Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations of alignment. Rigorous, engaging texts are high quality and are organized to be the central focus of lessons while supporting Grade 7 students’ knowledge building. The materials support student growth in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and developing language skills over the course of the school year, with attention to close reading and analysis of texts, topics, and themes. The materials also meet the expectations for instructional supports and usability, with guidance for differentiation and program design for implementation.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
36
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
31
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for high-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention, are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading and provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
20/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for texts are worthy of students’ time and attention, are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.  Anchor texts are of publishable quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests, and the materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task and the materials support students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills. Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level and students have the opportunity to read a diverse range of texts and genres throughout the school year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading.  They include works from award-winning authors, as well as traditional classics. They consider a range of student interests including but not limited to, reality vs. fantasy. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students read the text “Women in Aviation” by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This informational text was written by award winning authors. It is relatable or easily imagined, appropriate for the grade level, and includes authentic images from the time period. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe. Figurative language and sound devices are included in this narrative poem about the mythical “city of gold.” It is age appropriate and easy for students to relate to in their own lives. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students read the text embedded in  the film Trash Talk, by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Students compare the structure of informational text in the video versus a typical written informational text.
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students read an excerpt from The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. The novel, written in verse with a relatable plot, engages students in narrative elements in an interesting way.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Texts include a mix of informational and literary texts integrated throughout every unit. The variety of genres and text types include, but are not limited to the following:  science fiction, poetry, editorials, memoirs, dramas, informational articles, and folktales. For each of the six units, there are also suggested independent reading books that can be used to enhance or extend the provided reading selections.

The following are examples of literature found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1, Taking Action- “The Flight of Icarus”- Greek myth by Sally Benson
  • Unit 2, Reality Check- “Two Legs or One?”- folktale by Josepha Sherman
  • Unit 5, More Than a Game- “Double Doubles”- poem by J. Patrick Lewis
  • Unit 6, Change Agents- “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push”- short story by Walter Dean Myers

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 2, Reality Check- “The Camera Doesn’t Lie”- magazine article by Meg Moss
  • Unit 3, Inspired by Nature- “You’re Are Part of the Solution”- poster by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space- “Seven Minutes of Terror”- video by National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Unit 5, More Than a Game- “It’s Not Just a Game!”- informational text by Lori Calabrese

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Most anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level in the Current Lexile Band (860L-1010L) or the Stretch Lexile Band (925L-1185L) for grades 6-8.  Texts below the stretch band increase in complexity due to qualitative features and associated tasks. Texts that are above the stretch band quantitatively have supports in place and associated tasks which enable students to access the text and demonstrate understanding. 

Examples of texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 7 include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read the short story, “Heartbeat.” It has a Lexile level of 840L, which falls within the Current Lexile Band for grades 6-8. The qualitative features of this short story increase the level of complexity due to some implied meaning, inferential reasoning, figurative, allusive and colloquial language.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students read an excerpt from a memoir, Mississippi Solo. It has a Lexile level of 830L, which is below the Current Lexile Band for grades 6-8, but the qualitative features increase the complexity which make it appropriate for grade 7.  The qualitative features include figurative language and implied meaning. Students answer Notice & Note questions as they read, honing skills around analyzing the particular uses of figurative language and structural components of a memoir. Students use this mentor text at the end of the unit as they write a culminating personal narrative.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read the argument piece entitled, “Challenges for Space Exploration.” It has a Lexile level of 880L, which falls in the Current Lexile Band for grades 6-8. Students learn qualitative skills, such as rhetorical arguments, as they analyze author’s purpose. Students later use this argument piece as a mentor text for the culminating task for the unit.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials support students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

Assessments provide teachers a good “picture” of reading ability increasing over the course of the school year.  The materials are designed with texts that increase in rigor and complexity, in turn increasing students’ literacy skills as they advance month-to-month and year-to-year. Careful attention is paid to the collection of anchor texts and the design of instruction with those texts and text sets. Students practice a variety of literacy skills including but not limited to: analyzing setting and character, analyzing how a character develops plot, analyzing structure, determining key ideas and details, identifying and analyzing point of view, making inferences, making predictions, citing evidence, analyzing structure, analyzing language, and publishing.

  • In the beginning of the year, the students are reintroduced to the skill of identifying author’s purpose in Unit 1, Taking Action. Students read “Women in Aviation,” an informational text by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, and complete a Notice & Note signpost where they must identify a quotation in the text and then answer “How does it relate to the overall purpose of the selection.” After reading, Check Your Understanding multiple choice questions assess comprehension by asking things such as “The author’s main purpose for ending the selection by mentioning Bessie Coleman’s flight training school is to--,” requiring students to choose the correct answer from a pre-populated list. 
  • In the middle of the year students are analyzing author’s purpose further in Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space. Before reading “Challenges for Space Exploration” by Ann Leckie, teachers instruct students to focus on author’s purpose as conveyed through their rhetoric: word choice, tone, and voice. After reading, students answer Analyze the Text questions such as “How does the author’s use of repetition convey tone, or her attitude towards space exploration? How does it help her achieve her purpose?” (304-310).
  • By the end of the year, students are able to compare author’s purpose across texts in Unit 6, Change Agents. Students read “Frances Perkins and the Triangle Factory Fire” by David Brooks and an excerpt from The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire by Zachary Kent. After reading, students work with a partner to complete a chart where they take notes on each reading and the author’s tone, point of view, emphasized details, and purpose and message. They later use this information to research the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire further and present a research report to their classmates.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Grade 7 instructional materials include a text complexity analysis for anchor texts and series of texts connected to them. There is an accurate rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The materials offer a range of texts appropriate for the grade level and qualitative features increase the level of thinking required of students with texts that fall below the stretch band quantitatively for students. The text complexity information is available consistently in the Teacher Edition in the Plan and Text X-ray sections.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students read the short story “Rogue Wave” by Theodore Taylor. Quantitatively, the text places at 980L, which is within the grade band. Qualitatively, the text increases in complexity due to the ideas presented: “Mostly explicit, but moves to some implicit meaning” and some difficult vocabulary. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read and compare the poems “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W.B. Yeats and “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe. There is no quantitative measure for poetry, however, the qualitative measures indicate that both poems use symbolism, imagery, figurative language, and demand the reader make inferences to understand the multiple levels of ideas presented. The structure is conventional, language has implied meanings, with more figurative and metaphorical language. Due to the more complex themes, students must be able to understand more cultural and historical references. 
  • Unit 3, Inspired By Nature, includes an excerpt from a memoir titled Mississippi Solo by Eddy Harris. The text is measured at 830L and is utilized as a mentor text by students for personal narrative writing. Students study the text’s chronological structure, figurative language, and other literary devices. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read an informational text titled “Martian Metropolis” by Meg Thatcher. The text provides the introduction to the unit and its essential question “Why is the idea of space exploration both inspiring and unnerving?” The text has a Lexile of 930L which falls below the Grade 7 Lexile “Stretch” Bands. The qualitative measures provided state that this text is not complex in the areas of meaning, structure, language, and mildly complex for the knowledge measure.
  • Unit 5, More Than A Game, consists of an excerpt from a novel in verse, The Crossover, written by Kwame Alexander, and a poem, “Double Doubles,” written by J. Patrick Lewis. Both texts are written about sports, though neither have a quantitative Lexile level as they are written in verse. The texts are included for their implied meanings and use of figurative language that require readers to deduce the meaning of the verses. Students compare both poetic works after reading. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students read an excerpt from the historical text The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire by Zachary Kent. This excerpt has a Lexile of 1110L which is at the top of the Lexile “Stretch” Bands for grade 7. The qualitative measures state complexity in knowledge demands.

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the expectations for anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts to achieve grade level reading.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students analyze four texts using the Notice & Note reading model. The first text is a short story “Rogue Wave” by Theodore Taylor, the second is a myth “The Flight of Icarus” retold by Sally Benson, the third is a poem “Icarus’s Flight” by Stephen Dobyns, and the fourth is an informational text “Women in Aviation” by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. There are selection tests available following each reading and a Reading Studio is available online for additional support and instruction. Students then collaborate and compare a short story “Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes and an article “A Police Stop Changed This Teenager’s Life” by Amy B. Wang. The texts connect to a topic linking the selections to the essential question: “What helps people rise up to face difficulties?” Independent reading selections are available for students as a Reader’s Choice. Selections for independent reading options in Unit 1 range in complexity from 830L - 890L and are accessible to students at various levels. These include a legend, a myth, and poetry. The suggested pacing is 30 days to complete Unit 1 (1A-1D).
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students analyze three texts using the Notice & Note reading model. The first text is a short story “Heartbeat” by David Yoo the second is a magazine article “The Camera Does Lie” by Meg Ross, and the third is a folk tale “Two Legs or One?” by Josepha Sherman. There are selection tests available following each reading and a Reading Studio is available online for additional support and instruction. Students then collaborate and compare two poems “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W.B. Yeats and “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe. An additional opportunity for comparing two works follows with analysis of the drama “The Governess” by Neil Simon and production images from “The Governess.” The texts connect to a topic linking the selections and to the essential question: “What can blur the lines between what’s real and what’s not?” Independent reading selections are available for students as a Reader’s Choice. Selections for independent reading options in Unit 2 range in complexity from 610L - 1030L and are accessible to students at various levels. These options include short stories, informational text, and a personal essay. The suggested pacing is 30 days to complete Unit 2 (96A-96D).
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students analyze four texts using the Notice & Note reading model. The first text is an argument by Paul Fleischman entitled “Never Retreat” from Eyes Wide Open. The second selection is an excerpt from a memoir by Eddy Harris entitled Mississippi Solo. The third is a poem by Amy Helfrich entitled “The Drought,” and the fourth one is a short story by Naomi Shihab Nye entitled “Allied with Green.” There are selection tests available following each reading and an online Reading Studio for additional support and instruction. Students collaborate and compare on the following texts: “Ode to Enchanted Light” by Pablo Neruda, “Sleeping in the Forest” by Mary Oliver, and a persuasive poster entitled “You’re Part of the Solution.” The unifying essential question for Unit 3 is: “What does it mean to be in harmony with nature?” The reading level of independent reading selections in Unit 3 ranges from 920L-1020L and are accessible at various levels. These include poems, excerpts from memoirs, and informational articles. The suggested pacing is 30 days to complete Unit 3 (180A-180D).
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students analyze four texts using the Notice & Note reading model. The first text is an informational piece by Meg Thatcher entitled “Martian Metropolis.” The second science fiction selection is “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed” by Ray Bradbury. The third text is an argument entitled “Challenges for Space Exploration” by Ann Leckie. The fourth text is a poem called “What if we Were Alone?” by William Stafford. There are selection tests available following each reading and an online Reading Studio for additional support and instruction. Students collaborate and compare on the following texts: “Space Explorations Should Be More Science Than Fiction” by Claudia Alarcon and “Humans Should Stay Home and Let Robots Take to the Stars” by Eiren Caffall. The reading level of independent reading selections in Unit 4 ranges from 970L to 1140L and are accessible at various levels. These include an argument, personal essay, poetry, and a biography. The suggested pacing is 30 days to complete Unit 4 (262A-262D).
  • Unit 5, More Than A Game, students read a short story, multiple informational texts, an excerpt from a novel in verse, and a poem. The texts vary in complexity, purpose, and length, but all relate back to the Essential Question of the unit. The teacher’s edition provides instructions for teachers to determine how texts will be read, whether independently, as a whole group, or in small groups; students continue to use the Notice & Note cloze read strategy as they analyze texts. Students read a text set comprised of an excerpt of a novel in verse and a poem which they utilize in order to complete the Collaborate & Compare section, analyzing both texts for theme with a partner. Students independently conduct research on various topics throughout the unit that relate to text selections, exposing them further to informational articles. Independent reading selections which directly extend the unit’s theme and span a variety of text types are provided at varying proficiency levels. The titles included are: “Battling After Sophie” by Sue Macy, “Bridging the Generational Divide Between a Football Father and Soccer Son” by Jon McCormick, “Arc of Triumph” by Nick D’Alto, and “Amigo Brothers” by Piri Thomas. The optional novel pairing is Slam! By Walter Dean Myers. The online Reading Studio offers numerous other full-length titles for download in order to encourage further independent reading by students. The suggested pacing for this unit is 30 days (T28, 360A-360D).
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students read varied genres of text related to the essential question, “What inspires you to make a difference?” This unit encompasses six texts and four independent texts. The students analyze four texts at the beginning of the Unit. The first text is an essay titled “Craig Kielburger Reflects on Working Towards Peace” by Craig Kielbuger. Then they watch an excerpt of a documentary titled “It Takes a Child” by Judy Jackson. They read a short story by Walter Dean Meyers titled “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push”. The last text for this section is a poem “A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long” by Nikki Giovanni. Students keep a Response Log throughout the unit where they collect evidence as they read. There are additional supports for students who need extra support. In the Collaborate and Compare section of the unit, the students read and compare two historical writings: “Frances Perkins and the Triangle Factory Fire” by David Brooks and an excerpt from The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire by Zachary Kent. Students with the digital feature have access to four independent texts: “Difference Maker: John Bergman and Popcorn Park” by David Karas (Article), an excerpt from Walking with the Wind by John Lewis (Autobiography), “Doris is Coming” by ZZ Parker (Short Story), and “Seeing is Believing” by Mary Morton Cowan (Informational). The suggested pacing for this unit is 30 days (434A-434D).

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
16/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly, while sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills. The materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax, while also supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards and include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. The materials also include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and conventions standards as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). 

The instructional materials for Grade 7 include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-dependent over the course of the school year. Notice & Note Signposts are activities that guide students and assist them to analyze works of fiction or nonfiction.  Also culminating projects, both oral and written, require students to draw from readings and notations to support their final assessments with evidence. Text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Students practice the following skills, including but not limited to: summarize, critique, interpret, and connect to their reading. Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent writing, speaking, and listening standards. In the teacher’s edition, there are additional suggestions to prompt writing and discussion around the text with possible answers provided.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students read “Icarus’s Flight” and analyze the text by answering the following questions:  “Examine the questions in lines 1-2. What is the purpose of these questions in the poem? What do they show about Dobyns’s beliefs about Icarus? Look at the last stanza in “Icarus’s Flight.” What tone is conveyed here, and how does the poet achieve it?” Through text-based questions and discussion, students deeply analyze and appreciate how the author develops the tone in the poem. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, Small-Group Options are available in the teacher’s edition to provide students opportunities to discuss their reading and analyses of “Heartbeat: “After students have read and analyzed ‘Heartbeat’, pose this question: Why is having good self-esteem important?”. Think-Pair-Share includes a procedure for teachers to encourage writing, speaking, and listening around the text. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students read the short story  “Allied with Green” and answer questions that require them to produce evidence from the text to support their claim. For example, students are asked: “What do you know about Lucy’s father? Why does that matter to the story?” 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read a poem titled “What If We Were Alone?” by William Stafford. The students' Notice & Note in the text “the words that the speaker imagines Galileo saying.” They must then extend their thinking by interpreting “How are Galileo’s words a response to the title of the poem?"  Later, students answer the question: “What do you think is the theme of ‘What if We Were Alone?’ Why do you think so?” and must include evidence from the text to support their answer.
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students read “Get in the Zone: The Psychology of Video Game Design” and draw on textual evidence to support their inferences and answer the following question: “Reread Madigan’s quotation in paragraph 7. Based on what you know about him from paragraph 4, how do you think he came to understand feedback in video games?”
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, after reading “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push” by Walter Dean Myers, students complete a Check Your Understanding task by answering text-dependent questions such as:  “Which statement best explains why this story is an example of realistic fiction?”

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task. Each unit has several tasks which include text-dependent questions and activities (speaking and writing) such as, but not limited to, the following:  Check Your Understanding, Analyze the Text, Collaborate and Compare, and Notice & Note. The culminating tasks are designed to help students synthesize and apply their learning from the unit in an engaging and authentic way through writing and speaking. 

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students Cite Evidence when drawing conclusions. When reading “The Camera Does Not Lie” students annotate: “In paragraph 12, mark the facts about golden eagles that Rhett Allain uncovered during his research” and they draw conclusions: “Could the video be real? Why or why not?” Supports are in place when students struggle to cite evidence throughout the reading: “Point out the main idea of section Faux Flight is included in the first sentence of paragraph 18…” At the end of Unit 2, students create a multimodal presentation as the culminating task. During the planning session the teacher will “Point out that their scripts will follow the form of the magazine article ‘The Camera Does Not Lie’ in citing facts and examples related to the theme of illusion.” Students present their work to classmates.
  • In Unit 3, Inspire by Nature, students Analyze the Text and answer text dependent/specific questions such as, “In paragraph 4, to what does the author compare our dependence upon fossil fuels? How does this comparison relate to other instances of the author’s use of extreme language?” This builds toward a culminating task in which students write a personal narrative to share an experience in nature or a lesson learned by observing some part of the natural world. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students read a text set comprised of an excerpt from a novel in verse, The Crossover and a poem, “Double Doubles.”  While reading, students take notes on what they believe the theme of each selection might be. After, they work with a small group to complete a venn diagram about the similarities and differences in the poems and how they might affect the overall themes. Students also answer a variety of text-dependent questions with their small group, meant to help them analyze the text on a deeper level. Finally, the small groups determine an overall theme for each poem with supporting evidence and present their findings to the class. 

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials offer numerous opportunities for students to have evidence-based discussions across many texts in each unit. The groupings during the evidence-based discussions vary greatly, offering students the opportunity to engage in whole group discussions, peer-to-peer discussions, and various configurations of small group discussions. Evidence-based discussions are supported by explicit grouping directions and supports for struggling students within the teacher’s edition. Specifically in the Plan section of each text in the unit, there are specific protocols, sentence frames, and differentiated supports for different types of groupings.The teacher’s edition also includes  supports embedded throughout the student’s text encouraging the incorporation of academic vocabulary. Word Networks provide a means to introduce and discuss academic vocabulary with a partner to begin each unit. Speaking and Listening Studio is included following the reading of each text to prepare the students for collaborative discussions explaining and modeling roles of the members of the group. Then students participate in collaborative discussions and analyze and evaluate presentations.  

  • In Unit 1,Taking Action, in the Plan section of the teacher’s edition, teachers are given two different small group options for students after they finish reading “The Flight of Icarus.” In the Teacher Edition in the Plan section there are directions for conducting a Sense It strategy and a Numbered Heads Together discussion. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students complete and discuss a Word Network with a partner about the academic word abnormal. Support is in place for modeling and the materials ask teachers to “...encourage them to include all the categories shown in the completed network, if possible, but point out that some words do not have clear synonyms or antonyms. Some words may also function as different parts of speech–for example, feature may be a noun or a verb.The materials include four other academic vocabulary words: feature, focus, perceive, and task. After completing and discussing a Word Network for each academic vocabulary word, students will learn and practice the academic vocabulary throughout the remainder of the unit.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, the teacher’s edition provides two grouping options for a teacher to have students read and discuss “Never Retreat,” an argument written by Paul Fleischman. Directions are given for a Pinwheel Discussion and a Think-Pair-Share setup. Both options include question stems for students regarding claim and personal experience. The teacher’s edition provides a strategy to utilize when students “have difficulty identifying claims, supporting evidence, and counter-argument presented in the text.” It also encourages teachers to assign the Reading Studio Level Up tutorial: Analyzing Arguments to struggling students. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students respond to the essential question “Why is the idea of space exploration both inspiring and unnerving?” following the reading of the science fiction story “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed” Students discuss what they have learned from the text using their previous annotations and relevant details from the text. A reminder to students includes, “As you write and discuss what you learned from the text, be sure to use the Academic Vocabulary words. Check off each of the words that you use.” 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students use information from the text to work in a small group and discuss their reading of “It’s Not Just a Game.” Students do a Give One and Get One to answer “How do sports utilize all of our talents and abilities?” Students write lists and exchange responses, adding their ideas to their partner’s list. They repeat the process with new partners. Finally, students share out their idea and the source (who they got the idea from). The whole class compiles a list to use for a writing assignment. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, after reading an excerpt from The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire students write historical fiction and create a graphic novel page. Teacher guidance is in place to assist students with historical writing and further writing support “for students at varying proficiency levels, see the Text X-Ray on page 490D.” When students finish creating a graphic novel page, they share their "first draft with a classmate and ask for feedback. Revise the images or words for the greatest impact; then share your final version in a brief presentation.” There is guidance to assist students in “Using Media in a Presentation in the Speaking and Listening Studio.”

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. 

Students are engaged in speaking and listening tasks throughout each unit. Specifically, the Collaborate & Compare section of every unit has extensive opportunities for students to discuss with peers around the topic of the unit. These tasks are often accompanied by a checklist that guides and provides feedback to students on the speaking and listening standards. Additionally, at the conclusion of each unit, a culminating writing assignment (Writing Task) is accompanied by speaking and listening opportunities (Speaking and Listening Task). Supplemental speaking and listening resources are provided for teachers and students. In the teacher guides, teachers are provided with prompts and guidance for supporting students’ discussion. For students, the online resource (ED) provides interactive videos on speaking and listening skills.   

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students create and present a multimedia presentation to an audience after reading “The Camera Does Lie”, by Meg Ross.  Students respond to the essential question: “What can blur the lines between what’s real and what’s not?” Students create and deliver a multimodal presentation to demonstrate and explain certain illusions and the techniques used to create them. Students research examples of illusions, devise an interactive activity for audience participation, end with a summary, and explain why illusions are interesting.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, the teacher’s edition provides two grouping options for a teacher to have students read and discuss “Never Retreat,” an argument written by Paul Fleischman. Directions are given for a Pinwheel Discussion and a Think-Pair-Share setup. Both options include question stems for students regarding claim and personal experience. The teacher’s edition provides a strategy to utilize when students “have difficulty identifying claims, supporting evidence, and counter argument presented in the text.” It also encourages teachers to assign the Reading Studio Level Up tutorial: Analyzing Arguments to struggling students (182B & 190).
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, students work in a small group to create a podcast discussing their responses to an excerpt from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Students are provided with a checklist to help guide their discussion.  Teachers are given a Speaking Support section that helps them assist students with the podcast activity, suggestions for discussions, and an English Learner support section. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students create and present a video critique. In pairs, students tape brief critiques, or reviews, of the story “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push,” by Walter Dean Myers.  Students discuss the story, write an outline of a short critique, practice delivering the critique, and then videotape it. After viewing the videos, students can offer feedback of each pairs video to continue polishing them.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. 

The materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing. There are multiple opportunities throughout each unit for students to write about texts on-demand in shorter responses. At the end of each unit, there is a process writing piece called the Writing Task. There are multiple times where students spend time researching their ideas and tying them back to written text. Opportunities for students to revise and/or edit are provided. Materials include digital resources where appropriate. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade level standards being reviewed.

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students have multiple opportunities for writing connecting to texts they have read. These include writing a text for an infographic, an opinion essay, a friendly letter, a poem, a personal narrative, and a dialogue. At the end of the unit, students create a multimodal presentation “that can include images, videos, music, and other elements of media...demonstrate and explain certain illusions and the techniques used to create them.” During the writing task, there are opportunities to revise and edit drafts, as well as use a scoring guide to evaluate the presentation. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space. Before reading “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed” students complete a quick start writing task. “Films and TV shows often focus on characters who find themselves in predicaments- that is, difficult situations. What types of predicaments fascinate you? What is it about them that draws you in and holds your attention? Record your thoughts in your journal.”
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students write a process piece, a short story, about sports or game-playing. Students think carefully about “How do sports bring together friends, families, and communities?” Next, students are guided to create a plan for characters, setting, point of view, and conflict. Then, they develop a draft, revise, edit, and publish their short story. A writing task scoring guide is provided to guide and support students and teachers during the writing process. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students complete a chart to record what they learn while researching “wheelchair basketball” and the materials offer the following tip: “The best sources for information about the rules of a sport are often organizations dedicated to or related to that sport. These web addresses usually end in .org. Also, as you scroll through your search results, scan the brief description under each result to find the sites that are most likely to have the information you seek.” The research activity follows the reading of the short story “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push.” In addition, there is an opportunity to extend their learning: “When and why did people first begin playing wheelchair basketball? Find out about the origins of wheelchair basketball.”

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

Grade 7 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Students write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. In addition, students write informative/explanatory and narrative responses. These opportunities are often connected to text types and/or topics students have explored throughout the unit. Teachers and students can monitor their writing skills through writing tasks following the readings and the use of rubrics and checklists. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students write an informational essay “about the qualities needed for overcoming an obstacle and achieving a goal” following the reading, “Women in Aviation.” A scoring guide is available for students to evaluate their work and to “write a paragraph explaining the reasons for the score he or she awarded in each category.”
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students write a personal narrative at the end of the unit. The reading students complete prior to the task, such as Mississippi Solo, will assist them in successfully writing a narrative. Teachers can point out to students “...when Eddy Harris writes about being caught in a storm, he uses descriptive language such as ‘splintery crackle of lightening’ to help the reader feel what it was like to be there.”
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students have a variety of types of writing, including writing an argument. As an end of unit writing task, students “...write an argument about whether human space travel is necessary.”  A reminder to provide evidence to support their position is available within the materials. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students write a short story as an end of unit task following the reading of the story “Ball Hawk.” Students “write a short story that portrays some aspect of sports or game-playing.” 

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

Grade 7 materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Annotations and shorter writing tasks take place consistently throughout the unit. At the end of every text, there is a section called Analyze the Text that proposes five short response questions and all require text support. The students use notes, answers, and annotation to add to an on-going Response Log. Students keep this Response Log throughout each unit to gather text evidence to support the culminating writing task. A culminating writing task (Writing Task) follows each unit, connecting to the essential question and topic. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Also, online resources are available which include interactive peer and teacher feedback with writing lessons and Level Up tutorials are available to focus on specific writing skills.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, as students read “Rogue Wave” by Theodore Taylor, they are instructed to use annotations and the margin of the textbook to answer questions and prompts. For example, as they read the beginning of the text they answer and annotate for this question, “Annotate: In paragraph 1, mark details that describe rogue waves. Interpret: What do these details suggest about the conflict in the story.” At the end of the lesson for this text, students are asked to “Review your annotations and notes...Add relevant details to your Response Log.” Then students are reminded they will “use their notes in their Response Log to write an informational essay.” 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read “The Camera Does Lie,” an informational article by Meg Moss. In the Analyze the Text section, students create many claims and defend them with the text. Students must decide how a technique called graphing camera shake in video footage reveals fake videos. Students support their claim with evidence from the text. Students interpret why the author discussed this topic and must support their claim with evidence from the text.  
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students write a short story at the end of the unit. The Writing Task asks students to “use the notes from your Response Log, which you filled out after reading the texts in this unit.” Students use a mentor text to assist with author’s craft and descriptive language; then, they use a scoring guide to evaluate their short stories. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students read “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push,” a short story by Walter Dean Myers. Students answer questions such as “Consider what you know about Chris’ character. What do you think motivates him to join the wheelchair basketball team? Why?” and “How does Chris’ dad’s opinion of an interest in wheelchair basketball change from the beginning of the story to the end? Why?” in the Analyze the Text section that require evidence from the text to be cited in order to support their deductions.

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. 

Grade 7 materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level, including all skills connecting to the anchor standards to ensure college and career readiness. In the materials, Notice & Note direct students to the Language/Grammar within the text. Explicit instruction is provided in the Teacher’s Notes. Students improve their fluency with these language standards through practice and application in and out of context. Within all tasks, including culminating tasks, directions and rubrics for grammar and conventions are considered.  In the Teacher's Edition, there are lesson ideas for students who are struggling, as well as reminders for use of the Grammar Studio for interactive lessons on the language standards.  

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students focus on Language Conventions: Subject-Verb Agreement and Prepositional Phrases during the reading of “Heartbeat” by David Yoo. The materials provide opportunities in context and prompt students: “How might the prepositional phrase in this sentence confuse subject-verb agreement?”. In addition, online resources include a Grammar Studio, Module 8: Lessons 1 & 2: Agreement of Subject and Verb. Teachers can assign additional grammar activities, such as “Select the verb that agrees with the subject.” 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired By Nature, students read the short story, “Allied With Green” . Students have already learned about complex sentences in Unit 1, but are reminded of the convention in conjunction with this text. After reading, students learn about subordinate clauses and how to correctly create complex sentences. They apply this by writing a paragraph utilizing complex sentences for most of their writing. Students can view the Complex Sentences lesson in the Grammar Studio for additional guidance. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, students learn about commonly confused words such as accept and except and keep an eye out for the usage of these words in the short story, “Ball Hawk”. After reading, students practice the correct usage of words by identifying which word is correctly used in each sentence that contains commonly confused words. 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, after reading "Frances Perkins and the Triangle Factory Fire,” students learn how to make sure their antecedents agree with their pronouns in number, gender, and person. Explicit instruction is included in the Teacher’s Notes. Students practice by writing 4 or 5 sentences that summarize this piece of history writing. They check their writing for pronoun-antecedent agreement.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The materials build students’ knowledge across topics and content areas; however, academic vocabulary instruction is not intentionally and coherently sequenced to consistently build students’ vocabulary. Questions and tasks build in rigor and complexity to culminating tasks that demonstrate students’ ability to analyze components of text and topics. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills are taught and practiced in an integrated manner.

Criterion 2a - 2h

30/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. 

Grade 7 materials include texts connected by a topic and essential question for each unit that are appropriate for the grade level. The essential question is introduced at the beginning of the lesson, referred to after each lesson, and appears at the end in each unit task.  Students are given the opportunity to build their reading comprehension skills by completing the following tasks within the unit: Check Your Understanding, Analyze the Text, Research Tasks, Create and Discuss, Respond to the Essential Question, Critical Vocabulary, and Language Conventions. The sequence of texts across the grade level is conducive toward scaffolding students to meet the requirements of Standard 10: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. The materials include many opportunities for both close reading and independent reading with student choices available with each unit. The topics include the following: Taking Action, Reality Check, Inspired by Nature, The Terror and Wonder of Space, More Than a Game, and Change Agents.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students explore the common characteristics of people who face obstacles and overcome them. The essential question is, “What helps people rise up to face difficulties?” Students explore what qualities are needed for overcoming an obstacle and achieving a goal.  Throughout the unit, students read fiction and nonfiction texts that relate to this goal, such as short stories about how people respond to challenging situations, a Greek myth about avoiding extremes, a poem about triumph in the face of difficulty, and informational texts about the unique difficulties associated with overcoming prejudice. The Unit 1 tasks are an informational essay and presentation of an instructional speech. Both refer back to the essential question and students use the notes in their response log to complete these tasks.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students reflect on how people are inspired by nature.The essential question is, “What does it mean to be in harmony with nature?” Students explore how people interact with nature. Throughout the unit, students read fiction and nonfiction texts that relate to this goal, such as an argument asking Americans to choose more eco-friendly ways of living, a memoir of one man’s encounter with the natural world, a short story about preserving nature in an increasingly urban world, and poems about the importance of being in harmony with nature. The Unit 3 task is to write a personal narrative, referring back to the essential question; students use the notes in their response log to complete these tasks.
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students explore the essential question “How do sports bring together friends, families, and communities?” An Independent Reading section precedes the culminating task with a Reader’s Choice. Options available to students are: “Battling After Sophie” by Sue Macy, “Amigo Brothers” by Piri Thomas, “Bridging the Generational Divide Between a Football Father and Soccer Son” by John McCormick, and “Arc of Triumph” by Nick D’Alto. Using information gathered from all readings and notes taken in the Response Log, students will complete the culminating task of writing a short story that connects back to the essential question.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

In Grade 7 materials, students are expected to cite textual evidence to support analysis, determine theme, and analyze point of view. For most texts, students are asked to analyze language or author’s word choice. Most texts include opportunities for students to analyze key ideas and details, structure, and craft. The materials provide instructional supports to ensure students can analyze the text according to the grade level standards, and students apply skills after the reading that correspond to skills they practice during the reading. Examples of student answers and mentor texts are available. This scaffolded progression occurs across units, sections, lessons, and assessments. The questions and tasks help students to build comprehension and knowledge of topics and themes. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students cite textual evidence to support analysis of “The Flight of Icarus”: “What specific evidence in paragraph 5 suggests that Daedalus’s plan will not go well?” Students practice the skill again in Unit 1 with “Women in Aviation” before they apply the skill during a comparison of two texts later in the unit. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students analyze the language conventions when reading “Two Legs or One?”: “In paragraph 17, underline an introductory phrase that signals a sudden, surprising event, and circle the comma that follows it. How does this comma add to the storytelling ‘feel’ of the selection?” Students then Practice and Apply following the reading by writing their “own sentences with commas following introductory words and phrases.”
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students analyze subjective and objective point of view when reading “Never Retreat” from Eyes Wide Open: “Is the author presenting an objective point of view? Why do you think so?”.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students answer Check Your Understanding questions relating to the author’s purpose after reading “Challenges for Space Exploration,” an article by Ann Leckie. Students analyze the text by answering “The author points out that our ancestors sailed great distances to unknown places in order to--” and “The author states that ‘we shouldn’t keep our eggs in this increasingly fragile basket.’ What does she mean?”.
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, students research a sport that they want to know more about. After researching, they create an infographic showing the positive and negative aspects of their sport and present it to the class. Students are cautioned to pay special attention to craft and structure with directions like “Choose images and decide on text to include--and how to present that text visually (for example, through captions or callout boxes)” and “Sketch out possible designs. Revise to keep text brief and to ensure that the images and text work together.”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The instructional materials for Grade 7 include questions and tasks to support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. During the Analyze & Apply section, students read a variety of selections for analysis, annotation, and application of the Notice & Note protocol. Sequences of text-dependent questions support students in their analysis of the texts. The materials provide guidance to teachers in supporting students’ skills in the Teacher Edition. Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts. For example, each unit includes a Collaborate & Compare section which provides a comparative analysis of two selections linked by topic but different in genre, craft, or focus.  

  • In Unit 4, The Terror of Wonder of Space, students read two arguments about space exploration. In the text, “Space Exploration Should be More Science Than Fiction” by Claudia Alarcon, students analyze the argument the author is making and the rhetorical devices used to make that argument in the Notice & Note section. In the second text, “Humans Should Stay Home and Let Robots Take to the Stars” by Eiren Caffall, students examine the argument and the counterargument made by the author. “From the Notice & Note section, ‘What are the author’s counterarguments to this viewpoint, as explained in paragraph 5 and 6?’” In the Collaborate and Compare section, students then create a Venn diagram comparing the claims, reasons, rhetorical devices and persuasive techniques used by the two authors. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, students compare the themes of two poems, an excerpt from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and “Double Doubles” by J. Patrick Lewis using a venn diagram. Then, students discuss further questions about the texts with a small group. One question reads: “What types of figurative language appear in each poem? How do they help you understand each poem’s theme?” Finally, students use their venn diagram and discussion to identify the theme of each poem and then present the theme and differences to the class.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The Grade 7 materials include culminating tasks that are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of different grade level standards, including writing and presentation of knowledge and ideas. The materials meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks. Each text has clearly defined sets of Notice & Note, Check Your Understanding, and Analyze the Text questions that increase in rigor and depth and clearly support students in developing an ability to complete a culminating task. Culminating tasks vary for each text and are activities comprised of multiple types of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students complete the culminating task “Write an Informational Essay” which provides an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency to write informatively and strengthen writing as needed through planning, drafting, revising, and editing. In addition, students use technology to produce and publish writing before demonstrating skills which align with the Grade 7 speaking and listening standards while presenting a film critique.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students complete the culminating task, “Write a Personal Narrative” focusing on “an experience you had in nature or a lesson you learned from observing the natural world.” Students complete the task following the reading of the mentor text, an excerpt from Mississippi Solo. The Response Log students complete throughout the unit will assist them to be successful writing around the same topic. Student choice is available and “they should focus on experiences they have had that were important to them.” 
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, students read “A Poem For My Librarian, Mrs. Long: You Never Know What Troubled Little Girl Needs a Book” by Nikki Giovanni. While reading, students answer Notice & Note questions that further engage students in assessing the author’s choices.  Other questions about structure, word meaning, and allusions allow teachers to clearly determine whether or not students are understanding poetic devices and can apply them. Students research the author and answer questions about how her life experiences affected her writing, and then write a letter to the author where they share their opinions on her poems. The letter includes textual evidence and follow appropriate letter format.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the expectations that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. The components of vocabulary practice are prevalent throughout the lessons. However, the materials do not include cohesive and year long approach with guidance for the teacher to ensure students are actually growing their vocabulary. Activities are consistent but attention to development and guidance for the teacher to give feedback is not.

The instructional materials for Grade 7 include vocabulary instruction across the school year to increase students’ academic vocabulary. Vocabulary is repeated in contexts and across multiple texts included in both sections entitled, Academic Vocabulary and Critical Vocabulary, which helps in the understanding of a selection. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks. Opportunities for students include a section during the reading of each text in which they are Applying Academic Vocabulary by writing and through discussion. Also, students use and mark the Academic Vocabulary words in their Response Log to the essential question. In addition, a Vocabulary Studio is available online for students to expand their vocabulary with interactive lessons to grow their vocabulary.

  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students complete a Vocabulary Strategy: Greek Roots atmos and sphere following the reading of “Martian Metropolis” by Meg Thacher: “Use context clues and your knowledge of the root sphere to write a likely meaning for each bold word. Use a print or online dictionary to confirm your word meanings. 2. To avoid turbulence, jets often fly in the lower part of the stratosphere.” This activity is focused on a strategy rather than the words/roots themselves. To ensure students are embedding new vocabulary knowledge into their literacy experience, the teacher will have to build assessment and/or other practice into the year. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, after reading “Ball Hawk” by Joseph Bruchac, students complete a Vocabulary Strategy by considering word origins to understand the meaning of words. They use three of the Critical Vocabulary words for this text. ”Etymologies show the origin of a word across time. Being aware of the origin and historical development of an unknown word can help you understand how the current word evolved...Middle English taloun<Old French talon, heel<Latin talus ankle.” While this activity does provide some work with etymologies, application from the activity into student use will have to be created by the teacher. 

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

Writing is used across lessons and assessments as a learning tool and as a way for students to express their understanding. Lesson plans are scaffolded so that students develop their understanding of texts thoroughly before having to write thoughtfully about them. Within lessons, students complete smaller writing tasks such as taking notes, filling in charts and graphic organizers, and writing quick responses to essential questions, in addition to holding classroom discussions before they complete more demanding writing tasks for more complex selections at the end of each unit. Students learn the components of good writing through Text X-Ray and Language X-Ray tasks that focus on supports and writing structures. Each unit concludes in a process writing task that synthesizes the students’ understanding of the texts they read. In the Online Ed Resources, there are additional Writing Studio opportunities where students write informational texts, arguments, and narratives. Within the unit, students have multiple opportunities for on demand writing and complete one process piece. There is always a mentor text provided to use as a model and there is explicit author’s craft and genre characteristics the teacher has students examine. Writing instruction supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year, and rubrics and the Language X-Ray give teachers supports and scaffolds to guide students’ writing development. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students Create and Discuss when they Write an Informational Essay following the reading of “Women in Aviation” by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack: “Write a three- to four-paragraph essay in which you present research on a female aviator other than Bessie Coleman—either one mentioned in the selection or someone else.” Teachers can monitor students’ writing development and provide feedback with shorter writing tasks following each selection prior to completing a writing task to end the unit. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired By Nature, students end the unit by writing a personal narrative in which they “share an experience in nature or a lesson you learned by observing part of the natural world.” Students use a mentor text, an excerpt from Mississippi Solo, to analyze sensory details and include their own details in their narrative, directly addressing the standard W.7.3: “Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences of events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences,” and the specific subsection of the standard such as W.7.3d: “Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.”
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students complete a number of writing tasks including, but not limited to, the following: After reading “Martian Metropolis” by Meg Thacher, students write an informative report “about the current status of Mars exploration". Read the mentor text, “Challenges for Space Exploration” by Ann Leckie, and write a poem in which an astronaut speaker considers the risks and sacrifices that she or he would face on a space mission. Read “Space Exploration Should Be More Science Than Fiction” by Claudia Alarcon and write a letter to a representative in Congress to find out his or her views on space exploration, and work in pairs to create a multimodal presentation, “demonstrating and explaining certain illusions and the techniques used to create them.” 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, before reading “Ball Hawk” by Joseph Bruchac, there is a section titled Text X-Ray that provides light, moderate, and substantial supports for writing an epilogue. An example of the moderate support is “Have students work together to write epilogues. Have pairs fill in a few experimental frames in first-person, past-tense narrative; One year later, I _____________ and Uncle Tommy_____________.” 

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

The instructional materials for Grade 7 include research projects across the school year that are appropriate for the grade level. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources. Notes are available in the margin of the Teacher edition with the label Research to assist educators in supporting students during the process. Materials provide many opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze per their grade level readings. There are notes available for teachers to assist students when they Create and Present in relation to the research tasks they complete. Materials provide opportunities for short and long research projects. Following the reading of each selection, the materials provide a short Research opportunity in the Respond section and includes a Research Tip for students. Longer writing tasks are available at the end of each unit. Students have the opportunity to complete a research report and the materials further develop this learning with a speaking and listening opportunity.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students read “The Flight of Icarus” by Sally Benson, and then research other poems about the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. They consider themes or other details common across these poems and record what they learn in the chart. The Research Tip of checking the resources at the author’s or publisher’s official website to learn more about the poem(s) provide students with research guidance.
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read “Two Legs or One?” by Josepha Sherman. This folktale exposes students to characters known for being tricksters.  After reading, students research “trickster tales” from other cultures. They complete a chart, comparing the central characters, humorous pieces, and cultural values within the texts. Students share their information with a small group. Students work with a partner to present an oral retelling of one of the folktales they read, switching off between the roles of director and reteller, with instructions given like “listen to your director about ways to convey the humorous or dramatic moments of the tale.” 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students complete a research task following the reading of “Ode to Enchanted Light” by Pablo Neruda: “Research a few poets known for their nature poems—perhaps a poet you’ve read before and one you’re curious about reading for the first time.” Teacher notes are available as support, for example, “Point out to students that there are a number of sites dedicated to poetry and poets. Help students locate good places to look for reliable information.” 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, in the Research and Share section, students work with a small group to research and then “write a job description for being an astronaut.” Then the students  research “specific astronauts and determine how well these candidates meet your job description.” As students conduct their research they are asked to check their sources for reliability and credibility. They use a graphic organizer to track their sources and notes. Students are asked to “Take notes on a least one source, paraphrasing and summarizing key ideas."

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Lessons include some independent reading followed by text-specific questions and tasks that reflect student accountability. Procedures are organized for independent reading included in the lessons. Each Unit includes an Independent Reading plan with guidance for teachers and students. There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for readers at all levels. There is a tracking system (which may include a student component) to track independent reading. A timeline is provided for each of the six units; each unit lasts approximately 30 days. The Reader’s Choice in the Independent Reading section includes e-text selections and students check off the texts they select to read on their own. Assessments are available for the independent reading selections and teachers can assess students formatively by listening to partner discussions during the Collaborate and Share task that follows the independent reading.  Student reading materials span a wide volume of texts at grade levels (and at various lexile levels within the grade). Additionally, there are trade books suggested for every unit to foster an independent companion novel as students complete the unit. 

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students preview and select an independent reading text or texts from four on grade level or above grade level choices. Texts include two short stories, “ H-ey, Come On Ou-t!” by Shinichi Hoshi and “Way Too Cool” by Brenda Woods. One informational text, “Forever New” by Dan Risch and an essay, “A Priceless Lesson in Humility” by Felipe Morales. The plan for independent reading has students set a purpose, provides a checklist of Notice & Note Signposts with corresponding anchor questions, and has them keep a reading log of where they noticed a particular Signpost and their notes about those Signposts. Students Collaborate and Share with a partner discussing what they learned from at least one of their independent readings. Specific prompts for discussion are provided for partners to elevate and propel their conversation. Additionally, there are Independent Reading Selection Tests in the Online Ed resources. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students have a choice in a variety of independent reading options to extend their understanding and thinking around the unit’s essential question: “What does it mean to be in harmony with nature?” Students are instructed, after reading, to Collaborate and Share with a partner what they read independently. Their question stem choices for conversation include:  summarizing, describing, explaining, and recommendations of the texts. 

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for instructional supports and usability indicators.  The materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards, as well as offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Teachers are provided with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, and digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Criterion 3a - 3e

7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids. While the materials include a Common Core State Standards Correlation as a separate document to use as a reference that lists page numbers when specific standards are addressed, the standards are not provided specifically in a consistent manner within the Teacher's Edition or Student Edition to make these connections explicit and reinforce the skills they are learning. The visual design is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. 

The Grade 7 curriculum is comprised of six units. The pacing guide at the beginning of each unit suggests that the instructional duration will be 30 lessons for each unit. Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Within each unit instruction is divided into Analyze & Apply, Collaborate & Compare, Independent Reading, and End of Unit tasks and assessments. Guidance for teachers in explaining Notice & Note Signposts are integrated into each unit.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, the Teacher Edition includes the suggested pacing guide at the beginning of the unit. The pacing spans 30 days, with each segment broken down in time to be spent on each text, including independent reading. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, each text is supported with Comprehension Questions, Analyze the Text questions, a short research section, and two project-based assessments that include reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, a unit Instructional Overview and Resources section is found at the beginning of each unit. The unit overview explains the Instructional Focus, Online Ed Resources, English Learner Support, Differentiated Instruction and Online Ed Assessments of the unit, lists reading, speaking and listening, writing, language conventions, and vocabulary components with an at-a-glance planning chart. For example, the Unit 4 Instructional Overview is found on pages 262A and 262B.
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, there is guidance for the teacher in how to explain the Notice & Note Signposts that will be the focus of Unit 6: Extreme or Absolute Language, Quoted Words, and Big Questions. Within the lessons for each text, there is guidance for the teacher to remind students to use the Notice & Note Signpost. 

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The materials include a suggested pacing guide for each unit, including the number of days required to complete the reading and activities for the various texts. The pacing allows for maximum student understanding.The suggested amount of time and expectations for teachers and students of the materials are viable for one school year as written and would not require significant modifications.  There are six units in Grade 7 and suggested pacing is 30 days for each unit.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, the Instructional Overview and Resources includes a Suggested Pacing of 30 Days with the Unit Introduction taking place on Day 1, five days to read and complete the activities relating to the short story “Rogue Wave”, four days should be allotted for “The Flight of Icarus,” three days for “Icarus’s Flight,” five days is suggested for “Women in Aviation,” eight days to complete the Collaborate & Compare section, two days for the independent reading selections, and three days to complete the culminating End of Unit tasks. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, the Instructional Overview and Resources includes a Suggested Pacing of 30 days which includes 1 day for the introduction, 3 days for completing the reading and tasks for the text “Two Legs or One?” and 8 days to Collaborate and Compare the play The Governess with the production images. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, the Instructional Overview and Resources includes a Suggested Pacing of 30 days. The Unit Introduction will take place on Day 1, the argument “Never Retreat” from Eyes Wide Open takes place over five days, an excerpt from Mississippi Solo over four days, four days is allotted for “The Drought,” four days for the short story “Allied with Green,” eight days to complete both of the Collaborate and Compare texts and activities, two days for the independent reading selections, and three days to complete the End of Unit tasks. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, the Instructional Overview and Resources includes a Suggested Pacing of 30 days which includes four days for reading and completing the tasks for “Martian Metropolis”,  two days for Independent Reading, and three days to complete the culminating Writing Task.

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

 Materials include but are not limited to graphic organizers, response logs, text dependent questions, Notice & Note Signposts, Check Your Understanding, Analyze the Text questions, unit assessments, supporting excerpts or texts, close read guides, Research Tips, essay rubrics, Language Conventions, model writings, Quick Start entrance and exit tickets, Critical Vocabulary word list and definitions in the margins of the text, and writing prompts. Student instructions are clear with models and examples to support students. There is ample practice for students to support mastery. Resources are clearly labeled.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students complete an end of unit task of writing an informational essay. There is an essay planning table, a graphic organizer to help students organize their ideas, a mentor text with explicit author’s craft moves to notice and imitate, revision questions to ask, tips to improve writing, and techniques of what to add to writing, with a rubric for students to evaluate their essays in pairs.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired By Nature, students are provided numerous opportunities throughout each text to practice a variety of skills in the Notice & Note signposts as they annotate the text, Check Your Understanding Questions, and Analyze the Text questions.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, textual features and resources such as photos are clearly labeled and described in captions within the text “Martian Metropolis” by Meg Thacher. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, after reading “It’s Not Just a Game!” by Lori Calabrese, students Write a Poem about their favorite sport. Instructions for what to include in the poem are detailed and clear: “Include characteristics of the sport. Focus on the main idea or feeling you want to convey. Decide whether to use rhyme or rhythm in your poem or have your poem flow in an unstructured way.”  There is additional online support in Writing is a Process in the Writing Studio.

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

The materials include a Common Core State Standards Correlation as a separate document to use as a reference that lists page numbers when specific standards are addressed. The standards are not called out specifically in a consistent manner within the Teacher Edition or student edition to make these connections explicit and reinforce the skills they are learning.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, students read a short story “Rogue Wave” and answer questions to Analyze the Text which connect to the CCSS: "Identify two settings on the boat in this story. How does the shifting between these settings influence the plot and build suspense.” There is a correlation to RL.7.1: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. The Student Edition and Teacher Edition include in bold Analyze the Text to call out the standard. The page numbers are referenced in the separate document “Common Core State Standards Correlation.” RL.7.1 is not listed next to the heading. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, the learning focus for reading “Heartbeat” is “analyze character” and “analyze conflict.” The Learning Objectives are: Analyze character and conflict.The first lesson for the text is a mini-lesson on character and conflict; however, the specific skills are not labeled in any form on the assessment to reinforce the standards and call out those skills.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students Write a Personal Narrative. Within the task, there are reminders to students, such as “include vivid, specific, and sensory details that make people, places, and events seem real” which connects to standard W.7.3d: Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events. The standard is not listed in the margin for students and teachers to call out this connection or in the form of a heading to incorporate the language of the standard. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students complete a “More Than a Game Unit Test” which is available to print from the online resources or assign and complete online. There are connections to the CCSS, such as “Use your knowledge of context clues to choose the best answer to each question.” The first test question begins with “Read the sentence. She was rich, but because of her frugal nature, she hated to spend as much as a nickel, even for things she needed. The context clues help you understand that frugal means –” There are other questions that connect to skills they practice previously in the unit. The specific skills are not labeled in any form on the assessment to reinforce the standards and call out those skills.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. All units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space to capture thoughts as needed. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. All units include graphic organizers that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise. Units and lessons are designed congruently in order to provide a repetitive workflow for both teachers and students. Embedded questions and tasks are not distracting but provide a clear way for students to understand when to engage with what feature. 

  • Background about the author is consistently provided above the text selection. 
  • Annotation Models using the Notice & Note Signposts are consistently provided throughout the materials.
  • Materials are consistently designed throughout lessons with clear repetition in organization for students to understand what they should be engaging in with repetitive headings such as “Check Your Understanding, Analyze the Text, Collaborate and Compare” so that teachers and students can familiarize themselves with expectations for each segment. 
  • Photos, maps, keys, Notice & Note questions, and other embedded tasks are done on a consistent basis and are designed in a clean-cut manner so that students understand when to engage in them and are not distracted by them. 

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards. The materials contain a Teacher's Edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the Student Edition and in the ancillary materials. While the Teacher’s Edition provides background information and certain supports for teachers to present to students, there is no evidence of explanations of more challenging literacy ideas nor any cited resources where teachers can glean more understanding before supporting students. The Teacher’s Edition explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.  Although the materials include strategies for informing students about the ELA/literacy program, there is no evidence that the program is shared with other stakeholders, nor are there suggestions for parents and caregivers to support their student’s progress and/or achievement.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The instructional materials include embedded and ongoing Professional Learning modules. The materials include Notice & Note strategies for close reading, classroom videos, and on-demand Professional Learning modules. A Professional Learning Guide and on demand access to program experts with conferencing and digital demonstrations support implementation. Teachers have the flexibility to customize and teach by theme, instructional purpose, standard, and genre.There are also interactive supports called Studios that can support teachers and/or students in specific standards and skills. Throughout the online and print materials, teachers are guided to more support through margin notes that are easily accessed. 

  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, Notice & Note Reading Model strategies are available prior to reading “Rogue Wave.” The signposts Memory Moment, Again and Again, and Aha Moment are introduced. Teaching notes include “Explain that Notice & Note Signposts are significant moments in the text that help readers understand and analyze words of fiction or nonfiction. Use the instructions on these pages to introduce students to the signposts...Then use the selection that follows to have students apply the signposts to the text.” There is an online Reading Studio that is available and displayed in the margin to access more information on these and other signposts.
  • The Teacher Edition has a section at the beginning of the text that explains each key component of the lessons, including, but not limited to, program assessments, Into Literacy Studios, and Notice & Notes. As students move through the curriculum, the Teacher Edition prompts teachers with instructional guidance including additional features for struggling students. For example, in Unit 2, Reality Check, as students read “Heartbeat,” they are asked to “...mark the sentence that shows a contrast between what Sarah believes and Dave knows to be true.” The Teacher Edition gives teachers this information, “Explain to students that this signpost is often used when a character behaves in a way that contradicts past behavior or in a way the reader wouldn’t expect. By contrasting what Dave believes...the author is revealing important information about Dave’s character development.”There are specific directions for small group structures and protocols, and semi-scripted to scripted scaffolds and supports for students who are struggling. 
  • Links are available in each lesson to access the appropriate studio via the Online Ed resources and a consistent symbol is used to flag these when appropriate. The following studios are available to access: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Grammar, and Vocabulary.

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Teacher Edition provides background information and certain supports for teachers to present to students, such as Text X-Ray: English Learner Support feature.  There is no evidence of explanations of more challenging literacy ideas nor any cited resources where teachers can glean more understanding before supporting students. They often must read the explanations in the student edition.

  • Teacher Edition provides explanations of concepts in brief terms but does not offer additional examples or instructions for deepening understanding of content. Information provided is surface level, prompting teachers with what to say to guide students, but not how to conceptually understand ideas deeply themselves. For example, in Unit 1, Taking Action, the Teacher Edition reads “Review the information about capitalization with students. Remind them that nearly all nouns…..” and a practice stem is given that reads “ask students to explain why Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is capitalized.” A possible answer is given, but no additional teacher information is given.
  • Background information is given on texts so that teachers can expand students' thinking about how the text might relate to the overall essential question of the unit.
  • The Teacher Edition includes annotations on how to present information, such as question stems, that will assist students, but there are no clear supports that will assist a teacher in developing their own understanding of concepts. 
  • Throughout the Teacher Edition, there are Learning Mindset notes. These provide the teacher with strategies on how to encourage a growth mindset. In Unit 2, Reality Check, the Learning Mindset encourages Problem Solving by telling the teacher to encourage students to try moving onto something else when getting stuck and not being able to immediately solve a problem. 
  • In the Vocabulary Strategy section, the Teacher Edition has answers to support the teacher. In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students learn the Vocabulary Strategy: Etymology. Students learn how to use a dictionary to find the word origin and history of a word, or where a word “comes from.”  

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Students will read and write across genres, utilizing the Notice & Note Reading Model. Studios are available to address grade level standards including Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Grammar, and Vocabulary. Key Learning Objectives are available for each unit that connect to the grade level standards. The instructional materials include an online option allowing teachers to select a standard set to discover matching resources. In the ancillary materials, there is a CCSS Correlation chart that connects each standard to a lesson or lessons that address that standard. 

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, while reading “The Camera Does Lie,” students are focused on the learning objective of, but not limited to, author’s purpose and using a dictionary to determine meaning. These two standards correlate to grade 7 CCSS RL.7.6 and L.7.4c.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, while reading “Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed,” students are focused on the learning objective of, but not limited to, mood and identifying and analyzing elements in science fiction. These two learning objective correlate with the grade 7 CCSS of RL.7.1 and RL.7.3. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students practice skills including but not limited to: analyze point of view and analyze organizational patterns. The learning objectives correlate to the CCSS for the grade level, such as RI.7.6 and RL.7.5.
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, while watching an excerpt from the documentary It Takes a Child, students are focused on, but not limited to, analyzing a documentary film, and analyzing sound and film footage. These two learning targets correlate with grade 7 CCSS Rl.7.1 and RI.7.3.

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

The Research Foundations Evidence Base preface to the modules includes how materials address the needs of today’s evolving classrooms. There are five main pillars in the Program Overview: 1. Maximizes growth through data-driven differentiation and targeted scaffolds. 2. Develops learners with positive habits of reading, writing, and thinking behavior to foster agency. 3. Fosters a learning culture with a focus on collaboration, peer interaction, and articulation of views. 4. Unburdens teachers to focus energy on the delivery of powerful instruction through simple, intuitive program design. 5. Empowers and supports teachers to be developers of high-impact learning experiences through embedded and ongoing professional learning. The Research Foundations Evidence Base provides research, explains how the materials deliver the desired outcomes of independence, agency, and metacognition, and explains how the materials integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language strands through lessons, assessments, engagement strategies, and differentiation.

  • Research Foundations: Evidence Base includes a detailed discourse regarding the research-based practices that are integrated into the curriculum, such as student-centered learning, integration of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and Language.
  • Separate research-based categories have detail woven in from specific research studies that were conducted to support their findings, such as data-driven growth in assessments. 
  • Research Foundations includes a references section where references are provided to all studies referenced within the curriculum materials. 
  • The Research Foundations: Evidence Base names components of student-centered learning: agency, independence, growth mindset, social and emotional learning, digital literacy, metacognition, differentiation, collaboration, grouping. Then it lists research and conclusions on those aspects of learning. This is followed by How Into Literature Delivers. It shows how the materials are designed to meet that need.
  • The Research Foundations: Evidence Base shows how the materials meet the need of Grouping. The program architecture moves students through phases of instruction following the gradual release model and varied grouping structures. These include: Analyze & Apply: Whole-class direct instruction, Collaborate & Compare: Cooperative small-group work, and Independent Reading/ Independent Practice.

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

The instructional materials include strategies for informing students about the ELA/literacy program. There is no evidence that this program is shared with other stakeholders, nor are there suggestions for parents and caregivers to support their student’s progress and/or achievement. The program assists students to be autonomous learners and teaches strategies to reach grade level standards. There is progress tracking data available to provide teachers with information to differentiate. 

  • The materials provide opportunities for ongoing assessment and data reporting utilizing a Report on Student Growth and Report on Standards Proficiency.
  • Reports in Ed allow teachers to view progress by class, students, assignments, and skill level. Teachers can adjust instruction based on the results in real time. 
  • The materials include opportunities for formative assessments, peer reviews, and Reflect on the Unit questions which students can use to monitor their progress. 
  • The assessment materials provide data for students and teachers on ongoing progress. Teachers and students have access to growth measurements, unit assessments, and ongoing formative assessments such as daily classwork checks. 
  • Teachers have ways to differentiate and adjust a student's instructional path including but not limited to the instructional purpose, standard, or genre. There are also a variety of supports that teachers can assign based on assessment data. These features are accessible in the online features. 
  • Students can also track their data and access support material in the online features.

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials offer teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. The materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized and they provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. The materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. The materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Materials provide regular and systematic opportunities for assessment, including diagnostic assessments, interim assessments, selection and unit assessments, and end-of-unit assessments. Throughout the units are multiple measures of formative assessments for grade level CCSS including, but not limited to, multiple choice, short answer, and longer writing tasks. The online feature also allows for the customized building of assessments. Materials genuinely measure student progress and provide information to inform instructional decisions. The Grade 7 materials include a comprehensive balanced assessment approach that includes baseline, and growth assessments, unit assessments based in standards, and ongoing formative assessments. The Growth Assessment is an adaptive assessment that is given three times a year to measure growth and provide data through an online Student Growth Report that teachers can use to differentiate instruction. Students that are particularly low can take a Reading Comprehension Diagnostic Assessment. 

  • The instructional materials include diagnostic assessments as online resources, such as the Literary Criticism Diagnostic Assessment. This particular screening test addresses a variety of standards that are listed by test item. The diagnostic assessment determines the student’s prior knowledge on the topic and provides data for the teacher to guide instructional decisions.
  • In the Grade 7 online features, teachers can assign and build assessments for students based on a standard(s) or a text. For example, some options for an assessment include, but are not limited to, Literary Criticism Diagnostic, Grade 7 Module Pretest: The Sentence, Level Up Rhyme Practice, and a Holes Book Test.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read “Seven Minutes of Terror” by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the online resources provide an opportunity to complete a selection test to assess skills practiced during the specific selection. There are seven standards listed prior to completion of the test. Selection tests are available consistently for each unit and text.
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, the Unit Task asks students to Write a Research Report, Participate in a Panel Discussion, and Reflect on the Unit. A scoring guide is available to evaluate the argument. Online resources include a Change Agents Unit Test which identifies how students performed on key skills and standards practiced throughout the unit. The Unit 6 test includes 21 standards that are listed prior to completion of the test. There are six opportunities per year for students to complete a unit assessment.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The Common Core State Standards Correlation booklet denotes which standards are being assessed in both formative and summative assessments. Additionally, in the Online Ed Assessment digital Teacher Edition.

  • In the accompanying Assessment Guide and in the Assessment section of the Research Foundations: Evidence Base, there are images of sample reports on standards proficiency for individual students. Standards are noted on the Assessment Report.
  • Selection Tests for each text are available within the units. Standards are noted in the Online Ed Teacher Edition. In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read the poem “What if We Were Alone?” and are assessed over seven standards. 
  • The Common Core State Standards Correlation booklet lists each page within the curriculum where a standard is addressed. 
  • Each assessment that is taken, whether diagnostic, selection tests, or reading comprehension, has standards assigned to each item.
  • Standards view by class is available to show which standards have been covered by which assessments and to what degree of accuracy.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The materials provide teachers with the opportunity to view student proficiency for any standard at any time. The materials include quality rubrics and scoring guides for end of unit tasks and can be used to assess the Standards to their full intent. Digital platform provides grouping suggestions, resources for follow up, and suggested lessons for teachers to utilize with struggling students. Quality guidance for the teacher to interpret assessment data is provided, including Self-Guided Lessons to allow for Remediation, Support, and Extension.

Culminating assessments include easy-to-use rubrics with built in feedback. 

  • Culminating writing tasks include detailed rubrics with multiple sections and clear skills so that students and teachers can see exactly what skills they need to improve on for follow up.
  • Assessments show student proficiency by standard with multiple different views available on the digital platform. Educators can view standard success by student, by class, by assessment, or even choose a student view that shows one student’s mastery of all standards covered at any point in time. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, after reading “Never Retreat” from Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fleischman, students identify claims, supporting evidence, and counterargument in Fleischman’s argument. The Teacher Edition, When Students Struggle…, has suggestions for guiding students to identify the claim, evidence, and counterargument in paragraph 8. It outlines the process for additional practice and a gradual release. For additional support, the Teacher Edition also suggests teachers use the Reading Studio and the Level Up Tutorial: Analyzing Arguments.
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students complete the Language Conventions: Complex Sentences and Subject-Verb Agreement following “It’s Not Just a Game” by Lori Calabrese. The Teacher Edition has suggestions for students to visit  the Grammar Studio for more information.

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

In the Teacher edition, there are prompts and reminders when there are opportunities to monitor student progress, assess their skills, and provide feedback throughout the process. These include, but are not limited to: assessing an English learner’s comprehension and speaking skills, checking for understanding following the reading of a text, and assessing students’ comprehension skills with an ability to Notice & Note signposts when reading independently.  A pacing guide is available to begin each unit with reminders of the selection tests available online to assign or print. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, the Teacher Edition includes guidance about the desired response from students regarding reading, speaking, listening, language, and writing tasks. This guidance often includes additional strategies for students who might struggle.  For example, as students read “Women in History” by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, the Teacher Edition provides a section titled When Students Struggle… that includes a teacher prompt, “Have students use a chart to evaluate details and draw conclusions.” 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students compare two poems, “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W.B. Yeats and “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe. English Learner Support is available in the Teacher Edition, which includes questions for an oral assessment of students’ comprehension and speaking skills. For example, “1. Does the poem tell about a journey? (yes) What is another word for journey? (trip, quest) Who goes on the journey? (the knight) What is the knight looking for? (Eldorado; the city of gold)”.
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, for the Independent Reading part of the Unit, teachers are provided guidance on matching students and texts. Then teachers are instructed to “assess how well students read the selections, circulate throughout the room and listen to their conversations. Encourage students to be focused and specific in their comments.”
  • In Unit 6, Hidden Truths, students check off the text or texts that they decide to read independently. A Collaborate and Share activity takes place with a partner. Students discuss what they learned from at least one of the independent readings. Teacher guidance is available in the Teacher Edition: “To assess how well students read the selections, walk around the room and listen to their conversations. Encourage students to be focused and specific in their comments.” 

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Teachers select from hundreds of full-length works for fostering the love and commitment to reading. Students are also consistently given a choice in their independent reading materials. The materials include a flexible Independent Reading program, which includes an Independent Reading Library full of high-interest, motivating texts. The Notice & Note feature fosters independence in analysis and citation of text evidence. Studios offer additional instruction and provide self-paced instruction for key literacy skills. Independent reading is built into units and lessons with independent reading check-ins are provided. 

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, the Teacher Edition suggests that students Keep a Reading Log of their independent reading. In it, they assess how well they are noticing and reflecting on elements of the texts. 
  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students are held accountable for their reading by the Notice & Note Signposts and Anchor Questions. After Independent Reading, students Collaborate and Share with a partner. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students complete an Independent Reading Selection Test to monitor their comprehension of the text they selected. 
  • Each independent reading selection is paired with a selection test, which allows students to show what they’ve learned through their reading. Teachers can monitor comprehension and standards mastery through the digital platform.

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
9/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade-level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards; however, there are missed opportunities to extend learning for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. The materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

Consistently throughout the six units, teacher supports are in place in the Teacher Edition to assist English learners  The support is provided via Text X-Ray, which provides light, moderate, and substantial support for English Learners. The materials provide guidance when texts and/or tasks might be challenging or frustrating to students. Teachers are capable of extending the learning with an option available following each text selection and online resources provide the ability to differentiate by creating homogenous and heterogenous groups of students. Foundational support is also provided throughout, such as reading fluency practice, and there are interactive videos, such as the Reading Studio, that can be accessed to provide support for students.  

  • In Unit 2, Taking Action, there are ongoing supports for English Language Learners throughout the unit. For example, at the beginning of each text is two pages titled “Text X-Ray: English Learner Support” that includes substantial, moderate, and light support in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. An example of substantial support for reading “Heartbeat” by David Yoo is to “Remind students that what a character does can explain why they do things (motivation). Ask: Why does Dave wear so many shirts at the same time?” Later in the text embedded in the margin of the Teacher’s Edition, is another English Language support for idioms. “Explain to the students that an idiom is an expression or saying that has a figurative meaning instead of a literal one. Read paragraph 3 aloud and point out the idiom the magic words….”
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, teacher guidance is available within the Teach section for the Notice & Note Reading Model. The Teacher Edition includes notes to support struggling students: “Discuss Big Questions Model applying signposts. Display text from the article that asks a big question about fossil fuels, e.g., ‘Can we run this film in reverse? Only once have we replaced an energy source so central to our economy and lifestyle: when slave labor was abolished, a change so jarring that its threat brought on war.’ Clarify the sentence as necessary, then model a think aloud...” An example is available for teachers to model the think aloud. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, students compare theme with a novel excerpt from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander and a poem “Doubles Doubles” by J. Patrick Lewis. Following the reading, students complete a mini-research task. To Extend: “With a partner, discuss the reference to ‘beaded stars’ (line 5). How does it seem to apply to the sisters’ careers? How does it add to the mental image created in lines 4-5 of the poem?”
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, in the Teacher Edition, there are ongoing supports for students that struggle. For example, while reading “A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long” by Nikki Giovanni, there is a section titled “When Students Struggle…” that give the teacher additional strategies for struggling students in the area of “Analyzing Poetic Elements”. For the different text, “Frances Perkins and the Triangle Factory Fire” by David Brooks,  there is a section to improve reading fluency and a reminder that the online Reading Studio, which is an online interactive tool, can also be used.

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards. All students engage in the same complex text. Scaffolds and supports are provided in the Text X-Ray, so that all students can access the complex texts and meet or exceed grade level standards. Resources are provided on Reading Studio to meet the needs of students who are below grade level or an English Language Learner with opportunities to learn at their own pace on literacy skills. Materials provide support for ELL students or other populations in the When Students Struggle...sections of the Teacher Edition. In the teacher notes, general statements about EL students and suggested strategies located at the beginning of chapters are implemented in the materials throughout the curriculum. 

  • Text X-Ray sections prior to the reading of each text offer specific directions to teachers on how to make the text and specific ideas, strategies, or concepts accessible to students who need English Learner Support. An introduction to the selection is provided, a rundown on cultural references, and then specific sentence stems as well as directions are provided for Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing support for students at varying proficiency levels as they move through the text.  In Unit 2, The Thrill of Horror, “The Hollow” by Kelly Deschler, the Text X-Ray suggests that teachers Introduce the Selection by doing a close read and noticing the details related to the five senses. Then the Teacher Edition notes Culture References that may be unfamiliar to students, such as: hollow, legends, sleep, little town, harvest moon, ridge, thicket, and horseman. There are substantial, moderate, and light instructional supports for Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. 
  • Each text includes English Learner Support strategies for teachers to utilize in the form of questions, alternate explanations, other grouping options, and sentence stems. 
  • When Students Struggle support is offered throughout texts in areas where misconceptions might arise or where materials are particularly difficult. These supports offer teachers insight on another avenue that might help students reach their goal.
  • The digital integrated system allows teachers to differentiate instruction. Strategic grouping, Studios in Ed, an online teaching and learning system, and additional practice are delivered via the proficiency reports.
  • Resources are provided in Reading Studio to meet the needs of students who are below grade level or an English Language Learner with opportunities to learn at their own pace on literacy skills.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

The materials provide an opportunity to extend learning during a mini-research task to follow the reading of various selections. The tasks are meaningful and enrich the learning for students, though it is not indicated that the Extend task is meant to substitute for a different task. There are opportunities to differentiate book groups through the online resources to Create Groups. The pacing guide clearly indicates when differentiation is available “To Challenge Students.” The materials provide some opportunities for advanced students to investigate the grade-level content at a greater depth. These opportunities are in less than half of the texts with no opportunities in the others. Some of these tasks require students to do additional work rather than a differentiated task. 

  • In Unit 2, Reality Check, students read “Two Legs or One?” by Josepha Sherman. One opportunity presented to challenge students is “Write a Friendly Letter.” Guidance is available to the teacher: “Instead of writing about humor, ask students to use the folk tale...or another story of their choosing, and then write a letter from the perspective of a character in the story." There is no indication that the challenge task is an option meant to replace another.
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, students read “Martian Metropolis” by Meg Thatcher. Guidance is available to the teacher to challenge students to create diagrams: “Challenge students to come up with their own diagrams for a Mars colony. Have them research NASA.gov and other science websites that include information on Mars colonization for ideas.” There is no instruction to indicate that this activity is meant to replace another task and appears to be in addition to other work. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than a Game, there are only four opportunities in the materials “To Challenge Students…” An example is an additional research task for the culminating writing task. “Challenge students to plan a story by choosing an angle or issue they’d like to explore before they settle on writing about a baseball or some other sport. They might want to address issues such as gender or ethnicity, culture or subcultures...”
  • In Unit 6, Change Agents, the materials provide guidance to Extend learning during a mini-research unit to follow the reading of “Frances Perkins and the Triangle Factory Fire” by David Brooks: “With a small group, share your questions and discuss what you learned about Perkins’s life. After your discussion, do you have more questions about Perkins’s life? With your group, list these and discuss how you could research them.” 

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Numerous strategies are presented at varying times throughout the curriculum that encourage students and teachers to engage with each other in partnerships, small groups, and other ensembles and promote class-wide learning and accessibility of materials.

  • In Unit 1, Taking Action, at the beginning of each text, at least two small grouping strategies are provided to the teacher as an option for how to group students for reading. For example, before reading “Thank You, Ma’am,” a short story by Langston Hughes, the Teacher Edition offers a pinwheel discussion or a three minute review pairing for students to discuss the text. These grouping options vary with each text.
  • In Unit 3, Inspired By Nature, student tasks throughout units encourage students at varying times to work in partners, small groups, and other units in order to accomplish tasks. For example, after reading an excerpt titled “Never Retreat” from Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fleischman, students discuss with a small group how their school or community “promotes sustainability of the environment.” Other guiding questions and a checklist are provided to ensure productive discourse. 
  • In Unit 5, More Than A Game, Alternate grouping options are provided for students who may struggle, such as English Language Learners, as a way for them to access more difficult materials and ideas through working with a group instead of independently. For example, when reading “Get in the Zone: The Psychology of Video Game Design” by Aaron Millar, the Teacher Edition instructs educators to work with these learners and “Read paragraph 1 to students, stopping after each sentence to see if they need any clarification of words or phrases. Ask yes-or-no questions to help them identify the first person point of view.” There are additional question stems given. 
  • In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, the Analyze & Apply task is whole class direct instruction. After reading “Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed” students "Analyze: What words would you use to describe the overall mood of the story? Cite examples of Bradbury’s use of language. Interpret: Why is it significant that the settlers are using the old Martian names of local landmarks and changing their own names? Compare: Why might Cora be more accepting of life on Mars than her husband Harry? What practical matters might affect her behavior?" 

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criterion for materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms. Digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers, “platform neutral,” follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations and the materials can be easily customized for local use. The materials do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials include instructional technology resources that are web-based and compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox). The materials are accessible on both Windows and Apple platforms. The student resources are accessible on tablets and other mobile devices, as well as personal computers. Examples of devices students can utilize include iPads, Google Chromebooks, as well as other laptops or desktop computers. Small cellular devices can be used with Internet access, though there are limitations with accessing assessments.

  • The student resources open and display on tablets and other mobile devices, as well as personal computers. When accessing the reading selections, students can view and complete activity checks using a small mobile device. A mobile device, such as a cellular phone, is not a conducive device to access the assessments due to the display not configuring correctly to the size needed (e.g. words will string into one long line and will not appear on the page). When using a larger tablet, such as an iPad, students can access the assessments and complete the assessment without difficulty navigating the pages or reading the content. A Google Chromebook allows access and opens assessments correctly.
  • Both Google Chrome and Safari work to access the materials. Popups must be enabled on devices, otherwise the assessments will not be able to open in a new window. Students may need assistance to adjust the settings on the device. An example is the Rogue Wave Selection Test which opens and displays all the text, including the Start, Next, and Finish buttons. The same assessment would not open using Safari until the popup function was enabled. 
  • The student materials online allow students to create notes while they listen and follow along as a text is read aloud with a highlighting feature. Most of the tasks can be done interactively, but some link to a PDF that would need to be printed out or converted to be able to complete digitally. For example, the Word Network graphic organizer at the beginning of Unit 2, Inspired by Nature, links to a PDF that cannot be typed into. Other PDFs, however, allowed a user to type into the PDF.
  • There are options available to print the materials from the online resources and to work offline using a device when students cannot access the Internet. The student work will sync and update when accessing the Internet again.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. 

Technology is used throughout modules and lessons to enhance student learning and draw attention to evidence and texts with digital annotation tools. The Reading Studio provides independent practice in specific reading skills and strategies. Close Read Screencasts show students how dialogues can reveal meaning and can be used to model readers’ discussions and annotations as they analyze difficult passages. Producing & Publishing with Technology allows students to use technology effectively. 

  • The Reading Studio provides independent practice in specific reading skills and strategies. In Unit 5, More Than a Game, the Reading Studio has students use the Notice & Note Signposts Tough Questions, Words of Wiser, and Aha Moment to help them understand themes and characters in the text “Ball Hawk” by Joseph Bruchac.
  • Close Read Screencasts show students how dialogues can reveal meaning and can be used to model readers’ discussions and annotations as they analyze difficult passages.
  • Producing & Publishing with Technology allows students to use technology effectively. In Unit 4, The Terror and Wonder of Space, in the Speaking and Listening End-of-Unit Task, students prepare a podcast about one of the following: the purposes of spacewalks, the training that prepares astronauts for a spacewalk, spacesuits and other equipment astronauts use on a spacewalk, the procedure, or steps for a safe successful spacewalk. They use technology to record and publish their podcast.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The annotation tools allow students to personalize information. Teachers can use strategic grouping to support differentiated instruction. Independent reading selections incorporate student choice and allow students to explore a variety of genres and teachers can personalize to make recommendations and pair students with texts based on complexity. A balanced assessment system provides teachers with a way to personalize instruction; teachers can create a learning path for each student through ongoing assessments. While not as robust as the teacher's abilities, students also have the capability to adapt their learning through features such as read aloud, accessing supports in the online Studios, and a one-click glossary function for some vocabulary.  

  • A Groups function is available in the online resources for teachers to personalize groups of students based on progress monitoring data. These groups can be homogenous or heterogenous to accommodate diverse learners and their individual needs. 
  • In Unit 3, Inspired by Nature, students complete an Independent Reading Section when they check off texts they select to read. There are four selections available. In the Teacher Edition, there are notes for Matching Students to Texts. Each selection lists the title, genre, and overall rating in terms of whether it is “Challenging” or “Accessible” with the accompanying Lexile level when applicable. Teachers can use this information to personalize and help guide students in using their texts. In Unit 3, the Lexile levels range from 920L-1020L for the independent reading selections. There are additional notes to assist teachers in personalizing for students who need support for noticing and reflecting on the texts in the form of a Reading Log.
  • A balanced assessment system is available with the program to inform instructional decisions; these include a Growth Measure three times per year, Unit Assessments six times per year, and formative assessments with ongoing feedback from daily classroom activities. Examples of formative assessments include: comprehension checks, selection tests, skills practice, and other learning experiences. Teachers have the ability to Create assessments online; these can be customized, adapted, and assigned for various groups of students using the technological resources.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Teachers can customize the digital materials. There are embedded ongoing professional learning opportunities to support teachers which includes technical services to plan, prepare, implement, and operate technology. If students do not have Wifi at home, they can download and then access needed materials when they are offline. The program allows the option for teachers to use provided assessments or create their own with Ed, an online teaching and learning system. Teachers have flexibility to customize lesson plans based on their students’ needs. There is an existing folder for specific state resources that can be easily expanded to support states that are using different standards than CCSS. 

  • The Digital Sampler describes A New Comprehensive Literacy Solution and highlights that teachers can use “Into Literature’s instructional path or create their own units with intuitive online planning tools.” Teachers can choose to teach by theme, instructional purpose, standards, and genre. 
  • If students are accessing materials from home using the online resources, those without Wifi can download the materials while at school and read and complete activities offline. 
  • For students who need tests printed, teachers have the capability to access a print-friendly version of assessments to meet those needs.
  • Teachers can create their own unique groups and customize based on their student population and data from ongoing assessments.
  • There is a feature in the online Teacher Resources for “State-Specific Resources.” Presently, the only materials are the CCSS and Indiana State Standards.

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 do not meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 do not meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate with each other. Collaboration within the curriculum only occurs in person within groups; there is no utilization of online platforms or technologies that promote teacher or students collaboration.

  • There is no evidence of any online collaboration between students in any format whether that be discussion, editing and reviewing, websites, or webinars.
  • Although there are digital resources such as the Speaking & Listening Studio with self-paced lessons for students, there is not a digital discussion board or any evidence of a website to host student to student or student to teacher collaboration.
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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 11/07/2019

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
HMH Into Literature Grade 7 Student Print/Digital Package 978-1-328-60746-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
HMH Into Literature Grade 7 Teacher Print/Digital Package 978-1-328-60802-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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