Alignment: Overall Summary

The Match Fishtank ELA materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards. High-quality texts are paired with strong social studies and science content to provide students with opportunities to read, write, and communicate with others effectively and with increasing sophistication.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
37
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
18
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

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. Texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. Materials include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The program materials in each Literature Unit and Science and Social Studies Unit contain a text complexity analysis that includes quantitative measure, qualitative measure, and a rationale for including the text. Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines. The lessons throughout the units have sets of high quality sequences of text dependent questions that build to a culminating task. The materials include supporting documents that outline strategies and structures for evidence-based discussions. Materials support speaking and listening about the text through group learning activities and class discussions. The majority of lessons include on-demand writing, such as a Target Task that requires students to respond in writing to the text covered in the lesson. Materials partially 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. The program does not explicitly teach word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected texts and tasks. While the program contains texts that could allow students the opportunity to practice reading fluently, the program does not provide explicit instruction on how to read with accuracy, appropriate rate, and prosody.

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.
19/20
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. Texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. Materials include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The instructional materials reviewed meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. The program materials in each Literature and Science and Social Studies Unit contain a text complexity analysis that includes quantitative measure, qualitative measure, and a rationale for including the text. Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The texts in both Literature and Science and Social Studies are of publishable quality, many are written by well-known authors, and many are also part of well-known series. The texts are culturally diverse and contain strong academic vocabulary. The texts contain engaging pictures, and the content is written in a manner that is engaging for students.

Examples in Literature include:

  • In Unit 1, students read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, which is a text that brings together numerous cultural perspectives to create something beautiful in their community.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, which has won numerous awards and has been published across the world in 17 different languages. The knowledge demands and cultural themes make it of publishable quality.
  • In Unit 3, students read Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez, which has won numerous awards, such as the Pura Belpre Award. It is a timely story that has historical connections between the Native American displacement and migrant struggles in America.
  • In Unit 4, students read the Newberry Award winning text, One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia, which also won the Coretta Scott King Award.
  • In Unit 5, students read the Newberry Award winning text, Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. Students also read the Newberry Award winner Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry.
  • In Unit 6, students read the Newberry Award winning text, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, which addresses themes of conformity and is of high-interest to students.

Examples from sections identified as Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Unit 1, students read Food Chains and Food Webs by Kira Freed, which contains strong academic content and vocabulary.
  • In Unit 2, students read La Causa: The Migrant Farmworkers’ Story by Dana Catharine de Ruiz and Richard Larios, which is a visually appealing text that is of high interest to students.
  • In Unit 3, students read several texts including Witnesses to Freedom: Young People who Fought for Civil Rights by Belinda Rochelle and Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activities Tell Their Own Stories by Ellen S. Levine, which contain strong academic content and vocabulary and are age-appropriate.
  • In Unit 4, students read The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch, which contains colorful pictures, strong academic vocabulary, and is of high interest.


Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade levelThe materials include a mix of informational and literary texts. There is a wide array of informational and literary text integrated throughout every unit. Additional supplementary texts are included, resulting in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including articles, historical fiction, mythology, folktales, poetry, audio interviews, and songs. The majority of the literary texts are found in the Literature curriculum, and the majority of the informational texts are found in the Science and Social Studies curriculum.

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

  • Literature, Unit 1: Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
  • Literature, Unit 2: The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
  • Literature, Unit 3: Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
  • Literature, Unit 4: “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
  • Literature, Unit 5: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Literature, Unit 6: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson and Madeleine L’Engle

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

  • Science and Social Studies, Unit 1: “Losing Africa's Lions” by Michelle Bruner
  • Science and Social Studies, Unit 2: La Causa: The Migrant Farmworkers’ Story by Dana Catharine de Ruiz and Richard Larios
  • Literature, Unit 2: I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick
  • Science and Social Studies, Unit 3: Witnesses to Freedom: Young People Who Fought for Civil Rights by Belinda Rochelle
  • Science and Social Studies, Unit 4: The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of SPirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch
  • Literature, Unit 4: Panter Newspaper - Vol. 3. No. 1, 1969 - part 2


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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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. The majority of the texts are the appropriate quantitative measure. Texts that fall outside of the quantitative band have qualitative features and/or tasks that bring them to the appropriate level for students to access the text.

Examples of texts that fall within the appropriate quantitative band with appropriate qualitative measures and reader and task include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, students read several texts that fall within the appropriate grade level band including Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery (L780), Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Day by Frank Sikora (L830) and Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activitists Tell Their Own Stories by Ellen S. Levine (L760). The quantitative and qualitative components of the texts in this unit ensure that scholars are exposed to informational texts with a varying range of text-complexity features and demands. All of the texts in this unit have moderately complex knowledge demands, but all of the texts also include carefully curated illustrations, graphics, and page layouts to support the complexity, though they often add information that is not otherwise conveyed in the text.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, students read The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch, which has a Lexile of 950. The text structure, illustrations and graphics, vocabulary, sentence structure, and content knowledge make the text worthy of study. The text features are essential for understanding the content, given the moderately complex text structure and page layout.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, students read One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, which has a Lexile of 750. The appropriate Lexile, along with the moderately complex knowledge demands and vocabulary/sentence structure support the text’s placement at this point in Grade 5.
  • In Literature, Unit 6, students read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle which has a Lexile of 740. The text has complex, archaic sentence structure and vocabulary. While comprehending the text requires a strong grasp of using context to figure out the meaning of unknown words, the plot and themes of the story are both simple and easy for students to access, making the text appropriate in Grade 5.

One example of a text that is above the appropriate Lexile band but has appropriate qualitative measures and reader and task is Witnesses to Freedom: Young People who Fought for Civil Rights by Belinda Rochelle. Found in Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, students read , this text has a Lexile of 1040, though the qualitative features make the it accessible and appropriate for students in Grade 5.

One example of a text falls below the appropriate Lexile band but has an appropriate qualitative measure and reader and task is The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. Found in Literature, Unit 2, this text has a Lexile of 630, which is in the 2-3 grade band. However, the complex knowledge demands suggest the text is more appropriate in the 4-5 grade band. Additionally, many of the themes are more complex for elementary school readers' experience, including such themes as women’s rights, warfare, and self-reliance.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for materials supporting 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.)

Texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band. Skills build upon one another in units and across the year. Texts require deeper analysis throughout the year and themes become more complex in the texts. Questions increase within the depth of knowledge: requiring inferences, analysis, and synthesis throughout the year. Examples include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, students learn how to quote accurately from the text and how to determine a theme of the story. Another focus of the unit is to establish expectations for annotation, discussion, and vocabulary.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, students learn how to paraphrase portions of a text and determine what situations call for paraphrasing versus quoting directly from the text. Students summarize both longer and shorter sections of a text by including key components of a summary.
  • In Literature, Unit 6, students spend time on author’s craft as a way to develop tone and emotions, particularly the use of sentence structure and syntax. As this is the culminating unit of the year, students review characterization, theme, context clues, and plot. For example, in Lesson 1, students are asked how the author characterizes Meg.

Informational writing focus correction areas are identified in the unit overviews. They show clear progression and increase in demands on student performance. These include:

  • In Unit 1, students provide of variety of text evidence, include headings, to logically group ideas and brainstorm to show command of organizational structure.
  • In Unit 2, students group supporting ideas and relevant evidence in paragraph sections.
  • In Unit 3, students use transition words, phrases, and clauses to connect evidence.
  • In Unit 4, students establish strong voice using multiple craft techniques and revise and strengthen writing by integrating information from more than one text.

Writing projects from the Science and Social Studies units also show an increase in the demands of students throughout the year. For example:

  • In Unit 1, students explain how their model shows the movement of energy in a food web.
  • In Unit 2, students describe the characteristics of an influential leader by drawing on multiple print and digital sources to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. This writing prompt requires multiple skills and draws on information from multiple texts. Students respond to the writing prompt on how the events from the March to Selma illustrate the characteristics of youth involvement in the civil rights movement as a whole. Students use multiple texts along with evidence from the texts and draw conclusions based on the texts. Students defend and support their conclusions in writing.
  • In Unit 4, the writing prompt requires students to integrate information from throughout the unit and build on information from a text. Students write the foreword of the text, The Mighty Mars Rovers, using the same style and format as the author.


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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

The program materials in each unit in Literature and Science and Social Studies contain a text complexity analysis that includes quantitative measure, qualitative measure, and a rationale for including the text. The text complexity analysis is accessible from the Unit Overview.

In Literature, each unit contain a quantitative and qualitative analysis, as well as a reader and task with a description for why the text is appropriate, such as:

  • In Unit 1, students read Seedfolks, which has a Lexile of 710. The program states that the qualitative measure explains that the complex levels of meaning and text structure make the lower Lexile text appropriate in this grade. The plot of the story is unconventional and moderately complex. Themes for the entire novel are nuanced and developed over the course of the entire novel, which requires a deeper analysis.
  • In Unit 2, The Breadwinner has a Lexile of 630, but the qualitative analysis states that the complex knowledge demands makes the text more appropriate for this grade.
  • In Unit 3, Return to Sender has a Lexile of 890 and the qualitative demands, particularly the complex knowledge demands and text structures, make this an appropriate text according to the program.
  • In Unit 4, with a Lexile of 750, the core text, One Crazy Summer, is appropriate and the program states that the qualitative measures, particularly the knowledge demands, vocabulary, and sentence structure make the text moderately complex.
  • In Unit 5, Julie of the Wolves has a Lexile of 860 and is moderately complex due to its conventionality, vocabulary, and sentence structure. It uses dense, complex language, and contains a lot of figurative language. According to the program, the vocabulary is archaic, complex, and unfamiliar, and the sentence structure is very plain.

In Science and Social Studies most of the units contain a rationale with the quantitative and qualitative analysis, such as:

  • In Unit 1, the text, Food Chains and Food Webs, does not have a Lexile or a rationale.
  • In Unit 2, the core text, La Causa, The Migrant Farmworkers’ Story, does not have a Lexile; however, the program states that the text retells events in a chronological order, with straightforward vocabulary, and simple structure, making it appropriate in this unit.
  • In Unit 3, there are numerous text with Lexiles ranging from 760 to 1040, but no rationale is provided.


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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines. In the Publisher’s Documents, a teacher can use a variety of “text consumptions” from read alouds to independent reading; however, there is no directive for teachers on which text consumption strategy to use, which does not guarantee a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level proficiency. The lessons do not explicitly outline nor identify which strategy should be used other than the occasional sample lesson. The teaching notes imply that the students read independently at times, though it is not explicitly stated.

The Publisher’s Document includes text consumption strategies, which gives teachers a menu of ways for students to read a text. Teachers can choose read aloud, shared reading, partner reading, independent reading, or small group reading. Rarely is it specified which strategy to use, giving teachers the decision, thus making it possible that not all students will engage in a range and volume of texts to achieve grade level reading. At times, it is specified in the sample lessons, but other than that, teachers may choose one consumption strategy all year, thus preventing students from reaching grade level reading proficiency. The Publisher’s Document also breaks down a typical reading block. It explains that 60-90 minutes a day should be spent on Literature, 60-90 minutes a day on Science and Social Studies, 45-60 minutes a day of independent reading, 60 minutes of guided reading, and foundational skills as needed.

Close reading is specified at times throughout the program. For example, in Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 6, students complete a close read of Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights. In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 5, students complete a close read of paragraph 2 from Article 1. At some points in the program, it does specify for the teacher to read a text aloud, such as in Literature, Unit 4, lessons 11 and 26, although this specification is not consistent. Identifying how to read a range of text is not the norm in this program.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 lessons throughout the units have sets of high quality sequences of text dependent questions that build to a culminating task. The materials include supporting documents that outline strategies and structures for evidence-based discussions. Each unit and lesson includes evidence-based Key Questions and Target Tasks that require teachers to use one of the evidence-based discussions. Materials support speaking and listening about the text through group learning activities and class discussions. The majority of lessons include on-demand writing, such as a Target Task that requires students to respond in writing to the text covered in the lesson. Materials provide opportunities for students to learn how to write narrative, informational, and opinion pieces across both the Literature and Science and Social Studies units, and include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing. Materials partially 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.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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).

Materials contain questions and tasks that require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support their answers. At times students are asked to give the specific location of the text they returned to as they answered the questions. Each unit includes questions or activities in the Target Task and Key Questions section that require students to interact with the text. Questions asked include those which require both explicit answers and inferences from the text. The questions are specific to analyze the unit text and writing tasks are embedded through each unit with Target Tasks that include writing prompts in response to the text.

In Grade 5 Literature, examples of questions and tasks requiring the students to use evidence from the text include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 12, after reading Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman students are asked: "Florence describes the people who started the Gibb Street garden as 'seedfolks'. Why? Even though Florence was unable to garden, she became deeply connected to the garden. Explain how and why. How did the changing seasons influence the garden? The community? Even though Florence didn't recognize the girl planting Lima beans, it made her feel alive. What does the girl represent? Why is she important to the garden and the community?"
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 25, after reading I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick, students are asked: "At the end of the chapter Malala says, 'The Taliban shot me to try and silence me. Instead, the whole world was listening to my message now.' Explain the significance of this quote and what is how's about Malala."
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 7, after reading Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez, the students are asked: "How does Tyler respond to his mother's suggestion that he go introduce himself to the girls? What causes him to finally change his mind? Summarize what happens when Tyler goes to visit the girls. Do they all have the same perspective about the visit? Why? Despite many obvious differences, Tyler and Mari are becoming friends. Agree or disagree? What 'big mystery' does Tyler's family reveal? How does he respond? Why?"
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, after reading One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia, students are asked: "One Crazy Summer is told from Delphine's point of view. How does this include the way events and characters are described? What emotions are emphasized? Based on the first few chapter, what does Delphine want a reader to understand about her relationship with her sisters and Cecile?"

Similarly, in Grade 5 Science and Social Studies, lessons contain text-dependent questions and tasks after reading. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, after reading Food Chains and Food Webs by Kira Freed, students are asked: "The author states, 'Decomposers complete the food chain.' Explain how decomposers complete the food chain using details from the text and diagram."
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 13, after reading La Causa: The Migrant Farmers’ Story, pages 37 - 47 by Dana Catharine de Ruiz and Richard Larios and the “National Farm Workers Association Rules for Pickets” article, students are asked: "What challenges did Dolores face when she tried to strike by herself? Why? Describe what happened with Dolores and the grower. Did they both have the same perspective on events? Why? On page 45, the author states, 'Dolores stood her ground.' What does this mean? What rules were in place for picketing? Why was each rule important?"
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 7, after reading Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activities Tell Their Own Stories by Ellen S. Levine, students are asked: "Explain the significance of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court case. How did Southern segregationists respond? Why?"


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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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).

Units throughout Literature and Science and Social Studies have sets of high quality sequences of text-dependent questions that build to a culminating task. It is often a multi-day writing project or a research project. In Literature, the tasks usually require students to write stories similar to what they read, though one project has them write a magazine article. Many Science and Social Studies units require students to complete a research project, including an essay and a presentation.

Examples of culminating tasks throughout Literature and Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, students imagine they are from the community in Seedfolks and write a chapter from their point of view.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, students pick another apex animal and write a research report describing why the population of the animal is declining. Students evaluate the different solutions that are currently in place. Lessons throughout the unit support this task such as in Lesson 14, where students describe what happens when a species in a food chain disappears.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, students imagine that they have been hired as a writer for a magazine. Students pick a major theme of the unit and write a magazine article that teaches others around the world about the theme.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, students debate if the Cruz family was treated fairly by stating a claim and supporting the claim with key details from the unit.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, students use what they know about nonviolent tactics and community organizations to create a plan for fighting injustice in the community. Questions throughout the unit support this task, such as in Lesson 3, students analyze the tactics the students in the section of the text use to fight back against segregation and oppression they faced.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, students create a final version of the novel, One Crazy Summer, as told by a different character. This occurs in Lesson 35, which is a three-day project. Then Lesson 36, which is a two-day project, has students write Delphine’s back-to-school essay describing what she learned over the summer.
  • In Literature, Unit 5, students write the next chapter of one of the stories from the unit by using concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences while drawing on characteristics of modern genres as a model for writing.
  • In Literature, Unit 6, students write a story as if they are Meg, Calvin, or Charles from A Wrinkle in Time and are given an opportunity to tesser again. Students write about where they will go and what will happen.


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 5 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.

Throughout the curriculum there are opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions. Each unit and lesson includes evidence-based Key Questions and Target Tasks that require teachers to use one of the evidence-based discussions. These questions and the opportunity to choose the protocol provides opportunities for students to take a closer look at the author’s craft, vocabulary, and syntax. There are Match Minis that are videos for teachers that demonstrate how to implement these protocols. It is important to note that because there are lesson frames, and not step-by-step scripts for each lessons, the teachers have to use their own discretion for when to introduce and use the various protocols.

In the Publisher’s Support Document for teachers, the strategies are explained and outlined in a step-by-step guide. Some lessons refer to these strategies and structures specifically, and other times, the teacher has to choose when and which one to use. In addition, some lessons remind the teacher to model the strategy prior to the lesson. Some of the instructional strategies discussed include:

  • Turn and Talk: Low-risk oral language strategy that provides scaffolded opportunities for all students to formulate and build upon each other’s ideas.
  • Stop and Jot: Gives students a chance to process individually and make sense of information before participating in a turn and talk, class discussion, or moving on with a lesson. (A sample lesson plan for teaching Stop and Jot is provided)
  • Discussion: Rigorous discussion explicitly fosters habits that increase student thinking by challenging students to test out their own ideas, build on those of their peers, and ultimately lead a persuasive discussion. The length and format of a rigorous discussion can and should vary.

There is a Rigorous Discussion Guideline that provides steps and guidelines for preparing, leading, and following up after a discussion. A rubric is provided to help evaluate students’ discussion. Teachers are provided with various text consumption strategies that they can implement as they see fit. These strategies are read alouds, shared reading, partner reading, and small group reading.

Match Mini Protocols that illustrate various protocols include:

  • Part 1: In-Class discussions
  • Part 2: Protocols for classroom discussions. This assists the teacher with evidence-based discussions using the text-based questions and vocabulary.

Examples from the lesson frameworks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 8, after learning about the vocabulary term, "energy pyramid", one of the discussion questions is "How does the energy pyramid help a reader better understand how energy is transferred through a food chain?"
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 17, students discuss what themes are present in The Breadwinner. They give examples of how different characters respond to the major themes.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 15, the teacher leads a discussion about the boycott after reading the article, “Boycott Instructions-Delano Grapes/Schenley Liquors 1966,” and watching the video, “Chicano!-Struggle in the Fields.” Students use details from the letter, video, and boycott rules as a guide for facilitating this discussion.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 7, students watch the video, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” and discuss what evidence from the video supports the claim that the Black Panther Party sought social justice for African Americans and other oppressed communities through a combination of nonviolent social action, education, and community programs.


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 5 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.

Materials support speaking and listening about the text through group learning activities and class discussion. There are questions around photographs and videos, as well as informational text features. Each lesson outline has a discussion, writing, project, and test section. The series of questions in the Key Questions section lend themselves to rich discussion about the text and issues in the text. The course summary specifically says that the majority of the class time is spent engaging with the text, either individually or as a class, annotating, writing, and discussing key themes and questions. Target Tasks are a central part of each daily lesson and offer opportunities for writing and discussion that both deepen students’ understanding of the content and build their writing and discussion skills. The Intellectual Prep for each unit specifies that discussions will be included throughout the lessons.

In Literature, there are many opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening skills about what they are reading and researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students discuss point of view and how Leona describes the vacant lot on page 25 and how her view influences the way the setting is described.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 6, before doing the mini-lesson on Seedfolks, the teacher helps students understand the Target Task question by discussing the question.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, while reading The Breadwinner, students debate if now that Parvanan is dressed like a boy, she is acting like the man of the family by analyzing details in the text that describe character and setting in depth.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 8, while reading Return to Sender, students discuss various quotes from the text, such as “Tyler hates to admit it, but after September 11, he’s a little scared of strangers from other countries who might be plotting to destroy the United States of America."
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 11, students read two poems by Langston Hughes and then discuss the two poems by analyzing the poems and determining the author’s theme.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 10, while reading various poems, the students work in teams to analyze and explain figurative language found in the text. This requires both speaking and listening.

In Science and Social Studies, there are many opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening skills about what they are reading and researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, students develop a model to describe the movement of matter in a food chain and present their project to the class.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 10, students articulate and explain how energy is transferred throughout the food web, using domain-specific vocabulary.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 15, students use a letter, a video, and boycott rules to discuss boycotts.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 7, students debate if the children in the text section would agree or disagree with the statement: “Their courage made a difference not only in each of their individual lives, but for all the others who have followed.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 19, students synthesize everything that they read and learned about the Civil Rights Movement and use guiding questions to help frame the discussion.


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 5 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.

In the materials, the majority of lessons include on-demand writing, such as a Target Task that requires students to respond in writing to the text covered in the lesson. These tasks vary in type and require students to respond to print and video materials. The writing prompts in Science and Social Studies help students process the concepts that they have learned in the informational text. The Publisher’s Documents have guides for informational writing, narrative writing, and literary analysis. Guides provide writing protocols for teachers to use in instruction, along with explanations on implementing the structure within the lesson frames. Guides provide guidance on supporting students throughout the writing process while allowing for maximum response to student needs in the individual classrooms. The Unit Overviews identify skills that should be focused on in writing, and the Publisher’s Documents help teachers plan for addressing these skills in the lessons. The information for routines, procedures, and expectations is included in the Writing Focus Areas under Unit Prep, though not specified in each lesson.

Guidance for writing can be found in the Publisher’s Documents for each type of writing. Examples of guidance include the following:

  • Guide to Informational Writing establishes the rationale for informational writing, which is that informational writing anchors lessons that are in Science and Social Studies. The informational writing is completed in response to a text, or a series of texts, in order to build and deepen students’ understanding of content. This guide includes protocols for process writing. The teacher uses the protocols within this document to provide practice in process writing throughout the year. Each step in the process is defined and explained in the document to provide support for the teacher.
  • Guide to Narrative Writing explains that the anchor lessons will not be mastered in one lesson, and teachers will assess student writing and adjust lessons based on what they observe. The lessons should be customized based on the needs of the students, and teachers provide individualized feedback to students during the lessons.
  • Guide to Literary Analysis includes common misconceptions and mistakes in literary analysis, such as excessive reliance on emotional understandings or mistaken beliefs.
  • Implementing Daily writing practices is included in the Publisher’s Documents. This guide states that the lessons can be either one-day or multiple-day lessons depending on the teaching point.

On-demand writing is found in the majority of lessons. In Science and Social Studies, the writing prompts help students process the concepts in the informational texts that they read by sequencing, making comparisons, and summarizing. In the Literature units, daily writing activities include retellings and evidence-based responses about characters, setting, and plot. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 6, students describe how one person can impact a community. Students learn how to write a strong paragraph before answering this prompt.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 11, students explain how the model shows the movement of energy in a food web.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 2, students describe the setting of the The Breadwinner.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 6, students use details from the video and pictures to describe the conditions for farm workers in California.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 20, students respond to Mari from Return to Sender via a letter.
  • In Literature Unit 3, Lesson 30, students explain how events from the March to Selma illustrate the characteristics of youth involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 22, students explain why the girls were taking a trip to San Francisco.
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lesson 14, students respond to the question, “What scenes does the author include to develop the theme of courage?”

Process writing is found throughout the curriculum. Many units have at least one type of extended writing activity with lessons that span more than one day, sometimes up to a week. Students are engaged in a small text-based writing project within the unit at times. There are culminating writing tasks found at the end of some units. A few of the extended writing tasks involve multiple versions or revisions of the assignment throughout the unit, with teacher notes about the states of the writing process. Examples include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lessons 23-27, students write a research report describing why the population of lions in Africa is declining.
  • In Literature Unit 2, Lesson 28, students choose a theme from the book,The Breadwinner, and write a magazine article that teaches others around the world about the theme. This is the culminating writing project for the unit, and students can work on it for up to four days in order to publish it by the end of the unit.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 24, students conduct a short research project that uses several sources and create a presentation to share with the class.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 5 and 11, students rewrite Mari’s letters to the President. Students use feedback from Lesson 5 to improve their letter in Lesson 11. Explicit instruction is provided for the teacher to ensure students rewrite the letter in a more coherent, focused manner. Target focus correction areas for the teacher to monitor include the following: making a correct claim, selecting the most relevant text-based details, and paraphrasing accurately from the text.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 35, students create a final version of a novel they are writing by developing and strengthening writing as needed through revising, editing, or rewriting. Students write their own narrative journal throughout this unit, and, on this day, they focus on editing and revising their journal entries.


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 5 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The materials cover a variety of text types that reflect the distribution required by the standard and also support mastery of the standards at each grade. The materials include opportunities for students to write narratives, informational, and opinion pieces, as well as a variety of literary analysis prompts.

Some examples of narrative writing lessons and prompts include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 16, students pretend they lived in the community where Seedfolks takes place and they write a chapter from their own point of view.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 4, students rewrite sections of The Breadwinner from another character’s point of view by using descriptive details.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 27, students rewrite sections of Mari’s letter from another character’s point of view or write Papa’s response to Mari’s letter using the text, Return from Sender.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 4, students rewrite sections from One Crazy Summer from another character’s point of view. Students need to focus on effective literary techniques, descriptive details, and clear sequence.
  • In Literature Unit 5, Lesson 21, students write the next chapter of one of the stories from the unit.

Informational writing prompts and lessons are found in both Literature and Science and Social Studies. Example include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 6, students explain how their model shows the movement of matter in a food chain.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 11, students explain a quote in the text, The Breadwinner.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 2, students compare and contrast life on the grape farm with life in Yucca, specifically how the Chavez family was treated in each location, by accurately paraphrasing the text, La Causa: The Migrant Farmworkers’ Story.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 8, students explain Civil Disobedience and how it is different from breaking the law.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 19, students have to use details from multiple texts to describe key tactics and strategies used during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They have to explain which are most effective.

Opinion writing is found in Literature and Science and Social Studies, and include many writing prompts that involve literary analysis. Examples include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 5, students read the statement that people’s actions can both positively and negatively impact the community. In writing, students have to agree or disagree with that statement and defend why.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 26, students explain whether or not Malala is an ordinary girl and defend their opinion using details from the text.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 14, students defend whether the strike was successful or not by summarizing and paraphrasing key details from the text.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 13, students read the statement that all members of the family have equal amounts of hope and fear and have to agree or disagree with it.
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lesson 13, students describe how Brian’s figuring out food in Hatchet contribute to the theme of the excerpt.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 14, students share whether they think Delphine should have been allowed to read newspapers and why the newspapers were crucial for the success of the Black Panther Party.
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lesson 9, students explain whether or not they think Mafatu is courageous.


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 5 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.

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing. Some of the writing assignments include a close read of a particular piece of text and to use detailed evidence to support responses to writing prompts. Other writing assignments require students to compare two pieces of text and draw evidence from both to support claims. The Literary Analysis Rubric used to grade all of the writing supports the use of evidence-based writing. Explicit references to the text in the student’s writing yields more points on the rubric.

Examples of evidence-based writing opportunities in Literature include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 13, the target task writing prompt is, “Describe the overall structure of Seedfolks. How do different events fit together to create the plot?”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, students rewrite sections of the book, The Breadwinner, from another character’s point of view, and they need to include details that show how the character feels and why.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 6, the target task writing prompt is to imagine that students are Mari and use what they know about how to clearly communicate ideas to rewrite Mari’s letter to her mother. Additional guidance is provided in the note section of the lesson frame including using Mari’s letter as a model and working with the students on improving it.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 11, the target task writing prompt asks students to determine a theme of each poem in “I, Too” and “Dream Variations." Students explain how the poet uses details and stanzas to develop the theme.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, students write a summary of an excerpt from Julie of the Wolves. They need to include how the characters in the story respond to the main challenges and determine a main theme of the excerpt.

Examples of evidence-based writing opportunities in Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 18, the target task is to describe an African lion’s role in the Savannah ecosystem.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students compare and contrast life on the grape farm with life in Yucca. Students have to paraphrase how the Chavez family was treated in each location and why. This lesson introduces the strategy of paraphrasing a text when reading.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 10, the target task writing prompt is, “How do the events of school integration, particularly by the Little Rock Nine, illustrate the characteristics of youth involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as a whole?”


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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially 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.

Explicit instruction of language standards for grammar and conventions are included in the materials. There are opportunities for students to apply their learning grammar and conventions to their own writing. There are missed opportunities for students to learn all the grade-level grammar and convention standards though.

L.5.1a Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students learn about compound sentences and the use of conjunctions. The teacher shows students the following sentence, followed by discussion questions. ““The snow had melted, but the ground was hard.” (p. 3) The teacher asks: "What do you notice?" "Is this a compound sentence? How do you know?" The teacher then takes the lessons further by showing students the following sentences and using the following discussion questions, “The snow had melted, but the ground was hard.” (p. 3) The snow had melted, and the ground was hard. The snow had melted, or the ground was hard. The teacher asks: "How are the sentences the same? How are they different?" "How does the conjunction change the meaning of the sentence?"” Students then practice writing their own sentence using the conjunction but.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 9, students discuss the following compound sentence, “We save all for children’s college, so they can have an easier life.” (p. 46) “ The class then discusses how the sentence would be different if and or but had been used as the conjunction. Students then write their own sentence using the conjunction so.

L.5.1b Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, students practice writing sentences learning about verb tense. The teacher uses some student examples and changes verb tense. The teacher also reads three different verb tense sentences and has a class discussion on what they notice from the sentences.

L.5.1c Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, the teacher is provided with a chart that contains the present, past and future verb tense forms of be, do and have. Teachers are also provided with sample sentences and discussion prompts to use with students. “The staredown ended right there. I unlaced my right tennis shoe, wriggled my foot out, and removed the mound of tens and twenties Pa had given me.” (p. 32)” The teacher asks: "What do you notice? When does the action in this sentence take place?" "How would the sentence change if the action took place at another point in time?"

L.5.1d Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, students analyze a paragraph that contains incorrect verb use. The teacher guides the class in correcting the paragraph using the following prompts, “"What do you notice?" "What tense should all the verbs in this paragraph be? What changes need to be made so that all the verbs are in the correct tense?" Students then look at their own writing to make sure they have used the correct verb tense.

L.5.1e Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor)

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 30, students examine sample sentences such as, “Both Mari and Tyler care deeply about their family and friends and will do anything to keep them safe.” The teacher asks: “What do you notice? How are the ideas in the sentence connected?” The teacher has students complete the following activity: “Have students revise and craft their theories about Mari and Tyler using correlative conjunctions. Pick two to three student examples to analyze together as a class.”

L.5.2b Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 5, one of the key understandings for the lesson is, “When a subordinating conjunction (after, although, as when, while, until, because, before, if, since) is the first word of a sentence, you usually need a comma.” The teacher also shares example sentences with students such as, “If the tank was almost empty, she’d have to make five trips to the water tank.”

L.5.2d Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, students learn to italicize titles of full works. Students learn to put titles of short works like poems, articles, short stories, or chapters in quotation marks. Teachers are informed, “This teaching point should be directly taught and then reinforced over the course of the entire unit. Students should include the title of the work with all target task writing, especially when comparing and contrasting texts. “

The following standards are not addressed in the materials:

  • L.5.2a Use punctuation to separate items in a series
  • L.5.2c Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?)
  • L.5.2e Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed
  • L.5.3a Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style
  • L.5.3a Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style
  • L.5.3b Compare and contrast the varieties of English (e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas, or poems

There are opportunities for students to apply grammar and convention learning in-context.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students discuss the following compound sentence, ““I wished we were farther from the street, and I was praying that none of my friends or girlfriends or enemies saw me.” (p. 21)” Students then discuss how the sentence would be different if “and” was replaced with “but.” Students then write their own sentence using the conjunction and.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 11, students learn about using commas to separate the introductory portion of a sentence. Examples are provided such as, ““When we’re rich old ladies, we’ll drink tea together and talk about this day.” Students practice writing their own sentences using if and when.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 16, the class discusses sentences with correlative conjunctions such as, “Neither Tyler nor Mari fully understands the political climate around illegal immigration.” Students then practice writing their own sentences using correlative conjunctions.


Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
3/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks addressing grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

The materials contain section for foundational skills. The teacher can find this in the Unit Prep. Within the Unit Prep, there is Phonics and Word Recognition Focus Areas. This contains information about the syllabication routine and the structural analysis routine that are to be applied to lessons. Explicit instruction of phonics and word recognition is intended to be done daily, but the lessons do not contain the full guidance to the teacher to explicitly teach phonics and word recognition. In Unit 2, The Breadwinner, the Unit Prep information states: “A sample routine is included in lesson 1 and 18, however, this vocabulary and word-work routine should take place daily.” Daily lesson plans for vocabulary and word-work are not provided. The assessments for foundational skills are to be assessed through the fluency rubric, but the fluency rubric is to assess fluency and not phonics.

Materials contain some explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year.

  • In Unit 2, foundational skills is in students being able to use syllabication patterns and morphology to determine unknown words. The teacher is prompted to know that during the vocabulary routine many of the words affixes will be removed and the root word has no meaning on its own. Sample lessons are included in lesson 1 and 18 during the vocabulary routine.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students look at the word, invasion. Students break apart the word into syllables and examine the word to determine any meaningful parts including suffixes, prefixes and base word understanding. Students then look at the base word to determine if there is a word close to this that they know that can help them determine the meaning of the word. Students try out the meaning to see if the word makes sense.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson 18, students use the same vocabulary routine above to determine the meaning of the word, illiteracy. Students are prompted to remove the prefix first and then the suffix to determine the meaning.
  • In Unit 4, during the vocabulary routines, the teacher is prompted to have students practice the syllabication vocabulary routine. The teacher is also prompted to walk around and listen to students read during independent reading in order to determine which students are struggling with certain word patterns. The teacher should ask questions such as:
    • What word was difficult to sound out?
    • How did you determine that word?
    • What affixes does that word have?
    • What is the influence of that affix?

Few assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. The assessment of foundational skills is focused on fluency and vocabulary. For example:

  • In the Unit 1 assessment: “1. Part A In paragraph 11 what is the meaning of the word dismal? (RL5.4, L5.4) a. depressing b. crowded c. colorful d. chilly.”
  • To assess students in phonics, teachers are to use the fluency rubric to determine where students are in their skills, and teachers are prompted under the unit plan in the units to listen to students during independent reading and determine if the students need more support in the area of syllabication.

Materials contain some explicit instruction of word solving strategies (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. The vocabulary routine does use graphophonic and morphological cues with a heavy emphasis on context cues (semantic cues).

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, teachers are instructed to, “Do a close read of Article 1. Guide students in figuring out what the words dignity, endowed, and conscience mean.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 18, students analyze the word illiteracy. “Find the word in the sentence.
    • Sound out the word by breaking it into syllables. (il-lit-er-a-cy)
    • Examine the word for meaningful parts (base word, prefixes, or suffixes)
      • If there is a prefix, take it off first. (il- not)
      • If there is a suffix, take it off second. (-y - characterized by)
      • Look at the base word to see if you know it or if you can think of a related word. Notice evidence of spelling patterns or changes. (literate - the ability to read or write)
    • Ressemble the word, thinking about the meaning contributed by the base, the suffix, and then the prefix. (literate - literacy → has the ability to read or write; illiteracy → does not have the ability to read or write)
    • Try out the meaning.
    • What words are synonyms? Antonyms?
    • If needed, check the meaning of the word or pronunciation in a dictionary, glossary, or thesaurus.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 9, students complete the vocabulary routine for the word infuriating. Teachers are provided with hints about breaking the word apart and the challenges the word may present to students.
    • “If there is a prefix, take it off first. (in - into - this will be tricky for students. The other times they’ve seen the prefix in- it’s meant not. Let students try using not, and see if it matches with what the word should mean in the sentence)”


Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

The materials contain two routines for determining the meaning of words: Structural Analysis Routine and the Syllabication Routine. The vocabulary routine that is used over the course of the school year provides students with instruction in word analysis tasks. In this routine, students analyze the root word, prefixes and suffixes to determine the meaning of unknown words. This routine also includes using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. The words analyzed are from texts students are studying. While teachers are told that word work should take place on a daily basis, specific lessons are not provided daily. According to the document, “Our Approach to Foundational Skills,” “Morphology routines should take place daily. Teachers should pick 2-3 key vocabulary words and use the structural analysis routine below to deconstruct the word with students.” Assessments focused more heavily on comprehension with a few vocabulary questions rather than on word analysis skills.

There are opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students use the vocabulary routine to analyze the word invasion. Students practice breaking the word apart into syllables. Students analyze prefixes and suffixes and then think of synonyms and antonyms for the word. Students repeat the process with the words brutality, corruption, impoverished and decency.
  • In Unit 3, Unit Prep, under the vocabulary heading, teachers are informed that students will learn about the following roots and affixes in this unit, “re-, pre-, en-, un-, in-, mis-, dis-, -ly, lm-, -y, -tion, -ous, pre-” (Vocabulary words with these word parts are used throughout this unit, for example in Unit 3, Lesson 21, the vocabulary words listed are ingratitude, misinformation, disclose and forbidding).
    • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, students repeat the vocabulary routine when analyzing the word preoccupying. Students begin this vocabulary routine by identifying the sentence with the word in it, then they break it up into syllables. From there, students determine suffix and prefixes and whether the base word makes sense to them when they determine the meaning of the word. Students further take note of how the spelling pattern or changes with the prefixes and suffixes attached to the word.

Materials some opportunities for word analysis assessment to monitor student learning of word analysis skills.

  • Unit Assessments focus more on comprehension and vocabulary. For example,the following question is from the Unit 2 Assessment: “What is the meaning of the word taunted as used in paragraph 50? (L5.4) a) inquired b) insulted c) demanded d) promised”
  • Throughout Unit 2, during independent reading, the teacher is prompted to circulate during independent reading and ask the students these questions, “Which words were tricky in this section of text? What strategies did you use to read the word and figure out the word’s meaning? How many syllables does the word have? How do you know? What affixes does the word have? How do they influence the meaning of the word? What is the root of the word? How do you know? How does the root help you determine the meaning of the word?” The teacher is not prompted to take running records on this, but could in order to determine which students are needing more support.
  • The Unit 6 assessment contains a question to assess word analysis, students are asked, “3. Part B 1. Explain how you figured out the meaning of the word implausible. (RL5.4)”


Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

The materials include a variety of texts for students to practice reading fluently with a focus on expression, intonation, volume, smoothness, and accuracy. Units 1-4 contain new fluency skills and Units 5-6 contain fluency skill review. Within the Unit Prep of each unit, there is a Fluency Focus Area section. This section lists the fluency focus. There is a Grades 3-5 Fluency Rubric for a teacher to use for assessing each student’s fluency. Students are also to use the Grades 3-5 Reading Fluency Rubric for self-assessment or for assessing a peer. The rubric contains the following fluency categories: expression and volume, phrasing, smoothness, pace, and accuracy, but there is no guidance for rate with specifics for words per minute at each grade level. The materials do not provide teachers with specific instructional adjustments to help students on make progress in fluency. For example, in Unit 2, the instructions state: “Score students on the Expression and Volume and Phrasing sections of the Fluency Rubric.” If a student does not perform well on fluency, instructional supports are not consistently provided.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading.

  • In Unit 1, the Fluency focus areas are: “Uses proper intonation to show interpretation of the passage. Reads with a rate appropriate to task and purpose. Uses proper expression and volume.” During this unit teachers are provided with some suggested supports such as:
    • In Lessons 2 through 5, sections of each chapter from Seedfolks should be read aloud in order to model reading with proper expression and volume. Model reading character dialogue in a way that matches characters’ feelings and motivations.
    • Teachers are also provided with discussion questions to use with students such as, “How does reading with proper expression and volume help a reader better understand what is happening in the text? What should a reader pay attention to in order to know what expression and volume to use when reading a text?”
  • In Unit 2, the Fluency focus areas are: “Reads smoothly and with accuracy. Uses proper intonation to show interpretation of the passage. Reads with a rate appropriate to task and purpose.” Some of the fluency supports teachers are provided with in this unit include the following:
    • Teachers are provided with specific text selections to use for teaching expression when reading dialogue. “Sections of chapters 1-4 of The Breadwinner should be read aloud in order to model reading dialogue with the expression and intonation that matches the characters’ feelings and motivations. Potential scenes to read aloud: Parvana and her mother’s trip to the jail (pp. 42-44), interaction between Parvana and her family (pp. 50-52)“
    • Teachers are also provided with the following discussion questions to use with students:
      • “How does reading with expression help a reader better understand Parvana and her family? What should a reader pay attention to in order to know what expression to use when reading a text? What should a reader pay attention to in order to know what intonation to use when reading a text?”
    • Teachers are also told to model expression and intonation when reading narrative nonfiction in Lessons 18-20.
  • In the Unit 3, teachers are informed that they will continue to help students to read character dialogue with expression.
  • In Unit 4, the main fluency focus is reading poetry.
  • In Unit 5, there is review of previously taught fluency skills.
  • In Unit 6, there is review of previously taught fluency skills.

Materials support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary.

  • In Unit 3, students read Return to Sender, which contains Tyler and Mari’s perspectives. The teacher picks different parts of the text to read outloud and model how to read sentences with different sentences structures paying attention to accuracy and expression.
  • In Unit 4, after students have been practicing fluently reading poems, the teacher uses the following discussion questions:
    • “How does reading a poem fluently help a reader better understand the message of the poem? How does the way the author structures the poem help a reader better understand how to read the poem with the correct intonation or expression?”
  • In Unit 5, students read “Delphine.” The teacher picks scenes from the text and then has students perform them by reading the text and perform the scene. To help develop rate, the teacher is provided general instructions: “Review with students how reading rate varies depending on the task and purpose for reading.”

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band).

  • In Unit 1 and Unit 1, teachers are provided with the following question for developing reading skills:, “How does rereading sections of a text help build a deeper understanding of a text?”
  • In Unit 3, the teacher is prompted to pick a section of the text and model self-correction strategies when reading difficult texts. After modeling how to self-correct, the teacher is provided with questions to discuss with students:
    • “What strategies does a fluent reading use to self-correct when reading difficult words?How does self-correcting help a reader better understand the text? What does it sound like for a reader to read smoothly?”
  • In Unit 4, the teacher is instructed to help students continue to practice using self-correction with difficult words and difficult sentence structures.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current fluency skills, but do not provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency.

  • In the Unit 1 overview, teachers are told to have students either self assess or have a partner assess their reading. The teacher also assesses the student on fluency using the Grades 3-5 Reading Fluency Rubric.
  • In Unit 2, using the Grades 3-5 Reading Fluency Rubric, students are to: self-assess, have a partner assess them, have the teacher assess them.
    • In Lesson 15, teachers are prompted if they want to, to pick sections of the text to use as a fluency check-mark. Students read and the teacher uses the fluency rubric in order to determine if students are reading with the proper volume and phrasing based on those sections in the rubric.
  • In Unit 3, using the Grades 3-5 Reading Fluency Rubric, students are to: self-assess, have a partner assess them, have the teacher assess them.
    • In Lesson 26 or 27, the teacher picks a 250 word section of the text at the end of the unit and uses the Fluency rubric to assess students overall fluency. No specific instructional supports are provided for how to help students who are not at proficiency in fluency.
  • In Unit 4, students select a poem to practice and perform in front of the class. The teacher assesses the student’s performance using the fluency rubric.
  • In Unit 5, there is self assessment and teacher assessment of fluency using the rubric.
  • In Unit 6, the teacher assesses student’s fluency using the fluency rubric.


Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Materials include a series of questions requiring analysis of all aspects of the texts, including language, details, craft, and structure. 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. In most units, students have multiple opportunities to analyze across texts. Units in both Literature and Science and Social Studies have final projects that require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year. 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. 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.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
28/32

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

In Science and Social Studies, the units are built around a topic such as Ecosystems or Civil Rights. The units alternate between science and social studies topics. The Literature units are built around broader themes, such as being part of a community or racism, Literature and Social Studies units have individual texts and essential questions that build knowledge of the topic or theme. While some of the Literature units are built around a single text, such as Seedfolks or A Wrinkle in Time, others are paired with articles, supporting texts, and videos. All of the units build students ability to read independently and gain knowledge.

The following units are based on topics in Science and Social Studies:

  • In Unit 1, students read about ecosystems in texts, such as Food Chains and Food Webs, and articles, such as “The Ecosystem of the Forest” and “African Savanna.”
  • In Unit 2, the topic is migrant farm workers and their fight for justice, which was lead by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. In this unit, students read books on Cesar Chavez, read articles, and watch videos on this topic.
  • In Unit 3, students read about the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of children. Students read texts, such as Witnesses to Freedom: Young People who Fought for Civil Rights and Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March.
  • In Unit 4, students read books on Mars and study the rovers in Spirit and Opportunity. In addition to the core text of The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity, students read many articles about NASA’s missions to Mars.

The Literature units are based on broad topics, essential questions, and a core text, such as:

  • In Unit 1, students read Seedfolks and explore what it means to be a part of a community and how the actions of one person can positively impact an entire community. Students explore the ideas of prejudice and racism through this book.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Breadwinner as well as supporting texts on the Taliban’s influence on the Middle East through the eyes of young women.
  • In Unit 3, students read about immigration and, while the core text is Return to Sender, students also watch several videos about immigrants.
  • In Unit 4, students explore the meaning of family, community, and identity while reading One Crazy Summer, which helps teach students about racism and prejudice, as well as the Black Panther Party. In this unit, students read many excerpts from the Panther Newspaper from the late 1960s.
  • In Unit 5, the texts are built around the topic of survival and students read excerpts from stories such as Julie of the Wolves and Hatchet.
  • In Unit 6, students read A Wrinkle in Time and explore the nuances of good versus evil.


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 5 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.

Throughout the units, teachers are provided with a series of questions and tasks that require analysis of all aspects of the text including key ideas, details, language, craft, and structure. Because the units often allow for extensive time with one text, the discussion questions, writing tasks, and Target Tasks build in depth and complexity from the beginning of the unit to the end, and the expectation is eventually that students know how to use evidence from the text to support their responses. The expectation increases with each unit, building toward independence throughout the year when students are required to complete extensive writing assignments, using the text as evidence and/or as a mentor text for their own writing. Throughout the year, students are pointed to figurative language and word choice, asked to consider decisions made by the author in crafting and structuring their work, and consider questions around theme and characterization.

In Literature and Social Studies, students analyze the language used in the text. Examples include:

  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 3, after reading The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, students are asked the following key question and are given the following Target Task: "Why father says, 'You are all brave women. You are all inheritors of the courage of Malawi,' what does it show about Father's point of view toward women? Toward his daughters? How does the author characterize Parvana? How does the author develop the characterization?"
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 1, after reading Migrant Workers' Fight for Justice, students are asked: "Explain why the study of Cesar Chavez and the farm workers movement is important by quoting a text accurately when explaining what a text says explicitly or when drawing inferences about a text."
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 1, after reading One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, students are asked: "Describe the girl's airplane ride. What figurative language does the author include to show how the girls are feeling about the ride and the trip? Based on the author's description, who is Cecile? How do the other characters view her? Why? Word Choice to Analyze: page. 5: There were too many of 'us' in the waiting room, and too many of 'them' staring. Who is the author referring to with 'us' and 'them'? Why does he author put them in quotation marks?"

Students analyze key ideas in Literature and Social Studies and Science. Examples include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 10, after reading Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, students are given the following Target Task Writing Prompt: "How can one person impact a community?"
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 14, after reading “Broken Chains” a key question about key ideas is: "Using lemmings and arctic foxes as an example, describe how populations of predators and prey rise and fall regularly over time."
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 12, after reading Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, students are asked: "What central idea does the author convey in this chapter? How does the author convey the central idea? What does the central idea reveal about the author's perspective on segregation and social injustice?"

Details are analyzed throughout the Literature and Science and Social Studies components of this curriculum. Examples include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 6, after watching the video "Chicano! - The Struggle in the Fields" and reading the article "Bitter Harvest: LIFE with America's Migrant Worker, 1959", students are asked: "Using details from the video and pictures, describe the conditions for farm workers in California."
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 3, after reading The Breadwinner, the students are asked the following key questions to analyze key details: "What does it mean to be resentful? Why was parvana sometimes resentful that she needed to get water? Describe the room where Parvana and her family live. How does the narrator's point of view influence what a reader knows about the setting? Describe Norma and Parvana's relationship. Who was Hossain? What happened to him?
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 2, after watching the video, "Under the Cloak of Darkness," students are asked key questions and given Target Tasks including: "In what ways does Vermont's future depend on farming and the help of migrant workers? Describe the conditions for migrant workers in Vermont."

In addition, students analyze the author's craft in Literature and Science and Social Studies components. Examples include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 2, after reading Food Chains and Food Webs by Kira Freed, students are asked: "How does the diagram on page 9 help a reader better understand the connection between producers and consumers?"
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 9, after reading One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, students are asked: "Why does Sister Mukumbu include the example of the earth turning on its axis? What point is she trying to reinforce? Why does the author include this scene?"

In Literature and Social Studies and Science, students analyze text structure. Examples include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 13, after reading Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, the Target Task is: "Describe the overall structure of Seedfolks. How do different events fit together to relate the plot?"
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 4, after reading The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, the students are asked: "Rewrite sections of The Breadwinner from another character's point of view. Compare and contrast Parvana's and Nooria's responses to Mrs. Weera. In what ways are their responses similar? Different? Why? How does this chapter fit into the overall structure of the text?"


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 5 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.

In most units, students have multiple opportunities to analyze across texts. Although not all units have multiple texts, students do have opportunities to analyze within those specific texts when they are the focus of the unit. Every lesson has a set of carefully sequenced key questions that increase in complexity both within the lesson and throughout the unit. Questions ask students to look into the text and consider why authors use specific text features, phrasing, and character/plot decisions. Sometimes the same questions are repeated in successive lessons for multiple texts over several days, leading to a complex or comparison question across all of the texts once they have been read. Target tasks also include discussion and writing prompts that ask students to dive a bit deeper on more summative ideas. The series of text-dependent questions provide deep analysis of individual texts and across different texts.

In Science and Social Studies, students analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts such as:

  • In Unit 1, students learn about different ecosystems. In Lesson 12, students compare and contrast two apex predators and explain why they are important by using quotes and domain-specific vocabulary to explain the relationships between two or more specific ideas.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 12, students describe the characteristics of an influential leader such as Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong. In Lesson 17, students analyze the pros and cons of using strikes and boycotts as forms of nonviolent protests using examples from multiple sources to support answers.
  • In Unit 3, students read about the Civil Rights Movement. In Lesson 10, students use all of the unit texts to explain how the events of school integration, particularly the Little Rock Nine, illustrate the characteristics of youth involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. In Lesson 34, students synthesize information from the entire unit to create and execute a plan to fight injustice in their own community.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about Mars and in Lesson 25, students decide how the point of view from each article influences the type of information the author includes.

In Literature, students analyze knowledge and the integration of ideas across individual and multiple texts such as:

  • In Unit 1, students read Seedfolks and in Lesson 3, students compare and contrast Wendell and Gonzalo’s uncle’s reaction to the garden by using evidence from the text to compare and contrast characters and events.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Breadwinner and in Lesson 25 students compare what they have read throughout the unit with what is portrayed in the news. In Lesson 26, students explain whether or not they think Malala is an ordinary girl using details from the texts they have read as well as the videos they have seen. They also explain if Malala from I am Malala and Parvana from The Breadwinner met, would they be friends.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, students defend if all members of the family in the book, Return to Sender, have equal amounts of hope and fear by paraphrasing and summarizing sections of the text in order to draw inferences and conclusions about key themes.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 19, students compare and contrast the narrator’s views from Brown Girl Dreaming and understanding of the revolution with Delphine and her sisters from One Crazy Summer.
  • In Unit 5, students read excerpts from novels about survival. In Lesson 7, students compare and contrast excerpts from Julie of the Wolves and Endangered by analyzing the way they both approach the theme and topic of survival.
  • In Unit 6, students read A Wrinkle in Time as well as the graphic novel and in Lesson 24, students compare and contrast the way the events are represented in the novel and in the graphic novel.


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 5 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Units in both Literature and Science and Social Studies have final projects that require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. All units have a culminating project and the questions and tasks throughout the unit prepare the students for the final project. Sometimes the same writing task is given multiple times leading to the end of the unit. All of the questions and tasks support the integration of skills and knowledge by the end of the unit and provide students practice opportunities with a gradual building of expectations. The mini tasks embedded throughout the unit prepare the students for the final task, both by providing multiple opportunities for the same writing prompt with increasing expectations, and addressing the genre and daily series of text-dependent questions. There are reading, writing, and discussion (speaking and listening) elements throughout the units.

Examples of culminating tasks in which students demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills in Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Unit 1, students write a research report describing why a population of animals is declining and evaluate the different solutions that are currently in place by conducting a short research project and writing an informative text to examine the topic and convey the information clearly.
  • In Unit 2, students also conduct a research report, but instead of being given the topic like in Unit 1, students can select their topic from a given list. This project requires students to conduct research and to write an essay with the information they obtain, and then create a presentation to share with the class. It involves reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • In Unit 3, students conduct another research report, and, instead of being given the topic like in Unit 1, students can select their topic from a given list like in Unit 2. This project requires students to conduct research and to write an essay with the information they obtain and then create a presentation to share with the class. It involves reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Examples of culminating tasks in which students demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills in Literature include:

  • In Unit 1, students write a chapter from Seedfolks from their own point of view. They need to include their interactions with other characters and the task requires students to demonstrate knowledge gained throughout the unit, and reading and writing are integrated to successfully complete this project.
  • In Unit 2, the culminating task is for students to imagine that they have been hired as a writer for a magazine. They have to pick one of the major themes from the unit and write a magazine article that teaches others around the world about the theme. Questions and tasks to help students complete this culminating project are included in Lesson 17 when the class has a discussion of the themes that are present in the story, The Breadwinner.
  • In Unit 3, students engage in a debate for the culminating task. On the first day, students are assigned different sides of the argument and begin building their arguments by gathering evidence and quotes from all unit sources. On the second day, students debate. On the third day, students write an essay arguing for the side they are on and include details from the unit and the debate.
  • In Unit 4, students create a final version of their version of the novel One Crazy Summer, as Told by X. This requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of the text by comprehending the story and then writing their own version.
  • In Unit 5, students write the next chapter from one of the stories from the unit. Students must integrate the reading skills with the writing skills learned in this unit to successfully show knowledge of the topic.


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 5 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

In the Vocabulary section of the Unit Prep, there is a categorized frame of how vocabulary will be addressed throughout the unit, including the literary terms, prefixes, suffixes, and roots, as well as text-based idioms and cultural references. The vocabulary categories are framed this way in each unit, with explanations of what these categories are and the specific examples included in the unit. However, there are not many references in the teaching notes about the how and when of vocabulary instruction; though the publisher’s document for teaching vocabulary directs teachers to use a 7-step process for direct teaching words every week. Learning the vocabulary is often embedded in the Target Task or Key Questions. However, there is no cohesive year-long plan to hold students accountable for the words across the year or the texts. The instruction is isolated in lessons and units, and does not integrate instruction between units or texts.

According to the Publisher’s Document, teachers need to:

  • Review and analyze the standards to understand what scholars should be able to do with words at specific grade levels.
  • Introduce new vocabulary every week using the following 7-step process. There is no direct instruction for teachers with each word in the individual units and teachers need to plan how to teach the words using the process. This leaves the teacher to determine what method will work best in the classroom:
    • Step 1: Teacher says the word. Students repeat.
    • Step 2: Teacher states the word in context from the mentor text.
    • Step 3: Teacher provides the dictionary definition and part of speech.
    • Step 4: Explain meaning with student-friendly definition.
    • Step 5: Highlight features of the word.
    • Step 6: Engage student in activities to develop word/concept knowledge.
    • Step 7: Teacher reminds and explains to students how the new word will be used.
  • Create vocabulary cards and visual representations for all vocabulary words.
  • Plan how to spiral and reinforce vocabulary over the course of the day.
  • Monitor students’ understanding of vocabulary words.

Some examples from the units of teachers highlighting the vocabulary words include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 13, students learn the words plot, setting, conflict, and resolution. The writing prompt is for students to describe the overall structure of Seedfolks and how the different events fit together to create the plot.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students learn words such as predators, prey, ecosystem, decomposers, and scavengers. Then students are asked what is an ecosystem and what makes an animal a top predator. These words are not taught across units or texts.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 3, students learn the words resented and relented and are asked what it means to be resentful.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, students learn words, such as strikes and nonviolence and are told that Cesar believed in nonviolence and are asked what this means.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 8, students learn the word misconception. The focus of the lesson is on having students reread the text to find places where the character, Tyler, has misconceptions. Students have to think about why Tyler has those misconceptions. This word is only addressed in this one unit and one text.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 8, students learn the words inseparable and indignant. Then students have to explain why the chapter is called “Inseparable."
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, students learn the word fatal and then the question asks what it means if something is fatal and what things could go fatally wrong with the Spirit landing?
  • In Literature, Unit 6, Lesson 1, students learn the words delinquent, diction, subded, exclusive, and seldom. The notes section states that the author uses a lot of powerful and vivid vocabulary and it is important to reinforce context clues as a strategy for figuring out unknown words.


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 5 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.

Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year. Writing demands in each unit increase. Materials also include spiraling lessons and differentiating for individual student needs. The Unit Summary and Teacher Intellectual Prep sections explain that over time, there is an increase in depth and expectations for student writing. Each unit summary specifies the writing focus of the unit and the expectations for students. Each Unit Overview also specifies expectations for student achievement and the focus for Areas of Correction. The units at the beginning of the year focus on quality sentences and paragraph writing, and gradually build throughout the year toward proficiency with essays. The use of evidence also evolves from students using direct quotations to citing to paraphrasing evidence. Support materials are included in the program as well to help teachers plan when to deliver a mini lesson and how to decide which correct area to provide. There is also a Writing Instruction Q & A that includes detailed information on how writing instruction is organized and distributed throughout the year and a rationale for why it is taught this way. This document explains that there are many short, targeted writing days that provide students practice and fluency with a specific writing genre. Teachers gather feedback and data on students’ understanding so the teacher can provide focus correction areas.

Writing instruction supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency by the end of the year. Literature examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students learn how to write strong paragraphs. Specifically students focus on writing a claim, details that support the claim, and a concluding sentence. Students are taught for the first time how to quote accurately from a text.
  • In Unit 2, students begin to practice the habit of dissecting a prompt by breaking it into its parts to fully grasp the question. Students continue to practice writing clear thesis statements and supporting their claims with direct questions.
  • In Unit 3, students focus on writing literary analysis with a clear and persuasive message. Students work on creating claims that connect to a given topic, take a clear position, support the claim with relevant text-based details and examples, and logically order the reasons to emphasize the main points and reasons.
  • In Unit 4, students experiment with perspective taking as they narrate events through the eyes of Byron Watson. They focus on maintaining an appropriate tone that is true to the character while using sensory language to show rather than tell his experiences.
  • In Unit 5, students refine their skills with writing literary analysis essays. No new skills are taught, but the teacher chooses focus correct areas to teach.

Examples of how writing progresses throughout the year in Science and Social Studies include:

  • Unit 1 lays the foundation for writing in Grade 5. Students review the different components of a strong paragraph and the different types of paragraph structures that they can use. The year focuses a lot on research and this unit serves as an introduction. Students participate in a guided research project and then complete a semi-guided one in this unit.
  • In Unit 2, students build on what they learned in Unit 1 by responding to an informational text and writing well-structured paragraphs using a variety of paragraph structures.
  • Unit 3 builds on the writing done in Units 1 and 2. Students work on longer essays in response to a text and participate in their third research project.


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 5 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.

Materials provide research projects through Social Studies and Science units that provide research opportunities and analyze materials using multiple texts and materials. In some units there is one large project, and in others there are multiple smaller ones. Sometimes these projects are through hands-on learning lab experiences. Students are given opportunity to analyze topics through varied sources and experiences. The rigor of these projects build throughout the year, and, by the end of the year, projects are more independent and require deeper levels of research and analysis. All research projects are located in Science and Social Studies units.

Below are examples of research projects that encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials in the Science and Social Studies units:

  • In Unit 1, students pick another apex animal and write a research report describing why the population of the animal is declining. Time is spent on researching, sorting evidence, drafting, revising/editing, and then sharing. Mini lessons occur each day to help students master how to do research and how to turn facts into informational texts.
  • In Unit 2, students pick a research topic from a list and research the topic, write an essay, and then create a presentation to share with the class. Topics include Filipino workers and Larry Itliong, Dolores Huerta and her continued influence, or Chicano art and the role of murals in the movement. Lessons include how to teach students to create research questions and use those questions to google and find information on the topic.
  • In Unit 3, students pick a research topic from a list. Students research the topic, write an essay, and then create a presentation to share with the class.
  • In Unit 4, students write the afterword of the text, The Mighty Mars Rovers, which the program defines as a research project. On the first day, students have to choose to research either Spirit or Opportunity and begin researching by finding press releases about the two missions.


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 5 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.

The Text Consumption Guidance document provides the rationale for independent reading and explains that during independent reading, students gain independence by reading a text on their own that requires them to use all of the strategies learned in class. During independent reading, students actively annotate and make meaning of the text with limited support from teacher or peers. The materials suggest that independent reading can be used at the end of the lesson as independent practice, on days when the majority of the text is accessible and/or there are features of the text students need to practice accessing independently, or at the beginning of the lesson to allow time for independent analysis before a close-read or a discussion.

In the Approach to Independent Reading Document provided it states, "students in grades 3-5 have an additional 45-60 minute independent reading block, as well as independent reading assigned daily for homework." The document also includes tables to give suggestions of how to accomplish independent reading during the school day, gradually increasing so that students can sustain independent reading for 6o minutes by the end of the school year. The document explains how a teacher should set up their classroom library and provides an independent reading weekly planning template with samples.

Teachers are also provided with grade-level aligned suggested independent reading lists for both literary and informational texts. There is guidance and protocols for hosting book clubs, book talks, and book reviews. A reading log is provided to keep track of the texts read. Sample prompts and log entries are provided. Protocol is provided for student/teacher conferences based on the reading logs.

Gateway Three

Usability

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The materials do not meet overall expectations for usability and instructional supports. The frameworks for the program often provide more generalized supports for instruction and do not provide lesson and unit-specific guidance to help ensure teacher and student success. The materials do provide strong support for standards alignment and a systematic plan for independent reading. Guidance for supporting students with disabilities, students who are English language learners, and students working above grade level are limited. The materials do not outline how to use technology to support learning in the program.

Criterion 3a - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
4/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 5 do not meet expectations for use and design that facilitates student learning. Because the materials are designed as more of a detailed information is not present for all aspects of lesson planning and support. In order to meet expectations for knowledge-building, the science and social studies units that must be taught alongside the English language arts units may present a challenge for completion within a typical school year. Materials lack a set of student materials that provide support for the lessons.

The materials provide an alignment document to delineate the standards met in each unit.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.


The lessons in Grade 5 provide a framework for lesson planning instead of a detailed lesson plan for most of the lessons. These frameworks provide guidance for the teacher in what material to teach and key questions to ask, but do not provide pacing for the teacher. These frameworks, when combined with the Publisher’s Document on Planning an Effective Lesson allow the teacher to have the materials to effectively structure lessons with appropriate pacing or his/her classroom. Additionally, a limited number of lessons have suggested lesson plans, that include pacing and a structure that serve as an example for how a teacher can develop the lesson frames into step-by-step lessons for use in the classroom. The Publisher’s Document specifies that literature lessons should last from 60-90 minutes and the Science and Social Studies lessons should last 60 minutes. Because teachers have autonomy in the discussion and text consumption strategies, the lessons can be completed within individual class periods.


According to the Publisher, the lessons are meant to be frameworks. While the lessons provide the main components of the lessons, the detailed planning is left up to the teachers. The goal is for teachers to internalize the content and adapt it to meet the needs of the students. The Publisher suggests that teachers take the following steps when planning a lesson:

  • Look at the lesson objective, target task, and standards. Write an exemplar student response to the target task.
  • Pick a focus for the lesson
  • Decide on class structures
  • Determine how to launch the text, including what background knowledge students need
  • Determine how to engage with the text while reading
  • Figure out what structures will be in place to help students make sense with what they have learned
  • Plan for feedback and how to gather data
  • Determine all accommodations and modifications

Lesson objective, reading materials required for the lesson, standards covered, target task, vocabulary, key questions, criteria for success, mastery response, and notes provide the basic framework for teachers. These lessons do not provide any suggested timing or pacing for the lesson, but they allow for flexibility to meet the meets of the individual classroom. For example, in Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 22, the lesson objective is to explain what Mr. Bicknell means when he says we have to earn the e at the end of human, and defend if Tyler is a humane being by paraphrasing and summarizing sections of a text in order to draw inferences and conclusions about key themes. Students explain this in writing and a mastery response is provided with both the claim and evidence. Key questions and vocabulary are also addressed.


While many of the lessons are to be designed in detail by the teacher, some lessons do have specific lesson plans with suggested pacing. These are meant to be models for teachers when planning lessons. These lessons are found in:

  • 2 lessons in Literature Unit 3
  • 2 lessons in Literature, Unit 4
  • 1 lesson in Science and Social Studies, Unit 3

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially 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.


Due to scheduling constraints, the total number of lessons in both Literature and Science and Social Studies may be more than can be planned or completed in a typical 180 day school year in a traditional school setting. The lesson framework provides the outline for core instruction; however, many of the lessons within the framework need to be developed through teacher design. In addition to pacing, the daily schedule sample is based on an eight plus hour school day, which is not the norm in many schools.


The Literature Units have approximately 169 lessons, but 182 days of instruction and the Science and Social Studies Units have approximately 117 lessons and 154 days of instruction days of instruction. According to the Publisher’s Document, classroom instruction while using this program should include 60-90 minutes of Literature, 60-90 minutes of Science and Social Studies, 45-60 minutes of independent reading, and 60 minutes of guided reading.

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.).
0/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not 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.)


The lesson frameworks do not supply student materials or reference aids. The books that students use are purchased individually for the students to annotate throughout the year.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.


Standards are included for each lesson. There is an overview in each unit summary that lists all of the standards covered in the unit. This overview is not separated by lesson, however, each lesson contains a “Lesson Map” which details the lesson number, the standards being measured and the overarching questions that the students are using to address the standard.


For example, in Unit 3, Lesson 11, after reading pages 75-91 of Return to Sender, students are asked to, “Summarize what happens in this section of the text by using key details to summarize a text”measuring standards RL5.1, RL5.2, and RL5.3.


Both the Literature and Social Studies and Science Units provide a Standards Map within the Unit Overview that indicates which standards are taught within each unit. In this course overview, each unit is labeled and the literature, informational, writing, speaking & listening, and language standards are identified for each unit they are in.


Unit Summaries do list out the standards for the entire unit, but do not specify which lessons, questions, or tasks. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards are identified. Lessons list the individual standards covered; however, in some lessons, all standards are not identified. For example, in Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 5, a writing prompt is listed in the lesson frame, but no writing standard is provided. The only three standards provided for this lesson are RL5.1, RL5.2, SL5.1. Similarly, in Literature, Unit 6, Lesson 3, the lesson includes vocabulary instruction, but the standards listed are two reading standards.


Assessment questions are labeled by the standards. For example, in Science and Social Studies Unit 4, one assessment question is, explain how NEOWISE works and what makes it different from the regular ground telescope, which is attached to RI5.3 and another question is, what strategies does she (Elizabeth Rusch) use in this selection to develop her point of view, which is attached to RI5.8, RI5.5, L5.3.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 (meet, partially meet, do not 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.

There is no material provided for student consumption except individual books. Therefore, no rating can be assigned. The online framework is designed for teacher use and the only materials suggested for student use are published texts.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
5/8
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials partially support teacher planning and learning for success with the standards. While support is provided for some pieces of the learning process (e.g., guides for writing, guidelines for teaching vocabulary), there is a lack of explicit and lesson-specific support for some lessons. There is also limited support to link teachers to research on best practices for the ELA classroom and the research base that the program. There is limited guidance for communications with families to provide a home/school partnership to support the

the standards within and across units.

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.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that 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.


The lesson frameworks function as a Teacher’s Guide for implementing this curriculum; however, most of the lessons provide only a framework that do not include ample annotations and suggestions. Within the lesson framework is the Intellectual Prep section that provides annotations and guidelines for presenting the material for students. In addition to the information provided in the frameworks, the publisher has included a number of Publisher Documents that provide guidance for teachers in how to present the material contained in the units. The guidance provided is on a variety of topics including but not limited to teaching writing, conducting a classroom discussion, teaching vocabulary in the classroom, and think alouds. The lesson frames have objectives, standards, target task, key questions, and notes for the teacher. There is little embedded technology to promote student learning other than linked texts that serve as texts in the unit. Guidance is not consistently written in the form of annotations or suggestion on how to present the content. The ancillary documents and the unit prep are in separate locations, placing the information for teachers in multiple sources and locations.


The Publisher's Document provides guidance for teachers on how to present content to students. For example there are guidelines for teaching vocabulary and giving feedback. There is also a guide to informational writing, literary analysis writing, and narrative writing. These explain how to present the content. However, these guidelines are not for specific units or specific vocabulary words, and the teachers need to create the lessons based on the guidelines. There are also Match Minis, which provide further assistance for teachers on how to present material and use techniques to develop lessons.


Information in the Lesson Frameworks are also not specific and leave much up to the teacher. However, in the notes section, some additional guidance is provided. For example, in Unit 2, lesson 10, it states the teaching point and then including the thick aloud a teacher could use.

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 5 partially meet the criteria that 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.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5  partially meet the criteria that 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.

Publisher documents provide guidance for teachers to design instruction and prepare lessons including explanations of some of the literary concepts utilized in the program. While there are adult explanations and examples provided within the publisher documents, they appear to be limited to the publisher’s core beliefs and do not provide research and/or explanation of best practices that will necessarily improve teacher learning.  For novice teachers, there are limited materials that would help advance their knowledge of content prior to teaching.

Within the units, the Intellectual Prep contains a Content Knowledge and Connections section, which provides further guidance for teachers.

Each unit contains an Intellectual Prep section that contains detailed information for the teacher on the content of the unit, but is less specific about the more advanced literary terms. For example, in Literature, Unit 3, students read Return to Sender, which is about immigration. This section has many websites on immigration and additional background on Julia Alvarez. In terms of literary concepts, teachers need to understand the difference between quoting and paraphrasing a text; however, it does not specify the answers. Similarly, in Unit 1 of Science and Social Studies, the Intellectual Prep builds background knowledge on the topic of ecosystems and food chains, but gives little explanation for the literary concepts.

The Feedback as Teaching Tool provided gives a detailed explanation of the approach to writing instruction and examples of how to implement the literacy concepts of revising writing. For example, if students need help with revision, suggested feedback includes:

  • Having students do multiple drafts of the written responses to questions, while applying feedback
  • Sharing exemplary work with students and helping them identify key features to replicate
  • Sharing examples of student work with common errors and collectively correcting them before all students revise their writing to address similar errors.

Another feature included is the Rigorous Discussion Guidelines which informs the teacher how to explicitly increase students’ thinking by challenging them to test out their ideas, build upon those of their peers, and craft persuasive arguments. It reminds teachers that their voice is not central to the discussion and they should be listening for evidence of academic ownership by the students.

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 5 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.


Materials include Publisher Documents with standards charts and unit progressions. The Course Overviews for Literature and Science and Social Studies found within the Publisher’s Documents provide an explanation of the role of the standards within each unit and across the grade. Additionally, the materials provide an added explanation of how the literary standards addressed in each grade tie to standards addressed in previous and future grades. The Course Overview also includes a checklist of standards indicating which standards are taught in each unit throughout the year.


The Course Overview for Literature explains the skills taught in each unit and how they fit into the overall course, which ties into the ELA standards. According to this document, in fifth grade students work on quoting or paraphrasing a text accurately. The expectation in fifth grade is for students to refer to the text they are quoting accurately or by paraphrasing. This is a new skill for fifth grade and it supports students as they go into sixth grade when they are expected to quote or paraphrase a text in order to support analysis of a text. The second focus in fifth grade is to compare and contrast characters, settings, or events. Unlike fourth grade when students have to describe one character in depth, students are now expected to analyze multiple characters. The final focus in fifth grade is point of view. Students focus on describing how the point of view of the narrator or speaker can influence the events that are described. This builds on to fourth grade when students were asked to compare and contrast the points of view from different stories.


The Course Overview for Science and Social Studies also includes information on how the standards are addressed in the units, although they are not listed by specific standard numbers. For example, students also work on quoting or paraphrasing a text. This supports the transition to sixth grade when students are expected to quote or paraphrase in order to support analysis of a text. Another focus is on determining two or more main ideas and explaining how they are supported by key details. This builds upon the work in fourth grade when students learned how to determine a main idea and explain how it was supported by key details. Author’s craft is another focus in fifth grade. Students are asked to describe how an author uses one or more structures of events to present information in a text as well as how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text and identify which reasons and evidence supports which points. Another focus is understanding point of view and being able to analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences among the points of view they represent.

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.


The website contains an “Our Approach” page that specifically details the approach taken in their Language Arts instruction. This plan includes both explanations of the overall approach taken by the program in determining which strategies to include and documents specifically dedicated to the explanation of some of the instructional approaches of the program, and when they should be implemented. Some of these strategies include think aloud, mini lesson, turn and talk, stop and jot, annotation, and writing about reading. However, there is not any identification of the research upon which these strategies or decision are based. The publisher provides information in support of their materials based upon their use in the school.

It should be noted that within the Teacher Tool Materials “Our Approach to Language” notes that, “The structure of the language lessons in our curriculum draws heavily on the approach outlined in Patterns of Power by Jeff Anderson (Stenhouse Publishers, 2017)” however, that is the only reference to a specific “research based” approach.


The website explains that the goal of the curriculum is to develop students into critical readers, writers, and thinkers. It further explains that the Literature Curriculum is deeply rooted in the following believes about English instruction:

  • Text First vs. Skills First: Rich and nuanced texts spark students’ thinking
  • Content Selection: Selected texts that both affirm the various cultures represented in classrooms while simultaneously exposing the students to great literature.
  • Writing Instruction: Teach students to construct persuasive arguments and express their own voices
  • Discussion: A powerful tool for testing out ideas and strengthening thinking
  • Word Knowledge: Building word knowledge through both explicit instruction and exposure to content knowledge
  • Lifelong Learning: Cultivate inquisitive readers, writers, and thinkers.


The Social Studies and Science Curriculum serves both to expose students to the core knowledge, skills, and habits of thinking needed to be successful in those two domains, while simultaneously honing students’ ability to read and write about complex informational texts. This curriculum is deeply rooted in the following beliefs:

  • Content Knowledge: In order to become active citizens and make sense of the world around them, students need to develop deep background knowledge about key historic events, scientific concepts, and their own and other cultures
  • Informational Texts: Read, analyze, and write about a broad range of informational texts
  • Project-Based Learning: Hands-on projects, labs, and activities engage students in the content and teach important thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Discussion: Powerful tool for testing ideas out and strengthening thinking
  • Word Knowledge: Build word knowledge through both explicit instruction and exposure to content knowledge.

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.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

There is a program overview provided publicly for consumers and it explains the approach to curriculum that Match Fishtank uses as well as information about the program, however, there is limited to no evidence about the role that parents/guardians should play to support student growth and success.  

  • The About Match link on the publisher’s website states, “Our curriculum is widely relevant to teachers across the US, particularly those who share our commitment to rigorous, standards-driven and college-ready instruction.”
  • The Approach to Curriculum link on the publisher’s website states, “We think teachers should spend more time planning how to teach — with the unique learning needs of their students in mind—and less time worrying about the basics of what to teach. Good baseline curriculum and assessments free teachers to do just that.”
  • The ELA Program Overview states, “Through our ELA curriculum we seek to develop voracious readers who are eager to grapple with complex texts [and] prepare our students for academic and life success by building their background and core knowledge.”

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
4/8
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials offer regular assessments that allow teachers to accurately assess student progress and to determine how students are progressing in their mastery of the standards and other content. However, there is limited support to guide teachers in their interpretation of assessment results to redirect, reteach, and support students who have not reached mastery and minimal guidance for monitoring of student progress.

The materials provide a systematic approach to supporting students in reading independently and assuring that students are achieving a volume of reading both at school and at home.

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 5 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.


Each unit contains a Unit Assessment that assesses focus standards for the unit with most also containing an extended response that assesses both literature standards and writing standards. Assessments at times include reading a text that has not been studied to analyze the transfer of skills.


Included within lessons are Target Tasks, which can be writing prompts or multiple choice questions focusing on the lesson objective. Target Tasks can be utilized as formative assessments to regularly measure student progress. Some lessons include key questions, which provide an opportunity for assessing student mastery. Additional lessons include projects and writing that function as assessments of student mastery of both content and literary standards. Examples of formative assessments opportunities include:

  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 2, a multiple choice question is what two details best help develop the setting. Students are also asked to describe the setting of The Breadwinner in writing. They also need to describe where Parbaba lives and what details the author includes to help the reader understand the setting.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 8, students are asked key questions, which can be used as formative assessments and include why can a food chain not have too many links and how does the energy pyramid help a reader better understand how energy is transferred through a food chain.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
0/0

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 5 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.


Assessments included with each unit specify the standard being assessed by each question by labeling the question with the standard number.


Examples of assessment questions and the corresponding labeled standards include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, students are asked what the word micro- mean as used in the word microorganism and throughout the passage, which is labeled RI5.4.
  • In Literature, Unit 2, students are asked which statement best describes Asif and Parvana, which is labeled RL5.3.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, students are asked to explain the significance of a quote and what it reveals about the situation, which is labeled RL5.3.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, students are asked how the photographs on page 47 help a reader better understand how NEOWISE detects asteroids, which is labeled RI5.3 and RI5.7.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up


Rubrics for scoring writing and projects are included within the teacher materials. In the “Teacher Tools” section of the web-site there is, “A Guide to Assessments” in the ancillary materials that provides, “Suggestions on how teachers respond to or adjust lessons based on assessment data” for both formative and summative assessments.  The guide states, “Data from end-of-unit assessments allows a teacher to make necessary adjustments in planning and feedback for upcoming units. Teachers should look for trends in the classwide data, and respond accordingly” however, the suggestions that are made are generic and vague and do not offer sufficiently detailed guidance for interpreting student performance and/or suggestions other than for teachers to, “Review student data, reflect on current practices, create detailed plans for students who are not making progress.”  While the additional notes section includes student answers for the writing portion of the assessment, there is no clear instruction for interpretation or follow up.

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.


A limited number of lessons provide guidance within the lesson on developing routines and guidance for monitoring student progress through the collection of data. The publisher provides documents that include both general and specific routines and protocols for gathering information on student progress to drive instruction and adjust, as needed, however there is limited guidance for implementation.. These documents provide the teacher with the rationale on why gathering data is essential and the process by which to gather data. They explain that the teachers use the information gathered to make individual classroom decisions to maximize instruction.


The Teacher Feedback as a Teaching Tool provides guidance on collecting information in a variety of teaching areas. For example, the information to gather in reading includes:

  • Ask questions to help students make connections, revisit misunderstandings and uncover deeper meaning of text
  • Listen to students read aloud or whisper read in a group to identify moments for correction
  • Conference with students to provide guidance on specific reading skills
  • Monitor annotations to ensure students are noticing key moments
  • Use short comprehension questions mid - reading to monitor comprehension
  • Point out moments of misanalysis or misunderstanding and ask students to re-read


The Planning a Lesson Document includes a place for teachers to plan for feedback and gather data. However, it does not provide a specific protocol for doing so. Suggestions for ways to gather the data are included within this guidance. It tells teachers to plan for how to give feedback and gather student data. It also gives questions to consider such as how will the teacher circulate to give feedback and check for understanding and what type of data will be gathered. However, no answers are provided.


The Literary Blocks Document includes Guided Reading instructions that uses the results a separate reading assessment that is not included with the Match Fishtank program.


In the Rigorous Discussion Guide there is information on how data should be gathered to drive instruction. This includes:

  • Tracking data from the discussion such as actively monitoring individual student readiness to transition to the written synthesis task
  • Using data to inform current class including celebrating multiple strategies used by students to arrive at the same outcome
  • Steps to take after the discussion including using data to inform future classes, though no specifics on how to do this is provided.


The Writing Instruction document contains specific information on how to gather information on student writing and how to use that information in instruction. Included in this is:

  • Focus Correct Areas which are specific writing techniques that students are held accountable for and used daily to give students feedback on their written work
  • Teachers should use data from previous tasks to guide mini - lessons and Focus Correction Areas

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
0/0
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.
The Teacher Tools link on the website provides an English Language Arts Guides specifically titled, “Our Approach to Independent Reading.”  This guide provides a template for “Independent Weekly Planning” as well as a suggested independent reading list by grade level, parent/guardian letter to explain the purpose of independent reading for 30 minutes each night at home and an independent reading log for students to keep track of their reading.  There are also options for independent conference
ublisher states, “We believe students need to engage in a volume of reading inside and outside of class.  Students need opportunities to read independently in order to access a large volume of complex texts, build knowledge, and develop a love of reading.”  In order to achieve this, it is recommended that students have independent reading assigned daily for homework in addition to 45-60 minutes of an independent reading block scheduled in class.  The guide states, “Both of these additional opportunities for independent reading are crucial components of student literacy development, and should be facilitated alongside our core Literature and Science and Social Studies curriculum.”

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.
5/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials do not meet expectations for providing support for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners. While generalized support and suggestions for grouping strategies for students with disabilities, students for whom English is a second language, and students performing above grade level is described in supporting documents, specific supports within each lesson or unit are not provided.

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.
1/2
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially 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.


The Publisher's Document explains the various approaches to meeting the needs of diverse learners and provides strategies for meeting these students’ needs. However, these are not specific for lessons or activities. The Supporting Student Needs in ELA Instruction document specific guidance on how to meet the needs of a range of learners.


Various strategies for diverse learners are outlined in the Publishers Document. In addition, an explanation of how to student error is briefly described, as well as how to prompt students to correct their own errors or refine their thinking. There are various strategies outlined in the Publisher's Document based on students’ needs. For example:

  • Building excitement and enthusiasm for the text and task
  • Building strong reading and writing habits
  • Previewing genre knowledge
  • Circulating and providing feedback during reading and writing for individuals and the group
  • Identifying and/or pre-teaching two key vocabulary words
  • Providing essential background knowledge via other texts or preview.
  • Checking-in with students to ensure they are reading and writing appropriately during independent work
  • Previewing the most important words the text either individually or in a small group
  • Teaching the students additional literal comprehension annotation strategies to use during homework and/or independent reading
  • Creating additional stopping points to pause the students when reading to ask questions to build comprehension
  • Creating an opportunity for the student to pre-read the text
  • Providing an annotated copy of the text that includes definitions, pictures, and synonyms for key vocabulary and idioms
  • Providing a chance for the students to orally plan with a teacher or peer before writing
  • Providing checklists and/or exemplars for writing
  • Segmenting the text based on importance and guiding the student to read some parts more closely than others
  • Providing a read-aloud support to the student before the lesson
  • Providing a graphic organizer for the students to organize their written responses
  • Shortening the section of text the student is expected to read
  • Modifying the lesson’s key or guiding questions to make easier
  • Excusing the student from some or all of the challenging
  • Scribing the student’s written response

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.
2/4
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially 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 Publisher’s Document explicitly states that the teachers need to provide supports that never remove the most important thinking and meaning-making, while ensuring that students can access those thinking tasks. It explains that the goal is to support students while still requiring students to perform at grade-level standards. Teachers can use the supports outlined in this document to help students who are English Language Learners work with the grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

There are no extensions or advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.


The Text Consumption Publisher’s Document explains the various types of text consumption strategies that teachers can utilize throughout the program. While it does not prescribe how a text should be consumed on any given day, it provides teachers the opportunity to decide how the text is consumed based on the scope of the week, the demands of the text, the target task question, and the students in the class. The various text consumption strategies outlined in the program are read-aloud, shared reading, partner reading, independent reading, and close reading. It suggests that over the course of the week, the text is consumed in multiple different modes, with an emphasis on independent or small-group reading. The document shares the strengths of each grouping strategy and suggestions on when to use each type of grouping. The document also provides a graphic representation of a suggested progression of grouping strategies throughout a week.

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials do not meet overall expectations for technology use. While the materials and platform are teacher-friendly and easily navigated, there is no support in the materials themselves to support or teacher use of technology, including digital collaboration, local customization, and personalization of learning.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 are web-based and digital. They are compatible with Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Firefox. The materials are also Platform Neutral, working on Apple products, Android phones, and a Windows based computer.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 (meet, partially meet, do not meet) the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.


The materials do not include use of technology in student learning other than providing links to some materials used as texts in the units. However, all of these texts can be printed. At times, the materials state that students should complete research; however, they do not specify that this must occur online.

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

The digital materials are for teachers, and are not able to be personalized for students or teachers. Teachers can download materials including assessments, lesson frames, and sample lessons, but they cannot be edited.

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 5 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The materials can be used by teachers across the country, and schools can customize as needed for local use. Teachers are given choice in how to teach the daily objectives, teachers can customize the lessons for their classroom. The framework provided to lesson plan allows local schools and teachers to customize the program for individual use.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.)

There are no opportunities in the materials that allow teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other. There are no websites, discussion groups, or webinars that allow teachers and/or students to interact electronically.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 01/29/2019

Report Edition: 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA 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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