Alignment: Overall Summary

The Odell Education High School Literacy Program Grade 12 materials meet the expectations of alignment to the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards. The materials include 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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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
31
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
22
25
25
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

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the expectations for high-quality texts, appropriate text complexity, and evidence-based questions and tasks aligned to the standards. The Odell Education High School Literacy Program uses authentic texts and appropriately balances exploration of literary and informational texts, as required by the standards. Texts are appropriately complex for the grade level, with scaffolds and supports in place for texts that fall above the Lexile stretch band. The progression of complexity increases within each unit. Paired selections and text sets include texts of varying genres and complexity. Students read a variety of text types and have choice in their independent reading selections. The program promotes the use of student agency to choose texts, set pacing, and prepare discussions during which students report their independent reading findings and understanding of topics directly related to the unit of study. Oral and written text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied. Materials support teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. The Academic Discussion Reference Guide includes protocols for a variety of academic discussions. Teachers model academic vocabulary and syntax during student speaking and listening opportunities. Speaking and listening instruction includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. Students 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. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing with writing opportunities in each mode required by the standards. Process writing includes opportunities for students to revise their work. Students have opportunities to address different modes of writing, reflecting the distribution required by the standards. 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. Although students have standards-aligned practice opportunities, materials rarely include explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Materials include structures to support students with building vocabulary knowledge in various contexts, and within and across texts.

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.

14/14
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the expectations for text quality and complexity.  Materials include high-quality, complex texts that advance students towards independent reading at grade level, advance students’ literacy skills, and develop students’ knowledge of a topic. Materials appropriately balance informational and literary texts as required by the standards. Texts are appropriately complex and the progression of text complexity increases within each unit.

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 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a.

The central texts for this grade level are high quality, worthy of careful reading, and include a variety of text genres, formats, and topics to meet a range of student interests within an appropriate level of complexity and rigor for the grade level. The texts include renowned classic and contemporary works by critically-acclaimed authors, high interest technical articles that are relatable and help students to build specialized knowledge, a variety of multi visual texts, and strong links between topics that support vertical alignment throughout the grade. The materials offer additional optional texts for students to continue to build knowledge and for extension purposes. Core texts in Grade 12 include, but are not limited to, poetry, novels, essays, documentaries, interviews, plays, and films.

Anchor texts are of high-quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. Some examples include:

  • Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year-long curriculum are of high quality.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 3, students read “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz. The author uses a sophisticated style and engaging arguments in this text, and students will find interest in evaluating their real and social media image within a historical context.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 16, students reflect on the lessons about community when reading “The Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan; “Chapter 4,” an excerpt from Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance; “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” an excerpt from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa; and an excerpt from “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” from The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Students evaluate which author makes the most compelling argument with texts of appropriate complexity and worthy of students’ time and attention.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students begin reading the classic play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. This text is of high quality because of its complex structure, language, and themes.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 2, students expand their understanding of the play Hamlet as they read an excerpt from “A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature, Section II Tragedy: A Genre, Tragedy,” which explores the conventions of the tragedy genre. 

  • Anchor texts consider a range of student interests.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read "The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings" by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, & Ban Cheah. This, and other texts in the unit, consider a range of student interests when considering postsecondary options. In Section 1, Lesson 6, for example, students examine the webpage “Awareness of Postsecondary Options,” for those with interests ranging from four-year colleges to continuing adult education.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 13, students explore a variety of text types, including the poem “Parsley” by Rita Dove and two interviews by National Public Radio: “Remembering to Never Forget: Dominican Republic’s ‘Parsley Massacre’” and “Dominicans, Haitians Remember Parsley Massacre.” Students read other texts throughout the unit, including, but not limited to, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read “A 6 Minute Intro to AI” by Snips. The introduction of digital, infographic style writing is sophisticated to pique student interest and allows reading for different purposes. 

  • Anchor texts are well-crafted and content rich, engaging students at their grade level.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students read several texts that are relevant to their grade level, such as the article “High School Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide” by College Greenlight.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 3, students read, “When a Dictator Becomes Part of Your Family” by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. This editorial note contains a primary source letter with commentary. The sophisticated structure and content of the text offer students the opportunity to improve their academic literacy.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 1, students begin reading the classic novel by George Orwell 1984. This text is well-crafted with complex sentence structures and vocabulary to engage students at grade level.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 9, students read “Will Robots Outsmart Us? The Late Stephen Hawking Answers This and Other Big Questions Facing Humanity” and an excerpt from Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking. In preparation for the reading, students analyze claims and supporting data in the articles “Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence” by Future of Life Institute and “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” by Peter Stone. Students consider the concerns and risks of using AI in society.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students use inquiry questions to find their own sources to answer a Central Research Question: “These sources can range from print texts to web-based texts, multimedia, interviews, and texts from units explored earlier in the year.” An example of a core text students analyze when exploring the concept of credibility and how to assess it is “Machine Bias” by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Lauren Kirchner from the Artificial Intelligence unit.

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 12 meet the criteria for the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Materials include a sufficient balance of informational and literary texts with many opportunities for students to read across genres throughout the academic year. The Foundation Unit and each Development Unit include a variety of texts to explore a central question, and throughout the units, students read a mix of information and literary texts as well as multiple text types, including articles, poems, and books. Examples of text types and genres include, but are not limited to, journalism, letters, essays, short stories, art, myth, and narrative nonfiction. Each unit includes independent reading, which further expands students' experience with multiple text types. 

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials reflect the distribution of text types/genres required by the grade-level standards. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students read a variety of nonfiction texts in the form of websites, online articles, online assessment tools. For example, in Section 2, Lesson 2, students read the webpage “How to Write a High School Resume for College Applications” and the blog “High School Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide.” 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, students read several technical informational texts such as “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Ban Cheah.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students engage in a study of the poem “If They Should Come for Us” by Fatimah Asghar, an essay “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” an excerpt from The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, and an article “It Wasn’t Just the Trolls: Early Internet Culture, ‘Fun,’ and the fires of Exclusionary Laughter” by Whitney Phillips. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts including the play Hamlet and accompanying nonfiction texts such as excerpts from “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism” and from “Depressive Illness Delayed Hamlet's Revenge.” Students also watch a film adaptation and excerpts from several dramatic performances. 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, students read “When a Dictator Becomes Part of Your Family” by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Other core texts in this unit include personal narratives, biographies, and poems.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students read the novel 1984 by George Orwell with the accompaniment of nonfiction texts. For example, in Section 1, Lesson 2, students continue to read 1984 and the webpage “George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students read song lyrics “Mr. Roboto” Lyrics” by Styx, an article “AI Doesn’t Eliminate Jobs, It Creates Them” by Michael Xie, and an excerpt from “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values” by the United States Executive Office of the President. 

  • Materials reflect a 70/30 balance of informational and literary texts. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare For Life After High School?, there are a total of 18 core informational/nonfiction texts. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students read the essay “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz in tandem with other essays, an excerpt from the memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D.Vance, and several poems.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, there are a total of 11 core texts with four literary and seven informational/nonfiction creating a balance of informational and literary texts suitable for this grade level.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, students study informational texts and literary works, such as the historical document “Dominican Republic (Document 305) U.S. Relations with the Dominican Republic” by the Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute; an interview “Dominicans, Haitians Remember Parsley Massacre” by Celeste Headlee, Julia Alvarez, and Edwidge Danticat; and the novel In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, there are a total of eight core texts, one literary,  the novel 1984 by George Orwell, and seven informational nonfiction. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students read a total of four core informational texts and an undetermined number of readings collected during their independent research project.

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Texts fall within an appropriate range for the grade level according to the demands of the core, the culminating tasks are appropriately complex, and the activities students complete with the texts during the unit provide opportunities for close reading and tools to support students when working with these texts. The Application Unit provides an opportunity for students to explore an inquiry question: “Students review texts and topics they have encountered throughout the year and choose a text or topic they want to explore further.”

Most anchor texts fall within the appropriate range for the grade level in the Current Lexile Band (1215L–1355L for Grade 12). The texts add layers of complexity through their use of rich academic and figurative language, the need to understand background knowledge, and the use of varying perspectives and points of view. While some texts are above the suggested Lexile band, the tasks and instructional supports scaffold student access to these materials. Texts that fall below the Lexile band are topically appropriate for students at this grade level, and associated tasks enhance the level of complexity for students to develop literacy by deeply analyzing the text and/or creating new texts. In the Time of Butterflies, for example, falls below the grade-level band qualitative measure; however, the complexity of language used in the text and meaning in the text, especially with historical and cultural significance, create an appropriate level of complexity for students. Students return to the texts presented in the materials for the culminating activity to analyze and evaluate the texts in a critical lens, which also adds to the complexity of the materials’ readings. 

The publisher includes qualitative analysis for some core texts in the Text Overview, including details relating to the text structure, language features, meaning, and knowledge demands. Quantitative analysis of the core texts with available qualitative documentation indicates that texts will continue to challenge and develop students’ skills throughout the year.

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 a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Anchor/core texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 3, students read the essay “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz. The Flesch-Kincaid score for this text is 12.8 which is in the appropriate quantitative level range for this grade level. The qualitative measures outlined in the Text Overview include a moderately complex structure and very complex language, purpose, and knowledge demands. The quantitative and qualitative measures for this text are appropriate for students in Grade 12.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students begin reading Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1390L), a quantitative measure slightly above the band for Grade 12. The text structure is very complex, and other qualitative features are exceedingly complex (i.e., language features, meaning, and knowledge demands). Students read the entire play, analyzing “through four literary lenses: archetypal, political, psychological, and feminist,” and the materials offer support to assist students throughout the unit. The culminating task allows students to “construct an analytical essay that responds to a piece of literary criticism by defending or challenging its interpretation of Hamlet.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 5, Lesson 3, students complete the Culminating Task Planning Guide to answer the task question: How does Julia Alvarez depict the Mirabal sisters as revolutionary leaders in In the Time of the Butterflies? Students answer this question using evidence from the text In the Time of Butterflies (910L) and other texts read throughout the unit as they compose a literary analysis through a biographical, feminist, historical, or Marxist lens. 

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lessons 1–3, students read the complex text “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?” by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne and return to the text for several activities in the lesson. Students break down the text using reading strategies learned in the unit and answer a series of analysis questions. 

  • Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students read “High School Seniors: Preparing for Your Next Step After High School” by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. The materials include a qualitative analysis of the text, which is slightly complex. A rationale is available for placement in the grade level: “The language utilized is conversational and promotes comfortability in an otherwise intimidating life change for seniors.” Also, “...it will be a text that students deconstruct and analyze within Section 1 of the unit to help inform their pathway choice; the article is supportive, as it provides a topic-answer style type of writing that is easy to follow and digest.”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, the materials provide a text overview of the readings found in the unit with a rationale of their complexity. In reviewing “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua, the materials explain the text contains very complex structure, language, and meaning. When referring to complex language, the text overview explains that while Anzaldua offers some translations of the Chicano Spanish used in the text, often she does not. 

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, the materials provide a rationale for the texts selected in the Text Overview document. In this document, the materials explain the text’s complexity based on text structure, language, meaning, and knowledge demands. 

  • Both the rationale and the analysis present accurate information.

    • The Text Overview provides accurate information relating to the texts’ qualitative features consistently for the grade level, and the Lexiles available on Metametrics indicate an appropriate quantitative level of complexity for Grade 12. 

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1d.

The program provides appropriate texts to support students’ literacy growth over the year, and the Foundation, Development, and Application Units allow students to access complex texts with appropriate scaffolds during the learning process. The materials are designed to help students grow their literacy skills from the Foundation Unit to the Application Unit. The flexibility of the program allows choice in which units to include in the course. As students move through the Foundation Unit and complete two or more Development Units, the selections should support growth in their literacy skills to achieve grade-level proficiency. The collection of texts is arranged to deepen students’ literacy skills and understanding by participating in a variety of text-based tasks. Students return to core texts throughout the until with an increased level of complexity through analysis and application of concepts learned. Additional ancillary texts curated to support the individual unit themes promote student growth from the over the course of each unit and across the school year. In tandem with the texts, the assessments and tasks are varied and increase in complexity, allowing students to deepen their reading skills. As tasks become more complex, the materials provide scaffolding material to help teachers support student learning.

Series of texts are 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 provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students read a volume of varied core and optional texts to answer the unit question. In Section 1, Lesson 2 students, for example, students read the core text “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Ban Cheah with a Flesch-Kincaid score of 12.5, one of several texts in the unit worthy of students’ time and attention. Other examples throughout the grade level include, but are not limited to, Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1390L) and 1984 by George Orwell (1090L).

    • In the culminating activity of the Development Unit, Community, students create a blended piece that analyzes a community to which they belong. The unit is designed so that students build their literacy skills across the unit, for instance, in Section 1, Lesson 1, students explore definitions of community, and in Section 2, Lesson 2, students begin to analyze perspectives of community in the text “Chapter 4,” an excerpt from Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. This progression shows an increasing level of complexity as students move from prior knowledge of a topic to an analysis of a text on the same topic.

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

    • In The Foundation Unit, How Do I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 1, Lessons 2–5, students unpack “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Ban Cheah. Containing complex layers of meaning and Tier 3 language, this text falls above Grade 12 complexity and requires a read aloud option as well as scaffolding of activities with the unit to help students make meaning of the text.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 3, students read Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1390L), a complex text for the grade-level band. Students engage in a close reading of the text, analyzing his lines through a political lens. When students reread Lines 1-41 of Act 1, Scene 2, they use a Political Lens Note-Taking Tool to respond to questions, such as “2) What reaction might this hasty marriage during the mourning period create for the members of the royal family? What reaction might the citizens of Denmark have to this hasty marriage during the mourning period?” Teaching notes are available in the Teacher Edition as guidance for student support and differentiation, such as providing reminders to students to use the questions as support for annotation and margin notes.  

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 3, students learn the Skim, Read, Reread, and Interpret technique for reading research studies and apply these strategies to analyze “Artificial Intelligence in 2030” by Peter Stone et al. Later in the unit, in Section 4, Lesson 3, the Teacher Edition provides scaffolds for facilitating the completion of the Section Diagnostic. The material explains, “[...] you can facilitate a discussion about some or all of the guiding questions,” and “If the whole class has struggled in a particular area, you might conduct a brief mini-lesson or model the use of one of the tools with the entire class.” 

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 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.  

The Program Guide indicates that all students will “access and analyze grade-level texts with the help of effective scaffolding and support, regardless of reading ability,” and the Grade 12 materials provide a wide volume of texts of various types, lengths, and complexity levels to build student independence throughout the school year and to support students to reach grade-level proficiency. Each unit provides a range of texts, including novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and informative texts. In addition, the publisher provides a partial text overview and complexity document as well as a list of suggested independent reading texts. 

Independent reading opportunities are available throughout the course of the year and provide choices for students. The Text Overview and Unit Text List provide suggestions for independent reading for each Foundation and Development Unit with texts grouped by topic, theme, or genre.  To assist students to build reading stamina and to persevere when navigating complex text, students encounter a number of meaningful topics and engaging texts that deepen their understanding of the subject matter covered in the units and expand students’ literacy skills such as comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary to equip them to be successful independent readers. 

Each unit includes specific procedures and accountability measures for independent student reading to ensure students are continually working toward independence. Materials include independent reading lessons, including suggestions on how to incorporate student reading into the classroom, at the end of each section in the Foundation and Development Units. In addition, each unit section contains a structured lesson for students to create an independent reading plan and to set their pacing. Students are accountable for text selection, connecting their independent readings to units of study, and creating a product based on their independent reading.

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 the Development Unit, Community, students explore a wide variety of texts, including poems, essays, and memoirs, including selections such as “If They Should Come for Us” by Fatimah Asghar and “The Site of Memory” by Toni Morrison. In Section 1, Lesson 9, students begin an Independent Reading Program in which they select the texts they will read independently throughout the unit. At this point in the unit, students have examined the Central Question and a few anchor texts and apply their learning thus far to their independent reading. Students select their independent reading text from the list of suggested texts for the unit and develop an independent reading plan. The list of independent reading texts includes nonfiction texts such as the novel The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and the memoir Boy Erased by Gerrard Conley.

    • In The Development Unit, Hamlet, students engage in one activity per section to plan and pace their independent reading and commence their Independent Reading Program in Section 1, Lesson 12. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students read 1984 by George Orwell and reports such as “Privacy and Information Sharing” by Lee Rainie and Maeve Duggan. Students also read a letter, “George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984” by Colin Marshall, as well as a blog, “Critical Thinking for College, Career, and Citizenship” by Diane F. Halpern. Independent reading options to accompany the unit include, but are not limited to, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 9, students choose texts to read independently: “We will learn how to choose texts, what activities we may complete, about the final task, and about any materials we will use as we read our independent reading texts.” Students use note-taking tools to analyze important textual elements.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 2, students gradually work toward reading texts independently. The lesson begins with the teacher providing text-based questions to guide student reading, and students work independently by the end of the lesson to make claims about their reading, allowing them to improve self-sufficiency in reading the text.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, the materials offer a wide variety of supports as students engage the volume of texts in the unit. In Section 3, Lesson 2, for example, students use the Marxist Lens Note-Taking Tool to help them independently read In the Time of Butterflies in a more complex way. 

    • In The Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lessons 1–13, students read “multiple texts that explore ideas about government power and individual rights, privacy and surveillance, propaganda and fabricated news, and language and critical thinking.” Students begin reading 1984 by George Orwell before reading informational texts, including “Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs to Be Fixed” by Amy Mitchell and “Critical Thinking for College, Career, and Citizenship” by Diane F. Halpern. The student facing materials guide students through a close examination of the texts to support them in their understanding before completing the Section Diagnostic.

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

    • The program plans and builds lessons for independent reading into the curriculum materials for teachers to follow and implement. Materials include teacher notes on strategy and decisions are included in the teacher edition of the materials.

      • In The Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, students encounter a series of four structured lessons, one from each section, building to the culminating task in the fourth activity. Each of the units in Grade 12 follows this procedure. In Section 3, Lesson 8, the materials provide a lesson overview in which students “share the analyses we have made about our independent reading texts and make connections to the unit. We will plan a final product to share our experiences from reading independently and the knowledge we have gained.” Activities follow to guide students as they discuss, write, and read independently to achieve the lesson goals.

      • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 4, Lesson 7, students share their independent reading following the procedures outlined in the teacher guidance section. Guidance encourages teachers to facilitate sharing activities using the jigsaw strategy, conferencing, and whole-class discussions. 

      • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 1, Lesson 9, students examine the Character Note-Taking Tool to use when analyzing In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The materials include specific guidance on how teachers should introduce this tool to students to allow them to work independently with the tool in future lessons.

      • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read and annotate “George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984” by George Orwell. Students use questions to guide their annotations, such as “What is the tone of the letter? What word choice supports your conclusion?” Teaching notes provide guidance about the author, concept, text, and topic: “While the letter is emotional (e.g., cautionary, concerned, critical, distressed), it is also philosophical and rational. It could serve as a model for how to make an impassioned argument while using sound reasoning and maintaining a professional tone.”

      • In the Application Unit, Section 3, Lesson 1, teaching notes provide additional guidance for student support and differentiation: “If students have independently chosen nonwritten resources, you might help them connect those sources with written texts (e.g., a written review of the film they have chosen to use).”

    • While a proposed schedule is not clearly stated in the materials, the Foundation and Development Units consistently include an independent reading lesson at the end of each section; there are four sections in the Foundation Unit and four or more sections in each Development Unit. The Program Guide shares, “[l]essons are designed to span 45–90 minutes, but the total length of the lesson depends on how many activities are chosen.” Materials promote the use of student agency to choose texts, set pacing, and prepare discussions with peers to report independent reading finds and further expand their peers’ knowledge and breadth of understanding on topics directly related to the unit of study. Students choose from the Text Overview or Unit Text List and follow the lesson to connect their learning, while building knowledge around similar topics and/or themes. 

      • In the Development Unit, Community, the materials focus on the independent reading project in Section 1, Lesson 9; Section 2, Lesson 18; Section 3, Lesson 11; Section 4, Lesson 7; and Section 5, Lesson 8, creating a schedule within the unit for students to select a text, record information from a text, discuss a text, make connections between the independent reading and the unit of study, and create a product based on the independent text read.

      • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 15, students create a plan and a schedule to work through their Independent Reading Program.

    • Students design their own tracking systems for their reading and are kept on pace and tracked through teacher-designated assessment for the activities within each Independent Reading lesson found in each section of the unit. The Program Guide states, “[s]tudents are encouraged to use the same tools and close reading practices they use during instruction. Teachers can choose how to assign and collect those tools in order to monitor students’ reading comprehension.” Unit lessons include instructions and independent reading procedures consistently across the grade level. 

      • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, teachers check in with students on their independent readings in Section 1, Lesson 12; Section 2, Lesson 10; Section 3, Lesson 12; Section 4, Lesson 16; and Section 5, Lesson 7. This check-in can take place in a variety of ways, such as peer discussion, teacher conferencing, and checking the various reading supports including the Attending to Details, Analyzing Relationships, Evaluating Ideas, Extending Understanding, and Forming Evidence-Based Claims tools. 

      • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 12, students share what they have learned from their Independent Reading thus far and continue this process in subsequent lessons Section 3, Lesson 7; Section 4, Lesson 5; and Section 5, Lesson 7.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

17/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 include speaking and listening protocols, and speaking and listening instruction includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, as well as evidence-based writing, with writing opportunities in each mode required by the standards. Although students have standards-aligned practice opportunities, materials rarely include explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards; materials miss opportunities for authentic application in context.

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 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The Grade 12 materials include a focus on text-specific and text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments to deepen students’ knowledge and comprehension throughout each task. 

The materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a variety of texts and to mine text for evidence. The questions and tasks in the materials require careful reading of texts over the course of a school year, and most of the questions are grounded in specific textual details to provide meaningful insight into the overarching Central Question for each unit. In addition, text-dependent guiding questions support students as they navigate and engage directly with the texts to draw evidence from what they have read, as well as to make inferences. The materials consistently pose guiding questions across grade levels and “reinforce the importance of leaning into the text itself for answers and clarification.”

The materials provide teacher guidance, including Teaching Notes, to support the planning and implementation of the text-specific and/or text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments. The teacher notes also offer suggestions for contextualizing, teaching, and supporting students in text-dependent activities. 

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 the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 2, students read and annotate paragraphs 4–11 from “A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature, Section II Tragedy: A Genre, Tragedy.” Students answer the following questions using the text:

      • “What are the features of the tragedy genre?

      • Based on my reading so far, what features of tragedy does Hamlet embody?

      • Based on my reading so far, what features of tragedy does Hamlet not embody?

      • What can I expect to happen in the final act of the play?”

These questions support students learning not only understanding the guide, but also their understanding of Hamlet

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 4, students use the Analyzing Relationships Tool to analyze Chapter 9 of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Students consider the following guiding question: “What do the characters think, say, or do that illustrate the historical context of the novel?”

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 5, Lesson 4, the learning outcome for the activity reads: “We will collect evidence from In the Time of the Butterflies that supports our thesis and begin drafting our literary analysis essay.” Students must return to the text to gather evidence for the thesis they have already formulated through close examination of the text.

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 6, students read and annotate Chapters 5 and 6 of George Orwell’s novel 1984. To guide their reading and annotation of the text, students answer text-specific questions that focus on the structure and ideas of the novel to prepare students to answer the Central Question: How can stories send messages to societies? Examples include:

    • “What does Winston discover about Julia’s beliefs in this chapter? What central idea of the novel is reinforced through Julia’s attitude and belief system?

    • What is the nature of Winston and O’Brien’s exchange? What effect does it have on Winson? What effect does it have on you as the reader?

    • What foreshadowing is present in the last lines of Chapter 6? What effect does it have on you as the reader?”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 3, Lesson 3, the Teaching Notes suggest: “Refer students to ‘2019–2020 Common App Essay Prompts,’ which they can use to write their required essays,” which does direct students to a text for a specific task. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 4, the Teaching Notes present an example of symbols found in 1984 by George Orwell for teachers to use as a model for students. The notes also offer suggestions on how to support a student discussion involving text specific evidence referencing the Academic Discussion Reference Guide.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 7, students read “Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence” by Future of Life Institute. Students consider questions such as, “Based on the mission statement, ‘To catalyze and support research and initiatives for safeguarding life and developing optimistic visions of the future, including positive ways for humanity to steer its own course considering new technologies and challenges,’ what is Future of Life’s perspective on AI?”

Teaching Notes assist with instructional strategies, which can include investigating the “Who We Are” section and defining terms for the students, such as credibility, perspective, reliability, and authority, as they look at the Future of Life Organization.

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 6, students read the article “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” by Peter Stone et al. Students answer text-specific questions about the main claims in the article, including: 

    • “How does the article respond to and dispute “Machine Bias”?

    • What are the counterarguments it presents?

    • What kind of evidence does it use?”

The Teaching Notes provide guidance and support to teachers regarding the claims in the text.

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 4, Lesson 1, students examine the text “The Montreal Declaration: Why We Must develop AI Responsibly” by Yoshua Bengio. The Teacher Notes for this lesson suggest: “As students examine this argument, you might emphasize how it is written with a personal voice, which students might emulate in their final arguments.” This note draws the student directly back to the text to find evidence of a personal voice and encourages the teacher to support the student in doing this.  

