Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. In Gateway 1, the instructional materials partially meet expectations for three-dimensional learning and phenomena and problems drive learning. In Gateway 2, the instructional materials meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope. Expectations for Criterion 2a-2g: Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions are met, in that they incorporate the full scope of the three dimensions and the nature of science connections to DCIs and SEPs and engineering connections to CCCs. However, the materials do not incorporate unit-unit coherence or a suggested sequence for the series and include multiple instances of scientific inaccuracies related to how the three dimensions are presented.​ Additionally, while the materials meet expectations for Gateway 2 in terms of aggregate scoring, they do not meet indicator 2b, which is a nonnegotiable and prevents the materials from being reviewed for Gateway 3.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Designed for NGSS

0
12
22
26
13
22-26
Meets Expectations
13-21
Partially Meets Expectations
0-12
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Coherence and Scope

0
29
48
56
48
48-56
Meets Expectations
30-47
Partially Meets Expectations
0-29
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
28
46
54
N/A
46-54
Meets Expectations
29-45
Partially Meets Expectations
0-28
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Designed for NGSS

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations for Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS. The materials partially meet expectations for three-dimensional learning and that phenomena and problems drive learning.

Criterion 1a - 1c

Materials are designed for three-dimensional learning and assessment.
8/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1a-1c: Three-Dimensional Learning. The materials include opportunities for students to learn and use three dimensions and consistently present opportunities for students to use SEPs for sense- making with DCIs, but do not consistently present opportunities for sense- making with the CCCs. There are some instances where students do not use either an SEP nor a CCC for sense- making with the other dimensions. The materials present three-dimensional learning objectives for the Explorations, but the formative tasks do not reveal student knowledge and use of three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives. Further, the materials do not provide support or resources for teachers to interpret and use student responses to modify instruction. Additionally, the materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives for learning sequences, but the summative tasks consistently do not completely measure student achievement of the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives.

Indicator 1a

Materials are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) into student learning.
0/0

Indicator 1a.i

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

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 meet expectations that they are consistently designed to integrate the science and engineering practices (SEPs), crosscutting concepts (CCCs), and disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) into student learning.

Overall, the materials consistently include the three dimensions at the lesson level and integrate SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs into student learning opportunities. Within each disciplinary-specific module, the Teacher Edition provides an overview of the SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs that are addressed in the lessons that make up a larger unit. The overview also details how individual lessons prepare students for mastery of two to three targeted NGSS Performance Expectations. Further, the materials include a digital NGSS Trace Tool that is intended to show instances of where the publisher intentionally designed learning opportunities addressing specific SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs.

Lessons are built around a 5E sequence, with the Engage section presenting the lesson-level phenomenon. Through the course of a typical lesson (three to four instructional periods, 45 minutes each), activities consistently build on each other to include all three dimensions by the final Evaluate section of the lesson. Additionally, every lesson includes digital-only resources, such as virtual labs and simulations (e.g., “You Solve It” simulations), which generally include the three dimensions.

Examples of student learning opportunities that integrate the three dimensions present in the materials:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 1: Inheritance, students use CCCs and SEPs to understand why there are variations of inherited traits between parents and offspring (DCI-LS3.A-M2). Students read about Mendel’s experiments on pea plants and observe a visual flow chart depicting phenotypic changes between parents and offspring over two generations (SEP-INFO-M2). Students construct an explanation (SEP-CEDS-M4) to illustrate the connections between Mendel’s observations of pea plants and his hypothesis regarding inheritance. Students then engage in a hands-on lab demonstrating how random pairings of alleles affect the genotype and phenotype of the offspring. Students perform a simulation (SEP-MOD-M5) to illustrate the connections between genotypes, phenotypes, and selection pressures (DCI-LS4.C-M1). Working with beads to represent alleles, they model multiple generations of fish that differ in body color under various environmental conditions. Students then use their interpretation from the simulation to predict (SEP-CEDS-M1) what would happen to the fish population after many generations in both an unchanged and changed environment (CCC-CE-M2).
  • In Module E: Earth’s Water and Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 2: Circulation in Earth’s Oceans, students explore factors that drive global ocean circulation. Students watch a video of global ocean currents and surface winds based on NASA satellite data (SEP-MOD-M5) and then answer questions related to patterns they observe (CCC-PAT-M4). Students then read about factors that affect surface currents (e.g., global winds, continental deflections, the Coriolis Effect) and analyze a map of global sea surface temperatures. To make connections between water temperature, density, and ocean circulation (DCI-ESS2.C-M4), students watch a video and record their observations of the effects of bottles of hot and cold water coming into contact (SEP-MOD-M5). Their observations are followed by a hands-on lab in which students design an investigation (SEP-INV-M1) to build a physical model (SEP-MOD-M4) demonstrating the relationships of temperature and salinity to the density of water (DCI-ESS2.C-M4). Students assess their observational data from their model for trends and use the trends as evidence to make claims (SEP-ARG-E4) about how temperature and salinity affect the density and circulation of ocean water (CCC-EM-M2, DCI-ESS2.C-M4). Finally, students consider how ocean circulation connects to broader patterns of matter and energy flows (CCC-PAT-M3, DCI-ESS2.D-M3) by using and creating models (SEP-MOD-M5) connecting global ocean circulation to the carbon cycle.  
  • In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, You Solve It Simulation (Stand-Alone Activity; Digital Version Only): “How can you use the sun’s energy?”, students engage in a virtual simulation using the sun’s energy to heat two different volumes of water to specific temperatures and cook an egg (CCC-SYS-M2, DCI-PS3.B-M2). Students manipulate thermal conductivities and solar absorbance through different container materials (e.g., glass, clay, cast iron) and the amount of time the container is exposed to the sun (SEP-MATH-M5). Students use the data obtained through the simulation as evidence to generate and support claims (SEP-CEDS-M3) about why the parameters they chose were successful.
  • In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 3: Engineer it: Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes, students read about how different types of energy flow through systems, such as thermal energy moving around ice cubes on a kitchen counter (CCC-EM-M2, DCI-PS3.A-M3). Students watch videos of household items being combined (e.g., rock salt and ice; steel wool and vinegar) and the resulting changes in the solutions’ temperatures, to visualize how different chemical processes affect thermal energy in those systems (CCC-EM-M4, DCI-PS3.A-M5). Students read about other factors that can affect reaction rates, such as concentration of reactants or presence of catalysts, and use the information to sketch a model showing how thermal and chemical energy interact in a system of water and ammonium chloride (SEP-MOD-M4, DCI-PS1.B-M3). The lesson culminates with a hands-on lab in which students apply their knowledge of energy flows (CCC-EM-M3, CCC-SF-M2) as they conduct an investigation (SEP-INV-M4). Students are challenged to design a chemical cold pack (SEP-CEDS-M6) and collect observational and temperature change data on the chemical processes that result from combining a variety of solid and liquid materials (e.g., baking soda, vinegar, ammonium chloride). The design and analysis activity enables students to choose which materials they would use in the design of their cold pack, and connects to understanding chemical reactions and their relationships to thermal energy (DCI-PS1.B-M3).

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations that they are consistently designed to support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.

Within each disciplinary-specific module, the Teacher Edition provides an overview of the SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs that are addressed in the lessons that make up a larger unit. The overview details how individual lessons prepare students for mastery of two to three targeted NGSS Performance Expectations. While the materials consistently include three dimensions throughout each 5E lesson-level learning sequence, in some lessons, students are not explicitly using all three dimensions for sensemaking processes. Students are clearly and frequently using the SEPs to develop their understanding of the DCIs. However, in some lessons, the students are not using CCCs to make sense with the DCI or SEP. There are other instances in which neither an SEP nor a CCC is incorporated to support students’ sensemaking with a DCI.

Examples of student opportunities for sensemaking with the three dimensions present in the materials:

  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activity: Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Reducing the Effects of Natural Hazards, students engage in a hands-on lab to develop and evaluate a mitigation solution for building new structures in a village located near a river that frequently overflows its banks after heavy rains. Students collaborate to undertake the engineering design process to define the problem (SEP-AQDP-M8). Students first identify mitigation needs that must be addressed by their solution, as well as, the relevant criteria and constraints (DCI-ETS1.A-M1).  Students brainstorm, evaluate, and test solutions using a table of various building materials and their characteristics to help determine which to use in their flood-resistant structure (CCC-SF-M2). As such, students are directly leveraging a CCC and SEP to make sense of how to design a solution to combat natural hazards (DCI-ESS3.B-M1).
  • In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, You Solve It Simulation (Stand-Alone Activity; Digital Version Only): “How can you use the sun’s energy?”, students use SEPs and CCCs in a simulation to determine what materials should be brought on a backpacking trip when planning to use the sun’s energy to raise the temperature of water to cook food. Students manipulate the amount of time the material is exposed to the sun’s rays to make sense of how a model is used to represent energy inputs to a system (CCC-SYS-M2). Students then use the digital simulation to collect data to test and compare which materials and at what length of sun exposure, raise the temperature enough for two different volumes of water (SEP-MATH-M5). Engaging in both the CCC and the SEP deepens students’ understanding that the amount of energy transfer needed to change the temperature of a water sample to cook an egg depends on the nature of the matter, the size of the sample, and the environment (DCI-PS3.B-M2).
  • In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes, students model energy flow in a system by drawing arrows to show the direction of thermal energy transfer and explain the direction of energy flow in a device that warms food without using a flame or electricity is from warm to cold. In this activity, students use their understanding of energy transfer in a closed system (CCC-EM-M4) to make sense of thermal energy transfer (DCI-PS3.A-M3). Students test and collect data, including temperature change, about combinations of different household chemicals (e.g., vinegar, water, calcium chloride, baking soda) to determine which resulting chemical processes would be the most useful in designing a cold pack (SEP-CEDS-M6). By using scientific principles of energy transfer to test and evaluate data against design criteria (DCI-ETS1.B-M2), students make sense of heat as thermal energy is transferred between two objects of different temperatures (DCI-PS3.A-M3) and some chemical reactions release energy, while other chemical reactions store energy (DCI-PS1.B-M3).

Examples of student opportunities where three dimensions are present, but only for sensemaking with two dimensions within a learning sequence:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 1: Inheritance, students engage in sensemaking with two dimensions to understand the foundations of genetic inheritance (DCI-LS3.A-M2). After students read about Mendel’s experiments on pea plants and the difference between dominant and recessive traits, they are asked to synthesize the information by constructing an explanation (SEP-CEDS-M4) about the connections between Mendel’s observations of pea plants and his hypothesis regarding inheritance. In a sidebar of the Teacher Edition, cause and effect is identified as the relevant CCC. However, while students observe the effects of cross-pollination through the previous activity, students are not directly using the CCC for sensemaking as they write their explanation.
  • In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 2: Earth Through Time, Lesson 2: Earth’s History, students’ sensemaking is not supported by SEPs or CCCs as they examine rock layers to determine relative ages (DCI-ESS1.C-M1). Students are provided with detailed images of an undisturbed set of rock layers, accompanied by statements regarding the timescale of each rock layer. They are asked to use the images as evidence to support each of the statements. While the answer guidance in the Teacher Edition states students’ answers should include an explanation of geologic changes that happened in the area, students are not directly asked to provide an explanation. This lesson does not include a CCC for student sensemaking.

Indicator 1b

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

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Although the materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the Exploration level building toward the learning objectives of the larger learning sequence, the assessment tasks are not consistently designed to reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives.

The materials contain multiple formative assessment tasks within lessons, at the end of each Exploration that result in a 5E lesson sequence. The tasks are embedded tasks located in the digital version of the Student Edition and as teacher prompts in the sidebar (labeled as Formative Assessment) in the print version of the Teacher Edition. However, the tasks do not consistently align with the stated learning objectives. A general pattern is evident in which formative assessment tasks address three dimensions when they are combined over the lesson.  The formative assessment tasks do not address the three dimensions for the Exploration-level learning objective, where the the task is located and as a result, some formative assessment tasks assess dimensions that are not part of the learning objective. In many instances, one of the three dimensions in the stated learning objective is not assessed.

The materials provide lesson-level formative assessment tasks in the form of quizzes, located in both the digital materials and print Assessment Guides. The quizzes are identically structured across modules, consisting of seven multiple choice and three open-ended questions. The quizzes do not consistently seek to elicit direct, observable evidence of students’ three-dimensional learning, as the majority are not designed to address CCCs. When CCCs are addressed in lesson quizzes, it is usually in one question.

The instructional materials do not incorporate tasks for purposes of supporting the instructional process. The materials do not provide teachers with adequate support or resources to interpret and use students’ responses to the formative assessment tasks to modify instruction. The materials provide teachers with sample student responses for both types of the formative assessment tasks described above, however, the materials do not provide teachers with guidance to support the instructional process, such as how to respond if the students do not produce the correct answers. Additional resources for reteaching certain concepts or additional strategies to support struggling students based upon assessment results is not evident.  

The Student Edition of the digital materials provides opportunities for diagnostic feedback to students during the course of instruction, but teachers’ ability to access the digital diagnostic materials is limited.

For example, several interactive questions throughout the lessons provide students with instant feedback in the form of a correct answer. The interactive questions provide students with instructional guidance when they have the wrong answer, in the form of a question or guiding hint. The teacher does not have a way of accessing this feedback or how students’ thinking may have changed over time. As an example, if a student only makes one attempt and it is wrong, the teacher can see their first incorrect answer and that there was not a second attempt. If the student gets the answer correct on the second try, the teacher only sees that the student got the answer correct, but does not see the original incorrect answer.

Examples of formative assessments that elicit student understanding, but do not address the three dimensions found in the learning objective:

  • In Module D: Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 2: Patterns of Change in Life on Earth, Exploration 1: Analyzing Evidence about the History of Life, the three-dimensional learning objective is to “compare anatomical similarities and differences of organisms in order to construct explanations about how life forms have changed over time. They analyze the geologic time scale to identify patterns in data.” In the course of the exploration, students undertake multiple activities to learn about the patterns demonstrating understand of how life on earth has increased in complexity over time. The exploration culminates with a formative assessment task in which students analyze changes in morphological features of five different whale ancestors. Students answer questions about how the organisms’ pelvic bones changed over time and how their body structure relates to functions in different habitats (DCI-LS4.A-M2, CCC-PAT-M4). The task does not prompt students to use the focal SEP (SEP-CEDS-M3); students do not construct explanations. The Teacher Edition has a formative assessment sidebar accompanying this activity.  The sidebar includes guidance to adapt the activity for pair and whole class interactions by having students generate additional questions about whale ancestors and how their anatomy changed over time (SEP-AQDP-M1). Incorporating this suggestion makes the formative assessment task address three dimensions, but not the specific elements targeted in the Exploration’s learning objective.
  • In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, Exploration 1: Analyzing Continental Data, the three-dimensional learning objective is to “gather evidence in order to analyze and interpret continental data. They then find patterns and construct an explanation of how Earth’s surface has changed over time. By investigating a variety of data, including scale models, students develop an understanding that Earth’s plates have moved great distances over time.” In the course of the exploration, students read and make observations about the multiple lines of evidence for tectonic plates. In the culminating formative assessment of the exploration, students are prompted to reconsider their initial ideas about whether the Earth’s continents have moved over time, given the evidence they have examined (SEP-DATA-M4, DCI-ESS2.B-M1). Although there are two CCCs identified in the learning objective (CCC-PAT-M3, CCC-SPQ-M1), neither are addressed in the formative assessment task.
  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 3: Plant Reproduction and Growth, the lesson level learning objective is to “explain how genetic and environmental factors affect the growth and reproduction of plants. Throughout the lesson, students gather evidence to explain how the structure of the sacred lotus flower contributes to the reproductive success of the plant.” The targeted dimensions for this lesson are two SEPs (SEP-CEDS-M3, SEP-ARG-M3), two elements of a DCI (DCI-LS1.B-M3, DCI-LS1.B-M4), and one CCC (CCC-CE-M3). The quiz for this lesson does not address these dimensions. The life science DCIs (DCI-LS1.B-M1, DCI-LS1.B-M2, DCI-LS1.B-M3) are addressed through one-dimensional multiple choice questions asking students to identify different concepts related to structures and characteristics of plants. The three open-ended questions on the quiz require students to write an explanation to demonstrate their understanding of the DCIs, therefore using a different element of one of the targeted SEPs (SEP-CEDS-M4). The other targeted SEP (SEP-ARG-M3) is never addressed. Although it is not identified in the Assessment Guide, the final question addresses three dimensions, given it also requires students to use the targeted CCC for the lesson (CCC-CE-M3) as they describe the causes for variation in growth of plantlets from the same plant. Overall, the quiz addresses three dimensions, but not all of the three dimensions included in the learning objective for this lesson.
  • In Module K: Forces, Motion & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motion, Lesson 4: Engineer It: Collisions between Objects, the lesson level learning objective is to “apply Newton’s laws of motion to design a solution that reduces the negative effects of a collision on an object. Throughout the lesson, students gather evidence to explain how Newton’s laws can be applied to protect a smartphone screen during a collision.” The targeted dimensions for this lesson are two SEPs (SEP-CEDS-M6, SEP-AQDP-M8), two DCIs (DCI-PS2.A-M1, DCI-ETS1.B-M2), one CCC (CCC-SYS-M2), and one engineering-related CCC (ENG-INFLU-M2). The quiz for this lesson does not address these specific dimensions. Two physical science DCIs (DCI-PS2.A-M1, DCI-PS2.A-M2) are addressed through one-dimensional multiple choice questions describing various scenarios involving physical motion.  Students are asked to identify the underlying forces of the physical motion. The three open-ended questions on the quiz require students to write an explanation or design a solution, therefore using one of the targeted SEPs (SEP-CEDS-M4, SEP-AQDP-M8) in tandem with demonstrating their understanding of the DCIs. One question requires students to use a CCC (CCC-SF-M2) as they work through a scenario involving selecting packing material to keep a fragile object from breaking. Overall, the quiz addresses three dimensions, but not the three dimensions of the learning identified in the objective for the lesson.

Examples of formative assessments that do not support the instructional process:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, Exploration 1: Analyzing the Chemistry of Cells, the formative assessment task is accompanied by a sidebar in the Teacher Edition providing a series of three questions related to the students’ task. For example, "In what direction is the arrow [in the photosynthesis chemical equation] pointing?". A single sample response is given for each question including student-facing formative assessment task questions, but no further guidance or instructional support is provided for teachers.
  • In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Unit Opener, the digital version of the materials provides a multiple-choice question for students: "Which statement describes the size of the moon’s shadow on Earth’s surface?". If the student selects the wrong answer and clicks check, the student is given conceptual guidance (“The moon’s diameter is 3,475 km. Compare that size to the diameter of the shadow shown on the map.”) and can try again. If they answer the question incorrectly a second time, the correct answer, “It is smaller than the actual size of the moon” is provided, along with explanatory text, "The shadow will vary in size, but it will always appear smaller than the actual moon" to support students’ understanding.

Indicator 1c

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Although materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives for learning sequences, the summative tasks are not consistently designed to measure student achievement of the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives.

The materials include several types of summative tasks in a consistent design across modules:

Lessons have an overall learning objective for the 5E sequence. Although the lesson-level learning objectives found on the Engage page are not specifically three-dimensional, the opening section of the Teacher Edition highlights the targeted three dimensions for each lesson. Each Exploration within the lesson has its own 3D Learning Objective as well. Lessons end with an Evaluate section in which students have the opportunity to explain the initial phenomenon presented in the Engage section, through a two-part prompt focused on claims, evidence, and reasoning. The Teacher Edition provides scoring guidelines for teachers to assess students’ answers to the prompts and lists the conceptual ideas students should have gathered from the lesson’s Exploration sections to use as evidence in their final explanation. Although these lesson-level assessments are consistently designed to measure student achievement of the lesson’s learning objective, they do not necessarily align to the specific three dimensions stated in the opening section of the lesson. The same SEP element (SEP-CEDS-M4) is consistently used across the materials and asks students to use evidence from the lesson to construct an explanation for the driving question.

Units are structured to prepare students for mastery of two to three performance expectations, and feature a table in the Teacher Edition outlining the targeted SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs for the unit, as well as, how they are addressed by each lesson within the unit. The Assessment Guide includes two alternate versions of 20-question Unit Tests and are purposefully designed to scaffold from one- and two-dimensional items to three-dimensional assessment tasks. For each item on the Unit Test, the Assessment Guide provides the targeted dimension(s), NGSS performance expectation, and a Webb’s Depth of Knowledge rating. For open-ended questions, multi-dimensional rubrics are provided to assess students' performance relative to each of the question's targeted dimensions. Across the materials, the majority of test items are multiple choice or short answer. There are numerous instances of Unit Test questions not relating to the listed dimension or performance expectation, nor to the unit’s three-dimensional learning objective. Additionally, individual items on Unit Tests are labeled as three-dimensional, but sometimes do not incorporate a CCC therefore making the item two-dimensional.

Each unit contains at least one Performance Task designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of students’ three-dimensional learning by requiring students to design a solution to a problem. All three dimensions are addressed as students engage in SEPs and use CCCs to make sense of the targeted DCIs. In contrast to the lesson-level Evaluate assessments and Unit Tests, which are generally three-dimensional but not always aligned to the stated three dimensions of the lesson’s learning objective, the Performance Tasks consistently align to the stated three dimensions of the unit’s learning objective.

At the module level, the Assessment Guide provides one Performance-Based Assessment, and some modules have additional Performance-Based Assessments that are digital only. Performance-Based Assessments give teachers opportunities to assess students’ understanding of key concepts from the module as they engage in a hands-on series of two to three tasks, either independently or collaboratively. The Performance-Based Assessments end with a three-dimensional set of analysis questions and clearly align to the stated learning objectives while consistently involving the three dimensions.

Finally, each module concludes with an End-of-Module Test, which is similar in structure to the Unit Tests, but are comprised of 40 items intended to address all of the focal performance expectations for the module. The Assessment Guides include two alternate versions of the tests, which are designed to consist primarily of one- and two-dimensional multiple choice or short answer items, with one or two open-ended three-dimensional assessment tasks. The Assessment Guide provides the targeted dimension(s), performance expectations, and a Webb’s Depth of Knowledge rating for each assessment question, with multi-dimensional rubrics provided for open-ended questions. Across the materials, the End-of-Module Test items vary in how they align with the targeted dimensions listed by the publisher and with the embedded dimensions of the focal performance expectations for the module.

Examples of assessments that address the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives:

  • In Module E, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Performance Task, students analyze authentic data to determine if a dam should be built in an area bordering Georgia and South Carolina. By completing the activity and describing the benefits and consequences of the dam, students are assessed on the three dimensions that align to the unit-level learning objectives (PE-MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-6).
  • In Module H, Unit 1: Patterns in the Solar System, Performance Task, students design and construct a working model of the earth-sun-moon system and use the system to explain moon phases, eclipses, and seasons to a third-grade class. By completing the activity and describing their process of intentional design, students are assessed on the three dimensions that align to the unit-level learning objective (PE-MS-ESS1-1).
  • In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, the “Bone Detectives” Performance-Based Assessment consists of two tasks that are intended to address three different performance expectations (PE-MS-LS2-1, PE-MS-LS2-5, PE-ETS1-2). In the first task, students initially generate a hypothesis about the number and types of prey animals they expect to find in a barn owl pellet and what kind of resources are required by the different prey and and owl populations. After students dissect owl pellets in groups and identify the prey animals they found, students use their dissection notes as evidence to revisit their hypothesis and write a conclusion about the resources available to the owl that produced the pellet. In the second task, students use a provided time series of animal bones found in owl pellets in a cave to determine the fluctuations in biodiversity over time and evaluate different design options for a road that is planned to be constructed near the cave.
  • In Module J: Chemistry, the “Ice Cream Energy” Performance-Based Assessment consists of two tasks that are intended to address two different performance expectations (PE-MS-LS1-6, PE-MS-PS3-3). In the first task, students address a design challenge of creating a device to make ice cream using chemical processes and no electricity. Students conduct a series of investigations to determine which kind of salt they want to use in their device and the ideal ratio of ice to salt, using temperature data they collect during the investigations. Throughout the process, students document their design decisions and describe relevant criteria and constraints as they learn more about the chemical reactions that occur. In the second task, students critique the design of a hot box and cold box meant to keep picnic food at different temperatures, using chemical processes.
  • The End-of-Module Test A for Module A: Engineering & Science assesses students’ achievement in relation to the module’s focal performance expectations (PE-MS1-1, PE-MS-ETS1-2, PE-MS-ETS1-3, PE-MS-ETS1-4). Overall, the 40 questions assess students’ understanding of the relevant DCIs for the module (DCI-ETS1.A, DCI-ETS1.B, DCI-ETS1.C). Two- and three-dimensional items generally assess the embedded SEPs (SEP-AQDP, SEP-MOD, SEP-DATA, SEP-ARG) and CCC (ENG-INFLU) of the focal performance expectations, which are the same as those identified by the publisher for individual assessment tasks.

Examples of assessments that do not address the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives:

  • In Module B: Cells and Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Unit Test A does not assess students’ achievement in relation to the focal performance expectations that serve as the learning objectives for the unit (PE-MS-LS1-4, PE-MS-LS1-5, PE-MS-LS3-2). The 20 questions assess students’ understanding of the relevant DCIs for the unit (DCI-LS1.B-M1, DCI-LS1.B-M2, DCI-LS1.B-M4, DCI-LS3.A-M2, DCI-LS3.B-M1, DCI-LS3.B-M2), but do not address the targeted CCC (CCC-CE) or SEPs (SEP-MOD, SEP-ARG, SEP-CEDS). Of the four questions designed to assess cause and effect, only one question actually assesses cause and effect. Similarly, only one question on the assessment has students engaging in the stated SEP.
  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Unit Test A does not assess students’ achievement in relation to the focal performance expectations that serve as the learning objectives for the unit (PE-MS-ESS3-2, PE-MS-ETS1-1). The 20 questions assess students’ understanding of the relevant DCIs for the unit (DCI-ESS3.B-M1, DCI-ETS1.A), but do not address the targeted CCC (CCC-PAT) or SEPs (SEP-AQDP, SEP-DATA). Of the three questions that are designed to assess patterns, none of the questions actually assess patterns. Similarly, only one question on the assessment has students engaging in the stated SEP.
  • In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, the End-of-Module Test A assesses students’ achievement in relation to the module’s focal performance expectations (PE-MS-PS2-1, PE-MS-PS2-2, PE-MS-PS2-3, PE-MS-PS2-4, PE-MS-PS2-5), although not all of the SEPs (SEP-AQDP, SEP-INV, SEP-CEDS, SEP-ARG, NOS-BEE) and CCCs (CCC-CE, CCC-SYS, CCC-SC, ENG-INFLU) associated with these performance expectations are fully assessed. Overall, the 40 questions assess students’ understanding of the relevant DCIs for the module (DCI-PS2.A, DCI-PS2.B). However, one-third of the questions identified as two-dimensional by the publisher were only one-dimensional, with three additional questions only partially relating to the stated SEP or CCC. Additionally, the only item that is identified by the publisher as three-dimensional does not address the listed CCC (SYS-M2), so therefore is only two-dimensional.

Criterion 1d - 1i

Materials leverage science phenomena and engineering problems in the context of driving learning and student performance.
5/10
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Criterion Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials incorporate lesson-level phenomena that consistently connect to grade-band appropriate DCIs, but the materials do not present phenomena and problems as directly as possible. The materials consistently incorporate lesson-level phenomena that drive student learning and use of the three dimensions within individual lessons. The materials provide information regarding how phenomena and problems are present in the materials, with students expected to solve problems in 15% of the lessons and explain phenomena in 85% of the lessons. The materials consistently elicit students' prior knowledge but do not support teachers to use student responses to modify instruction. The materials do not incorporate phenomena that drive student learning and use of the three dimensions across multiple lessons.

Indicator 1d

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

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-band disciplinary core ideas or their elements. Across the materials, each lesson begins in a consistent pattern with a Can You Explain It? prompt. The prompt presents a phenomenon (or occasionally, a problem) and the prompt is revisited during the 5E lesson sequence. Throughout lessons, prompts for students to collect evidence from each learning activity enable them to make specific connections related to the driving question. All lessons culminate in a Lesson Self Check.  Students use elements of the disciplinary core ideas addressed in the learning activities to explain why or how the phenomenon or problem occurred.

Examples of Can You Explain It? lesson-level phenomena that connect to grade-band disciplinary core ideas present in the materials:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 4: Information Processing in Animals, the phenomenon of reaction to motion is presented in the lesson, driven by the central question, "Why is it so difficult to catch a fly?" Students learn how animals process information - specifically electromagnetic and mechanical receptors detect light and motion signals, which then travel along nerve cells to the brain sending a message for muscles to move (DCI-LS1.D-M1). Students transfer this knowledge to explain how a fly uses various body parts to detect and avoid motion (DCI-LS1.A-M3).
  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activities, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards,  Lesson 1: Natural Hazards, the phenomenon presented is a city that is suddenly buried. The lesson is driven by the question, “How was this city suddenly buried without warning?”. Students investigate causes and evidence of various types of natural hazards (e.g., floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions) and use data to make predictions regarding their occurrence and impacts (DCI-ESS3.B-M1). In revisiting the phenomenon, they use the picture of the ash-covered city to explain it was likely the result of a volcanic eruption.
  • In Module L: Waves & Their Applications, Unit 2: Information Transfer, Lesson 3: Communication Technology, the phenomenon presented is differences in clarity of images from space. The lesson is driven by the question, “Why is the image sent from Mars clearer than the image sent from the moon?”. Through the lesson, students learn how visual and auditory information can be encoded as wave signals. In their explanation to address the lesson’s driving question, students incorporate the concept of the quality of signal transmissions is higher in a digital format relative to analog format (DCI-PS4.C-M1) and has improved over the centuries as technology has advanced.

Across the majority of the materials, problems are addressed in a variety of learning activities outside of the lesson-level Can You Explain It? driving questions. Every lesson includes at least one Engineer It opportunity, which allows students to practice discreet engineering skills and relate them to the relevant conceptual knowledge of the lesson’s DCIs. The Unit Performance Tasks, one for each unit, present a content-related problem for which students need to design a solution. The You Solve It simulations, one or two per module, also present students with a problem to solve through comparing and analyzing different design solutions in a digital environment. The exception to this pattern is Module A: Engineering & Science, in which the majority of the lessons’ Can You Explain It? prompts, Unit Performance Tasks, Unit Projects, and You Solve It simulations are problem based. The two units in this module are meant to address the four engineering design performance expectations and do not make explicit connections to other DCIs.

Examples of problems that connect to grade-band disciplinary core ideas present in the materials:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Unit Performance Task, students undertake research to define the criteria and constraints related to the problem of vermicomposting at their school. As students engage in the engineering design process, students apply what they have learned in the unit about energy flow and cycling of matter (LS2.B-M1) to the closed vermicomposting system.
  • In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 2: Natural Selection, an Engineer It activity describes how artificial selection has been used to increase crop production. Students consider how artificial selection can be used to address the problem of pesticide runoff polluting groundwater, and compare natural selection and artificial selection as they consider solutions (DCI-LS4.B-M2).
  • In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Properties and Equations, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes, students design a chemical cold pack to solve the problem of having a small, portable cold pack to use in case of injury on a hike. In designing the cold pack through the engineering design cycle, students apply their understanding of chemical reactions (DCI-PS1.B-M1) and resulting changes in thermal energy (DCI-PS1.B-M3).

Indicator 1e

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

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems in the series are presented to students as directly as possible. Across the series, the phenomena and occasional problems that are used to drive instruction are at the lesson level and are introduced through a Can You Explain It? in the opening Engage section of each 5E lesson sequence.

Phenomena and problems are often introduced or presented using a still photograph. Opportunities for students to have more direct or even first-hand experience with the phenomenon are absent. Some of the phenomena lend themselves to being recreated for direct student engagement and allow students to have a common experience and entry into learning.

Examples of phenomena and problems that are not presented as directly as possible:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Maintaining Biodiversity, students are presented with a problem through the driving question, “How can biodiversity be maintained in the Everglades without shutting humans out of this endangered ecosystem?”. The problem is introduced through a still photo of a manatee that is visibly close to human built structures.  The photo includes an explanation about the manatee being one of many endangered species in the Everglades.
  • Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 1: The Fossil Record is focused on the phenomenon of how fossils enable an understanding about the morphology and ecology of extinct species. The phenomenon is introduced with a video about how scientists have used fossils of extinct whales to reconstruct what the whale species looked like. While the unit phenomenon is presented as directly as possible, the remaining seven lessons in Module D introduce the lesson-level phenomena with only still images.
  • In Module L: Waves & Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 1: Introduction to Waves, the phenomenon is presented as a still photo of a person’s finger pointed towards a line of dominoes that are beginning to fall. A Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Edition suggests providing students with dominoes and having them observe what happens when they create their own row of falling dominoes. However, this prompt is not included in the digital version of the materials.

Indicator 1f

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

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions. Each lesson begins with a Can You Explain It? section, which presents the phenomenon or problem through a driving question accompanied by questions for students to address. As students proceed through the lesson activities, they gather evidence in their Evidence Notebook to support their understanding of the opening phenomenon or problem. There are two Evidence Notebook prompts embedded within the Explore/Explain segments of the lesson. Students consistently apply the three dimensions to gather evidence and make sense of the phenomenon or problem. Some prompts engage students in only two dimensions, but the three dimensions are addressed throughout the lesson activities and in the last Evidence Notebook entry. At the end of the lesson, students revisit the phenomenon or problem in a Lesson Self-Check and write an explanation of the phenomenon or problem using a claim-evidence-reasoning format.

There are two limitations noted across the materials. Due to the design of the Can You Explain It? format for lessons, students consistently engage in the same SEP (SEP-CEDS-M4) in the Lesson Self Check by using evidence from the lesson to explain the phenomenon or problem. Additionally, the Can You Explain It? sections that introduce the driving question for the lesson consistently ask students specific, close-ended questions related to the focal phenomenon or problem.

Examples of phenomena and or problems driving student learning at lesson or activity level using the three dimensions:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 1: Matter and Energy in Organisms, students are presented with a time-lapse video of decomposing fruit as their phenomenon. The question, “What happened to the matter and energy that were in these fruits when they were first picked?” drives students’ three-dimensional learning throughout the lesson pertaining to energy in the bonds of food molecules and how organisms at different trophic levels obtain and use energy (DCI-LS1.C-M2, DCI-LS2.B-M1, CCC-EM-M2, SEP-INFO-M1, SEP-ARG-E4). Students conduct an investigation (SEP-INV-M4) to directly model (CCC-SYS-M2) the decomposition of fruits in different substrates (DCI-LS2.B-M1), and finally discuss how the cycling of matter relates to energy transfer (DCI-LS2.B-M1, CCC-EM-M2, SEP-CEDS-M3).
  • In Module D: Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 1: Genetic Change and Traits, the phenomenon of blue lobsters is presented and the lesson is driven by the question, “How can a change to just one gene cause a lobster to be blue?”. This question drives students’ learning about DNA, genes, proteins, and how they impact organisms’ phenotypes (DCI-LS3.B-M1, DCI-LS3.A-M2). In the lesson, students create a physical model (SEP-MOD-M5) to understand how amino acids determine the shape of a folded protein (CCC-SF-M1), which they connect to the phenomenon. As students further investigate how genetic mutations occur and can be inherited, they add this new understanding to explain the phenomenon (SEP-CEDS-M4).
  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Reducing the Effects of Natural Hazards, students consider the problem of how to reduce harmful effects of flooding in communities. The problem drives students’ learning about research-based strategies (CCC-INFLU-M2) to mitigate various natural hazards (DCI-ESS3.B-M1). They use these strategies to develop a flood mitigation plan using engineering design principles (DCI-ETS1.A-M1), and then explain how their plan helps to solve the problem (SEP-CEDS-M4).
  • In Module H: Space Science, Unit 1: Patterns in the Solar System, Lesson 2: Seasons, students consider the phenomenon of shorter days in winter. The question, “Why is winter cold with shorter days than summer?” drives student learning about how earth’s shape, angle on its axis, and orbit cause seasonal variations (DCI-ESS1.B-M2). Through the lesson activities, students create a variety of models and use interactive simulations (SEP-MOD-M4) of the sun and earth to explore seasonal patterns (CCC-PAT-M3). This lesson also incorporates mathematical and computational thinking (SEP-MATH-E2) from the prior grade-band to explore how sunlight varies in concentration on a surface, depending on its relative angle.
  • In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Transforming Potential Energy, students are presented with a video showing the phenomenon of two balls dropped from different heights. The lesson is driven by the question, “Why do these two balls bounce differently?”. Students design a toy (SEP-MOD-M7) to demonstrate potential energy to a younger child. As they learn about different types of potential energy and undertake an engineering design cycle to create their toy, they revisit the phenomenon to consider how a system (CCC-SYS-M2) can be adjusted to change the amount of potential energy (DCI-PS3.A-M2) to make a ball bounce higher or lower.

Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include appropriate proportions of phenomena vs. problems based on the grade-band performance expectations.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 are designed for students to solve problems in an average of 15% of the lessons across the series (14 of 92 lessons) compared to 15% of the NGSS grade-band performance expectations designed for solving problems. Across the series, approximately 85% of the lessons ask students to explain phenomena.

Across the 11 modules that cover the life sciences, earth & space sciences, and physical sciences disciplines the units are generally structured similarly in how they present phenomena and problems and the instructional time spent on each. The Can You Explain It? prompts at the beginning of each lesson present a photograph of a phenomenon or a problem, and a question intended to drive students’ learning through the lesson. Within each lesson, approximately 24% of the instructional time is related to introducing or revisiting the Can You Explain It? phenomenon or problem. Modules G, I, J, and K each contain two Engineer It lessons, which focus on problems rather than phenomena.

Module A: Engineering & Science focuses specifically on the intersection of engineering and science.  It is made up of two units (six lessons) that address the four engineering design Performance Expectations. In contrast to the other modules, the Can You Explain It? prompts within this module are largely focused on solving problems through engineering design rather scientific phenomena. 

Examples of problems listed in the series:

  • In Module A: Engineering and Science, problems focus on solving questions such as, “How can you define the need to build an exciting, but safe, roller coaster as an engineering design problem?” and “How can you determine the best way to keep plates from breaking on hard floors?”. Both units’ Performance Tasks involve conducting research related to solving defined problems such as: “What is the best feature for a new pool entry ramp?”. The Unit Projects also focus on problems by prompting students to research and design a solution to a problem at their school. Additionally, in the You Solve It simulations, students act as the shipping manager for a Korean company that builds battery-powered cars. They modify different financial variables in order to recommend a strategy for transporting the cars in a time- and cost-efficient way.
  • In Module F: Geologic Processes and History, one of the unit-level Performance Tasks includes an engineering design challenge to solve a problem by inquiring, “What is the best location for a new bridge?”.
  • In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, the Unit Performance Task entails an engineering design challenge to solve a problem where students design a seating area for an outdoor play production with no microphones. Additionally, the You Solve It simulation is designed for students to solve a problem by analyzing ocean wave data by proposing the best location to build a wave energy generator farm.


Examples of phenomena listed in the series:

  • In Module F: Geologic Processes and History, the lesson level Can You Explain It? prompts include phenomena associated with the driving questions, “How was the rock in this image of the Grand Canyon formed and shaped over time?” and “How do we know when these ancient animals [pictured in images from Dinosaur Provincial Park] lived?”.
  • In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Can You Explain It? prompts include phenomena associated with driving questions, “How can a map of the seafloor be generated using mechanical waves?” and “Why does the same room lit with the same flashlight look different in these photos [in which the light is shone on different surfaces]?”.

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students' prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations that materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems. Materials consistently elicit, but do not leverage, students’ prior knowledge and experiences in the Can You Explain It? section that introduces the phenomenon or problem during the Engage phase of each lesson. These prompts encourage students to describe their prior knowledge and experiences related to a phenomenon or problem, or prompt teachers to do so, but support for the teacher to build on students’ responses during subsequent instruction is absent.

The materials do not provide opportunities for follow-up prompts for teachers to leverage students' knowledge and experiences as students make sense of phenomena or problems.  

Examples of eliciting, but not leveraging students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 1: Levels of Organization in Organisms, the lesson-level Can You Explain It? phenomenon asks students to consider how the digestive tract of a cow and a worm can have the same function with such different structures. The Collaboration section in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition, prompts the teacher to direct students to talk with a partner about what the two systems have in common and how each organism’s diet might affect the way the system is structured. Students’ prior knowledge of these organisms’ diets and how a digestive system works is elicited. The Alternative Engage Strategy section in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition has students list known body systems, parts of each system, and the functions of each part. While this activity elicits students’ prior knowledge of human body systems, prior knowledge is not leveraged throughout the lesson.
  • In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, the lesson-level Can You Explain It? prompts students to consider how an island off the coast of Japan could have formed overnight. Students’ prior knowledge is elicited by asking students more specifically if this phenomenon could “happen anywhere, or might there be something special about the location that made it possible?". Additionally, the Collaboration section in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition prompts the teacher to show students a video (included in the digital version of the materials) of the island emergence and discuss as a whole class “in order to assess prior knowledge.” Through the course of the lesson, students accumulate and record evidence that they use to revisit their explanation at the end, but there are not opportunities in the materials to share or leverage their initial thinking.
  • In Module L: Waves & Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 4: The Behavior of Light Waves, the lesson-level Can You Explain It? phenomenon is about why the amount and quality of light from a flashlight in a dark room changes depending on the surface on which it is shone. The accompanying question to students elicits their prior knowledge about the phenomenon by asking, “What could explain how the same light source in the same room can produce such different results?”. There is also an Alternative Engage Strategy in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition that prompts teachers to ask students to observe the source and amount of light in their classroom. Students write an explanation about how varying amounts of light impacts how objects appear. Through the course of the lesson, students accumulate and record evidence to use as they revisit their explanation at the end.  Opportunities to share or leverage initial thinking are not evident. 

Indicator 1i

Materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. Across the materials, Unit Openers are intended to present unit-level phenomena, while Unit Projects are designed to present phenomena and problems. The Unit Openers are found in the digital materials at the beginning of each unit and are designed to introduce a phenomenon through a picture or short video, followed by an interactive activity. However, they present a fact or idea related to the disciplinary core ideas in the upcoming unit ahead, as opposed to provoking student questioning and engagement through a phenomenon. Additionally, the Unit Openers are not revisited throughout the unit, nor do they challenge students to use and build knowledge by engaging in the three dimensions.

The Unit Projects follow the Unit Openers at the beginning of each unit. Some of the Unit Projects are focused on problems, while the majority are intended to focus on phenomena. However, the topics of the projects  are not consistently centered around an observable event, do not lead to students’ sensemaking related to the three dimensions, nor do they allow for students to pursue their own questions. Instead, the projects follow a general structure of students conducting research on a topic related to the focal DCIs for the unit, in service of activities related to the predefined project topic. Although the Unit Projects consistently address the three dimensions, they do not drive student learning, as they are not explicitly incorporated into subsequent lessons. After the Unit Projects are introduced at the beginning of the unit, they are briefly revisited in the print version of the Teacher Edition in a sidebar on the first page of each lesson within the unit; the Unit Projects are not incorporated into the digital version of the lessons for either teachers or students.

Examples of Unit Openers that do not address the three dimensions, nor embed phenomena to drive learning across multiple lessons:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, the Unit Opener for students presents a video and images of different organisms that live in the Sonoran Desert. There are brief descriptions of the relationships between these organisms and an overview paragraph on the concepts addressed in the next unit. No questions are posed in relation to the Sonoran ecosystem for students to answer, and it does not drive learning across the unit's lessons; other ecosystems such as forests and rivers are used as examples instead.
  • In Module K: Forces, Motions, and Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motion, the Unit Opener for students presents a video and images of people engaged in a variety of athletic activities (e.g., ice skating, parkour, rowing). There is a brief description about how sports and other everyday activities involve a variety of forces and motion, both observable and unobservable (DCI-PS2.A, DCI-PS2.B). No questions are posed in relation to the athletic activities for students to answer, and it does not drive learning across the unit's lessons; other phenomena are used at the lesson level instead.

Examples of Unit Projects that address the three dimensions, but do not drive students’ learning across multiple lessons:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 1: Cells, the Unit Project is “Analyze Bioindicators to Assess Water Quality”. Through carrying out the project, students research microorganisms in healthy and polluted water, and investigate a local water sample (SEP-INV-M4). With the sample, students use the microorganisms they identify and distinguish from non-living organisms under a microscope as evidence for the quality of the sample (SYS-PAT-M3, DCI-LS1.A-M1). Students complete a worksheet that summarizes their findings and use their research as evidence to support their claim about the quality of the water sample.  Students have the option to create a poster communicating what they discovered. The other lessons within the unit do not build towards or support student completion of the project, only the print version of the Teacher Edition makes reference to the Unit Project at the start of each lesson.
  • In Module L: Waves & Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, the Unit Project is “Design Wave Interactions”. Through carrying out the project, students conduct research and build a model (SEP-MOD-M6, CCC-SYS-M2) to minimize the effects of a type of wave on people (e.g., soundproofing a house to minimize the effects of a sound wave). Students complete a worksheet that summarizes their findings, and use their research as evidence to support their claim about how their model demonstrates the effects of minimizing the wave type for their chosen problem (DCI-PS4.A-M1, DCI-PS4.A-M2). The other lessons within the unit do not build towards or support student completion of the project, and only the print version of the Teacher Edition makes reference to the Unit Project at the start of each lesson.

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope. The materials meet expectations that the materials are designed for coherence and include the full scope of the three dimensions.

Criterion 2a - 2g

48/56
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations for Criterion 2a-2g: Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions. The materials do not inappropriately include science content and ideas from outside the grade-band DCIs. The materials include all DCI components and all elements for physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering, technology, and applications of science. The materials include all SEPs and nearly all elements, except are missing one element from Asking Questions and Defining Problems and one element from Engaging in Argument from Evidence. The materials include all CCCs and nearly all elements are fully addressed. Further, the materials incorporate multiple instances of nature of science connections to SEPs and DCIs and engineering connections to CCCs. However, the materials do not connect the dimensions from unit to unit in a way that is visible to students, do not provide a suggested sequence, and include instances of SEPs and DCIs presented in a scientifically inaccurate manner. Additionally, while the materials meet expectations for Gateway 2 in terms of aggregate scoring, they do not meet indicator 2b, which is a nonnegotiable and prevents the materials from being reviewed for Gateway 3.

Indicator 2a

Materials are designed for students to build and connect their knowledge and use of the three dimensions across the series.
0/0

Indicator 2a.i

Students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from unit to unit.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that they connect the dimensions from unit to unit. Across the materials, some connections are made for teachers between the DCIs (and occasionally SEPs or CCCs) in the Build on Prior Knowledge section of each lesson in the Teacher Edition. SEPs and CCCs are otherwise not connected across lessons, units, or modules. There is a missed opportunity to utilize structures in the materials that would support teachers and students in making these connections. For teachers, the Connections to Other Disciplines section at the beginning of each unit in the Teacher Edition lists the page numbers on which Connections prompts can be found in the sidebar of the Teacher Edition. The majority of these explain a connection to another discipline for the teacher but do not include instructions to prompt students to make connections from any previous lessons, units, or modules. The Unit Connection section provides three research prompts for students to complete that connect the unit to other disciplines. While this recurring structure engages students in a specific learning activity, it consistently involves a research project that draws on DCIs from two different disciplines, rather than addressing all three dimensions. For students, the digital version of the materials provides occasional Tip Boxes that provide them the opportunity to read about an SEP or CCC that is being used in that exploration. While the Tip Boxes provide information or considerations for the student as they engage in a particular SEP or CCC, they do not help connect student learning of the SEPs or CCCs from unit to unit.

Examples where the materials make connections for teachers, but do not help students see the connections:

  • In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, the first three lessons focus on the same DCI (DCI-LS1.A) and students build knowledge across the DCIs using the same SEP (SEP-ARG) and CCC (CCC-SYS). In Lesson 1: Levels of Organization in Organisms, the Build on Prior Knowledge section in the Teacher Edition suggests that students should already know and be prepared to build on their knowledge of two DCIs about cells and cellular structures (DCI-LS1.A-M1, DCI-LS1.A-M2). Although these DCIs are addressed in the previous unit, this is not specifically referenced. Additionally, across the three lessons, the materials do not provide instructions to teachers to help students make connections from any previous lessons, units, or modules.
  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 2: Resources in Earth Systems does not demonstrate evidence of connecting to the previous unit on natural hazards. In Lesson 1: Natural Resources, the Build on Prior Knowledge section in the Teacher Edition suggests that students should already know and be prepared to build on their knowledge of a DCI (DCI-LS2.A-M1) that relates organisms to their environmental factors. This DCI is addressed in a different module (Module C, Unit 2, Lesson 1), which is referenced in this section. A CCC related to energy flow in a system (CCC-EM-M4) is also listed in the section, and is also referenced as being addressed in a different module (Module C, Unit 1, Lesson 3). Additionally, although Lesson Two: The Distribution of Natural Resources builds on the previous lesson, the materials do not provide instructions to teachers to help students make connections from any previous lessons, units, or modules.

Examples of missed opportunities for supporting teachers and students in connecting SEPs or CCCs between units:

  • In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, the Unit Connections section lists specific interdisciplinary connections to health, art, and earth science. The earth science connection describes how volcanic islands are formed and prompts students to describe the role different states of matter play in volcanic eruptions and island formation. However, it does not provide supports for teachers to help students make connections between units or modules.
  • In Module J: Chemistry, three Tip Boxes in the digital version of the student materials focus on the modeling SEP. In Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, Lesson 1: States of Matter, Develop a Model describes various reasons that models are developed in science and references an interactive question in which students “describe and draw a model to explain the arrangement and motion of particles in a solid, liquid, and gas.” In Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, Lesson 2: Changes of State, Use a Model describes how models can be used in science and references an animation in which students see how a substance changes state based on the amount of thermal energy present. In Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 2: Chemical Equations, Use a Model describes how models can be used to communicate information or describe a system, but does not reference molecular models of chemical formulas. Although the content of these boxes differ, they do not reference the other boxes or connect students’ engagement in or understanding of modeling over time.

Indicator 2a.ii

Materials have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that they have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication. The materials are not designed with an intentional sequence, nor do they provide a suggested sequence for modules. In the Teacher Edition, the introduction to each lesson contains a Build on Prior Knowledge section that describes concepts students should be prepared to build on. There are occasional references to other modules, units, or prior K-5 grade levels, but this is not consistent throughout the materials. The references to other modules and units that are present in this section seem to assume that the modules are being completed in a particular sequence, but guidance on a suggested sequence is not provided.

Indicator 2b

Materials present Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) in a way that is scientifically accurate.*
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations that they present DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs in a way that is scientifically accurate. Although the materials generally present most of the dimensions in a scientifically accurate way, some of the dimensions are occasionally presented in a scientifically inaccurate way. For example, the practice of modeling is misrepresented multiple times throughout the materials; having students look at maps or images is not an accurate way to engage them in the SEP, Developing and Using Models. Additionally, the materials include a few inaccuracies, including instances in which a DCI is presented in an inaccurate way that can fuel student misconceptions, and one minor error.

Instances of SEPs presented inaccurately:

  • In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, the lesson-level learning objective is for students to “develop a model to explain the conservation of energy and matter in the chemical processes that all organisms perform to sustain life.” Developing and using models is also highlighted in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition next to the lesson’s culminating activity in which students label a diagram that relates photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Components and outputs such as a chloroplast, mitochondrion, and energy are already in the diagram, as well as arrows between the components. This is an inaccurate use of this SEP, as developing and using models goes beyond providing a visual representation of a system and asking students to label the component parts.
  • In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 1: Genetic Change and Traits, part of the lesson-level learning objective is for students to “use a model to understand that genes are located on chromosomes, and they contain the instructions for the production of proteins.” Developing and using models is highlighted in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition next to the opening activity in which students are provided with an image of DNA connected to a chromosome, which is connected to a cell nucleus; each component is accompanied by a brief descriptive caption. The sidebar prompts teachers to inform students that this illustration is a simplified representations of genetic material in a cell, and then encourage students to explore models of DNA and chromosomes using Internet medical library sources. This is an inaccurate use of this SEP, as students are not directly using the provided model. Additionally, the sidebar information is not included in the digital version of the Teacher Edition and thus could be easily missed.
  • In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, End of Unit Assessment Test A, Question 14, students are given a map image of the Pacific Ring of Fire with the locations of volcanoes marked on the map and asked how they can use this "model" to "predict patterns of volcanic activity" and "represent the history of volcanic activity." While this question accurately addresses the target DCI (DCI-ESS3.B-M1) and CCC (CCC-PAT-M4) identified in the assessment guide, the map showing data is not a model. The practice in which students are engaging as they answer this question would be more accurately characterized as Analyzing and Interpreting Data (SEP-DATA-M2).

Instances of DCIs presented inaccurately:

  • In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Transforming Potential Energy, Exploration 3: Testing, Evaluating, and Optimizing a Device, a formative assessment prompt in the Teacher Edition of the materials has the potential to reinforce student misconceptions and misses key DCIs targeted by this lesson and unit (DCI-PS3.A-M2, DCI-PS3.C-M1). Students are asked to consider how energy to a system of a balloon-powered boat in a tub of water could be lost without moving the boat. The sample answer provided to the teacher states that "By adding more air, more potential energy is added to the system…" but does not address the idea that potential energy is stored in the expanding elastic material of the balloon (which is an idea addressed in Exploration 1 of the lesson) which may lead to an inaccurate student understanding of this idea.
  • In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 1: The Structure of Matter, Lesson 1: The Properties of Matter, Exploration 2: Measuring Volume and Density, a formative assessment prompt in the Teacher Edition of the materials directs students to model expansion of an object without changing its mass, specifically by using putty or modeling clay. The prompt directs the teacher to ask students to consider what happens when they stretch the putty. This is then followed by a question that implies that students can connect the experience of stretching putty to a decrease in density because the volume has increased. However, simply stretching putty or modeling clay does not change its volume.
  • In Module K: Forces, Motion & Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 2: Electric Forces, the images that are meant to illustrate the idea of the conservation of charge (DCI-PS2.B-M1) promote a scientific inaccuracy that has the potential to reinforce student misconceptions. The first picture shows a person rubbing a balloon against her head, with three negative and two positive charges while the person’s hair has three positive and two negative charges. The second picture shows that both the positive and negative charges move, which is inaccurate since only the electrons (negative charges) should move. The accompanying captions correctly state what has happened in the images in regards to the conservation of charge.

Instance of a minor error present in the materials:

  • In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 3: Light Waves, Exploration 2: Analyzing Human Perception of Light Waves, Question 10, the online interactive text incorrectly tells students that changing wavelength and frequency "changes the amplitude" (the print version and answer key have the correct answer). Amplitude does not depend on these properties.

Indicator 2c

Materials do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-band Disciplinary Core Ideas.*
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that they do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-band DCIs. Although there were instances throughout the materials of learning activities extending outside the grade-band DCIs, they are in service of appropriate learning goals, such as preparing for above grade-band DCIs or a more rigorous application of a below grade-band SEP. These instances generally do not distract from the focal grade-band DCI being addressed in a given learning activity; the single example in which the materials inappropriately addressed a high school grade-band DCI is noted below.  

Examples of learning activities that include but appropriately address DCIs outside the grade band:

  • In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 2: Patterns of Change in Life on Earth, a formative assessment prompts students to write a series of logical steps to use fossil record evidence to infer the type of climate that existed during the Carboniferous Period. Although this activity draws from content that is considered part of the elementary grade-band (DCI-LS4.A-E2), the Teacher Edition of the materials directs the teacher to allow students to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each argument (SEP-ARG-M2). As such, students are able to more rigorously engage with content that is below the grade band.
  • In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 1: Introduction to Energy, students identify the transfers and transformations of energy necessary to operate technology or an appliance that they use regularly. This draws on content related to the movement of energy (DCI-PS3.A-E2) and the transfer of energy by electric currents to produce motion, sound, heat, or light (DCI-PS3.B-E3), which are both elements from the elementary grade band. However, this activity helps to launch a lesson and unit; students then build upon these initial ideas in subsequent learning activities.

Learning activity that inappropriately addresses a DCI outside the grade band:

  • In Module K: Forces, Motions & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motion, Lesson 3: Newton’s Law of Motion, students engage in a series of learning activities that address acceleration in a way that goes beyond the relevant middle school grade-band DCIs (DCI-PS2.A-M2, DCI-PS2.A-M3). Although Newton’s Laws of Motion are addressed in these DCIs, the assessment boundary for the relevant PE (PE-MS-PS2-2) makes it clear that these ideas should be explored in qualitative terms, not mathematical terms. However, the materials address this content quantitatively; for example, students engage in a hands-on lab in which they design a method to measure acceleration. The lab further has students collect quantitative data on their method, such that they calculate force based on acceleration due to gravity and plot acceleration versus force on a line graph and describe the relationship when mass is constant. This type of activity is representative of others throughout the lesson and is not necessary to understand the content at the middle school grade band; as such, they align with high school grade-band elements of DCI-PS2.A in a way that may be inappropriate for the middle school level.

Indicator 2d

Materials incorporate all grade-band Disciplinary Core Ideas:
0/0

Indicator 2d.i

Physical Sciences
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimension Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate all grade-band components and nearly all the associated elements of the physical science DCIs across the series. The physical science DCIs are primarily addressed in four modules: Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer; Module J: Chemistry; Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields; Module L: Waves and Their Applications, with some DCI elements (especially those related to respiration and photosynthesis (DCI-PS3.D-M1, DCI-PS3.D-M2) addressed in Module C: Ecology and the Environment.

Overall, students have opportunities to engage with the elements of the physical science DCIs, through a varied set of learning activities (e.g., reading text, online simulations, hands-on labs, writing an evidence-based explanation about the lesson-level phenomenon) and prompts for teachers’ instruction found in the Teacher Edition (e.g., student collaboration activities). Students frequently engage with elements multiple times and in a variety of ways.

Examples of grade-band physical science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • PS1.A-M1. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 1: The Structure of Matter, Unit Project: Simple or Complex?, students create a model of a complex carbohydrate that shows the relationship between simple and complex carbohydrates, demonstrating that the way atoms combine (i.e., their structure) determines how the substance is used in the body.
  • PS1.A-M2. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 1: The Structure of Matter, Lesson 1: The Properties of Matter, the lesson-level phenomenon presented is a picture of two shiny black rocks and the question: “How can you tell the difference between the materials in these two rocks?” Students’ explanation of the phenomenon requires them to describe the physical and chemical properties they would use to distinguish the two rocks.
  • PS1.A-M3. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, Lesson 1: States of Matter, students read about and watch a guided animation about particle motion for different states of matter. They then match the state of matter with the appropriate kinetic model.
  • PS1.A-M4. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, Lesson 1: States of Matter, students relate particle motion and contact to different images of people in a crowd to identify and explain which analogy best matches each state of matter.
  • PS1.A-M5.  In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 1: The Structure of Matter, Lesson 3: Molecules and Extended Structures, students observe and describe the structural model of diamond. They are then shown models of three solids, two extended structures and one molecule, and asked to match them to the appropriate description of a substance (table sugar, silver metal, and table salt).
  • PS1.A-M6. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 2: States of Matter and Changes of State, Lesson 2: Changes of State, students analyze a graph relating temperature and state changes for a substance over time to determine and predict what happens as energy in the system changes.
  • PS1.B-M1. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 1: Chemical Reactions, students are asked to respond in their Evidence Notebook how knowing the indicators of a chemical reaction could help them to explain the lesson-level Can You Explain It? question (“What happens when sulfuric acid is added to powdered sugar?”) and relate it to the rearrangement of atoms that occur in a chemical reaction.
  • PS1.B-M2. Students have multiple instances to understand conservation of matter as described in the first part of this element. For example, in Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 1: Matter and Energy in Organisms, students construct an explanation for how a tiny plant can become a giant tree if matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Additionally, in Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 2: Chemical Equations, students read text, view an image, and answer questions related to the concept of conservation of matter and mass during chemical reactions.
  • PS1.B-M3. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes, students complete a hands-on lab in which they record observations and temperature changes of different chemical reactions and conclude that one reaction absorbs thermal energy and the other three release thermal energy.
  • PS2.A-M1. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Unit Project: Collision Course, students build a device “which causes a rolling ball to knock over a target or ring a bell without you touching the ball or the target/bell.” Students are asked to identify the forces involved, and to relate how Newton’s laws of motion apply to their design.
  • PS2.A-M2. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 1: Introduction to Forces, students compare a balanced versus unbalanced diagram of people on a seesaw and asked to explain if forces are being applied in both diagrams. The sample answer provided in the Teacher Guide includes that when both people exert force, the forces are balanced and it does not move; when only one person does, this creates an unbalanced force and the see saw moves.
  • PS2.A-M3. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 1: Introduction to Forces, students read about force diagrams and are then asked to add arrows to force diagrams for a rabbit jumping off the ground and a bat hitting a ball.
  • PS2.B-M1. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 1: Introduction to Forces, students complete a hands-on lab in which they test how bar magnets can lift metal objects out of a box and draw a force diagram explaining the direction of the magnetic forces.
  • PS2.B-M2. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 2: Gravity and Friction, students read about gravitational forces and then compare two robots—one on Earth and one on the moon. Students are asked to explain why the robots have different weights, but the same mass.
  • PS2.B-M3. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 2: Gravity and Friction, students complete a hands-on lab in which they design and test parachutes to examine the effect of air resistance on falling objects.
  • PS3.A-M1. Students have numerous opportunities to understand kinetic energy as described in the first part of this element. For example, in Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 1: Introduction to Energy, a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Guide prompts teachers to ask students to draw a picture of a hill and label the potential and kinetic energy a boulder would have at the top, middle, and bottom of the hill. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 2: Kinetic and Potential Energy, students read text describing the relationship between mass and kinetic energy then relate mass and kinetic energy data to graphs of equations. Students are provided with a set of graphs that show a linear relationship and a squared relationship and choose which graph best represents their plot of mass and kinetic energy, “to identify the relationship between mass and kinetic energy.”
  • PS3.A-M2. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, You Solve It Simulation: How Can You Transform Potential Energy to Do Work?, students are given design criteria that they must satisfy as they determine the optimal mass and height for a post driver to operate successfully on the Moon and on Mars.
  • PS3.A-M3. Thermal energy is defined for the students several times throughout the materials and the transfer of energy between objects of different temperatures is addressed. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy Transfer in Systems, students read text that describes thermal energy in terms of the motion of atoms or molecules; a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Guide prompts teachers to ask students to draw a model that represents the three types of thermal energy transfer.
  • PS3.A-M4. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, Lesson 2: Temperature and Heat, students read text that describes that temperature is proportional to the average internal kinetic energy and potential energy per atom or molecule and that the details of that relationship depend on the type of atom or molecule and the interactions among the atoms in the material. Students design an investigation to determine what factors impact the amount of thermal energy contained within objects made up varying materials and with different masses. Students have multiple opportunities in the materials to learn that thermal energy is dependent on the temperature, the total number of atoms in the system, and the state of the material.
  • PS3.B-M1. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Transforming Potential Energy, a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Guide prompts teachers to ask students to discuss where and how energy is transferred or transformed in four different prototypes of systems designed to demonstrate potential energy.
  • PS3.B-M2. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, You Solve It Simulation: How Can You Use the Sun’s Energy?, students simulate using the sun’s energy and different materials to raise the temperature of water to cook an egg.
  • PS3.B-M3. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, Lesson 2: Temperature and Heat, students read text that describes the direction of energy transfer and then complete fill in blank questions. They are then asked to describe how energy is flowing between a glass of cold water and a hand.
  • PS3.C-M1. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, Lesson 1: Changes in Energy, students engage in a hands-on lab in which they roll balls of different masses down a low ramp and a high ramp into a cup and measure the distance that each of the balls is able to move the cup. They relate this distance to the transfer of kinetic energy.
  • PS3.D-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, students complete a hands-on lab in which they investigate the effect of sunlight on elodea and observe the oxygen bubbles being produced by photosynthesis. In the section that follows the lab, they read about the inputs and outputs of photosynthesis and complete the chemical equation for the process.
  • PS3.D-M2. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, students read about the inputs and outputs of cellular respiration and complete the chemical equation for the process.
  • PS4.A-M1. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 1: Introduction to Waves, students discuss wave characteristics shown in an image that includes wavelength, amplitude, crest and trough. They are prompted to explain how patterns allow us to measure wavelength.
  • PS4.A-M2. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 2: The Behavior of Mechanical Waves, students read about and observe models of waves’ motion in different types of media. They select the statement that best describes how the particles of the medium behave when a mechanical wave moves through it.
  • PS4.B-M1. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 4: The Behavior of Light Waves, students compare the different ways that light interacts with three sandwiches wrapped in three different materials. In a subsequent part of the same section, students read about and fill in an interactive text to describe how light is refracted when it enters a glass prism from air.
  • PS4.B-M2. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 4: The Behavior of Light Waves, students draw a series of ray diagrams to model their observations of a penny from different angles in an empty beaker and when the beaker is filled with water.
  • PS4.B-M3. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 3: Light Waves, students observe an animation of changes in wavelength, frequency and amplitude to see how they affect the color of light. Students subsequently fill in an interactive text to demonstrate their understanding that as wavelength changes, so does color.
  • PS4.B-M4. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, Lesson 3: Light Waves, students compare sound waves and light waves by watching a video of a buzzer in a jar as the air is removed. Students create a model that explains the behaviors of the sound and light waves when the air is completely removed from the jar.
  • PS4.C-M1. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Unit 2: Information Transfer, You Solve It Simulation: How can you compare digital and analog communication signals?, students run a simulation to compare the results of an image being sent through analog and digital signals. They use the collected data to support a claim for which type of signal is more reliable for encoding and transmitting information.

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate all grade-band components and all the associated elements of the life sciences DCIs across the series. The life sciences DCIs are addressed in three modules: Module B: Cells & Heredity; Module C: Ecology & the Environment; Module D: The Diversity of Living Things.

Overall, all elements of the DCIs are incorporated in these modules, and, for the majority of the elements, students have multiple opportunities to engage with the content. They do so through a varied set of learning activities (e.g., online simulations, hands-on labs, writing an evidence-based explanation about the lesson-level phenomenon) and prompts for teachers’ instruction found in the Teacher Edition (e.g., student collaboration activities). There are some inconsistencies in the frequency of coverage of life sciences DCI elements across the materials, with some of the elements addressed multiple times, and others only addressed once.

Examples of grade-band life sciences DCI elements present in the materials:

  • LS1.A-M1. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 1: Cells, Lesson 1: The Characteristics of Cells, students are provided with a microscopic image of an elodea plant and are prompted to record their observations of the plant’s cells. In a subsequent activity, they identify organisms as multicellular or unicellular, based on a picture and written description.
  • LS1.A-M2. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 1: Cells, Lesson 2: Cell Structures and Function, the lesson-level Can You Explain It? task is a picture of a eukaryotic cell and a sports stadium, accompanied by the question: “How is a cell like a sports stadium?” Students’ explanations require them to describe the cell as a system, with specialized functions of cell organelles and the cell membrane.
  • LS1.A-M3. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 1: Levels of Organization in Organisms, students complete a hands-on lab in which they design and develop a model to demonstrate how cellular structure relates to the function of the cellular subsystems that comprise tissues in organs.
  • LS1.B-M1. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 2: Asexual and Sexual Reproduction, students undertake a hands-on lab to simulate asexual and sexual reproduction in apple trees. They use their resulting genotype and phenotype data to determine how the type of reproduction affects genetic variation in the population.
  • LS1.B-M2. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, You Solve It Simulation: What Factors Affect Reproductive Success?, students analyze trait data to determine how female mate choice and environmental factors influence the reproductive success of different types of peacocks. Students observe that male peacocks with inherited longer tails and more eyespots are more desirable, and that environmental factors (e.g., temperature and food supply) impact offsprings’ chances of survival.
  • LS1.B-M3. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 3: Plant Reproduction and Growth, students read about different modes of reproduction for seedless and seeded plants. Based on pictures of different seed structures, students then explain the dispersal method, citing evidence from the prior reading.
  • LS1.B-M4. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 3: Plant Reproduction and Growth, students read about and explain how seed germination is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • LS1.C-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, students complete a hands-on lab in which they investigate the effect of sunlight on elodea and observe the oxygen bubbles being produced by photosynthesis. In the section that follows the lab, they read about how the resulting sugars can be used by the plant or stored for later use.
  • LS1.C-M2. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 2: Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, students read about, examine a model, and complete a chemical equation about the process of cellular respiration. They are introduced to how energy is released through this process, and how the chemical reactions involved in respiration are used by organisms to sustain life.
  • LS1.D-M1. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 4: Information Processing in Animals, there is a series of activities that addresses all parts of this DCI element. Students identify which type of receptors are being used by different animals as they respond to a particular type of stimulus. Next, students examine two different images of the human brain and explain how damage to the temporal lobe would affect a person and their sensory receptors. Finally, students analyze an image of a lion and porcupines interacting to determine what behaviors the animals are displaying and what memories may be stored from this experience.  
  • LS2.A-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 1: Parts of an Ecosystem, students read about, analyze models, and list how organisms interact with the living and nonliving parts of their environment, and how abiotic and biotic factors are interdependent.
  • LS2.A-M2. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 2: Resource Availability in Ecosystems, students read about and explain how limited biotic and abiotic resources impact populations with similar resource needs. Students are then asked to predict how an increase in the hyena population would affect the lion population as they compete for the same food resources.
  • LS2.A-M3.  In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 2: Resource Availability in Ecosystems, students relate how resource availability affects the growth of organisms and populations by observing how the availability of water affects plant growth. Students are then asked to interpret a graphical representation that shows how the availability of resources impacts population size.
  • LS2.A-M4. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Unit Project: How Organisms Interact, students research an ecosystem of their choice and investigate the different types of organismal interactions found in the ecosystem. They also analyze data to make predictions about how resource availability may affect the organisms involved.
  • LS2.B-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 3: Matter and Energy in Ecosystems, students examine models of food chains and food webs in ponds and rainforests. They use these models to explain and answer questions about how matter and energy are transferred within an ecosystem.
  • LS2.C-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 1: Biodiversity in Ecosystems, students use a model showing the resulting impacts on biodiversity in ecosystems with different amounts of rainfall to explain how rainfall could influence species abundance over time.
  • LS2.C-M2.  In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Unit Project: Evaluate Biodiversity Design Solutions, students investigate and present on a design problem related to biodiversity loss. Completing the project requires students to understand this DCI element, as they are asked to determine whether an ecosystem with high or low biodiversity would recover more quickly after a disturbance.
  • LS3.A-M1.  In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 1: Inheritance, students read about, examine a model, and explain the relationships between DNA, chromosomes, genes, and traits.
  • LS3.A-M2. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 2: Asexual and Sexual Reproduction, a “Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning” sidebar in the Teacher Edition prompts students to explain why white pea flowers appeared in a second generation of all purple pea plants. To correctly explain this, students need to demonstrate understanding of sexual reproduction and recessive alleles.
  • LS3.B-M1.  In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 1: Inheritance, students use the laws of inheritance and a Punnett Square to explore how traits (e.g., flower color) can be determined genetically.
  • LS3.B-M2. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 1Z: Genetic Change and Traits, students are asked to explain how a single gene could cause a lobster to be blue through the lesson-level Can You Explain It? question. Throughout the lesson, they learn about genetic mutations and the possible changes to proteins and traits that can result.
  • LS4.A-M1. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 1: The Fossil Record, students engage in a number of different activities that address this DCI element. They first read about relative dating and the different laws that guide the process. They then research an index fossil of their choice and explain how their fossils would help determine the ages of other fossils, followed by using an absolutely dated rock layer to estimate the ages of fossils. At the end of the lesson, students research one of the five major mass extinctions and determine the effect on the diversity of life, using the fossil record as evidence.
  • LS4.A-M2. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 2: Patterns of Change in Life on Earth, students create a flowchart showing the changes in body and limb anatomy over time to show the evolutionary changes that took place in the transition from aquatic to land-dwelling organisms.
  • LS4.B-M1. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, You Solve It Simulation: Is Antibiotic Use Related to Antibiotic Resistance in E. coli?, students investigate how natural selection plays a role in the antibiotic resistance of E. coli by analyzing simulated data from different states to compare the number of prescribed antibiotics to the percentages of resistant bacteria.
  • LS4.B-M2. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 3: Human Influence on Inheritance, Lesson 1: Artificial Selection, students engage in a hands-on lab in which they make observations about wild cabbage and vegetables bred from the wild cabbage. They then make a claim about how one of the vegetables might have developed through selective breeding.
  • LS4.C-M1. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 2: Natural Selection, students read several case studies on trait variation in different organismal populations. They use trait distribution graphs and information on the environment to answer questions relating the two factors. Then they look at the distribution of traits of ground finches on the Galapagos Islands before and after a drought and use that information to predict the distribution after an unusually wet season.
  • LS4.D-M1. In Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Maintaining Diversity, students learn about the services that ecosystems provide, such as water filtration and erosion control. The lesson discusses how loss of biodiversity can impact ecosystem health - such as cutting down trees increasing erosion and fertilizer runoff into streams. Students have several opportunities throughout lesson to consider how human impacts can severely reduce biodiversity.

Example of grade-band life science DCI element partially addressed in the materials:

  • LS4.A-M3: In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: History of Life on Earth, Lesson 3: Evidence of Common Ancestry, students compare pictures of different vertebrate species’ embryos. They answer a multiple-choice question about the characteristics shared when the organisms are embryos and that they do not share when they are fully developed. This DCI element is weakly addressed, given the minimal amount of student engagement with the concept.

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate all grade-band components and all the associated elements of the earth and space sciences DCIs across the series. The earth and space sciences DCIs are addressed in four modules: Module E: Earth’s Water and Atmosphere; Module F: Geologic Processes and History; Module G: Earth and Human Activity; Module H: Space Science.

Throughout these modules, students have multiple opportunities to engage with the elements of the earth and space sciences DCIs, through a varied set of learning activities (e.g., online simulations, hands-on labs, writing an evidence-based explanation about the lesson-level phenomenon) and prompts for teachers’ instruction found in the Teacher Edition (e.g., student collaboration activities). There are some inconsistencies in the frequency of coverage of earth and space sciences DCI elements across the materials, with some of the elements addressed multiple times, and others only addressed once. Additionally, in some cases, individual elements are met through student engagement in multiple activities or lessons, rather than being fully met through a single activity.

Examples of grade-band earth and space sciences DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ESS1.A-M1. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 1: Patterns in the Solar System, Performance Task: How can you model the Earth-Sun-Moon System?, students design and construct a working model of the Earth-Sun-Moon system to be used with third graders to explain moon phases, eclipses, and seasons.
  • ESS1.A-M2. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 3: Earth’s Place in the Universe, the lesson-level Can You Explain It? task asks students “How can we make a model of the Milky Way galaxy that shows Earth’s location?” Students’ explanation in response to this question requires them to draw on their understanding from the lesson about the properties of the Milky Way galaxy and the lines of evidence that allow us to know about those properties.
  • ESS1.B-M1. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 2: Earth and the Solar System, students analyze data that supports and refutes early models of the solar system, which include the sun, planets and their moons, asteroids, comets and meteoroids.
  • ESS1.B-M2. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 1: Patterns in the Solar System, Lesson 1: Patterns in the Solar System, students engage in a hands-on lab to model the Earth-Sun-Moon system to explain solar and lunar eclipses. In Lesson 2: Seasons, students engage in another hands-on lab to model sunlight distribution during different seasons by shining a light on a foam ball at different angles and calculating the area.
  • ESS1.B-M3.  In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 1: The Formation of the Solar System, students explain how criteria for a space object to be classified as a planet relates to Kant’s nebular hypothesis, focusing on how planets “cleared the neighborhood” because their mass attracts smaller bodies as they orbit. They next identify characteristics of the solar system that are explained by Laplace’s hypothesis of solar system formation by analyzing a graphic and online animation of gravity drawing together dust and gas.
  • ESS1.C-M1. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 2: Earth Through Time, Lesson 1: The Age of Earth’s Rocks, students determine the relative ages of rock layers in a diagram. They then read about the difference between relative and absolute ages of rocks, and analyze data on half-lives of different elements to understand absolute dating.
  • ESS1.C-M2. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, students explain the age of the ocean floor at ridges and trenches using patterns in global rock age data.
  • ESS2.A-M1. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 2: The Rock Cycle, students describe and model the rock cycle, including the energy source that drives each part of the process.
  • ESS2.A-M2.  In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Unit Project: Feature Future, students choose a geological feature to research the timeline of its formation and geological processes that have changed this feature over time. Students then use evidence to predict how the feature will change in the future.
  • ESS2.B-M1. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, students explain how their observations of fossil and landform data on maps has changed their thinking about whether the continents have moved over time.
  • ESS2.C-M1. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 3: The Water Cycle, students closely examine the water cycle. Students are shown a picture of glaciers and snow covered mountains and the ocean, and describe two ways that liquid water could have come to this location on Earth. Students also model the formation of clouds and rain through condensation, precipitation, and then deposition in a hands-on investigation.
  • ESS2.C-M2. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 1: Influences on Weather, students explore how the patterns of the movement of water can cause atmospheric changes that affect the weather in an area. They examine maps of prevailing winds and ocean currents and explain how winds cause surface currents.
  • ESS2.C-M3. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Unit Project: Energy Flow in the Earth System, students explore how energy from the sun and gravity power the water cycle as they create a model to show energy flow through Earth’s systems.
  • ESS2.C-M4. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 2: Circulation in Earth’s Oceans, students develop a model, read about, and examine a diagram of convection currents. They then explain how a drop of water would travel in a convection current due to changes in density from salinity and temperature.
  • ESS2.C-M5. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 1: Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition, students look for evidence of weathering and erosion in a picture of the Mesa Verde Canyon in Arizona. They are asked to predict and draw what the canyon will look like in one million years if water continues to flow.
  • ESS2.D-M1.  In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 3: Influences on Climate, students analyze data on the albedo effect and how it changes with seasons. They then read about and summarize patterns related to how latitude impacts climate and interacts with other factors like ocean currents, wind, and elevation.
  • ESS2.D-M2. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 2: Weather Prediction, students examine the usefulness and limitations of predicting the weather. Students analyze data to see the complex relationships and understand how predictions are made using mathematical models.
  • ESS2.D-M3. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 3: Influences on Climate, students use a diagram of Earth’s regional climates to answer the question (in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition): “How does a large body of water lead to a milder climate for a coastal area, as compared to one inland at the same latitude?”
  • ESS3.A-M1. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 2: Resources in Earth’s Systems, Lesson 2: The Distribution of Natural Resources, students compare nonrenewable and renewable energy resources, as well as mineral and freshwater resources. They observe a U.S. map and relate regional resource availability to differences in to the geologic processes that formed those regions.
  • ESS3.B-M1. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, students analyze data on lightning and human-caused fires and the monthly occurrence of fires in general. They use that information to determine in which states and during which months they should focus a public awareness campaign.
  • ESS3.C-M1. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 3: Using Resources, Lesson 2: Resource Use and Earth’s Systems, students use claim, evidence and reasoning to explain the impact the Elwha Dam has had on migrating fish species. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 4: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, Lesson 2: Engineer It: Reducing Human Impacts on the Environment, students view a map of a town and use that information to determine what areas should be monitored in order to minimize impacts of pollution on the environment.
  • ESS3.C-M2. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 3: Using Resources, Lesson 1: Human Population and Resource Use, students read and analyze data in two different graphs to assess the negative impacts that population size has on water use and timber consumption.
  • ESS3.D-M1. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, Lesson 3: Climate Change, students engage in a hands-on lab to model the impact that a greenhouse has on temperature and relate that to greenhouse gases and their effect on Earth’s temperatures. Later in the same lesson, students use a pie chart showing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by source to brainstorm how that individuals, businesses, and governments could reduce their emissions. Students also evaluate two different possible solutions for reducing emissions.

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate all grade-band components and all the associated elements of the engineering, technology, and applications of science (ETS) DCIs across the series. One module (Module A: Engineering and Science) focuses particularly on the ETS DCIs, but all other modules provide opportunities for students to undertake engineering-related DCIs as they simultaneously engage with the science DCIs (life, physical, and/or earth/space). These opportunities are consistently labeled as Engineer It activities and are generally embedded within lessons; occasionally, an entire lesson sequence is an Engineer It activity.

Throughout the materials, students have multiple opportunities to engage with the elements of the ETS DCIs, through a varied set of learning activities (e.g., online simulations, hands-on labs, writing an evidence-based explanation about the lesson-level phenomenon) and prompts for teachers’ instruction found in the Teacher Edition (e.g., student collaboration activities).

Examples of grade-band ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-M1. In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 2: Energy Transfer, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy Transfer in Systems, students define criteria and constraints as they work through a lesson-level design challenge to develop a lunch carrier that minimizes the amount of heat transfer.
  • ETS1.B-M1. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 2: The Practices of Engineering, Lesson 2: Developing and Testing Solutions, students read about the importance of testing solutions to iteratively improve designs, and they then engage in a hands-on lab to design a model car. The lab entails testing their design to make improvements. Students also are asked to explain their own ideas about the purposes of carrying out multiple tests for a designed solution.
  • ETS1.B-M2. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 3 Engineer It: Maintaining Biodiversity, there is a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Edition, in which students are presented with a design problem related to pollution and asked to evaluate solutions to reduce pollution per person. Students list criteria and constraints of a solution (e.g., low-cost, impacts on livelihood) and then evaluate each solution on a peer’s list to determine which best meets the criteria and constraints.
  • ETS1.B-M3. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 2: The Practices of Engineering, Lesson 3: Optimizing Solutions, students read about the development of the modern day cell phone and consider how the engineering design process works much better with multiple ideas that can be combined to make the best solution. Students then explain their ideas about what might happen if they were limited to only one idea during the engineering design process and should describe that the number of possible solutions would be limited.
  • ETS1.B-M4. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 2: Weather Prediction, students practice using a mathematical model to predict temperature. They read about how snowy tree crickets chirp at different rates depending on the air temperature and are then given a set of chirp data and the rate equation to calculate temperatures
  • ETS1.C-M1. In Module A: Engineering & Science, You Solve It Simulation: How Can You Plan Efficient Cargo Shipping?, students iteratively analyze data on the cost of shipping cars in a cargo ship, in order to minimize the cost for a car company. As they run different simulations set to different criteria, they incorporate the strategies that worked from previous runs, in order to optimize their solution to the design problem and recommend a transportation strategy in their final report for the activity.
  • ETS1.C-M2. In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Transforming Potential Energy, students engage in the design cycle to test a toy they have designed to teach about potential energy. In a hands-on lab, they iteratively analyze their results from testing the toy and make changes to their design. Students also read about how this evaluation process helps to optimize solutions for design problems.

Indicator 2e

Materials incorporate all grade-band Science and Engineering Practices.
0/0

Indicator 2e.i

Asking Questions and Defining Problems
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Asking Questions and Defining Problems and nearly all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP.

While this SEP is generally present throughout the modules, certain elements of the practice are used less frequently than others (SEP-AQDP-M3, SEP-AQDP-M6) and one element is missing entirely (SEP-AQDP-M7). Additionally, the Asking Questions element of this SEP is present at the end of each lesson within a Collaboration sidebar that is only found in the print version of the Teacher Edition (and could be missed by teachers). In the Collaboration sidebar, students are prompted to identify new questions, often as a way to extend student learning after the lesson is over. As such, the materials are designed with this SEP and its elements often present as an extension activity.

Examples of grade-band elements of Asking Questions and Defining Problems present in the materials:

  • AQDP-M1. In Module K: Forces, Motions, and Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motions, Lesson 3: Newton’s Laws of Motion, an ELA connection activity prompts students to generate their own questions about the forces involved after observing a photo of bumper cars.
  • AQDP-M2. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 1: Circulation in Earth’s Atmosphere, a Collaboration sidebar prompts students to construct models to show what they know about air circulation, wind, and Earth’s rotation. They are then asked to give feedback to group members on their respective models by asking clarifying questions or explaining why they agree or disagree with their answers.
  • AQDP-M3. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 2: Plant Bodies as Systems, a Collaborate opportunity at the end of the lesson prompts students to define questions to ask about plant growth (dependent variable) in space (independent variable). Students determine what evidence they would need to collect to answer their questions.
  • AQDP-M4. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 1: Introduction to Engineering and Science, Lesson 1: Engineering, Science, and Society, students watch a video of volcanologist exploring a volcano and generate questions about the purpose of the engineered items used by the scientist.
  • AQDP-M5. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 2: Circulation in Earth’s Oceans, students generate three questions that could be investigated by physical oceanographers.
  • AQDP-M6. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 1: Parts of an Ecosystem, students undertake a hands-on lab in which they observe an area of their schoolyard and ask a question that involves a specific part or parts of the environment of study. This question is then used to design an investigation.
  • AQDP-M8. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Reducing the Effects of Natural Hazards, students are given a chart of tornado-related mitigation needs (e.g., “protect cattle from a tornado”). They articulate the engineering problem for each mitigation need and identify criteria and constraints.

Example of grade-band element of Asking Questions and Defining problems missing from the materials:

  • SEP-AQDP-M7. The materials do not require that students ask questions that challenge the premise(s) of an argument or the interpretation of a data set.

Indicator 2e.ii

Developing and Using Models
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Developing and Using Models and all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP. The materials include numerous opportunities for students to develop or use models.

Examples of grade-band elements of Developing and Using Models present in the materials:

  • MOD-M1. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Unit Project: Museum Model, students design a museum exhibit that models the Milky Way and the role of gravity in the formation and motions of the galaxy. Step 6 of the project involves students evaluating their classmates’ models by assuming the role of the museum board considering the proposals.
  • MOD-M2. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 1: Cells, Performance Task: “How can doctors explain what sickle cell anemia is to affected children?”, students construct two comparative models of red blood cells: one from a healthy person and one from a person with sickle cell disease. Models show what happens to the cell when a person has this disease.
  • MOD-M3. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Unit Project: Energy Flow in the Earth System, students develop a model of a specific path of energy flow of their choice, showing changes in energy types, energy transfer, and energy cycling through the four spheres of the Earth system. Through the project debrief, students consider how changing one factor in their model could cause other changes, as well as the uncertainty of aspects of their particular model.
  • MOD-M4. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 4: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, Lesson 3: Climate Change, students construct and use a model that represents the greenhouse effect. Students gather temperature data from their model, and then propose improvements so that the model could better represent the Earth system.
  • MOD-M5. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 1: Genetic Change and Traits, students use paper strips to model the process of protein folding. They go through the process twice with two different “proteins,” and then answer questions about the differences in the resulting protein based on the differences in the amino acid sequences and how they were folded.
  • MOD-M6. In Module K: Forces, Motions, and Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 3: Fields, students plan an investigation using provided materials to model the magnetic fields around magnets. Students create models using field lines of three different magnets. Then they choose a model and explain why the model provides evidence that magnetic fields exist between magnets that are not touching.
  • MOD-M7. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 2: Kinetic and Potential Energy, students create three different systems with materials given and describe how the kinetic and potential energy of the objects in the system (e.g., pendulum, bouncing ball) change over time. Students then choose one situation and list the inputs and outputs of energy, the energy transformations that took place, and where maximum kinetic and potential energy exist in the system.

Indicator 2e.iii

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations and all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP.

Examples of grade-band elements of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations present in the materials:

  • INV-M1. In Module C: Ecology & The Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 2: Resource Availability in Ecosystems, students plan and conduct an investigation to examine the relationship between a limiting factor (water or sunlight) and bean plant growth. Students identify variables and controls, the type of data they will collect, and how it will be recorded. Students make a claim based on results and are given an opportunity to suggest how they could improve their procedure to obtain clearer results.
  • INV-M2. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Lesson 2: Natural Hazard Prediction, students conduct an investigation to model the process of predicting a landslide. Students set up four different slopes of different angles. Students place damp soil on the slope, spray with water until saturated, and make observations. This evidence is then used to determine the areas most at risk in a town situated on a slope.
  • INV-M3. In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 2: Information Transfer, Lesson 3: Communication Technology, students plan and carry out an investigation to accurately record a rolling ball’s position as many times as possible. They consider major issues that prevented collecting more or accurate data. Students then plan for how they can use technology to increase precision and accuracy of measurements.
  • INV-M4. In Module K: Forces, Motions, and Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 1: Magnetic Forces, students investigate the amount of mass that can be held by different sized magnets. After making observations and collecting data, students develop a process to increase the accuracy of measuring the maximum amount of mass that each magnet can hold. Students use evidence and reasoning to explain how the type of magnet affects the strength of the magnetic force.
  • INV-M5. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, You Solve It simulation: "How can you design a heat pack?", students design and test heat packs for relieving injuries. Students adjust the simulated experiment parameters, including the temperature of the room, to collect data to determine which conditions are best for the heat pack to meet design criteria.

Indicator 2e.iv

Analyzing and Interpreting Data
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Analyzing and Interpreting Data and all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP. The elements were present multiple times and distributed across the discipline-specific modules. Two elements were only present once in the materials (SEP-DATA-M3, SEP-DATA-M6).

Examples of grade-band elements of Analyzing and Interpreting Data present in the materials:

  • DATA-M1. In Module C: Ecology & The Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems, Lesson 2: Resource Availability in Ecosystems, students examine the relationship between population size and the availability of resources through a graphical display showing linear relationships. A sidebar of the Teacher Edition prompts teachers to ask students to determine if population size is directly or inversely related to the amount of resources.
  • DATA-M2. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 2: Resources in Earth Systems, Lesson 2: The Distribution of Natural Resources, students analyze graphical data through a map of mineral deposits in North America. They identify areas which have cluster of deposits and consider what the resources have in common. Students also consider landforms and features in the western U.S. and explain why resources might be concentrated there.
  • DATA-M3. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards,  Lesson 1: Natural Hazards, students are asked to analyze maps showing historic earthquake locations and earthquake hazard level and determine if there is a correlation between these two factors.
  • DATA-M4. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, students explain how their observations of fossil and landform data on maps has changed their thinking about whether the continents have moved over time.
  • DATA-M5. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth, Lesson 3: Plant Reproduction and Growth, students analyze a large dataset on honeybee colony loss and determine factors such as the average total annual loss and the percentage of acceptable loss for given years. They use their analysis of these data to make sense of bee colony collapse disorder.
  • DATA-M6. In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 2: Information Transfer, Lesson 3: Communication Technology, students plan and carry out an investigation to accurately record a rolling ball’s position as many times as possible. They consider major issues that prevented collecting more or accurate data. Students then plan for how they can use technology to increase precision and accuracy of measurements.
  • DATA-M7. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 2: Earth and the Solar System, students are asked to “analyze data that do not fit the model.” They explain similarities and differences between observations used to support geocentric models of the solar system and other observed phenomena.  
  • DATA-M8. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 2: The Practices of Engineering, Lesson 2: Developing and Testing Solutions, students use a decision matrix to evaluate different solutions to the design problem of designing a container to take soup to school. They use specific criteria to rate and rank each solution.

Indicator 2e.v

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking and all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP. The elements were generally present multiple times and distributed across the discipline-specific modules. Two elements were only present once in the materials (SEP-MATH-M1, SEP-MATH-M3).

Examples of grade-band elements of Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking present in the materials:

  • MATH-M1. In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 1: Waves, You Solve It Simulation, “How can we harvest energy from ocean waves?”, students use a simulation of a wave-power generator to collect data on the relationship between wave height and period when generating electrical energy. Students then use additional data sets that include wave height and period for all twelve months of the year for three different locations to argue for the best place for a wave-energy generator farm.
  • MATH-M2. In Module I: Energy and Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 2: Kinetic and Potential Energy, students plot data of two different graphical relationships and determine whether they are linear or nonlinear. Then they describe the relationship between kinetic energy and mass and kinetic energy and speed, and give examples of how changing an object’s mass or speed changes its kinetic energy.
  • MATH-M3. In Module L: Waves and Their Applications, Unit 2: Information Transfer, Lesson 2: Analog and Digital Signals, students learn to code and decode graphs of binary signals used in computers. They then collaborate with a partner to create a way to send a digital signal using light and test out their method.
  • MATH-M4. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 1: Cells, Lesson 2: Cell Structures and Function, students use gelatin cubes as cell models to investigate cell size and the function of the cell membrane. They use equations to describe the relationship between surface-area-to-volume ratio and time it took for the cubes to dissolve. They then compare their results to the functioning of the cell membrane and how a larger ratio would impact movement of materials in and out of the cell.
  • MATH-M5. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 4: The Chemistry of Materials, You Solve It Simulation, “How can you make a Synthetic Magnet?”: Using an online simulation, students design different cow magnets by changing the grade, shape and volume of a magnetic alloy to meet specific volume, strength, and resistance criteria. Students use concepts of percentage when choosing material amounts to create new alloys and volume when determining the size of different magnet designs. They then test and compare their designed magnets in the simulation to make an argument for the best design solution.

Indicator 2e.vi

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions and all the associated grade-band elements across the series, and include few elements of this SEP from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this SEP.

This SEP occurs regularly throughout the materials. Every 5E lesson sequence ends with a Can You Explain It section that requires students to write a claim in response to the lesson-level phenomenon, support their claim with evidence from the lesson’s activities, and explain using scientific reasoning. While the materials do incorporate all elements of this SEP, certain elements are present more frequently than others. For example, SEP-CEDS-M4 is the element with which students most frequently engage through the Can You Explain It prompt at the end of each lesson, while students engage in SEP-CEDS-M5 the least frequently throughout the materials.

Examples of grade-band elements of Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions present in the materials:

  • CEDS-M1. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 4: Information Processing in Animals, students explain trends in data on hazel dormice hibernation. They identify variables to express the amount of weight gained by dormice in different times of the year, and then explain their interpretation of the hibernation patterns.
  • CEDS-M2. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 1: Circulation in Earth’s Atmosphere, students use evidence from a picture of a windstorm to write an initial explanation on how air moves matter and transfers energy.
  • CEDS-M3. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Unit Project, “Feature Future,” students use evidence from their own research to predict how their chosen geological feature will change in the future.
  • CEDS-M4. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 1: Matter and Energy in Organisms, students consider how a tiny plant can become a giant tree if matter cannot be created nor destroyed. They construct an explanation for how an organism grows if new matter is not created.
  • CEDS-M5. In Module H: Space Science, students make a claim and use evidence and reasoning to explain why the Earth is a planet. They then choose another space object, such as Pluto, to explain why it is not a planet, according to criteria for classifying planets.
  • CEDS-M6. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 4: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, Lesson 2: Engineer It: Reducing Human Impacts on the Environment, students design a method to monitor solid waste from their school. They research and define the problem, brainstorm and evaluate solutions, and propose how to test their chosen solution.
  • CEDS-M7. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Performance-Based Assessment (Digital Only Material): “Stopping Road Erosion,” students analyze a road that is being damaged by erosion. Students need to use the design process to research causes of erosion and potential solutions. Students construct a solution that meets the following design criteria and constraints: materials and processes, environmental impacts, and estimated cost of design.
  • CEDS-M8. In Module J: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Transforming Potential Energy, students design a toy to teach potential energy. They use criteria and constraints and then research possible solutions for the problem. Students then choose the design they believe is most promising and build a prototype to test their toy design. Students analyze their results, determine how well it meets the criteria and constraints specified, and explain the changes they will make to their design. After implementing those changes, they re-analyze the performance of the toy to see if it better meets the criteria and constraints.

Indicator 2e.vii

Engaging in Argument from Evidence
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 partially meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Engaging in Argument from Evidence and nearly all the associated grade-band elements across the series. The elements were generally present multiple times and distributed across the discipline-specific modules. However, one element (SEP-ARG-M1) is not present in the materials and SEP-ARG-M4 is only partially addressed by the materials.

Examples of grade-band elements of Engaging in Argument from Evidence present in the materials:

  • ARG-M2. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 1: Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition, students work with a partner to identify where they should first search for gold in a drawing of a model landform area. Using their knowledge of erosion, weathering and deposition, students use evidence from the model to derive an argument for their decision.
  • ARG-M3. In Module L: Waves and their Applications, Performance-Based Assessment, “Researching Light Detectors,” students research analog and digital methods to propose a device to view detailed structures of nearby galaxies. Students then create and present a poster arguing why their design should be selected by a company.
  • ARG-M5. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 2: The Practices of Engineering, Lesson 2: Developing and Testing Solutions, students are given data on the time it took for parachutes of different sizes to slow the fall of an egg. They evaluate the claim that a parachute with a larger area is always better as it provides more air resistance, using the dataset to explain whether it supports or refutes the claim presented.


Example of grade-band element of Engaging in Argument from Evidence partially addressed in the materials:

  • ARG-M4. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Maintaining Biodiversity, students present a written argument to support or refute a claim about clear-cutting being justified in order to have more space to grow crops. Through this activity, they are evaluating a process, but do not consider if the technology meets relevant criteria and constraints (as defined in this SEP element).

Example of grade-band element of Engaging in Argument from Evidence missing from the materials:

  • ARG-M1. The materials do not require that students compare and critique two arguments on the same topic and analyze whether they emphasize similar or different evidence and/or interpretations of facts.

Indicator 2e.viii

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the science and engineering practice of Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information and all of the associated grade-band elements across the series. The materials incorporate the use of this SEP throughout a variety of types of learning activities. Additionally, there was one example of SEP-INFO-M4 in the materials, and it was partially addressed.

Examples of grade-band elements of Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information present in the materials:

  • INFO-M1. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 3: Engineering It: Maintaining Biodiversity, students find evidence from the text that supports the claim that a reduction in tiger shark population will have a large impact on the population of other species.
  • INFO-M2. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 2: Weather and Climate, Lesson 2: Weather Prediction, students read about how weather forecasts at different timescales are generated from models. They then cite evidence from the text and a 1-day precipitation forecast map to explain how a weather forecast can be useful. They use the information to give advice to someone planning a vacation to a specific place on the map.
  • INFO-M3. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 4: The Chemistry of Materials, Lesson 1: Natural and Synthetic Materials, students are given a list of possible sources of information to conduct research about synthetic vanillin. They first evaluate the reliability of the sources and then conduct research on how synthetic vanillin is made and the advantages of disadvantages of using it. Students use their research to write a marketing pitch for synthetic vanillin for a consumer audience.
  • INFO-M5. In Module A: Engineering & Society, Unit 1: Introduction to Engineering and Science, Lesson 1: Engineering, Science, and Society, students use multiple sources to write about how scientific discoveries (e.g., circuits and semiconductors) have resulted in the development of new technologies (e.g., computers).

Example of grade-band element of Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information partially addressed in the materials:

  • INFO-M4. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 2: Earth and the Solar System, students explain similarities and differences between the observations used to support Aristotle and Ptolemy’s models of the solar system and other observed phenomena which do not fit their models of the solar system. This partially addresses the element, in that explaining similarities and differences is a limited way of “evaluating,” as stated in the element description.

Indicator 2f

Materials incorporate all grade-band Crosscutting Concepts.
0/0

Indicator 2f.i

Patterns
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Patterns and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of Patterns throughout a variety of types of learning activities across the modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC.

Examples of grade-band elements of Patterns present in the materials:

  • PAT-M1. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 2: Circulation in Earth’s Oceans, students observe a NASA satellite data model of water movements on the ocean surface. They are asked to identify patterns to consider why there is so much movement in the ocean, and relate those patterns to the movement of water molecules.
  • PAT-M2. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 4: Electromagnetism, students create a graph of data to determine how current changes with relation to the number of loops in a solenoid (a cylindrical coil of wire acting as a magnet when carrying electric current.).
  • PAT-M3. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 2: Resources in Earth Systems, Lesson 2: The Distribution of Natural Resources, students use a map showing the distributions of natural gas, oil, and coal and relate their distributions to the processes that formed them.
  • PAT-M4. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 1: The History of Life on Earth, Lesson 1: The Fossil Record, a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Edition prompts students to analyze images of coprolites from five different ancient animals and use the patterns found in their shapes to determine whether the organism was most likely a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore.

Indicator 2f.ii

Cause and Effect
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Cause and Effect and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of Cause and Effect throughout a variety of types of learning activities across modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC. However, there is some variation in the frequency with which the materials draw upon the elements, with the materials using CCC-CE-M2 more frequently than the other two elements, and CCC-CE-M1 is addressed only partially in the materials.

Examples of grade-band elements of Cause and Effect present in the materials:

  • CE-M2. In Module K: Forces, Motions, & Fields, Unit 1: Forces and Motion, Lesson 4: Engineer It: Collisions between Objects, students consider the impacts of a satellite colliding with space debris. They draw a diagram showing the collision, force arrows, and the likely resulting effects.
  • CE-M3. This CCC element is only partially addressed in the materials. For example, in Module C: Ecology and the Environment, Unit 3: Ecosystem Dynamics, Lesson 1: Biodiversity in Ecosystems, the Can You Explain It? activity for the lesson entails students examining images of a riverside community before and after a flood. They generate cause and effect statements regarding the impacts on the ecosystem shown in the photos. In the Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Edition for this activity, teachers are prompted to have students work in groups to identify other cause and effect relationships between the heavy rains and ecosystems shown in the photos; however, neither of these activities addresses the probability aspect described in the second part of this CCC element.


Example of grade-band element of Cause and Effect partially addressed in the materials:

  • CE-M1. Although this CCC element only appears once in the materials, it is fully and clearly addressed. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 4: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, Lesson 3: Climate Change, students read about the differences between correlation and causation and how scientists gather data to distinguish between the two. They compare the relationships between two sets of line graphs showing changes over time: ice cream sales and air temperature, and pet adoptions and air temperature. They then analyze two graphs showing global temperature data and atmospheric carbon dioxide and determine whether there is a correlation. Finally, students generate questions they would investigate to confirm if there was a causal relationship between the two variables.

Indicator 2f.iii

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Scale, Proportion, and Quantity and nearly all the associated grade-band elements across the series. The materials incorporate the use of Scale, Proportion, and Quantity throughout a variety of types of learning activities. The majority of the CCC elements are used to help students understand the relevant DCIs for each discipline-specific module, but are especially concentrated within the Earth & Space Science modules (E, F, G, & H). Additionally, the materials do not fully incorporate the element CCC-SPQ-M2, as only one partial example was found throughout the materials.

Examples of grade-band elements of Scale, Proportion, and Quantity present in the materials:

  • SPQ-M1. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 1: Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition, students use images of specific geologic features as models for the processes of weathering and erosion. They observe the processes over different time scales and predict what a canyon will look like after 1 million years of the processes taking place.
  • SPQ-M3. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 2: Earth and the Solar System, students undertake a hands-on lab in which they build a scale model of the Solar System. By comparing the diameter of solar system objects to their distances from the sun, students learn that these objects are very tiny compared to the spaces between them.
  • SPQ-M4. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transfer, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 2: Kinetic and Potential Energy, students plot data relating mass and kinetic energy and match the shape of their graph to a graph of an equation (showing linear versus exponential relationships). They repeat this process for data relating speed and kinetic energy. Students then describe the relationship between an object’s mass, speed, and kinetic energy.  
  • SPQ-M5. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Unit Opener, a Collaboration sidebar prompts teachers to have students work in small groups. Half of the groups brainstorm examples of systems that are scaled down so that they can be easily analyzed; the other half brainstorms systems that are scaled up so that they can be easily analyzed.

Example of grade-band element of Scale, Proportion, and Quantity partially addressed in the materials:

  • SPQ-M2. This CCC element was found once in the materials, and is partially addressed. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 1: The Formation of the Solar System, there is a Tip feature in the Student Edition of the digital materials. Students first consider how the concept of relative size and distance are useful for modeling the solar system. They then have the option to click on a Tip Box, which opens up to describe how the scale of physical models is crucial to accurately depict the phenomena that they are meant to model. The element is only partially met because designed systems are not addressed; additionally, it is not clear how students are meant to use the information, and it could be easily missed since it is in an optional Tip Box.

Indicator 2f.iv

Systems and System Models
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Systems and System Models and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of System and System Models throughout a variety of types of learning activities across modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC. However, there is some variation in the frequency with which the materials draw upon the elements, with CCC-SYS-M2 used more frequently than the other elements, and the element CCC-SYS-M3 is addressed once in the materials.

Examples of grade-band elements of Patterns present in the materials:

  • SYS-M1. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 4: Earth’s Changing Surface, students describe subsystem interactions for different natural hazards. Students examine a photo of a forest fire and explain the cycling of matter and energy that could occur in each subsystem interaction.
  • SYS-M2. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 3: Chemical Processes and Equations, Lesson 3: Engineer It: Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes, students explain the flow of thermal energy in a system consisting of a hot metal object submerged in water. Students also explain what the arrows in the model represent. They subsequently draw a model of how thermal energy flows in a system of ice cubes on a kitchen counter.
  • SYS-M3. Although this CCC element only appears once in the materials, it is fully and clearly addressed. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 4: Human Impacts on Earth’s System, Lesson 3: Climate Change, students complete a hands-on lab in which they model the greenhouse effect using a plastic model. As part of the lab debrief, they describe differences between their model and the real world. Then students suggest how they might improve their model to better represent the Earth system.

Indicator 2f.v

Energy and Matter
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Energy and Matter and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of Energy and Matter throughout a variety of types of learning activities across the modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC.

Examples of grade-band elements of Energy and Matter present in the materials:

  • EM-M1. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 1: Matter and Energy in Living Systems, Lesson 1: Matter and Energy in Organisms, students consider how a tiny plant can become a giant tree if matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Students collaborate with a partner to construct an explanation for how an organism gains mass if new matter is not created.
  • EM-M2. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 2: The Rock Cycle, students write a story about a teaspoon of sediment moving through the rock cycle. In addition to demonstrating their understanding of the rock cycle through this writing activity and a visual diagram, students are prompted to include the “energy source that drives each part of the process.”
  • EM-M3. In Module E: Earth’s Water & Atmosphere, Unit 1: Circulation of Earth’s Air and Water, Lesson 1: Circulation in Earth’s Atmosphere, students analyze various scenarios describing atmospheric interactions of air and water. They identify the different transfers of energy in the scenarios, which requires them to apply their understanding of different forms of energy (e.g., kinetic, thermal).
  • EM-M4. In Module I: Energy & Energy Transformations, Unit 1: Energy, Lesson 2: Kinetic and Potential Energy, students engage in a hands-on lab in which they evaluate different systems (e.g., “a mass hanging from a string, swinging back and forth”) to describe how kinetic and gravitational potential energy of the objects in the systems change over time.

Indicator 2f.vi

Structure and Function
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Structure and Function and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of Structure and Function throughout a variety of types of learning activities across modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC.

Examples of grade-band elements of Structure and Function present in the materials:

  • SF-M1. In Module D: The Diversity of Living Things, Unit 2: Evolution, Lesson 1: Genetic Change and Traits, students engage in a hands-on lab to model protein folding of two different proteins. They then compare the two to determine how the change in the structure of the protein affects their functions.
  • SF-M2. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 4: The Chemistry of Materials, Lesson 2: Engineer It: The Life Cycle of Synthetic Materials, students explain how the end of the life cycle of a plastic bottle can be the beginning of the life cycle for a polyester jacket.

Indicator 2f.vii

Stability and Change
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

​The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate the crosscutting concept of Stability and Change and all grade-band elements across the series and the materials include few elements of this CCC from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band elements of this CCC. The materials incorporate the use of Stability and Change throughout a variety of types of learning activities across modules. Materials are designed for students to directly engage in building and using all elements of this CCC. However, the element CCC-SC-M1 is not addressed as frequently as the other CCC elements. There are only two examples of this element in the materials, and neither example fully addresses the element.  

Examples of grade-band elements of Structure and Function present in the materials:

  • SC-M2. In Module C: Ecology & the Environment, Unit 2: Relationships in Ecosystems,  Lesson 3: Patterns of Interaction, students engage in a hands-on simulation to model how seasonal changes affect populations of rabbits, clover plants, and coyotes. Students model what happens to each population during each season and then analyze how changes to one population have impacts on the other populations.
  • SC-M3. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 2, The Rock Cycle, students compare the amounts of time needed to form extrusive igneous rock versus metamorphic rock.
  • SC-M4. In Module B: Cells & Heredity, Unit 2: Organisms as Systems, Lesson 4: Information Processing in Animals, students describe how an animal reacts to changes to normal body temperature. They need to identify warming behaviors that help warm up a cooling body and the opposite feedback mechanisms as well. Students continue to investigate homeostasis throughout this lesson.

Example of grade-band element of Structure and Function partially addressed in the materials:

  • SC-M1. In Module J: Chemistry, Unit 4: The Chemistry of Materials, Lesson 2: Engineer It: The Life Cycle of Synthetic Materials, students explain why engineers need to consider how synthetic materials are disposed of, and whether the materials can break down over time or be reused. The materials miss an opportunity to engage students in examining the process at different scales.

Indicator 2g

Materials incorporate NGSS Connections to Nature of Science and Engineering
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for HMH Science Dimensions Grades 6-8 meet expectations that the materials incorporate grade-band NGSS connections to nature of science (NOS) and engineering (ENG) within individual lessons or activities across the series. Elements from all three of the following categories are included in the materials:

  • grade-band nature of science elements associated with SEPs
  • grade-band nature of science elements associated with CCCs
  • grade-band engineering elements associated with CCCs


These elements are included in the lesson-level overviews provided in the Teacher Edition that list the SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs that are addressed in the lessons. However, the elements are not consistently included in two of the digital features in the materials (HMH NGSS Trace Tool and View by Standards option for each module) that are meant to show instances of where the publisher intentionally designed learning opportunities that address specific SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs. According to these tools, several of these elements do not exist. This is a missed opportunity to clearly highlight the connections that the materials make to these important NGSS elements.

Additionally, some of the elements are presented without allowing students any chance to engage with the concept, instead listing a fact or statement. This is a missed opportunity for the materials as incorporating a few questions around the elements would have provided students with an opportunity for deeper engagement.  

The materials incorporate the majority of the connections to NOS elements associated with SEPs. The elements that are present are explicitly introduced, and the category is addressed in a range of modules across different disciplines. However, the materials do not address the following NOS elements: VOM-M1, VOM-M2, VOM-M4, ENP-M1, ENP-M4, and ENP-M5. Given that students consistently undertake investigations across the modules, it is a missed opportunity to incorporate explicit connections to elements related to investigations (e.g., NOS-VOM-M1, NOS-VOM-M2).

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with SEPs present in the materials:

  • NOS-VOM-M3. In Module G: Earth & Human Activity, Unit 1: Earth’s Natural Hazards, Lesson 2: Natural Hazard Prediction, students engage in a hands-on lab to model the impact slope has on landslides. They use their findings to explain where the greatest risk of damage from a landslide might occur in a town, given the slopes of different areas. Students evaluate the model that led to their explanation and propose improvements to the model.
  • NOS-BEE-M1. In Module K: Forces, Motions & Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 4: Electromagnetism, a Connection to Earth and Space Science sidebar in the Teacher Edition lists this category and provides information about how scientists use empirical evidence to study space phenomena, such as how knowledge of light waves and color, are used to determine a star’s temperature and distance from Earth. This is an example of presenting information that addresses the element without prompting teachers or enabling students to engage with the concept.
  • NOS-ENP-M2. In Module F: Geologic Processes & History, Unit 1: The Dynamic Earth, Lesson 3: Earth’s Plates, a Misconception Alert sidebar in the Teacher Edition addresses the possible student misconception that old theories are completely wrong. The text prompts teachers to have students explain how theories evolve over time with new evidence.

The materials incorporate the majority of the connections to NOS elements associated with CCCs. The materials present some of the elements on several occasions and across disciplines. For example, NOS-HE-M4 is introduced in many occasions and throughout many modules. Other elements were only incorporated once throughout the materials, such as NOS-AOC-M2 and NOS- HE-M1. Additionally, the materials do not address the following NOS elements: WOK-M1, HE-M2, AQAW-M2.

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • NOS-WOK-M2. In Module H: Space Science, Unit 2: The Solar System and Universe, Lesson 1: The Formation of the Solar System, a Collaboration sidebar in the Teacher Edition prompts teachers to “facilitate a discussion about how Pierre-Simon Laplace built upon Immanuel Kant’s hypothesis” about the formation of the solar system. The guidance for the discussion further states that students should recognize that scientists regularly expand on the work of others and that significant discoveries are often the work of multiple people.
  • NOS-HE-M4. In Module L: Waves and Their Application, Unit 2: Information Transfer, Lesson 3: Communication Technology, students conduct a short research assignment about how the internet has revolutionized a scientific field. In an accompanying formative assessment prompt in a sidebar of the Teacher Edition, students develop an evidence-based claim to explain why new technologies are linked to scientific advances.
  • NOS-AQAW-M1. In the HMH Google Expedition: Spirit: The Life of a Robot (Teacher’s Edition, digital materials only), students learn that without the development of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, scientists would not have evidence of the possibility of water on Mars in the past. The data collected by these rovers allowed scientists to construct explanations using patterns of rock formation to suggest water once flowed on this planet. This leads to the discussion of the possibility of life on Mars.

The materials incorporate all of the connections to ENG elements associated with CCCs. The elements are incorporated across all disciplines, but are especially concentrated in Module A: Engineering & Science.

Examples of grade-band connections to ENG elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • ENG-INTER-M2. In Module K: Forces, Motions & Fields, Unit 2: Electric and Magnetic Forces, Lesson 2: Electric Forces, a Connection to Earth and Space Science sidebar in the Teacher Edition lists this category and provides information about how understanding the nature of charge and electric force led to invention and development of electric circuits. This, in turn, led to advances in communication in the early 19th century. This is an example of presenting information that addresses the element without prompting teachers or enabling students to engage with the concept.
  • ENG-INFLU-M3. In Module A: Engineering & Science, Unit 2: The Practices of Engineering, Lesson 1: Defining Engineering Problems, students consider what questions they should ask to help define the problem of open kitchen fires and simple stoves. They analyze an infographic from the World Health Organization to consider how different economic conditions lead to different types of technologies for cooking food, with potential safety implications for people’s safety and the surrounding environment.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3d

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

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Criterion 3e - 3k

Materials are designed to support all students in learning.

Indicator 3e

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

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Indicator 3k

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

Criterion 3l - 3s

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Indicator 3s

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

Criterion 3t - 3y

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3v

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

Indicator 3w

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

Indicator 3x

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

Indicator 3y

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

Criterion 3z - 3ad

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

Indicator 3z

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

Indicator 3aa

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

Indicator 3ab

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

Indicator 3ac

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

Indicator 3ad

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

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Thu Feb 28 00:00:00 UTC 2019

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Middle School Module B Student Edition [consumable] 9780544860957 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module C Student Edition [consumable] 9780544860964 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module D Student Edition [consumable] 9780544860971 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module E Student Edition [consumable] 9780544860988 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module F Student Edition [consumable] 9780544860995 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module G Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861008 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module H Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861015 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module J Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861022 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module K Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861039 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module I Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861046 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module L Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861053 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
Middle School Module A Student Edition [consumable] 9780544861060 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module A Teacher Edition? 9780544877993 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module B Teacher Edition? 9780544878013 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module C Teacher Edition? 9780544878020 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module D Teacher Edition? 9780544878037? Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module E Teacher Edition? 9780544878044 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module H Teacher Edition? 9780544881990 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module I Teacher Edition? 9780544882041 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module J Teacher Edition? 9780544882058 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module K Teacher Edition? 9780544882904 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module L Teacher Edition? 9780544882911 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD A GR6-8 9780544882928 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD B GR6-8 9780544882935 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD C GR6-8 9780544882942 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD D GR6-8 9780544882959 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD E GR6-8 9780544882966 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD F GR6-8 9780544882973 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD G GR6-8 9780544882980 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD H GR6-8 9780544882997 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD I GR6-8 9780544883000 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD J GR6-8 9780544883017 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD K GR6-8 9780544883024 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH SCIDIM ASMT GD MOD L GR6-8? 9780544883031 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module F Teacher Edition? ?9780544878051 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018
HMH Science Dimensions Module G Teacher Edition? ?9780544878068 Houghton Mifflin Harcout 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Science 6-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For science, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning
  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning
  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions
  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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


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