Alignment: Overall Summary

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 1 meet expectations for Alignment to the CCSSM. In Gateway 1, the materials meet expectations for focus and coherence, and in Gateway 2, the materials meet expectations for rigor and practice-content connections.

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Focus & Coherence

0
7
12
14
14
12-14
Meets Expectations
8-11
Partially Meets Expectations
0-7
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Rigor & Mathematical Practices

0
10
16
18
18
16-18
Meets Expectations
11-15
Partially Meets Expectations
0-10
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
17
24
27
24
24-27
Meets Expectations
18-23
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Focus & Coherence

Meets Expectations

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-
Gateway One Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for focus and coherence. For focus, the materials assess grade-level content and provide all students extensive work with grade-level problems to meet the full intent of grade-level standards. For coherence, each grade’s materials are coherent and consistent with the CCSSM.

Criterion 1a - 1b

Materials assess grade-level content and give all students extensive work with grade-level problems to meet the full intent of grade-level standards.

6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for focus as they assess grade-level content and provide all students extensive work with grade-level problems to meet the full intent of grade-level standards.

Indicator 1a

Materials assess the grade-level content and, if applicable, content from earlier grades.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for assessing grade-level content and, if applicable, content from earlier grades. The curriculum is divided into eight units and each unit contains a Pre-Unit Assessment, Mid-Unit Assessment, and Post-Unit Assessment. Pre-Unit assessments may be used “before the start of a unit, either as part of class or for homework.” Mid-Unit assessments are “designed to assess students on content covered in approximately the first half of the unit” and may also be used as homework. Post-Unit assessments “are designed to assess students’ full range of understanding of content covered throughout the whole unit.” Examples of Post-Unit Assessments include: 

  • In Unit 1, Post-Unit Assessment, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Problem 2 states, “All of the benches in a park are red or blue. The ratio of red benches to blue benches in the park is 3:4. Based on this information, which of the following statements is true? a. For every 4 benches in the park, 3 are red. b. For every 7 benches in the park, 4 are red. c. For every 3 red benches in the park, there are 4 blue benches. d. For every 3 red benches in the park, there are 7 blue benches.” (6.RP.1)

  • In Unit 4, Post-Unit Assessment, Rational Numbers, Problem 5 states, “Ethan is hiking in a canyon. He is at an elevation that is below sea level. His elevation is within 200 feet of sea level. Which of the following could be Ethan’s elevation in feet? a. -300, b. -150, c. 150, d. 300.” (6.NS.5)

  • In Unit 5, Post-Unit Assessment, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Problem 5 states, “What is the value of the expression below? 2[3(42 + 1)] − 23. a. 156  b. 110 c. 94 d. 48.” (6.EE.1) 

  • In Unit 8, Post-Unit Assessment, Statistics, Problem 1 states, “Which questions are statistical questions? Select two correct answers. a. How old is Mr. Patterson? b. How many states has Juanita visited? c. How many students are in Mrs. Lee’s class today? d. How many students eat lunch in the cafeteria each day? e. How many pets does each student at your school have at home?” (6.SP.1)

Indicator 1b

Materials give all students extensive work with grade-level problems to meet the full intent of grade-level standards.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for the materials giving all students extensive work with grade-level problems to meet the full intent of grade-level standards.

The instructional materials provide extensive work in Grade 6 by including Anchor Problems, Problem Sets, and Target Tasks for all students in each lesson. Within Grade 6, students engage with all CCSS standards. Examples of problems include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 10 engages students with extensive work for 6.RP.3 (Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems). In Anchor Problem 3, students complete a ratio table and then reason about the relationships between numbers. It states, “A cleaning solution can be made by mixing bleach and water. The ratio table below has some missing information. Fill in the blanks.” Guiding Questions include, “What is the ratio of tablespoons of bleach to gallons of water used in the cleaning solution? What is the multiplicative relationship between 3 tablespoons of bleach and 6 tablespoons of bleach? How can you use this to determine the number of gallons of water to use with 6 tablespoons of bleach? Why would 7 gallons of water for 6 tablespoons of bleach be incorrect? What mistake was made? Once you determine the ratio of 9:, how can you use that to determine the ratio of 90:__?” 

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 2 engages students with extensive work with grade-level problems for 6.EE.1 (Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents). In Anchor Problem 3, students evaluate numerical expressions that involve whole-number exponents. It states, “Evaluate each numerical expression. a. 2×(3+4^2) b. 2×(3+4)^2 c. [2(3+4)]^2 d. 2+3(4+1)^2.”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 10 engages students with extensive work with grade-level problems for 6.SP.3 (Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number). In Problem Set, Problem 6, students describe data sets by comparing measures of center and measures of spread. It states, “Cora is preparing to go out for the day. She wants to make sure she has the right clothing with her. Which information about the day’s temperature would be more helpful for her to know: the range of predicted temperatures or the average of predicted temperatures? Explain your reasoning.”

The instructional materials provide opportunities for all students to engage with the full intent of Grade 6 standards through a consistent lesson structure, including Anchor problems, Problems Sets, and Target Tasks. Anchor Problems include a connection to prior knowledge, multiple entry points to new learning, and guided instruction support. Problem Set Problems engage all students in practice that connects to the objective of each lesson. Target Task Problems can be used as formative assessment. Examples of meeting the full intent include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 5 provides the opportunity for students to engage with the full intent of standard 6.RP.3b (Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant speed). In the Target Task, students calculate unit rates to determine which is the better buy. It states, “Market Place is selling chicken for $4.50 per pound. Stop and Buy is selling 5 pounds of chicken for $23.75. You need to buy 8 pounds of chicken. At these rates, which store is cheaper? How much cheaper is it?” In the Problem Set, Problem 4, students engage with the remaining part of the standard by finding constant speed. It states, “Jada bikes 2 miles in 12 minutes. Jada’s cousin swims 1 mile in 24 minutes. A. Who was moving faster? How much faster? B. One day Jada and her cousin line up on the end of a swimming pier on the edge of a lake. At the same time, they start swimming and biking in opposite directions. i. How far apart will they be after 15 minutes? ii. How long will it take them to be 5 miles apart?”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lessons 2 and 3, engage students with the full intent of 6.NS.5 (Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values and use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation). In Lesson 2, Problem Set, Problem 6, students use and understand positive and negative numbers to represent real-world context. It states, “For each description below, write an integer to represent the situation. Then represent the integer on a number line, indicating the location of 0 and using an appropriate scale. A. You earn $35 for babysitting. B. You owe your sister $18. C. The average temperature in Boston last week was 6 degrees Celsius below 0.” In Lesson 3, Problem Set, Problem 2, students explain the meaning of 0 in real-world contexts. It states, “Here are two tables that show the elevations of highest points on land and lowest points in the ocean. Distances are measured from sea level. A. Which point in the ocean is the lowest in the world? What is its elevation? B. Which mountain is the highest in the world? What is its elevation? C. If you plot the elevations of the mountains and trenches on a vertical number line, what would 0 represent? What would points above 0 represent? What about points below 0? D. Which is farther from sea level: the deepest point in the ocean, or the top of the highest mountain in the world? Explain.”

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lessons 4, 6, and 7, engage students with the full intent of 6.EE.7 (Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q, and x are all nonnegative rational numbers). In Lesson 4, Anchor Problem 2, students reason about and solve one step equations. It states, “Draw a tape diagram to represent the equation d - 5 = 7; then use it to find the value of d. How can you solve the equation p - \frac{3}{4} = 8 without using a diagram?” In Lesson 6, Target Task, students use an equation to solve a real world problem involving percent. It states, “Paula is saving money to buy a tablet. So far, she has saved $54, which is 45 percent of what she needs to buy the tablet. Write and solve an equation to find the price of the tablet.” In Lesson 7, Problem Set, Problem 2, students write and solve an equation in the form of px = q for a real-world problem. It states, “Clint is trying to figure out how many different pizza slices were sold last week at the local pizza shop. He knows that the total number of slices sold was 680. He also knows that: Twice as many slices of cheese were sold as the number of two-topping slices were sold. Half as many two-topping slices were sold as one-topping slices were sold. The highest number of toppings anyone can get on a slice is 2. How many slices of each number of toppings were sold last week? Draw a tape diagram to represent the slices, then write and solve an equation.”

While materials meet standards for this indicator, students do not have the opportunity for extensive work with 6.NS.8 (Solve real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. Include use of coordinates and absolute value to find distances between points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate). For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 13, Anchor Problem 1 is a real world graphing problem but students do not graph in all four quadrants. Other real world problems for this standard are not included.

Criterion 1c - 1g

Each grade’s materials are coherent and consistent with the Standards.

8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for coherence. The materials: address the major clusters of the grade, have supporting content connected to major work, make connections between clusters and domains, and have content from prior and future grades connected to grade-level work.

Indicator 1c

When implemented as designed, the majority of the materials address the major clusters of each grade.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations that, when implemented as designed, the majority of the materials address the major clusters of the grade. The instructional materials devote at least 65 percent of instructional time to the major clusters of the grade: 

  • The approximate number of units devoted to major work of the grade (including assessments and supporting work connected to the major work) is 5.5 out of 8, approximately 69%.

  • The number of lessons devoted to major work of the grade (including supporting work connected to the major work) is 83 out of 126, approximately 66%. The total number of lessons include: 118 lessons plus 8 assessments for a total of 126 lessons. 

  • The number of days devoted to major work (including assessments, flex days, and supporting work connected to the major work) is 98 out of 143, approximately 69%. There are a total of 17 flex days and 15 of those days are included within units focused on major work. By adding 15 flex days focused on major work to the 83 lessons devoted to major work, there is a total of 98 days devoted to major work.

  • The number of days devoted to major work (excluding flex days, while including assessments and supporting work connected to the major work) is 83 out of 126, approximately 66%. While it is recommended that flex days be used to support major work of the grade within the program, there is no specific guidance for the use of these days.

A lesson-level analysis is most representative of the instructional materials as the lessons include major work, supporting work connected to major work, and the assessments embedded within each unit. As a result, approximately 66% of the instructional materials focus on major work of the grade.

Indicator 1d

Supporting content enhances focus and coherence simultaneously by engaging students in the major work of the grade.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations that supporting work enhances focus and coherence simultaneously by engaging students in the major work of the grade. Materials are designed so supporting standards/clusters are connected to the major standards/clusters of the grade. These connections are sometimes listed for teachers as “Foundational Standards'' on the lesson page. Examples of connections include:

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 12, Target Task connects the supporting work of 6.NS.3 (fluently add, subtract, multiply and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation) to the major work of 6.RP.A (understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems). “Students divide decimals by using the standard algorithm” in the Target Task. It states, “Sophia’s dad paid $43.25 for 12.5 gallons of gas. a. What is the cost of one gallon of gas? b. Approximately how many gallons of gas can you get for $1? Round to the nearest hundredth.”

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 9, Problem Set, Problem 7 connects the supporting work of 6.NS.4 (find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers and the least common multiple of two numbers and use the distributive property to express a sum of two whole numbers) to the major work of 6.EE.3 (apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions). “Students write equivalent expressions using the distributive property” in Problem 7. It states, “The expressions below are shown in expanded form.  Write each expression in factored form. A. 72x + 60 B. 124y + 64 C. 35x + 119 D. 16h + 192w.” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 7, Anchor Problem 1 connects the supporting work of 6.G.3 (draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices) to the major work of 6.NS.6 (understand a rational number as a point on the number line). In the Anchor Problem, students use a coordinate plane to graph polygons and find the area and perimeter. It states, “A rectangle has three vertices at points A(4,5), B(4,−3), C(−5,−3). a. What are the coordinates of the fourth vertex, D, of the rectangle? If needed, use the coordinate plane below. b. What is the area of the rectangle? c. What is the perimeter of the rectangle?”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 13, Target Task connects the supporting work of 6.SP.4 (display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots) to the major work of 6.RP.3c (find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100). In the Target Task, students analyze a circle graph in order to determine missing fractional or percentage amounts in order to solve the real world problem. It states, “The circle graph below shows Jordan’s weekly exercise. Jordan spends an equal amount of time playing basketball and doing dance each week. If she spent $$1\frac{1}{2}$$ hours playing basketball in a week, then how many total hours did Jordan spend exercising during the week?”

Indicator 1e

Materials include problems and activities that serve to connect two or more clusters in a domain or two or more domains in a grade.

2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations that materials include problems and activities that serve to connect two or more clusters in a domain or two or more domains in a grade. Materials are coherent and consistent with the Standards. Examples of connections include:

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 3 connects the major work of 6.EE.A (apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions) to the major work of 6.EE.B (reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities). In Problem Set, Problem 2, students use variables to write algebraic expressions. It states, “A packing company has 2 boxes. Each box has a width of 20 inches and a length of 30 inches, but they have different volumes. The formula for the volume of a box is l × w × h = A. If the height of the first box is 12 inches, what is the volume of the box? B. If the height of the second box is 8 inches, what is the volume of the box? C. A third box has the same width and length as the first two. Write an expression that represents the volume of the third box.” 

