another Step that contains advanced skills.

Materials provide opportunities for advanced students to investigate grade-level foundational skills at a greater depth. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, "I am Ready" Program, the Yellow Guidebook Starter Explanations state, “Extensions provide options for advancing students past the curriculum.”
  • In Green Teacher Guidebook, Step 1, the center overlapping explanation indicates “center overlapping is where the Green, Blue, and Orange Guidebook can be overlapped during center time” allowing teachers to use centers from different Steps of the program to “individualize content for different homogenous groups.”
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 6–10, in the extension activity, students practice with their toy independently ten times and then use it as a writing utensil.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 41–45, in the extension activity, students write words that rhyme with the words on each page.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, Days 81–85, in the extension section, students label their picture with three to four adjectives describing the setting. Then they use version #2, which has lines for writing a sentence about the setting.

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.
0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials provided with the curriculum are accessible on a Macbook as well as a PC. The materials can be opened in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Materials include a digital assessment and a USB drive provided, but this technology does not enhance student learning. Materials partially meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use. The materials have a visual design in print that is not distracting or chaotic and that minimizes the print or visuals used on each page.

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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

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


The materials provided with the curriculum are accessible on a Macbook as well as a PC. The materials can be opened in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. The materials can also be accessed on a phone but might be difficult to see. There are some how-to videos, but reviewers were unable to open the videos. There are also free downloads, but reviewers were unable to open these files.


For example:

  • Online link: Teacher dashboard includes assessment black line masters
  • Online Link: Can be opened in Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome
  • Online Link: Opened Teacher Assessment Guide
  • The digital assessment program was accessed through Safari and Google Chrome on a Macbook as well as Google Chrome on a PC. The teacher platform was accessible through all popular browsers. As there was no student data to access, it is unknown if student data would populate easily.
  • A USB drive was provided for Express Readers Steps 1-5. Materials were accessible on the USB drive on both a Macbook and a Personal Computer (PC).


Indicator 2k

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.


Materials include a digital assessment and a USB drive provided, but this technology does not enhance student learning. There is no evidence that digital resources draw attention to evidence and texts. There are no online resources that are used with the program to enhance student learning.


Indicator 2l

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.


The online materials contain an assessment portion where the teacher can look up reports on students and keep assessment data. There is no other information provided that would allow the teacher to personalize the learning for the students. The files on the USB drive are in Adobe PDF format. Due to the nature of the PDF documents, the documents are not editable without an additional program. Although the program is designed for teachers to begin instruction at different lessons to personalize learning, the lessons are static and not modifiable through digital means.


Indicator 2m

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.


The instructional materials include directions for the teacher to utilize the mini-lessons, whole class lessons, centers, and Gray Space activities as needed to fit within the teacher’s instructional minutes. The program is designed to begin instruction at the level of the students’ needs as measured by an initial assessment. The teacher can determine the appropriate starting lesson as well as look at center activities in other Steps of the program to interchange them based on student need. The materials are able to be customized. The practice pages, centers, and forms that go home to parents can be updated and changed. The teacher materials allow for the teacher to use different questions and classroom management strategies based on the classroom structures that fit their needs.


For example:

  • In Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1–5, page 159, there is a letter that goes home to parents that the teacher could adjust depending on students’ progress. The materials include details on how the parent can read the decodable with the student.
  • In Teacher Guidebook, Steps 1–5, pages 164–166, there is a letter for parents called the “Parent Post;” this letter contains information about the Gray Space Activities. The letter can be customized to send home to students and parents.
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, “I am Ready” Program, Days 1–5, there are six center ideas such as, “blocks, Legos, coloring paper, free read, painting, puzzles and Play Doh/clay,” from which the teacher can choose,
  • In Yellow Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, Days 1–5, the Focus Page states, “Most mini-lessons can be repeated daily… Whole-class lessons can also be done in smaller groups… Centers can be done in small groups, in a rotation, or as a larger class activity.” Gray Space activities are for “a time in between periods.” The instructions for mini-lessons, whole class lessons, and centers repeat at the start of each five-day instructional sequence.
  • In Green Teacher Planner, Step 1, page 5, the Center Overlapping section indicates centers can be exchanged between the “Green, Blue, and Orange Planner” in order to “individualize content for different homogeneous groups.”


Indicator 2n

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.


The materials have a visual design in print that is not distracting or chaotic and that minimizes the print or visuals used on each page. The books, practice pages, and assessments have a large font and white space, and they are not covered in a large number of pictures or tiny font. Materials are easy to read from a distance and are clear and concise so that children are able to understand the work that is expected of them.


For example:

  • The decodable reader, Bug Has A Hut from the “I am Ready” program, has one sentence and a picture. The font is large and easy for students to read. It is not chaotic, and there is not a lot of unnecessary information in the text.
  • The Road to Writing alphabet letters include a large letter with a print that mimics a road with a lined stripe down the middle. The letters are used with a toy car. Students drive the car in the direction of the letter formation. One letter per page is included.
  • The Rhyming Chunk Books have six spaces for students to write words on lines. There is one picture on each page.
  • The Sentence Solving pages have a space for a picture and one single primary lined space for a sentence.
  • In Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, The Picture Book Cc has large pictures of words that start with the letter C. The pictures are colorful, and there are only a few pictures to the page.
  • In Teacher Planner, "I am Ready" Program, page 41–45, students complete a letter hop. The teacher places the large letter cards on the ground in order for students to be able to see them. One letter is on each card.


abc123

Report Published Date: 2020/12/03

Report Edition: 2020

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 1 978‑1‑941532‑86‑7 Express Readers 2020
Express Readers Teacher Planner, Steps 2-3 978‑1‑941532‑87‑4 Express Readers 2020
Express Readers Teacher Planner, Steps 4-5 978‑1‑941532‑88‑1 Express Readers 2020
Express Readers Teacher Planner, I Am Ready Program 978‑1‑941532‑89‑8 Express Readers 2020
Student Activities Book 978‑1‑941532‑90‑4 Express Readers 2020
Ready To Read Activities Book 978‑1‑941532‑91‑1 Express Readers 2020
Ready, Set, Go Teacher?s Guidebook, Steps 1-5 978‑1‑941532‑92‑8 Express Readers 2020
Ready To Read Teacher?s Guidebook, I Am Ready 978‑1‑941532‑93‑5 Express Readers 2020
Express Spelling, Steps 1-5 978‑1‑941532‑94‑2 Express Readers 2020

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

ELA Foundational Skills Review Tool

The ELA foundational skills 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.

The ELA foundational skills review criteria 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 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.

NOTE: The ELA foundational skills review criteria 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.

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