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 2, the Teaching Notes explain strategies for teachers to apply to the materials provided for research, including the Research Frame Tool, Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool, Organizing Evidence Tool, Potential Sources Tool, Research Evaluation Checklist, and Research Note-Taking Tool. Students use these tools to gather information directly from the texts they use in their research projects. In the Organizing Evidence Tool, for example, students state their central text or purpose, locate a text, provide evidence from the text, and analyze the evidence selected. 

Indicator 1g

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

As stated in the materials Program Guide, the instructional activities for this grade level engage students in both formal and informal speaking and listening activities and discussions throughout the units, and the materials offer students support in developing these listening and speaking skills. Section Diagnostics and Culminating Tasks include formal activities, such as Socratic seminars, philosophical chairs discussions, and presentations. Also, informal speaking and listening activities recur throughout the program as students engage in collaborative peer-to-peer, small- and whole-group discussions to analyze texts, discuss group norms, and peer review their projects. 

The Academic Discussion Reference Guide provides protocols for a variety of academic discussions, materials include teacher guidance for modeling academic vocabulary and syntax during speaking and listening opportunities. Materials include guidance for modeling effective discussion techniques through the use of teacher-composed scripts, sentence starters, and vocabulary instruction to support students in incorporating new words and academic phrases into their discussions. Students build upon the protocols from previous lessons and activities to participate in more sophisticated speaking and listening activities throughout the year.

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

  • Materials provide varied protocols to support students' developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 1, students begin the unit by discussing postsecondary preparation around the Central Question: “How can I prepare for life after high school?” The Teaching Notes in the teacher edition share students can utilize the Academic Discussion Reference Guide, which provides information to assist with a variety of academic discussions. Additional strategies in the teacher edition include “[b]e sure to foster an open and respectful classroom culture so that all students feel comfortable expressing their opinions as this is the first instance of students discussing the Central Question.” In Section 2, Lesson 2, students work in their research teams to discuss their findings from the Foundations Reading Guide, which includes protocols for developing a strong oral presentation, including checklist questions such as “[i]s your presentation clear, or do you use lots of unnecessary words? Are you redundant, or does each person say something new and meaningful? Do you leave out information or create gaps and confusion for the reader?” To guide their group discussions, students also discuss guiding questions, such as “[w]hat do you consider to be the most important element in a resume?” Students also prepare a presentation to share with the class their findings from “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, & Ban Cheah. The materials provide specific protocols for students to follow when creating their presentations, including guiding questions, such as “What was the least surprising aspect of your part? Why?” In Lesson 3, the materials also provide listening protocols for students as they listen to each of the presentations. The student materials include a list of questions for students to answer to track their listening, such as “[w]hat did the group do well that you might want to use in your own group presentation?”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 7, students participate in a Socratic Seminar for the unit’s Section Diagnostic. In this lesson, students review the norms for the Socratic Seminar; review discussion strategies; and use their Discussion Tool and Vocabulary Journal to identify claims, evidence, and vocabulary to respond to the question, “[w]hat does it mean to belong to a community?” Students then use the information they gathered to participate in the Socratic Seminar and reflect on their experience in their Learning Log.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 6, students participate in an academic discussion regarding their interpretation of Hamlet’s character in each scene. Students follow the protocols outlined in the materials to develop their speaking and listening skills. Students use the Academic Discussion Reference Guide, which suggests the following protocol for academic discussions: “Throughout the discussion, participate in a way that emphasizes inquiry, thoughtful questioning and a desire to learn, rather than advocacy, arguing for and defending your position as the only correct one.” In Section 4, Lesson 6, students use the Discussion Tool to help organize their notes during a Socratic seminar discussing Hamlet by William Shakespeare. To prepare for the discussion, students write open-ended questions using suggested question frames, such as “[w]hat is the relationship between __ and ?” and “[i[f is true, then __?”  

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 9, students participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss Chapter 12 of In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. In Section 4, Lesson 14, students hone the listening and speaking skills developed in Lesson 9 by participating in a Section Diagnostic in the form of a student-led Socratic Seminar that addresses the entire book by examining the question: “How does Julia Alvarez create revolutionary characters in In the Time of Butterflies?” In Section 5, Lesson 2, students read an exemplar essay to understand the structure of a literary analysis essay and then discuss it as a class. The question students discuss is as follows: “How does the essay analyze specific aspects of a text?” The teacher has the option to differentiate this activity as a pair or group activity and provide several more examples of model essays for students to discuss and analyze. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 5, students conference with the teacher to get feedback and ask questions as they plan, draft, and revise their presentations. Students use a Culminating Task Checklist, which includes Speaking & Listening Goals as students organize work, communicate effectively, and publish their findings. Questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: “In the section or aspect of our presentation that I’ve created, how well do I use language and themes that are relevant and appropriate for our audience? How well do I share my research findings with my learning community in a way that is clear, logical, engaging, and appropriate for my audience?”

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

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 13, students participate in a philosophical chairs discussion to demonstrate understanding of Hamlet’s mental state in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Teaching Notes in the teacher edition prompt teachers to pose statements for students to debate, such as:

      • "Depressive Illness Delayed Hamlet’s Revenge" presents a more justifiable interpretation of Hamlet’s mental state than "The Sanity of Hamlet."

    • The Teaching Notes also suggest guidance to support students engaging in an academic discussion, including:

      • “Model how to use academic language in a discussion:

        • Write sentence starters on the board to help students formulate responses.

        • Write vocabulary on the board to encourage and support students to practice using new words during the discussion.

        • Following the discussion, share the scripted strong examples with students, along with some weak examples.

        • Ask students to describe the qualities of the strong examples.”

    • Finally, the Teaching Notes suggest that teachers direct students to use the Academic Discussion Reference Guide for conversation stems when engaging in classroom and/or group discussions, including: 

      • I think ___ because ___.

      • What I hear you saying is _____. 

      • That is an interesting idea because _____. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 2, students work in literature circle groups to discuss Chapters 1-10 of 1984 by George Orwell. The teacher edition provides guidance for how teachers encourage the use of academic language and syntax during the discussion. For example, the teacher edition provides the following guidance: “Model how to use academic language in a discussion: Script what students say during the discussion, focusing on strong examples of academic vocabulary and discussion stems.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 1, materials provide a section of material to help teachers model for and support students throughout this unit. The teacher edition suggests teachers use an assets based method of teaching this unit by activating prior knowledge and also practice using academic language and vocabulary they have had exposure to previously.

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

The Grade 12 materials focus on evidence-based discussion opportunities and standards-based questions as well as other instructional supports to help students grow in their speaking and listening skills throughout the school year, including opportunities for students to listen and speak during teacher-led discussions and when working with peers. All discussions require students to go directly back to the text, reference evidence or engage in repeated reading and analysis, and in many cases, the materials provide instructors with possible student responses for additional support.

Students have multiple opportunities throughout each unit to participate in various speaking and listening activities, such as small-group and whole-class discussions, Socratic Seminars, and Four Corners protocols, to discuss texts read. Most lessons and activities include standards-based guiding questions and tools to ensure students utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and other sources. Presentation of ideas and research opportunities are available through formal speaking and listening tasks and informally during the peer-to-peer discussions and sharing ideas. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of listening and speaking activities. The materials require students to use evidence to support their reasoning in class discussions.

Facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers are embedded within the student-facing materials as well as specific guidance in the Teacher Edition. The materials offer teachers support on facilitating Socratic Seminars and how to use tools to monitor student progress. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance to facilitate discussions, and various tools, such as the Discussion Tool, the Delineating Arguments Tool, and the Academic Discussion Reference Guide, support student growth and developing proficiency in these skills.

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare For Life After High School?, Section 3, Lesson 7, students reread a selected excerpt from a previously read text to analyze the author’s use of language. In the Teacher Edition, Teaching Notes suggest, “Rather than completing isolated language exercises, students can effectively learn style and conventions by focusing on the writing they are studying. The complex texts used in core instruction provide a rich resource of mentor sentences for students to analyze, and the short written responses, Section Diagnostics, and Culminating Task provide students the opportunity to apply their new learning in an authentic writing context. When students analyze model sentences, they build a writer’s toolbox, wherein they have a number of techniques at their disposal to use when writing a text.” Students are directed to use texts they have read and then share their findings and created sentences with their peers.  

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, students participate in a discussion with a partner or small group to discuss the Central Question: What Does It Mean to Belong to a Community? The Teacher Edition provides facilitation, monitoring, and instructional support in the form of guidance and ideas for tools teachers can use with students to guide them through the discussion, including a suggestion for teachers to use an Anticipation Guide with students to activate prior knowledge and to “encourage students to draw on their cultural and social backgrounds to make connections.”

      • In Section 1, Lesson 8, students plan for and engage in partner or small-group discussions to practice effective communication of their revised thinking, ideas, or questions. Student instructions include revising the Discussion Tool and consulting the reading to locate evidence to support their thinking. Students also “Examine the Academic Discussion Reference Guide and identify at least one discussion stem that you would like to use during the partner or small-group discussion.” Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance, such as: “You might have students complete a self-evaluation after the discussion so they can self-monitor their ability to use feedback to improve their learning.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 13, students engage in the Philosophical Chairs protocol. In the Teacher Edition, the Teaching Notes offer instructions on what the protocol is, what to do during the protocol, how to facilitate discussion through provided statements, and even how to differentiate the activity for struggling students. As an example, the materials suggest that teachers use the Academic Discussion Reference Guide and Vocabulary Journals to help support students as they participate in the Philosophical Chairs protocol. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 7, students have a team meeting to discuss the feedback for their Culminating Task presentation rehearsal. Teachers and students use the Culminating Task Checklist as a guide to facilitate group and student-teacher conferences. Students then use instructor feedback to address challenges their peers may have and to problem-solve challenges identified. Guidance encourages students to create a task-list of what needs to be done using the Application Unit Presentation Guide. 

  • Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 15, students share findings from their independent reading with a partner, group, class or teacher. Students use the Forming Evidence-Based Claims tool to compose their summaries and to explain how their reading connects to the unit central question: How many ways can the same text be read? In Section 5, Lesson 10, students share summaries of their independent readings with the class. The Teaching Notes suggest that students do a culminating presentation where they can answer a series of questions, including:

      • “What aspects of the text that I read interested me the most?

      • What questions could I answer by reading the text?

      • What knowledge did I gain and what connections to the unit did I make?”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, students review the norms for a Socratic Seminar and use the Discussion Tool to organize their notes about the discussion. Students focus on the emerging theme of the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez and employ the Discussion Tool to answer the discussion question: “Should the sisters have apologized to Trujillo?” The student instructions require students to “discuss this question from the feminist, Marxist, and historical lenses.”

      • In Section 4, Lesson 9, students participate in a Socratic Seminar about Chapter 12 of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. During this lesson, students demonstrate their understanding of what they have read by listening to the questions posed in the seminar and contributing to the discussion by following the expectations outlined in the student-facing materials, including “building on the ideas of others with additional evidence or ideas[, and] synthesizing your peers’ ideas.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 3, students examine periodic sentences from the text 1984 by George Orwell. As pairs, students craft their own periodic sentences to assert their desired effect via the manipulation of syntax. Once complete, students swap sentences with another pair; examine and discuss with their pair partner the effect they believe the periodic sentence has; provide written feedback; and return the sentences. Upon receiving their original sentences, students reflect on the feedback and discuss and make any adjustments they wish to make.  

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 3, Lesson 5, students demonstrate understanding of what they have read by participating in a peer-review defense in which they “delineate, present, and defend a proposed argument in response to the unit’s Central Question: How is Artificial Intelligence Affecting Our World?” Students explain the elements of a planned argument and listen to and record feedback to improve their presentations for the final argumentation task. 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 3, Lesson 2, students join their pathway teams and finish oral prompts as a group. These prompts ask students to refer to the research they collected, such as, “Based on my research, I found _____.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 4, students participate in a discussion about “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz. Students utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from the text to answer guiding questions such as, “Detailing more conversations with his students, Deresiewicz recalls them saying they have ‘little time for intimacy…and no time at all for solitude.’ How do we define these terms? Can friendship or community exist without them?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 5, students discuss with a partner the question, “What insights do you, the reader, have from analyzing the same scene through multiple lenses?” Students discuss this question with a peer after a class discussion and guiding questions based on lines 239–449 of Act 5, Scene 2, the final lines of the play. Students answer whole-class discussion prompts, such as, “What characters demonstrate an inner change? Which do not? What evidence from the text supports this interpretation?”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 4, Lesson 8, students participate in a Socratic Seminar and utilize elements from George Orwell’s 1984 and other unit texts to address the question, “How can storytelling be a powerful medium for sending messages to society?” The Teaching Notes also suggest the following questions to help prompt students to incorporate and reflect on the evidence used in the Socratic Seminar:

      • “Where in the text do you find support for your comment?

      • What about the text is still unclear? 

      • What evidence from the text did you also use to support your thoughts?

      • What evidence was new to you? Which details or insights surprised you?”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 5, students read Peter Stone’s “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030.” Students work in groups of four-to-six to share claims they found, evidence that support those claims, and the predictions they found. Students consider prompts, such as, “How will the domain you studied transform everyday life?” The instructions include students sharing textual evidence they found to support their answers.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 3, students complete a peer review. Students share their research with another team and actively listen to peers’ presentations, providing feedback to help each other refine and finalize their work. One of the points students must present on is, “...key sources and explain why you think they are key. Summarize their content and explain your analysis of these sources to your peers. Show your peers and comment on your annotations, notes, and evidence-based claims about these sources.”

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

Writing tasks center student learning around a common topic or inquiry by clarifying and deepening understanding of the text; exploring the essential question of each unit, section, or lesson; and helping students to prepare for a Culminating Activity. Overall, these tasks include long assignments with multiple drafts, short assignments for in class responses, focused projects, and other short answer responses. Section Diagnostics prepare students for the writing and presenting tasks they complete during unit Culminating Tasks that emulate one of the following: short story, personal narrative, explanatory essay, literary analysis, argumentative essay, or research essay.

The Grade 12 materials include activities for students to connect writing to texts and incorporate many opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing (e.g., completing digital pdf guides such as the Delineating Arguments Tool and Theme Reference Guide to help them engage in various writing activities including constructing paragraphs based on claims found in texts read) and process writing that is formal or informal (e.g., journaling using an individual Learning Log). Process writing engages students in multiple steps to develop final drafts of their writing; lessons include prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing activities and provide multiple layers of instructional support for teachers and students. During process writing activities, students develop ideas and construct writing projects over a series of lessons, including revisiting writings to revise and edit their work from previous units. The materials also include multiple opportunities for students to receive a year’s worth of instruction for on-demand writing opportunities such as reflections and quick-writes. These on-demand writing assignments, including shorter, more focused writing projects, occur throughout all units in the grade level.

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing that covers a year’s worth of instruction. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

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

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 4, students synthesize their understanding of the lessons in Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance by responding in the Learning Log to prompts, such as “What lessons do we learn about community from this text? What advice might Vance offer to a member of a marginalized community or marginalized group who is transitioning from childhood to adulthood?” Students cite evidence from the text to support the answer. The student-facing materials provide guidance of what students need to include in their writing in the form of guiding questions such as, “What elements of Vance’s writing might you incorporate into your presentation on your community for the Culminating Task? Add those ideas to the “Writer’s Rhetorical Toolbox” section of your Learning Log.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 1, students use the Forming Evidence-Based Claim tool to address the guiding question: “What is Hamlet’s mental state and what factors contribute to it?” In the tool, students select key details, analyze the details, make connections between details, and form a claim based on their analysis. Students also have the opportunity to review and revise their claims, considering the following questions:

      • “Is the claim clearly stated?

      • Does the claim communicate your opinion or conclusion about your character?

      • Is the claim based on evidence that you gathered from the text?

      • Is the claim supported by evidence?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 5, students write open-ended questions in preparation for a Socratic Seminar. Exemplar questions and thought-provoking question frames guide students in this on-demand writing activity. Question frames include:

      • “What do you think about _____? What evidence from the text supports your belief?

      • What is the relationship between ___ and ___?

      • What do the texts say about _____?

      • What about this perspective do you agree or disagree with?

      • What significance is this to _____? 

      • If ___ is true, then ___?”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students begin the first write of their resume following the directions, “Begin drafting your resume based on the example and your readings from ‘High School Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide’ and ‘How to Write a High School Resume for College Applications.’” Students prepare for this on-demand writing task by listing hard and soft skills covered previously in the lesson. Students then spend the unit revising and editing their resume before publishing. 

      • In Section 2, Lesson 7, students peer review resumes they have completed for the Section Diagnostic. Students use the Resume Review Checklist to provide peer feedback, and students review feedback received to inform their own revisions focusing on the following areas:

        • “Did you spell correctly?

        • Did you organize information chronologically?

        • Did you include specific and concise details about your past accomplishments?

        • Did you include your high school jobs, internships, or volunteer work?

        • Did you include any awards or honors you received in high school?

        • Did you list any leadership experiences?

        • Did you use a professional font and size (e.g., Times New Roman, size 12)?

        • Did you include professional and accurate contact information?”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 8, students participate in a collaborative writing process to “write a well-developed analytical response about Chapters 5 and 6” of In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.” Throughout the lesson, students participate in multiple steps to complete the final draft, including generating initial thoughts, organizing, revising, and reflecting.

      • In Section 5, Lesson 5, students revise and edit the rough draft of their literary analysis essays responding to the Central Question: What makes a revolutionary? As students consider the Task Question, “How does Julia Alvarez depict the Mirabal sisters as revolutionary leaders in In the Time of Butterflies?,” students use textual evidence from the novel and other materials to support their analysis. During the writing process, students use the Culminating Task Planning Guide to guide their review and revisions. The student instructions direct students to “Reread your essay. As you do this, write down editing comments to help improve your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Look for places to include rich sentences that use the em-dash or phrasal adjectives.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students engage in a Culminating Task to write a narrative that sends a message about a contemporary issue to society. In Section 3, Lesson 9, students create vignettes to help them develop their Culminating Task narratives, addressing tasks, such as “describing the moment the main character discovers something surprising or makes a difficult decision” and “describing a flashback that reveals important background information for the reader.”

      • In Section 5, Lesson 3, student-facing directions state “You conducted research to write a narrative that sends a powerful message to society, and you used that research to write a vignette that captured a single moment or a defining detail about an element of your story. In Section 4, you used your research and vignette to design an outline for your narrative story. You will now build on that outline to map the story arc of your entire narrative. Review the Culminating Task Checklist. Use what you have learned over the course of the unit and what you have brainstormed with peers to map the story arc of your narrative.” At this point in the year, the student writing process has spanned at least three units and is still in draft mode before completing the writing in Unit 6.

      • In Section 5, Lesson 4, students share the story arc they developed with a partner using the Culminating Task Checklist as a guide to address the following:

        • “uses narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and characters.

        • uses a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 10, students edit and revise their interpretive explanations of “Why We Should Stop Fetishizing Privacy” by Heidi Messer. Student instructions direct students to “Review your draft, noting any places that need revision for clarity. Proofread your draft with a focus on varied syntax. Make edits and revisions as needed.” Teacher Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest the support and development of student ideas by improving a weak model through revision, specifically: “Review the revised model and ask students to explain how the revisions improve the support and development of ideas.”

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 5, Lesson 1, students use the digital resource, Attending to Details Tool, to answer the guiding question: “How does Morrison feel authors create text and subtext? in reference to ‘The Site of Memory’ by Toni Morrison.” Students develop their writing in response to prompts on the tool, including, “As you read, pay attention to words, phrases, and sentences that stand out to you and that relate to the question. Record these details with text citations.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 5, Lesson 1, students begin preparing for the Culminating Task to write an argument addressing the Central Question: How viable is the American dream of homeownership? Students draw on notes from texts and digital resources they have analyzed throughout the unit, including, but not limited to, “A 6 Minute Intro to AI” by Snips, “How to Read a Scientific Paper” by Natalia Rodriguez, and “What is AI? Everything You Need to Know about Artificial Intelligence” by Nick Heath.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want To Research?, students use an Application Unit: Culminating Task Progress Tracker in the form of a Google Document to help manage their research process. In Section 2, Lesson 7, and in Section 4, Lesson 5, students use the checklist to develop their skills and knowledge of the Culminating Task by addressing the following:

      • Add or refine any skills and content knowledge required for the Culminating Task.

      • Evaluate how well you are mastering skills and knowledge required for the Culminating Task.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students utilize a set of digital resources, including a digital Culminating Task Checklist, Evaluation Plan, Presentation Guide, and Research Plan, to aid their research products. In Section 4, Lesson 5, students use the digital Research Evaluation Checklist to review and self-assess the team’s finalized research materials. The activity helps students prepare for the Culminating Task.

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 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

Grade 12 materials provide sufficient opportunities across the year for students to engage in argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing that connects to the texts students read and analyze. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

Mentor texts model the various writing types, and instructional activities include opportunities within and across units for students to develop writing based on anchor texts and text sets. Students write after each reading or viewing experience, and most writing experiences distill distinct elements of the overall writing process, which may be completed as stand-alone products, or as part of a larger task or learning experience. Across the entire school year, students write six process essays, including short story, personal narrative, explanatory essay, literary analysis, argumentative essay, and research essay, that reflect a deep understanding of the Central Question and genre study within each unit. The multiple modes, genres, and types of writing practiced in informal and formal writing tasks, including the unit Culminating Tasks, as well as the support and scaffolding in place, should help students to meet grade-level proficiency by the end of the year.

Materials provide 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 multiple 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. Different genres/modes/types of writing are distributed throughout the school year. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in argumentative writing. 

      • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students write an argumentative essay as part of the unit Culminating Task addressing the Central Question: How is artificial intelligence affecting our world? To develop their positions, students work through a series of subtopics and prompts:

        • “Job Market: Should people be concerned about the possibility of AI replacing humans in jobs? Will AI create or eliminate jobs? Why or why not?

        • Machine Learning: Can machine learning simulate enough human intelligence and executive functioning to make acceptable decisions? Should our society allow artificial intelligence to make its own decisions or influence human decision-making? Why or why not?

        • Privacy: Is it possible to protect an individual’s privacy with the rise of artificial intelligence? Why or why not?”

    • In Section 3, Lesson 4, students “Draft a position statement that communicates your proposed subtopic issue, question, and perspective.” After collaborating as a class and considering model examples, students craft their own position statements. 

    • In Section 5, Lesson 1, students commence a multi-step process outlined in the student-facing materials to begin drafting: “we will each draft a paragraph that will be used to present and explain our positions and determine where to best place the paragraph in our arguments.”

    • In Section 5, Lesson 2, students use the Organizing Evidence Tool as an outline to “draft one or more paragraphs for each of the claims and counterclaims you will develop in your argument.” Student-facing materials direct students to include supporting evidence and appropriate citations via the prompt: “Be sure to provide parenthetical citations for the sources and quotes you use.”

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

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 5, Lesson 2, students write an explanatory introduction of their community to inform an outsider with no prior knowledge. To help students prioritize information, student-facing materials prompt students as follows: “Depending on the genre you have chosen, you might start with a personal story or anecdote to situate your reader. If you have opted for a more informational style, you might begin with an expository or expository beginning.” 

      • In Section 5, Lesson 3, students complete the Culminating Task, a blended personal narrative/explanatory/argumentative essay to explain the value of belonging to a community and its legitimacy and how one becomes and remains a community member. During the lesson, students describe “one pivotal element of the community,” using prompts, such as, “[w]hat elements come to mind? These elements could be big settings, like a basketball court, or small elements, like an ear of corn on the cob,” to incorporate sufficient details in their writing.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 13, students write an informative/explanatory text for the Section Diagnostic. The student-facing materials direct students as follows: “We will finalize our well-developed, multi paragraph literary analysis that defends or challenges a claim of the literary criticism. We will support our analysis using a variety of well-selected, relevant evidence from Hamlet and any other texts we have read or viewed.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 5, Lesson 4, students begin to draft their literary analysis essay for the Culminating Task that addresses the Central Question: “How does Julia Alvarez depict the Mirabal sisters as revolutionary leaders in In the Time of the Butterflies?” 

  • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 4, Lesson 4, students use the Next Steps Narrative Reflection Tool to begin drafting a reflective narrative describing their research processes and pathways by answering questions, such as: “Out of the pathways you reviewed, which pathway would you consider as a plan B should your initial pathway plan not work out? Why?” In Lesson 5, students use the Next Steps Narrative Reflection Tool to answer “why you have chosen your postsecondary pathway.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students compose a blended mode of writing that incorporates narrative, informational, and argumentative techniques. In Section 2, Lesson 13, for example, students consider narrative strategies to describe their communities by selecting a stylistic or rhetorical device used by Gloria E. Anzaldúa from “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” and composing original sentences in the same style. In Lesson 14, students practice incorporating their own personal experience to write about their community. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 5, Lesson 4, students write their first draft of a narrative and use peer feedback to “revisit, refine, and revise my understanding, knowledge, and work.” This draft is in preparation for the first part of the Culminating Task to write a full narrative using all literary elements and produce an analysis of their own work.

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

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, to provide context and background understanding on the real-life events in the novel by Julia Alvarez, students read a text set of articles including: “Remembering to Never Forget: Dominican Republic's ‘Parsley Massacre,’” by Mark Memmott; “Dominicans, Haitians Remember Parsley Massacre,” by Celeste Headlee, Julia Alvarez, and Edwidge Danticat; and “‘El Jefe’ - Portrait of a Dictator,” by Bill Leonard. In Section 2, Lesson 1, students use evidence from the text set, including articles, editorials, and sections of the novel, to answer the prompt: “What was life like for people under the reign of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic?”

      • Students also use the anchor text In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez to compose a literary analysis addressing the Central Question: “How does Julia Alvarez depict the Mirabal sisters as revolutionary leaders in In the Time of the Butterflies?” In Section 3, Lesson 3, for example, students write an analysis of the diary entry in Chapter 7, “Wednesday Late Afternoon, December 30,” and answer the question: “Who has economic or social power and who does not?” 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 4, students examine the use of imagery in a sentence from the mentor text 1984 by George Orwell. With a partner, students discuss questions such as: “How does Orwell use tiny details to follow the ‘show, don’t tell’ technique at this moment in the story?” The materials provide students with an opportunity to write a sentence that “contains at least two pieces of descriptive imagery” to use in their own narratives.

      • In Section 3, Lesson 12, students write a literary analysis to defend their narrative vignettes. This activity requires students to use both the information from the text 1984 by George Orwell as well as their own writing. To create the writing, students respond to guiding questions such as: “How well did I incorporate research in my vignette to create a more plausible and vivid imagined world for my reader?”

  • Materials include sufficient writing opportunities for a whole year’s use.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 1, Lesson 7, students write a multi-paragraph informational piece to detail the research pathway they have chosen.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students write a blended piece that incorporates narrative, informational, and argumentative elements as the unit’s Culminating Task. In Section 5, Lesson 5, students review their writing and address the following areas of both narrative and explanatory writing as students develop pieces:

      • “communicate the essential elements of your community

      • explain the values of your community

      • communicate the legitimacy of your community

      • detail the ‘rules’ of your community: how are members determined, and what are their responsibilities to one another?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 3, students respond to frequent prompts to support their analysis of the text Hamlet by William Shakespeare through four literary lenses: archetypal, political, psychological, and feminist. As students reread Lines 124-137 of Act 1, Scene 1 through an archetypal lens, students use the Archetypal Lens Note-Taking Tool to respond to questions, such as, “Which lines provide the strongest evidence for this interpretation?” The student-facing materials provide notes to assist in correct citations with a play and include the following reminder to prepare for the writing tasks later in the unit: “It is important to keep accurate line citations so that you can easily track textual evidence to support your claims in the Section Diagnostics and Culminating Task.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students choose to further research one of the topics and text sets they have studied in a previous unit to complete the Culminating Task to answer a self-developed inquiry question using research-based claims and explaining how the process of investigation led to said conclusions and discoveries. In the Development Unit, Hamlet, for example, the Culminating Task prompts students to explore political, feminist, and psychological lenses via the Central Question: “How many ways can the same text be read?” Students practice using these lenses to revisit any unit in the grade level to research further a text, text-set, or topic.  

      • Throughout the unit, students develop a research portfolio and presentation connecting to a self-selected topic of inquiry that presents “a clear, engaging narrative of your research process, communicating the evolution of your critical thinking and learning, reflecting on the challenges and successes you experienced, and using details to help your audience understand the context and conclusions of your work.” In Section 3, Lesson 5, students begin compiling their research and developing claims to support their inquiry question or research problem. In Section 5, students apply writing skills developed over the year and connect to texts and topics they have studied closely. In Section 5, Lesson 8, students reflect on what they have learned and evaluate their skills and knowledge by completing the Culminating Task Progress Tracker prompt: “Add or refine any skills and content knowledge required for the Culminating Task. Evaluate how well you are mastering skills and knowledge required for the Culminating Task.”

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 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criterion that materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis. The Grade 12 materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in short writing responses, argumentative writing tasks, and synthesis of ideas, as well as allow students to connect their writing to various texts they read and analyze across the year. Materials provide tools to guide students in completing writing tasks, such as diagnostic checklists, including student self-assessment of their writing goals, and an Organizing Evidence Tool to guide students in explaining how the evidence supports the supporting claim and the central claim or thesis.

Students learn and practice skills before applying them in their writing. Students revisit texts when responding to questions and cite evidence to support their positions, create claims and support those claims with textual evidence, review and revise claims, and consider whether additional evidentiary support is necessary. Supporting their ideas with evidence from the texts, students write literary and rhetorical analyses, as well as argumentative and informational responses throughout the year. Additionally, each unit ends with an extended writing Culminating Task that requires students to review across texts and genres and to support their claims and arguments with evidence from multiple texts. Students write to practice and apply writing standards that require them to write with a task, purpose, and audience in mind, to delineate and evaluate arguments, and to develop a short research response.

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

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read “High School Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide” by College Greenlight and practice evidence-based writing by answering a series of questions:

      • “What do you consider to be the most important element in a resume?

      • What experiences should you include on your resume?

      • What experiences should you exclude from your resume? 

      • What are the major sections you should put in your resume?

      • Discuss the layout of the sample resume. What do you like and dislike?

      • What is the difference between hard and soft skills?

      • What hard and soft skills do you possess?”

Students respond to these questions in their Learning Logs and draft their own resumes based on the information collected from the reading. 

  • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 1, students read an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. Using the Attending to Details Tool to dig into the textual evidence of the reading, students answer the guiding question, “What should outsiders understand about Vance’s community?” 

    • In Section 2, Lesson 3, students read a section of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance to analyze its structure and determine how the author supports his claim about education. To complete the task, students practice and apply writing using evidence. The Teacher Edition includes the following guidance for teachers to support students’ application of using evidence in their writing: “students look at the text holistically and make an evaluation, considering how the claims, evidence, and structure influence their opinion of a text.”

    • Later in Section 2, students practice and apply writing using evidence. In Lesson 16, students write a well-developed, multi-paragraph analysis to reflect on the lessons they have learned from the texts in the unit. The student-facing materials include instructions for students to apply writing evidence: “Support your analysis using a variety of well-selected, relevant evidence from any of the texts we have read in this unit.”

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 5, Lesson 6, students draft a response for the Culminating Task, to “write a well-developed, multiparagraph literary analysis essay that defends or challenges a claim from one of [three] literary criticisms,” of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Students use their partner’s feedback during the process. The student-facing materials include a list of reminders, such as: “Thoroughly support your ideas with strong textual evidence and analytical reasoning.”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 13, students draft a response to the Section 1 Diagnostic, writing “a multiparagraph response that identifies two central ideas in 1984” by George Orwell. Students utilize a Thematic and Central Ideas Note-Taking Tool to identify a thematic idea, supporting details, central idea, and theme. The student-facing materials provide a list of reminders, such as “include at least three pieces of textual evidence (details or quotations) for each central idea.”

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 7, as part of the Section Diagnostic, student teams submit their research portfolios that include completed Exploring a Topic Tools, Central Research Question Checklists, and team reflections. Students then reflect on their Section Diagnostic by responding in their Learning Logs to a series of questions, such as:

    • “How well did you take necessary action to prepare for the task?

    • What went well for you during the completion of this task?”

Students resubmit their portfolios throughout the unit as they practice and apply writing using evidence through a variety of tools, such as the Research Evaluation Checklist in which students examine the credibility and richness of sources.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, What Does It Mean to Be an American?, Section 3, Lesson 8, students summarize and share their analyses of their independent reading texts. The student-facing materials prompt students to “Be sure to give a brief summary of your text so that your audience understands any analysis and unit connections that you communicate.” Students also review their notes collected in the Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tools and revise their claims “to produce more formal statements that express” their analysis.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 5, Lesson 4, students begin to draft controlling ideas and supporting paragraphs for the unit Culminating Task. Students use their annotations from the tools used throughout the unit, such as the Mentor Sentence Journal and Organizing Evidence Tool, to find evidence to support their claims.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 7, students write an analytical response to Chapter 6 of In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Students closely read to answer the question: “How are Julia Alvarez’s personal experiences reflected in In the Time of the Butterflies?” The student-facing materials include directions to ensure students create their analyses using evidence from the text, such as: “Your paragraph should have the following: a clear introduction or topic sentence that includes your claim, the author’s name, and the title of the text an explanation of your position, with relevant details and an analysis of those details textual evidence to support your claim.”

      • In Section 3, Lesson 1, students use the Analyzing Relationships Tool and select whether to read the text In the Time of Butterflies through a historical or biographical lens. Students then find details in Chapters 5 and 6 to defend the reading lens they chose. Students then write a response to the question: “How do these details help you think about the text through the lens you have chosen?” using the details directly from the text to defend their selected lens. 

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 2, students read and annotate Chapter 1 of Part 2 of 1984 by George Orwell using the following questions as a guide:

    • “What surprising development occurs in this chapter? Do you think it is a realistic development? Why or why not? What details from Part 1 foreshadowed the development?

    • How does the note Winston receives change his perspective on life? Why do you think it has this effect?

    • How does Orwell create tension in this chapter? What techniques does he use (e.g., inner dialogue, pacing, etc.)?”

Students then select one passage they found significant and write a brief literary analysis using evidence from the text to support their analysis. 

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 3, students synthesize their understanding across multiple sources. Students work collaboratively in teams to determine revisions to the Research Frame Tool. The student-facing materials direct teams to “Determine what kind of revisions or refinements you might need to make to your Research Frame Tool.” The student facing materials provide questions for consideration, including but not limited to: “Which inquiry question best summarizes each inquiry path? What are the primary, or most important, inquiry questions for each inquiry path?”

Indicator 1l

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l. 

Materials provide some opportunities for the instruction of the Conventions of Standard English to demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking and demonstrating command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Students apply grade-level skills in context as they explore grammar, syntax, and usage in texts they study. Explicit instruction is limited, and teachers have an option to address the skills in more depth. The Program Guide shares that “Grammar is examined with the goal of improving students’ reading and writing skills. Understanding how language functions at the paragraph and sentence level helps students comprehend text with more clarity, enabling them to produce writing that is more effective, precise, and clear.” Materials include other tools to support grammar and syntax, such as the Mentor Sentence and Language Use Handouts, Working with Mentor Sentences Tool, and Reference Guides. 

Materials provide teachers with opportunities to introduce concepts, and students can practice locating these examples in context and then practice synthesizing sentences at the end of a lesson. Materials rarely include explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards; the text makes suggestions, but the instructor chooses where to focus instruction. The student-facing instructions do not explicitly reference the Reference Guides, but these are available in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition. Materials include some opportunities for students to demonstrate application and improve fluency language standards through practice and application. Materials provide the opportunity to learn or practice discrete conventions and grammar skills within the context of their readings throughout the year; most opportunities for in-context practice are in writing.

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

  • Students have opportunities to apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 9, students read an excerpt from James Baldwin’s “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” and answer a series of guided questions on the author’s use of the word and. For example, students discuss the following:

      • “How many times does the writer use the word and? What is unusual or unconventional about the number of times this word appears and about the placement of the word in this sentence?

      • Paraphrase the sentence. When you use your own typical syntax and academic language conventions, how do you use the word and in the series? Do you begin with the word and? Why or why not? What is the effect of this intentional repetition on Baldwin’s message and on the reader?

      • Reread this sentence aloud once more, this time putting emphasis on the word each time it occurs. What effect does it have on you as a reader?

      • How does Baldwin’s repetition of the word strengthen his claim about the mistreatment of James’s father?

      • Find at least one other instance in which Baldwin uses a similar technique to add emphasis or strengthen his claim.

      • What does the repetition of and do for the pacing of the sentence? Why might an author use repetition to control the pace of a sentence?”

    • The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition explain, “While repetition is used throughout the letter, the specific repetition of and has a different purpose. The repetition of and creates a sense of claustrophobia and weight as Baldwin continues to use conjunctions instead of commas or semicolons.” Materials do not explicitly address if this usage is contested or how it would be resolved.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 1, Activities 5 and 6, students look at the words hubris and offense and determine when there is enough contextual evidence to work out meanings and when they must use other tools, such as calling on peer’s cultural understandings of cognates. Teacher-facing materials also suggest providing student-friendly definitions.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 3, students analyze the meaning of the term Big Brother, acknowledging that others may disagree with their definitions. The Teacher Edition provides some guidance for this activity: “Students should make connections between Big Brother and government surveillance.” Guidance does not lead students to understand the usage is a matter of convention.

  • Students have opportunities to resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Garner's Modern American Usage) as needed. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students deepen their understanding of the mood of Hamlet by William Shakespeare by analyzing the allusion, imagery, and personification. The Teacher Edition suggests that students refer to the Style Reference Guide for the complex terms allusion, imagery, and personification. The Teacher Edition does not provide instruction or guidance for how students can use the reference guide to resolve issues of complex or contested usage.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 1, Activities 4 and 7, students use provided Vocabulary Journals and tools to examine Greek roots and prefixes of the word dystopian. Students also examine Tier 3 discipline-specific vocabulary and use dictionaries and other tools to establish meaning in context of the novel, 1984 by George Orwell, and modern understanding of the words and phrases. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students develop basic questions about their Central Research Questions to determine their viability. Materials include a reference to Merriam-Webster, which defines viable as “capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately.” Students conduct pre-searches to determine viability, and answer questions, including but not limited to: “2. Where did it originate? 3. What is its history?”

  • Students have opportunities to observe hyphenation conventions. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 10, students begin reading the Section 3 Diagnostic prompt and generating ideas for their responses. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest referring students to the Conventions Reference Guide or other reference guides for additional support if needed. The Conventions Reference Guide includes a table with the convention and definition and an example of the convention in a sentence, such as the following: “Despite his best attempt, the well-intentioned waiter failed to get the orders right.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 5, students work with a specific hyphenation convention, the em dash. Student-facing materials include the following information: “An em dash is a dash that is longer than a hyphen and en dash. Em dashes make writing interesting because they create dramatic pauses or shocks in writing. Review the Em Dash Handout. Discuss the following questions as a class.

      • Why did George Orwell use an em dash in the first example sentence? What effect did he want to create?

      • Why did George Orwell use an em dash in the second example sentence? What effect did he want to create?

      • Why did George Orwell use an em dash in the third example sentence? What effect did he want to create?”

    Students then reflect on their narrative story and decide where they might want “to include a dramatic pause or shock.”  

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 7, students read a quote by Max Tegmark from the Future of Life Institute. With a partner, students “discuss what this quote reveals about his opinion of AI and its development.” The Teacher Edition Teaching Notes suggest, “You might choose to augment this activity by having students do a formal mentor sentence study on the use of the em dash.” 

  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 4, Lesson 2, students begin working on the Culminating Task, which involves writing an expository response to a prompt. Students must spell correctly as outlined in the Culminating Task Checklist: “How well do I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, students read and analyze the Culminating Task. Students identify the specific knowledge they are expected to learn throughout the unit and the specific skills they will need to succeed on the Culminating Task. The Culminating Task Checklist includes writing a blended piece (i.e., a mix of narrative, informational, and argumentative elements). The checklist includes the following reminder: “Be sure to apply effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to clearly communicate your ideas.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 11, Activity 1, students read the article “Depressive Illness Delayed Hamlet’s Revenge” by Aaron Shaw and Neil Pickering and use a range of strategies (e.g., context, morphology, reference material) to determine the meaning of vocabulary words and aid their understanding of the spelling conventions of words including tentative, precipitate, ruminate, and conviction.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 8, students review the Section 2 Diagnostic. Students write an analytical response about Chapters 5 and 6 through either a biographical or historical critical lens. A writing goal addresses using conventions to produce clear writing. Students self-assess their ability using the following question: “How well do I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 12, students prepare for the Section 1 Diagnostic by previewing the task, unpacking the prompt, and reviewing the assessment. Students work with an elbow partner before sharing with the class. The Section 1 Diagnostic Checklist includes guidance, such as, “Use effective language, syntax, and mechanics to clearly communicate your explanation of the study and your concluding claim.” Students self-assess the Reading & Knowledge Goals and Writing Goals. 

Indicator 1m

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

The Grade 12 materials provide a Program Guide that details the structure of the program and how vocabulary is incorporated into both instruction and student work, noting that “While the program prioritizes Tier 2 language, students are exposed to Tier 3 language as well.” The materials offer instructional guidance in outlining and using year-long vocabulary development tools and activities to support student vocabulary development across the school year, and the Teacher Edition and student-facing materials provide specific structures to help students build vocabulary knowledge within and across texts by including specific opportunities for students to connect their understanding of words in multiple contexts and situations.

Academic vocabulary acquisition and use are prioritized within and across the units, as students identify essential vocabulary and apply it to their reading, speaking, and writing tasks. The materials provide opportunities for students to learn new academic and domain-specific terms as students encounter vocabulary in a series of contexts before, during, and across texts, and opportunities for students to determine the meaning of vocabulary words using context clues are consistent. The materials attend to content vocabulary essential to understand each text and to analyze the purpose of word choices. Vocabulary instruction and practice accompany the core program's selections to build vocabulary knowledge and improve students’ abilities to access complex texts.

Students apply their vocabulary skills to reading tasks utilizing tools, such as the Vocabulary in Context Tool, to assist them in understanding the meaning of unknown words and that words may have multiple meanings. In addition, students have regular opportunities to record vocabulary throughout the units using tools, including Word Maps and Vocabulary Journals, to note and define words throughout the unit. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide definitions and suggestions on implementing the Vocabulary Journals. Materials also prompt students to incorporate vocabulary during speaking opportunities and utilize tools, such as the Discussion Tool, to consider language used during classroom discussions. 

Materials include a cohesive year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component.

    • The Program Guide outlines a philosophy and structure regarding vocabulary noting that “vocabulary is essential to comprehension” and that “the program contains a variety of tools to help students build a robust body of vocabulary and incorporate vocabulary into their own writing and speech.” The materials contain Critical Thinking & Analytical Tools, including the Vocabulary in Context Tool, Word Map, Vocabulary Journal, and Vocabulary Lists, to utilize during instruction and support vocabulary development. Also, Reference Guides, including the Arguments Reference Guide and Claims Reference Guide, “define English language arts concepts and equip students with content terminology used to explain their analysis of text.” Other guides, including the Narratives Reference Guide, Style Reference Guide, and Symbolism and Motifs Reference Guide contain “explanations of key literary elements and syntax techniques.” Additionally, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition embed guidance within the lesson activities throughout the year by suggesting specific instructional strategies and supports for academic and content-specific vocabulary development and practice before and during text examination. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students record the terms conferring, overlap, and postsecondary education in the Vocabulary Journals they build throughout the year. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition issue guidance to model how to interact with a text to annotate key vocabulary as follows:

      • “While reading, you might pause at various points to pronounce difficult words and prompt students to annotate the text for key details.” 

    • In The Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, Teacher Notes in the Teacher Edition provide the following guidance for the Vocabulary in Context Tool:

      • “Throughout the unit, students also interact with the Vocabulary in Context Tool. The purpose of the Vocabulary in Context Tool is twofold: 1. Students build vocabulary and develop a strategy for determining the meaning of unknown words and phrases when there is contextual information and when there is not. 2. Students metacognate on their process for determining the meaning of unknown words, determine the effectiveness of that process, and articulate a plan for using it in future texts.”

      In Section 1, Lesson 2, the student-facing materials provide an explanation of the approach to vocabulary development that is consistent throughout the year-long program:

      • “We will study important concepts and challenging words from the text, paying attention to their use and meaning in the context in which the author presents them. We will use the Vocabulary in Context Tool as needed and write down important words in our Vocabulary Journals so that we can refer back to them later in the unit and incorporate them into our own work.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students decide when to use context clues or when to use other strategies to determine the meaning of an unknown word or phrase in a text. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following to support student understanding:

      • “The word inevitable does not have enough context in the passage to define it. Provide students with a student-friendly definition, such as the one below.

        • If something is inevitable, it is certain to happen or unavoidable. In the tragedy genre, a sad ending is inevitable.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 9, students begin to draft their vignettes for their Culminating Task using their Vocabulary Journals, including words they learned throughout the unit in their writing. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition offer the following guidance to support student learning:

      • “Students are encouraged to use one or more of the words they have learned thus far in the unit. If students are still mastering the use of new vocabulary, evaluation of their word knowledge can be used as formative data that you can build upon in future lessons.”

  • Vocabulary is repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students encounter the word disillusioned when reading “Overcoming Undermatching: Heartfelt Advice for Highschool Students” by Jessenia Class. Subsequently, in the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 2, students revisit the academic vocabulary disillusioned as they read Chapter 7 of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, students encounter the vocabulary word exile while listening to “Where I’m From’: A Crowdsourced Poem That Collects Your Memories of Home,” an NPR radio show with author Kwame Alexandar and host Rachel Martin. Subsequently, in the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 2, students encounter the vocabulary term exile while reading Part 3, Chapter 6 of the novel 1984 by George Orwell. The academic vocabulary is included in a unit vocabulary list, along with content-specific and ELA concepts. After reading the text and answering guiding questions, the student-facing materials encourage students to “Write new or interesting words you encounter in your Vocabulary Journal.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 1, students work as a class to define the term artificial intelligence. In Lesson 2, student-facing instructions direct students to “Look over the definition the class created for the term artificial intelligence in Lesson 1. Then, read the definition provided by the Encyclopedia Britannica.” As students move through the unit, they encounter the term artificial intelligence in multiple texts, including "Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030" by Peter Stone et al. 

  • 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). 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students learn the vocabulary terms conferring, overlap, and postsecondary education. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition offer the following guidance:

      • “Pause and allow enough time for students to interact with these words for the first time during the read aloud. Have students annotate the words and write their definitions as margin notes. Allow students to use a reference source as needed. Reinforce to students that all teacher-direct vocabulary terms must be used in their response to the Section 1 Diagnostic.”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 2, materials pay special attention to the academic vocabulary word community, and more specifically, the morpheme com, as students complete a word study of the morpheme to deepen their vocabulary skills. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition state: “In this lesson, students study the origins of the word community in order to understand the origins of its meaning and find other similar words.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 7, students read “Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence” by Future of Life Institute. Prior to reading, students encounter the essential vocabulary word verification in the Vocabulary List; the term is crucial to student understanding of the text.  

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students use the Potential Sources Tool to help “assess the sources on their richness, relevance, accessibility, interest, and credibility.” The tool poses guiding questions such as, “What background knowledge do I need to understand the terminology, information, and ideas in the text?” to support students as they curate resources for their research pathway. 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 3, Lesson 2, students use their Vocabulary Journal and Vocabulary in Context tool as they research postsecondary programs. The student-facing materials direct students to “Add at least two words to your Vocabulary Journal from your research. If you submit a resume or cover letter to your institutions of choice, you might need to include some of your new found terminology.”

    • In The Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, students examine the word community both objectively and subjectively before answering the following questions:

      • “What is a community?

      • What are the key features that make up a community?

      • To what communities do you belong?

      • What are the key features of those communities?”

    Teacher-facing materials suggest additional prompts such as, “Could our school be considered a community? Why or why not?” Students use their answers to engage in a class discussion to examine the term and unit concept in reading, speaking, and writing tasks throughout the lesson and unit. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students review the Vocabulary Journal and Vocabulary in Context tools for the unit. The student-facing materials pose the guiding question, “How will you know when to use context clues and when to try another strategy?” to support student understanding that some terms can be defined using context clues while others cannot.

      • In Section 1, Lesson 2, students read lines 124–137 from Act 1, Scene 1 of Hamlet and answer a series of questions, including “What impact does Shakespeare’s word choice have on the meaning of this scene?” The materials also prompt students to “Write new or interesting words you encounter in your Vocabulary Journal. If necessary, revisit the Vocabulary in Context Tool to assist you with words or phrases you struggle with.” 

      • In Section 4, Lesson 7, students review feedback from the previous Section Diagnostic and have the option to use the Discussion Tool to address an issue they have identified. The instructions in the Discussion Tool prompts students to use significant words from their Vocabulary Journal:

        • “Review your Vocabulary Journal and the Discussion Stems in the Academic Discussion Reference Guide. Record words and stems you want to use during the discussion.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 14, students use the Discussion Tool to prepare to participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Students must use vocabulary acquired from the reading in the writing they complete to prepare for the seminar and in the discussion itself. 

      In Section 6, Lesson 1, students revise their presentation rough drafts into final drafts utilizing the Culminating Task Checklist to consider how well they use language and themes that are relevant and appropriate for the audience to ensure effective communication. Students incorporate vocabulary acquired throughout the research process into their final product.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Texts are organized around a central theme and related guiding questions that connect to the unit topic. As students closely read and analyze literary and informational texts, students respond to coherently sequenced questions that build to Section Diagnostics, which may be oral or written in nature. Section Diagnostics build to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. Culminating Tasks integrate multiple literacy strands, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a topic. Writing lessons are cohesively designed so that students apply and expand the skills they learn from previous lessons as they progress through the units. Materials include guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Short and long research projects are sequenced and include a progression of standards-aligned research skills. The program utilizes a Monitor, Diagnose, Evaluate practice that closely links instruction and assessments. Standards-aligned instruction builds to text-based questions and Section Diagnostics and Section Diagnostics build to end-of-unit Culminating Tasks. The Foundation and Application Units are recursive and cover the majority of grade-level standards, with the exception of most Reading: Literature standards. Development Units revisit grade-level standards addressed in the Foundation Unit and address Reading: Literature standards. Although suggested implementation schedules align to core learning objectives, the Model Yearlong Paths cannot reasonably be completed, based on the suggested minimum number of 45 minutes per lesson and the number of units suggested for the year. Optional tasks are meaningful and support core learning.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

24/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for building knowledge. Grade-level texts are organized around a central theme and related guiding questions that connect to the unit topic. Students complete high-quality, coherently sequenced questions and tasks as they analyze literary elements, such as craft and structure, and integrate knowledge and ideas in individual texts and across multiple texts. Section Diagnostics and end-of-unit Culminating Tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening, or language and connect to the texts students read. The year-long writing plan allows students to participate in a range of writing tasks that vary in length, purpose, and difficulty. The Foundation and Application Units are designed to allow students to "investigate a topic through recursive and iterative cycles of inquiry." The program utilizes a Monitor, Diagnose, Evaluate practice that closely links instruction and assessments. Standards-aligned instruction builds to text-based questions and Section Diagnostics and Section Diagnostics build to end-of-unit Culminating Tasks.

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. 

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.  Each unit is organized around a central theme and related guiding questions that connect overall to the unit topic. The texts, tasks, and materials for this grade level are grouped so that students investigate a Central Question when moving through the Foundation and Development units using the information they gather from analyzing the various texts to perform the culminating tasks. Throughout the process of analyzing multiple texts, students broaden their vocabulary and knowledge, strengthen reading comprehension, and develop independent-thinking skills as they dig into unit content and apply their learning to new readings they encounter. The course capstone includes an Application Unit in which students drive their investigation with an inquiry question of interest. The Program Guide provides additional information for teachers relating to the selection of classic and contemporary texts within each unit: “Text sets guide and focus student learning and knowledge development by examining a diverse body of authors, perspectives, and genres. While students develop strands of knowledge in units, they also extend their understanding across units in their year, and across all four years, of high school.”

Texts are connected by cohesive topics/themes to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Texts are connected by a grade-appropriate cohesive topic/theme/line of inquiry.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, students read multiple educational texts that discuss the various paths for high school graduates, including collegiate, vocational, and military pathways. Students read texts in the unit that focus on this theme such as “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings,” “High School Seniors: Preparing for Your Next Step After High School,” and “The Stigma of Choosing Trade School Over College.” Through reading the multiple texts on various text types, students build their knowledge and strengthen the literacy skills necessary for life after graduation. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students explore the Central Question: “What does it mean to belong to a community?” Examples of texts students study to explore a common line of inquiry include, but are not limited to, a nonfiction essay “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz and an excerpt of “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation” from The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 6, students read texts that connect to the central theme: “How many ways can the same text be read?” Students build knowledge of existing critical lenses to read Hamlet through reading:

      • Excerpt from “The Sanity of Hamlet” by Tenney L. Davis;

      • Excerpt from “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism” by Elaine Showalter; and

      • Excerpt from “Depressive Illness Delayed Hamlet's Revenge” by Aaron Shaw and Neil Pickering.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, students investigate the Central Question: “What makes a revolutionary?” Students examine the novel through four lenses to answer how the Mirabal sisters are revolutionary leaders.  Examples of texts students study to explore a common line of inquiry include, but are not limited to, an article “When a Dictator Becomes Part of Your Family, Cont’d” by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams and the historical document “Dominican Republic (Document 305) U.S. Relations with the Dominican Republic” by the Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute. Students will choose one literary criticism lens through which to construct literary analysis after in-depth exploration of numerous texts developing the theme of the making of a revolutionary.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students investigate the Central Question: “How is artificial intelligence affecting our world?” Complex texts students read to examine the common line of inquiry include, but are not limited to, these Grade 12 appropriate texts: an excerpt from “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values” by the United States Executive Office of the President and a report “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” by Peter Stone.

  • Texts build knowledge, vocabulary, and the ability to read and comprehend complex texts across a school year.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read “How to Write a High School Resume for College Applications” and “High School Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide” and develop knowledge on the vocabulary associated with completing a college resume. Students work to answer the Central Question: “How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?,” by working together collaboratively with group members on tasks such as writing a resume in Section 2, Lesson 3. 

    • In The Development Unit, Community, students focus on cross-genre text sets to answer the question: “What does it mean to belong to a community?” 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, students read multiple versions of the same texts to examine the Central Question: “How Many Ways Can the Same Text Be Read?” Students examine the complex classic Hamlet by William Shakespeare as well as articles about Hamlet. The tasks and texts help students to build their knowledge for the culminating task, a literary analysis on a literary criticism about Hamlet.

    • In The Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, students read the editorial and letter, “When a Dictator Becomes Part of Your Family” by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, the poem “Parsley” by  Rita Dove, and the historical text “The Mirabals” by the Mirabal Sisters Foundation. The central texts address the theme of what makes a revolutionary to deepen student knowledge around gender, age, and socioeconomic class affecting people living under a dictatorship. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, texts center around a central theme: “How can stories send messages to societies?” Students read 1984 by George Orwell and examine texts on why the author constructed their piece with “Why I Write” by George Orwell and “George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984” by Colin Marshall. Each reading examines the messages in Orwell’s writing.

    • In The Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students read a large informational topical text set to explore how artificial intelligence affects our world. Central texts students read include, but are not limited to, “The Montreal Declaration: Why We Must Develop AI Responsibly” by Yoshua Bengio, “Fortune Brainstorm Films: Artificial Intelligence” from Fortune Magazine, and an excerpt from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Students consider one controversial issue from the texts to develop an argument. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students develop knowledge and vocabulary to conduct their own independent research through the use of plans, checklists, and guides. For example, in Section 1, Lesson 1, students learn about the research plan and process for their independent research projects. The materials explain, “Developing a researched perspective gives students the power to accurately assess information themselves and to take charge of their own knowledge.”

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2b.

Grade 12 materials provide opportunities for students to analyze the author’s word choice, structure, and point of view development as delineated in the grade-level craft and structure standards. Additionally, each unit in the Grade 12 materials includes guiding questions that students track throughout the unit; these questions are present throughout each lesson and within the written materials and tasks. In the independent reading lessons, students read texts related to the anchor texts and use the guiding questions to present their findings on how the texts relate to each other.

Students build knowledge by investigating a topic or anchor text through organized text sets in each unit. Throughout this process, students cite textual evidence and examine themes and complex characterization according to grade-level standards. To support student learning and literacy development, as students develop their projects they examine key ideas and details from texts, use texts to craft definitions of key concepts and themes through close examination of language used by the authors of the core texts read, examine choices made in film adaptations of literature and how these choices affect the overall meaning of the texts, and embed their learning into final products that take key details and structure into account as they compose their final drafts.

The Foundation Unit provides data for teachers to make decisions about the support necessary in future development units and whether students might need additional guidance or differentiation. The scaffolding for students is consistent to support students in grade-level proficiency by the end of the year and to support comprehension of grade appropriate complex texts. By the end of the year, analysis of key ideas, details, craft, and structure are embedded into student tasks and routines.

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 coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details.

      • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 2, Lesson 4, students use the Foundation Unit Research Guide to find two academic sources about their selected learning pathway chosen at the beginning of their projects for the Culminating Activity. These pathways include a four-year university, two-year community college, vocational or technical profession, or the military. Students read the collected materials and answer the following questions:

        • “What information do the texts provide on my pathway?

        • How do the texts help me respond to our guiding questions?

        • How does the information in the texts relate to other texts I have read on the topic?

        • How do I know these texts are credible?

        • How extensive and supported is the information they provide?”

        Here students explore the key ideas of their pathway found within the text and how this information relates to other resources read as well.

      • In the Development Unit, Community, Section1, Lesson 2, students read the poem “If They Should Come for Us” by Fatimah Asghar to create a Writer’s Rhetorical Toolbox. Before reading the poem, the teacher primes students to create a document to list various writer’s stylistic strategies that they would like to emulate in their own writing. Students use a vocabulary tool to answer questions such as, “What does the context suggest the author means when using the word?” The sequence of questions builds to the cross-analysis of a second poem, “’Where I'm From’: A Crowdsourced Poem That Collects Your Memories of Home,” by Casey Noenickx, Kwame Alexander, and Rachel Martin as students answer: “How does the line you chose to analyze [from ‘If They Should Come for Us’] connect to ‘Where I'm From?’”

        In Section 1, Lesson 4, students use the Attending to Details Tool when reading “If They Should Come for Us” to answer questions such as: “How did the people in the narrator’s community come to belong in this community?”

        In Section 2, Lesson 1, students use the Attending to Details Tool when reading Chapter 4, an excerpt from Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, and consider the question: “What should outsiders understand about Vance’s community?”

      • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 3, students analyze themes in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Students work to understand the various themes in the play by annotating the text for key ideas and details. As an example, students annotate lines 67–229 to answer the question: “What do these lines reveal about Hamlet’s views on life and death?” Later in the lesson, students extend their analysis to look closely at how Hamlet’s interactions with other complex characters affect the theme and answer the questions:

        • “What does Hamlet reveal to Horatio?

        • What does the revelation reveal about Hamlet’s state of mind?”

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

      • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, students “Write an analytical multiparagraph response based on your literary criticism lens choice,” by identifying specific lines from the play that support their interpretation. In Section 1, Lesson 3, students read and discuss lines 124–137 of Act 1, Scene 2 of Hamlet and answer the following: 

        • “How would you describe the structure of the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1?

        • How does the scene with the ghost contribute to the story's aesthetic impact?

        • Is the decision to start the story with the ghost scene interesting? Why or why not?”

        In Section 2, Lesson 9, students read and discuss lines 40–50 of Act 3, Scene 3 of Hamlet and answer:

        • “What allusion is in Lines 41–42? What impact does it have on the meaning of the soliloquy?

        • What imagery does Claudius use to describe his crime? What does his use of imagery reveal about his feelings regarding his crime?”

        Such questions follow a sequence that focuses students on tasks that address the craft and structure of the text. Students use this analysis to help them complete the Culminating Activity described at the beginning of the unit: “Choose one of three literary criticism texts written about Hamlet” and “Write a well-developed, multiparagraph literary analysis essay that defends or challenges a claim from one of the literary criticisms.” 

      • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 3, students reread an excerpt of Chapter 5 from the novel In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Students review the terms: juxtaposition, metaphor, and simile. Students annotate and categorize phrases according to literary device and answer: “How does Alverez’s use of each of these literary devices impact your understanding of the chapter?”

        In Section 3, Lesson 7, students continue reading the text and annotate for alliteration, simile, and italics.

        In Section 4, Lesson 12, students read the poem “Parsley” by Rita Dove. During Activity 3, students “Select one line from the poem and do a five-minute quick-write responding to…:”

        • “What stood out to you in the line you chose? Why did you choose that line?

        • Can you make any connections or write any questions about the poem based on the line you chose?”

        In Activity 4, students build upon this analysis to answer: How does your line connect to In the Time of the Butterflies or other material from this unit? The sequence of questions requires students to examine the craft of the poem in relation to the key ideas of the unit. 

      • In the Development Unit, 1984, Lesson 3, Section 3, students examine craft and structure components in George Orwell’s 1984. Students work in literature circles to answer questions such as:

        • “How are Julia and Winston alike? How are they different?

        • What techniques does Orwell use to develop each character into a unique personality?”

        Such questions address the craft and structure component of point of view and perspective. Students build upon this skill in Section 4, Lesson 4, analyzing how character perspectives change as the plot develops by answering: “How have Winston’s beliefs changed since he was arrested?”

  • By the end of the year, these components (language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, craft) are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students complete a Culminating Activity to create a narrative that sends a powerful message. To support their independent writing, students use the Culminating Task Checklist to complete a series of objectives addressing language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, and craft, including: 

      • “Uses precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and characters.

      • Uses narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and characters. 

      • Uses a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).

      • Integrates research information into the narrative selectively to maintain the flow of ideas while avoiding plagiarism.”

      In Section 5, Lesson 3, students construct a story map to format their learning throughout the unit into their narrative writing products. Students “Use the criteria on the checklist and what you have learned over the course of the unit and what you have brainstormed with peers to map the story arc of your narrative.”

    • In The Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students complete a culminating task that “respond[s] to a complex ethical question by researching information, identifying perspectives, delineating arguments, developing a personal perspective and position, and writing an evidence-based argument.” By this point in the unit, students are familiar with the evaluation process and were guided in preparing their research and returning to guiding questions encountered in the unit. Students follow a Culminating Task Checklist and rubric to support their planning, pacing, and accountability to embed the required components within their work to demonstrate mastery of unit skills and standards.

      In Section 1, Lesson 2, students utilize the Attending to Details Tool to note key details as they read “A 6 Minute Intro to AI” by Snips. Students focus on the guiding question: “The website compares AI to a symphony and identifies five different instruments that they believe are the cornerstone instruments of AI. What are the instruments, and what are the reasons given for why they are a cornerstone of AI?”

      In Section 2, Lesson 2, students read “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?” by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne. Students answer questions such as: “What types of intelligence or skills might lead to a lower probability of machines taking over jobs?”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research, students examine multiple texts to complete independent research. Components of key ideas, details, craft, and structure are embedded in the activities rather than taught directly. In Section 2, Lesson 2, for example, students analyze potential research sources by answering guiding questions that require students to consider how the key ideas and details of the text relate to their research topic and central question.

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.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2c.

The Grade 12 materials include questions and tasks to support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas via sets of coherently sequenced higher-order questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, knowledge, and ideas within a text or texts to make meaning and to build an understanding of a text or a topic.

Throughout the year, students read a variety of selections for analysis and annotation while investigating a topic. The sequences of text-specific and/or text-dependent questions support students in their ability to analyze across multiple texts and within single texts. The materials juxtapose texts strategically to build student knowledge around a common topic or theme. Lessons build to a unit culminating task or project through which students demonstrate understanding of the core body of knowledge and skills built into the unit. By the end of the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is embedded in student work. 

Materials 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: 

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

    • Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze within single texts.

      • In the Development Unit, Community, students focus on cross-genre text sets to answer the Central Question: “What does it mean to belong to a community?” To complete the Culminating Task, students “[w]rite a blended piece (i.e., a mix of narrative, informational, and argumentative elements) that addresses the Central Question and conveys an important message about their community they want outsiders to understand.”

In Section 3, Lesson 4, students continue to deepen their understanding of Deresiewicz’s argument while reading “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz. In Lesson 3, students “move from exploring what comprises a community and how those definitions evolve to identifying the rhetorical strategies and stylistic decisions authors use to convey their arguments.” As students read and analyze the text, they answer a series of text-dependent questions, including:

  • “In describing how solitude has been characterized throughout history, Deresiewicz also traces the role technology has played in this evolution, going so far as to call the Internet an ‘incalculable blessing.’ Would you agree with that statement? Why or why not? What role does technology play in community building?

  • ‘Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence.’ Is community building a coping mechanism against loneliness? Does community appease loneliness? Have communities changed over time so people can combat these feelings?”

In Section 5, Lesson 1, students read an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory,” and select details significant to determine how Morrison feels authors create text and subtext.

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 2, students explore the Central Question of the unit, How many ways can the same text be read?, by examining Act 2, Scene 1 of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Students focus on the single text and answer the questions:

    • “What task does Lord Polonius assign Reynaldo?

    • What is Polonius’s reasoning?

    • According to Ophelia, how has Hamlet been acting lately?

    • What does Polonius think is the cause?”

Students examine Hamlet as a single text and analyze across multiple texts throughout the unit. 

In Section 3, students analyze gender roles in Act 4 by answering the following:

  • “How are the characters of Ophelia and Gertrude portrayed in the play?

  • What stereotypes do they embody? What stereotypes do they defy? 

  • How are they treated by the male characters? What power do they have?”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read the text “George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984” by Colin Marshall and answer the questions:

    • “What does Orwell fear?

    • What is he optimistic about? What specific examples can you provide from the text to describe his optimism?

    • What does he caution against?

    • What is the tone of the letter? What word choice supports your conclusion?”

The sequence of questions provides students the opportunity to analyze an individual piece within a unit. 

  • In the Application Unit, Section 2, Lesson 2, students use the Assessing Sources Reference Guide and Potential Sources Tool to develop “a process for determining if a potential source will be useful” by evaluating whether a source is:

    • “interesting and accessible to you as a reader

    • relevant to your inquiry or research and rich in information

    • credible, accurate, and unbiased.”

  • Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 2, Lesson 4, students read and annotate academic resources and answer the following sequence of questions:

      • “What information do the texts provide on my pathway?

      • How do the texts help me respond to our guiding questions?

      • How does the information in the texts relate to other texts I have read on the topic? 

      • How do I know these texts are credible?

      • How extensive and supported is the information they provide?”

In Section 3, Lesson 2, students research the requirements for the top programs of their choice and work in a group to complete the following text-dependent prompts: 

  • “Based on my research, I found _____.

  • One thing that excites me most about the postsecondary program I have chosen is _____.

  • One thing that confuses or concerns me about the postsecondary program I have chosen is _____.

  • I need to _____ in order to make myself a better candidate for my postsecondary program of choice.”

Here students analyze across multiple texts as the requirements of each program are separate sources.

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 4, students read from the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez to “explore the Marxist and feminist literary criticism lenses, examining how these lenses impact the audience’s understanding of the novel.” During the analysis of the text, students respond to questions such as:

    • “What does the syntax reveal about Mama’s social status in the letter Tio Chiche suggested she write?

    • What does the following sentence reveal about gender power structures: ‘Suddenly, she got her permission to go to law school’?”

In the following lesson, Section 3, Lesson 5, students utilize the Feminist Criticism Lens handout and discuss: “What do you think it means to read and analyze literature through a feminist lens?” Students then read and analyze The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as they record examples that “exemplify the traditional gender roles of men and women.”

In Section 4, Lesson 3, students read and annotate “Dominican Republic (Document 305) U.S. Relations with the Dominican Republic” to acquire information about the June 14th Movement. Students also conduct online research to “[f]ind two credible websites or news articles about the June 14th Movement” to prepare for a class discussion that addresses:

  • “What was the June 14th Movement?

  • How does learning about the June 14th Movement help you understand In the Time of the Butterflies?”

This task leads to the exploration of how information gained from reading “Dominican Republic (Document 305) U.S. Relations with the Dominican Republic” applies to the discussion question: “How does learning about the June 14th Movement help you understand In the Time of the Butterflies?”

  • By the end of the year, integrating knowledge is embedded in students’ work.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 5, Lesson 1, students synthesize their knowledge from multiple texts to create a final product for the Culminating Task to ”[r]esearch a contemporary issue and write a narrative story to send a message to society” including “a brief literary analysis of your own work, defending your narrative choices and evaluating their effectiveness.” Incorporating multiple sources of information is embedded within the student workflow as they complete the Culminating Task Checklist, including analysis of texts and integration of knowledge as evidenced in prompts such as: Provide an analysis of your work.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 6, students build knowledge and consider the questions:

      • “Should our society allow AI to influence human decision-making or make decisions on its own?

      • Can machine learning simulate enough human intelligence and executive functioning to make acceptable decisions? Why or why not?”

As students consider these questions, they delineate and evaluate a counterargument to the article “Machine Bias” by Jula Angwin et al. Students utilize the Delineating Arguments Tool and Evaluating Arguments Tool before considering questions relating to five counterclaims including:

  • “What evidence does this article use to counter ‘Machine Bias?’

  • Which argumentative position and supporting claims do you find most convincing? Why?”

Students continue to build knowledge connecting to the Central Question with a third subtopic prompt: “Is it possible to protect an individual’s privacy with the rise of artificial intelligence? Why or why not?” Students also read “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values” by the United States Executive Office of the President, as they consider questions, such as:

  • “What are the pros and cons of perfect personalization?

  • Why is the persistence of data concerning?”

The tasks students complete and close analyses of texts around the Central Question: “How is artificial intelligence affecting our world?” which prepare them to “develop an argumentative position in response to a complex issue regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on our society.”

In Section 5, students complete the Culminating Task to “develop an argumentative position in response to a complex issue regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on our society...supported by a series of evidence-based claims, including at least one counterargument to an opposing perspective or position.” By the end of the year, the students choose and prepare their own topic of study, returning to guiding questions encountered in the Foundation Unit and throughout the Development Units. Students follow a Culminating Task Checklist and rubric to support their planning, pacing, and accountability to embed the required components within their work to demonstrate mastery of unit skills and standards.

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).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2d.

The Grade 12 materials include multimodal and summative unit Culminating Tasks that provide various ways for students to communicate their understanding to smaller peer groups and to the larger learning community. Unit Culminating Tasks are varied and include the following: Narrative Essay/Group Presentation; Fictional, Personal, or Historical Narrative; Literary Analysis; Explanatory Essays; Argumentative Essay; and Portfolio/Group Presentation. Session Diagnostics at the end of each unit section provide formative opportunities to assess student readiness of the discrete skills required to complete each Culminating Task. According to the Program Guide: “Written diagnostics tasks span a range of task types, including literary analysis, argument, narrative, and expository. Oral diagnostics may be tasks done by an individual (e.g., participation in a Socratic Seminar) or in groups (e.g., presentation of an analysis with teammates).”

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit’s topic/theme through integrated literacy skills. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students complete a culminating writing task in the form of an individual portfolio and a narrative reflection that incorporates reading and writing skills. Students address the unit theme by investigating their chosen postsecondary pathway (four-year university, two-year community college, vocational or technical profession, or military) in a research team, and individually create a portfolio of artifacts (resume, Common App essay, sample application, and mock interview) they need to enter into that pathway. Students then write a multi-paragraph reflective narrative that describes their research and explains why they have chosen their postsecondary pathway in response to the following questions:

      • “How can I prepare for life after high school?

      • What academic experiences do I need this year to prepare myself to enter my postsecondary pathway?”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students compose a Culminating Task that integrates a variety of writing modes such as narrative, informational, literary, expository, or argumentative. Students also engage in a whole-class discussion where they address the central question, “What does it mean to belong to a community?” by answering the following:

      • “How did the texts in this unit help you understand or think about the Central Question?

      • What about this text or topic do you still want to know?

      • What particular topics or texts captured your attention? Why?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 6, students complete a Socratic Seminar and Personal Reflection for the Section Diagnostic. Students engage in a student-guided Socratic Seminar to explore how analyzing the play Hamlet through various critical lenses influences their interpretation of the play’s themes. Students engage in an academic discussion addressing the question: “What themes of Hamlet are illuminated when analyzing the play through a psychological lens?” The discussion prepares students for the Culminating Task to write a literary criticism essay about the play and provides teachers with formative data on student understanding. Teachers can use the Section Diagnostic to inform instructional decisions.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 14, students engage in a student-led Socratic Seminar to discuss how the Mirabal sisters are portrayed as revolutionaries in the novel In the Time of Butterflies. To complete this task, students must demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of the topic and integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The student-facing materials direct students to plan for the Socratic Seminar as follows:

      • “Review the epilogue. Underline the word, phrase, or sentence in the epilogue that resonates with you the most. Then, write two to three open-ended discussion questions in your Learning Log that you would like to discuss during the Socratic Seminar.

      • Ask your discussion questions to keep the conversation going.

      • Use evidence from the text to support your responses.

      • Use a discussion strategy to keep the conversation going.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 12, students complete the Section Diagnostic, a short vignette of a self-identified contemporary problem or issue that focuses on one aspect of their stories (e.g., use of tone, developing setting, staging the problem, use of time) and a brief analysis of the vignette, defending the effectiveness of their narrative choices. In Section 4, Lesson 8, students participate in a Socratic Seminar to explore the question: “How can storytelling be a powerful medium for sending messages to society?” as the Section Diagnostic. For the unit Culminating Task, students research a contemporary issue and write a narrative to send a message to society. Students then write a literary analysis to defend and evaluate the effectiveness of their narrative choices and assemble a writing portfolio. The various tasks provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate an understanding of the unit texts they are examining through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students complete the Culminating Task, an argumentative essay that establishes and supports a position in response to a current issue related to artificial intelligence, choosing from one of the following subtopics:

      • “Subtopic 1 - Job Market: Should people be concerned about the possibility of AI replacing humans in jobs? Will AI create or eliminate jobs? Why or why not?

      • Subtopic 2 - Machine Learning: Should our society allow artificial intelligence to make its own decisions or influence human decision-making? Why or why not?

      • Subtopic 3 - Privacy: Is it possible to protect an individual’s privacy with the rise of artificial intelligence? Why or why not?”

The unit Section Diagnostics engages students in various opportunities to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of the topics through integrated skills. In Section 2, Lesson 10, for instance, students write an analysis of the reading “Why We Should Stop Fetishizing Privacy” by Heidi Messer using the Delineating Arguments Tool. In Section 3, Lesson 5, students create and deliver a presentation to show their research team their findings from the Delineating Arguments Tool and complete the peer review section of their Section 3 Diagnostic Delineating Arguments Tool.

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 6, Lesson 1, students work with their research groups to develop an action plan to address the Culminating Task, a presentation to their learning communities that addresses a group-developed inquiry question. Students collaborate in teams to develop and deliver a presentation of their findings to their learning community. Students use the Culminating Task Checklist to assist their completion of the task, which includes the following categories for assessment: Reading & Knowledge Goals, Writing Goals, and Speaking & Listening Goals. Students complete the checklist by answering prompts, such as: “How well does our presentation use visual media and technological tools in an effective way, building the audience’s interest and illuminating our findings?” 

  • Earlier text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks are coherently sequenced and will give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness (or whether they are “on track”) to complete culminating tasks.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 16, students complete the Section Diagnostic, a well-developed, multi paragraph comparative analysis of two texts, which prepares students for the unit Culminating Task, a blended piece containing a mix of narrative, informational, and argumentative elements that describes a community to which the students belong. The Culminating Tasks Connections Section of the Section 2 Diagnostic provides a rationale outlining task coherence as follows:

      • “Students demonstrate their ability to analyze the effectiveness of arguments made by the authors read in this unit. In doing so, students determine what makes an effective argument about community so that they can, in turn, write effectively about their own communities. Additionally, students continue to see ways in which they can model their own writing on the pieces read in this section.”

Text-dependent questions throughout the unit lessons prompt students to consider critical ideas and support student readiness to complete the Culminating Task. Examples include:

  • “Which author creates the most compelling portrayal of what it means to be a member of a community?

  • How does the author make their message compelling?”

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 4, students read Hamlet by William Shakespeare and analyze the character Claudius through a political lens. The student-facing materials provide guidance and a series of questions to answer as students read Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 1–41, including:

    • “Why would Claudius marry his dead brother’s wife?

    • What reaction might the royal family have to this hasty marriage during the mourning period? What reaction might the citizens of Denmark have to this hasty marriage during the mourning period?

    • What does Claudius’s reaction to Young Fortinbras reveal about Claudius’s perception of his own power?”

Students answer the questions independently before engaging in a discussion, and they utilize the Political Lens Note-Taking Tool to record their thinking and analysis. Additionally, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition share guidance to further student understanding, including:

  • “From a political perspective, Claudius’s marriage to his dead brother’s wife secures his position as the most powerful person in Denmark. However, this hasty and potentially improper marriage sows deep resentment in the character of Hamlet. It also violates society’s code of conduct for the mourning period and contributes to the sense that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ (1.4.100).”

Teachers may use these opportunities to inform instructional decisions and to assess student understanding of the texts throughout the unit. The various unit readings and lessons provide coherently sequenced questions for consideration that prepare students for the unit Culminating Task to choose one of three literary criticisms of Hamlet and write a well-developed, multi-paragraph literary analysis essay that defends or challenges a claim from one of the critiques.

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, students complete a literary analysis of the text In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alverez to analyze “Julia Alvarez’s depictions of the Mirabal sisters through one of the following literary criticism lenses: biographical, feminist, historical, or Marxist.” The materials offer opportunities for students to practice applying critical analysis throughout the unit and assess student readiness before the Culminating Task. In Section 2, Lesson 3, for example, students practice analyzing selections of In the TIme of Butterflies through a historical lens via a series of writing exercises, whole-class discussions, and using the Historical Lens Note-Taking Tool. Teachers may use the tool to assess how well students are identifying and analyzing textual evidence. Subsequently, in Section 3, Lesson 5, students practice using feminist criticism by analyzing The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein utilizing a T-Chart to identify details about the “The Female Tree” and “The Male Character.”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 4, Lesson 6, students view a commercial by Apple to analyze the influence of the novel 1984 by George Orwell on the commercial and the medium of advertising. Following this discussion, students collaborate in small groups to select an artistic genre (film, television, literature, music, or visual art) and conduct research to find one example from that genre that was influenced by the novel 1984. Guiding questions for this activity are:

    • “What central ideas from the novel did you find? 

    • What connection was the artist trying to make between their work and the novel 1984?”

To conclude the activity, students write a half-page finding of their summaries, citing at least two sources. Subsequently, in Lesson 8, students perform the Session Diagnostic task to participate in a Socratic seminar in response to the question: “How can storytelling be a powerful medium for sending messages to society?” Students-facing materials direct students to:

  • “Use evidence from the novel as well as other supporting texts you have read to pose new questions, support your responses to your classmates’ questions, and develop a more critical understanding of the themes and ideas found in 1984.”

Students use reading and writing skills in the scaffolding activities and reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to complete the diagnostic task. Moreover, the Lesson 6 activity provides coherent skill development and practice and allows teachers to assess student readiness for both the Session Diagnostic and unit Culminating Task to research a contemporary issue and write a narrative story to send a message to society.

Indicator 2e

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2e.

The Grade 12 materials provide writing tasks across the grade level that increase in complexity. The program’s design provides practice through Section Diagnostics to allow teachers to monitor student progress of grade appropriate writing activities and to prepare students for completing the unit summative tasks. The program also offers a final Application Unit as a capstone in which students can follow a self-selected topic of inquiry and apply writing skills they acquire and practice throughout the year. The student-facing materials include guidance as students complete writing tasks, and the teacher-facing materials provide additional support for scaffolding, including opportunities for modeling and using exemplar or model texts students read during the unit. A Literacy Toolbox includes Reference Guides and Tools to support student writing tasks. These tools are incorporated purposefully throughout the course materials.

Students encounter a Culminating Task at the beginning of each unit and perform a series of formal and informal writing activities addressing grade-level standards to build their knowledge and writing skills over the course of each unit. The materials provide students a wide range of writing tasks, including short-response questions, guiding questions, and formative writing opportunities throughout the year. Writing tasks vary in length and purpose and help students to develop their analytical, argumentative, informational, and narrative writing skills. The lessons provide a cohesive design so that students apply and expand the skills they learn from previous lessons to perform on later lessons throughout the units. Culminating tasks walk students through each stage of the writing process and allow students to monitor their progress with rubrics, checklists, and graphic organizers. Writing instruction and assignments scale up in difficulty throughout the year. Writing instruction supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the year.

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

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

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students complete the Culminating Task during which they write a blended piece using a mixture of narrative, informational, and argumentative writing elements. Lesson Goals for the activity include writing standards that require students to “Appropriately communicate and utilize language in a way that effectively does the following:

      • uses structure and format as a way to enhance the message

      • utilizes rhetorical tools and devices

      • maintains a tone suitable for the topic, situation, and message

      • utilizes language both literally and figuratively.”

Students develop their writing throughout the unit through a series of formal and informal writing tasks. In Section 2, Lesson 13, for instance, students write a sentence using a stylistic or rhetorical device used by the authors read in the unit. In Section 3, Lesson 2, students practice writing about community in a positive and negative tone to answer the question, “Does the word community have a positive or negative connotation for you?” These activities build on students' ability to write and help prepare them for the Culminating Task. 

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, students complete the Culminating Task, a multi-paragraph literary analysis essay that defends or challenges a claim from one of the literary criticisms of Hamlet studied throughout the unit. Student-facing materials direct student writing as follows:

    • “Support your analysis using a variety of well-selected evidence from Hamlet as well as material from the unit. Logically and sufficiently support your response with evidence from the play and the literary criticism, including direct quotations with parenthetical citations. Apply correct and effective words, phrases, syntax, usage, and mechanics to clearly communicate your analysis. Provide a works cited page with your final product.”

Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that ask students:

  • “Can I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?

  • Can I use effective formatting, style, and citations to present ideas for specific audiences and purposes?”

To support student writing development over the course of the unit, students complete a variety of formal and informal writing tasks. In Section 1, Lesson 4, students use the Psychological Lens Note-Taking Tool and Section 1 Question Set to guide them through the textual analysis of the four literary lenses: archetypal, political, psychological, and feminist. In Section 1, Lesson 9, students complete the Section 1 Diagnostic, an analytical multi-paragraph response based on the literary criticism lens of their choosing. This Section Diagnostic supports student writing skills across the school year and prepares them for the unit Culminating Task.

Similarly, in Section 5, students complete prewriting activities, including evaluating research strategies, developing an organizational structure, reading a student model, and annotating for features of informative research in preparation for writing their final draft and submitting a peer review and revisions in Lesson 8. 

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 10, students complete the Section Diagnostic to write an analytical response about Chapters 7 and 8 of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, selecting either a feminist or Marxist critical lens. Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards directing students to:

    • “Form Claims: How well do I develop and clearly communicate meaningful and defensible claims that represent valid, evidence-based analysis?

    • Use Conventions to Produce Clear Writing: How well do I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?

    • Develop Ideas: How well do I use devices, techniques, descriptions, reasoning, and evidence to support and elaborate on coherent and logical explanations?”

Students may utilize a Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool to assist them in creating a claim. Additionally, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest guidance to support students, such as:

  • “You can also use this diagnostic to gauge student readiness to form claims, support claims with textual evidence, and develop their analyses.”

Throughout the unit, the writing tasks align to the standards for the grade level, provide opportunities for teachers to assess student readiness, help students to achieve proficiency with the Culminating Task, and support students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year.

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 13, to prepare for the Section Diagnostic in the subsequent lesson, students form claims and write expository paragraphs answering the question, “Why is it important to have policies and processes that address the ethical and privacy- and security-related implications of artificial intelligence?” The student-facing materials include a reminder to students that they should use materials they have created to prepare for the diagnostic assessment, including the Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tools and Organizing Evidence Tools. After creating a draft, the student materials state, “Our teacher will assess our understanding and skills at this point in the unit.” The activities also include an opportunity for students to reflect on their work and self-assess how prepared they are for the Culminating Task during which they develop an argumentative position addressing the Central Question: “How is artificial intelligence affecting our world?”

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

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 7, students use the mentor text, “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, as an example in order to write statements that utilize rhetorical appeals. The student-facing materials include instructions to guide students through the process by posing questions, such as “How does he elicit an emotional response from his reader?,” to analyze how Deresiewicz uses rhetorical appeal. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional rationale and guidance to support students with the task:

      • “The goal is to provide students a model they can emulate when crafting their own writing. In this case, Deresiewicz—and later, Putnam—provide sound examples of a well-crafted and balanced argument that uses a variety of appeals.”

The Teaching Notes also include reminding students to use the Mentor Sentence Journal for future consultation.

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, students use a biographical, feminist, historical, or Marxist critical theory lens to answer the question, “How does Julia Alvarez depict the Mirabal sisters as revolutionary leaders in In the Time of the Butterflies?” Teachers monitor students’ writing through a series of tools used to develop students’ ability to critically analyze a text. In Section 3, Lesson 1, for example, students select a biographical or a historical lens to examine In the Time of the Butterflies and complete the Analyzing Relationships Tool using one of two guided questions:

    • “How does In the Time of the Butterflies reflect the setting, events, and people who lived under the Trujillo regime?

    • How are Julia Alvarez’s personal experiences reflected in In the Time of the Butterflies?”

In Section 3, Lesson 6, students use the Feminist Lens Note-Taking Tool to answer, “How does the portrayal of the Mirabal sisters as troublemakers exemplify the way women are traditionally depicted in literature?” Here, the materials provide supports and protocols to develop students’ ability to write analytically using a critical theory lens. 

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 13, students complete the Section Diagnostic, a multi-paragraph literary analysis to discuss how central ideas are developed and build one another to produce a complex narrative. The materials include support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development in the Teacher Edition. An example of guidance in the Teacher Edition states:

    • “Instead of telling students how to write, model texts act as examples of quality writing. This instructional strategy follows the “show, don’t tell” writing technique. Students can begin to read like writers by studying how an author writes and determining why the author makes specific writing choices.”

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students complete the Culminating Task during which they compose an argumentative essay that establishes and supports a position in response to a current issue related to artificial intelligence. Throughout the unit, students and teachers follow the protocols outlined in the Culminating Task Checklist and Culminating Task Progress Tracker to monitor student progress. In Section 3, Lesson 1, students review their Culminating Task Checklist as they develop their positions. In Section 3, Lesson 5, students use the Culminating Task Progress Tracker to reflect on the Section Diagnostic and how well it prepared them to complete the Culminating Task. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition indicate: 

    • “As their understanding of the unit’s content and their skills mature, students might refine what they have previously noted in the Culminating Task Progress Tracker.”

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.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2f. 

Grade 12 materials build skills throughout the year, including opportunities for collaborative research, evaluating sources, synthesis and analysis of texts, and applying those skills in a unit-long research project as a capstone for the course. The Program Guide provides details relating to active learning through inquiry: “In the Foundation and Application units, students investigate a topic through recursive and iterative cycles of inquiry in which they work in learning communities to explore significant issues and topics, refine research questions, find and assess sources for relevance and credibility, and present their research in various forms.” Students compile comprehensive research on specific questions during the final Application Unit and present their findings to their learning community. The student-determined text set during the final unit provides students with an opportunity to explore topics they have been learning more deeply and demonstrate the research skills they acquire.

The materials reviewed for this grade level include a progression of research skills according to the grade level standards by providing various opportunities for students to engage in online research and discussion of unit topics and to cite evidence from multiple sources in the Lesson Activities, Section Diagnostics, Culminating Tasks, and Independent Reading Presentations. Students also have the opportunity to synthesize work and analyze content through a variety of tools provided in the materials and are given opportunities to complete research projects of varying lengths. Materials sequence research projects throughout the year to help students progress in their research skills. At the beginning of the year, students begin to practice working in groups in the Foundation Unit with focused guidance from the instructor, and during the Application Unit at the end of the year students work collaboratively in self-directed teams with the instructor acting as coach or facilitator. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic. The materials provide guidance and support to teachers, including but not limited to, questions to prompt student thinking, graphic organizers to assist students, and an option for teachers to provide various scaffolds for students.

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

  • Research projects are sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 3, students explore the question: What does it mean to belong to a community? Students deepen their knowledge and skills to read and analyze texts through guiding questions and close examination of Chapter 4, an excerpt from the text Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. The student-facing materials provide questions for student consideration, including:

      • “What is Vance’s perspective? Explain what the details and language tell you about his view of the topic.

      • How accurate, credible, and relevant are the information and ideas presented in Vance’s text?”

    • For the unit Culminating Task in Section 5, students gather ideas and information from multiple resources to respond to the following prompt:

      • “Select and analyze a community you belong to. Write a blended piece (i.e., a mix of narrative, informational, and argumentative elements) in which you respond to the following question: What is the most important message about my community that I want outsiders to understand?”

Students utilize a graphic organizer in their planning, adding thoughts on the thesis, the main idea in evidence from a variety of sources, and concluding thoughts. Lessons within the unit present students with various opportunities to research community and the genres and styles of writing students may emulate to complete this writing task. 

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, the materials represent a progression of research skills as students begin preparing for the Section Diagnostic in Lesson 9. In Lesson 5, students select research partners and topics and examine tips for finding relevant research. In Lesson 6, students evaluate their sources for bias. For the Section Diagnostic in Lesson 9, students “work in pairs to research how a central idea presented in the novel is reflected in contemporary society.”

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, in Section 5, Lessons 8–10, students engage in the unit Culminating Task, a final presentation delivered at a community, school, and/or classroom celebration demonstrating mastery of research skills developed across the year. Starting with the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students create a research portfolio and narrative reflection for each unit Culminating Task and complete the Grade 12: Application Unit Potential Topics Tool to consider potential topics and questions to explore in the final Application Unit. Through a series of activities that build on skills developed throughout the year, students build their capacity to engage in a class, school, and/or community event celebrating what they learned throughout the year. 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I prepare for Life After High School?, Section 2, Lesson 4, students collaborate in groups to research possible pathways for life after high school. The student-facing materials direct students to develop their knowledge from different aspects of the topic as follows:

      • “In your pathway group, individually find two new academic articles, documents, or other texts about your pathway. Use the Foundation Unit Research Guide to assist your research.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 5, Lesson 5, students engage in a sustained recursive inquiry process as they conduct research to complete the Culminating Task, a literary analysis essay regarding Julia Alvarez’s depictions of the Mirabal sisters through one of the following literary criticism lenses: biographical, feminist, historical, or Marxist. The instructional materials provide a Culminating Task Progress Tracker to help students develop research and note-taking skills, reflect on what they have studied, and consider potential inquiry questions for the final Application Unit. Teachers may use the Culminating Task Progress Tracker to conference with students and guide their questions when monitoring readiness both for the unit Culminating Task and in the initial planning stage of the Application Unit end-of-year research project. 

In Section 5, Lesson 6, students examine and discuss as a group their understanding of what makes a revolutionary and consider questions they might want to explore to prepare for the final Application Unit. Students discuss possible connections among the unit, other units from the year, and the research they might choose to do in the final Application Unit. The materials also provide an Application Unit Potential Topics Tool for students to capture their reflections, and the teacher materials provide questions and prompts for teachers to support students, such as: 

  • “What about each text or topic do you still want to study? What questions do you still have? Write these down in the Questions or Subtopics to Explore column.

  • How would you begin to research each text or topic?”

Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance relating to the Tool and the purpose of the project, for example:

  • “It provides a space in which students can capture their reflections about what they found intriguing in a unit and might want to explore further in the Application Unit.

  • It serves as a repository of leads they might research when they arrive at the Application Unit.”

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 1, students build an initial research frame by generating and grouping inquiry questions to build inquiry paths that will further guide their investigations. To support students in this process, the materials provide a Research Evaluation Checklist and a Research Frame Tool. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide the following rationale and guidance to support students:

    • “The Research Frame Tool urges students to further refine their inquiry. Framing inquiry through inquiry paths allows students to have a plan for comprehensively exploring a topic. At every step of the investigation, students should go back to their research frame and ask themselves what they have learned, what questions they have answered, and what questions they should investigate next based on the results of their investigation at that point.

    • It is important to make it clear that the research frame is not meant to be static. Questions within the inquiry paths might change, become obsolete, or be replaced by new questions. Entire inquiry paths might need to be abandoned or added as well. Even the framing of the Central Research Question might evolve, as students might revise their angle of investigation.”

  • 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 the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 6, students collaboratively research possible scholarships available for postsecondary pathways. Student-facing materials prompt students to:

      • “Consider the university, institution, or program that you want to enter after high school. Work with a partner from your pathway group to research scholarships that could award aid; share resources with one another.”

Students then use a series of research suggestions to help them in their research process: 

  • “Vary your search terms. Instead of researching ‘scholarships,’ research ‘engineering scholarships,’ ‘Vanderbilt scholarships,’ ‘scholarship aid for…,’ or ‘aid.’

  • Search for scholarships based on your GPA or ACT and SAT scores.

  • Search for scholarships that could give aid based on athletic merit.”

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 10, students synthesize and analyze the texts using different critical lenses. To complete this task, student-facing materials prompt students as follows:

    • “You will write a well-developed, multi-paragraph literary analysis essay that defends or challenges a claim of the literary criticism. You will support your analysis using a variety of well-selected evidence from Hamlet and any other texts we have read or viewed.”

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 3, students synthesize information from Lessons 1–3 using their delineation and evaluation of the text “AI Doesn’t Eliminate Jobs, It Creates Them” by Michael Xie and the data and information from “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?” by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne to address the following prompt:

    • “Based on your reading and class discussion, determine your own perspective and position regarding the issue of artificial intelligence’s effect on the job market.”

  • Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide a rationale and guidance for this activity, including:

    • “This timed write provides an opportunity for students to practice and demonstrate their developing abilities to synthesize information across multiple sources and develop a perspective and position based on their reading and analysis.”

In Section 5, students research and analyze texts to complete the Culminating Task, an argumentative essay that establishes and supports a position in response to a current issue related to artificial intelligence, choosing from one of the following subtopics: Job Market, Machine Learning, and Privacy. Students read a variety of material within the unit on all of the subtopics and decide which to use as sources for their subtopic and argumentative position. Students analyze and then synthesize the various sources to answer the prompt and develop their position and support it with evidence-based claims, use at least one counterargument refuting an opposing position, and support their claims with evidence from multiple credible sources. 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 1, Lesson 2, students participate in a short research project to create group presentations that summarize assigned sections of “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Ban Cheah. Subsequently, in Section 4, Lesson 1, students work on the unit Culminating Task, a longer research project to investigate a postsecondary pathway (e.g., four-year university, two-year community college, vocational or technical profession, or military) in a research team, and individually create a portfolio of artifacts (e.g., resume, Common App essay, sample application, and mock interview) needed to enter into that pathway.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students research contemporary issues to complete the unit Culminating Task during which they write both a narrative to send a message to society and a brief literary analysis defending their narrative choices and evaluating their effectiveness. Throughout the unit, students engage in shorter projects to help them develop skills and ideas for the longer Culminating Task. In Section 2, Lesson 9, for example, students work in pairs to research how a central idea presented in the novel, 1984, is reflected in contemporary society. Subsequently, in Section 4, Lesson 8, students participate in a Socratic Seminar where they use evidence from texts read in the section to develop a more critical understanding of the themes and ideas found in 1984.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 1, students discuss the importance of a researched perspective and the research process. Students form small research teams and begin developing their research topics. The teacher discusses each phase of the Research Plan and the Research Portfolio Description section. In Section 1, Lesson 2, students begin the first section of a shorter research project using the Exploring a Topic Tool to identify one or two potential Central Research Questions that may lead to valuable questions and problems to explore for the longer research project that will complete the unit and the grade level materials. Students may choose from any of the prior units: How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Community, Hamlet, In the Time of the Butterflies, 1984, and Artificial Intelligence, and from all of the texts and topics within these units. 

The Application Unit provides students with an opportunity to self-direct their research process, build a research portfolio, and develop a presentation for their learning community that shares their research findings. Tools and Reference Guides students utilize in previous units are available for students in the Literacy Toolbox throughout the unit-long project.

Criterion 2g - 2h

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

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for coherence. While suggested implementation schedules align to core learning objectives, the provided Model Yearlong Paths cannot reasonably be completed. The suggested number of minutes per lesson, as well as the number of units suggested for the year, do not seem practical for teachers and students to complete. Optional tasks are meaningful and support core learning.

Indicator 2g

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 2g.

The instructional sequence begins with a Foundation Unit, followed by teacher-selected Development Units, and concludes with an Application Unit. Materials include Model Yearlong Paths as suggested guidance. The Foundation Unit serves as the starting point of student-led inquiry; instructional content addresses a large number of the Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language standards. The Development Units include opportunities to revisit these standards and also address the Reading: Literature standards. The Application Unit is the recursive conclusion to students’ inquiry, and instructional content revisits the standards addressed in the Foundation Unit. 

As part of the program’s Monitor, Diagnose, Evaluate practice, instruction and assessments are closely linked. Instruction is coherently sequenced, preparing students to respond to standards-aligned, analytical questions and tasks based on the complex texts of study. Questions and tasks are coherently sequenced and prepare students for Section Diagnostics. Each Section Diagnostic builds to the end-of-unit Culminating Task.     

Materials 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, the majority of instruction is aligned to grade-level standards.

    • The CCSS Alignment document illustrates coverage of each standard strand. During all three model pathway options, materials address the majority of Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language standards. 

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

    • As students closely read and analyze complex text, they respond to standards-aligned, text-based questions. Questions and tasks require students to cite textual evidence and draw upon the text to infer what is not explicitly stated. Questions and tasks build to and prepare students for the Section Diagnostic and end-of-unit Culminating Task.  

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

    • Section Diagnostics and the end-of-unit Culminating Task align to grade-level standards. Each lesson includes standards-aligned explicit instruction, as well as questions and tasks, that prepares students for the corresponding Section Diagnostic. Each Section Diagnostic prepares students for the Culminating Task.  

  • By the end of the academic year, standards are repeatedly addressed within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standard.

  • The instructional sequence begins with the Foundation Unit, progresses through four Development Units, and ends with the Application Unit. Instruction and assessments within the Foundation Unit and Application Unit address a large number of the Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language standards. Development Units revisit these standards and address Reading: Literature standards.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. 

Materials suggest educators begin with the Foundation Unit, choose from five Development Units, and end with the capstone Application Inquiry Unit. The Course-at-a-Glance includes Model Yearlong Paths that contain the following guidance: “These model yearlong paths are only suggestions; teachers and curriculum coordinators should make decisions based on their own expertise.” Materials identify Core Lessons and Optional Lessons. The Optional Lessons enhance core instruction and help students deepen their understanding of each unit's topic and themes. Local districts must select the Development Units strategically to ensure that all standards are addressed across the grade level with a balance of informational text and literature. The Program Guide provides details relating to Choice & Flexibility: “Teachers choose from a variety of Development Units to use throughout the year. Teachers can use the curriculum as written, selecting lessons and activities that meet the needs of their students.” Materials provide additional guidance to educators in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition to make decisions relating to instruction and to provide additional scaffolding when necessary. 

With some diligence in planning, the suggested implementation schedules, and alternative implementation schedules align to core learning and objectives. For teachers with a traditional class period and typical number of instructional days, the Model Yearlong Paths are not reasonable to complete, based on the suggested minimum number of 45 minutes per lesson and the number of units suggested for the year.

Materials sometimes 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 align to core learning and objectives. 

    • In the Grade 12 Course-at-a-Glance, materials offer three pathways for instruction: “A,” “B,” and “C.” Each pathway recommends the teacher implement six core units with an optional independent reading focusing on the core text from the Development Unit not covered (e.g., George Orwell’s 1984 or Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies). 

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lessons 1–9, materials clearly label the Core and Optional Lessons. For example, Lesson 5 is Optional and states, “In this optional lesson, we will read and discuss ‘Professional Degree vs. Academic Degree: What’s the Difference?’ by Northeastern University, and “Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs’ from Georgetown University.” Lesson 6 is a Core Lesson during which students examine each pathway choice, determine an individual pathway, and begin preparing for the Section 1 Diagnostic. During Section 1, students “read and discuss texts that will help us decide on a postsecondary pathway, from attending a four-year college or two-year community college to entering a vocation or technical profession or joining the military.” The program design requires the teacher to implement Core Lessons, as these lessons align to core learning and objectives. Optional Lessons are not required; however, if selected for implementation, these lessons also support the learning objectives of the unit.

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

    • In the Grade 12 Course-at-a-Glance, materials provide three Model Yearlong Paths as suggestions. For example, Model Yearlong Path A includes the following units: Foundation: How Can I Prepare for My Life after High School?, Community, Hamlet, 1984, Artificial Intelligence, Application: What Do I Want to Research?, and the Development Unit In the Time of Butterflies assigned as independent reading throughout the year. Lessons are designed to span 45–90 minutes, with time contingent on the number of Activities a teacher chooses to include. Due to the number of Core Lessons following the Model Yearlong Path A, a teacher would not be able to reasonably complete these or add Optional Lessons in a typical class period and instructional days in the school year. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, the unit includes five sections. Section 2 contains 14 Core Lessons, one Section Diagnostic, and an Independent Reading lesson. The Core Lessons contain a total of 47 Activities. During Lesson 2, Activity 1, students complete a quick-write answering the question, “What do you know about his community?” Students then discuss their response with a peer and compare lists while addressing these questions: How are your lists similar? How do your lists differ?” Finally, students respond to the following questions: “Are there any features of the author’s community that he does not describe in this chapter? How do you account for the missing information?” Students write the responses to these questions in their learning logs. Teaching Notes within the Teacher Edition also offer suggestions for differentiating learning as well. Based on the length of this activity, students would not be able to finish all 47 Activities within the allotted time. Each pathway suggests the teacher cover six units in addition to a year-long independent reading pathway. For completion within a traditional 36-week school year, each unit would need to be covered within a six-week period. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, the Culminating Task is a literary analysis essay, as is the Culminating Task in the Development Units, In the Time of Butterflies, and 1984. The Model Yearlong Paths in the Course-at-a-Glance recommend completing The Development Unit Hamlet in each suggested pathway. The Development Unit, Hamlet, consists of 60 lessons, nine of which are considered Optional. If Optional Lessons were omitted, this unit still could not reasonably be completed in a nine-week grading period. 

  • Optional tasks do not distract from core learning. 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 1, students have the option to explore the text In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez through a historical or biographical lens using the Analyzing Relationships Tool. This activity provides students with an additional opportunity to deeply explore the core text.  

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 1, during an Optional Lesson, students draft a paragraph that determines a central idea in the text 1984 by George Orwell and explain how it is developed, supporting the explanation with evidence: “We will find three quotations to support our analyses, and we will use the Section 1 Diagnostic Model Response to organize our paragraphs.” This lesson supports students in their understanding of the text and aids in their success on other tasks in the unit. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 4, Activity 6 is an optional activity during which students take a base invitation and build on it to compose specific invitations for specific invitees. This activity serves to enhance the instruction and goals of the lesson and provides an opportunity for students to practice using precise language for the intended purpose of communicating to a variety of people. 

  • Optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 11, during an Optional Lesson, students review feedback on the Section Diagnostic in which they write an analytical mutiparagraph response based on their literary criticism lens choice. This Optional Lesson supports students with making revisions and improving their work, and helps prepare them for the Culminating Task, during which they choose one of the three literary criticism texts written about Hamlet and write a well-developed multi-paragraph literary analysis essay around the question, “Does the literary criticism text you have chosen to analyze represent a justifiable interpretation of Hamlet?” 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 1, students revisit their writing from the Section 3 Diagnostic Lesson to improve their ability to organize evidence. This optional task is intended to be a remediation lesson for those who need it, as stated in the Teacher Edition: “This remediation lesson is for students who struggled with organizing the evidence on their Section 3 Diagnostic.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 11, students have the option to review feedback they received from their Section Diagnostic. Students engage in a three-part activity in which they review and share feedback, revise their work, and share what they revised with a group. This optional activity gives students an opportunity to return to their work, revise a formative task, and reflect on the choices they made during the revision.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for instructional supports and usability. Materials include annotations in each lesson to support and guide teachers with enacting the curriculum. Materials explain complex concepts and include explanations of cross-curricular content beyond the current course, when necessary. Materials use the language of the CCSS in learning objectives but do not explain the role of the standards in the context of the series. Materials provide some strategies for informing stakeholders about the ELA program but do not contain suggestions for how parents or caregivers can help support student progress and achievement. The Program Guide includes detailed descriptions of instructional approaches that relate to all strands of the standards and references a host of reading research. Materials include a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support the instructional activities. Materials include a publisher-provided standards correlation document that identifies the CCSS at the unit level and for each Section Diagnostic and Culminating Task. Each unit contains an Evaluation Plan, which outlines how instructors can monitor, diagnose, and evaluate student performance. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide suggestions for monitoring student performance, including next steps for students’ literacy skill development. Materials utilize various modalities and item types, including written tasks and oral presentations; and discussion questions, constructed response questions, project-based tasks, and research portfolios. While the font size can be increased on assessments, materials do not provide guidance on the use of this accommodation. Materials include embedded instructional supports and differentiation strategies to support students in special populations. Differentiation Strategy sections include questions that extend above grade-level students’ thinking about the texts they read and develop their ideas in a more advanced way to maximize their learning experiences. The program design allows students to make choices about their learning and research. Students and teachers can monitor student learning through formative and summative assessment opportunities, including peer reviews and discussions, teacher feedback on Section Diagnostics, and self-reflection on the culminating tasks. Materials utilize various grouping strategies for students, including individual work with the teacher, pairs/partners, small groups, research teams, and whole group; and include teacher guidance on grouping students in a variety of formats. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide options and strategies for supporting English learners. Student-facing materials include embedded supports. Students have frequent opportunities to engage in peer discussions using Tier 2 academic vocabulary. Most materials and assessments depict individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, and other physical characteristics. Materials offer a wide variety of texts and topics that balance information of different demographics. Materials work to maintain a balance of positive portrayals in representation to prevent the prevalence of negative stereotypes harmful to students. Materials do not provide suggestions and strategies to use the home language to support students in learning ELA. Teacher materials do not include guidance on how to garner information that will aid in learning, including the family’s preferred language of communication, schooling experiences in other languages, literacy abilities in other languages, and previous exposure to academic or everyday English. Although materials specify assets that should be leveraged, materials do not provide sufficient opportunities for teachers to draw upon student home language or for students to develop home language literacy. Materials miss opportunities to capitalize on the diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students. Learning goals and instructional activities do not consistently leverage students’ cultural and social backgrounds. Opportunities for students to feel acknowledged during tasks based on customs of other cultures or sections of the materials provided in multiple languages are lacking. Materials include teacher guidance on how to engage culturally diverse students in the learning of ELA. Materials include a Remote Learning Guide with details to assist educators, including but not limited to: monitoring student learning, establishing a remote classroom culture, and technology solutions to facilitate virtual instruction. Local customization for asynchronous and synchronous learning is available. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition and student-facing materials include guidance when teachers and students collaborate using digital tools. Materials largely use Google Docs for collaboration and the Remote Learning Guide also references digital technology, such as Zoom, Padlet, and FlipGrid, that offers opportunities for collaboration and helps facilitate discussions. The visual design of the materials is not distracting and should support student learning and engagement. The layout of the materials is consistent across units and grade levels. Organizational features (Table of Contents, glossary, index, internal references, table headers, captions, etc.) in the materials are clear, accurate, and mostly error-free. The Teacher Edition, and when applicable the Teaching Notes, provide guidance on the use of technology to support and enhance student learning.

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

9/9
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for teacher planning and learning. Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students’ literacy development. Materials contain adult-level explanations of the more complex grade-level concepts, as well as concepts beyond the current course, supporting teachers with improving their own knowledge of the subject. Materials use the language of the CCSS in learning objectives but do not explain the role of the standards in the context of the series. Materials provide some strategies for informing stakeholders about the ELA program but do not contain suggestions for how parents or caregivers can help support student progress and achievement. The Program Guide explains the instructional approaches of the program and references research-based strategies utilized throughout the program. Materials include a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support the instructional activities.

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3a.  

Across the school year, the Teacher Edition includes guidance in the Teaching Notes. Teaching Notes address the following categories: Teaching Strategies and Decisions; About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic; and Student Support and Differentiation. Materials include a Literacy Toolbox  for students and teachers. This resource provides both teachers and students support and scaffolds for teaching and growing literacy development and includes a wide range of Reference Guides and Tools, including, but not limited to, Annotating and Note-Taking Reference Guide, Delineating Arguments Tool, and Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool. The Program Guide details the Guiding Principles, Program Design, Unit Components, Instructional Approaches, Support for Students with Diverse Learning Needs, Bias & Sensitivity, and Website Guidance. The Course-at-a-Glance also provides a descriptive snapshot of the program’s overall structure with several suggestions for yearlong pathways. 

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students' literacy development. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

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

    • In the Program Guide, materials explain the function of the Teaching Notes section: “All units contain robust teaching notes that support teachers by providing important content and pedagogical information. The teaching notes are organized into three categories: About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic; Teaching Strategies and Decisions; and Student Support and Differentiation.” Materials offer content and pedagogical information. For example, in the Application Unit, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Teaching Notes provide insight into the importance of vocabulary instruction for ESL learners: “These opportunities provide students, particularly English learners, a tremendous chance to increase their cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP). Often, students, particularly English learners, employ basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS).”

Materials present opportunities for teachers to expand their knowledge of what these skills are and how they can support them in the classroom.

  • In the Program Guide, materials provide teacher guidance on the Reference Guides available to students. Student-facing materials include reminders to utilize the Reference Guides, and these reminders are also included in the Teaching Notes. One example includes Reference Guides that support writing, such as Connecting Ideas, Conventions, Integrating Quotations, Organization, and Style. The guides “include definitions, descriptions, and examples of sundry conventions and language usage concepts. For example, the Connecting Ideas Reference Guide includes descriptions of the purpose and effects of transitions and a table highlighting ‘Transition Words and Phrases.’ The Integrating Quotations Reference Guide offers students examples of how to incorporate, and respectively credit, the work of others into their own writing.”

  • Materials include sufficient and useful annotations and suggestions that are presented within the context of the specific learning objectives.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 4, students find two new academic resources for their pathway. The Teacher Edition includes Teaching Notes on Teaching Strategies and Decisions, such as “Some students might be further along than others. Some might already know their top college choices or the branches of the military they want to enter, while some might not know where to start. Considering this wide range of positions, it is pivotal to speak with each pathway group, and group members, individually.”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 5, Lesson 1, students read an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s essay, "The Site of Memory," and select details they feel are important to creating text and subtext. The teacher-facing materials for this lesson guide teachers on providing feedback to students who struggled with attending to details lessons from the previous section. Materials provide sample excerpts from the essay to aid the teacher with delivering instruction and supporting students with discovering the central idea of a text.  

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 5, instruction focuses on key features of the feminist literary criticism lens. The Teaching Notes on “About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic,” include: “The feminist lens requires students to examine the roles that gender and gender stereotypes play in literature, which can translate into everyday life. Most classic literature is considered to be heavily dominated by male roles, and when a female role is present, she is often portrayed as a secondary role or an object.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 3, students use their Historical Lens Note-Taking Tool. The Teaching Notes caution and draw attention to the fact that literary criticism lenses are new for the students, and note the benefits of the teacher learning up until this point with students. Other guidance includes, “While students are sharing the details of the historical lens, consider displaying their input in front of the class using a whiteboard or piece of butcher paper.” Teacher guidance also encourages the teacher to check on students individually to monitor their understanding and participation during the lesson.

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 4, Lesson 1, students take part in “preparation for a class discussion of a model argument, [and] read, annotate, and delineate ‘The Montréal Declaration: Why We Must Develop AI Responsibly’ written by a Université de Montréal computer science professor.” The Teaching Notes include background on the author, concept, text, and topic. The teacher uses the Teaching Notes to frontload or engage students in the topic for discussion. Guidance also encourages the teacher to question students about the audience for this piece, and to analyze the central idea.

  • In the Application Unit: What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 4, students learn how to provide parenthetical citations for the sources of information and quotations they use. The Teaching Notes addressing Student Support and Differentiation include the following guidance: “If students struggle citing evidence, consider modeling different citation examples with a model source and text.”

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3b. 

The explanation and examples help build teacher understanding to ensure teachers provide the necessary support for students throughout the lessons. Materials offer guidance on the use of external resources to address complex concepts, such as Google Scholar and JSTOR, and help teachers build their knowledge of appropriate databases to use for research. Materials provide guidance that is applicable across multiple grade bands and content areas.  

Materials provide a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples, when necessary, of the more advanced concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 4, the Teacher Edition recommends the use of external resources for students who need additional support, “If students are struggling to find reliable sources, direct them to your school’s library resources or database and suggest Google Scholar, JSTOR, or other sources that promote reliability.” Teacher guidance also encourages teachers to build their knowledge of databases and collect reliable resources for students. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 3, students “analyze ‘If They Should Come for Us’ by Fatimah Asghar by using a poetry analysis strategy called TP-CASTT.” The Teacher Edition provides the following explanation to help teachers understand the complex concept of the TP-CASTT strategy: “Using a specific process such as the TP-CASTT framework to analyze a poem can reduce anxiety for students who do not know where to start with poetry analysis. TP-CASTT is designed to narrow students’ focus to examining the title, paraphrasing the poem, and determining the poem’s connotation, attitude, shifts, and tones.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 3, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide a synopsis and analysis of Act 4, Scenes 1 and 2 of William Shakespeare's Hamlet by highlighting themes and conventions such as verbal irony. Explanations support teachers with connecting complex topics, such as the play Hamlet, and the author’s craft. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 4, Lesson 2, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide a detailed analysis of a selection of Part 3 of Chapter 1 from George Orwell’s 1984:

      • While the phrase “the place where there is no darkness” originally sounded like it referred to a utopia free from the clutches of the Party, Winston realizes that it refers to a very literal situation: the Ministry of Love never turns off the lights so as to cause sleep deprivation.

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

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 6, students use a feminist lens to analyze The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The Teacher Edition suggests providing students with other texts from the Internet to provide students with additional practice opportunities to analyze text through the feminist lens. Additional teacher guidance includes, “For the feminist lens, the important concepts revolve around the idea of gender and gender roles dictating an individual’s personality and choices. Be sure students focus on the male and female roles presented in In the Time of the Butterflies.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 3, materials provide a quote from Helen Benedict as a prompt to answer the discussion question, “What details or aspects of your story will require research in order to tell a more vivid and accurate story for the reader?” The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following explanation: “Helen Benedict is an American novelist and journalist. This quotation comes from her post ‘Research in Fiction—Necessary But Dangerous’ on The Center For Fiction’s website.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 5, Lesson 2, students work on drafting claims and counterclaims. Students examine the term unity for this lesson. The Teacher Edition includes the following explanation to extend teacher knowledge of the term and provide ideas for external resources that may be utilized to build their understanding, “You might reference definitions of the concepts of unity and coherence from other sources. Here are definitions from the University of Washington resources. Unity refers to the extent to which all of the ideas contained within a given paragraph are coalesced in a way that is easy for the reader to understand. When the writer changes to a new idea—one which is not consistent with the topic sentence of the paragraph—the writer should begin a new paragraph…”

Indicator 3c

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3c. 

The Program Guide includes detailed descriptions to assist teachers and students in understanding the program structure, unit types (Foundation, Development, and Application), and assessments. Materials demonstrate coherence between instruction and assessment; teachers can make connections between the skills students are developing and applying over the year to local standards. Materials do not label Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts specifically, nor do materials address the role of the CCSS in the context of the overall series. Each lesson in the student-facing materials includes a Lesson Goal that incorporates the language of the CCSS but does not explicitly cite the CCSS.

Materials provide a teacher’s edition that includes standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Correlation information is present for the ELA standards addressed throughout the grade level/series.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 4, Lesson 2, students revise the artifacts for their portfolios for the Culminating Task. The Culminating Task Checklist includes the following evaluation criteria: Reading & Knowledge and Writing. For example, when students apply Writing Goals, they focus on a Form Claims goal: “How well do I develop and clearly communicate meaningful and defensible claims that represent valid, evidence-based analysis?” Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 3, an example of a Lesson Goal includes, “Can I recognize and interpret structures and patterns that Vance uses to develop to build his case and support his claims in Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance?” The student edition contains Lesson Goals in “Can I?” statements to support students with self-evaluating at the end of each lesson. Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 10, students utilize a Diagnostic Checklist as they begin drafting their supporting paragraphs for the Section 3 Diagnostic. The Section Diagnostic provides learning goals, such as Reading & Knowledge Goals which include a Delineate Argumentation focus, “How well do I identify the claims, reasoning, and evidence used to develop arguments and explanations?” Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 2, guidance encourages students to use the Historical Lens Note-Taking Tool as they work with a partner in reviewing their work and discussing their notes. Afterward, students brainstorm what they know about the Trujillo regime from watching "'El Jefe' Portrait of a Dictator" by Bill Leonard. This lesson includes the following goals: “Can I recognize and interpret language and sentence structures to deepen my understanding of texts?” and “Can I recognize and interpret important relationships among key details and ideas (characters, setting, tone, point of view, structure, development, etc.) within texts?” Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 3, an example of a Lesson Goal includes, “Can I attend to details in 1984 to make inferences about the novel?” The student-facing materials include Lesson Goals in student friendly language. Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 5, Lesson 6, students “engage in a peer presentation and review of our arguments, then submit them to our teacher.” As a final activity for the unit, student teams or pairs present their final argument to answer the prompt, “Write an argumentative essay that establishes and supports a position in response to a current issue related to artificial intelligence.” Students also participate as the audience by listening attentively to the other teams’ presentations and taking notes. Student grading utilizes items from the Culminating Task Checklist, including Reading & Knowledge and Writing goals. One such goal in the Reading & Knowledge section asks students to compare and connect, “How well do I recognize connections among informational sources and arguments to make logical comparisons and build knowledge in my subtopic?” Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

  • Explanations of the role of the specific grade-level/course-level ELA standards are present in the context of the series.

    • No evidence found.

Indicator 3d

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide some 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.

The Program Guide includes, “Prior to starting each unit, teachers are encouraged to initiate a conversation with students, parents and guardians, explaining the unit’s particular aspects of diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, and sexual orientation) and prime students to engage in brave conversations about topics that may be challenging.” While materials include a Remote Learning Guide that outlines several ways teachers can communicate and monitor students, the materials do not outline strategies that inform stakeholders how they can help support student progress and achievement.

  • Materials contain strategies for informing students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA program.

    • In the Program Guide, materials provide general ideas for informing students, parents, or caregivers: “Educators might also engage parents, counselors, and other respected community advisors in conversations about the texts and topics students are studying. Teachers are encouraged to create a kind, open, and safe environment for students to engage with multiple perspectives and grow as individuals.” Materials do not explicitly mention specific strategies for informing students, parents, or caregivers. 

    • In the Remote Learning Guide, materials include various ways in which teachers can communicate with students. For example, the Remote Learning Guide includes that, “A major concern for educators in remote learning is how to diagnose, monitor, and evaluate student progress in reading, writing, and speaking. In synchronous learning sessions, this type of monitoring can be done in much the same way as in the brick-and-mortar classroom—via entry tasks, discussion check-ins, polling, group work, and exit tickets.” Materials do not include a thorough explanation of how instructional information is communicated with various stakeholders.

  • Materials do not contain suggestions for how parents or caregivers can help support student progress and achievement.

    • In the Program Guide, materials outline an end-of-year activity: “At the end of the year, each class's learning community presents newfound knowledge about timely and relevant issues to a forum made up of students’ school, guardians, and local community.” Materials do not provide concrete actions for parents or caregivers to support student progress and achievement during this task. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 1, students select one of three options to present their Culminating Task: in-class, school-wide, or community-based presentations. In Section 5, Lesson 6, the Teacher Edition provides a few different ways for students to share their research with the larger community. The following example is listed in the Teacher Edition: “Option 1 is a community celebration, where students’ families, friends and other teachers are invited, as well as their peers. This would be an opportunity for the students to celebrate their hard work on a sustained, independent research project in a broader, more interesting forum for their concluding question and answer session.” While this option provides an opportunity to involve stakeholders during the presentation of students’ work, neither the Teacher Edition Teaching Notes or the student-facing materials specifically mention how parents or caregivers can support student progress and achievement as students work to complete this task.

Indicator 3e

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3e. 

Materials include a Program Guide with a detailed description of Instructional Approaches that relate to the following content: Questioning, Reading, Writing & Presenting, Vocabulary, Grammar & Syntax, Speaking & Listening, and The Literacy Toolbox. The Program Guide also includes an Appendix E: Tools section that lists Instructional Areas and corresponding Tools, such as the Attending to Detail Tool to correspond with Reading Closely. Other notes in Appendix E include information relating to Writing and Organizing, Analyzing Arguments, Research, Vocabulary, and Evaluation.

References for Reading include but are not limited to: Fisher and Frey’s Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts (2013) and Wiggins’ Understanding by Design (2005). References for Speaking & Listening include Walqui’s Scaffolding the Success of Adolescent English Language Learners (2010) and Zwiers’ Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding. References for Support for Students with Diverse Learning Needs include but are not limited to Cervetti’s Conceptual Coherence, Comprehension, and Vocabulary Acquisition: A Knowledge Effect?, and Fisher and Frey’s Enhancing RTI: How to Ensure Success with Effective Classroom Instruction & Intervention (2010). 

References for the Teaching Notes include but are not limited to: Bransford’s How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School (2000) and Reeves’ Transforming Professional Development into Student Results (2010). References for Writing & Presenting include but are not limited to Dornan’s Within and Beyond the Writing Process in the Secondary English Classroom (2003) and Vermont Writing Collaborative’s Writing for Understanding: Using Backward Design to Help All Students Write Effectively (2008).

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials explain the instructional approaches of the program.

  • In the Program Guide, materials include a description of Questioning as an approach to secondary literacy instruction. The program uses “questions to frame students’ initial reading, guide students through analysis, and initiate inquiry.” Materials provide additional information relating to the Central Questions, Assessment Questions, Guiding Questions, Student-Generated Questions, Metacognitive Reflective Questions, and Supporting Questions.

  • In the Program Guide, details relating to Writing include supporting students' writing skills “not only by analyzing text to develop their own ideas, but also by analyzing and mimicking the writing of others.” Throughout the program, materials consistently include Mentor Sentences and ongoing journals for students to identify exemplars they can emulate and  strategies they can incorporate into their own pieces.

  • In the Program Guide, materials include a description of Vocabulary in the list of Instructional Approaches. The Program Guide states that this curriculum uses vocabulary for high school literacy development “by providing opportunities for students to expand their word knowledge that they can call on in speech and writing.” Additional information is available relating to the Supporting Vocabulary: Tools & Reference Guides, Critical Thinking & Analytical Tools, and Reference Guides.

  • In the Program Guide, materials list Grammar & Syntax under the Instructional Approaches. The Program Guide states that through the high-school literacy instruction, “students are given opportunities to explore and mimic grammar, syntax, and usage in text.” The Program Guide also states that Grammar & Syntax are examined in context, and “Grammar is examined with the goal of improving students’ reading and writing skills.” Materials further note, “Students are given opportunities to deconstruct, examine, and mimic grammar, syntax, and usage they see in a text.” The Program Guide includes the following headings under Grammar & Syntax: Mentor Sentences;, Supporting Grammar & Syntax: Tools & Reference Guides; Critical Thinking & Analytical Tools, which include the Language Use Handouts and Working with Mentor Sentences Tool; and various Reference Guides, which include the Connecting Ideas Reference Guide, and Integrating Quotations Reference Guide. 

  • In the Program Guide, materials list Speaking and Listening as an Instructional Approach included in the high school literacy program. The Program Guide states, “Throughout the units, students speak to, and hear from, their peers formally and informally.” The Program Guide also notes, “Academic conversations are linchpins in literacy development.” Materials include Academic Conversations in many lessons throughout the course. Students and teachers can access Supporting Speaking & Listening: Tools & Reference Guides and Critical Thinking & Analytical Tools, including the Philosophical Chairs Discussion Tool and an Academic Discussion Reference Guide.

  • Materials include and reference research-based strategies.

    • In the Program Guide, materials emphasize the importance of students reading “for depth and breadth, allowing for students to build the stamina to read one text deeply, critically, and closely or several texts to build a robust body of knowledge.” The Program Guide includes detailed descriptions of the following: “Depth: Closely Reading for Nuanced Understanding” and “Breadth: Wide Reading for Content and World Language.”

    • In the Program Guide, materials include details relating to tools available, as well as the use of scaffolding, drawing on research to support student performance during academic discourse. The materials state, “Students are provided a suite of tools, materials, and resources to support their learning, including sentence frames and conversation starters.” The tools students use, such as the Academic Discussion Reference Guide in the Literacy Toolbox, provide a number of Discussion Stems that students can use based on their role in the discussion. These include, but are not limited, to stems when exploring a topic, opinion, or argument and stems when encouraging others to share their thoughts: “How did you come to that idea? We haven’t heard you share yet. Do you agree or disagree with _____?” Materials identify scaffolding as a best practice when teachers work with students who are learning English as an additional language.

Indicator 3f

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

1/1
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3f. 

The Literacy Toolbox includes a comprehensive list of Reference Guides and Tools needed to complete activities throughout the course. Student-facing materials and Teacher Edition Teaching Notes also reference these tools and guides throughout the unit. The Materials tab for each unit, section, and lesson, includes a list of materials. The Text Overview tab includes a comprehensive list of texts needed for the unit. 

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials include a tab titled Materials throughout each unit, section, and lesson. According to the Program Guide, the Materials tab includes a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities: “The Materials tab houses documents specific to the unit, including the Evaluation Plan, Text Overview (teacher-facing), Unit Text List (student-facing), Culminating Task Checklist, and any other relevant documents.”

  • Materials include a Text Overview at the beginning of each unit which provides a comprehensive list of texts that will be used throughout the unit. The Program Guide includes the following note regarding the Text Overview: “The Text Overview tab contains the unit’s Text Overview (PDF), which identifies the texts used in the unit and includes recommendations for independent choice reading texts.”

  • Materials include a Literacy Toolbox for each unit which contains a list of Tools and resources that teachers can use to support student learning for each unit. TheProgram Guide includes the following information to describe the contents of the Literacy Toolbox for each unit: “Key to HSLP instruction is the Literacy Toolbox, composed of graphic organizers (tools), rubrics, checklists, and reference guides, carefully designed to support student success throughout the learning process in all units. Each unit has content or text-specific materials to support reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities pertinent to the unit’s text or topic, as well as instructional sequences.” 

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 1, materials include the Philosophical Chairs Discussion Tool to help students successfully complete a discussion activity in class. The Tool gives students a list of what needs to be completed prior to, during, and after the discussion activity. 

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, materials include a Section 4 Diagnostic Checklist, Research Evaluation Checklist, and the Application Unit: Research Process Reference Guide which contains a comprehensive list of the materials and tasks for Section 4. The Application Unit: Research Process lists the materials needed for each section, including Checklists, Tools, and Reference Guides.

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

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.

10/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for assessment. Materials include a system of assessments that provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards. Materials include a publisher-provided standards correlation document that identifies the CCSS at the unit level and for each Section Diagnostic and Culminating Task. Each unit contains an Evaluation Plan, which outlines how instructors can monitor, diagnose, and evaluate student performance. Materials utilize various modalities and item types. While the font size can be increased on assessments, materials do not provide guidance on the use of this accommodation. 

Indicator 3i

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3i. 

Materials incorporate Common Core State Standards (CCSS) language teachers can identify and correlate to local standards. The publisher-provided standards correlation document identifies CCSS at the unit level and for each Section Diagnostic and Culminating Task. Materials provide teachers with opportunities to examine and assess student growth on the Learning Goals in each unit, including opportunities for formative assessment, Section Diagnostics, and unit Culminating Tasks. Assessment rubrics and supporting materials, such as the Culminating Task Checklists, provide general descriptions and categories (Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Below Expectations) relating to student performance in Reading & Knowledge Goals, Writing Goals, and Speaking & Listening Goals.

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials consistently identify the standards and practices assessed for formal assessments.

    • The publisher provides a CCSS alignment spreadsheet to identify standards addressed in each unit’s Section Diagnostic and Culminating Task.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 3, Lesson 6, students write multiparagraph reflections as the Section 3 Diagnostic. The Section Diagnostic Checklist includes Writing Goals, such as the following for Organize Ideas:

      • “How well do I sequence and group sentences and paragraphs and use devices, techniques, descriptions, reasoning, evidence, and visual elements to establish coherent, logical, and well-developed narratives, explanations, and arguments?”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 10, students have the opportunity to revise their Section 1 Diagnostic by responding to teacher comments, evaluation, and feedback. The Section Diagnostic Checklist includes Reading & Knowledge Goals, such as:

      • “Compare and Contrast: How well do I recognize points of connection among texts, textual elements, and perspectives to make logical, objective comparisons?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 5, Lesson 2, students examine the Culminating Task and generate ideas for their response. Students utilize a Culminating Task Checklist that includes Writing Goals, such as:

      • “Develop Ideas: How well do I cite evidence from texts to develop and support my explanation of an evidence-based claim?”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students explore the concept of credibility and how to assess for it using a common text. Students review the article “Machine Bias” by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Lauren Kirchner and utilize the Potential Sources Tool. In the Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition, the following guidance is available:

      • “As students work in pairs, you might move among teams and answer questions and provide support. Use your knowledge of your students to determine whether they are ready to assess sources independently.”

Indicator 3j

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3j.

The Teacher Edition and unit materials include guidance on the assessment system. Materials also include assessment guidance in documents such as the unit Evaluation Plan, which outlines how instructors can monitor, diagnose, and evaluate student performance. Each unit includes multiple formative assessments, such as Section Diagnostics, and summative assessments in the form of Culminating Tasks. Each Section Diagnostic provides ongoing opportunities for student reflection, and both the Section Diagnostics and Culminating Tasks include tools which students can use to track their performance. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide suggestions for monitoring student performance, including next steps for students’ literacy skill development.

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

  • Assessment system provides multiple opportunities to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance.

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 5, Lesson 4, students draft a thesis about their essay for the Culminating Tasks where they compose a literary analysis of Julia Alverez’s In the Time of Butterflies through a biographical, feminist, historical, or Marxist critical lens. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggests reviewing student work before moving forward with research:

    • “Have an accountability measure in place in which students must have their theses approved by you before moving forward with finding textual evidence. This is to ensure students are on the right track before investing too much time in their work.”

In the same section, students use the In the Time of the Butterflies: Culminating Task Checklist to assess their progress in building knowledge and skills for the Culminating Task by indicating if they are below expectations, meeting expectations, or exceeding expectations in reading, knowledge, and writing goals. In the Program Guide, materials explain the function of these checklists and other diagnostics:

  • “Teachers use this diagnostic information to make decisions about which lessons and activities to complete, emphasize, or deemphasize.

  • The checklists allow teachers to provide targeted feedback to students, clearly identifying for them specific places of mastery and growth.”

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 3, students use the Artificial Intelligence: Section 3 Diagnostic Checklist to monitor their own progress in the section by assessing whether they are below expectations, meet expectations, or go beyond expectations for Reading & Knowledge, and Writing goals. In the Program Guide, materials explain, “Teachers review students’ work using Section Diagnostic Checklists to determine students’ progress and diagnose learning needs.” For example, in Section 3, Lesson 4, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest, “You might also introduce the related Argument Organization Frame, which also can help them plan and develop their arguments,” based on where students fall when self-assessing developing their arguments based on the Section 3 Diagnostic Checklist. 

  • Assessment system provides multiple opportunities to determine students' learning and suggestions to teachers for following-up with students.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 4, Lesson 5, students engage in a Philosophical Chairs activity for the Section Diagnostic. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition address how instructors should provide feedback to students:

      • “Taking a balanced approach to feedback is key: you should acknowledge a student’s areas of strength and growth while providing constructive feedback for areas of improvement.”

The Teaching Notes also suggest that if students struggled with the learning goals for the Section Diagnostic, and are struggling with the tools provided, the instructor should “conduct a brief mini-lesson or model the use of one of the tools with the entire class. There is an optional lesson at the end of the section that provides students the opportunity to revise their Section Diagnostic response based on teacher feedback.”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 2, students work in literature circles as a formative assessment during Part 2 of 1984. The Teacher Edition provides information on how to follow-up with students who may struggle with the assessment: “If students need support with engaging in an academic discussion, you might do the following: Model how to use academic language in a discussion: Script what students say during the discussion, focusing on strong examples of academic vocabulary and discussion stems. Write sentence starters on the board to help students formulate responses. Write vocabulary on the board to encourage and support students to practice using new words during the discussion…”

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 3, the Evaluation Plan provides guidance on assessing, monitoring, and providing follow-up on student learning: “Delineate, evaluate, and compare perspectives, positions, and arguments about facets of artificial intelligence: Monitor and assess students’ delineation and evaluation of arguments in Lesson 3 (an op-ed essay about the positive impact of artificial intelligence on jobs), Lesson 6 (a research-based counterargument), and Lesson 9 (an argument about fetishizing privacy in preparation for the Section 2 Diagnostic). Provide additional support and guided practice for students who are still having difficulty using the Delineating Arguments Tool and Evaluating Arguments Tool and their processes.”

Indicator 3k

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3k. 

Materials utilize various modalities and item types for student assessments. Section Diagnostics and Culminating Tasks in the Foundation and Development Units range in modality from written tasks to discussions to oral presentations. Item types include discussion questions, constructed response questions, project-based tasks, and research portfolios. Section Diagnostics and the Culminating Task in the Application Unit use the same modalities and item types across each grade level— a problem-based research portfolio and an oral presentation.

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and shifts across the series. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students complete three Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students use evidence from sources to write an expository response that addresses the following questions: “What postsecondary pathway is the best for me? How will my postsecondary pathway help me achieve my life goals? What are the pros and cons of my chosen pathway?” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students “submit the following components of your Portfolio Requirements: revised résumé, revised annotated bibliography, completed practice application for a postsecondary program of your choice, completed practice scholarship application.” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students write a reflective response addressing the following questions: “As evidenced from your résumé, what skills do you have that will prepare you for the postsecondary program you have been researching? How will the skills you have developed help you achieve your life goals? How will the artifacts in your portfolio help progress you toward your postsecondary pathway and overall life goals?” During the Culminating Task, students “Conduct research on your chosen postsecondary pathway and compile a portfolio of artifacts.” Students then “Write a reflective narrative that describes your research and explains why you have chosen your postsecondary pathway.”  

  • In the Development Unit, Community, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students use evidence and examples from texts read during the unit as they participate in a Socratic Seminar, responding to the following questions: “What does it mean to belong to a community? Which text provides the most compelling examination of community? What makes the text the most compelling?” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students think about “lessons that can be learned about community from ‘Mother Tongue,’ Hillbilly Elegy, ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue,’ and The Fire Next Time and evaluate which author makes the most compelling argument about their community.” Students write a multi-paragraph analysis in response to the following questions: “Which author creates the most compelling portrayal of what it means to be a member of a community How does the author make their message compelling?” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students write a multi-paragraph rhetorical analysis “that examines the rhetorical strategies and techniques used by the authors in the core texts of this unit: William Deresiewicz and Robert Putnam.” Students respond to the following question during their analysis: “Which author presents the strongest argument about the value of community?” During the Section 4 Diagnostic, students participate in a Philosophical Chairs Discussion that “addresses how social media and other forms of online communication affect individuals, society, and American ideals of civility.” During the Culminating Task, students “Write a blended piece in which you convey an important message about your community that you want outsiders to understand.”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students write a multi-paragraph expository response “that identifies two central ideas in 1984 [and explains] how these central ideas are developed by specific details from the text and how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex narrative.” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students work with a partner to “research how a central idea presented in the novel is reflected in contemporary society.” As part of this assessment, students “gather information from at least four credible sources,” write a short response that “summarizes the findings of your research and explains the connection to 1984,” write an annotated bibliography, and “Present your findings to other groups.” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students write a short narrative vignette “of your identified contemporary problem or issue that focuses on one aspect of your story”, as well as “a brief analysis of your vignette, defending the effectiveness of your narrative choices.” During the Section 4 Diagnostic, students use textual evidence as they participate in a Socratic Seminar that explores the following question: “How can storytelling be a powerful medium for sending messages to society?” During the Culminating Task, students “Research a contemporary issue and write a narrative to send a message to society.” Afterwards, students write a literary analysis of their narrative in which they defend their narrative choices. 

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students form an evidence-based claim and write an explanatory essay in response to the following question: “Why is it important to have policies and processes that address the ethical and privacy- and security-related implications of artificial intelligence?” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students “Read ‘Why We Should Stop Fetishizing Privacy’ and delineate and evaluate its argument.” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students select a subtopic related to artificial intelligence and use the Delineating Arguments Tool to “outline a plan for your proposed argument.” Students also present their proposal to their research team, provide peer feedback, and use the feedback to revise their arguments. During the Section 4 Diagnostic, students write a synopsis of their proposed argument. During the Culminating Task, students “Take a position and write an evidence-based argument in response to a current issue about the use and impact of artificial intelligence in our society.”

Indicator 3l

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 include assessments that offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

Students can increase the font size of text within the digital materials by clicking on the delta arrows on the right side of the text box; however, materials do not provide guidance on the use of this provided accommodation.   

  • Materials offer accommodations that ensure all students can access the assessment (e.g., text-to-speech, increased font size) without changing the content of the assessment. Materials do not include guidance for teachers on the use of provided accommodations.

    • In the Program Guide, Website Guidance, Activity Pages, the Student Directions section includes the following note, “This section provides student-facing directions, which can be expanded to increase the font size for better readability. For activities that contain more than one step, segmenting is used. Activity segments are indicated by horizontal bars across the top of the directions pane.” Materials do not explain how students can increase the font size.

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for student supports. Materials are designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level content. Teacher- and student-facing materials include embedded instructional supports and differentiation strategies to support students in special populations; students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level; and English learners. The program design allows students to make choices about their learning and research. Students and teachers can monitor student learning through formative and summative assessment opportunities. While materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics, materials do not provide sufficient opportunities for teachers to draw upon student home language or for students to develop home language literacy. Materials also miss opportunities to capitalize on the diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students.

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3m.

The Program Guide includes detailed guidance for teachers when supporting diverse learning needs. Materials include supports that assist students with accessing grade-level content. Examples of supports embedded into instruction include Reading Closely and Note-Taking Tools. The program consistently provides Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition with strategies to support students and differentiate when necessary. Reference Guides also “provide centralized resources for literacy concepts and processes and offer vocabulary, sentence starters, and other writing support.” 

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

  • Materials regularly provide strategies, supports, and resources for students in special populations to support their regular and active participation in grade-level literacy work.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read and discuss the article “How to Write a High School Resume for College Applications.” The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide opportunities for student support and differentiation by posing questions for the teacher to reflect on and use to make instructional decisions, including but not limited to: “Are students missing requisite background, prior, historical, or cultural knowledge? If so, would they benefit from a short text or video that builds background knowledge?” Materials provide additional teaching strategies to augment the activity with a mentor sentence analysis and utilize the Working with Mentor Sentences Tool.

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 1, students discuss the Unit’s Central Question and reflect on its significance by completing a quick-write in their Learning Logs. The Central Question is, “How can stories send messages to societies?” The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide student support and differentiation guidance around the suite of tools and resources students will utilize during the unit: “These tools help students develop and internalize analytical processes. Since they are scaffolds, they can be assigned at your discretion, or students might develop their own system for using them if they encounter difficult sections of text.” Materials emphasize the importance of students learning to “draw on tools from the Literacy Toolbox as they learn to recognize their own proficiencies and needs for specific supports, given the specific demands of text or tasks.” 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 10, students begin to develop their analytical response to In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez using a feminist or Marxist lens. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance: “Sentence frames can also be a useful scaffolding for all students, regardless of ability range, and they are particularly useful for English learners.”

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3n.

The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include sections dedicated to student support and differentiation, including considerations for working with students performing above grade-level expectations. These sections include questions that extend students’ thinking about the texts they read and develop their ideas in a more advanced way to maximize their learning experiences. 

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

  • Materials provide multiple opportunities for advanced students to investigate the grade-level content at a higher level of complexity. Materials are free of instances of advanced students doing more assignments than their classmates.

    • In the Program Guide, materials explain, “Student work may reflect the need for extended instruction for many reasons, including that the student may identify as gifted and talented.” The Program Guide provides examples of how this is offered to students:

      • “Students are encouraged to experiment with their own writing styles and structures on assessments.

      • Students are given opportunities to lead small groups and teams.

      • Students are encouraged to make metaphorical connections for newly acquired vocabulary.

      • Students are encouraged to make concrete and conceptual connections between texts or topics in one unit, to text and topics in different units, and across other disciplines.

      • Students are encouraged to develop their own note-taking habits and styles if they no longer need the support offered on tools.

      • Students can draw on tools from the Literacy Toolbox as they learn to recognize their own proficiencies and needs for specific supports, given the specific demands of text or tasks.

      • Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests at their own pace in the Foundation and Application units.

      • Students are encouraged to pursue independent reading options with texts written at a complexity level above the grade-level expectation.”

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 3, Lesson 5, students write letters requesting letters of recommendation using a template that is provided. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance: “Some students might be hindered by the templated language of the recommendation letter. Students who demonstrate more sophisticated writing skills might benefit from experimenting with a unique organizational structure or stylistic technique.” Students who wish to construct their own piece use Mentor Sentence Journals and/or Vocabulary Journals to compose their letters. 

  • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 3, students read William Deresiewicz’s essay “The End of Solitude” to understand the relationship between community and isolation. The Teacher Edition provides some ideas for teachers to consider for students who are performing above grade level: “Some students who demonstrate advanced competency might benefit from an additional challenge. Consider the following questions, designed to push students:

    • Would students benefit from being asked how this text or topic connects to another text or topic they have read in another unit?

    • Would students benefit from creating analogous relationships?

    • Would students benefit from a task that requires them to discover the symbolic connection between the text and another concept they have learned in this course or elsewhere?

    • Would students benefit from explaining their expertise about the text to a group of novices? (e.g., How would you explain this text to a five-year-old?)”

Indicator 3o

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 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. 

The program design allows students to make choices about their learning and research. Approaches to presentation and demonstration of learning vary. Students work with partners, present with small groups, and complete individual tasks to demonstrate learning. Students share their thinking in various contexts, including multi-modal opportunities during which students investigate and problem-solve with peers. Materials leverage multiple formats for students to deepen their understanding and ability to explain and apply literacy ideas. Students and teachers can monitor student learning through formative and summative assessment opportunities, such as peer reviews and discussions, teacher feedback on Section Diagnostics, and reflection on the culminating tasks. The program offers students frequent opportunities for self-reflection, and they can self-evaluate their progress on their ability to successfully meet the learning goals.

  • Materials provide multi-modal opportunities for students to question, investigate, sense-make, and problem-solve using a variety of formats and methods. Materials leverage the use of a variety of formats and methods over time to deepen student understanding and ability to explain and apply literacy ideas.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 4, Lesson 1, students create an individual portfolio and narrative reflection around the Central Question, “How can I prepare for life after high school?” Students investigate a chosen post-secondary pathway, such as four-year university, two-year community college, vocational or technical profession, or military. During the learning process, students analyze their reading, writing, speaking, and collaborative skills as they work in research teams. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students form research teams to explore an inquiry question they develop themselves. The Program Guide shares, “Students expand their learning community as they develop a presentation for the larger school community. The Application Unit includes independent and collaborative reading, writing, discussion, and presentation.” In Section 5, Lesson 6, students rehearse their presentations with the research team and receive peer feedback to refine their work. The student facing-materials include guidance such as, “As you listen to the other team’s presentation, use the Peer Review Culminating Task Checklist to guide your feedback to the team to help them refine their work after the rehearsal. If needed, refer to the Presentation Creation Process, Presentation Structure, and Presentation Written Components sections of the Application Unit Presentation Guide to inform your thinking and feedback.”

  • Students have opportunities to share their thinking, to demonstrate changes in their thinking over time, and to apply their understanding in new contexts. 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 4, students analyze the text from a Marxist lens. Since analyzing the text from a Marxist lens changes their understanding of the text, they discuss and apply the change in their learning during a reflection activity in which they respond to questions such as: “How does reading the text through the Marxist lens impact my understanding of the text? How do I understand the text (the characters, plot, setting, and conflicts) differently through the Marxist lens than through the historical or biographical lenses?” After students reflect on these questions, they apply their understanding during a class discussion on how the Marxist lens shifts their understanding of the text. 

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 3, Lesson 5, students outline a proposed argument about the subtopic they have chosen regarding artificial intelligence and present their arguments to their research teams for peer review. Students share their thinking with their groups and receive feedback. Students then apply the feedback to revise their arguments: “In a peer review, we will each present and delineate a proposed argument in response to the unit’s Central Question, the Culminating Task question, and our selected subtopic question. We will use our peers’ feedback to revise elements of our argument and submit them for review to our teacher.”

  • Materials provide for ongoing review, practice, self-reflection, and feedback. Materials provide a clear path for students to monitor and move their own learning. 

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 7, students reflect on their learning from the activities in Section 1 and their performance on the Section 1 Diagnostic during which they participated in a Socratic Seminar to deepen their understanding of Community. Students reflect on their learning by answering three of the following questions from the student-facing materials:

      • “How well did you take necessary action to prepare for the task?

      • What went well for you during the completion of this task?

      • What did you struggle with during the completion of this task? How did you push through that struggle?

      • How well did you actively focus your attention during this independent task?

      • How well did you develop and use an effective and efficient process to maintain workflow during this task?

      • What would you do differently during the next Section Diagnostic?”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 11, students engage in a peer review of their supporting paragraphs and draft their thesis statements. The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “Take turns reviewing and discussing the results of the deconstruction activity and your feedback notes. To ensure you understand the feedback, be sure to ask your partner clarifying questions.” 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lessons 9–10, students present their findings to the other research teams. Materials provide students with opportunities to self-reflect on their work on the Diagnostic and assess their progress toward being able to successfully complete the Culminating Task. For example, students respond to questions in their Learning Logs, including but not limited to: “4. How well did you actively focus your attention during this independent task?” Students also review the Culminating Task Progress Tracker to evaluate their skills and knowledge to determine readiness for the Culminating Task.

Indicator 3p

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. 

Students have opportunities to work one-on-one with the instructor; in pairs, small groups, and research teams; and as a whole-group during various activities throughout the materials. The Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition include a range of choices and details to assist teachers with implementation. Materials include guidance as to when teachers can change group activities, such as altering the implementation of jigsaw activities, opening up the activity to the whole group, and individualizing and designing groups as they see fit. Student-facing materials provide guidance and descriptions for student group interactions. Materials offer students guiding questions, norms, criteria for discussion, and other necessary information to complete the activities successfully. 

  • Materials provide grouping strategies for students. Materials provide for varied types of interaction among students.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students create group presentations to share summaries of their sections of “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings.” The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “Once your group completes the reading and the Summarizing Text Tool, begin creating your group presentation. Each presentation should last 5–7 minutes. No slide minimum is required. Summarize what you read and analyzed from your part. In addition, address the following questions:

      • What was the most surprising aspect of your part? Why?

      • What was the least surprising aspect of your part? Why?

      • Is the information dissected effectively? Why or why not?

      • Each presentation must include a works cited page for texts and images used, including “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 2, students work in pairs or small groups to discuss questions about the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo regime. Questions include, but are not limited to, “What was the political climate like?” and “What internal conflicts existed in the country?” 

      In Section 3, Lesson 3, students work with a partner or a small group to discuss a series of question while analyzing In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez:

      • “What differences in social stature exist between Tio Chiche and the Mirabal family?

      • How can you best characterize the relationship between Tio Chiche and Trujillo? Cite evidence to support your characterization.

      • What hierarchies are revealed when Mama writes the letter to Generalisimo Trujillo?”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 3, Lesson 5, students participate in a Section Diagnostic during which they present their ideas for the unit’s Culminating Task to their research teams and participate in a peer-review process that addresses the following criteria:

      • “uses a Delineating Arguments Tool to communicate the elements of a proposed argument

      • explains the relationships among those elements and the implications for developing a position

      • suggests possible claims, counterclaims, and supporting evidence that might be used to develop the position

      • listens to and records feedback from the group based on the criteria for the final argumentation task”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 3, students work in groups as they participate in a gallery walk activity. The student-facing materials include the following explanation: “In your group, discuss how your assigned character interacts with Hamlet and how your character views Hamlet’s madness.” The Teacher Edition provides additional guidance: “The gallery walk method is an active learning strategy that is effective for promoting higher-order thinking and cooperation. In this variation of the gallery walk method, students are placed in small groups, and each group is assigned a specific character to analyze.”

  • Materials provide guidance for the teacher on grouping students in a variety of grouping formats.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 4, Lesson 5, students engage in a Philosophical Chairs discussion protocol for the Section Diagnostic. In the Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition, materials guide the teacher through implementing the protocol. For example, the Teaching Notes explain how the teacher can organize the room and groups, “including having students line up against different walls in the classroom according to their position or by arranging the chairs or desks in two semi-circles.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 1, Lesson 1, students participate in small group discussions to record the different descriptions of artificial intelligence. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition includes this guidance for students who may need to revisit discussion norms: “direct them to the Discussion Norms and Discussion Stems sections of the Academic Discussions Reference Guide.” 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 3, Lesson 2, students begin working in literature circles to analyze texts. The Teacher Edition provides the following guidance on implementing the literature circle model: “This literature circle model provides students more autonomy and responsibility for analyzing the novel, an expectation they will have in their postsecondary experience. The guiding questions are intended to draw students’ attention to key ideas and effective writing techniques. In addition to observing the discussion, you might collect their literary analyses as formative assessments of their reading and writing skills.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students begin working in teams for their final research project. The Teacher Edition provides the following guidance regarding the format of the research teams: “The presentation team signup process will vary considerably from class to class, based on the number of students you have, their level of engagement and readiness for independent work, and the method you choose for assigning research topics. The ideal size for each presentation team is between four and six students: one moderator, two or more commentators, and one synthesizer. The optional, dual role of technology specialist can go to one or more students, or it can be shared as a secondary role by every student in the team—one or more students can be a technology specialist in addition to their core role. Descriptions for each role can be found in the Presentation Guide.”

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.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for Indicator 3q. 

The Program Guide includes teacher guidance on working with students learning English as an additional language. Materials embed support for English learners within the student-facing materials to help them access complex text and reach grade-level proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition outline options and strategies, such as Reference Guides and sentence starters, that teachers may use to support English learners. Attention to academic and Tier 2 vocabulary is evident in the materials, including the Teaching Notes emphasizing the importance of students learning vocabulary within a meaningful context. Materials provide multiple opportunities for students to engage in discussion with their peers, “often using newly acquired academic and Tier 2 vocabulary with sample discussion stems as support. Through these discussions, English learners are able to strengthen their Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).”

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

  • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 6, students study important concepts and challenging words from the text, paying attention to their use and meaning in the context in which the author presents them. Students can utilize a Vocabulary in Context Tool when working with vocabulary. The student-facing materials provide guidance, including “If directed, you might use a Vocabulary in Context Tool for words you can decipher from the text; for others, you might use morphology to decipher the meaning, or a reference resource to check if your meaning is accurate.” Materials include questions in the Vocabulary in Context Tool to support students with using context to determine the meaning of a word: “Does the author use any words that add an additional example? (e.g., and, again, and then, next, in addition)?”

    • The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include reminders such as, “As students learn more vocabulary, it is important to provide opportunities to use the words in meaningful contexts, such as those activities mentioned above. These opportunities provide students, particularly English learners, a tremendous chance to increase their cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).” Guidance includes additional details and suggestions on providing student support, such as creating mental images and associations.

  • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 2, Activity 3, students follow directions outlined in the student-facing materials as they use the Working With Mentor Sentences Tool: “Read the sentence aloud. Unpack any unfamiliar vocabulary using your vocabulary strategies. Then, determine what the sentence is saying, and paraphrase the sentence to convey its meaning based on your initial understanding.” Teacher-facing materials include the following guidance for supporting English learners: “You might also have English learners think about how the construction of a mentor sentence compares to the construction of sentences in their home language, in order to build connections from one language to another.”

  • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 5, students read and annotate pages 200–215 of Chapter 10 In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Students discuss their understanding and annotations with a partner. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include strategies and suggestions for supporting English learners. One example includes assessing student understanding frequently by asking basic recall questions such as, “What just happened?” Materials include additional comprehension questions and the Teaching Notes include questions to assist the teacher in determining which supports will be necessary: “Are students struggling with the vocabulary and language? If so, would nonlinguistic representations of concepts be helpful? Preteaching key vocabulary with visual supports can be especially beneficial for English learners.”

  • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 1, Lesson 1, Activity 4, students examine the meaning and morphology of the term dystopian. Guidance in the student-facing materials instruct students to work in groups and answer the following questions “What does the Greek root word topia mean? What does the Greek prefix u mean? What is the literal definition of utopia? What is the meaning of utopia as we use it today? What does the prefix dys mean? What is the literal meaning of the word dystopia? What is the meaning of dystopia as we use it today?”

    • Materials include a number of Teaching Strategies and Decisions in the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition to assist teachers with supporting students as they answer questions in their Vocabulary Journals. Several other notes appear in the Teaching Notes for Student Support and Differentiation. Examples include, but are not limited to: “Additionally, if a word under study is a cognate—a word that shares similar spelling, meaning, and pronunciation with a word in another language—in the student’s home language, you might make connections between the cognate and the new vocabulary word. A cognate provides a bridge to the English language for English learners.”

  • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 3, Lesson 2, students join a research team with students interested in the same topic, compare perspectives, review what they have examined, and organize themselves for further research. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include strategies with reminders to check on students frequently to determine their understanding and participation. The teacher guidance includes reminders relating to the importance of providing opportunities for students to use the language of the discipline: “...English learners in particular benefit from repeated exposures to new vocabulary. Using the language of the discipline can help clarify ideas and develop precision of thought. Ideally, after repeated use, students become comfortable with using academic and discipline-specific vocabulary in their natural conversations.”

Indicator 3r

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics. 

Students have several opportunities to read and view materials and assessments that depict individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, and other physical characteristics. Materials offer a wide variety of texts and topics that balance information of different demographics. Materials work to maintain a balance of positive portrayals in representation to prevent the prevalence of negative stereotypes harmful to students. Because materials include a multitude of voices and perspectives, students have the opportunity to see themselves succeed based on the representation of characters in the text they read throughout the units. 

  • Materials and assessments depict different individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, and other physical characteristics.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read the poem “If They Should Come for Us” by Fatimah Asghar. The Teaching Notes provide background information that details the author’s background: “Fatimah Asghar, is an award winning American poet, screenwriter, and educator of Pakistani, Kashmiri, and Muslim descent. Her parents’ status as refugees and their early deaths, as well as her own challenges as a member of marginalized groups, have strongly influenced her work.” 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, students write narratives for the purpose of sending a message to societies as part of the unit’s Culminating Task. Although materials do not depict different individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, and other physical characteristics, the nature of the Culminating Task allows students to select these issues as part of their message to societies. 

  • Materials and assessments balance positive portrayals of demographics or physical characteristics. Materials avoid stereotypes or language that might be offensive to a particular group.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 2, Lesson 8, students compare and contrast James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time with J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. The use of these texts balances the portrayals of demographics that students analyze, as each text includes negative and positive stereotypes. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance: “Here students return to comparing the messages and styles of different authors—a task they will continue to perform throughout the unit. Students examine how Baldwin and Vance take different approaches to describing their communities. Despite the overt differences the authors describe, it is important for students to see how similar messages are still able to be conveyed, especially given the large difference in time period and location.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, students analyze William Shakespeare’s Hamlet from a critical lens: political, feminist, and psychological. Materials address stereotypes as students analyze the play’s portrayal of women as they look at the character Ophelia, and issues with mental illness as they discuss Hamlet’s “madness.” Materials incorporate the reading “Discovering Feminism through Gertrude and Ophelia in Shakespeare’s” by Zamila Abdul Rani, Siti Hawa Muhamad, and Siti Masitah to discuss the portrayal of women and their poor treatment during the time Hamlet was written. 

  • Materials provide representations that show students that they can succeed in the subject, going beyond just showing photos of diverse students not engaged in work related to the context of the learning.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, students compose a portfolio of their post-secondary pathway and reflect on their choices as part of the unit’s Culminating Task. The task itself is a product students can use in the real world, such as when they apply to college, ask for letters of recommendation, and complete entrance essays. For example, in Section 3, Lesson 5, students complete the following: “For homework, contact two professionals (e.g., teachers, counselors, administrators, coaches, faith leaders, adult volunteer coordinators, etc.) who are willing to write you a letter of recommendation for your job, college choice, or military branch choice.” 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 1, Lesson 2, students begin reading the novel In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The novel tells the story of three sisters who overcome several obstacles to achieve success. The introduction of the novel in the student-facing materials includes the following information: “How does one exhibit bravery in the face of extreme danger? What does it mean to fight for what you believe in? In this unit, we will consider the question What makes a revolutionary? by exploring the Dominican Republic under the Trujillo regime. To do this, we will read Julia Alvarez’s historical fiction novel In the Time of the Butterflies, examine relevant informational material, and view a documentary film to supplement background knowledge. We will develop skills for closely analyzing the use and function of literary, rhetorical, and stylistic elements within multiple genres.”

Indicator 3s

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide insufficient guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

The instructional materials include Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition that occasionally encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning. The Program Guide emphasizes a generalized, asset-based approach to learning across Grades 9–12 for students with diverse learning needs: “All students’ language, literacy, cultural knowledge, communities, and diversity are assets that should be leveraged as they develop and express their understanding in English language arts.” Although materials specify assets that should be leveraged, materials do not provide sufficient opportunities for teachers to draw upon student home language or for students to develop home language literacy.

  • Materials provide suggestions and strategies to use the home language to support students in learning ELA. Teacher materials include guidance on how to garner information that will aid in learning, including the family’s preferred language of communication, schooling experiences in other languages, literacy abilities in other languages, and previous exposure to academic or everyday English.

    • No evidence found

  • Materials rarely present multilingualism as an asset in reading. Students are rarely explicitly encouraged to develop home language literacy and to use their home language strategically for learning how to negotiate texts in the target language.

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 12, students share their understanding relating to the independent reading. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance for student support and differentiation, including, “At this early stage in their reading, students might be grouped because they share the same home language or text so that they can develop their abilities to summarize analysis and engage in discussion with more facility. This way, they might become ‘experts’ as groups discuss common characters, plots, themes, or ideas.”

Indicator 3t

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide insufficient guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

Materials miss opportunities to capitalize on the diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students. Learning goals and instructional activities do not consistently leverage students’ cultural and social backgrounds. Opportunities for students to feel acknowledged during tasks based on customs of other cultures or sections of the materials provided in multiple languages are lacking. 

  • Materials rarely make connections to the linguistic, cultural, and conventions used in learning ELA. Materials rarely make connections to the linguistic and cultural diversity to facilitate learning.

    • In the Development Unit, Community, students engage in a Culminating Task where they address the essential question, “What is the most important message about my community that I want outsiders to understand?” In this task, students:

      • “Explain the value of belonging to your community and its legitimacy.

      • Describe the essential components of your community.

      • Explain how one becomes and remains a member of your community.

      • Appropriately communicate and utilize language.”

      The Culminating Task itself offers students of diverse backgrounds to make connections to their community, while focusing on cultural and linguistic components of that community. 

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students determine the meaning of unknown words using context and record their findings in their Vocabulary Journals. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance: “Additionally, if a word under study is a cognate—a word that shares similar spelling, meaning, and pronunciation with a word in another language—in the student’s home language, you might make connections between the cognate and the new vocabulary word. A cognate provides a bridge to the English language for English learners.”

  • Materials rarely include teacher guidance on how to engage culturally diverse students in the learning of ELA.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School, Section 1, Lesson 1, students discuss how to prepare for life after high school. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance for teachers: “Be sure to foster an open and respectful classroom culture so that all students feel comfortable expressing their opinions as this is the first instance of students discussing the Central Question. You might offer English learners the option to discuss the topic in their home languages and report their discussion in English.”

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 3, Lesson 4, students discuss how their reading of In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez changes when viewing through a Marxist lens. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest, “Offer English learners the option to discuss the topic in their home languages and report their discussion in English.”

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

0/0
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for intentional design. Materials include a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology with guidance for teachers. Materials include a Remote Learning Guide with details to assist educators, and local customization for asynchronous and synchronous learning is available. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition and student-facing materials include guidance when teachers and students collaborate using digital tools. The visual design of the materials is not distracting and the layout of the materials is consistent across units and each grade level. Most organizational features in the materials are clear, accurate, and error-free. Materials provide guidance on the use of technology to support and enhance student learning.

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.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 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.

Materials include a Remote Learning Guide with details to assist educators, including but not limited to: monitoring student learning, establishing a remote classroom culture, and technology solutions to facilitate virtual instruction. Unit Readers, as well as digital texts, are available for teacher and student use. The Remote Learning Guide notes that “Students and educators can find the digital texts by using the bibliographic information provided for each text on the Text tabs at the section, lesson, and activity levels in the program.” Students can annotate texts and work collaboratively in a remote setting. Editable tools are available as downloadable Google Docs. Customization at the local level can include consideration of text types and strategies when working asynchronously and synchronously.

  • Digital technology and interactive tools, such as data collection tools, simulations, and/or modeling tools are available to students. 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of the Butterflies, Section 4, Lesson 9, students participate in a Socratic Seminar about Chapter 12 from their reading of In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Socratic Seminar and Philosophical Chairs Discussion can occur asynchronously or synchronously to engage students in their learning and ensure all students have equity of voice. The Remote Learning Guide includes guidance to support providing these learning opportunities utilizing digital tools. For example, materials suggest the use of Parlay Live Round Table, “an interactive discussion tool that allows educators to set up a Socratic Seminar. It allows tracking of participation and other tools to encourage students.” Materials include additional guidance to support the use of a Conference App and set expectations, protocols, and note-taking in a structured environment.

  • Digital tools support student engagement in ELA.

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students use the Annotating and Note-Taking Reference Guide when reading “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings” by Anthony P. Carnevale. The Teaching Notes in the teaching edition include the following guidance: “And while students are reading along or individually, developing a system for annotating takes practice. You might use the sample annotation key in the Annotating and Note-Taking Reference Guide to model how to annotate the text.” The Tools can be used for modeling in asynchronous and synchronous environments. The Remote Learning Guide includes suggestions for modeling and additional guidance to collect evidence when working synchronously: “Share a model of the Google Doc version of the tool via screen share. Model your thinking as you move through the tool, reflecting on the prompts within the tool and the resulting textual analysis.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 2, students use the Attending to Details Tool to answer the guiding questions from the reading with a partner. The Teaching Notes in the teaching edition share, “If students need support with using the tool, you might model its use with one of the questions before releasing partners to work on their assigned questions independently.” The Odell Education Tools offer opportunities for modeling in asynchronous and synchronous environments. The Remote Learning Guide includes suggestions for modeling and additional guidance to collect evidence when working synchronously: 

      • “Share a model of the Google Doc version of the tool via screen share. 

      • Model your thinking as you move through the tool, reflecting on the prompts within the tool and the resulting textual analysis.”

      When collecting evidence, teachers can prompt students to submit Google Docs or if they are using PDFs, they can “send a picture or scan of their completed tool via email or the LMS.”

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 1, Lesson 1, students review the Unit Text List to familiarize themselves with the texts they will analyze and discuss throughout the unit. The student-facing materials provide text locations with details for tradebooks, digital access, unit readers, and CD/DVD. For example, “Digital Access: You can find these texts online. Use the information provided in the Unit Text List or on the Materials tab for the activity to conduct a web search for the resource. Digital Access resources include online articles, videos, podcasts, and other web sources.”

  • Digital materials can be customized for local use (i.e., student and/or community interests).

    • The Remote Learning Guide includes guidance for asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities. When working asynchronously, such as utilizing a video-sharing website and interactive videos, guidance includes, “If the LMS allows, add guiding questions directly to video, or use a third-party app (e.g., EdPuzzle) to insert questions into the video.” Teachers can also use an embed code if the LMS allows: “This will alleviate students from leaving the online classroom and entering another less secure site.”

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, teachers can use the Remote Learning Guide to support synchronous learning opportunities that use screen share for lessons, including videos, and make digital annotations. The Remote Learning Guide suggests utilizing screen sharing during synchronous learning, which allows the use of digital resources. During asynchronous learning, the Remote Learning Guide includes the following guidance: “Annotate the text with the class, sharing their metacognition or thinking aloud while also writing their thinking directly on the shared document, a whiteboard model, or a PowerPoint slide.” Additional guidance includes, “If permissible, create a Google Docs or Word version of the text. Individual copies will need to be created (the LMS might have an automatic feature for this). Students can use the comment, highlight, and underline features to annotate the text. Consider using a third-party technology resource for annotation (e.g., Hypothesis, NowComment).”

Indicator 3x

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

Students work collaboratively throughout the units. Both the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition and student-facing materials include guidance when teachers and students collaborate using digital tools. One main feature of the materials is the use of Google Docs, which offer opportunities to share drafts and comment directly on student work. This feature provides teachers with continuous opportunities to make individual and group projects collaborative through Google’s sharing capabilities. Materials, particularly the Remote Learning Guide, also reference digital technology, such as Zoom, Padlet, and FlipGrid, that offers opportunities for collaboration and help facilitate discussions.

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

    • In the Development Unit, Community, Section 3, Lesson 5, students work on a jigsaw activity to analyze “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam for its central idea. For this collaborative activity, students first work with expert groups, using the Attending to Details Tool in Google Docs to analyze different assigned parts of the text. Students then report their findings to their home groups. The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “In your home group, discuss the central ideas for the section you analyzed. Take notes for the section you did not analyze on a new Attending to Details Tool for each section.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 4, Lesson 2, students work with a partner to complete vocabulary exercises presented by the instructor. One option in the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition is for students to construct a Word Wall. In the Remote Learning Guide, the materials suggest Word Walls can be created and shared digitally through Google Docs and Jamboard and used directly in the LMS (Learning Management System). 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 2, Lesson 2, students work with partners or small groups to research additional information regarding the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo regime. Students review what they learned in the reading of the text. The student-facing materials instruct students to use digital tools to work collaboratively to find further information regarding the topic of the text: “With a partner or in a small group, use the following questions to discuss what you already know about the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo regime. If you have access to the Internet, you can look online for additional information about the Dominican Republic.”

    • In the Development Unit, Artificial Intelligence, Section 2, Lesson 2, students work with partners to complete a collaborative tool about the assigned text. Students work collaboratively to answer the questions utilizing the Attending to Details Tool, which is a Google Doc within the Literacy Toolbox and lesson materials. Student-facing materials include the following guidance: “With the same partner from the vocabulary activity, discuss your assigned guiding question, using an Attending to Details Tool to further analyze a relevant section of ‘The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?’”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide teachers with guidance on tools they can use in the unit to facilitate remote or virtual learning:

      • “If you are using this unit in a remote- or virtual-learning context, you might consult two resources: the general Odell Education Remote Learning Guide and the unit-specific Application Unit Remote Learning Guide. The Odell Education Remote Learning Guide provides general guidance for strategies and structures that can be used for synchronous and asynchronous learning, flipped classrooms, and blended learning. The Application Unit Remote Learning Guide provides remote learning suggestions for each lesson.”

      The Remote Learning Guide offers suggestions on using technology to facilitate collaborative work and discussions with tools, such as FlipGrid, Padlet, Jamboard, and video conferencing like Google Meet and Zoom.

Indicator 3y

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 includes a visual design (whether in print or digital) that supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

The visual design of the materials is not distracting and should support student learning and engagement. The layout of the materials is consistent across units and grade levels. When appropriate, materials include guidance on locating texts in the student-facing materials and provide reminders for accessing other Tools and Guides to support learning. The student-facing materials and Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition clearly communicate information. The Teaching Notes consistently include headings that signal when support is available for a specific purpose, such as the following sections: About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic; Teaching Strategies and Decisions; and Student Support and Differentiation. The Tools and Guides support student understanding of topics, texts, and concepts. Materials are typically free of errors.

  • Images, graphics, and models support student learning and engagement without being visually distracting.

    • Materials balance the use of blank space on home and landing pages, as well as in the various Tools and Guides. The landing page design utilizes an abstract art theme. In each grade level, the Unit Homepage contains an abstract art icon for each Foundation, Development, and Application Unit. Program Resources icons also utilize abstract art similar to that of the landing page.

    • Materials consistently use the same icons throughout each grade and unit. Appendix G of the Program Guide contains the key for iconography used throughout the materials. Icons include: Unit Reader Texts, Digital Access Texts, Tradebook, and Multimedia Text. Additional icons, such as an image of a piece of paper with a pencil indicating students can “Download PDF'' and an image of a sheet of paper with the Google Drive symbol in the center indicating students can “Download GDOC,” appear as needed during instructional activities.

  • Teacher and student materials are consistent in layout and structure across lessons/modules/units. Images, graphics, and models clearly communicate information or support student understanding of topics, texts, or concepts.

    • The Program Guide includes guidance on the layout and structure of the materials: “Each grade’s homepage organizes the available units by type—Foundation, Development, or Application—and provides each unit’s title. Also found on each grade homepage are the following program resources:

      • Reference Guides: a downloadable PDF consisting of all of the program’s reference guides

      • Program Guide: this program guide, available as a PDF Purchase

      • Unit Readers: a link to an external site where users can purchase unit readers and student materials

      • Course-at-a-Glance: an overview of the units available for the grade level.”

    • Each Unit Homepage contains the following tabs:

      • Unit Overview: The Unit Overview describes the unit and provides links to the sections of the unit.

      • Culminating Task: The Culminating Task provides the unit’s Culminating Task prompt. The Culminating Task Checklist and Evaluation Plan for the unit are available as downloadable PDFs.

      • Text Overview: The Text Overview tab contains the unit’s Text Overview (PDF), which identifies the texts used in the unit and includes recommendations for independent choice reading texts.

      • Materials: The Materials tab houses documents specific to the unit, including the Evaluation Plan, Text Overview (teacher-facing), Unit Text List (student-facing), Culminating Task Checklist, and any other relevant documents.

    • The Program Guide explains the organization of instructional units: “HSLP units are broken down into sections. The navigation bar at the top of the page permits users to easily navigate between sections.”Each Section Page contains the following tabs:

      • Section Overview: This tab provides a brief description of the knowledge, skills, and habits addressed in the section, as well as which major texts are used. Links to the lessons included in the section are also available here. Each lesson link includes the lesson’s overview and is labeled as Core, Optional, Section Diagnostic, or Independent Reading to facilitate navigation and planning.

      • Learning Goals: This tab houses the section’s learning goals, which are derived from the evaluation criteria.

      • Section Diagnostic: This tab provides the Section Diagnostic prompt. It also includes the Culminating Task Connections, which explains what students will do and demonstrate in the formative task, and how it will help prepare them for success on the unit’s Culminating Task. In the case of the teacher version, a description of how the Section Diagnostic helps prepare students for success on the Culminating Task is provided. 

      • Texts: This tab lists the texts for the section, which are divided into core and optional. Each listing includes the text’s title, author, publisher, and date of publication.

      • Materials: This tab lists the materials used in the section, and divides them as tools, question sets, or reference guides.

    • Each section is then broken down into lessons, which users can navigate among using the navigation bar at the top of the page. Each Lesson Page contains the following tabs:

      • Lesson Overview: This tab contains a description of the lesson and links to its activities. The links include four sources of information: the activity number, the foci of the activity (Read, Write, Listen, View, Present, Discuss), whether the activity is core or optional, and a brief summary of the activity.

      • Learning Goals: This tab provides the lesson learning goals, which are expressed as student-facing “Can I…?” questions that reflect the knowledge or skills goals of the lesson.

      • Texts and Materials: This tab follows the same organizational features as the section pages, providing only texts and materials pertinent to the respective lessons.

  • Organizational features (Table of Contents, glossary, index, internal references, table headers, captions, etc.) in the materials are clear, accurate, and error-free.

    • Materials are typically free of errors; however, materials contain some labeling and typographical errors. In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life after High School, an excerpt from “The Shapeless River: Does a Lack of Structure Inhibit Students’ Progress at Community Colleges?” by Judith Scott-Clayton is listed as a Core text in the Unit Text List and Text Overview. However, in the student-facing materials, the text does not appear under the Texts tab with other Core texts listed or Optional texts listed for any of the four sections. In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 2, Lesson 2, the activities skip from Activity 6 to Activity 8. Materials do not list an Activity 7; it appears this may be an error in numbering rather than missing content.

Indicator 3z

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable. 

The Teacher Edition provides guidance on the use of technology to support and enhance student learning. In many cases, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include ideas for extending student learning with technology, such as using specific digitals tools. In other cases, the Teaching Notes provide guidance to support student learning, such as with specific digital tools to help clarify students’ understanding. 

  • Materials provide guidance for using embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, where applicable.

    • In the Program Guide, materials explain how texts within the units can be accessed digitally. Students can use the Unit Text List for digital access: “These texts can be found online. The information provided in the Unit Text List or on the Materials tab for the activity can be used to conduct a web search for the resource. Digital Access resources include online articles, videos, podcasts, and other web sources.” 

    • In the Remote Learning Guide, materials include a table of instructional strategies with technology solutions. For example, materials suggest teachers use Pear Deck and EdPuzzle for “interactive tools for videos or slides,” Snagit, Screencastify, Quicktime, and Loom for “modeling and screencasting,” and Hypothesis, NowComment, highlighting and commenting features on Google Docs. or Word for “digital annotating of text.”

    • In the Remote Learning Guide, materials explain the technology used to facilitate digital annotations:

      • “If permissible, create a Google Docs or Word version of the text. Individual copies will need to be created (the LMS might have an automatic feature for this).

      • Students can use the comment, highlight, and underline features to annotate the text.

      • Consider using a third-party technology resource for annotation (e.g., Hypothesis, NowComment).”

    • In the Foundation Unit, How Can I Prepare for Life After High School?, Section 2, Lesson 6, students research scholarships and other funding available for their selected pathways. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include guidance on using digital tools, such as search engines and email: “Encourage students to vary their search terminology and reach out via email or phone to the specific institutions or programs they are interested in.”

    • In the Development Unit, Hamlet, Section 3, Lesson 4, students view a film adaptation of Act 4, Scene 5 of Hamlet to prepare to analyze the scene with a feminist view. The Teacher Edition includes the following guidance on using the digital film clip: “The Branagh film adaptation of Act 4, Scene 5 takes approximately 14 minutes to view. Consider using the subtitle feature to assist with understanding.” 

    • In the Development Unit, In the Time of Butterflies, Section 1, Lesson 2, students watch the CBS news segment titled “‘El Jefe’ Portrait of a Dictator” by Bill Leonard to help build historical context for student’s reading of In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alverez. Materials note that this resource is accessible electronically, as evidenced by the computer icon on the Materials page. Students use the Video Note-Taking Tool, a Google Doc, to analyze the video and pull out relevant information. 

    • In the Development Unit, 1984, Section 2, Lesson 6, students draft an annotated bibliography for one of the sources they have selected. The Teacher Edition provides guidance on how teachers can help students work through the annotated bibliography using online tools: “Students might benefit from seeing examples of different types of annotated bibliographies, which can be found easily online. Present the examples and, as a class, discuss what makes each a model annotated bibliography. You might consider modeling the process with an informational text students read earlier in the unit.”

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Report Published Date: 2021/06/09

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Odell Education High School Literacy Program Unit Readers Grade 12 978‑1‑9750‑7752‑5 Odell Education 2020

The publisher has not submitted a response.

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