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 13 connects the major work of 6.EE.C (represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables) to the major work of 6.RP.A (understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems). In Problem Set, Problem 3, students represent the relationship between two quantities in graphs, equations, and tables. It states, “The graph represents the amount of time in hours it takes a ship to travel various distances in miles.” A graph is shown with the x-axis labeled “distance traveled (miles)” with intervals of 25 up to 250, the y-axis labeled “time (hours)” with intervals of 2 up to 10. There are 10 points plotted on the graph including (25,1) (50,2) (75,3) (100,4). Students complete the following: “a. Write the coordinates of one of point on the graph. What does the point represent? b. What is the speed of the ship in miles per hour? c. Write an equation that relates the time, t, it takes to travel a given distance, d.”

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 9 connects supporting work of 6.G.A (solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume) to the supporting work of 6.NS.B (compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples). In Problem Set, Problem 1, students use their understanding of integers to represent and find the area of polygons on the coordinate plane. It states, “Brad’s neighborhood is defined by a pentagonal region on a map given by the coordinate points below. A:(−6, 5) B:(5, 5) C:(7, 0) D:(5, −3) E:(−6, −3). Draw the region that defines Brad’s neighborhood and determine the area of the neighborhood in square miles. Each square on the grid represents 0.01 square miles.” A coordinate grid is provided, with x-axis values from -10 to 10 and y-axis values of -10 to 10.

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 5, Target Task connects the supporting work of 6.SP.B (summarize and describe distributions) to the supporting work of 6.NS.B (compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples). In the Target Task, students read a dot plot and use division to calculate an average. It states, “What is the average number of miles that this group of sixth graders live from school?” A dot plot titled, “Number of miles from school” includes values from 1 to 9.

Indicator 1f

Content from future grades is identified and related to grade-level work, and materials relate grade-level concepts explicitly to prior knowledge from earlier grades.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations that content from future grades is identified and related to grade-level work, and materials relate grade-level concepts explicitly to prior knowledge from earlier grades. 

Content from future grades is identified within materials and related to grade-level work. These references are consistently included within the Unit Summary. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Unit Summary connects 6.RP.A (Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems) to the work of seventh grade, eighth grade, and high school. Unit Summary states, “Students extend their understanding of ratios and rates to investigate proportional relationships in seventh grade. This sets the groundwork for the study of functions, linear equations, and systems of equations, which students will study in eighth grade and high school.” (7.RP.A, 8.EE.B, 8.EE.C)

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Unit Summary connects 6.RP.A (Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems) to the work of seventh grade. Unit Summary states, “In seventh grade, students will solve even more complex ratio, rate, and percent problems involving, for example, tax and percent increase or decrease. Seventh graders will investigate and analyze proportional relationships between quantities, and use more efficient and abstract methods to solve problems.” (7.RP.2, 7.RP.3)

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Unit Summary connects 6.NS.C (Apply and extend previous understanding of numbers to the system of rational numbers) to the work of seventh grade. Unit Summary states, “In seventh grade, students will discover how to compute with rational numbers and what happens when the properties of operations are applied to negative values. The work they do in this sixth-grade unit is foundational of these seventh-grade concepts.” (7.NS.1, 7.NS.2, 7.NS.3)

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Unit Summary connects 6.G.A (Solve real world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume) to work in 8th grade. Unit Summary states, “Throughout the geometry standards in sixth grade through eighth grade, students will encounter increasingly complex and multi-part geometric measurement problems, culminating in eighth grade” when students solve problems involving volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres. (8.G.9)

Materials relate grade-level concepts from Grade 6 explicitly to prior knowledge from earlier grades. These references can be found within materials in the Unit Summary or within Lesson Tips for Teachers. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 6, Tips for Teachers connects 6.RP.3d (Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities) to the work from fourth and fifth Grade. It states, “In Lesson 6, students re-engage in 4.MD.1, 4.MD.2, and 5.MD.1 to make sense of units and their relative sizes” as they solve unit conversion problems while reasoning with measurement units.

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 10, Tips for Teachers connects 6.NS.2 (Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm) to the work from fifth grade (5.NBT.6). It states, “In fifth grade, students found whole number quotients with up to 2 digit divisors and 4 digit dividends using various strategies. In sixth grade, dividing multi-digit whole numbers is a fluency expectation. This lesson reviews partial quotient strategies from fifth grade and students are guided toward understanding the standard algorithm as an efficient way to compute.” In Lesson 10, students divide multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Unit Summary connects 6.NS.C (Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers) to the work from fifth grade (5.G.A). It states, “In fifth grade, students look at the first quadrant of the coordinate plane and represent locations using ordered pairs of positive numbers. In sixth grade, students build on and extend these concepts to include negative values.” In this unit, “Students are introduced to integers and rational numbers, extending the number line to include negative values, understanding the order of rational numbers, and interpreting them in context.”

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Unit Summary connects 6.G.A (Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume) to the work from fifth grade (5.MD.C). It states, “In fifth grade, students explored volume as a measurement of a three-dimensional solid with whole-number side lengths. In this unit, students will reinvestigate how to find volume when packing solids now with fractional unit cubes.”

Indicator 1g

In order to foster coherence between grades, materials can be completed within a regular school year with little to no modification.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 foster coherence between grades and can be completed within a regular school year with little to no modification. According to the Pacing Guide, “The sixth-grade math curriculum was designed to be implemented over the course of a single school year. It includes eight units of study over 143 instructional days (including days for lessons, flex days, and unit assessments). We intentionally did not account for all 180 instructional days in order for teachers to fit in additional review or extension, teacher-created assessments, and school-based events.”

Included in the 143 days are: 

  • 118 lesson days 

  • 17 flex days 

  • 8 unit assessment days

There are eight units and, within those units, there are 12 to 18 lessons that contain a mixture of Anchor Problems, Problem Set Problems, and Target Tasks. The number of minutes needed to complete each lesson component are aligned to guidance in the Pacing Guide. Each 60 minute lesson is composed of:

  • 5 - 10 minutes Warm Up 

  • 25 - 30 minutes Anchor Problems  

  • 15 - 20 minutes Problem Set 

  • 5 - 10 minutes Target Task

Gateway Two

Rigor & the Mathematical Practices

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for rigor and balance and practice-content connections. The materials reflect the balances in the Standards and help students develop conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application. The materials make meaningful connections between the Standards for Mathematical Content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice (MPs).

Criterion 2a - 2d

Materials reflect the balances in the Standards and help students meet the Standards’ rigorous expectations, by giving appropriate attention to: developing students’ conceptual understanding; procedural skill and fluency; and engaging applications.

8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for rigor. The materials develop conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts, give attention throughout the year to procedural skill and fluency, spend sufficient time working with engaging applications of mathematics, and do not always treat the three aspects of rigor together or separately.

Indicator 2a

Materials develop conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts, especially where called for in specific content standards or cluster headings.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for developing conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts, especially where called for in specific content standards or cluster headings.

Materials develop conceptual understanding throughout the grade level. According to Course Summary, Learn More About Fishtank Math, Our Approach, “Procedural Fluency AND Conceptual Understanding: We believe that knowing ‘how’ to solve a problem is not enough; students must also know ‘why’ mathematical procedures and concepts exist.” Each lesson begins with Anchor Problems and Guiding Questions, designed to highlight key learning aligned to the objective and to support the development of conceptual understanding through student discourse and reflection. Examples include: 

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 8, Anchor Problem 1, students develop conceptual understanding of part to whole ratios. The problem states, "Robb’s Fruit Farm consists of 100 acres on which three different types of apples grow. On 25 acres, the farm grows Empire apples. Macintosh apples grow on 30 acres of the farm. The remainder of the farm grows Fuji apples. Shade in the grid below to represent the portion of the farm each apple type occupies. Use a different color or pattern for each type of apple. What percent of the fruit farm is taken up by each type of apple? Fill in the table below." The table includes columns: Type of Apple, Color in Grid, Part:Whole Ratio, Rate per 100 Acres, % of Fruit Farm. (6.RP.3c)

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 6, Anchor Problem 2, students develop conceptual understanding as they match algebraic expressions with their verbal statements. The problem states, “Match each algebraic expression with a verbal statement that describes it. Algebraic Expressions: 1. $$(n+2)^2$$, 2. $$n^2+2^2$$, 3. $$n^2+2$$, 4. $$n+2^2$$. Verbal Statements: a. the sum of n and 2 squared, b. the square of the sum of n and 2, c. the square of n increased by 2, d. the sum of the squares of n and 2.” Teachers use the following Guiding Questions to support the development of conceptual understanding through student discourse, “Compare and contrast the algebraic expressions. How are they similar? How are they different? Mark up each statement on the right. How can that help you match the expressions? Can you think of other verbal statements to describe the algebraic expressions?” (6.EE.2a)

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 4, Anchor Problem 1, students develop conceptual understanding by describing the center, spread, and overall shape of a data set. The problem states, “Three histograms are shown below. a. Describe the shape of each distribution and explain what it means about the data set. Which graph is skewed left? Skewed right? Symmetrical? b. If these histograms represented the wages that people at a company earned, which company would you want to work at? Why? (Assume the same scale in each graph.)” The following Guiding Questions support discourse and the development of conceptual understanding, “How are the first two graphs similar? How are they different from the third graph? Which graph would you describe as symmetrical? Why? What features make it symmetrical? A skewed distribution has values that are not typical of the rest of the data. These skewed data points can be on the low or the high end. Which graph would you say is skewed left (is skewed toward the smaller values or has a ‘tail’ to the left)? Which graph would you say is skewed right (is skewed toward the larger values or has a ‘tail’ to the right)?” Teacher notes state, “In explaining their choice for part (b), students should use structural features of the distributions in constructing their arguments. They should not only explain why they chose one specific histogram, but also why they did not choose the other two.” (6.SP.2)

Materials provide opportunities for students to independently demonstrate conceptual understanding throughout the grade level. Problem Sets, or student practice problems, can be completed independently during a lesson. Target Tasks, or end of lesson checks for understanding of key concepts, are designed for independent completion. Both problem types, when appropriate, provide opportunities for students to independently demonstrate conceptual understanding. Examples include:

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 4, Target Task, students develop conceptual understanding of integers and their opposites as they analyze four written statements. It states, “Determine if each statement below is sometimes, always, or never true. Explain your reasoning for each statement. a. The opposite of a number is 0. b. The opposite of a negative number is positive. c. The opposite of the opposite of a positive number is negative. d. If two numbers are on opposite sides of 0, then they are opposites.” (6.NS.6)

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 11, Problem Set, Problem 6, students solve a one-step inequality and explain what the solution means as it relates to the problem. It states, “Verena has at most 90 minutes to read 60 pages for homework. How many pages does Verena need to read per minute to stay within her time limit? Write and solve an inequality. Explain what the solution means in the context of the problem.” (6.EE.6, 6.EE.8)

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 11, Problem Set, Problem 5, students develop conceptual understanding as they reason about the relationship between the sides and volume. It states, “A rectangular prism is shown below. If you use the formula V= B x h to find the volume of the prism, does it matter which face of the prism you use as the base? Explain your reasoning.” (6.G.2)

Indicator 2b

Materials give attention throughout the year to individual standards that set an expectation for procedural skill and fluency.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for giving attention throughout the year to individual standards that set an expectation of procedural skill and fluency.

According to Teacher Tools, Math Teacher Tools, Procedural Skill and Fluency, “In our curriculum, lessons explicitly indicate when fluency or culminating standards are addressed. Anchor Problems are designed to address both conceptual foundations of the skills as well as procedural execution. Problem Set sections for relevant standards include problems and resources that engage students in procedural practice and fluency development, as well as independent demonstration of fluency. Skills aligned to fluency standards also appear in other units after they are introduced in order to provide opportunities for continued practice, development, and demonstration.” Examples Include:

  • In Unit 3, Multi-digit and Fraction Computation, Unit Summary, describes how students build fluency within the unit and across the year. It states, “Throughout this unit, students will develop, practice, and demonstrate fluency with decimal operations; however, practice and demonstration opportunities should continue throughout the year with the goal of fluency by the end of the year. Several opportunities are already built into future units, such as the unit on Expressions and the unit on Equations, but additional opportunities need to be planned for and included.“ (6.NS.A, 6.NS.B)

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 7, Anchor Problem 3, students evaluate each solution using the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction of multi-digit decimals. The problem states, “The two problems below have been solved incorrectly. Explain the error in each problem and then correctly solve each one.  244.038 + 18.65, 95.75 − 37.424. 244.038 + 18.65 = 245.903, 95.75 - 37.42 = 58.334.” (6.NS.3)

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 4, Anchor Problem 3, students evaluate expressions by replacing the variable in expressions, then simplifying. The problem states, “Evaluate the algebraic expressions for the given values of the variables. a. x^3+18y^2 where x is \frac{1}{2} and y is \frac{1}{3} b. 2(x^2-1)+4y, where x is 6 and y is 3. Guiding Questions for teachers which support student reflection about procedural execution in the Anchor Problem include, “Describe the structure of each expression. What do you see happening? What is the numerical expression you get once you substitute in the values for the variables? How will you evaluate your numerical expression? What will you do first and why? What role do parentheses play in these examples?” (6.EE.2)

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 7, Anchor Problem 3, students calculate area and perimeter with an irregular polygon. The problem states, “Find the area and perimeter of the polygon in the coordinate plane below.” An irregular polygon is provided on a coordinate plane. Guiding Questions for teachers which support student reflection about procedural execution in the Anchor Problem include, “How can you use composition or decomposition to find the area? What is an efficient way to find the perimeter?” (6.G.3)

The instructional materials provide opportunities for students to independently demonstrate procedural skills and fluency throughout the grade level. Problem Sets, or student practice problems, can be completed independently during a lesson. Target Tasks, or end of lesson checks for understanding, are designed for independent completion. Examples include:

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 5, Problem Set, Problem 5, students plot rational numbers on a number line, building fluency with these numbers. The problem states, “Use the number line below to plot the location of each point. Label each point with its letter. Point A: 2\frac{1}{2} Point B: -\frac{3}{4} Point C: -\frac{7}{2} Point D: -4\frac{1}{4} Point E: \frac{17}{4}.” (6.NS.6)

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 8, Problem Set, Problem 1, students generate equivalent expressions, building fluency within the grade. The problem states, “Write an algebraic expression equivalent to each of the ones below. A. x + x + x + 3 + 3 + 3 B. y + y − 6 − 6 C. 2m + 2m + 2m + 2m + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 D. n + n + 2n − 4 − 4 − 8.” (6.EE.3, 6.EE.4)

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 7, Target Task, students calculate and analyze measures of center by analyzing data in a histogram. The task states, “The histogram below represents the number of minutes some students studied for a science quiz.” The histogram shows “number of minutes” from 0 to 30 and “number of students” from 0 to 18. Students respond to the following: “a. How many students are represented in the histogram? b. Determine the median range of minutes that students spent studying for the quiz. c. Determine the mode range of minutes that students spent studying for the quiz. d. Explain why you cannot determine the mean number of minutes students studied for the quiz.” (6.SP.2)

Indicator 2c

Materials are designed so that teachers and students spend sufficient time working with engaging applications of the mathematics.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for being designed so that teachers and students spend sufficient time working with engaging applications of the mathematics.

Materials include multiple routine and non-routine applications of the mathematics throughout the grade level. Anchor Problems, at the beginning of each lesson, routinely include engaging single and multi-step application problems. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 3, Anchor Problem 1, students solve a routine real-world problem by defining and identifying equivalent ratios (6.RP.1). The problem states, “On Saturday morning, you decide to make pancakes for your family. To make a batch of pancakes, your recipe calls for 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of flour. a. Draw a diagram to represent the ratio of milk to flour in one batch of pancakes. b. Your sister invites some friends to your house for pancakes. You decide that you need to make 2 batches of pancakes. Draw a diagram to represent the flour and milk needed for 2 batches. Write a ratio statement. c. Your neighbors hear that you’re making pancakes and they come over as well. Now you need to make 3 batches of pancakes to feed everyone. Draw a diagram and write a ratio statement to represent the flour and milk needed for 3 batches. d. In general, if you were to make c batches of pancakes, then how many cups of milk and flour would you need? What ratio statement would describe this?”

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson 1, Anchor Problem 2, students use ratio reasoning to solve a non-routine real-world problem (6.RP.3). The problem states, “On your way home from school, you stop at the corner store and pick up some eggs and apple juice. However, you don’t need as many eggs or juice cans as come in the package. The cashier lets you buy only part of the package and pay only for what you buy. About how much is your total bill?” Students are provided two images. Image one is five sodas with a price tag that says $3.29 for six-pack. Image two shows seven eggs with a price tag that says $2.20 a dozen. 

  • In Unit 3, Multi-digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 1, Anchor Problem 2, students write and solve routine multiplication and division problems for given scenarios (6.NS.1). The problem states, “For each problem, write a division and a multiplication problem to represent the situation. Then solve the problem and explain what it means. a. You make 10 cups of pudding and pour it equally into 6 containers. How many cups of pudding are in each container? b. You mix yellow and blue paint to make 126 ounces of green paint. You pour the green paint into some smaller buckets, with 18 ounces in each one. How many buckets did you fill? c. A recipe for pancakes calls for 3 cups of flour for one batch. If you have 11 cups of flour, how many batches of pancakes can you make? d. A florist is arranging 13 dozen flowers into vases. Each vase can hold 15 flowers. How many vases can be completely filled? How many more flowers are needed to fill the last vase?”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 6, Anchor Problem 3, students create a data set to fit a given set of constraints in a non-routine problem (6.SP.2, 6.SP.5C). The problem states, “Create a data set of at least 10 numbers such that: All of the numbers in the data set are whole numbers. The median is not a whole number. The median is not part of the data set.” 

Materials provide opportunities, within Problem Sets and Target Tasks, for students to independently demonstrate multiple routine and non-routine applications of the mathematics throughout the grade level. Problem Sets, or student practice problems, can be completed independently during a lesson. Target Tasks, or end of lesson checks for understanding, are designed for independent completion. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 5, Target Task, students solve and write non-routine problems involving division with fractions (6.NS.1). The task states, “There are other ways to think about division of fractions. Try these two questions. They both use division, but why? And how do you know what to divide by what? 1. Analise’s hair grew $$1\frac{3}{4}$$ inches in $$3\frac{1}{2}$$ months. On average, how many inches did Analise’s hair grow per month? 2. Write your own story problem that involves division of fractions. Then solve your problem.”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 3, Problem Set, Problem 3, students create and write situations for positive and negative numbers in a non-routine problem (6.NS.5). The problem states, “Create and write a situation for each of the integers in the table below.” Numbers are: 35, -8, -500.”  

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 7, Target Task, students solve routine multi-part equations leading to the form  x + p  = q and px = q (6.EE.6, 6.EE.7). The task states, “A town's total allocation for firefighters’ wages and benefits in a new budget is $600,000. If wages are calculated at $40,000 per firefighter and benefits at $20,000 per firefighter, write an equation whose solution is the number of firefighters the town can employ if they spend their whole budget. Solve the equation.” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 17, Problem Set, Problem 4, students find surface area in a routine real-world problem (6.G.2, 6.G.4). The problem states, “Lulu was asked by her math teacher to find the surface area of a storage box in their classroom so they can paint it. The storage box is in the shape of a rectangular prism and measures 5 feet long by 3.25 feet wide by 2.5 feet tall. If the bottom of the storage box does not need to be painted, how many square inches should Lulu tell her teacher need to be painted?”

Indicator 2d

The three aspects of rigor are not always treated together and are not always treated separately. There is a balance of the three aspects of rigor within the grade.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations in that the three aspects of rigor are not always treated together and are not always treated separately. There is a balance of the three aspects of rigor within the grade.

All three aspects of rigor are present independently throughout Grade 6. Examples where instructional materials attend to conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, or application include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 14, Target Task, students use rates and unit rates to solve application problems. The task states, “For lunch, you order a pizza and drink some milk. The pizza is cut into 8 slices, and you eat 3 of the slices. The pizza box says that the serving size is 2 slices, and there are 570 calories per serving. The milk is in a quart container, and you drink 1 cup of it. The milk carton says that there are 580 calories in the entire quart. How many calories did you eat for lunch? If you are trying to stick to a limit of 2,000 calories for the day, then what percent of your daily calories did you just eat for lunch?” (6.RP.2: Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0 and 6.RP.3: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.)

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 1, Target Task, students develop procedural skill and fluency as they evaluate equations with exponents. The task states, “Decide whether each equation is true or false, and explain how you know. a. $$2^4=2⋅4$$, b. $$3+3+3+3+3=3^5$$, c. $$5^3=5⋅5⋅5$$, d. $$2^3=3^2$$, e. $$16^1=8^2$$, f. $$(1+3)^2=1^2+3^2$$ g. $$2⋅2⋅2⋅3⋅3⋅3=6^3$$.” (6.EE.1: Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.)

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 11, Problem Set, Problem 2, students develop conceptual understanding as they use box plots to represent data. The problem states, “Several students, from middle and high-school, attended a 6th grade basketball game. The list below shows the ages of twenty students who attended the game. 11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 17, 18. Create a box plot to represent the data.” (6.SP.4: Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots, and 6.SP.5: Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.)

Multiple aspects of rigor are engaged simultaneously to develop students’ mathematical understanding of a single unit of study throughout the materials. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 6, Problem Set, Problem 5, students develop conceptual understanding alongside application as they analyze a double number line and solve ratio problems. The problem states, “Use the double number line below to answer the questions that follow. a. Write a complete sentence that describes the relationship between water and lemonade powder that is used to make lemonade. b. How much lemonade powder is needed if 10 cups of water is used? c. How much water is needed if 12 scoops of lemonade powder is used?” One line of the double number line is labeled water (cups) 0, 2, 4, 6 and the other line is labeled lemonade powder (scoops) 0, 1.5, 3, 4.5. (6.RP.3: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.)

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 3, Target Task, students develop conceptual understanding alongside application as they use a model to divide a whole number by a fraction in a real-world problem. The task states, “A jar has 5 tablespoons of honey in it. One serving of honey is $$\frac{3}{4}$$ of a tablespoon. How many servings of honey are in the jar? Draw a diagram to solve the problem and explain how your diagram shows the solution.” (6.NS.1: Interpret and compute quotients of fractions, and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.)

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 1, Anchor Problem 1, students develop conceptual understanding alongside procedural skill and fluency as they experiment with GeoGebra and generalize a strategy to find the area of a parallelogram. The problem states, “A parallelogram is shown below. a. What strategies could you use to find the area of the parallelogram? b. Follow Steps 1–4 of this GeoGebra applet Area of Parallelogram to explore the area of parallelograms. Try out different parallelograms by moving the red and blue dots. c. In general, how can you find the area of any parallelogram?” (6.G.1: Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.)

Criterion 2e - 2i

Materials meaningfully connect the Standards for Mathematical Content and Standards for Mathematical Practice (MPs).

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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for practice-content connections. The materials meaningfully connect the Standards for Mathematical Content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice (MPs).

Indicator 2e

Materials support the intentional development of MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; and MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for supporting the intentional development of MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; and MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards. MPs are explicitly identified for teachers within the unit summary or specific lessons (criteria for success, tips for teachers, or anchor problem notes).

MP1 is identified and connected to grade-level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students make sense of problems and persevere in solving them as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 9, students solve percent problems using benchmark fractions. Anchor Problem 3 states, “Answer the questions below using mental math. Use your double number lines from Anchor Problem 1 if you need to. 5 is 50% of what number? 12 is 10% of what number? 15 is 25% of what number? 30 is 75% of what number? 400 is 20% of what number? A coat is on sale for 10% off. You save $18. What was the original price of the coat?” Tips for Teachers state, “The problems in this lesson all lend themselves toward being answered using mental strategies and do not necessarily require the use of a tool. Knowing how to work with these benchmark percentages will support students in reflecting on the reasonableness of their answers (MP1).” 

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 10, students use the distributive property to rewrite expressions. Anchor Problem 2 states, “An area diagram is shown below. Write two equivalent expressions to represent the shaded area in the diagram.” Teachers Guiding Questions include, “Describe what you see in the diagram in your own words. What are the dimensions of the outer rectangle? What are the dimensions of the two smaller rectangles? How can you find the area of the shaded rectangle by subtracting from the larger outer rectangle? Check your expressions by substituting in a value for x.” Teacher Notes provide additional guidance, “If students struggle with the introduction of a variable, they can revisit Anchor Problem 1 and make connections between the value of 50 and the value of x, or they can simplify the problem by replacing the variable with a value first. (MP.1)” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 12, students apply volume concepts for rectangular prisms to solve a real world problem. Problem Set, Problem 5 states, “Lorvo completely fills a bucket in the shape of a rectangular prism with water. His little sister, Loana, bumps into the bucket and some water splashes out. The picture below shows the bucket after the water splashed out.” A rectangular prism is shown with dimensions 5 in, 6 in, and 8 in. The prism is filled nearly to the top. Students respond to the following: “a. If 15 in^3 of water splashed out, what is the volume of water remaining in the bucket? b. What is the height of the water, after the water splashes out, as shown in the picture above?” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 5, students determine a fair share payment by analyzing data from a table. Anchor Problem 1 states, “A company hires five people for the same job for one week. The amount that each person is paid for the week is shown in the table below. Person D states that the payments are not fair since each person is doing the same job and brings the same set of skills to the job. Everyone agrees that they should all get paid the same amount. How much should each person get paid so that everyone gets the same amount? Assume that the company will spend the same amount as it currently is.” The table shows Person A $360, Person B $340, Person C $300, Person D $200, and Person E $400. Teacher Notes provide additional guidance, including, “Look for ways that students are trying out different approaches to make sense of the problem and working collaboratively as a group. For example, are any students simplifying the problem to consider how they would solve it if only 2 or 3 workers were involved? How are students using the play money to act out the situation? How are students checking the reasonableness of their group’s answers? Identify and showcase different examples to the whole class (MP.1)” 

MP2 is identified and connected to grade-level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students reason abstractly and quantitatively as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 5, students use reasoning to identify equivalent ratios on a double number line. Anchor Problem 3 states, “To make green-colored water, Brian mixes drops of green food dye and cups of water in a ratio of 4:3. a. Draw a double number line to represent the ratio of drops of green food dye to cups of water. b. Use your double number line to find 2 equivalent ratios. c. Brian’s friend, Evan, uses a ratio of 20 drops of green food dye to 15 cups of water. Will Evan’s water be the same color green as Brian’s? Explain your reasoning” Notes for the teacher provide additional guidance, including, “Students engage in MP.2 in this problem, representing the context on a double number line, and then interpreting the information in the double number line to determine if Brian and Evan have made the same color green. For students who struggle with this problem, check to see where their understanding may have broken down, either in decontextualizing or re-contextualizing.” 

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 11, students reason about percent in a real-world problem. Anchor Problem 3 states, “Nicky bought a hardcover book for $24. She went to an event where the author signed her book. The book is now worth 175% of its original value. How much is the signed copy of the book worth?” Tips for Teachers notes state, “In Lessons 11 – 13, students engage in MP.2 as they make sense of how the part, percent, and whole relate to one another, and how they can use ratio reasoning to find any one of the values when given the other two.” 

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 3, students write equations for real-world situations. Target Task states, “Hodan is planting flowers around her apartment building. The total distance around her building is 120 feet, and she wants to plant a flower every 4\frac{1}{2} feet. Let x represent the number of flowers Hodan plants around her apartment building. Write an equation she can use to determine how many flowers she’ll need.” Tips for Teachers states, “In this lesson, students encounter real-world problems and either identify or write equations to represent the situations. This requires students to abstract the situations and use symbols in place of verbal descriptions (MP.2).” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 8, students reason about measures of central tendency. Anchor Problem 1 states, “Bobbie is a sixth grader who competes in the 100-meter hurdles. In eight track meets during the season, she recorded the following times (to the nearest one hundredth of a second). 18.11, 31.23, 17.99, 18.25, 17.50, 35.55, 17.44, 17.85. a. What is the mean of Bobbie’s times for these track meets? What does the mean tell you in terms of the context? b. What is the median of Bobbie’s times? What does the median tell you in terms of the context? c. Explain why the mean is higher than the median. d. Which measure of center do you think best represents Bobbie’s 100-meter hurdle time? Explain your reasoning. e. The two times that were over 30 seconds were times when Bobbie fell on a hurdle. She decides to take those times out to get a sense of her typical time without falling. What is the new mean? The new median? How do those compare to the original mean and median?” Teacher Notes provide additional guidance, including, “Students engage in MP.2 in this problem by contextualizing the measures of center they find in parts (a) and (b). They also must take into account all of the values in the data set to determine why one measure of center may be more representative as a typical value than the other.”

Indicator 2f

Materials support the intentional development of MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for supporting the intentional development of MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards. MP3 is explicitly identified for teachers within the unit summary or specific lessons (criteria for success, tips for teachers, or anchor problem notes) and students engage with the full intent of the MP through a variety of lesson problems and assessment items.

Students construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others in connection to grade-level content as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 6, students construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others as they use division of fractions to solve problems. Problem Set, Problem 6 states, “Mai, Clare, and Tyler are hiking from a parking lot to the summit of a mountain. They pass a sign that gives distances. Parking lot: $$\frac{3}{4}$$ mile. Summit: $$1\frac{1}{2}$$ miles. Mai says: ‘We are one third of the way there.’ Clare says: ‘We have to go twice as far as we have already gone.’ Tyler says: ‘The total hike is three times as long as what we have already gone.’ Do you agree with any of them? Explain your reasoning.”

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Mid-Unit Assessment, students critique the reasoning of others and construct a viable argument as they reason about the area of a parallelogram. Problem 3 states, “Mateo and Sanjay are comparing their work to find the area of the parallelogram below. Mateo says you have to split the parallelogram into a rectangle and two triangles, find the area of each piece, and add them together. Sanjay says Mateo’s method will work, but he can find the area in fewer steps. a. What could be Sanjay’s method for finding the area of the parallelogram? b. Explain why Sanjay’s method works.”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 1, students construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others as they identify and describe statistical questions. Anchor Problem 2 states, “Which of the following are statistical questions? (A statistical question is one that can be answered by collecting data and where there will be variability in that data.) a. How many days are in March? b. How old is your dog? c. On average, how old are the dogs that live on this street? d. What proportion of the students at your school like watermelon? e. Do you like watermelon? f. How many bricks are in this wall? g. What was the temperature at noon today at City Hall?” Guiding Questions provide support to the teacher for development of MP3, “How are questions B and C similar? How are they different? Which question is a statistical question? For which of the questions would you expect the same response? What is another example of a statistical question? What is another example of a non-statistical question? How could you change the non-statistical questions to be statistical ones?” Problem Notes state, “This is a good opportunity to have students work in pairs in order for each student to have a chance to explain why a question is/is not a statistical question and to listen to other students explain their reasoning as well (MP.3).”

Indicator 2g

Materials support the intentional development of MP4: Model with mathematics; and MP5: Choose tools strategically, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for supporting the intentional development of MP4: Model with mathematics; and MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards. MPs are explicitly identified for teachers within the unit summary or specific lessons (criteria for success, tips for teachers, or anchor problem notes).

MP4: Model with mathematics, is identified and connected to grade-level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students are given many opportunities to solve real-world problems, identify important quantities to make sense of relationships, and represent them mathematically. They model with math as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 17, Anchor Problem 1, students model with math as they solve complex ratio problems. The problem states, “At a concert, the ratio of the number of boys to the number of girls is 2:7. If there are 250 more girls at the concert than boys, how many boys are at the concert?” Tips for Teachers suggest, “Students encounter more challenging real-world problems in this lesson providing them with the opportunity to apply their ratio reasoning and strategies to model and solve the problems (MP.4). Tape diagrams are an effective tool to use to solve these problems, however, students may also use other strategies of their choice.” 

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson 14, Problem Set, Problem 1, students model a real- world situation with a percent. The problem states, “A jet plane can carry up to 200,000 liters of fuel. It used 130,000 liters of fuel during a flight. What percentage of the fuel capacity did it use on this flight?” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 2, Target Task, students model with math as they represent data in dot plots. The task states, “A city planner for a neighborhood of Boston is trying to determine if a new park should be built in the neighborhood. She goes around the neighborhood, knocking on doors, asking, ‘How many children under the age of 7 live in this household?’ The data she collected from 28 households is shown in the frequency table below. a. Create a dot plot to represent the data. Describe your dot plot in words. b. What number would you use to represent the center of the data? Explain why you chose that number. c. Based on the data, what would you recommend to the city planner about the new park? Does this neighborhood seem like a good place to put the new park? Explain why or why not using the data.” Unit 8 Summary states, “Students learn various ways to represent the data, including frequency tables, histograms, dot plots, box plots, and circle graphs, and they analyze each representation to determine what information and conclusions they can glean from each one (MP.4).” 

MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically, is identified and connected to grade-level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students have multiple opportunities throughout the materials, with support of the teacher or during independent practice, to identify and use a variety of tools or strategies that support their understanding of grade-level math. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Unit Assessment, Problem 8, after learning about diagrams, double number lines, ratio tables and tape diagrams, students solve ratio problems using any strategy. The problem states, “The community garden in your neighborhood has three different types of vegetable plants: peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The ratio of the number of peppers to tomatoes to cucumbers is 1:5:3. If there are 48 cucumber plants in the garden, how many total vegetable plants are there in the garden? Use any method to solve. Show your work.”  

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 12, Anchor Problem 1, students reason about reflections and the signs of ordered pairs. The problem states, “Two pairs of coordinate points are shown in the table below. For each pair of points: a. Locate and label the points in the coordinate plane. b. Record your observations for each row in the table. (3,4) and (-3,4); (3,4) and (3,-4): How are the coordinate points similar? How are the coordinate points different? What do you notice about their locations? How far is each point from each axis? Which axis could you fold along to make the points match up?” Guiding Questions for the teacher support the development of MP5, including, “What is the absolute value of each x−coordinate? Of each y−coordinate? What does it mean if two points are symmetrical about an axis? How far is each point from the axis? Would the points (−2,5) and (2,5) line up vertically or horizontally? Which axis would you fold along to match (−2,5) with (2,5)?” Problem Notes for the teacher state, “Introduce the idea of a reflection by visualizing a fold along the axis. For additional support, patty paper (transparency paper) can be used (MP.5).” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 3, Problem Set, Problem 2, students use strategies as tools to find the area of acute triangles. The problem states, “In each triangle below, one side has been identified as the base, b. Draw a line segment in each triangle that represents the height and label it h.” Four different triangles are provided. Students use tools such as rulers, index cards, or other strategies.

Indicator 2h

Materials attend to the intentional development of MP6: Attend to precision; and attend to the specialized language of mathematics for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for supporting the intentional development of MP6: Attend to precision; and attend to the specialized language of mathematics, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards. MP6 is explicitly identified for teachers within the unit summary or specific lessons (criteria for success, tips for teachers, or anchor problem notes), and students engage with the full intent of the MP through a variety of lesson problems and assessment items.

Students attend to precision in connection to grade-level content as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Mid-Unit Assessment, students attend to precision when they write ratios describing a real-world situation. Problem 1 states, “Jaden combined blueberries and raspberries in a bowl. For every 3 tablespoons of blueberries he added to the bowl, he also put in 2 tablespoons of raspberries. What is the ratio of blueberries to raspberries in the bowl? a. 2:3 b. 3:2 c. 3:5 d. 5:2.”  

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 13, students attend to precision when computing with decimals. Problem Set, Problem 3 states, “40 ounces of granola costs $6.52. a. How much does granola cost per ounce? (Give your answer to the nearest cent.) b. How much will 4.5 ounces cost? (Give your answer to the nearest cent.) Criteria for Success 2 states, “Apply the standard algorithms for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with decimals to solve problems accurately and efficiently (MP.6).” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 9, students attend to precision as they use appropriate symbols and units of measurement with real-world problems involving distance, area, and perimeter of polygons on and off the coordinate plane. Anchor Problem 2 states, ”You are responsible for a small plot of land that measures 9 ft. x 9 ft. in the community garden. You want to include 48 square feet of gardening space, and you want your garden to have a rectangle shape and a triangle shape. Draw a possible plan for your garden on the grid below. Make sure you do not go outside of the 9 ft. x 9 ft. space." 

Students have frequent opportunities to attend to the specialized language of math in connection to grade-level content as they work with support of the teacher and independently throughout the units. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson 3, students use the specialized language of mathematics as they find unit rates and use them to explain real world problems. Anchor Problem 1 states, “The grocery store sells beans in bulk. The grocer's sign above the beans says, ‘5 pounds for $4.’ At this store, you can buy any number of pounds of beans at this same rate, and all prices include tax. Alberto said, ‘The ratio of the number of dollars to the number of pounds is 4:5. That's $0.80 per pound.’ Beth said, ‘The sign says the ratio of the number of pounds to the number of dollars is 5:4. That's 1.25 pounds per dollar.’ Are Alberto and Beth both correct? Explain.”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 11, students use the specialized language of mathematics and knowledge of the structure of a coordinate plane to plot and describe coordinate points. Target Task states, “Use the coordinate plane provided below to answer questions below. Label the second quadrant on the coordinate plane, and then answer the following questions. a. Write the coordinates of one point that lies in the second quadrant of the coordinate plane. b. What must be true about the coordinates of any point that lies in the second quadrant? c. Plot and label the following points: A: (-4, 6) B: (6,-4) C: (0,-2) D: (2,0) E: (-5,-3).” Tips for Teachers state, “A common misconception students may have prior to extending beyond the first quadrant is that an x-coordinate indicates how far to move right, and a y-coordinate indicates how far to move up. Discuss how the addition of negative values in an ordered pair create the need for a more precise way to describe movement in the coordinate plane (MP.6).” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Unit Assessment, students use the specialized language of mathematics as they investigate and describe measures of center and variability. In Problem 4, Part C states,  “Which statements about the measures of center are true? Select two correct answers. a. There is a mode of this data set and it is 22 minutes. b. In any data set, the mean is always a value in the data set. c. In any data set, the median is always a value in the data set. d. In any data set, the mode is always a value in the data set. e. In any data set, the median and mode are always the same value.” 

Indicator 2i

Materials support the intentional development of MP7: Look for and make use of structure; and MP8: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning, for students, in connection to the grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for supporting the intentional development of MP7: Look for and make use of structure; and MP8: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning, for students, in connection to grade-level content standards, as expected by the mathematical practice standards. MPs are explicitly identified for teachers within the unit summary or specific lessons (criteria for success, tips for teachers, or anchor problem notes).

MP7: Look for and make use of structure, is identified and connected to grade level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students have many opportunities throughout the units to look for, describe, and make use of patterns within problem-solving as they work with support of the teacher and independently. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 13, students make use of structure as they analyze information in tables in order to compare ratios. In Problem Set, Problem 3 states, “The tables below show three different recipes for making orange juice using orange concentrate and water. Order the recipes from strongest orange flavor to weakest orange flavor. Justify your answer.” Recipe 1 Table shows 3, 6, 9, 10 Cups of orange con. and 5, 10, 15, 16$$\frac{2}{3}$$ Cups of water. Recipe 2 table shows 2, 4, 6, 8 Cups of orange con. and 3, 6, 9, 12 Cups of water. Recipe 3 table shows 5, 10, 15, 20 Cups of orange con. and 8, 16, 24, 32 Cups of water. 

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 2, students make use of structure as they use the order of operations to evaluate numerical expressions. Target Task states, “Evaluate the expressions. a. 24 ÷ (2 + 1) + (11 −8) × 2. b. 3^2× 4−10+(12−3)^2. c.  (3×4)^2−10×(12−3^2).” Unit 5 Summary states, “Throughout this unit, students pay close attention to the structure of expressions, understanding the role of parentheses, the order of operations, and the way expressions are described verbally (MP.7).” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 11, students make use of structure as they describe and create representations for statistical data sets. Anchor Problem 1 states, “A dot plot is shown below. Use it to answer the questions that follow. a. What statistical question could this data be answering? b. How many people were surveyed? c. Find the five-number summary of the data set, and draw a vertical line through each of those values on the dot plot. d. Draw a box plot for the data on the number line below. How is it similar to the dot plot? How is it different?” Problem Notes for the teacher state, “Discuss the structures of the two graphical representations with students. How is the same information shown in different ways in the two plots? What information can you see clearly in each representation? What are some advantages/ disadvantages of using either? (MP.7)” 

MP8: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning, is identified and connected to grade level content, and there is intentional development of the MP to meet its full intent. Students have multiple opportunities throughout the materials, with support of the teacher or during independent practice, to use repeated reasoning in order to make generalizations and build a deeper understanding of grade level math concepts. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 9, students use repeated reasoning and look for patterns when solving percent problems. Anchor Problem 2 states, “Answer the questions below using mental math. Use your double number lines from Anchor Problem 1 if you need to. What is \frac{1}{2} of 20? What is 50% of 20? What is 10% of 60? What is 20% of 60? What is \frac{1}{4} of 48? What is 25% of 48? What is 75% of 48? What is 10% of 125? A textbook that costs $36 is on sale for 25% off. How much money will you save?”  Problem Notes for teachers state, “If students struggle with doing this mentally, start by asking similar questions but with using fractions instead of percentages. You can also use repetition in your questions to support students in seeing the patterns and structure; for example, asking what is 10% of five different numbers in a row (MP.8).” 

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 4, students use repeated reasoning with visual models in order to develop a general rule for division with fractions. Anchor Problem 1 states, “The number 3 is divided by unit fractions \frac{1}{2}, \frac{1}{3}, \frac{1}{4}, and \frac{1}{5}. For each division problem, draw a visual model to represent the problem and to find the solution. Then complete the rest of the chart (headings: Division Problem, Visual Model, Quotient, Multiplication Problem) and answer the questions that follow. What pattern do you notice? What generalization can you make? Explain your reasoning.” Guiding Questions which support the development of MP.8 include, “State each division problem as a question asking “How many _s in ?” Explain how your visual model represents each division problem. What impact does changing the denominator have on each visual model? On the quotient? Where do you see the quotient in your model? What multiplication pattern do you notice? Why does it make sense? Complete this sentence: Dividing by a unit fraction is the same as _________.”  

  • Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Unit Assessment, students use repeated reasoning and make generalizations about integers on a number line throughout the unit. Problem 3 provides the opportunity for students to apply those strategies on the unit assessment. The problem states, “Point A and point B are placed on a number line. Point A is located at -20 and point B is 5 less than point A. Which statement about point B is true? a. It is located at -25 and is to the right of point A on the number line. b. It is located at -15 and is to the right of point A on the number line. c. It is located at -25 and is to the left of point A on the number line. d. It is located at -15 and is to the left of point A on the number line.”

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for Usability: meet expectations for Teacher Supports (Criterion 1), meet expectations for Assessment (Criterion 2), and partially meet expectations for Student Supports (Criterion 3).

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

9/9
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for Teacher Supports. The materials: provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for enacting the materials, include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series, provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies, and provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities. The materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade-level concepts and concepts beyond the current grade so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

Indicator 3a

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials, with specific attention to engaging students in order to guide their mathematical development.

Materials provide comprehensive guidance that will assist teachers in presenting the student and ancillary materials. Examples include:

  • In Teacher Tools, Math Teacher Tools, Preparing to Teach Fishtank Math, Preparing to Teach a Math Unit recommends seven steps for teachers to prepare to teach each unit as well as the questions teachers should ask themselves while preparing. For example step 1 states, “Read and annotate the Unit Summary-- Ask yourself: What content and strategies will students learn? What knowledge from previous grade levels will students bring to this unit? How does this unit connect to future units and/or grade levels?”

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Unit Summary provides an overview of content and expectations for the unit. Within Unit Prep, View Unit Launch, there is a video detailing the content for teachers. The materials state,  “Welcome to the Unit Launch for 6th Grade Math, Unit 1 Understanding and Representing Ratios. Please watch the video below to get started.” Additionally, the Unit Summary contains Intellectual Prep and Unit Launch with Standards Review, Big ideas, and Content connections. The Standards Review provides teachers an “opportunity to reflect on select standards from the unit. [...] In this section you will examine the language of these standards and reflect on how several problems on the end-of-unit assessment relate to the standard.”  Then, Big Ideas help teachers “understand how these ideas develop throughout the unit by analyzing lessons and problems from the unit, and finally, have the chance to reflect on how you will address your students’ needs around these concepts.” Finally, Content Connections states, “In this final section of the unit launch, you’ll have the chance to zoom out and look at the related content that students study before and after this unit.” This information is included for Units 1-5 in Grade 6.

Materials include sufficient and useful annotations and suggestions that are presented within the context of the specific learning objectives. In Teacher Tools, Math Tools, Preparing to Teach Fishtank Math, Components of a Math Lesson states, “Each math lesson on Fishtank consists of seven key components: Objective, Standards, Criteria for Success, Tips for Teachers, Anchor Tasks/Problems, Problem Set, and Target Task. Several components focus specifically on the content of the lesson, such as the Standards, Anchor Tasks/Problems, and Target Task, while other components, like the Tips for Teachers, serve to ensure teachers have the support and knowledge they need to successfully implement the content.” Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 10, Tips for Teachers provide context about representations for ratios. The materials state, “Lessons 10 and 11 introduce students to using tables to represent equivalent ratios and solve problems. Students began this unit using discrete diagrams and pictures as representations. They then progressed to using double number lines, which allowed them to model with greater values. While tables provide greater flexibility than diagrams and double number lines, they are more abstract and can be difficult to interpret. If students struggle with understanding the relationships seen in tables, spiral back to double number lines and diagrams and make the connection between how ratios are seen in all three representations.”

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson 7, Anchor Problem 2 Notes provide teachers guidance about how to set students up to solve the problem. The materials state, “Students need a conversion rate between miles and kilometers. This can be provided on a reference sheet given to students, or one or both of the rates can be given to the students as they work out the problem.”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 11, Tips for Teachers include guidance to address common misconceptions as students work with ordered pairs in a coordinate plane. The materials state, “A common misconception students may have prior to extending beyond the first quadrant is that an x−coordinate indicates how far to move right, and a y−coordinate indicates how far to move up. Discuss how the addition of negative values in an ordered pair creates the need for a more precise way to describe movement in the coordinate plane.”

Indicator 3b

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for containing adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject. 

Unit Summaries include a Unit Launch that provides a narrative overview of concepts within the unit and beyond, alongside sample problems and standard connections. Tips for Teachers, within some lessons, can also support teachers in developing a deeper understanding of course concepts. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Unit Summary, Intellectual Prep Unit Launch, Connections, Future Connections, contain adult-level explanations and examples of concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject. “Seventh grade students learn to compute complex fractions, where the numerator and/or the denominator of a fraction is also a fraction, a skill that they can use when finding the unit rate in the situation below. Lastly, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills around percent in 7th grade Unit 5, studying 7.RP.A.3. They go beyond solving for the part, whole, or percent, and consider real-world situations involving tax, fees, and simple interest. They also analyze how situations change by computing percent increases and percent decreases.”

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 4, Tips for Teachers, contain adult-level explanations of complex grade level concepts. “Making Sense of Division of Fractions'' from SERP includes three great videos that demonstrate dividing with fractions using models and methods alternative to the general algorithm. They may be useful for your own reference or to use with students in smaller group settings. Additionally, Delaying "Invert and Multiply", also from SERP, is a valuable resource for teachers to deepen their understanding of fraction division and why the invert and multiply rule works prior to teaching the method to students.”

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Unit Summary, Intellectual Prep Unit Launch, Connections, Future Connections, contain adult-level explanations and examples of concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject. “In 7th grade, students pick up right where they left off in 6th grade with expressions, studying standards 7.EE.A.1, 7.EE.A.2, and 7.EE.B.3 in the Expressions and Equations domain. Students continue to focus on applying the properties of operations when working with expressions to either evaluate or generate equivalent expressions. As the expressions become more complex and multi-step, as well as involving rational numbers, students lean on their foundational work from prior grade-levels, as well as look for and make use of the structure of the expressions (Standard for Mathematical Practice 7). The two examples below from 7th grade, show how the problems become more advanced from 6th grade, and highlight how additional tools, such as the properties of operations and practice standards, can support students in their work. The first problem from Lesson 4 involves using the distributive property to expand and factor expressions with rational numbers. The second problem from Lesson 8 involves both expanding part of the expression as well as combining like terms to identify multiple equivalent expressions.”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 1, Tips for Teachers, contain adult-level explanations of complex grade level concepts. “This TEDx Talk video, "Why statistics are fascinating: the numbers are us" by Alan Smith may provide teachers will helpful perspective of why statistics is important to understand our populations and communities. (Note, this speaker is from the United Kingdom.)”

Indicator 3c

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for including standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series. 

Correlation information is present for the mathematics standards addressed throughout the grade level/series and can be found in several places, including the course summary standards map, unit summary lesson map, and within each lesson. Examples include:

  • In 6th Grade Math, Standards Map includes a table with each grade-level unit in columns and aligned grade-level standards in the rows. Teachers can easily identify a unit when each grade-level standard will be addressed. 

  • In 6th Grade Math, Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson Map outlines lessons, aligned standards, and the lesson objective for each unit lesson. This is present for all units and allows teachers to identify targeted standards for any lesson.

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 2, the Core Standard is identified as 6.G.A.1. The Foundational Standard is identified 4.MD.A.3. Lessons contain a consistent structure that includes an Objective, Common Core Standards, Criteria for Success, Tips for Teachers, Anchor Problems, Problem Set, and Target Task. This provides an additional place to reference standards, and language of the standard, within each lesson.

Each Unit Summary includes an overview of content standards addressed within the unit as well as a narrative outlining relevant prior and future content connections for teachers. Additionally, for Units 1 through 5, there is a Unit Launch within the Intellectual Prep that includes more information about content connections. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Unit Summary includes an overview of how the content in 6th grade builds from previous grades. The materials state, “In fourth and fifth grade, students interpreted fractions as division problems and began to make the connection between fractions and decimals. They multiplied fractions by whole numbers and other fractions in context of real-world problems, and they reasoned about what happens to a quantity when you multiply it by a number greater than one or less than one. Sixth grade students will draw on these prior skills and understandings as they make connections between unit rates and fractions, and between fractions, decimals, and percentages.” 

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Unit Launch, Content Connections states, “While the concept of negative rational numbers is new to students, they have been working with the number line since elementary grades. In 2nd grade, students represent whole numbers on a number line (2.MD.B.6), connecting the idea of a point on a number line to the measurement of its length, as in a ruler. In 3rd grade, students develop an understanding of fractions as numbers (3.NF.A.2), and like whole numbers, represent fractions on a number line. This too is supported by their understanding of measurement. In addition to experience plotting positive numbers on the number line, students also have prior experience with plotting ordered pairs in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane (5.G.A.1 and 5.G.A.2). In 7th grade, students’ work with rational numbers naturally progresses to involve computations (7.NS.A). With a conceptual understanding of negative numbers, students are ready to consider what happens when you add, subtract, multiply, and divide these numbers. The work students do in this unit with the coordinate plane also sets them up for success working with linear relationships. In 6th and 7th grades, students represent proportional relationships in the first quadrant. In 8th grade, students begin to graph relationships in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. In addition, 8th graders also develop an understanding of congruence and similarity of figures as they are transformed in the coordinate plane.”

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Unit Launch, Content Connections include prior and future standards with a narrative description of the connections. The materials state, “There are several standards in elementary grade-levels that build the early concept of variables and algebraic expressions. As early as Kindergarten students use numbers and operations to record the idea of composing and decomposing numbers, like 5 = 2 + 3 (K.OA.A.3), writing some of their first mathematical sentences. As early as 3rd grade, students use letters to represent unknown quantities in equations to solve problems (3.OA.D.8), and in 4th grade, students use letters and other symbols to indicate multiplicative comparison. For example, in the Target Task below, students select the equation that correctly represents the comparison between Sanjay and Luke’s granola bars, using the letter g to represent the number of granola bars Luke bought.”

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Unit Summary does not contain a Unit Launch with Content Connections.

Indicator 3d

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. While curriculum resources support teachers with planning, instruction, and analysis of student progress, there are no specific resources for parents or caregivers.

Indicator 3e

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. This information can be found within Our Approach and Math Teacher Tools. Examples where materials explain the instructional approaches of the program include:

  • In Fishtank Mathematics, Our Approach, Guiding Principles include the mission of the program as well as a description of the core beliefs. The materials state, “Content-Rich Tasks, Practice and Feedback, Productive Struggle, Procedural Fluency Combined with Conceptual Understanding, and Communicating Mathematical Understanding.” Productive Struggle states, “We believe that students develop essential strategies for tackling complex problems, and build non-cognitive skills such as perseverance and resilience, through productive struggle. Productive struggle happens when students are asked to use multiple familiar concepts and procedures in unfamiliar applications, and the process for solving problems is not immediately apparent. Productive struggle can occur, and should occur, in multiple settings: whole class, peer-to-peer, and individual practice. Through instruction and high-quality tasks, students can develop a toolbox of strategies, such as annotating and drawing diagrams, to understand and attack complex problems. Through discussion, evaluation, and revision of problem-solving strategies and processes, students build interest, comfort, and confidence in mathematics.”

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Preparing To Teach Fishtank Math, Understanding the Components of a Fishtank Math Lesson helps to outline the purpose for each lesson component. The materials state, “Each Fishtank math lesson consists of seven key components, such as the Objective, Standards, Criteria for Success, Tips for Teachers, Anchor Tasks/Problems, Problem Set, the Target Task, among others. Some of these connect directly to the content of the lesson, while others, such as Tips for Teachers, serve to ensure teachers have the support and knowledge they need to successfully implement the content.” 

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Academic Discourse, Overview outlines the role discourse plays within Fishtank Math. The materials state, “Academic discourse is a key component of our mathematics curriculum. Academic discourse refers to any discussion or dialogue about an academic subject matter. During effective academic discourse, students are engaging in high-quality, productive, and authentic conversations with each other (not just the teacher) in order to build or clarify understanding of a topic.” Additional documents are provided titled, “Preparing for Academic Discourse, Tiers of Academic Discourse, and Strategies to Support Academic Discourse.” These guides further explain what a teacher can do to help students learn and communicate mathematical understanding through academic discourse.

While there are many research-based strategies cited and described within the Math Teacher Tools, they are not consistently referenced for teachers within specific lessons. Examples where materials include and describe research-based strategies:

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Procedural Skill and Fluency, Fluency Expectations by Grade states, The materials state, “The language of the standards explicitly states where fluency is expected. The list below outlines these standards with the full standard language. In addition to the fluency standards, Model Content Frameworks, Mathematics Grades 3-11 from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) identify other standards that represent culminating masteries where attaining a level of fluency is important. These standards are also included below where applicable. 6th Grade, 6.NS.2, 6.NS.3, 6.NS.1.”

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Academic Discourse, Tiers of Academic Discourse, Overview states, “These components are inspired by the book Classroom Discussions in Math: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More. (Chapin, Suzanne H., Catherine O’Connor, and Nancy Canavan Anderson. Classroom Discussions in Math: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More, 3rd edition. Math Solutions, 2013.)”

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Supporting English Learners, Scaffolds for English Learners, Overview states, “Scaffold categories and scaffolds adapted from ‘Essential Actions: A Handbook for Implementing WIDA’s Framework for English Language Development Standards,’ by Margo Gottlieb. © 2013 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, on behalf of the WIDA Consortium, p. 50. https://wida.wisc.edu/sites/default/files/resource/Essential-Actions-Handbook.pdf

  • In Math Teacher Tools, Assessments, Overview, Works Cited lists, “Wiliam, Dylan. 2011. Embedded formative assessment.” and “Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. (2013). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, p. 98.”

Indicator 3f

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

1/1
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities. The 6th Grade Course Summary, Course Material Overview, Course Material List 6th Grade Mathematics states, “The list below includes the materials used in the 6th grade Fishtank Math course. The quantities reflect the approximate amount of each material that is needed for one class. For more detailed information about the materials, such as any specifications around sizes or colors, etc., refer to each specific unit.” The materials include information about supplies needed to support the instructional activities. Examples include:

  • Four-Function calculators are used in Units 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8, one per student. 

  • Graph paper is used in Units 3, 4, 6, and 7, one ream. 

  • Markers are used in Unit 3, four to six sets, one set per small group.

  • Patty paper is used in Unit 4, two or three sheets per student. In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 4, students define opposites and label opposites on a number line. (Recognize that zero is its own opposite. 6.NS.C.6.A and 6.NS.C.6.B). Tips for Teachers states, “The following materials may be useful for this lesson: patty paper (transparency paper).” The notes for Anchor Problem 1 state, “If students are struggling, you can give them patty paper (transparency paper) to copy the number line and physically fold it along the 0 to see how the opposites line up. This may be especially helpful when working with non-integer rational numbers (MP.5). “

  • A balance or mobile is used in Unit 6, one teacher set. 

  • Play money is used in Unit 8, four to six sets, one set per small group. In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 5, Tips for Teachers states, “The following materials are helpful for this lesson: play money.”

  • Unit 7 uses one teacher set of three-dimensional solids.

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in Mathematics.

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in Mathematics.

Criterion 3i - 3l

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

9/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for Assessment. The materials include an assessment system that provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up, and the materials provide assessments that include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level standards and practices. The materials partially include assessment information in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

Indicator 3i

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

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 partially meet expectations for having assessment information included in the materials to indicate which standards and mathematical practices are assessed. 

While Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Unit Assessments within the program consistently and accurately reference grade-level content standards in Answer Keys or Assessment Analysis, Standards for Mathematical Practice are not identified. Post-Unit Assessment examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Expanded Assessment Package, Post-Unit Assessment Analysis denotes content standards addressed for each problem. Problem 2 is aligned to 6.RP.1 and states, “All of the benches in a park are red or blue. The ratio of red benches to blue benches in the park is 3:4. Based on this information, which of the following statements is true? a. For every 4 benches in the park, 3 are red. b. For every 7 benches in the park, 4 are red. c. For every 3 red benches in the park, there are 4 blue benches. d. For every 3 red benches in the park, there are 7 blue benches.”

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Unit Summary, Unit Assessment, Answer Key denotes standards addressed for each question. Question 7 is aligned to 6.EE.3 and states, “Which quantity could go in the blank to make the equation true? 𝑥 + 2𝑥 ___= 5𝑥. a. 2, b. 3, c. 2𝑥, d. 3𝑥.” 

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Unit Assessment Answer Key includes a constructed response and 2-point rubric with the aligned grade-level standard. Question 10 is aligned to 6.G.2 and states, “A farmer stacked hay bales. The length and width of each hay bale are shown below. The volume of each hay bale is 10\frac{2}{3} cubic feet. What is the height, in feet, of one hay bale?” An image of a bale of hay is shown with dimensions 4ft and 1\frac{1}{3} feet.

Indicator 3j

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for including an assessment system that provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students’ learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. 

Each Post-Unit Assessment Analysis provides an answer key, potential rationales for incorrect answers, and a commentary to support analysis of student thinking. According to Math Teacher Tools, Assessment Resource Collection, “commentaries on each problem include clarity around student expectations, things to look for in student work, and examples of related problems elsewhere on the post-unit assessment to look at simultaneously.” Each Mid-Unit Assessment provides an answer key and a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-point rubric. Each Pre-Unit Assessment provides an answer key and guide with a potential course of action to support teacher response to data. Each lesson provides a Target Task with a Mastery Response. According to the Math Teacher Tools, Assessment Overview states, “Target Tasks offer opportunities for teachers to gather information about what students know and don’t know while they are still engaged in the content of the unit.” Examples from the assessment system include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Post-Unit Assessment Analysis, Problem 10 states, “A notebook has a width of 8 inches. What is the width of the notebook in centimeters? Commentary: In this problem, students use ratio reasoning to convert inches to centimeters. Students may need to refer to a reference sheet to identify the correct unit rate to use between inches and centimeters. It may be valuable to refer to related multiple choice question #7 where students convert between yards and feet. Note, students are allowed to use calculators on this assessment, so the choice of operation and set up of the problem are more important than the actual calculation.”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 1, Target Task, students learn to extend the number line to include negative numbers. The materials state, “Problem 1, On the number line below, b is a negative integer and d is a positive integer. (on the number line, a is 2 units to the left of b. b is 4 units left of c. c is 3 units left of d) Name one set of values for a, b, c, and d. Problem 2, Explain the error in the number line below.” The Mastery Responses state, “Problem 1, answers vary. One possible answer: a = -3, b = -1, c = 3, and d = 6. Problem 2, The number line is numbered backwards. The numbers should get smaller as you go left and bigger as you go right.” 

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Mid-Unit Assessment, Problem 5 states, “Teddy makes a stack of three blocks, placing one block on top of another. The first block is $$3\frac{1}{2}$$  inches tall. The second block is $$4\frac{3}{4}$$ inches tall. Teddy places the third block on the top of the other two, and the stack of blocks is now $$10\frac{1}{2}$$ inches tall. How tall is the third block? Write and solve an equation.” Tools for scoring purposes states, “The 2-point rubric below is used to score this problem. 2-points: Student response demonstrates an exemplary understanding of the concepts in the task. The student correctly and completely answers all aspects of the prompt. 1-point: Student response demonstrates a fair understanding of the concepts in the task. The student arrived at a partially acceptable conclusion, showing mixed evidence of understanding of the task, with some aspects of the task completed correctly, while others not. 0-points: Student response contains insufficient evidence of an understanding of the concepts in the task. Work may be incorrect, unrelated, illogical, or a correct solution obtained by chance.”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Pre-unit Assessment provides follow-up steps and suggestions that can guide the response to all students including students with special needs. There is a link to previously taught standards which states, “Decimal division and unit rates (6.NS.B.3, 6.RP.A.3).” There is task-specific guidance to help determine if a student has met the expectations. Problem 1 states, “In this unit, students apply their division skills to find the mean. Often, data sets will include decimal values testing students’ mastery of decimal operations. Students may notice that taking an average is computationally very much like finding a unit rate: students find (or are given) a total for a group of items and divide it by the number of items in the group. This is especially clear for students who master and internalize the idea of finding the mean as redistributing value among items in a dataset. Take note of the strategy students choose to divide; students should fluently use the standard algorithm at this point in the year.”

Indicator 3k

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing assessments that include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level standards and practices across the series.

The Expanded Assessment Package includes the Pre-Unit, Mid-Unit, and Post-Unit Assessments. While content standards are consistently identified for teachers within Answer Keys for each assessment, practice standards are not identified for teachers or students. Pre-Unit items may be aligned to standards from previous grades. Mid-Unit and Post-Unit Assessments regularly demonstrate the full intent of grade-level content and practice standards through a variety of item types, including multiple choice, short answer, and constructed response. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Post-Unit Assessment, Problems 4 and 5 develop the full intent of standard 6.RP.2 (Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b not equal to 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship). Problem 4 states, “A freight train traveled 144 miles in 6 hours. At what rate, in miles per hour, did the train travel?” Problem 5 states, “A group of students organized a car wash to raise money for a local charity. The students charged $5.00 for each car they washed. In 3 hours, they washed 12 cars. a. How many cars per hour did the students wash? b. How many hours per car did it take the students to wash? c. If the students continue at the same rate, how much money could they earn from washing cars for 8 hours?”

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Mid-Unit Assessment Problem 6 and Post-Unit Assessment Problem 6 develop the full intent of 6.NS.6a (Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g., -(-3) = 3, and that 0 is its own opposite). Mid-Unit Problem 6 states, “Point P is shown on the number line below.” (P labeled at -2.5) “a. What is the opposite of the value of Point P? B. What is the value of -(-P)?” Post-Unit Problem 6 states, “Use the number line below to answer the questions that follow. a. Locate – (−2) on the number line and label it P. b. Is the opposite of 2 located at the same place as point P on the number line? Explain why or why not.”

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Post-Unit Assessment problems support the full development of MP2 (Reason abstractly and quantitatively), as students decontextualize a situation to represent it using variables and symbols and then recontextualize in order to interpret what their answer means in regard to the situation at hand. Problem 2 states, “A shelf has four books on it. The weight, in pounds, of each of the four books on the shelf is listed below. 2.5, 3.2, 2.7, 2.3. Which inequality represents the weight, 𝑤, of any book chosen from the shelf? a. 𝑤 > 2.3 b. 𝑤 < 2.4 c. 𝑤 > 3.2 d. 𝑤 < 3.3.” Problem 10 states, “Carlos has at most $40 to spend on food for a barbeque. He wants to buy hot dogs and hamburgers and then rolls for each. Carlos has already spent $31.50 on the hot dogs and hamburgers. Let 𝑟 represent the amount of money that Carlos can spend on the rolls. Write and solve an inequality. Explain what your solution means in context of the situation.”

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Post-Unit Assessment problems support the full development of MP3 as students construct a viable argument about the area of a triangle on a coordinate grid and critique the reasoning of others. Problem 5 states, “Part A: What is the area of triangle A in square units? [The triangle shown has points at (1,2) (4,2) and (7,6)]. Part B: Your teacher tells you to draw Triangle B with coordinate points at (1, 2), (4, 2), and (4, 6). A student in class claims that the area of Triangle B will be less than the area of Triangle A. Do you agree with the student? Explain why or why not.”

Indicator 3l

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide assessments which offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

According to Math Teacher Tools, Assessment Resource Collection, “Each post-unit assessment includes approximately 6-12 problems for Grades 3-5 and 10-16 problems for Grades 6-8. It is recommended that teachers administer the post-unit assessment soon, if not immediately, after completion of the unit. The assessment is likely to take a full class period.” While all students take the assessment, there are no recommendations for potential student accommodations. 

Math Teacher Tools contain extensive information about strategies to utilize with sections, “Special Populations” and “Supporting English Learners.” One of many strategies includes, “Provide a prompt for students to respond to: Offering a scaffolded starting point for students to explain their thinking can be greatly beneficial to students who struggle in this area. This might look like providing sentence stems.” However, type of guidance is absent from actual assessments.

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 partially meet expectations for Student Supports. The materials provide extensions and/or opportunities for students to engage with grade-level mathematics at higher levels of complexity and manipulatives, both virtual and physical, that are accurate representations of the mathematical objects they represent and, when appropriate, are connected to written methods. The materials partially provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to support their regular and active participation in learning grade-level mathematics, and the materials partially provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to regularly participate in learning grade-level mathematics.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to support their regular and active participation in learning grade-level/series mathematics.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 partially meet expectations for providing strategies and supports for students in special populations to support their regular and active participation in learning grade-level mathematics. There are general strategies and supports included for teachers, but regular and active participation of special populations is not enhanced with specific recommendations linked to daily learning objectives, standards, and/or tasks within grade-level lessons.

Within Math Teacher Tools, there is a Special Populations folder that includes resources to support teachers. According to the materials, “In this Teacher Tool, we aim to provide teachers with resources to 1) broaden their own understanding of learning disabilities related to areas of cognitive functioning, 2) reflect on how the content or demands of a unit or lesson may require modifications or accommodations, and 3) identify and incorporate specific strategies meant to support students with learning disabilities.” There are many suggestions for supporting special populations within three categories in the Math Teacher Tools, “Areas of Cognitive Functioning, Protocols for Planning for Special Populations, and Strategies for Supporting Special Populations.'' For example, in Strategies for Supporting Special Populations, Conceptual Processing, Lesson Level Adjustments states, “Use manipulatives: Incorporate opportunities to use manipulatives that illuminate mathematical concepts in addition to those already included in the curriculum. Some excellent options that can be applied to elementary and middle/high school include base ten blocks, two-color counters, unit squares and unit cubes (such as centimeter cubes), fraction strips/tiles, and algebra tiles. With this strategy, ensure your manipulatives highlight the key concept and eliminate all other distractions. When introducing manipulatives, be sure to model how to use the materials correctly, what each represents, etc.”

Indicator 3n

Materials provide extensions and/or opportunities for students to engage with grade-level/course-level mathematics at higher levels of complexity.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing extensions and/or opportunities for students to engage with grade-level mathematics at higher levels of complexity.

There are opportunities for students to investigate grade-level mathematics at a higher level of complexity. Often, “Challenge” is written within a Problem Set or Anchor Problem Guiding Questions/ Notes to identify these extensions. According to Math Teacher Tools, Preparing to Teach Fishtank Math, Components of a Math Lesson, “Each Anchor Task/Anchor Problem is followed by a set of Guiding Questions. The Guiding Questions can serve different purposes, including: scaffolding the problem, more deeply engaging students in the content of the problem, and extending on the problem. Not all Anchor Tasks/Problems include Guiding Questions that cover all three purposes. Also, not all Guiding Questions are meant to be asked to the whole class; rather, it should be at the discretion of the teacher to determine how, when, and which questions should be used with which students.” As such, teachers determine how, when, or which students might engage with higher levels of complexity. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 3, Problem Set, Open Middle Finding Equivalent Ratios, contains “Challenge!” after the link, indicating this is a challenging activity for students. 

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percent, Lesson 2, Anchor Problem 2, students are given an unfamiliar context to reason about rates. The materials state, “Hippos sometimes get to eat pumpkins as a special treat. a. If 3 hippos eat 5 pumpkins, how many pumpkins per hippo is that? b. If there are 9 hippos, how many pumpkins do you need? c. If 3 hippos eat 5 pumpkins, how many hippos per pumpkin is that?  d. If you have 30 pumpkins, how many hippos can you feed? Guiding questions: What is the ratio of hippos to pumpkins? What is the ratio of pumpkins to hippos? What are two rates that you’re able to write from this situation?  How can you use the rates to answer parts b and d? What other strategies do you know to answer parts b and d? Notes: This Anchor Problem uses an unfamiliar context to get students to reason about the units at hand, rather than relying on intuition from a familiar context like miles per hour (MP.2). Students find both rates associated with the ratio of hippos to pumpkins and they see how each rate can be useful in answering different questions. However, if students struggle to make sense of the different rates given the unfamiliar context, they can write analogous problems using a familiar context first (MP.1). Ensure students return to the given context after they gain more understanding.” (6.RP.A.2)

  • In Unit 5, Numerical and Algebraic Expressions, Lesson 4, Problem Set states, “Challenge: Explore the Pythagorean Theorem and Fermat's Last Theorem. Can you find values for a, b, and c, such that $$a^2+b^2=c^2$$? What about $$a^3+b^3=c^3$$?”

Indicator 3o

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 provide various approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for students to monitor their learning.

Students engage with problem-solving in a variety of ways within the Anchor Problems, Problem Sets, and Target Tasks and Academic Discourse is a key component for the program. According to Math Teacher Tools, “Academic discourse is necessary for students to develop the critical thinking skills needed to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning and ideas of others (Standard for Mathematical Practice 3). Academic discourse pushes students toward deeper understanding of concepts and ideas, encourages logical reasoning and thinking, and requires students to reflect on their own thinking and understanding. It is also vital for developing academic language, vocabulary, and oral language and communication skills.” Examples of varied approaches include:

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 8, Anchor Problem 2, students write and interpret inequalities to compare rational numbers. The materials state, “Here are the low temperatures (in Celsius) for one week in Juneau, Alaska: Monday 5, Tuesday -1, Wednesday -6, Thursday -2, Friday 3, Saturday 7, and Sunday 0. a. Arrange them in order from coldest to warmest temperature. b. On a winter day, the low temperature in Anchorage was 23 degrees below 0°C, and the low temperature in Minneapolis was 14 degrees below 0°C. Sophia wrote: ‘Minneapolis was colder because -14 < -23.’ Is Sophia correct? Explain your answer. c. The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was -89°C in Antarctica. The average temperature on Mars is about -55°C. Which is warmer, the coldest temperature on earth or the average temperature on Mars? Write an inequality to support your answer.”

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 2, Problem Set Problem 7, students determine whether a given number makes an equation true. The materials state, “Match each equation with a solution from the list of values. a. 2a = 4.6, b. b + 2 = 4.6, c. c ÷ 2 = 4.6, d. d - 2 = 4.6, e. e + \frac{3}{8} = 2, f. \frac{1}{8}f= 3, g. g ÷ \frac{8}{5} = 1. 1. \frac{8}{5}, 2. 1\frac{5}{8}, 3. 2.3, 4. 2.6, 5. 6.6, 6. 9.2, 7. 24.” 

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 1, Target Task, students define and use statistical questions. The materials state, “Last night, Jennifer and her family went out for dinner. The questions below came up on their way to the restaurant or during the meal. Decide whether or not each question is a statistical question. a. How far are we from the restaurant? b. How long will it be until we get there? c. Would Jennifer rather have burgers or pizza? d. How much should we leave for the tip? e. What was the first dish ordered in the restaurant this evening? f. Do customers at the restaurant like pizza? g. What is a typical bill for tables at this restaurant? h. On average, how many people were sitting at each table this evening? Which of the statistical questions above would give numerical data? Which would give categorical data?”

Each unit contains a Self-Assessment for students to monitor their own progress and reflect on what they have learned throughout a unit. Each self-reflection builds metacognitive skills as “students assess their own understanding of the skill mentioned in each statement on a scale from 1 to 5. Then, based on those responses, they describe the areas in which they feel most confident, the least confident, and the tools and resources they can use to improve in those areas of least confidence.” For example: 

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Unit Summary, Student Self-Assessment provides students with the “I Can” statements that relates to the Common Core State Standards and a response scale of 1-Not Yet, 2, 3-Sometimes, 4, 5-All the Time. The materials state, “I can explain the concept of unit rate. (6.RP.A.2), I can describe a ratio relationship using rate language. (6.RP.A.2), I can solve word problems using ratio and rate reasoning. (6.RP.A.3), I can solve unit rate problems, such as unit price and constant speed problems. (6.RP.A.3.B), I can solve percent problems. (6.RP.A.3.C), I can explain the relationship between rate, ratio, and percent. (6.RP.A.3.C), I can use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units. (6.RP.A.3.D). Reflection: I feel most confident in my ability to: I feel least confident in my ability to: Things I can do to improve in areas where I feel less confident include:.”

Indicator 3p

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 provide some opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

While suggested grouping strategies within lessons are not consistently present or specific to the needs of particular students, there is some general grouping guidance within Anchor Problem Notes, Tips for Teachers, or Remote Learning Guidance. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 16, Anchor Problem 2 Notes state, “This is a good opportunity for students to work in pairs to explain their reasoning and listen to the reasoning of their peers.”  

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 7, Anchor Problem 3 Notes state, “This is a good opportunity to have students work in pairs to share their reasoning and listen to the reasoning of their peers.”

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 2, Anchor Problem 1 Notes state, “Use this Anchor Problem to guide students toward the understanding that the area of a triangle is equal to half the area of the rectangle with the same length (base) and width (height). Students may try out various strategies to find the area of the triangle, including counting the unit squares, dividing the grid into further unit squares, or recognizing the relationship between the triangle and the rectangle. Have students share their different strategies with each other either in pairs or small groups. After one student shares his or her strategy, have the other student(s) respond with their thoughts on the strategy. Do they agree? Disagree? How is the strategy similar or different from the one they used?”

Indicator 3q

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

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 partially meet expectations for providing strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to regularly participate in learning grade-level mathematics.

While there are resources within Math Teacher Tools, Supporting English Learners, that provide teachers with strategies and supports to help English Learners meet grade-level mathematics, these strategies and supports are not consistently embedded within lessons. The materials state, “Our core content provides a solid foundation for prompting English language development, but English learners need additional scaffolds and supports in order to develop English proficiency as they build their content knowledge. In this resource we have outlined the process our teachers use to internalize units and lessons to support the needs of English learners, as well as three major strategies that can help support English learners in all classrooms (scaffolds, oral language protocols, and graphic organizers). We have also included suggestions for how to use these strategies to provide both light and heavy support to English learners. We believe the decision of which supports are needed is best made by teachers, who know their students English proficiency levels best. Since each state uses different scales of measurement to determine students’ level of language proficiency, teachers should refer to these scales to determine if a student needs light or heavy support. For example, at Match we use the WIDA ELD levels; students who are levels 3-6 most often benefit from light supports, while students who are levels 1-3 benefit from heavy support.” Regular and active participation of students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English is not consistently supported because specific recommendations are not connected to daily learning objectives, standards, and/or tasks within grade-level lessons. Examples of strategies from Math Teacher Tools include:

  • In Teacher Tools, Supporting English Learners, Scaffolds for English Learners Overview states, “English learners should be interacting with the same complex tasks as the rest of the class. The job of the teacher is to ensure that the proper scaffolds are in place to make sure that English learners can access the complex tasks. Scaffolds should provide additional supports while maintaining the rigor of the core task, not simplify or modify the core task. Scaffolds should be determined by the student’s English Language level and the task. We recommend the following types of scaffolds; sensory, graphic, interactive, and noticing cognates  to help support English learners. For example, a sensory scaffold may be Videos, Films and Audio. For lighter EL support: Show a short clip of an idea or concept to preview background information necessary to access a task. (For example, prior to learning about probability simulations, watch examples of simulations in action.) For heavier EL support: Show a short clip of an idea or concept to pre-teach key vocabulary prior to teaching a lesson. Video could be English or students’ home language.”

  • In Teacher Tools, Math, Supporting English Learners, Oral Language Protocols, “There are adjusting oral language protocols for both light English Learner support and heavy English Learner support. For the light English Learner support: Provide sentence frames for students to use. Include sentence frames that require students to use a variety of sentence structures. Provide lists of key academic vocabulary to use when discussing a particular topic. Introduce and preview vocabulary words using the 7-step lesson sequence. Include visuals and gestures with all vocabulary words. Assign specific group roles to ensure equitable participation (timekeeper, notetaker, facilitator, etc.). To provide heavy English Learner support: Provide sentence frames for students to use. Sentence frames may be a variety of sentence structures. Strategically group students with others who speak the same home language. Allow students to complete the assignment in either English or in their home language. Provide students with answers (either on the back of the task, or in another location in the room) to allow partners to check if their partner has the correct answer. Provide more think time to allow students to build an effective argument. For oral turn and talk questions, give students a written version of the question to reference.” There are suggested oral language protocols that include: Turn and Talk, Simultaneous Round Table, Rally Coach, Talking Chips, Numbered Heads Together, and Take a Stand.

  • In Teacher Tools, Supporting English Learners, Planning for English Learners, Overview states, “Teachers need a deep understanding of the language and content demands and goals of a unit in order to create a strategic plan for how to support students, especially English learners, over the course of the unit. We encourage all teachers working with English learners to use the following process to prepare to teach each unit. We acknowledge that this work takes time, but we believe it is necessary in order to best meet the diverse needs of students. The steps for INTELLECTUALLY PREPARING A UNIT are Step One: Unpack the Unit, Step Two: Set a Vision for Mastery, Step Three: Plan for Assessment and Mastery, Step Four: Take Ownership.We believe that teacher intellectual preparation, specifically internalizing daily lesson plans, is a key component of student learning and growth. Teachers need to deeply know the content and create a plan for how to support students, especially English learners, to ensure mastery. Teachers know the needs of the students in their classroom better than anyone else, therefore, they should also make decisions about where to scaffold or include additional supports for English learners. We encourage all teachers working with English learners to use the following process to prepare to teach a lesson. Step One: Determine a Vision for Mastery and Step Two: Build the Lesson.”

Indicator 3r

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics. 

While images are not used within materials, there are names that could represent a variety of cultures and problems include reference to specific roles, instead of pronouns that reference a specific gender identity. Lessons also include a variety of problem contexts to interest students of various demographic and personal characteristics. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 18, Anchor Problems, students use a variety of strategies to solve ratio problems. The materials state, “Sorah, John, and Pedro are participating in their school’s Quarter Drive to raise money. Over the course of the fundraiser, the ratio of the number of quarters that Sorah, John, and Pedro collect is 3:4:2. a. Write 3 ratio statements to compare the number of quarters that the students collected. b. What fraction of the total coins collected did Sorah collect? c. After the first day of the fundraiser, the students count a total of 36 quarters collected. How many quarters did each student collect? Use a triple number line to represent your solution. d. After a few weeks of the fundraiser, the students count a total of 540 quarters. How many quarters did each student collect? Use a tape diagram to represent your solution. e. At the end of the fundraiser, Sorah determines that she’s collected 315 quarters. How many quarters did the students collect in all? How much money did they raise? Use a table to represent your solution.” 

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 17, Anchor Problem 3, students use greatest common factors and least common multiples to solve real world problems. The materials state, “The florist can order roses in bunches of one dozen and lilies in bunches of 8. Last month she ordered the same number of roses as lilies. If she ordered no more than 100 roses, how many bunches of each could she have ordered? What is the smallest number of bunches of each that she could have ordered? Explain your reasoning.”

  • In Unit 5, Numerical Expressions, Post Unit Assessment, Problem 16 states, “Write an expression for each situation below as described. a. Xavier made 22 more baskets than Jared this basketball season. Write an expression for the number of baskets Xavier made this season. Define the variable you use. b. Mariel is 4 years older than her brother Oscar. Write an expression for Oscar’s age. Define the variable you use. c. Zadie has read 15 pages in her book so far. Each day, she reads 8 more pages. Write an expression for the number of pages Zadie has read after 𝑑 days.” 

  • Other names that could represent a variety of cultures are represented in the materials, i.e., Robert, Rakela, Olga, Francisca, Mr. Sordi, and Rafiq.

Indicator 3s

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

Although the Math Teacher Tools, Oral Language Protocols provide general guidance for supporting students’ native language, there are no specific suggestions for teachers to facilitate daily learning that builds on a student’s multilingualism as an asset. Oral Language Protocols suggests, “When picking a protocol for partner work or small group work, it is important to think through how English learners will be grouped and what role they will play in a particular group. Depending on the demands of the task and situation, students can be grouped with native and proficient English speakers, other ELs, or by home language. English learners should interact with a variety of different speakers in a variety of situations.” Teacher materials do not provide guidance on how to garner information that will aid in learning, including the family’s preferred language of communication, schooling experiences in other languages, literacy abilities in other languages, and previous exposure to academic everyday English.

Indicator 3t

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

While About Us, Approach, Culturally Relevant, provides a general overview of the cultural relevance within program components, materials do not embed guidance for teachers to amplify students’ diverse linguistic, cultural, and/or social backgrounds to facilitate learning. The materials state, “We are committed to developing curriculum that resonates with a diversity of students’ lived experiences. Our curriculum is reflective of diverse cultures, races and ethnicities and is designed to spark students’ interest and stimulate deep thinking. We are thoughtful and deliberate in selecting high-quality texts and materials that reflect the diversity of our country.” While some diversity in names or problem contexts are present within materials, specific guidance to connect the mathematical goals with students’ funds of knowledge in a way that makes learning relevant or motivating for students, is absent.

Indicator 3u

Materials provide supports for different reading levels to ensure accessibility for students.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide supports for different reading levels to ensure accessibility for students.

While the Math Teacher Tools, Special Populations, Supporting Special Populations, Language section notes some general recommendations for supporting language and scaffolding vocabulary, there is nothing specific about reading levels. Guidance includes, “Implement group reading strategies: Call on students throughout the class to read problems aloud, allowing students who might struggle in this area to listen and focus on comprehension. Proactively mark-up the text: To ensure students are spending time on the thinking and learning of the fundamental math concept of the day, consider pre-annotating the text provided to students or providing definitions for words within the text that might be a barrier for students comprehending the text.” Within lessons, Anchor Problem Notes or Tips for Teachers, there are some suggestions to scaffold vocabulary or concepts to support access to the mathematics but these do not directly address different student reading levels. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Unit Rates and Percents, Lesson 2, Anchor Problem 2 Notes state, “if students struggle to make sense of the different rates given the unfamiliar context, they can write analogous problems using a familiar context first (MP.1). Ensure students return to the given context after they gain more understanding.”

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit and Fraction Computation, Lesson 17, Anchor Problem 1 Notes state, “This is a good opportunity to have students independently find a solution and then, in pairs, discuss and listen to each other’s strategies and solutions. Students must use the given information and constraints to make sense of the problem and guide their strategy. By checking in with a peer, they can also hear different approaches and compare and contrast those to their own (MP.1).”

  • In Unit 6, Equations and Inequalities, Lesson 4, Anchor Problem 1 Notes state, “In pairs, have students verbally share their answers to how they would solve for m. This would provide the opportunity for students to use precise language in explaining their solution process (MP.6) as well as the opportunity for their peers to critique their response (MP.3).”

Indicator 3v

Manipulatives, both virtual and physical, are accurate representations of the mathematical objects they represent and, when appropriate, are connected to written methods.

2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 meet expectations for providing manipulatives, both virtual and physical, that are accurate representations of the mathematical objects they represent and, when appropriate, are connected to written methods.

The materials provide suggestions and/or links for virtual and physical manipulatives that support the understanding of grade-level concepts. Manipulatives are accurate representations of the mathematical objects they represent and, when appropriate, are connected to written methods. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Understanding and Representing Ratios, Lesson 1, Anchor Problem 1 uses a handout with ratio shapes, allowing students to cut out and sort/group shapes as they describe ratios for groups of objects. The materials state, “This Anchor Problem works best if the shapes are cut out and can be physically moved around into different groups, either by the teacher or by the students (MP.5). See ratio shapes handout for a copy of the shapes.”

  • In Unit 3, Multi-Digit Fraction Computation, Lesson 14, Anchor Problem 3 and Problem Set Guidance both use domino cards and a “Factor Game” to teach and reinforce prime factorization. The game is connected to written methods as students transition to writing numbers as a product of prime factors. The materials state, “This problem requires some materials preparation in order to play the factor dominoes game. These dominoes cards include pictures for numbers 1–60 and can be printed so the pictures can be cut out and optionally pasted onto a cardstock or different colored paper background.”

  • In Unit 8, Statistics, Lesson 3, Problem Set Guidance, includes a link to “StatKey Descriptive Statistics for One Quantitative Variable — (This website includes several real-world data sets and their histograms. Select one Quantitative Variable, the data topics, and click on the histogram tab).”

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 integrate some technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic mathematics software in ways that engage students in the grade-level standards, and the materials have a visual design that supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The materials do not include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, and the materials do not provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

Indicator 3w

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 integrate some technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic mathematics software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

While technology integration is limited, teachers and students have access to external technology tools and virtual manipulatives, like GeoGebra, Desmos, or other resources, as appropriate. Examples include:

  • In Unit 4, Rational Numbers, Lesson 11, Problem Set, Desmos Mini Golf Marbleslides, students use a Desmos applet to change the location of coordinates.

  • In Unit 7, Geometry, Lesson 14, Problem Set, Geogebra, students have opportunities to use the GeoGebra applet to create three-dimensional shapes that open up to reveal the net.

Indicator 3x

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

Indicator 3y

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 provide a visual design (whether in print or digital) that supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

There is a consistent design within units and lessons that supports learning on the digital platform.

  • Each lesson follows a common format with the following components: Common Core Standards, Criteria for Success, Tips for Teachers, Anchor Problems, Problem Set, and Target Task. The layout for each lesson is user-friendly as each component is included in order from top to bottom on the page. 

  • The font size, amount of directions, and language in student materials is appropriate. 

  • The digital format is easy to navigate and engaging. There is ample space in the Problem Sets and Assessments for students to capture calculations and write answers. Teachers can pre-select material from suggested sources and print for students, making it easier to navigate pages.

While the visual layout is appealing, there are spelling and/or grammatical errors within the materials.

Indicator 3z

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Fishtank Plus Math Grade 6 do not provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

While teacher implementation guidance is included for Anchor Tasks, Notes, Problem Sets, and Homework, there is no embedded technology, so teacher guidance for it is not necessary.

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Report Published Date: 2021/08/18

Report Edition: 2021

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.

Math K-8 Review Tool

The K-8 review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For math, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Focus and Coherence

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The K-8 Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations