Alignment: Overall Summary

Mirrors & Windows Grade 10 materials partially meet the expectations of alignment to the Common Core ELA standards. The materials include some instruction, practice, and authentic application of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language work that is engaging and at an appropriate level of rigor for the grade.

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
20
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
22
25
N/A
22-25
Meets Expectations
16-21
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations for high-quality texts, appropriate text complexity, and evidence-based questions and tasks aligned to the standards. Although the Mirrors & Windows program includes a literature anthology of full texts and supporting excerpts that support exploration of literary and informational texts, materials do not meet the distribution of text types required by the standards. Some texts are appropriately complex for the grade level. Although the program utilizes a gradual release of responsibility reading model, students often do not receive support as texts become more complex. The progression of complexity does not increase across the year. Students read a variety of text types and have choice in their independent reading selections. Oral and written text-specific and text-dependent questions support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied. Materials support teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. Materials provide frequent speaking and listening opportunities for students, with some opportunities for teacher modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax; however, materials lack evidence of speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. While materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they are reading through various speaking opportunities, including opportunities that require students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these tasks are optional. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. While process writing includes opportunities for students to revise their work, Writing Workshops rarely include explicit instruction. While students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Explicit evidence-based writing instruction is largely absent. Materials include limited explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage. Materials miss opportunities to address standards or address standards that are included in a subsequent grade level. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Criterion 1a - 1e

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.

10/14
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity. Materials include high-quality texts; however, text types do not reflect the balance informational and literary texts as required by the standards. Some texts are not appropriately complex and the progression of text complexity does not increase across the year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

The grade 10 materials contain a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction text types that are rich in content and are relevant and engaging for students. Selections were chosen with the intention that students be able to learn more about themselves and the world around them, while making many cross-curricular connections. Additionally, texts are organized around and speak to universal themes. Units 1–5 each contain an anchor text, while Unit 6 is a collection of high-interest texts for independent reading and does not have an anchor text.

Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year-long curriculum are of high quality, consider a range of student interests, and are well-crafted and content rich, engaging students at their grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, the anchor text is “The Mask of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe. Students learn how an author creates tension and fear using detailed description 

  • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read an excerpt from Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family, an autobiography by Yoshiko Uchida, as a guided reading selection. Students learn about the executive order which put Japanese-Americans in internment camps. The autobiography gives students a first person view of having one’s life uprooted due to causes beyond their control. Students also read “Keep Memory Alive” by Elie Wiesel in order to learn more about the Holocaust.

  • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read the anchor text, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?,” a sonnet by William Shakespeare. This timeless work features rich language and contains enduring themes. 

  • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read an excerpt from Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali by D.T. Niane. This anchor text is paired with an excerpt from The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Both texts show a range of student interests and contain universal themes and subject matter. To further their understanding, students also read a magazine article titled “Lord of the Rings: Inspired by an Ancient Epic” by Brian Handwerk.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. 

Although materials contain a variety of text types, materials do not reflect an appropriate balance of informational and literary texts. Units focus on a specific genre and include supporting text connection pieces paired with anchor and core texts. Grade 10 contains one nonfiction unit. Of the 133 core and supporting texts students read during the year, 39 of the selections are informational, resulting in a 29/71 balance of informational and literary texts. 

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the grade level standards but do not reflect a 70/30 balance of informational and literary texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read the short story, “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, which is paired with the science text,“The Act of Breathing” and the poem, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning” by Margaret Atwood. Students read a total of 26 core and supporting texts, all of which are literary selections with the exception of three Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 12/88 balance of informational and literary texts. 

  • In Unit 2, Things that Divide and Things that Unite, Nonfiction Connections,  students read an excerpt from The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family, an autobiography by Yoshiko Uchida. Students read a total of 24 core and supporting  texts, 20 of which are informational selections, resulting in an 83/17 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read the interview, “Elizabeth Farnsworth Talks to BIlly Collins,” by Elizabeth Farnsworth. Students read a total of 30 core and supporting texts, all of which are literary selections with the exception of four Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 13/87 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, a play by William Shakespeare. Students read a total of 11 core and supporting texts, all of which are literary selections with the exception of four Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 36/64 balance of informational and literary texts. 

  • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read the myth “Orpheus” by Robert Graves. Students read a total of 20 core and supporting texts, all of which are literary selections with the exception of two Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 10/90 balance of informational and literary texts.

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Grade 10 texts quantitatively range between 320L–1570L for the year. Most texts that fall outside of the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band have qualitative measures that make them appropriately complex for the grade. The relationship of the quantitative and qualitative analyses to the associated reader task is not appropriately complex. Students often make graphic organizers to track the reading skill of focus and their post-reading use of these charts varies. While some Extend the Text tasks serve as associated reader tasks, these tasks are optional and may not occur during core instruction. Extend the Text task options often do not connect to the graphic organizer that students create at the start of their reading. Although materials include text complexity information for quantitative and qualitative measures, the documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Core/Anchor texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anchor/Core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, of the twenty-four selections students read, twelve fall within the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band, eight fall below, and one is significantly above the stretch band. The other two remaining texts do not have a Lexile level. The anchor text is an excerpt from Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family, an autobiography by Yoshiko Uchida (1260L). This Guided Reading text falls within the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band, and materials list the Reading Level of the text as Moderate. Difficulty considerations include historical context and vocabulary, and an ease factor is first-person narrator. Students ``read, interpret, analyze, and evaluate an autobiography about the experience of a Japanese-American family in an internment camp.” Students ``make a timeline like the one shown below” to “keep track of the sequence of events in [the] story,” placing “the key events in chronological order along the timeline.” Students do not revisit their timeline after reading the text nor do the Extend the Text task options address sequence of events. It is also unclear how this associated task aligns to its correlated grade-level standard: “Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.”

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, of the twenty-nine selections students read, twenty-six do not have Lexile levels. Two texts fall below the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band and one falls within the stretch band. Students read and compare the anchor texts, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” a sonnet by William Shakespeare (Non Prose-NP), and “I know I am but summer to your heart,” a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay (NP). Shakespeare’s sonnet has a Reading Level of Challenging with abstract concepts, vocabulary, and older form of English listed as Difficulty considerations and length listed as an Ease Factor. Millay’s sonnet has a Reading Level of Moderate with abstract concepts and vocabulary identified as Difficulty Considerations and theme and length identified as Ease Factors. The Directed Reading anchor texts are paired with two Informational Text Connection selections, “Well-Versed Approach Merits Poetry Prize,” a news article by Joanne Lannin (1170L) ,and “The Broken Oar,” a sonnet by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (NP). Both selections have a Reading Level of Moderate. Difficulty Considerations for Lannin’s work include vocabulary and the Ease Factor is subject matter. Materials do not list Difficulty Considerations or Ease Factors for Longellow’s work. The sonnets are paired so students can practice comparing and contrasting literary elements such as theme, tone, and iambic pentameter and meter. Students also study themes, such as being realistic and relationships, and make a cultural connection to the sonnet. While reading, instructions ask students to ``explore the similarities and differences in themes and tones of the two poems. Then use your observation, along with support from the poems, to sum up the main idea of each poem. Use a Venn Diagram like the one below to keep track of your comparisons.`` 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, of the nineteen selections students read, six are within the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band, five fall below, and four are above the stretch band. The four remaining texts do not have a Lexile level. Students read “The Drowned Maid,: an excerpt from The Kalevala by Elias Lonnrot (1070L). This Directed Reading text falls within the lower end of the Grades 9–10 Lexile Stretch Band. The Reading Level for this text is identified as Challenging text with length and style listed as Difficulty Considerations and repetition listed as an Ease Factor. This text is paired with a Literature Connection piece, “In the Blue Woodland”,song lyrics by Ruth MacKenzie (NP), and an Informational Text Connection piece, “Lord of the Rings Inspired by Ancient Epic,”a magazine article by Brian Handwerk (1400L). MacKenzie’s work has a Reading Level of Moderate with subject matter and author’s style identified as Difficulty Considerations and short stanzas identified as an Ease Factor. Handwerk’s selection has a Reading Level of Challenging with vocabulary and cultural references listed as Difficulty Considerations and length listed as an Ease Factor. As students read “The Drowned Maid,” they make a prediction and analyze the mood of the selection along with how repetition helps to create mood. Students make a timeline and add key events to it while reading to keep track of the events. Students do not use their timeline after reading the texts nor do the Extend the Text task options address sequence of events. It is also unclear how this associated task aligns to its correlated grade-level standard: “Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.”  

  • Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by an accurate text complexity analysis; however, the text complexity analysis does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

    • The text overview page for each selection includes the following text complexity information: the gradual release of responsibility stage (i.e., Guided Reading: Close Reading Model, Directed Reading, Independent Reading), Reading Level and Lexile level, Difficulty Considerations, and Ease Factors. Materials do not explain the educational purpose of the text and the reason for its placement in the grade level.

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1d.  

While series of texts are largely at a variety of complexity levels, the complexity levels of anchor texts and supporting texts students read do not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to grow across the year. Text overviews often include Use Reading Skills and Analyze Literature tasks that outline an area of focus and task students with creating a chart to analyze or evaluate the area of focus; however, students rarely use the chart they make to complete an associated reader task after reading the text. Extend the Text tasks, while optional, often do not provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the focus area. When provided, associated reader tasks do not increase in complexity over the course of the year. While the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model “emphasizes scaffolded instruction,” students often do not receive support as texts become more complex. Because the Lexile levels of text selections increase within most units, students receive the most support during Guided Reading at the beginning of the unit, when Lexile levels typically fall below the Lexile Stretch Band, and the least support during Independent Reading at the end of the unit, when Lexile levels are typically at the high end or above the Lexile Stretch Band.

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • The complexity of anchor texts students read does not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, texts range from 470L–1350L. Students read Elie Wiesel’s speech, “Keep Memory Alive” (470L) followed by the Informational Text Connection piece, “No News from Auschwitz,” a news article by A. M. Rosenthal (1290L). The Reading Level for “Keep Memory Alive” is listed as Moderate, with historical elements and semi formal style listed as Difficulty Considerations and length and rhetorical questions listed as Ease Factors. Materials do not list text complexity information for the Informational Text Connection selection. While reading Wiesel’s speech, students ``gather important details into a Main Idea Map like the one below.” Guidance also directs students to “use the details to determine the main idea and draw conclusions about it,” after reading the selection. The Extend the Text section does not include any tasks that address main idea and details.  

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, most texts have a quantitative measure of NP because this unit focuses on poetry. Exceptions include one prose poem (550L), an Informational Text Connection selection (1170L), and a Primary Source Connection piece (750L). Students read a paired selection containing two lyric poems: The Bean Eaters” by Gwendolyn Brooks (NP) and “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes (NP). Materials list the Reading Level of “The Bean Eaters” as Easy with subject matter as a Difficulty Consideration and style as an Ease Factor. The text does not include questions or tasks that address main idea and details. Materials list the Reading Level of “Dream Variations” as Easy with abstract concepts as a Difficulty Consideration and style and vocabulary as Ease Factors. Materials define main idea and direct students to “[u]se a Main Idea Map like the one below to record details” to assist them with drawing conclusions about the main idea of the text. Extend the Text options do not address main idea and details.  

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, texts range from 710L–1570L.  Students read “Magic Words,” a narrative poem by Nalungiag translated by Edward Field (NP). Materials list the Reading Level for this Guided Reading text as Easy, with cultural references as a Difficulty Consideration and familiar words as an Ease Factor. Students ``gather important details into a Main Idea Map like the one below.” While reading, students ``use the details to help determine the main idea.” Extend the Text options do not address main idea or details. Directed Reading selections begin with “Naked Truth and Resplendent Parable, a Yiddish Folktale (710L). Materials identify the Reading Level for this text as Moderate, with abstract concepts identified as a Difficulty Consideration and language and length identified as Ease Factors. Students “gather important details into a Main Idea Map.” Guidance directs students to “add details to the map” while reading and “use the details to determine the main idea” after reading. Extend the Text options do not address main idea or details. 

  • As texts become more complex, some scaffolds and/or materials are provided in the Teacher Edition (e.g., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings, skill lessons).

    • The front matter of the Teacher Edition explains the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model: “Guided Reading at the beginning of the unit (Grades 6-10) provides the framework for the teacher to guide students through the reading process. Close Reading Models walk students through the selections and demonstrate how to analyze literature and apply reading skills and strategies to each genre.” Next, the gradual release reading model transitions students to Directed Reading. During this stage, “the teacher begins to transfer responsibility to the students. Students are directed through explicit pre- and post-reading instruction, but during-reading support is reduced to encourage students to practice reading skills and monitor comprehension on their own.” The reading model concludes with Independent Reading. This stage “advances the total release of responsibility from the teacher to the students, who can now apply the skills and knowledge required to read increasingly more difficult selections on their own.”

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe (1220L). The Reading Level for this text is listed as Challenging, with difficult vocabulary, long sentences, and paragraphs as Difficulty Considerations and vivid descriptions and suspense as Ease Factors. Pre-reading instruction for this Directed Reading text includes guidance on using comparison clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and a Preview Vocabulary activity. During the vocabulary activity, students “[u]se the comparison clues in the sentences below to figure out the meanings of the underlined words from the selection. Then confirm the meanings of the words by looking them up in the Glossary of Vocabulary Words in the back of your textbook.” The activity addresses the words profuse, dauntless, and eccentric. During reading, materials include a Teaching Note on gothic fiction, a Teaching Note: The Writing Is On the Wall questions activity, and a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide. Post-reading instruction includes an Analyze Literature: Setting and Symbol embedded inset. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read and compare an excerpt from the anchor text, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali by D. T. Niane (930L) with an excerpt from The Once and Future King by T. H. White (970L). Materials list the Reading Level of Niane’s selection as Moderate with unfamiliar names, cultural references, and vocabulary identified as Difficulty Considerations. Materials identify the Reading Level of White’s work as Moderate with archaic language and difficult vocabulary as Difficulty Considerations. As part of the Close Reading model, students respond to various Close Read questions while reading. Materials also include embedded Teaching Notes that include support with correctly pronouncing the character’s names and context on the meanings of characters’ names. Materials embed several Connecting with Literature pieces that provide context on the geography and culture and history of Mali. 

Indicator 1e

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e. 

Students read texts of varying difficulty and lengths within units and across the entire year as they explore different genres. Units 1–5 focus on one genre: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and folk literature, respectively. Unit 6 is composed of Independent Reading selections. The materials follow a gradual release of responsibility model from Guided Reading to Directed Reading, and finally to Independent Reading as the teacher supports lessen and the students approach greater independence. Units 1–5 include a section of Independent Reading at the conclusion of the unit, providing students with an opportunity to independently apply the unit skills they have learned, and Unit 6 is devoted entirely to Independent Reading. The end of each unit contains a section called For Your Reading List, a collection of suggested titles with brief summaries from which students choose for reading outside the classroom. Besides the independent reading selections found in the Teacher’s Edition and the Student Editions, the eSelections ancillary provides a collection of additional Independent Reading selections along with programmatic instruction. More Independent Reading selections can also be found in the eLibrary, an online collection of PDFs of excerpts and full texts, as well as through StoryShares, an online third-party resource of free materials searchable by interest and grade level. The Program Planning Guide contains a blank Reading Log that students can use to track their outside reading. This document includes columns where students can fill in the date, title, author, pages read, and summary/reactions each week. 

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, in the Guided Reading section, students read “The Open Window,” a short story by Saki, and “Death of a Young Son by Drowning,” a poem by Margaret Atwood. The Directed Reading section also includes “Two Kinds,” a short story by Amy Tan, “Her Flying Trapeze,” a poem by Nikki Giovanni, and “Questions and Answers about Plague” by the Centers for Disease Control. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read a variety of nonfiction text types, including autobiography, memoir, government document, argumentative essay, personal essay, speech, news article, how-to writing, web article, and book review. The unit also includes works of fiction, such as a spiritual, song, poem, and humorous sketch. 

    • In Unit 4 Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read plays, informational text, a treatise, poetry, and literary criticism. In the Guided Reading section, students read A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov. In the Directed Reading section, students read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. 

    • In Unit 6, The Examined Life/Strange Happenings, Independent Reading Connections, students read a variety of text types and genres as they apply the skills they have learned throughout the year. The unit includes short stories, poems, a reflection, a fact sheet, travel writing, narrative nonfiction, a consumer document, a radio drama, an anthropological analysis, and an excerpt from a graphic novel. 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connection, students read twenty texts in thirty-three days. To aid in student engagement with these texts, teachers can assign graphic organizers for reading skills or a literary analysis for each of these texts. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read A Marriage Proposal, a one-act play by Anton Chekhov, the entirety of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, a play by William Shakespeare, an excerpt from The Prince, a treatise by Niccolo Machiavelli, “Brutus on Broadway: Et tu, Denzel,” an article by Allison Samuels, the play, Antigone, by Sophocles, The Still Alarm, a one-act play by George S. Kaufman, and Trifles, a one-act play by Susan Glaspell. The Visual Planning Guide allots thirty regular class periods across six weeks for this instruction. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, in the Directed Reading section, students read a folk tale, two fairy tales, an epic, song lyrics, a magazine article, and a novel excerpt over the course of seven regular class periods or three and one-half block schedule days. 

  • There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers (e.g., proposed schedule and tracking system for independent reading).

    • The Visual Planning Guide provides a pacing guide for instruction as well as suggested lessons for the texts. In addition, the Program Planning Guide includes a Reading Log for students to track their reading.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, the first Independent Reading selection is “Cranes,” a short story by Hwang Sun-won. Students have just finished studying how to read fiction independently through identifying the main idea, understanding the author’s approach, summarizing basic events and ideas, and using fix-up ideas. Materials provide teacher guidance on how to launch the lesson and include text-dependent questions and writing options at the conclusion of the text. Additionally, students read from a list of suggested fiction titles and poetry outside the classroom and record their progress on a Reading Log.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things that Unite, Nonfiction Connection,  the Independent Reading section begins with a recommendation on how a teacher might frame the students' nonfiction reading. Materials provide the following recommendations to support students’ reading independence: “Have students read silently in class a nonfiction work of their choosing for at least twenty minutes.” 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the first Independent Reading selection is The Still Alarm, a one-act play by George S. Kaufman. Students have just finished studying how to read drama independently by recognizing the sequence of events, identifying relationships, understanding literary elements, and asking their own questions. Materials provide teacher guidance on how to launch the lesson and include text-dependent questions and writing options at the conclusion of the text. Additionally, students read from a list of suggested drama titles outside the classroom and record their progress on a Reading Log.

  • Independent reading procedures are included in the lessons.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, within the Independent Reading portion of the unit, the For Your Reading List section contains student guidance and suggestions for selecting and reading texts independently. In addition, the Teacher’s Edition provides teacher guidance on how to encourage students to question the text as they read.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, at the beginning of the Independent Reading stage, materials include a section called Reading Poetry Independently. This section contains guidance, examples, and a framework for reading. Students learn how to understand denotation and connotation, use context clues, determine the appropriate meaning for the context, and tackle difficult vocabulary. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, within the Independent Reading portion of the unit, the For Your Reading List section contains student guidance and suggestions for selecting and reading plays independently. In addition, the Teacher’s Edition provides recommendations for how teachers might frame the students’ independent engagement in reading a play. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, at the beginning of the Independent Reading stage, materials include a section called Reading Folk Literature Independently. This section contains guidance, examples, and a framework for reading. Students learn how to use reading skills with folk literature such as making generalizations and drawing conclusions. Students also learn the practice of writing things down as they read. 

Criterion 1f - 1m

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

10/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. Materials include oral and written questions and tasks grounded in the text, requiring students to use information from the text to support their answers and demonstrate comprehension of what they are reading. Materials do not include speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. Writing Workshops include revision and editing opportunities; however, materials rarely include explicit writing instruction. Although students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Materials lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction. Materials miss opportunities for explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or 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 materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f.  

The majority of the oral and written questions, tasks, and assignments require students to cite textual evidence to support their responses and claims. The Teacher’s Edition contains ample direction for teachers to follow in guiding these activities and in understanding what to look for in students’ work through sample student responses and Critical Thinking Discussion Guides. Text-specific and text-dependent questions can be found before and during reading in the Guided Reading section and after reading in the Directed and Independent Reading sections. Boxes alongside the text, labeled Close Read, contain text-based questions that students respond to during reading. The Teacher Wrap also contains questions of this nature even when the Close Read questions drop away as students move into Directed Reading. Each text contains an after reading section with text-specific and text-dependent questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge levels. Refer to Text questions require students to recall facts and Reason with Text questions require students to apply higher level thinking skills. Analyze Literature questions focus on a particular literary element or compare literature. Comparing Texts questions require students to analyze two reading selections by comparing and contrasting literary elements. Text to Text questions consider the relationships between literature, informational texts, and primary source materials. 

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or 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). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read and compare the short stories, “Catch the Moon” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, and “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan. After reading, students answer text-dependent questions in the Compare Literature: Character and Characterization section: “What traits do the main characters of each story have in common? How are they different? Compare the relationships between Luis and his father and Jing-mei and her mother. How do these relationships help characterize Luis and Jing-mei?” 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read the biography Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People by Langston Hughes. After reading, students complete a series of text-specific questions, including this question from the Analyze Literature: Style and Allusion section: “How do Hughes’s style and use of allusions show the heroic nature of Harriet Tubman's character? Give some examples from the text. 

  • Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read the lyric poem, “Making a Fist” by Naomi Shihab Nye. After reading, students respond to prompts in the Analyze Literature: Speaker and Tone section: “Re-read the poem, and then explain how the speaker's tone changes from the first to the third stanza. What details help to create this change in tone?” The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher’s Edition provides this suggestion: “Students should note that the tone shifts from sharp anxiety to quiet confidence. Details that help to create this change include the simile in line 12 and the phrase ‘who did not die’ in line 15.”

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read the play Antigone by Sophocles. During reading, the Teacher’s Edition suggests teachers introduce the term central conflict and ask students a question. Materials provide a suggested answer. “All plots revolve around a central conflict, or struggle. What central conflict is introduced in the Prologue? Answer: The central conflict is Antigone's struggle with King Creon over the burial of her brother, Polyneices. Creon forbade his burial, but Antigone had decided to bury him anyway.” The inclusion of possible student responses supports teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions.

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1g.

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in speaking and listening activities and projects. Materials also  include directions for conducting such exercises; however, there are no protocols for these activities and projects found in the core materials, nor  guidance for how or when teachers should model speaking and listening techniques. At the end of each unit, materials include a Speaking and Listening Workshop where students can practice, present, and actively listen to oral presentations. These Workshops include steps on how to conduct a particular speaking and listening project, as well as a rubric and speaking and listening tips. 

Materials provide frequent opportunities for speaking and listening; however, speaking and listening opportunities do not include protocols. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials do not provide varied protocols for speaking and listening to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “Two Kinds,” a short story by Amy Tan. A Teaching Note in the Teacher’s Edition gives directions for a Pair-Share: “Have students find partners. Divide ‘Two Kinds’ into as many sections as there are pairs. Assign each pair to reread a section of the text. Pairs should create questions that come out of their section. Go back through the text, section by section, and have pairs share the questions they had.” While the Teaching Note includes directions for the activity, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, during one of the Extend the Text options for Antigone by Sophocles, translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald, students “deliver an informative presentation.” Directions for the task include: “Imagine that your class will film a performance of Antigone. To educate the cast and crew, research the Golden Age of Greece (477 BCE–431 BCE). Collect material from various sources. For example you might do an Internet search on Sophocles to find related information, or you might visit the library for books and videos on ancient Greece. In an oral presentation, share your findings on the historical context of the play and how to use that information in the construction of film sets and costumes. Have the cast and crew follow your instructions in preparation for filming.” Although materials include directions for students to complete this optional task, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills.

    • In Unit 6, The Examined Life/Strange Happenings, Independent Reading Connections, students analyze a media presentation during the Speaking & Listening Workshop. The steps include “Identify Purpose, Elevate Support, Analyze Sources, and Be Aware of Biased Sources.” The rubric for this particular Workshop states that students will be judged on the following: how much you participate in the class discussion, the insightfulness of your comments, your ability to listen to classmates’ ideas, and your responses to classmates ideas. Although materials include directions for students to complete this Workshop, there are no protocols for students to conduct the speaking and listening task and develop their speaking and listening skills.  

  • Teacher guidance includes modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax during speaking and listening opportunities.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, the teacher reminds students of the definition of irony as they read “The Monkey’s Paw,” a short story by W. W. Jacobs. The teacher then uses the following questions to lead the class in a discussion about the irony in the text: “What do the Whites expect to happen when they ask for two hundred pounds? What actually happens?”

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the teacher models how to make and support inferences using textual evidence using a passage from the one-act play, A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov, translated by Theodore Hoffman. Students then respond to the following questions using evidence from the text to support their answers: “How do you think Natalia feels about Lomov? Does she love him?”  

    • In Unit 6, The Examined Life/Strange Happenings, Independent Reading Connections, students read Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Geraldine Moore the Poet.” The teacher defines conflict, pointing out and illustrating that conflict can sometimes be internal. Students then respond to the following question: “What is the internal conflict Geraldine faces?” 

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

Materials include opportunities for stand-alone and text-based discussions. Students may respond to Close Reading, Analyze Literature, Use Reading Skills, Refer to Text, and Reason with Text questions in writing or orally as instructed by their teacher. Where appropriate, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains Critical Thinking Discussion Guides, which provide opportunities for text-based discussions. Although the Discussion Guide includes a series of text-specific questions and suggested answers, materials do not provide evidence of follow-up questions or supports, such as entry points for students who may have difficulty initiating or engaging in conversation. Some Extend the Text options include speaking and listening opportunities; however, the enactment of these activities are based on teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. Mirrors & Windows, and Use Reading Skills: Make Connections questions are often stand-alone in nature, allowing students to reflect on personal experiences while discussing sub-themes and topics related to texts of study. Materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance for monitoring students’ speaking and listening opportunities. Explicit speaking and listening instruction occurs during the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop; however, this Workshop is not a part of core instruction.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read “The Trouble with Television,”an argumentative essay by Robert MacNeil. During an Extend the Text option, students may participate in a panel discussion: “Consider MacNeil’s assertion that television is ‘decivilizing’ the nation. Hold a panel discussion in which some students support this idea and others argue that television benefits the nation. As a group, set the ground rules for the discussion and assign a moderator to reinforce the rules during the discussion. A representative for each position should give an opening statement about the issue. Then the moderator or audience can ask questions for clarification or elaboration of ideas.” Although this activity includes directions for students and teachers to follow, the materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussion or instructional supports for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversation. The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. The Critical Thinking Discussion Guide for Act IV directs teachers to “[h]ave students evaluate Brutus’s decisions by discussing the following questions. Was Brutus right to participate in the conspiracy? Explain. Did Brutus make the right decision in allowing Antony to speak after Caesar’s murder? Explain.” Although the Discussion Guide includes possible student responses, the materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussion or instructional supports for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversations. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read “The Drowned Maid,”an excerpt from The Kalevala by Elias Lonnrot. In the Teacher’s Edition, a Teaching Note provides the following guidance on a Pair-Share activity: “Divide the class into small groups, and tell the groups each to create six questions about ‘The Drowned Maid.’Instruct the groups to pass their questions to another group to answer. Invite each group to share the best answers.” Although this activity includes directions for teachers to follow, the materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussion or instructional supports for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversation. 

  • Students may have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Instruction occurs during the Extend the Text section, that contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, in the Extend the Text section for “The Open Window,” a short story by Saki, students have the option to perform a skit: “Work with a partner to write a skit, or short play, about two characters in a conventional social situation who find things are not turning out as expected. ...Once you have written and rehearsed your skit, act it out for your class.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, in the Extend the Text section for the narrative poem “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike, students have the option to prepare for a debate: “‘High school sports offer young people valuable preparation for the game of life.’ Do you agree or disagree? Choose a position, and then write a series of taking points that you might use to support your opinion in a debate on the issue...When you have finished, share your talking points with a classmate who has adopted the opposing side of the issue.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, in the Extend the Text section for the narrative poem “Magic Words” by Nalungiaq, students have the option to practice storytelling: “Many children’s stories, such as ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Frog Prince’, and ‘Beauty and the Beast’, contain elements of magic. Work with other students to brainstorm a list of such stories...Take turns telling these stories to one another orally. Then discuss how stories change when they are told orally and not written down.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

  • Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read Elie Wiesel’s speech, “Keep Memory Alive,” and A. M. Rosenthal’s news article, “No News from Auschwitz.”During the Lifelong Learning Extend the Text option, students “[c]hoose a subject related to the Holocaust to research” and “use the Internet, library, and other sources to learn more about it.” Students “[p]repare an oral presentation with visual aids on [their] subject” and ensure they allot time to “respond to questions that may require further clarification or elaboration of [their] findings.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.  

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read the lyric poem, “Remember.” by Joy Harjo. In the Media Literary Extend the Text option, students can research Native American myths: “Using Internet or library resources, research Native American myths about one of the following animal characters: Coyote, Raven, or Lynx. Share the results of your research with the class in an oral report.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read excerpts from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedr’s novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. While working in small groups, students find the complete edition of the novel and “read more of the title character’s misadventures.” Then, students ``[c]hoose one event and prepare it to be presented as a skit to the class.” Students may choose a narrator in addition to the other characters, rewrite the material, and add dialogue. When adding dialogue, guidance encourages students to “try to stay true to the tone and style of the novel.” Students present their skits to the class. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1i

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.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

Materials offer both on-demand and process writing opportunities for students primarily in post-reading Extend the Text tasks and End-of-Unit Writing Workshops. Extend the Text sections contain two, mode-specific writing prompts, and each Writing Workshop focuses on a specific mode of writing. The Workshops guide students through the entire writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing. Materials also include a student model and instructional guidance for teachers in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher’s Edition; however, there is no guidance to indicate where students should compose their writing. The Writing and Grammar Handbook offers in-depth lessons that expand on these Writing Workshops, and the Writing section of the Language Arts Handbook also offers detailed information for students on the writing process and modes and purposes of writing; however, these ancillary materials are not part of core instruction. Because teachers have the choice of which Extend the Text exercises to complete, there is no guarantee that students will complete the writing opportunities offered. Materials utilize digital resources where appropriate.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials include on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read the short story, “The Open Window,’ by Saki. After reading the selection, students may complete an on-demand narrative writing exercise: “Reread the story and look for clues that indicate what Framton is thinking and feeling during his visit to the Sappleton home. Then write a three-paragraph personal essay from Frampton's point of view that describes his experience at the Sappleton home and the effect it had on him and his health, as well as his opinion about the Sappleton family, especially Vera.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, in the Extend the Text section for The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, students may complete a creative writing activity during which they “write an obituary for Brutus.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on informal and archaic language. At the end of the Workshop, students apply the skills they learned in various exercises, including the following: “Write a dialogue between two characters you have recently encountered in your reading. Choose characters from different places or regions. In your dialogue, include at least five examples of informal English. Use formal English to set up the dialogue with a narrative section. When you have finished your work, read your dialogue aloud to a small group of classmates and ask the group for feedback.” It is unclear if the Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop is a part of core instruction. 

  • Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students write a plot analysis during the Writing Workshop: “Choose a story from this unit and write a plot analysis, using the three-part process—prewriting, drafting, and revising.” During the revision stage, materials provide students with guidance on how to evaluate their draft and revise their work for content, organization, and style. Materials include a Student Model to serve as an exemplar for how revision and editing improved a student’s writing.  

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students write a lyric poem for the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop: “Using precise language and imagery, write a lyric poem that expresses emotions about a specific subject.” Students begin by selecting a topic, gathering information, organizing their ideas into a cluster chart, and writing their opening. They then draft each stanza and evaluate their work by exchanging poems with a partner. Materials provide a Student Model to guide the revision process and a Revision Checklist for students to evaluate their own work. The process concludes with directions for publishing, presenting, and reflecting. 

    • In Unit 6, The Examined Life/Strange Happenings, Independent Reading Connections, students complete a Writing Workshop on narrative writing during which they compose a short story: “Write a short story about a strange happening.” The Workshop directions include the purpose and audience for the story and guide students through the entire process of writing the short story: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, publishing, and presenting. 

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read excerpts from the autobiography, My Left Foot, by Christy Brown, and the memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby. During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to write a news story: “Imagine that you are a news reporter doing research for a story. Your assignment is to provide a guide for five or six websites on cerebral palsy or another disability. Create a graphic organizer to record your notes about the website and help you evaluate the trustworthiness of the sites’ information...In your story, rate each site and comment on the site’s strengths and weaknesses.” 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read A Marriage Proposal, a one-act play by Anton Chekhov. In the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to create a television commercial: “Go online to find information about different methods of conflict resolution. Then, create the script for a television commercial about solving problems peacefully.”

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read and compare an excerpt from Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali by D. T. Niane, and an excerpt from The Once and Future King by T. H. White. During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to analyze visual and sound techniques: “Watch and analyze a movie about a historic or legendary hero. Think about the following questions: What visual and sound techniques did the director use to portray the life of the hero? How were camera angles, editing techniques, lighting, sound, and special effects used? How did the filmmaker’s decisions affect your perception of the hero?  Write a brief analysis that answers these questions.”

Indicator 1j

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.  

Materials provide some opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply different writing modes during on-demand and longer process writing tasks across the school year. Materials include  on-demand creative, narrative, informative, and descriptive writing opportunities during the post-reading Extend the Text section. Because these tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, there is no guarantee students will complete the provided tasks. Other opportunities for writing occur when students read eSelections that are available in Passport, or a digital component of the materials. With access to Passport, students have the ability to use Criterion, which is an online writing evaluation tool; however, it is unclear how to access it or use it. Without access to the digital platform, it is unclear how and where students compose their writing. Process writing instruction and tasks occur during the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops; however, explicit instruction is limited and materials do not meet the required distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide some opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • Materials provide some opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

    • Materials include the following Writing Workshops— two informative, one argumentative, one descriptive, two narrative—resulting in an uneven distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, for the Writing Workshop, students write an informative plot analysis: “Choose a story from this unit and write a plot analysis, using the three-part process—prewriting, drafting, and revising.” Materials guide students through the entire writing process. In the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information, organize it using a plot element chart, and write their thesis statement. They then draft the introduction, body, and conclusion. The Revise stage includes a Student Model and a Revision Checklist. During the final stage, the Workshop includes information on follow-up writing tasks and how students can reflect on their work. Materials provide one more opportunity for students to learn, practice, and apply informative writing—when writing a research paper during the Unit 5 Writing Workshop.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students focus on narrative writing during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop as they compose a personal narrative about a true story from their life. During the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information, and organize their ideas for writing. Materials include information on writing a thesis statement, a writing rubric, and a details chart showing students how to organize their ideas. During the Draft stage, materials guide students on drafting the introduction, body, and conclusion. During the Revise stage, students evaluate and revise their draft for content, organization, and style. Materials provide a Student Model with annotations as an exemplar for revising. The Writing Follow-Up stage includes information on students publishing, presenting and reflecting on their work. Materials provide one more opportunity for students to learn, practice, and apply narrative writing—when writing a short story during the Unit 6 Writing Workshop.  

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the Writing Workshop focuses on argumentative writing. Students write an argumentative essay persuading readers to consider their point of view on a topic they believe in. The materials guide students through all aspects of the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, and revising. Students begin by selecting a topic, gathering information, organizing their ideas, and writing a thesis statement. The Workshop includes an Argumentative Essay Evidence Chart to help students organize their argument. Students then evaluate their draft and revise for content, organization, and style. The Workshop includes a writing rubric, model for revising, a student sample product, and a revision checklist. Although materials do not provide further opportunities for students to learn and apply argumentative writing, students do have opportunities to practice argumentative writing during optional activities, such as on-demand Extend the Text writing tasks and End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshops.

  • Different genres/modes/types of writing are distributed throughout the school year; however, there is no core instructional path. Writing opportunities may not occur during core instruction. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in argumentative writing. 

      • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read the short story, “Two Friends,” by Guy de Maupassant. After reading, students may complete an argumentative writing task where they write a five-paragraph argumentative essay in which they take a position on whether or not the two friends were foolish to go fishing during a war. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read the poem, “Making a Fist," by Naomi Shihab Nye. After reading, students may complete the following Argumentative Writing task: “Think about the main idea in ‘Making a Fist’ and what you did or did not like about the poem. Write a one-page argumentative essay in which you advise a friend who is editing a poetry anthology whether or not to include ‘Making a Fist’ in the anthology.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read the fairy tales, “Mother Holle," by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and “The Wonderful Hair," retold by Parker Fillmore. After reading, students may complete an argumentative writing task in which they write a review of either selection for a local newspaper. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing. 

      • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read the short story, “The Leap," by Louise Erdrich and the poem, “Her Flying Trapeze," by Nikki Giovanni. After reading, students may complete an informative writing task: “What is courage? For a magazine for teenagers, write a one-page essay about what courage is, based on the lives of Anna Avalon and the woman in Nikki Giovanni's poem, ‘Her Flying Trapeze.’” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

      • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read the play, Antigone by Sophocles. After reading, students may complete an informative writing task in which they write a literary analysis of the play, explaining what makes it a tragic play. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read the epic, “The Drowned Maid," by Elias Lonnrot, and “In the Blue Woodland," song lyrics by Ruth MacKenzie. After reading, students may complete an informative writing task in which they write a literary analysis exploring the moods of both selections. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

      • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read Saki’s short story, “The Open Window," During the Narrative Writing Extend the Text option, students “write a three-paragraph personal essay from Franton’s point of view that describes his experience at the Sappleton home and the effect it had on him and his health, as well as his opinion about the Sappleton family, especially Vera.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, after reading “Ex-Basketball Player,” a narrative poem by John Updike, students “[w]rite a section of Flick Webb’s memoir, focusing either on his childhood, his basketball career, or his life after basketball” during one of the Extend the Text Writing Options. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read an excerpt from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. During one of the Extend the Text Options, students ``write a parody of a fairy tale, fable, or other well-known story.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

  • Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports).

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “The Monkey’s Paw," a short story by W.W. Jacobs. Afterwards, students may complete the following Informative Writing Extend the Text task: “Imagine ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is going to be included in a suspense anthology. Write a one-page analytical introduction to be included in the anthology in which you discuss the use of foreshadowing in the story. Use the notes you took while reading or skim the story to find examples of foreshadowing.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read and compare two lyric poems, “Eating Alone," by Li-Young Lee, and “The Floral Apron," by Marilyn Chin. After reading both texts, students may complete the following Creative Writing task: “Imagine that the speakers in ‘Eating Alone’ and ‘The Floral Apron’ meet at a dinner party and begin to discuss their childhood experiences with each other. Write a dialogue for these characters in which they exchange memories and comment on the significance that these recollections have for them. Try to make your dialogue consistent with the personalities and character traits of the speakers, as these are revealed in each poem.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read a paired selection containing “Orpheus,” a myth retold by Robert Graves, and “Tree Telling of Orpheus,” a lyric poem by Denise Levertov. During the Descriptive Writing Extend the Text option, students “write a brief character sketch of Orpheus, based on what [they] learned about him from the myth and the poem,” “[f]or an encyclopedia of famous mythological characters.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1k

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

Materials provide practice and application opportunities for evidence-based writing but lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction with the exception of some Writing Workshop tasks. During some post-reading tasks, students cite evidence from the text in their written tasks, make claims, and defend their claims using their comprehension and analysis of texts. Extend the Text tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, so there is no guarantee students will engage in evidence-based writing opportunities when offered. Other opportunities sometimes include the Writing Workshops students complete at the end of each unit, additional writing assignments found in the Grammar and Writing ancillary, and the Analyze Literature prompts. It is important to note that many of the writing activities are optional and do not consistently require students to support their analyses and defend their claims using textual evidence.

Materials include some opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials provide limited opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop focuses on informative writing. Students “[c]hoose a story from this unit and write a plot analysis, using the three-part process—prewriting, drafting, and revising.” After settling on a story to analyze, students reread the text during the Prewrite stage, copying “quotations you may want to refer to in your essay” in a Plot Element Chart. After organizing their ideas and writing a thesis statement, students craft their introduction, set a tone, use vivid sensory details, develop characters and conflicts, and compose a conclusion that mentions insights gained, during the Draft stage. The Workshop also includes some instruction on using precise language and dialogue. While this Workshop includes practice, it does not include explicit instruction on standards-aligned, evidence-based writing. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop focuses on argumentative writing. Students “[w]rite an argument essay about a subject that is important to [them].” Students begin by selecting a topic, researching the topic and gathering ideas on note cards, organizing the information into an Evidence Chart, creating an outline, and developing a thesis statement. The drafting stage provides guidance on establishing credibility with language, using an appropriate tone, providing evidence for each point, acknowledging opposing viewpoints, and writing a conclusion that leaves readers thinking. While this Workshop includes practice, it does not include explicit instruction on standards-aligned, evidence-based writing. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop focuses on informative writing: “Research a conflict and write an informative paper reporting your findings.” Students begin by selecting a topic, doing preliminary research, locating references, taking notes, and organizing ideas into a K-W-L chart. The drafting phase includes guidance on writing an effective introduction, supporting points with facts, ideas, and quotes, crafting an appropriate writing style, and using paraphrasing versus direct quotes. While this Workshop includes practice, it does not include explicit instruction on standards-aligned, evidence-based writing. 

  • Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections,  students read an excerpt from My Left Foot, an autobiography by Christy Brown, and an excerpt from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby. After reading, students may complete an Informative Writing task: “For a high school literary magazine, write a two-or three-paragraph critical essay in  which you identify and evaluate each writer’s theme. How are the themes similar and how are they different? Use evidence from the selections to support your ideas.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, after reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, a play by William Shakespeare, students may complete an Informative Writing task: “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is considered a classic. Many lines or phrases from the play have entered casual speech, and ‘Et tu, Brute?’ is known by many people who haven't read or seen the play. Write a critical paragraph examining why this play has become a classic and what about it appeals to modern audiences. Use specific examples from the play to support your ideas.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read “The Drowned Maid” from The Kalevala, a Finnish epic by Elia Lönnrot, along with “In the Blue Woodland” from Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden, song lyrics by Ruth MacKenzie. After reading, students may complete an Informative Writing task: “Explore the moods of ‘The Drowned Maid’ and ‘In the Blue Woodland.’ How would you describe the mood of each piece? How does the mood affect your understanding of each piece? Answer these questions in a one-page literary analysis. In your opening paragraph, include a thesis statement that expresses your opinion about the role mood plays in the two pieces. In your body paragraphs, use support from the selections to support your thesis. Write a conclusion that summarizes your opinions.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l. 

Each unit contains several Grammar & Style Workshops, which have sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and extending the skill. The lessons connect to selections students read just before the workshop. Units also contain Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops with sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and spelling practice using words from unit text selections. Workshops may not occur during core instruction, as their enactment is contingent upon the teacher selecting the activity from the Lesson Plan for the text selection. On occasion, materials include informal grammar and convention activities listed in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher’s Edition. Although materials include an array of instructional components, there are missed opportunities for grade-level grammar and usage instruction, practice, and authentic application in context. 

Materials include some explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for authentic application in context. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Students have opportunities to use parallel structure. 

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on parallel structure. The teacher launches the lesson with a warm-up activity then instructs students on various ways of using parallelism to add emphasis and rhythm to a sentence, using examples from Margaret Atwood’s poem, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning.” Practice opportunities include identifying and correcting parallel structure in sample sentences, and improving a paragraph. During the application task, students use parallelism when responding to a writing prompt. After completing a draft of their letter, students “exchange [their work] with a classmate and check for correct use of parallelism.” Extension opportunities include searching for and examining speeches for the presence of parallelism. 

  • Students have opportunities to use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on phrases. The teacher launches the lesson by having students review types of phrases including prepositional, participial, gerund, and infinitive phrases in a chart and writing example sentences for each type. The teacher then reviews relevant terms with the students. Practice opportunities include identifying the type of phrases underlined in sample sentences, writing sentences containing phrases from a list, and improving a paragraph. To apply their learning, students “research the biography of Naomi Shihab Nye” and “write a short biographical sketch of the poet” using “at least one of each of the four different types of phrases: prepositional, participial, gerund, and infinitive.” Extension opportunities include examining recently read works for the presence of relevant phrases.

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, during the Grammar and Style Workshop on coordination, subordination, and apposition, students learn how to identify and use independent clauses, subordinate clauses, and appositive phrases. In the Apply the Skill section, students practice identifying the function of a clause in a sentence. Authentic application opportunities include composing a description of a special day with a family member using “coordination, subordination, and apposition to link ideas, identify, and provide more information about your family member and the time you shared.”  

  • Students have opportunities to use a semicolon (and perhaps a conjunctive adverb) to link two or more closely related independent clauses. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, after reading an excerpt from Yoshiko Uchida’s autobiography Desert Exile, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on colons and semicolons. The teacher launches the lesson with a brief discussion on the importance of punctuation in clarifying meaning. The teacher then instructs students on the various uses of semicolons: “Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb (however, therefore, furthermore, etc.) or a transitional phrase (for example, as a result, in other words, etc.). Example: Mr. Uchida was released on parole; therefore, he would soon join his family.” In the Apply the Skill section, practice opportunities include improving a paragraph which includes this relevant sentence: “Traditionally, elders in Japanese society are given much respect by the younger generations however, the Issei, who were immigrants to the United States, were not given positions of authority in the camps.” To apply their learning, students “[w]rite five factual statements about Yoshiko Uchida” and use a colon or semicolon to add variety to their writing. Extension opportunities include reading an essay or news article and writing a summary of it, using at least one colon and semicolon. 

  • Students have opportunities to use a colon to introduce a list or quotation. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, after reading an excerpt from Yoshiko Uchida’s autobiography Desert Exile, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on colons and semicolons. The teacher launches the lesson with a brief discussion on the importance of punctuation in clarifying meaning. The teacher then instructs students on the various uses of colons, including “to introduce a list of items” followed by the example, “The Uchidas’ friends sent them the following things: cookies, nuts, dried fruit, and jams.” In the Apply the Skill section, students examine sentences for the correct use of colons and semicolons and rewrite incorrect sentences, including this relevant example: “Uchida points out some positive aspects of the internment; a sense of unity, family togetherness, and pride in survival.” To apply their learning, students “[w]rite five factual statements about Yoshiko Uchida” and use a colon or semicolon to add variety to their writing. Students can extend their skills by reading an essay or news article and writing a summary of it, using at least one colon and semicolon. 

  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on spelling rules and tips. The teacher launches the lesson by doing a warm-up activity on using mnemonics to help students remember how to spell frequently misspelled words. The teacher then instructs the students on how to remember spelling patterns for suffixes with y and the ie/ei pattern; how to break words into syllables to remember how to spell them; and how to use mnemonic devices to remember how to spell words. Practice opportunities include identifying and rewriting misspelled words in sentences from the recently read Act III of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, rewriting a paragraph with incorrectly spelled words in it, and creating mnemonic devices for a list of vocabulary words from the unit. Authentic application opportunities include using correct spellings of the spelling patterns presented in the Workshop while writing a review of a popular website. Extension opportunities include creating a spelling rule for a list of commonly misspelled words from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

Indicator 1m

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

At the beginning of each unit, materials include an overview of all vocabulary words, academic vocabulary, and key terms. These words are also listed in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition alongside the corresponding selection. Words listed as Preview Vocabulary are taken from sentences within selections and are defined in the side margin or at the bottom of pages where they appear. Words listed as Selection Words are additional words from the reading that may be challenging, but are not central to the selection. These are Tier One words that can easily be understood by using context clues. Words listed as Academic Vocabulary are words that are used in the directions about the lessons. These are Tier Two words that explain what students should focus on, help establish context, clarify meaning of literary terms, and define goals or instructional purpose. Words that are listed as Key Terms are domain-specific Tier Three words. The repetition of these words throughout the program helps to ensure student mastery. 

Materials include two Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops within each unit. These Workshops correlate to two of the unit selections that use vocabulary words from the text that precedes the Workshop and contain instruction followed by practice exercises. The enactment of this Workshop is based on teacher selection and, as a result,may not occur during core instruction.The Unit Selection Resources ancillary also includes vocabulary preview activities and lessons for each unit. The Vocabulary & Spelling ancillary also has lessons that build word study skills and instruction based on vocabulary words from selections. Although materials include multiple elements that address vocabulary acquisition and practice, these elements are not cohesive nor do materials provide teacher guidance on a year-long plan to support students’ vocabulary development. Additionally, ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts; however, the year-long vocabulary plan lacks cohesion. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component.

    • There is no explanation of a year-long cohesive plan for vocabulary instruction; rather, materials include multiple components that address vocabulary, and it is up to the teacher to decide which components to use for instruction. For instance, at the beginning of each unit, materials provide Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three vocabulary word lists with the corresponding pages for where the words occur in text. Materials also list the vocabulary words in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition with the corresponding page number in the section where they occur. Materials define the vocabulary words at the bottom of the selection in which they appear. Each selection includes a short Preview Vocabulary section where students try to unlock the meaning of underlined words from the selection before reading. Occasionally, the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes instructions for helping students understand the meaning of words. Materials include two Vocabulary and Spelling Workshops which focus on vocabulary skills instruction. If teachers want to explore selection vocabulary in more depth, they must use the Unit & Selection Resources ancillary. Since it is up to teachers to choose which of these program elements to include in instruction, there is no guarantee that the vocabulary development supports offered will occur during core instruction. 

  • Vocabulary is repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts; however, it is unclear how materials build students’ vocabulary development of Tier One and Tier Two words during core instruction.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, the word eccentric appears as a Tier One Preview Word for “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe and as a Tier One Selection Word for “Two Friends” by Guy de Maupassant. Materials identify the word eccentric in the text and define the term in a footnote in “The Masque of the Red Death.” 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the word reverence appears as a Tier One Preview Word for Antigone by Sophocles and as a Tier one Selection Word for The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Materials identify the word reverence in the text and define the word in the side margin of the text. While reading Act III of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Students respond to a Use Reading Skills prompt addressing a passage of text that contains the word reverence: “Direct students to III.i.173–176. What feelings do Brutus and Cassius express toward Antony?”  

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, materials define the Key Term legend in the Introduction to Folk Literature section and during the Compare Literature: Legend and Archetype section of the Comparing Texts page for excerpts from Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali by D.T. Niane and The Once and Future King by T.H. White: “A legend is a story that is passed down over generations, often based on real events or characters from the past. As you read about Sundiata and King Arthur, consider which elements in the selections might be historical and which are probably not.” 

  • Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). 

    • At the beginning of each unit, materials include lists of the Tier Two and Tier Three vocabulary words students will encounter over the course of each unit in the Teacher Edition. Each word is followed by the page numbers where the words appear. At the beginning of each selection, materials list Tier One and Tier Two words under the heading Words in Use followed by page numbers for each vocabulary word. Tier Two and Tier Three words often appear in the before reading information and in Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops. Materials repeat certain Key Terms (Tier Three words) throughout the unit to give students more exposure to and practice with vocabulary words. 

  • Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks.

    • In Unit 1, Defining Moments, Fiction Connections, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on idioms, metaphors, similes, and analogies, all Tier Three terms. In the Understand the Concept section, students learn the definition of each term and read an example of each usage. This section also includes a short review of the definition of each term. In the Apply the Skill section, students complete a series of exercises to practice what they learned: copying sentences and underlining idioms, similes, and metaphors; completing analogies using vocabulary words from the selection they just read; choosing one of the stories in the unit and identifying the similes, metaphors, and idioms in the selection; writing a poem using five of the previously identified similes, metaphors, and idioms; and choosing a sentence from a list that most closely matches the meaning of a provided sentence. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on the Tier Three terms denotation and connotation. Students learn the difference between denotation, or dictionary definition of a word, and the connotation, or emotional association with a word. After looking at an example, students consider the word flick from the poem they just read, read the denotation of the word, and consider the connotation. Students then complete several exercises to apply the skill: identify the denotation and connotation of a list of words, rewrite a paragraph to change the connotation of key words, and brainstorm a list of words that have similar meaning but different connotations.  

    • In Unit 5, Pass It On, Folk Literature Connections, students read the fairy tales, “Mother Holle” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and “The Wonderful Hair” retold by Parker Fillmore. Before reading, students learn the Tier Three term, motif, and are directed to “look for motifs and other archetypal elements shared by the two fairy tales.” During reading, students identify motifs in the story that are common to other fairy tales they know and look closely at how mood and motif are related. After reading, students choose a common motif and compare and contrast how it was developed in each story as well as what the motif might suggest about the values of the culture.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Although texts are organized by genre and topic, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the topic. While students closely read and analyze literary and informational texts, lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task. The majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard, and these tasks often do not integrate literacy skills. Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. Although the Visual Planning Guide for each unit includes suggested pacing for each text, there is no suggested timeline for the pacing of units nor for the curriculum as a whole over the course of the year. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. Due to limited teacher guidance on selecting activities, the volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

12/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge. Texts are organized by units of study that feature a topic, associated genre, and essential questions; however, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the topic and answer the essential questions, as these items are not revisited during the unit. Close reading lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task, and the majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard and often do not integrate literacy skills. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. 

The materials are organized into six units of study, each of which features a topic and an associated genre. Each unit begins with a unit opener that “introduces the genre and connects students to the literature,” includes a “thought-provoking quote [that] gives insight into literature,” features “fine art and photographs [that] connect with the unit theme,” and introduces “essential questions related to the unit theme [that] generate interest and set the stage for learning.” These elements at the beginning of the unit introduce the topic of the unit, but the remaining sections of the introduction serve to explain the genre and do not further address the theme of the unit. Lessons within the unit are organized into subtopics that break down the genre into components of the genre and examples of texts that illustrate those components. The Scope and Sequence Guide lists sub-themes that connect to many of the selections. The Mirrors & Windows questions that accompany selections address these sub-themes, but they do not connect to the overall theme of the unit, and there is no explanation or guidance on how the unit theme and the Mirrors & Windows sub-theme work together. The individual components included in the program are not connected in a cohesive way that would build students’ knowledge of a topic or theme. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Texts are connected by a grade-appropriate cohesive topic/theme/line of inquiry. Texts miss opportunities to build knowledge, vocabulary, and the ability to read and comprehend complex texts across a school year.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, the essential question is “What common issues divide us and how can we become united?” and the theme is “Things That Divide and Things That Unite.” In the introduction to the unit, materials provide an overview of the selections: “The selections in this section present people who confront division and contemplate the road to unity.” An excerpt from Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family by Yoshiko Uchida serves as the anchor text for the unit. Students also read an excerpt from My Left Foot by Christy Brown, “Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People” by Langston Hughes, “We Heard It Before We Saw Anything” by Julian West, and an excerpt from When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip. Mirrors & Windows sub-themes associated with unit selections include fear, determination and communication, internment, leadership, television, social responsibility, revenge, witnessing events, and writing problems. Although students respond to a Mirrors & Windows question that addresses the sub-theme after reading a text, it is unclear how the sub-theme connects to the unit theme or essential question. Because the embedded Close Reading questions and Extend the Text tasks do not connect to the unit theme or essential question, it is unclear how students build knowledge of the theme. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, the unit introduction and the essential question are as follows: “In the selections in this unit, friends who find themselves in challenging situations react in surprising ways. What you would do if you found yourself in the place of one of the characters?” The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare serves as the anchor text for this unit. Students also read A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov, Antigone by Sophocles, translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald, and “Orpheus” retold by Robert Graves. Selections contain Mirrors & Windows sub-themes but it is unclear how the texts or sub-themes connect to the unit theme or essential question. For example, the Mirrors & Windows question for A Marriage Proposal is “What do you think makes a good marriage? How has the thinking about what makes a good marriage changed over time? Will Lomov and Natalia have a good marriage?” The Mirrors & Windows theme for Act II of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is loyalty. During the Mirrors & Windows question, students put themselves in the place of a character in a difficult situation when reflecting on Brutus’s difficult situation and write about a time they faced a difficult moral dilemma. Students reflect on Brutus’s behavior and compare it to how they might be feeling in his place when reading Act IV. Other than these instances, the essential question is not addressed. The Mirrors & Windows themes do not relate to the unit topic and essential question nor do the embedded Close Reading questions and Extend the Text tasks. As a result, it is unclear how students build knowledge of the theme.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, the essential question is “How are the values handed down through stories and tales still relevant today?” and the unit theme is What Makes Us Human. The anchor text for this unit is an excerpt from Sundita: An Epic of Old Mali by D. T. Niane. Students also read “Orpheus' ' retold by Robert Graves, “Naked Truth and Resplendent Parable” by Anonymous, and “Mu-lan” by Anonymous, translated by Hans H. Fankel. The Mirrors & Windows question for the second selection in the unit, “Orpheus,” references the unit theme: “Based on this myth, what is your impression of Greek culture? What kinds of things about Greek culture might be similar to American culture today? What is different?” However, the remaining texts and Mirrors & Windows questions do not connect to the unit theme or essential question. For example, the Mirrors & Windows question for Sundiata, An Epic of Old Maili is “‘Each man finds his way already marked out for him and he can change nothing about it.’ Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What role does fate play in a person’s life? What role does personal choice play?” The Mirrors & Windows question for “The Wonderful Hair,” a fairy tale retold by Parker Filmore, is “How do all three of these characters possess wealth? When have you valued something more highly than someone else?” The Mirrors & Windows themes do not relate to the unit topic and essential question nor do the embedded Close Reading questions and Extend the Text tasks. As a result, it is unclear how students build knowledge of the theme.

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2b. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. Materials do not consistently include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of these literary elements. Tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section and may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. At times, questions and tasks do not meet the requirements of the correlated standard.

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • For most texts, students analyze key ideas and details and craft and structure (according to grade-level standards).  

    • The materials contain some coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details. 

      • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “The Leap,” a short story by Louise Erdich, followed by “Her Flying Trapeze,” a poem by Nikki Giovanni. Students read the description of Anna in a specified passage of the text and discuss “what the narrator means by saying her mother ‘lives comfortably in extreme elements.’” After sharing stories about people they know who fit this same description, students discuss “how this description of Anna might contribute to one of the story’s themes.” Students examine a paragraph towards the end of the story and respond to this question: “What details in this paragraph contribute to a theme of the story?” After reading the short story, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Theme and Anecdote prompt and questions: “Describe each of the anecdotes that appear in the story. What has Anna done for her daughter? What has the narrator done for her mother? What has each learned from the other? How do these things help you understand the theme of the story?” After reading both selections, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection prompt: “How is Anna Avalon courageous? How is the woman in ‘Her Flying Trapeze’ courageous? Compare the themes of the two selections.”  This sequence of questions does not build to a task in which students determine “a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details” nor do students provide “an objective summary of the text.” 

      • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read “Orpheus”, a myth retold by Robert Graves, and focus on analyzing plot and conflict. During reading, students respond to Close Read questions, such as “How important are the Muses to the myth so far?”,  “Do you know what a Muse is?”. “ How can you find out?”, “Why does Orpheus go into Tartarus?”, and  “What inferences can you make about his character based on this action?” Then in the after-reading Reason with Text questions, students respond to questions, such as “1b. Describe how Orpheus’s talents help him during his life. 2f. Apply what you know about Hades to determine why he establishes this condition. 3b. Infer why Dionysus is angry with Orpheus.” Then, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Plot and Conflict prompt: “Review the elements of plot in the Understanding Plot section of Unit 1, page E1. If you were to make a Plot Diagram of ‘Orpheus,’ what would all the parts be? What conflict or conflicts exist in ‘Orpheus?’” Students then read the connected lyric poem, “Tree Telling of Orpheus” by Denise Levertov. During reading, students discuss “[w]hat theme, or main idea, is being conveyed through the metaphor of the tree?” This sequence of questions does not build to a task in which students analyze “how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.” 

    • The materials contain some coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft and structure. 

      • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “The Monkey’s Paw,” a short story by W. W. Jacobs. While reading, students focus on foreshadowing and respond to Analyze Literature prompts, such as: “What atmosphere does the description of the weather create?”,” What kind of events might the weather foreshadow?”; “How does Herbert’s joking about the monkey’s paw contrast with the atmosphere established by the sergeant-major?”, “What might Herbert’s attitude foreshadow?”;  “What does the description of the visitor suggest about what he might have come to say?”, and  “How is this an example of foreshadowing?” After reading, students respond to an Analyze Literature: Plot and Foreshadowing prompt, during which they use their timeline and the events they listed to create a Plot Diagram: “What examples of foreshadowing did you find as you recorded events? What effect did they have on you as a reader?” Students “[w]rite a horror story from the sergeant-major’s point of view that tells about the wishes he made and the consequences of those wishes,” during the Narrative Writing Extend the Text option. Students use a Plot Diagram to brainstorm ideas and also “brainstorm ideas for how you want to create the characters and setting.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. While earlier questions address foreshadowing and sequence of events, students do not “analyze how [the] author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.”

      • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read Antigone, a play by Sophocles, translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. During reading, students analyze the text as they respond to Close Read prompts and questions. At the end of Scene 1, students respond to these Analyze Literature: Chorus and Ode questions: “What important information does the Chorus reveal in the Parados?, How is the role of the Choragos different from the role of the Chorus?, and How do the Chorus and the Choragos describe Polyneices and his army?” After reading Scene 2, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Foil prompt: “How does Antigone react to Creon’s accusation? Reread lines 121–123, in which the Choragos describes Ismene’s entrance. How is Ismene a foil for Antigone?” At the conclusion of Scene 3, students respond to this Analyze Literature: Analogy prompt: “Identify two analogies that Haimon uses in his long speech. In each analogy, what is the concrete idea or object? What is the abstract idea or object? How does the concrete help you understand the meaning of the abstract? Why does Haimon use these analogies? Of what is he trying to convince Creon?” At the end of Scene 4, students answer this Analyze Literature: Allusion question: “Why might Sophocles have included these allusions in the play? Do they help the audience understand something better? If so, how? If not, what other purpose might they serve?” After reading Scene 5, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Motif prompt: “Identify lines in this scene that describe disorder in nature. What later events does this disorder foreshadow, or hint at?” After reading the connected poem, “Pride” by Dahlia Ravikovitch, translated by Chana Bloch and Ariel Bloch, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection questions: “What message about people does the speaker convey by discussing rocks? How is the theme, or central idea, of this poem related to the theme of Antigone? Use quotations from both texts to support your answer.” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students “[w]rite a one-page literary analysis,” explaining “what makes Antigone a tragic play.” Students must “identify the tragic hero or heroes and the tragic flaw” in their analysis. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • By the end of the year, these components (language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, craft) are not consistently embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read “Remember,” a lyric poem by Joy Harjo. The poem also includes Andre Mason’s painting, “Sunrise at Montserrat”. During the embedded Critical Viewing prompt, students “[r]eview Harjo’s poem, then critique “Sunrise at Montserrat.” State what images you see in the painting and cite line numbers that correspond with these images in the text. Do you think “Sunrise at Montserrat” supports the message in Harjo’s poem? Why or why not?” During and after reading the poem, students respond to questions addressing voice and theme, such as “What can you tell about Harjo’s attitude based on her repetition of the word remember?” and “Consider how the poet chooses to speak directly to the reader. How does this choice affect the theme of the poem?” This sequence of questions does not build to a task in which students analyze “the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.” 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read a paired selection containing an excerpt from Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, an epic legend by D. T. Niane, and an excerpt from The Once and Future King, a legend by T. H. White. While reading Niane's piece, students examine a specific paragraph to answer the question, “What happens in this paragraph that is probably not historically accurate?” While reading White’s selection, students respond to the following Close Read question: “Which events surrounding the Wart’s attempts to pull the sword out of the stone are likely not true to the original story of Arthur? Why might White have included these events in his retelling of the story?” During the Critical Thinking Discussion Guide for The Once and Future King, students discuss the following questions: “Is this the first you have read about the legend of King Arthur? If not, where else did you hear about the story? Explain how this story could have evolved from a true story from history. What elements of it could have been true? Discuss T. H. White’s style and humor in writing this adaptation of the King Arthur myth. Do you enjoy it? Why or why not?” After reading both selections, students respond to Compare Literature: Legend And Archetype questions, including but not limited to: “Which elements of the two legends do you think could have actually occurred in history? Compare the themes of the stories. How do they overlap? What do they say about the values of the cultures in which the stories originated?” Students then read a Primary Source Connection selection from Le Morte d'Arthur, a legend by Sir Thomas Malory and respond to Text to Text Connection questions, such as “Which elements of the story of Arthur from Malory’s version do you see in White’s version? Which account of King Arthur do you find more compelling? Why?” During the Extend the Text Informative Writing option, students reflect on how each story is “a Cinderella story, or a tale of an unexpected hero” and complete the following task: “Write a literary analysis in which you state this theme and discuss how each selection develops it.” The analysis must include “a thesis statement that expresses the shared theme,” an introduction that “describe[s] the plot of each selection,” one paragraph that discusses theme development, and a conclusion. This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2c. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. Materials do not consistently include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of knowledge and ideas. Tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section and may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. At times, questions and tasks do not meet the requirements of the correlated standard. Although students respond to questions that provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts, materials do not consistently provide students with opportunities to analyze those same elements within single texts.

Materials do not consistently require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Some sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read an excerpt from Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family by Yoshiko Uchida and the Informational Text Connection piece, “Proclamation 4417: Termination of Executive Order 9066” by President Gerald R. Ford. After reading the proclamation, students respond to Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions, such as: “2a. What details of the document elaborate on the reasons why Executive Order No. 9066 was issued and the subsequent actions that were taken? 2b. Why are these details important to the understanding of the document’s main idea?” Students examine the author's purpose while reading President Ford’s proclamation and respond to the following Text to Text Connection question afterwards: “What do you think was Ford’s purpose in delivering Proclamation 4417? What was Uchida’s purpose in writing Desert Exile? Draw a conclusion about which text is more effective in achieving its purpose and why. This sequence of questions does not build to a task in which students “[a]nalyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events.” 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read Elie Wiesel’s speech, “Keep Memory Alive,” and the Informational Text Connection selection, “No News from Auschwitz,” a news article by A. M. Rosenthal. Students evaluate tone in both selections, responding to questions, such as “Where do you note a change in formality and tone of the speech? What effect does this change have on Wiesel’s intended purpose and audience?” and “1a. Identify the sharp contrast Rosenthal establishes in the first two paragraphs. 1b. Describe the effect Rosenthal creates through this sharp contrast.” After reading both selections, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection questions: “How do their perspectives differ? What kinds of evidence (logical, empirical, anecdotal) does each author use in his reflection? Draw conclusions based on your findings.” During the Collaborative Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students search the Internet “to find a complete version of Elie Wiesel’s Nobel prize acceptance speech” and work with a partner or small group “to find another speech by Wiesel, or another acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize.” Students analyze the speeches, identifying “the main message of each speech, the purpose of each speech, and any rhetorical devices, such as parallelism, that the speaker uses.” Students also “compare the voices (tones, diction, and syntax or grammatical structures) of the speeches.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text activities from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • By the end of the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is embedded in students’ work (via tasks and/or culminating tasks). 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read “Montgomery Boycott,” an excerpt from the memoir My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. by Coretta Scott King. Students respond to questions addressing point of view, such as “What insights into Martin Luther King Jr. and the boycott are readers offered by receiving this information from the point of view of Coretta Scott King?”” and “Does this perspective on Martin Luther King Jr. differ from what is commonly known about him? Why or why not?” After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Point of View question: “What private, internal thoughts of Dr. King’s do we read in the selection that we might not have learned had another more distant biographer compiled this information? Why is it important to consider the point of view in which a piece is written?” While students analyze point of view, they do not analyze “various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia),” as required by the standards. During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students research coverage of the Civil Rights movement and examine how objective each report is using the following questions: “Whom does each report quote, and how long is each quotation? Does each story appear at or near the beginning, middle, or end of the medium? Can you tell what the report thinks of the movement?” Students then “[w]rite a report on your overall impression of the stories you investigated.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text activities from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students focus on thesis and argument while reading an argumentative essay, “The Trouble with Television” by Robert MacNeil. Students discuss the ideas they took from the first three paragraphs and summarize arguments McNeil makes to support his thesis. Later in the text, students identify the arguments made by finding the main idea of each paragraph. After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Thesis and Argument question: “Critique MacNeil’s essay by addressing these questions: What is the thesis? What arguments does MacNeil use to advance his thesis? How effectively does MacNeil support his arguments with substantiated evidence? What kinds of evidence (logical, empirical, or anecdotal) does he use to support his conclusions? During the Collaborative Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students participate in “a panel discussion in which some students support [Macneil’s assertion that television is ‘decivilizing’ the nation] and others argue that television benefits the nation.” Representatives for each position “give an opening statement about the issue” and “the moderator or audience can ask questions for clarification or elaboration of ideas.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text activities from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • Sets of questions and tasks provide some opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students focus on analyzing metaphor and theme while reading an excerpt from My Left Foot by Christy Brown and an excerpt from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. While reading Brown’s work, students respond to questions, such as “To what does Brown compare his brothers and sisters? What metaphors does he use to decide what separates him from them?” and “Based on what you know about the attitude of Brown’s mother, what is one of the themes of the story?” When reading Bauby’s piece, students answer the following question: “Why might Bauby use a diving bell as a metaphor for his paralysis? Can you think of other metaphors that would apply?” After reading both texts, students answer the following Compare Literature: Metaphor and Theme question: “What two metaphors does Brown use in the last paragraph of the excerpt from My Left Foot to describe what the letter A he draws means to him?  What does Bauby mean when he says that “the alphabet becomes an artillery barrage”? What other metaphors can you find in the selections? What is the main theme of each excerpt? How do metaphors help advance the themes?”  Students may complete the following optional Informative Writing activity in the Extend The Text section: “For a high school literary magazine, write a two- or three-paragraph critical essay in which you identify and evaluate each writer’s theme. How are the themes similar and how are they different? Use evidence from the selections to support your ideas.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text activities from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read “Lord of the Rings Inspired by Ancient Epic,” a magazine article by Brian Handwerk as a companion text to “The Drowned Maid” from The Kalevala, an epic by Elias Lonnrot. While reading the epic, students focus on analyzing mood and repetition. Examples of prompts and questions include: “Ask students to identify examples of repetition in the song. Point out that repetition, often in sets of three and with some variation, is common in works from the oral tradition. Ask students why this might be so.” and “Ask students what mood is created in this part of The Kalevala. What words and phrases contribute to the mood?” After reading the article, students examine how an element of the article relates to the content of the epic: “Toward the end of the article, Wade Davis refers to several ‘themes’ of pre-Christian traditions. List these themes. What evidence of these themes do you see in ‘The Drowned Maid’? Use quotations from ‘The Drowned Maid’ to support your answer.” The analytical questions within each text do not provide students with opportunities to analyze the same elements across both texts.

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s)/theme(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2d. 

Individual, paired, and text set selections conclude with Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions; an Analyze Literature, Compare Literature, or Text-to-Text Connection prompt; and four task options in the Extend the Text section. Earlier questions are incoherently sequenced at times and do not always build to a task. Teachers can choose from two writing options and two other types of tasks, such as Collaborative Learning, Critical Literacy, Lifelong Learning, and Media Literacy, in the Extend the Text section. Extend the Text tasks do not consistently relate to reading selections and are sometimes stand-alone in nature. Because there is no true core instructional path, completion of these tasks is optional and contingent upon teacher selection. As a result, there is no guarantee that all students will access the opportunities offered. 

Each unit concludes with three Workshops: Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Test Practice. Most of the Writing and Speaking & Listening Workshops are not connected to the unit genre of study and do not require students to draw upon their knowledge of the texts in the unit. The Test Practice Workshops are not connected to unit content and are designed to help students practice taking standardized tests. The three Workshops are not integrated.

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge through integrated literacy skills; however, it is unclear how tasks relate to the unit’s topic/theme. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Culminating tasks are evident and varied across the year and they are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, listening) at the appropriate grade level, and comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening).

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, during the Writing Workshop, students write a plot analysis. After selecting “story from this unit to analyze,” students reread the story and “[i]dentify what happens in each stage.” Students use a Plot Element Chart to take notes, analyze the story, and organize their ideas. After writing a thesis statement, students draft the introduction, body, and conclusion of their analysis. Students evaluate their drafts using a Revision Checklist. Students orally present their papers and may “create a poster-sized plot pyramid to use as a visual element in their oral report.” Students evaluate their work using a Writing Rubric. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, during the Speaking & Listening Workshop, students “present an oral response to literature.” Students select a poem and read it several times, “jotting notes about what stands out for you and what you like or dislike about the poem.” After students analyze the poem, they use a chart to craft the main idea of their oral response and “list the details that explain or support your main idea.” Students use their chart to “practice [their] response out loud,” and pass out copies of the poem during the delivery of their response. Students use a Speaking & Listening Rubric to evaluate the task. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, during the Speaking & Listening Workshop, students “prepare a multimedia presentation.” Students select a topic and make an outline that includes at least three subtopics. Students may research their topic as they develop their outline. Afterwards, students choose a theme or design for their presentation to give backgrounds, fonts, “pictures, photos, video, charts, and written materials a similar look and feel.” Then, students put the information into a multimedia presentation before presenting to the class. Students use a Speaking and Listening Rubric to evaluate the task. This task integrates reading, writing, and speaking and listening. 

  • Earlier text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced and will not give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness (or whether they are “on track”) to complete culminating tasks.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “The Monkey’s Paw,” a short story by W. W. Jacobs. Students examine the sequence of events using a timeline and the teacher highlights evidence of plot and foreshadowing throughout the text. During the Analyze Literature: Plot and Foreshadowing prompt, students use the events from their timeline to create a Plot Diagram and respond to the following questions: “What examples of foreshadowing did you find as you recorded events? What effect did they have on you as a reader?” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students ``[w]rite a one-page analytical introduction...in which you discuss the use of foreshadowing in the story.” Next, students read “Through the Tunnel,” a short story by Doris Lessing. Students use a Plot Diagram “to track the organization of [the] story” and the teacher points out the use of conflict and symbolism. Students do not use their Plot Diagram to respond to questions or complete tasks. These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop in which they write a plot analysis of a story.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read “Remember,” a lyric poem by Joy Harjo. Students analyze voice and theme and respond to questions, such as “What can you tell about Harjo’s attitude based on her repetition of the word remember?” and “Consider how the poet chooses to speak directly to the reader. How does this choice affect the theme of the poem?” During the Collaborative Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students work in small groups “to discuss the most effective methods and formats for an oral interpretation of ‘Remember.’ Hold a panel discussion in which you consider the advantages and disadvantages of an individual presentation versus a choral reading.” Students consider multiple factors, such as “the addition of sound effects and music,” before reaching consensus on the type of format. Later in the unit, students read the prose poem, “Holidays” by Jamaica Kincaid. Students focus on features of prose poems and style, responding to questions and prompts, such as “After students finish reading this page, ask them to identify specific aspects of the selection that make it a prose poem.” and “How does the writer’s style affect your reading of the poem?” During the Informative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students “write a one-paragraph analysis discussing whether or not you enjoy reading this kind of writing,” making sure to include “your reasons for liking or disliking this writing technique and the ways you think either contributes to or detracts from Kincaid’s work,” in the analysis. These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop in which they give an oral response to a piece of literature. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read and compare the epic legend, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali' by D. T. Niane, to the legend, The Once and Future King by T. H. White. Students focus on features of legends and archetype while reading and respond to prompts and questions, such as: “Ask students to think about whether soothsayer-like characters appear in any modern stories, like the Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Star Wars movies.” and “What happens in this paragraph that is probably not historically accurate?” After reading a Primary Source Connection text, students analyze visual and sound techniques while viewing “a movie about a historic or legendary hero,” during the Media Literacy option in the Extend the Text section. During a later paired selection, students read and compare two fairy tales: “Mother Holle '' by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and “The Wonderful Hair” by Parker Filmore. Students use a chart “to compare and contrast the plots, characters, and settings'' of the text while also analyzing motif and setting. Students respond to prompts and questions, such as “Ask students to identify motifs in this story that are common to other fairy tales they know.” and “What mood do the details create? Is the man in the story a typical fairy tale hero? Why or why not?” During the Media Literacy option in the Extend the Text section, students “[c]reate a plan for a video game based on ‘Mother Holle,’ ‘The Wonderful Hair,’ or a different fairy tale of your choice.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop in which they give a multimedia presentation.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2e. 

The writing program design includes two on-demand, post-reading writing prompts selections. Prompts span creative, argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing modes. While some prompts are stand-alone tasks, others connect to texts students read and sometimes require students to use textual evidence in their responses. Each unit also includes an End-of-Unit Writing Workshop. During the Writing Workshop, materials explain what students should do during each step of the writing process but rarely provide instruction on the writing mode of focus. Writing Workshops include various supports and tools for monitoring writing development, such as rubrics, student models, literary models, graphic organizers, and checklists. Unlike their on-demand counterparts, these process writing tasks do not connect to the unit theme and are stand-alone in nature with some tasks requiring students to use evidence from sources. Materials include practice opportunities in the Writing Skills section embedded within the End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshop. During this Workshop, students practice timed writing responses and revision and editing skills. As with the Writing Workshops, Test Practice Workshop activities span various genres but are not connected to the unit text selections. The Writing & Grammar workbook may be used to supplant Writing Workshops, as the ancillary resource includes an additional in-depth writing workshop for each unit. Writing & Grammar activities begin with a Learn From a Literary Model section. This section draws upon one of the unit text selections. The Writing Rubrics ancillary contains four PDF files: a narrative writing rubric, an informative writing rubric, an argumentative writing rubric, and a four-point general writing rubric. Materials lack teacher guidance on enacting ancillary and optional writing lessons and tasks. 

Materials include a year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year; however, cohesion is lacking. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level and sometimes supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year.

  • While there is an evident structure to the writing aspect of the program, including frequent opportunities for students to write in various modes and for various purposes, supports, and tools for monitoring student writing development, the structure lacks cohesion. Materials include the following Writing Workshops— two informative, one argumentative, one descriptive, two narrative—resulting in an uneven distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards. Test Practice Workshops do not include explicit instruction and their mode of focus differs from that of the Writing Workshops. It is unclear how writing instruction and tasks build upon each other to promote growth in students’ skills over the course of the unit and across the year.

  • While materials offer a number of writing opportunities, explicit writing instruction is largely absent. During the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops, students spend three regular schedule days or one and a half block schedule days transitioning through the writing process as they complete a process writing task on a specific mode of focus. Writing Workshop tasks include:

    • Unit 1—Informative Writing: Plot Analysis

    • Unit 2—Narrative Writing: Personal Narrative

    • Unit 3—Descriptive Writing: Lyric Poem

    • Unit 4—Argumentative Writing: Argumentative Essay

    • Unit 5—Informative Writing: Research Paper

    • Unit 6—Narrative Writing: Short Story 

  • Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development.

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students write a reflective essay as part of the Test Practice Workshop. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Reflective Essay Rubric which contains the following criteria: Content and Organization, and Grammar and Style.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students write a lyric poem “that expresses emotions about a specific subject.” The Workshop includes a Writing Rubric, a Cluster Chart for prewriting, side-by-side examples of the Draft and Revise stages, a Revision Checklist, and a Student Model. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students research a conflict and write a research paper on their findings. During the Draft stage, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on creating balance: “Draw students’ particular attention to the balance that is ideally struck in this stage between paraphrasing and direct quotation. It is important to have some direct quotes; on the other hand, it is also important that students be able to use their own words for most of the text of the research paper.”

Indicator 2f

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.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2f. 

While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Short research tasks do not include standards-aligned, explicit instruction and typically occur during one of the post-reading Extend the Text options. These tasks are optional, and may not occur during core instruction. Students have one opportunity in each grade level to conduct a long research project—during the Unit 6 Writing Workshop. During this end-of-grade level task, materials include directions to guide students through each step of the research writing process but provide limited explicit instruction of standards-aligned research skills. 

While materials provide opportunities to expand the Extend the Text research tasks, teachers must access the Extension Activities ancillary to do so. Materials also include a Language Arts Handbook ancillary with a section on Research and Documentation, but there is no guidance on how to use this handbook for instruction or how it ties to the specific tasks students complete. Ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials do not 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. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.  

    • While there are frequent opportunities for students to complete informal research tasks, materials lack teacher guidance to support students with completing these tasks. The Teacher Edition does not provide information on how to teach the research skills necessary to complete the after-reading research tasks, and it contains limited guidance for the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop research project. Materials do not include a sequence or progression of research skills, nor is there explicit instruction of research skills that aligns to the standards. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, students complete research tasks as outlined in the standards but receive limited explicit instruction when doing so. While the research-focused Writing Workshop provides detailed process steps to complete the task, the Workshop rarely includes explicit instruction or scaffolding during each step of the research writing process.

  • Materials provide limited support for teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. 

    • There is no evidence of the instructional materials providing support to teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. Research-oriented Extend the Text tasks are not accompanied by instructional support for teachers to guide students through what they are being asked to accomplish. For example, during a Critical Literacy Extend the Text task for the short story “The Open Window” by Saki, students research and compare social conventions: “Research the social conventions of another time period in American or world history. Provide as much information as you can to explain the reasons behind the conventions. Then write a report comparing and contrasting these conventions (or rules of etiquette) with modern conventions for similar situations.” Materials do not include guidance for teachers or students on defining social conventions, how to conduct the research, or how the report should be set up. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, teachers receive limited support for helping students complete the steps of the research project, such as how to write a thesis statement, incorporate parenthetical citations, paraphrase, or construct citations or a Works Cited page.  

  • Materials provide many opportunities for students to synthesize and analyze content tied to the texts under study as a part of the research process. 

    • In Unit 1, Choices, Fiction Connections, students read “Two Friends,” a short story by Guy de Maupassant. In the Extend the Text section, the Lifelong Learning task is as follows: “Naturalists believe that events result inevitably from biological or environmental forces rather than from free will. Research Naturalism to learn more about this literary movement. Then analyze ‘Two Friends’ as an example of Naturalism. For example, consider whether Morissot and Sauvage were victims of uncontrollable forces, or whether they exercised bad judgment in crossing the front line. Prepare a brief presentation that explains what Naturalism is and how ‘Two Friends’ first or does not fit the mold.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read “Eating Alone,” a lyric poem by Li-Young Lee, and “The Floral Apron,” a lyric poem by Marilyn Chin. In the Extend the Text section, the Informative Writing task is as follows: “Research the background and family histories of Li-Young and Marilyn Chin more fully, using library and internet resources. Then write a four paragraph analysis in which you discuss the importance of historical context for these two poems. Your audience for this analysis will be younger students who need more detailed background in order to appreciate the poem…” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read the parable, “Naked Truth and Resplendent Parable,” a Yiddish folk tale. After reading, students may complete a Collaborative Learning Extend the Text task: “Use library or Internet resources to identify some audio recordings of Yiddish music or theater. Organize a presentation in which you play the music for the class as a whole and provide some background for each selection. Alternatively, you might research and organize a presentation on the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof and the movie Yentl, both of which incorporate a number of Yiddish elements.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • Students are provided with opportunities for both “short” and “long” projects across the course of a year and grade bands.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students may complete a Collaborative Learning Extend the text task after reading an excerpt from the autobiography, Desert Exile by Yoshiko Uchida. This task could be completed in a class period or two. For this task, students analyze the effect of time and place: “Together with a small group, use the Internet to research World War II propaganda posters from the United States, Germany, and Japan. Print out examples of posters from each country, and make a list of the key messages advertised by each. Then discuss the following questions: How are these messages similar? How are they different? What conditions in each country and in the world at large contribute to the need for each poster? What kinds of propaganda posters might be well received in the United States today?” This task is one of four options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result,may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. In the Extend the Text section, the Lifelong Learning task requires students to use Internet and library resources to create a timeline of the most important events in Roman history. This short project could be done in one or two class periods; however, because this task is based on teacher selection, it may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop, students “[r]esearch a conflict and write an informative paper reporting your findings. Use sources, document them carefully, and prepare a final bibliography to accompany your paper.” This long research project spans three class periods.  

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

4/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not meet the criteria for coherence. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Questions and tasks do not consistently align to grade-level standards or meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. The volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2g. 

Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. As a result, there is no true core instructional path. The Lesson Plan for each text includes the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, After Reading. Within each section, teachers select or choose activities from a list of core and ancillary resources. Most ancillary resources, such as Unit & Selection Resources, do not provide explicit instruction nor do they identify correlated standards for the provided content. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. Because assessments do not identify the standards addressed, it is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. Although the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers covering the standards in each strand, without a true core instructional path and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, there is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards.

Materials do not spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Over the course of each unit, some instruction is aligned to grade-level standards.

    • In the Digital Teacher Edition, the Grade 10 Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language; however, the page numbers listed do not always contain opportunities for explicit instruction or address the correlated standard. 

      • For example, the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page 514 in the EMC Pages That Cover the Standards column for RL.5 “Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.” This page outlines the Folk Literature Close Reading Model for the narrative poem, “Magic Words” by Nalungiaq, translated by Edward Field. Materials do not provide an opportunity for explicit instruction on the correlated standard.      

  • Over the course of each unit, some questions and tasks are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Questions often focus on comprehension strategies, such as Make Connections, Ask Questions, Draw Conclusions, and Visualize. These comprehension strategies do not align to grade-level standards. Some Extend the Text tasks align to grade-level standards, while others either do not align or do not meet the full requirements of the standards. Because post-reading questions and tasks do not have correlated standards identified, it is not always clear which question or task addresses the standard listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document. 

      • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read a how-to writing by Anne Lamott, “Short Assignments” along with the Informational Text Connection piece, “How to Write a Short Story,” a web article by eHow.com. The Use Reading Skills focus is to draw conclusions. Students “record notes on Lamott’s advice in the first column of an Application Chart like the one below. In the second column, draw conclusions about what the advice means for you as a writer.” Students also examine text organization while reading both selections. After reading both pieces, students respond to a Text to Text Connection question in which they compare and contrast both forms of writing, discussing which they found to be more appealing and why. Students also discuss the different purposes “each type of text organizational pattern serve[s]” and explain how Lamott would respond to the web article’s “how-to” list of steps. These questions and tasks do not address the correlated standard: “Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.” 

  • Over the course of each unit, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Materials do not identify assessed standards on Selection Quizzes, Lesson Tests, Unit Exams, or Formative Surveys. As a result, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

  • By the end of the academic year, standards are not repeatedly addressed within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standard.

    • Because the page numbers listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language are not always the standard addressed, and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, materials do not consistently provide students with multiple opportunities to address standards within and across units to ensure mastery. It is also unclear which items address the correlated standard, because standards are not identified at the question or task level.  

      • The Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists the following page numbers for SL.3 “Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.”: E13, E53, 221, 270, 499, 603, E408, H79–H80. On page E13, students may complete the Media Literacy option in the Extend the Text section for “Lather and Nothing Else” by Hernando Téllez. During this optional task, students work in small groups to “research an area of the world that is politically unstable, ” form teams of the ruling party and the resistance party, and “develop arguments and evidence from their perspective.” Directions note, “Students should be prepared to analyze and defend any rhetorical and logical fallacies.” On page E53, students respond to Refer and Reason questions and may complete two Writing Options, but it is unclear which questions address the correlated standard. During the second Writing Option, students “[c]hoose a perspective— either a war supporter or a war protestor—and conduct research to find solid reasons and evidence for your position.” After writing and presenting an argumentative essay that summarizes their findings, students “analyze the rhetorical and logical fallacies of each other’s arguments.”

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. 

The materials include an overwhelming number of components with no guide for teachers to understand how to navigate and integrate the many ancillary resources. The Program Planning Guide includes the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level V (Grade 10), an alternative implementation schedule that focuses on selections and workshops necessary for students to “master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments.” Given the amount of time suggested and allotted for the core materials to be covered, there is little surplus time for covering the many extension activities, workshops and assessments located within and outside of the core materials. As a result, it is unclear how to assure grade-level standards are covered methodically or evenly when incorporating optional tasks or ancillary materials into daily lesson planning. 

Materials do not regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Suggested implementation schedules and alternative implementation schedules do not consistently align to core learning and objectives. 

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read “The Trouble with Television,” an argumentative essay by Robert MacNeil. In the Before Reading material, to set a purpose for reading, students ``[m]ake a prediction about what arguments the essay will make against television and viewing.” Students also determine MacNeil’s main viewpoint and “use clues from the text to state Robert MacNeil’s thesis.” During reading, students complete supporting activities related to thesis and argument. After reading, students respond to questions addressing thesis and argument; however, the optional Extend the Text tasks do not serve to deepen students’ understanding of making predictions, identifying the author’s viewpoint, and evaluating his argument. The tasks include creating a public awareness poster of the negative effects of watching too much TV; writing a business letter to programming executives about the harmfulness of violence on television; participating in a panel discussion of how television is decivilizing the nation; and analyzing television commercials’ effectiveness in selling products. 

    • In Unit 4, Between Friends, Drama Connections, students read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. The pre-reading section of the core text provides information on the historical context, plot, central conflict, inciting incident, paraphrasing, and vocabulary. While students are reading the play, they respond to questions that require them to use reading skills such as drawing inferences, paraphrasing, and clarifying. Students also respond to literature analysis questions related to puns, central conflict, characterization, soliloquy, motif, and metaphor. Post-reading tasks include Text-Dependent Questions and an Analyze Literature prompt. While the four Extend the Text options align to the objectives at the start of the text as well as grade-level standards, the Creative Writing option requires students to write an obituary, a writing text type on which they have not received explicit instruction. 

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read “Magic Words,” a narrative poem by Nalungiaq, translated by Edward Field. The Before Reading material asks students to focus on the poem as oral tradition and to gather details while reading to determine the main idea. During reading, students make inferences about the relationship of the Inuits with nature. The optional Extend the Text tasks do not support the stated focus of reading the text. Post-reading task options include writing a report about a dream they have had; writing a description of a place they imagine in their heads; practicing storytelling famous children’s works; and conducting an interview with an older person about his or her life. 

  • Suggested implementation schedules cannot be reasonably completed in the time allotted. 

    • The Program Planning Guide notes the overabundance of material: “To help you meet the diverse needs of your students, the Mirrors & Windows program offers a wealth of material—much more than you can teach in one school year. As a result, one challenge you will face is identifying the resources that are best suited to your particular situation.” 

    • As an alternative to the Scope and Sequence Guide provided in each unit, materials include the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level V (Grade 10): “The selections and workshops listed here represent the core course of study students need to master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments. To ensure standards coverage, students who are having difficulty may concentrate on only these selections and workshops. Students on and above grade level may read more selections.” When utilizing this abridged course of study, the teacher must still select which instructional activities to enact during each Program Planning Guide lesson plan.

    • The Program Planning Guide contains lesson plans for each text selection and the three end-of-unit Workshops. Text selection lesson plans include the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading. In the Before Reading: Preview and Motivate section, teachers “[c]hoose from the following materials to preview the selection and motivate your students.” The During Reading section contains two sub-sections, Teach the Selection(s) and Differentiate Instruction. Teachers choose from a list of resources to teach the selection and consider “alternative teaching options to differentiate instruction.” The After Reading section contains two to three subsections: Review and Extend, Teach the Workshop(s), and Assess. Teachers select activities from a list of options and resources to extend learning and teach the Workshop included, where applicable. Teachers do not select from a list of options during the Assess subsection. The lesson plan does not provide guidance on how many minutes each option should take or how long the lesson should last. Pacing guidance is limited to the number of regular schedule or block schedule days the lesson should take.  

  • Optional tasks distract from core learning. 

    • In Unit 1, Choices, students read “Everyday Use,” a short story by Alice Walker. In the Unit and Selection Resources ancillary, the focus of the Build Background pre-reading activity is making a story quilt. The text provides context of quiltmaking; then students create a story quilt to represent an event in their lives. Though this optional task connects an activity to the short story, this activity would take up a significant amount of time in the classroom and the Visual Planning Guide suggests two regular schedule days or one block schedule day for pacing. Enacting this task could take time away from core learning.  

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, after reading “I Am Offering This Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, materials include a kinesthetic activity in the embedded Differentiated Instruction inset, during which students respond to poetry by clapping their hands rhythmically, breaking off in to groups, and reciting stanzas from the poem. Although materials include this option to support students in learning and understanding the rhythm of poetry, the focus of the text of study is organization and imagery. Completing this optional task would detract from the many core activities outlined in the Teacher Edition.

    • In Unit 5, What Makes Us Human, Folk Literature Connections, students read the myth, “Orpheus” retold by Robert Graves, and the lyric poem, “Tree Telling of Orpheus” by Denise Leverton. For this lesson, students focus on plot, conflict, suspense, and the importance of details. Students analyze these elements while reading the two texts and respond to post-reading questions to demonstrate their learning. The optional Extend the Text tasks do not reinforce learning of the aforementioned literary elements. For example, during one of the tasks, students choose and research a character from Greek mythology and write a personality quiz for a teen magazine based on the character. 

  • Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

    • In Unit 2, Things That Divide and Things That Unite, Nonfiction Connections, students read the news article “We Heard it Before We Saw Anything” by Julian West. In the Unit & Selection Resources ancillary, students answer twenty-five true or false statements on tsunamis to test their knowledge before reading the text. During reading, students use a list of eight words from the text to write short paragraphs, and after reading, students take a true or false Selection Quiz on the content of the text. It is unclear how these tasks enhance the lesson. 

    • In Unit 3, Realizations, Poetry Connections, students read and analyze various forms of poetry. In the Writing and Grammar ancillary, Unit 3 focuses on informative writing through Analyzing a Literary Work. Materials provide careful instruction on analyzing text and developing a subsequent analysis essay. The tasks provide the necessary scaffolding for students to grasp concepts and skills associated with analyzing a literary work. 

    • In Unit 6, The Examined Life/Strange Happenings, Independent Reading Connections, while reading the short story, “By The Waters of Babylon” by Stephen Vincent Benet, students may complete an enrichment activity that requires them to find photos of the destruction of Hiroshima at the end of WWII and write a journal entry, poem, or essay in response to some of the photos. This option provides an opportunity for students to connect the reading to primary source information and the reality of the destruction of Hiroshima.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students' literacy development.

N/A

Indicator 3b

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

N/A

Indicator 3c

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

N/A

Indicator 3d

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

N/A

Indicator 3e

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

N/A

Indicator 3f

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

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

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

Indicator 3i

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

N/A

Indicator 3j

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

N/A

Indicator 3k

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

N/A

Indicator 3l

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

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

N/A

Indicator 3o

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

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

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

N/A

Indicator 3r

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

N/A

Indicator 3s

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

N/A

Indicator 3t

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

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

Indicator 3w

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

N/A

Indicator 3x

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

N/A

Indicator 3y

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

N/A

Indicator 3z

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

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/08/26

Report Edition: 2021

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Student Edition Grade 10 978‑1‑5338‑3667‑0 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Teacher's Edition Grade 10 978‑1‑5338‑3674‑8 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021

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

ELA High School Review Tool

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

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates 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 review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations