Alignment: Overall Summary

The Odell Education High School Literacy Program Grade 9 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
24
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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 include, but are not limited to, poetry, novels, images, short stories, documentaries, essays, speeches, 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students watch a TED Talk titled “The Danger of Silence” by Clint Smith and examine the video multiple times for multiple purposes throughout the lesson.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 5, students analyze the sentence structure and vocabulary of John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961” on the cost to preserve freedom. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 3, students examine images and excerpts from Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhosto.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 2, students read Act 2, Scene 2, of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The complex characters and plot structure, as well as the rich language and cultural importance of Romeo and Juliet, make this text worthy of reading.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lesson 2, students engage in a careful study of the text “Sixty-Nine Cents,” an excerpt from Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart. Sophisticated vocabulary helps to make this text high quality. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read the article “The Food System” from Johns Hopkins University Food System Primer, which outlines the complexities of mass food production. Students build specialized knowledge through the technical and sophisticated vocabulary and use the text to examine and access the information presented in the graphic Nourish Food System Map.

  •  Anchor texts consider a range of student interests.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World? Section 1, Lesson 3, students read the “Introduction” from Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point. This text considers a wide range of topics as Gladwell explores viral trends in business, marketing, and human behavior. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read the article “Agents of Change” to explore how anyone can make a significant impact no matter their notoriety or lack thereof. This text is engaging for students because the topic is applicable and relatable.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 11, students read the myth “The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe” by Ovid, which develops the depth and meaning behind Romeo and Juliet.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 1, students explore characterization through a variety of text types, including the novel The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, the poem “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, the short story “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Netteland, and a mural from The Museum of Modern Art titled “The Uprising” by Diego Rivera.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 4, students read the article "Organic Farming is Rarely Enough: Conventional Agriculture Gives Higher Yields Under Most Conditions.” This text addresses relevant and meaningful information that is of high interest to students in Grade 9.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read and discuss “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton. This thought provoking piece establishes students’ research pathways based on technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, and scientific interests. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 10, students examine “Chapter 1: Snapping an Iconic Photo,” “Chapter 2: A Nation Fallen on Hard Times,” and excerpts from Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students read the article “Why Do We Still Care About Shakespeare?” by Cidney Tumiel. This reading broadens students’ knowledge base by making a case for the relevance of Shakespeare today. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Sections 1–4, students read William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a well-crafted and content-rich text with academic language, characterization, and multiple themes.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 4, students read the article “10 Things You Need to Know About the Global Food System.” The article outlines pertinent information about the global food system in a logical organizational pattern that is engaging to students at this grade level.

    • 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 “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” by Jayson Lusk from the previous Global Food Production Unit.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students return to the reading selections from the Global Food Production Unit Reader and assess the resources with tools provided in the unit. Examples of these texts include: 

      • “10 Things You Need to Know About the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser.

      • “History and Overview of the Green Revolution: How Agricultural Practices Changed in the 20th Century” by Amanda Briney.

      • “Indoor Urban Farms Called Wasteful, ‘Pie in the Sky,’” by Stacey Shackford.

      • “Eat Less Meat: UN Climate-Change Report Calls for Change to Human Diet,” by Quirin Schiermeier.

      • “Impossible Foods, Impossible Claims,” by Anna Lappe.

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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 7, students read an excerpt from the book The Prince by Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Lessons 2, 3, and 4, students read a variety of informational text types and genres such as TED Talk videos, excerpts from nonfiction texts, speeches, and online magazine articles.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, teachers have various options to select what materials students read together in class. There are core texts teachers use for instructional as well as shared reading and optional texts for student agency and independent reading. An example of a core text in this unit is Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhosto, a historical text. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction genres, including drama, Romeo and Juliet; mythology, “The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe;” and nonfiction in Section 1, Lesson 1, “Why Do We Still Care About Shakespeare?” and “William Shakespeare: Legendary Wordsmith.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students engage in a study of the novel The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, a short story “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel, poetry with “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, an essay excerpt “Sixty-Nine Cents” from Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart, and artwork “The Catch” by Norman Rockwell.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, students read a variety of informational texts such as infographics, articles, excerpts for nonfiction publications, podcasts, and videos. Students read the article “Impossible Foods, Impossible Claims” by Anna Lappé, as well as two readings labeled as literary texts with excerpts from The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet by Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu and John Hopkins’s “Food System Primer: The Food System” webpage. Students also listen to and/or read the interview “Fate Of Food’ Asks: What’s For Dinner in a Hotter, Drier, More Crowded World?” by Terry Gross. Other text types in this unit include journalism, talk/discussion, essay, speech, and cinema.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, there are seven core texts in total, and all are informational. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, students study several informational texts, such as excerpts “Chapter 1: Snapping an Iconic Photo” and “Chapter 2: A Nation Fallen on Hard Times,” from Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, the poem “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca is one of the core texts. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, there are a total of seven core texts with two informational and five literary. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, students read a mixture of informational articles such as “Indoor Urban Farms Called Wasteful, 'Pie in the Sky” by Stacie Shackford. There are a total of 25 core texts with 23 informational and two literary. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students revisit core texts from their previous studies during the year, such as two informational texts, “Indoor Urban Farms Called Wasteful, ‘Pie in the Sky’” by Stacey Shackford and “10 Things You Need to Know about the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser.

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 9 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 (1050L–1335L for Grade 9). 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 Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, for example, though the core text falls below the 9–10 Lexile range, students perform a series of reading-based writing tasks in which they write their own narratives.

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, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 1, students read to Chapter 5 of Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism (1060L) and answer questions to explore the text like a detective:

      • What were the social, political, and historical contexts in Paris, Spain, and the rest of Europe that Capa and Taro lived and worked in?

      • What challenges, controversies, and dangers did Capa and Taro face as wartime photojournalists?

      • How did Capa and Taro change photography and "invent modern photojournalism"?

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 4, students read excerpts from “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1220L). Students read the text to analyze the author’s purpose and the author’s rhetoric to establish credibility. After students complete their analysis, they use the text as a mentor to create their own letters.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 1, students read and discuss the dialogue found in The Book of Unknown Americans (760L) and create their own dialogue from the viewpoint of a character in the text. The materials include several examples where students create:

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 2, students create a plot summary from the point of view of the character, Alma. 

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 3, students create a plot summary from the Mayor's point of view and perspective. 

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 4, students create a third-person narrative on an ancillary character in the form of a social media post, dream, or letter to a loved one. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 4, students read and annotate an article, “10 Things You Need to Know about the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser. While the quantitative analysis falls below the grade range (860–1000L), qualitative analysis indicates that the text structure is slightly complex, the purpose is moderately complex, and the language features and knowledge demands are very complex. The materials include a rationale that the text will “introduce students to some of the major issues and challenges that face the global food system.” The culminating task allows students to “develop a perspective and argumentative position in response to a current issue facing the food system.”

  • 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 Development Unit, Photojournalism, Text Overview, the materials explain the complexity of Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism is due to the historical context, figurative language, and varied syntax, while remaining accessible for the grade level.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students read the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1260L), which is within the band for Grade 9. The qualitative analysis provided in the Text Overview indicates that the text structure is moderately complex, the purpose and knowledge demands are very complex, and the language features are exceedingly complex stating, “High school students will likely be able to make personal connections with the young characters and their emotions. However, both the customs of the time period and the numerous allusions to mythology contribute to a high level of complexity.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 2, students begin reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. While the quantitative analysis falls below the Lexile level for this grade, the unit Text Overview includes a complexity analysis and rationale to explain why this text is appropriate for the grade level, including appropriateness of the topic. The knowledge demands also increase the qualitative complexity for students.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, students examine “7 GMO Myths Debunked by Vandana Shiva” by Julia Kent (1000–1100L). The unit Text Overview provides qualitative analysis characterizing the text as moderately complex in its language features, meaning, and knowledge expectations. The rationale for this article addresses the unit expectations that “students will have opportunities to practice and refine their interpretive and evaluative reading skills, acquire knowledge about the global food system and the elements of argumentation, form and support analytical claims about texts, and delineate and summarize their argumentation plan.” 

  • 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 9.

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 9 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 unit 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students read “Introduction,” an excerpt from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (1160L), 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, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1260L) and a variety of informational text with a range of complexity (810L–1600L) appropriate for Grade 9.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, students study the TED Talk “The Danger of Silence” by Clint Smith, which scaffolds to more complex readings such as the core text, Gladwell’s excerpt from “The Tipping Point” (1160L), and ancillary excerpt from The Prince by Machiavelli (1430–1510L).

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, students examine images and passages from Eyes of the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos at the beginning of the unit. The Lexile level for this text is 1060L, which falls toward the lower end of the complexity level range for this grade level. Over the course of the unit, students return to the text to develop their ability to analyze the text. In Section 2, Lesson 2, for example, students use the Visual Analysis tool to examine the details of the photo by Robert Capa, “D-Day Invasion, June 6, 1944,” and later in Section 2, Lesson 7, students hold discussions based on a series of text specific questions on the core text.

  • 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 Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 4, students read excerpts from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1220L), which is on the higher end of the complexity level for this grade level. The materials include text-dependent questions to scaffold student analysis of the text. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 11, students read Ovid’s “The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe,” a complex text slightly above the grade-level band (1410L). Students annotate the text “for points of similarity and difference between the myth and Romeo and Juliet using Pyramus and Thisbe Note-Taking Tool.” The complexity of language encountered in these texts and the analysis of themes require students to read deeply and consider the question, Why Do We Still Read Shakespeare? Students assess how Shakespeare adapted one of the original sources for Romeo and Juliet and whether his choices enhanced or detracted from the themes found in the myth. Teaching strategies include the option of chunking the myth and providing time to discuss with students after each section. Additional notes are available to assist educators as students respond to questions. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 1, the materials provide student support for transferring the understanding of character development from a written text to a visual text when students analyze Diego Rivera’s mural, The Uprising.

While many of these texts fall above the 9–10 complexity band with one falling below and another falling within, this unit is sequenced towards the end for Grade 9 and creates a range of complexity for students to access the texts and challenge themselves with more complex readings.

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 9 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 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, students read a selection of TED Talks, a speech, a book excerpt, and articles in the curriculum-embedded core and optional texts. For example, students read an excerpt of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and articles as core readings, including “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton and “How to Give a Killer Presentation” by Chris Anderson. Materials provide a list of suggested fiction and nonfiction texts as an independent reading list. Materials build lessons for independent reading, reporting, analysis, and presentation into each unit section. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, 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; students then apply their learning 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 Digital Photojournalism by Susan Zavoina and John Davidson and the article “The Falling Man: 9/11's Private Moments” by NAJ Taylor.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, students use a variety of tools to engage in reading multiple text types, such as the Summarizing a Text Tool, Analyzing Relationships Tool, Attending to Details Tool, Character Note-Taking Tool, Evaluating Ideas Tool, and the Extending Understanding Tool. In Section 1, Lesson 3, for example, students use the Summarizing a Text Tool to summarize the video Photographers of the Dust Bowl by Ken Burns. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students read the fiction play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and listen to an audio Romeo and Juliet: The Fully Dramatized Audio Edition by William Shakespeare. Students also explore filmic texts, including “William Shakespeare: Legendary Wordsmith” by the History Channel, Romeo and Juliet by Franco Zeffirelli, and Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhrmann. Ovid’s work, “The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe,” also provides a complex text for students to grow their skills. Independent reading options to accompany the unit include, but are not limited to, the screenplay West Side Story by Ernest Lehman, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 11, 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, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 4, students examine selected images and passages from Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Journalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos to investigate the following questions: 1) How and why did two young refugees, Andre and Gerta, reinvent themselves as Capa and Taro? 2) How did Capa and Taro take advantage of the new technology of Leica cameras and magazine layouts to develop distinct approaches to photography? Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of texts throughout the unit with guiding questions to support their reading and analysis.

    • In The Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read an article “Why Do We Still Care About Shakespeare?” by Cindy Tumiel to examine how the author writes sentences with parallel structure. The close examination of Tumiel’s text precedes the reading of the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students explore a range of texts to support their learning, including poetry, filmic text, and informational text. Juxtaposing these texts will build understanding and help prepare students to complete the culminating task.

  • There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers (e.g., independent reading procedures, proposed schedule, and 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, Who Changes the World?, students engage in a series of four structured lessons, one from each section, that builds to a culminating task.  Each of the units in Grade 9 follow this procedure. In Grade 9, Section 3, Lesson 8, for example, 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, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 9, students select an independent reading and create a reading and pacing plan. Students return to their independent reading in Section 2, Lesson 13 by sharing the information with a partner, class, or teaching with the tools they used to collect information from the text. 

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, the materials provide a guide for choosing and fostering independent reading. In Section 1, Lesson 9, students select an independent reading text, share their understanding, and connect the text to the unit Section 2, Lesson 9, continue developing their understanding using the Forming Evidence-Based Claims tool in Section 3, Lesson 8, and construct a final product based on their independent reading in Section 4, Lesson 8. 

      • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 4, students read independently and annotate “10 Things You Need to Know about the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser. Teaching notes provide guidance about the author, concept, text, and topic: “This article from The Guardian highlights some of the issues and challenges facing the global food system by breaking them down into 10 main issues or categories: there is enough food for everyone, price volatility, food waste, food used as fuel, land ownership, corporate influence, agricultural policy, environmental impact, climate change, and increased food demand. This article makes the claim that despite a growing global population, there is more than enough food being grown to feed everyone sustainably.” Materials provide additional notes with teaching strategies and decisions to guide students in annotations and for differentiation.

      • 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 five 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 the teacher chooses.” 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, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 13, students share their understanding gained from their independent reading texts and continue their independent reading.

      • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 10, students share their understanding gained from their independent reading texts and continue their independent reading.

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 9, students develop a plan and pacing for their Independent Reading Program for the unit.

      • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 5, Lesson 7, students participate in a culminating activity to share what they have learned through their independent reading.

    • 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, The Book of Unknown Americans, students track their reading using a variety of tools such as Attending to Details, Analyzing Relationships, Evaluating Ideas, Extending Understanding), a Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool, a Summarizing Text Tool, or a Character (or other) Note-Taking Tool.

      • In the Application Unit, Section 1, students begin using tools to track their progress for their independent research. Students use The Culminating Task Tracker to keep track of their progress throughout their independent research.

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 9 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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The Grade 9 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, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 4, students read and discuss specific lines from Act 3, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet using text-specific questions, including:

      • “What examples of light and dark imagery are used in this scene? What effect does the use of imagery have on this scene?

      • What parallel structure is used in Lines 36 and 41? What effect does it have on this scene?

      • What foreshadowing is present in this scene? What lines support this conclusion?”

    • In The Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 3, students carefully examine the poem “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Students use close reading strategies for active reading and then synthesize their understanding by answering text-specific questions to analyze for tone and theme, including:

      • “What is the tone of the poem? Is there more than one? What words does the author use to signal the tone?

      • What is the overall theme of the poem? What evidence from the poem supports that interpretation?

      • How can the poem and its theme relate to more than one experience? Explain.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 2, students use guiding questions to discuss textual elements while reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Guiding questions include:

      • “What strategy does Henriquez use to move the story from one event to another?

      • Who is the protagonist in the book? Is there more than one? How do you know? 

      • How are the voices of the main characters different? How are they the same? Cite examples from the book to support your answer. 

      • What impact does the narrative structure of the book have on the reader’s experience?”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read and discuss “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton. The teaching notes offer suggestions on how to contextualize, teach, and support students in the reading of the text, such as, “[s]ome students might benefit from an explanation of the phrase ‘for want of’ in order to understand the proverb, as this is not a common contemporary grammatical construction.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 2, students work in small groups to read “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017. Students work together to answer one of five text-specific questions, such as:

      • “What are some potential solutions that Little discusses in her interview that might directly address one of the challenges listed in the infographic?

      • Which challenges to our future food system are the most immediate? How does Little portray these challenges in her interview?

      • The infographic notes that one-third of all food produced around the world is wasted. What are some ways that new food solutions are addressing the issue of food waste, as Little describes?”

      • In addition, the Teaching Notes section provides specific strategies for how teachers could facilitate and organize the lesson, including: “You might assign each pair or small group one of the questions, so each question is represented in the class discussion. After their discussion, students will share what they learned, including the answer to their assigned question. Alternatively, you can have students form groups of five. Each student will be responsible for answering one of the five questions and sharing their responses with the rest of the group.”

    • In The Application Unit, students may revisit texts from The Foundation Unit, such as the TED Talk, “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers. Section 2, Activity 2, provides teacher prompts to draw students’ attention to particular quotes that students might pull from the text. Implementation support encourages teachers to use these quotes to aid in the lesson planning and guide the students in their independent thinking while keeping them on track with the relevance of the topic and activity.

      • In the Application Unit, Section 2, Lesson 2, students explore the concept of credibility and how to assess for it using a common text, “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” by Jayson Lusk. Students consider questions utilizing the Potential Sources Tool, such as:

        • “How does the publishing date relate to the history of the topic?

        • What are the author’s qualifications relative to the topic?”

      • Available Teaching Notes include: “Provide students with the following information to assist them in assessing this source:

        • This text was published in the opinion section of The New York Times on September 23, 2016.

        • This text was written by op-ed contributor, Jasyon Lusk.

        • Jayson Lusk is a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and the author of Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology are Serving Up Superfoods to Save the World.”

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

As stated in the 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, and materials provide teacher guidance for modeling academic vocabulary and syntax during speaking and listening opportunities. Materials include guidance on 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 1, students begin the unit by utilizing the Academic Discussion Reference Guide, which provides information to assist with a variety of academic discussions. The Teaching Notes in the teacher edition shares, “[t]he Academic Discussion Reference Guide is a good student resource for this lesson.” Students begin working with a partner by reading and discussing the following goal statement: “l will set norms and rules that will govern behavior in small-group activities to ensure a respectful and productive learning environment.” In Section 1, Lesson 2, students work in groups to “answer text-dependent questions in order to discern the speaker’s point of view” in the TED Talk, “The Danger of Silence.” In Activity 4, students use the Academic Discussion Reference Guide to prepare for their small group discussion. Here the Academic Discussion Reference Guide includes specific protocols for speaking and listening, such as discussion norms, “[s]upport your ideas by referring to research or evidence from texts.” The guide also includes discussion stems such as “The text states ___, and this supports my claim because ___.”

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 8, students participate in a Socratic Seminar. The student materials include guidance to follow during the discussion, such as “questions in a Socratic seminar are open-ended (they elicit multiple perspectives), thought-provoking (they challenge students to evaluate and synthesize their ideas), and are clear (they are easily understandable).” In Section 2, Lesson 9, students use the Discussion Tool to organize their own ideas and to track the ideas of their peers during a Socratic seminar. Question frames are available, such as “1. What do you think about _____? What evidence from the text supports your belief?”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 10, students engage in a Socratic Seminar utilizing the Diagnostic Checklist, which supports successful student discussion via prompts such as, “[f]rame original questions that will generate productive academic discussion during the seminar.” As part of this activity, students choose a question to develop using the texts “The History of Photojournalism: How Photography Changed the Way We Viewed the News” and Eyes of the World by Marc Aronson, Marina Budhos, Henry Holt, and Company. In Lesson 11, students participate in the Socratic Seminar by posing the questions they developed previously and by asking other open-ended questions to extend the class discussion.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 12, students practice protocols for participating in a “Philosophical Chairs” discussion. The student-facing materials provide specific directions, such as “[l]isten to a statement presented by your teacher. Write down your ideas about the statement and decide what position to take.” Students also refer to the Academic Discussion Reference Guide for discussion stems, such as “[y]our argument made me see ___ differently because ___.” In addition, the teacher edition suggests guidance for how students should participate in the discussion: “A philosophical chairs discussion is similar to a debate, and students practice developing a stance, defending it, and listening to and understanding an opposing stance.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 3, students use protocols, journals, and tools such as the Literary Elements and Narrative Techniques Note-Taking Tool and Vocabulary Journal during independent reading and during peer discussions. Student-facing directions instruct students to work with a partner to “select one entry from the Literary Elements and Narrative Techniques Note-Taking Tool to share with the class. Be sure to support your analysis with details from the text.” In Section 5, Lesson 6, students engage in a whole-class discussion on how perspective shapes our understanding of events and discuss possible topics to develop for the Application Unit. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 5, students engage in a small group discussion to evaluate arguments in “Local Food Systems” by Evan Fraser and excerpts from The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet by Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu. Students use the Evaluating Arguments Tool to prepare for the discussion. The tool includes guiding questions for students to consider, such as “[h]ow clearly is the argument’s position (thesis) presented, explained, and connected to its claims?”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 3, students participate in peer review using the Peer Review Tool and Research Evaluation Checklist to help guide their feedback and share findings with their group members. 

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

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 6, students participate in a series of partner discussions. To prepare, students outline their claims using the Discussion Tool, which includes a section for students to plan the academic vocabulary and syntax they will use during the discussion. The teacher edition encourages teachers to remind students to use academic vocabulary from the Vocabulary Journal and encourages teachers to model how to use academic vocabulary during a discussion.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 2, teachers guide a whole-group discussion by composing a script to share with students, providing sentence starters, and writing vocabulary on the board for students to include new words in their discussion. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 4, students participate in a teacher-led discussion about the current state of the food system and the problems it entails. Teaching Notes in the teacher edition include strategies, such as “[y]ou might encourage students to practice using literary terms, academic language, and the vocabulary they have been exposed to in this unit or in prior units.” The materials also prompt teachers to use conversation stems found in the Academic Discussion Reference Guide to help students transition into the language and syntax of an academic discussion. An example includes, but is not limited to: “Your argument made me see ___ differently because ___.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want To Research?, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Application Unit Teacher Planning Guide provides guidance on how to model and support students in selecting a topic and formulating research questions. 

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

The Grade 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read the essay “Agents of Change” by Phil Paton. After discussing with a partner how the author expands the central idea, students read and answer the following text-dependent questions with a partner: 

      • “What does Phil Patton mean when he writes, ‘Ordinary life is shaped for the most part by ordinary people?’ What does this tell you about the ‘great nail makers’ in the article?

      • How does the author make a case for learning about the “nail makers” of history?

      • How does a ‘nail maker’ fit into your description of a change agent?”

      The materials offer teachers the following notes and student support for this activity: “Depending on class size, break students into groups of two to three to study each change agent. Modeling the use of the Change Agents Note-Taking Tool using one of the change agents, particularly how to categorize the pathway, might be helpful for students who are new to this protocol. Check on students individually as they read about their change agents and support them with any references they are unfamiliar with.”

      In Section 2, Lesson 9, students participate in a Socratic Seminar to examine excerpts from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Phil Patton’s “Agents of Change.” Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition offer instructional support on how to begin the Socratic Seminar as well as useful tools, such as the Discussion Tool, for students to use. The Teaching Notes also offer instructors support on monitoring student progress using the Culminating Task Progress Tracker tool.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 4, students present an “expert group analysis of either Robert Capa or Gerda Taro to the class” to demonstrate their ability to use evidence from a text to develop observations and conclusions about the characters, their relationship, and their work as photojournalists. Student instructions direct students to “Respond to questions posed by other students about your characters and his or her role in the book’s story.” The Teacher Edition includes Teaching Notes with additional guidance, such as, “To more effectively engage active student listening, be prepared to ask questions of student listeners following the presentation of each group’s findings. Also, challenge students to ask focused, relevant, probing questions of the presenting groups. You might model doing so for the student audience.”

      In Section 2, Lesson 11, students participate in a Socratic Seminar. The Teacher Edition provides facilitation, monitoring, and instructional support in the form of guiding questions, suggested tools, and ideas for supporting struggling students. As an example, the Teacher Edition notes the following instructional support: “Struggling readers or students who appear reluctant to participate fully in the discussion might benefit from using the Discussion Tool to formulate their claims and track the ideas of their peers.”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World, Section 4, Lesson 6, students follow the Four Corners protocol to discuss the concept “change agent” outlined in Phil Patton’s “Agents of Change.” Students move to a corner of the room that represents strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree based statements read aloud by the teacher, including:

      • “Anyone can become a change agent.

      • We can have different views about what it means to be a change agent.

      • Leaders and followers can both be change agents.”

      Subsequent to the four corners activity, students discuss as a whole class the following prompts:

      • “What surprised or shocked you about the responses?

      • Would you have responded differently to any of these statements earlier in the unit?”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 2, students respond as a class to the Act 2, Scene 2 portion of the Section 3 Question Set and capture the discussion in their Character Note-Taking Tools for Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students then participate in a jigsaw reading to examine the effect of figurative language in the balcony scene by beginning with their expert groups and then moving to other groups to explain specific elements of the scene using evidence from the text.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 2, students participate in a small group discussion about The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Students practice speaking and listening by participating in the following activity that is outlined in the student-facing materials: “With a partner, discuss cultural issues that have come up in The Book of Unknown Americans. Discuss any issues related to ethnicity. How are they the same? How are they different?”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 6, student research teams formally rehearse their presentations, receiving feedback from and providing feedback to other student research teams to inform revisions. Student instructions direct students to “Review the Presentation Structure section of the Application Unit Presentation Guide so you are clear about the expectations of the presentation, and use that structure for your rehearsal.” Listening is a focus of the lesson in that students utilize the Research Evaluation Checklist and Culminating Task Checklist to guide their feedback to other teams and to assist them in refining their own work.

      In Section 6, Lesson 1, students complete the Culminating Task by presenting the results of the research they have completed throughout the unit. Students follow the instructions in the student-facing materials, including “Present 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.”

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

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 6, students participate in an academic discussion as part of the Section Diagnostic. Students share a self-developed claim recorded in their Discussion Tool and use textual evidence from Romeo and Juliet to support their claims in response to the following discussion prompts:

      • “How did Zeffirelli’s choices in Act 1, Scene 5 enhance or detract from the thematic ideas found in Act 1, Scene 5 in the original play?

      • How did Luhrmann’s choices in Act 1, Scene 5 enhance or detract from the thematic ideas found in Act 1, Scene 5 in the original play?”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 5, students make connections between two narratives to deepen their synthesizing skills. Students work in small groups and consider the following question during their discussion: “Based on evidence from The Book of Unknown Americans and ‘The Wanderers,’ what connections can you make about the role of plot, setting, and conflict in narrative text?” Examples from The Book of the Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez are available in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher Edition, such as: “Setting: ‘I walked to Gigante some afternoons and pulled mangoes and chiles from wooden crates, holding them to my nose, inhaling the scents of home.’ (p. 54)”
      In Section 4, Lesson 2, students work with a partner to analyze “Sixty-Nine Cents” by Gary Shteyngart by responding to text-specific prompts to guide their analysis and discussion. Prompts focus on students’ use, application, and incorporation of text-based evidence, such as: “Imagery: Compare the description of Miami Beach to the hotel where the family stayed. What is the effect of placing these two contrasting descriptions in the same paragraph? Cite specific details from the text to support your answer.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 2, students, in pairs or small groups, read “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and respond to one of five given text-specific discussion questions, such as, “What are some potential solutions that Little discusses in her interview that might directly address one of the challenges listed in the infographic?” Students then participate in a whole class fishbowl discussion. 

      In Section 4, Lesson 1, students discuss what they gathered from Johnathan Foley’s “A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World,” utilizing their Delineating Arguments Tool to answer the following questions: 

      • “According to Foley, how should we feed a growing world? 

      • What are the most pressing challenges for the food system and the best ways to address those challenges?

      • What do you think Foley’s purpose is in writing his argument? Who is he addressing?”

      The Delineating Arguments Tools requires students to find claims, counterclaims, and supporting evidence from the text to use in the class discussion.

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 9 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 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 1, students focus on three keywords critical to the understanding of “change agents” in preparation for the culminating task. In the activity, students answer the following questions in an on-demand writing opportunity:

      • “Read the sentence containing the word activism. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people engaging in activism?

      • Read the sentence containing the word advocacy. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people engaging in advocacy?

      • Read the sentence containing the word influence. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people who exerted influence?”

      In Section 1, Lesson 2, after watching the TED Talk, “The Danger of Silence” by Dr. Clint Smith, students work in pairs to record words and explanations that describe their reactions to the video in their Learning Logs . 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 2, students use the Summarizing the Text Tool to write a summary of the Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos. The Teacher Edition suggests that students may “write a three-sentence, two-sentence, or even one-sentence summary so that they can practice selecting the most important ideas and writing with concision.”

      In Section 4, Lesson 5, students consider evidence-based questions regarding their study of “The Falling Man: An Unforgettable Story” by Tom Junod. Students take notes in the Learning Log about how they might use what they have learned from the unit and consider questions, such as “What do you believe is the job of a journalist—his or her responsibility when reporting important historic events? How well do you think photographer Richard Drew did his job on 9/11? Explain and support your reasoning.” Students then write a claim and develop a plan for the Section Diagnostic to “write a short argument reflecting on our position on Falling Man and truth in Journalism.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 2, students read “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges” from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and write a one-sentence claim for a proposed solution from the challenges presented in the text. Student instructions direct students to “write a one-sentence claim statement followed by a supporting paragraph that describes the solution that you believe is a sustainable and viable option for growing food that meets a growing population, and why you think it is a viable solution. Be sure to use evidence from the text when writing your paragraph.”

  • 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 3, Lesson 6, students revise their Section 1, Section Diagnostic multi-paragraph responses, which define the term “agent of change” and use evidence from unit texts, such as “The Danger of Silence” by Clink Smith and “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers, to support their definitions. Students also use their Learning Logs, Vocabulary Journals, Mentor Sentence Journals, and annotated texts from the pathway explorations selected within their research teams to revise their writing using a series of prompts, including:

      • “Revise your definition of a change agent based on the final definition determined with your research team.

      • Revise your multiparagraph response topic to include a discussion of the universal characteristics of change agents along with how change agents employ these characteristics to impact society.

      • Augment your paper with additional evidence from pathway texts; include quotes and appropriate citations.”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students begin the culminating writing task that answers: How can adaptations enhance or detract from the themes of the original text? Students engage in the processes of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing as they respond to the following instructions:

      • “Determine a theme from Romeo and Juliet and explain how that theme is developed in the play.

      • Determine and explain how this same theme is developed in both film adaptations of the play.

      • Compare and contrast the ways in which the theme is developed in the text and in the films. Explain how the adaptations enhance or detract from the development of the theme in the play.”

    • In the Development Unit, Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lesson 5, students write an explanatory text to compare a theme in The Book of Unknown Americans to a theme in one of the other texts that have been studied in the unit. For this explanatory text, students plan their writing by following the Section 4 Diagnostic Checklist and other guides. Students review and revise their work using guiding questions such as, “Did I develop my topic with relevant and sufficient text evidence from both texts?” Students also gather feedback from peers to further revise their writing before submitting their final explanatory texts.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lesson 5, students write an explanatory text to identify a theme in the novel The Book of the Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and compare the theme to a theme in other texts they have studied in the unit. For this explanatory text, students plan their writing by following the Section 4 Diagnostic Checklist and other guides. Students write an explanatory response that answers one of the following questions:

      • “What is a theme in the novel, and how is it similar to a theme in one of the other texts in this unit?

      • What literary elements and narrative techniques did the authors use to convey the themes?”

      Students review their responses using focus questions such as, “Did I develop my topic with relevant and sufficient text evidence from both texts?” to guide their revisions, and they edit for grammar and punctuation to publish a clean copy for evaluation. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional instructional guidance including, “[it] is important that students receive your feedback on their Section Diagnostic performance as soon as possible. Providing timely academic feedback is crucial to students’ literacy development and understanding of their own proficiency.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 7, students begin to develop arguments for the unit Culminating Task by utilizing the Delineating Arguments Tool to identify the issue/question, purpose, perspective, and position. Students also identify the claims and supporting evidence found in the texts they read, including “Eat Less Meat: UN Climate-Change Report Calls for Change to Human Diet” by Quirin Schiermeier.

      In Section 5, students begin to draft their argumentative responses. In Lesson 1, students draft their position paragraph. In Lesson 2, students develop paragraphs that present their claims as well as the supporting evidence they have collected in their Delineating Arguments Tool. In Lesson 3, students continue to develop their essays by considering what they need to incorporate to target the intended audience and to complete their concluding paragraphs. Students use the Culminating Task Checklist and pair with an editing partner to read, review, and discuss their draft paragraphs to consider again their audience and purpose for writing as part of the ongoing revising and editing opportunities to complete their culminating task for the unit.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 7, students meet in teams to review, reflect on, and discuss research feedback that informs further revisions and establishes next steps as they prepare to finalize their inquiry. Students utilize the Research Evaluation Checklist and create a task list of the necessary revisions, including refining investigation, extending research, and reading and analyzing new sources. Teaching Notes in the teaching edition provide instructional support for conferences with students; as students read and analyze new sources, for example, the notes suggest that “Students revise evidence-based claims that were deemed unsupported and develop new ones that address additional inquiry paths.”

      In Section 5, Lesson 4, students revise the written components of the Culminating Task presentation. To revise their writing, students work independently and in teams to make edits before conferencing with the teacher. After students have had the opportunity to revise and edit individually, with a team, and with the teacher, students employ all feedback to finalize their writing.

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. 

    • In all units in the Odell Education High School Literacy Program, students have access to the digital Literacy Toolbox. As stated in the digital Program Guide, “the Literacy Toolbox supports reading, writing, and speaking and listening activities pertinent to the unit’s text or topic and instructional sequences. The Literacy Toolbox comprises graphic organizers (tools), reference guides, rubrics, and checklists, carefully designed to support student success throughout the learning progressions of the units. Each item in the toolbox is designed for flexible use. Items are available in each unit as PDFs and, when editable, as Google Docs.”

    • In the Development, Photojournalism, Section 5, Lesson 4, students use the digital resource Forming Evidence-Based Claims to generate rough drafts for the expository essay. This digital resource contains guidance such as “Select details that are most important for answering the question. Record these details with citations” to prompt students to include the necessary information to construct an appropriate expository essay. 

      In Section 5, Lesson 5, students begin writing an expository essay addressing the Central Question: How do images change the world? Students draw on notes relating to multiple texts they have analyzed throughout the unit, including digital resources; examples include, but are not limited, “100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time” by Time Staff, Photographers of the Dust Bowl by Ken Burns, and “D-Day and the Omaha Beach Landings” by Magnum Photos. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 1, students read lines 89–108 of Act 1, Scene 2 from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and answer question prompts, such as “What theme is Shakespeare developing about youth and love?” in their Learning Logs. The materials provide a pdf titled Theme Reference Guide, which helps students identify and analyze themes in their discussions and writings by presenting a series of guided questions, including:

      • What meaning do you initially find in the text or work?

      • What deeper meaning emerges as you study the text or work more carefully?

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.

Grade 9 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, Global Food Production, Section 5, Lesson 1, students begin drafting their unit Culminating Task, an argumentative essay that addresses the questions:

        • “What are the most pressing challenges facing the future of the global food system?

        • How should we go about addressing those challenges?”

        Students use a collaborative, criteria-based writing process to produce a final written argument or presentation “to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have developed in the previous sections.” During the lesson, students begin writing a draft paragraph that introduces and explains their position while considering their purpose and audience, as well as the tone and language they will use. Student-facing instructions direct students to “Work with a writing partner to review your position paragraph, using questions or criteria to determine how well the paragraph works and in what ways it might be improved.”

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

      • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 5, Lesson 1, students develop a claim in response to the expository prompt, “How does photojournalism highlight and define important moments in history and culture? Support your claims with textual evidence by citing one or more written texts and at least two photographs and photojournalists.” Students identify evidence that supports their claim from photos, corresponding texts, and the tools they completed throughout the unit. 

        In Lesson 2, students write a thesis statement or central claim for the essay. The student materials provide reminders, such as: The thesis should be a guide map for what you will say overall in the essay—if you had to sum it up for someone in one sentence.” 

        In Lesson 6, students publish the final draft of their expository essays.

      • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 5, Lesson 1, students begin writing a literary analysis to “explain how the directors’ choices in their adaptations enhance or detract from the development of a theme in the play.”

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

      • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 4, Lesson 3, as part of the Culminating Task, students write a multiparagraph reflective narrative describing their research process and explaining their “strengths and areas of growth as a reader, writer, collaborator, and presenter.”

      • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 5, Lesson 3, students began a narrative writing piece in which they “write multi-paragraph reflective narratives to our teacher that describe our research processes and explain our strengths and areas of growth as readers, writers, collaborators, and presenters.”

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 5, Lesson 4, students write a rough draft of a vignette from The Book of Unknown America. Students then revise the drafts of their vignettes to reimagine the situation from a ‘new’ perspective of a different character by employing narrative techniques, sequencing the events, using authentic character voice and descriptive language, and providing a conclusion that follows the original while highlighting the story from their own character’s perspective.  

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

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 7, students write and revise multi-paragraph expository responses that demonstrate their understanding of the themes found in Acts 1–3 of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Students end the lesson by drafting a written response for a Section Diagnostic. The student materials direct students to “use the Model Claim from the Section 1 and 2 Diagnostics to structure your paragraphs.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 5, Lesson 4, students use the text The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and other supporting texts, such as “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca and “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel, as models to help construct their vignettes from the perspective of a different character from The Book of Unknown Americans.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 7, students write an explanatory piece based on the texts read throughout the unit. The student-facing materials explain how students will use texts for the writing task as follows: “Using the texts read throughout this section, we will choose one major issue facing the global food system to address. We will develop and explain a multipart, evidence-based claim about that challenge.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students choose a topic and texts for further study from the units they have studied during the year. One option is from the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lessons 1–11 on change agents, using the text set comprised of the TED Talk “The Danger of Silence” by Clint Smith; “Introduction,” an excerpt from The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell; the TED Talk “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers, “Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961” by John F. Kennedy and Ted Sorensen; and an excerpt from The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. 

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1k.

The Grade 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students read the first four paragraphs of the introduction of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Students identify characteristics and elements of change found in the selection by completing the following tasks:

      • “Use a highlighter and a writing utensil for this activity. In the first paragraph, highlight the phrase that illuminates where Hush Puppies first made their comeback.

      • In the second paragraph, highlight two of the four events or people that caused the popularity of Hush Puppies to climb.

      • In the third paragraph, highlight the statement that describes what started the popularity of Hush Puppies again.

      • In the fourth paragraph, highlight the statement that describes how the fad spread throughout the country.”

      Students then apply this annotation strategy as they read Section 2 of The Tipping Point using the Attending to Details Tool to answer guiding prompts, including:

      • “What is an epidemic?

      • What does the word contagious mean?

      • How do you know the meaning of these words? Find the evidence in the text that supports your definition.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 2, students read and annotate the article “What the Photo Still Does Best” by Hank Klibanoff. After reading, students answer the following evidence based questions:

      • “What is the central claim of the article? In other words, what is it that the photo still does best?

      • Select a quote that supports your answer to Question 1 regarding the central claim of the article. How does that quote explain or support the author's central claim?”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 8, students practice developing their writing using evidence. At the beginning of the lesson, students generate claims and topic sentences, then find evidence to support their claims, and finally discuss how to ensure their ideas are developed and supported appropriately by sharing their work with a partner. The student-facing materials direct students as follows: “As you explain what you intend to write, or listen to your partner’s explanation, think about how the claim, topic sentences, and evidence work together to form a unified and coherent response to the task question.”

      Later, in Section 4, Lesson 6, students apply the skill of using evidence in their writing to craft an expository response to the prompt: “In light of what we have learned about the history and controversy surrounding Falling Man, write a multi-paragraph expository response to the following question: Does the image Falling Man successfully define a significant aspect of 9/11? In other words, is the image in poor taste, or is it an important, albeit disturbing, image?” The directions for this task requires students to include evidentiary support in their writing. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 10, students complete the Section Diagnostic based on their reading of Act I of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students write a paragraph response answering the following questions:

      • “What is a theme that is developed in Act I of Romeo and Juliet?

      • How is that theme developed?”

      The student-facing materials prompt students to “Support your analytical interpretive claim with strong textual evidence from the play.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 3, students read a passage from “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” by Jayson Lusk and practice rewriting one of Lusk’s closing statements. Student-facing materials direct students to pay “attention to Lusk’s use of language and sentence patterns to convey his claims,” as they practice rewriting the claim using key points and claims from the article.

      In Section 5, Lesson 2, students draft one or more paragraphs that “present and explain the claim and then develop and support it by citing evidence from our research and other arguments.” To support their writing, students utilize the Organizing Evidence Tool and consider prompts, such as “What information, examples, or statistics will you cite to support the claim?” Students draw on evidence from the texts they are reading throughout the unit to clearly present, explain, and support with evidence an argumentative position addressing the question: “How do we feed a growing world?”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students have the opportunity to research and write about a topic from any of the prior units. To support their research and writing, the Application Unit Culminating Task Checklist prompts students to “Show your learning community text-based evidence that supports your new perspective or understanding on your topic.”

  • 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 3, Lesson 6, students review their first Section Diagnostic multiparagraph response to “demonstrate how your understanding of change agents has expanded and changed after reading additional texts.” Students refine their claims based on texts, including Malcolm Gladwell’s “Introduction” from The Tipping Point. To guide their revisions, students utilize the Section 3 Diagnostic Checklist, which provides prompts, including “What additional support do I need to add in? How will I add it in?”

    • In the Development Unit Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 2, students view Act 1, Scene 1, of the prologue of the Romeo and Juliet film adaptation directed by Franco Zeffirelli and answer a series of response questions, including:

      • “How does the director transform the source material?

      • What thematic ideas from the text are emphasized in the film scene? Which, if any, are not?

      • How did the director’s choices emphasize the thematic ideas? What evidence from the film supports your claim? Be sure to cite specific details from the film as evidence.”

      Students also use their Learning Log and Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool to include evidence they have collected from close reading throughout the unit. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 6, students perform a close read of a section of The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez to provide their analytical response to the question: “How does the use of purposeful and descriptive language help authors communicate experiences, events, character traits, tone, setting, and theme in a story?” The student-facing materials include the following specific guidance to ensure students use supporting evidence to develop their claims: “In your response, provide examples of purposeful and descriptive language from both The Book of Unknown Americans and ‘Immigrants in Our Own Land,’ and explain how each example develops plot, characterization, tone, setting, or theme in the text.”

      In Section 4, Lesson 4, the Teacher Edition suggests three student writing opportunities, each of which requires students to read closely and to provide textual evidence in their responses. For example, one question prompt states, “Write a literary essay discussing how Henriquez uses literary elements and narrative techniques to develop a theme in the novel. Use collected quotes as evidence to support your ideas.

      • Your essay must include a discussion of a minimum of three techniques the author employed in the novel.

      • Your essay must include at least three direct quotes from the novel.”

    • 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 9 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 use parallel structure. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 4, students use their Mentor Sentence Journal and Working with Mentor Sentences tool to analyze language and syntax found in excerpts of Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo. The Teacher Edition Teaching Notes suggest the teacher choose strong examples from the text that “[...] are strong examples of a particular grammar or punctuation concept or sentences that utilize a specific stylistic technique.” Materials provide examples from the text for colons, semicolons, and parallelism. For example, the parallelism example highlights the following, “Entire families had to live in back alleys, in their cars, or in tents pitched in fields or the woods.” The Teaching Notes emphasize the teacher should model the analysis of the sentences using the Mentor Sentence Journal and Working with Mentor Sentences tools. Students then review and discuss what they found from the text using guided questions:

      • “Which parts make up the main clause? The main clause is the main subject and predicate that expresses the central idea of the sentence. Write down the sentence, underlining the main clause.

      • How do the other parts of the sentence (e.g., phrases, clauses, modifiers) enhance the main clause?”

      For homework, students read “How Photography Defined the Great Depression” by Annette McDermott and annotate the text in part by using their Mentor Sentence Journal. 

      In Section 2, Lesson 1, students explore the periodic structure of syntax taken from “The History of Photojournalism: How Photography Changed the Way We Receive News” by Jessica Stewart. Students annotate the example sentences provided by identifying the sentence’s clauses. The Teaching Notes section, in the Teacher Edition, explains students learned about periodic structure in the Foundation Unit:

      • “If they need a reminder, tell students that parallel structure uses the same pattern of words or phrases to show that all elements in the series have equal importance. This sentence is an example of simple parallelism that focuses on items in a series.”

      Materials also recommend that the instructor and students use the Conventions Reference Guide, which provides definitions and examples of parallel structure and punctuation, such as comma, semicolon, and colon use, to aid in completing the task and filling out the Mentor Sentence Journal with the help of the Working With Mentor Sentences Tool to record examples from the lesson. 

      In Section 3, Lesson 7, students reread sentences from an excerpt from Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the American Struggle for Freedom by Leigh Raiford and “Underline or highlight the three parallel clauses in the sentence beginning ‘It calls attention to how…’” Materials explain, “The sentences in this paragraph often demonstrate the rhetorical device of parallel structure, which uses the same pattern of words or phrases to show that all elements in the series have equal importance,” and the Teacher Edition Teaching Notes emphasize the importance of parallel structure and suggest, “Direct students to notice the repetition of the beginning of sentences in the excerpted paragraph. Remind students that in parallel structure, words in a series should all be the same part of speech,” and reference the Conventions Reference Guide as an additional resource for students.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 3, students have the opportunity to examine sentences that provide examples of complex parallelisms that focus on the use of prepositional phrases and direct objects. Students read an example of parallel structure from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, a selection students previously read in the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World? Students respond to the following question: “What phrases are parallel in this sentence? What effect does the parallel structure have on the audience’s understanding of the speech?” After answering questions, students “Use the mentor sentence from ‘Why Do We Care About Shakespeare?’ or the mentor sentence from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address to craft a sentence in your Mentor Sentence Journal about your favorite hobby using parallel structure.” Students review each other’s work to check for correct use of parallel structure. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 1, students examine the imagery and word choice of a quote from The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez: “English was a dense, tight language. So many hard letters, like miniature walls. Not open with vowels the way Spanish was. Our throats open, our mouths open, our hearts open. In English, the sounds were closed. They thudded to the floor. And yet, there was something magnificent about it.” The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest expanding the activity by examining “the author’s use of parallelism, stylistic simple sentences, figurative language, etc.” When using the Mentor Sentence Journal, students attend to phrases and structures that are particularly interesting or grammatical features they can incorporate into their writing.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World, Section 1, Lesson 6, students develop sentences using the following mentor sentence that contains several different phrases: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

      In Section 3, Lesson 7, students reread an excerpt from one of the texts they have previously read. Two questions they are asked to respond to are, ‘’Which parts make up the main clause? The main clause is the main subject and predicate that expresses the central idea of the sentence. Write down the sentence, underlining the main clause. How do the other parts of the sentence (e.g., phrases, clauses, modifiers) enhance the main clause?’’

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 5, students analyze mentor sentences from the text The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez by using the Working with Mentor Sentences Tool. Students deconstruct the text based on parts of speech and changes in verb tense. Students then study the concept by listening to their instructor review grammatical terms and concepts as students take notes. The teaching edition’s Teaching Notes provides suggestions for discussing the concept of the periodic sentence, such as, “Periodic sentences are crafted so the subject and verb (or verb phrase) occur at the end of the sentence.” Students then discuss and revise their notes using guided questions:

      • “Which parts make up the main clause? The main clause is the main subject and predicate that expresses the central idea of the sentence. Write down the sentence, underlining the main clause.

      • How do the other parts of the sentence (e.g., phrases, clauses, modifiers) enhance the main clause?”

      Students then practice rewriting sentences from The Book of Unknown Americans as periodic sentences and then highlight the main ideas of each sentence with a partner and discuss the following questions, “Does changing the sentences to periodic structure change the meaning?, Does it change the impact?, If so, how?”

      In Section 3, Lesson 5, students can utilize a Conventions Reference Guide as they edit for grammar, punctuation, and submit a clean copy for evaluation of their papers. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include guidance for student support and differentiation. Students can access each convention and definition, including clauses and phrases with an example of convention in a sentence. Students utilize a Mentor Sentence Journal and Mentor Sentences Tools to deeply analyze and deconstruct mentor sentences to incorporate into their own writing. An example of a mentor sentence in the Conventions Reference Guide includes: “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night (Hosseini 359).”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 4, Lesson 5, Activity 3, students examine sentences from “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton, and read the information in the student notes on semicolons, and the Teacher Edition provides support for the teacher to conduct a mini-lesson on semicolons. Students then have the opportunity to write a sentence that uses a semicolon and conjunctive adverb to connect two independent clauses. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 4, students use a Mentor Sentence Journal to compile sentences and build a writer’s toolbox. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include modeling how to use the Mentor Sentence Journal and offer an instructional sequence: “Throughout the unit, point out several sentences that use a specific concept, such as linking closely related independent clauses with a semicolon.” Teachers curate several sentences with direct instruction before moving into scaffolded creation. Students mimic the style with their own sentences. Then, the scaffold is removed and students create sentences of their own.

      In Section 2, Lesson 6, students analyze paragraphs from Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and The Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson et al., by discussing what they notice about punctuation as they answer the following guided questions:

      • “How are semicolons used to divide it into three parts?

      • What effect does the progression of verbs - from ‘hear’ to ‘see’ to ‘recall’ have on you as a reader?

      • How does the final phrase ‘snapping away until he was shaking with fear’ end the sentence on a dramatic note?”

      Students then practice using semicolons by finding images in Chapter 17 of Eyes of the World and use their Mentor Sentence Journal to “write a sentence, using phrases separated by semicolons and a series of vivid verbs, to describe what you see in the photo.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 2, students may have opportunities to use a semicolon to link two or more closely related independent clauses if the teacher decides to follow the suggestion in the Teacher Edition. The suggestion is as follows: “For example, if students conceptually understand that a semicolon links independent clauses, you might encourage them to use a semicolon to link more than two independent clauses, for effect.” This statement provides a choice for teachers to allow students to use semicolons if they would like to do so, but it is not a requirement. The statement uses language that constitutes choice, such as might and if.

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

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 7, students review and revise their written rough draft for the Section Diagnostic using a series of questions including those that address the organization of paragraphs including the incorporation of outside evidence:

      • “Does my response present a supporting claim about the role of the Farm Security Administration and photographers like Dorothea Lange in influencing public opinion?

      • Does my response use effective paragraph organization, sentence development, language, and conventions to clearly communicate my explanation?”

      The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition also suggest students addressing questions, such as “Have you cited information appropriately by making references to page or paragraph numbers?” The materials include resources for the instructor and student to use, such as the Integrating Quotations Reference Guide, which illustrates how to use a colon to introduce a quotation, “If a quote is preceded by an independent clause, include a colon (:) prior to the quote,” and provides an example of how it is used. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 8, students may include techniques such as listing a colon to introduce a quotation in their writing for the Section 2 Diagnostic to introduce evidence from the text following what they have written in their Mentor Sentence Journal. The instructions in the student-facing materials and the teacher do not specifically require students to use a colon to introduce a list or quotation: The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “Review your Mentor Sentence Journal. Select at least one technique that you plan to use when writing your response to the Section Diagnostic.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 4, students complete the Organizing Evidence Tool for their first claims. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include ideas for student support and differentiation, such as, “You might use this opportunity to help students work on paraphrasing quotations and properly citing them in their tools.” These instances provide opportunities for students to apply the conventions of standards of English with teacher support and feedback. In Section 5, Lesson 1 students utilize the Application Unit Presentation Guide to ensure they are clear about the roles, written components, structure and creation process. As part of the Presentation Creation Process, students focus on sentence-level revision, including the following:

      • “Are all of your sentences complete sentences?

      • Could you vary your sentence structure by practicing a model sentence?

      • Does your writing contain fragments and run-ons?

      • Do all your sentences have correct subject-verb agreement?

      • Do all your sentences have correct pronoun-antecedent agreement?

      • Do you have a variety of sentence structure types (i.e., simple, compound, complex, compound-complex)?”

      In Section 5, Lesson 5, students practice their presentations in teams to plan for revisions. One consideration during the revision process includes, “Correct and adjust grammar to strengthen the spoken delivery.”

  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 2, students read and analyze the Culminating Task, identifying specific knowledge they are expected to gain throughout the unit, as well as specific skills they will need to succeed on the Culminating Task. For each element in the Culminating Task Checklist, students assess their preparation. The Culminating Task Checklist includes writing an expository essay and establishing and maintaining a formal style and objective point of view. A writing goal addresses using 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?”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 4, in the Teacher Edition notes, materials include teacher guidance to aid students with the spelling of newly encountered vocabulary. The teacher takes the opportunity to point out cognates for English Language Learners and struggling readers to solidify students’ understanding of spelling rules. 

      In Section 5, Lesson 1, students begin working on the Culminating Task. The Culminating Task Checklist includes the following component: “How well do I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?”

    • In the Application Unit, Section 6, Lesson 1, students use the Application Unit: Presentation Guide to work in their teams to make revisions to their Culminating Task presentations. Guidance includes, “Correct any spelling or grammar errors.”

Indicator 1m

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

The Grade 9 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. 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, Who Changes the World, Section 1, Lesson 1, students encounter the terms activism, advocacy, and influence and record them in their Vocabulary Journals. The Vocabulary Journals prompt students to collect terms throughout the unit that they may find important or that the teacher provides. The Teacher Edition Teaching Notes explain, “You can approach teaching these terms using a variety of strategies; however, you should keep in mind that students will truly learn the terms’ meanings by applying them to their growing understanding of change agents throughout the unit.” The notes also provide examples from the key words, activism, advocacy, and influence, introduced in Lesson 1.

    • In The Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 3, 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 the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students encounter vocabulary, including archaic and semantic, that cannot be defined by contextual clues. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition offer the following guidance:

      • “Provide student-friendly definitions of the following words: archaic and semantic. Student-friendly definition: Archaic means something is old fashioned or no longer in use. Language can be archaic when words and phrases are no longer in use. For example, the pronouns thee, thy, and thou are archaic.”

      In Section 3, Lesson 2, students define the terms soliloquy, dramatic irony, simile, metaphor, and personification in their Vocabulary Journals. The Teacher Edition Teaching Notes provide the definitions for these terms. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 2, students engage in vocabulary activities for the unit. The Teacher Edition outlines the use of Vocabulary Lists and tools, such as the Vocabulary Journal and the Vocabulary in Context Tool, to build students’ vocabulary knowledge throughout the school year. Regarding the cohesive year-long vocabulary development component for the program, the Teaching Notes state: “Suggested vocabulary words can be found in the Vocabulary List for each major text in the unit.” Teaching Notes also describe the purpose for the vocabulary tools that students will use throughout the year to develop their vocabulary:

      • “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.

      • 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.”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes The World?, Section 1, Lesson 4, students use the Rhetorical Device Note-Taking Tool to build foundational knowledge about rhetorical devices used in persuasive speech, specifically John F. Kennedy’s “1961 Inaugural Address.” Subsequently, in the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 4, students learn how an appeal to the reader's emotions is one of three rhetorical strategies as they examine “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition direct students to the Vocabulary List that includes the term rhetoric(al) and other important vocabulary.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 7, students read an excerpt from Machiavelli’s The Prince and encounter the vocabulary term fascists. Subsequently, in the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 7, students closely read the opening of Chapter 3 of Eyes of the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos and learn about the social and political world surrounding Capa and Taro in Paris and Europe. Students answer text-specific questions, including: “Why are people wondering about communism, socialism, fascism and anarchism? What distinguishes these political ideologies?” The vocabulary word fascist is included in the unit Vocabulary List.

    • In The Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 3, students unpack and examine the academic word influential before reading an excerpt from Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo, in which the word appears. Students previously encountered the word influential in the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, when they read “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 3, students identify and record unfamiliar words from the Vocabulary List before reading the texts in the unit. In Section 3, Lesson 7, students revisit vocabulary in an excerpt from Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle by Leigh Raiford. In this lesson, the Teacher Edition guides teachers to “pre-teach key vocabulary” such as the word stoicism before students encounter the word in the text. Subsequently, in Section 4, Lesson 2, students “Work with a partner to review, discuss, and define the words” in "The Falling Man: An Unforgettable Story" by Tom Junod; the term stoicism is included in this text as well, so students build their knowledge before reading, after reading, and throughout multiple texts.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 5, students return to the Romeo and Juliet: Vocabulary List to answer questions regarding vocabulary found in the text Romeo and Juliet. Students answer a series of questions on new words found in the play, such as “What is the precise meaning of the word alliance in Line 98?” and “What does the word rancor mean in Line 99?” and record the definitions of these words in their Vocabulary Journals. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 3, students encounter the term claim and define the term in their Vocabulary Journals. The student-facing materials include instructions to guide students, such as “Consider where you have made a claim and used it to your benefit, either in an academic or personal setting. Write down the definition in your Vocabulary Journal.” In Section 3. Lesson 2, for example, students revisit the word claim as they use the Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool to construct paragraphs in response to the prompt: “Are new technologies, such as indoor urban agriculture and vertical farming, viable solutions to sustaining a global food system?” Students’ understanding of the term is essential for success on the Section Diagnostic when they will write an evidence-based multipart claim and supporting paragraph.

  • 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 1, regarding vocabulary instruction, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition offers the following guidance:

      • “You can write the term definitions and examples below on the board or in a way students can see them in order to transfer them to their Vocabulary Journals. You can approach teaching these terms using a variety of strategies; however, you should keep in mind that students will truly learn the terms’ meanings by applying them to their growing understanding of change agents throughout the unit.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 1, students build vocabulary knowledge before reading “The History of Photojournalism. How Photography Changed the Way We Receive News” by Jessica Stewart. The student-facing materials call specific attention to academic words found in the text, such as subsequent and disseminate. To help “cement understanding” of academic vocabulary, the Teacher Edition suggests that students complete specific activities, such as:

      • “Write example and nonexample sentences that use the new words.

      • Answer hypothetical situations that use the new words.

      • Craft analogies.

      • Connect the meaning of the words to texts or topics they have previously studied.”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students encounter the Romeo and Juliet: Vocabulary List of academic and content-specific language found in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The list includes terms, such as contemporary, resonate, intrinsic, appeal, and plausibility. The resources also offer ELA specific language, such as iambic pentameter, personification, soliloquy, and pun.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 4, Activity 4, students encounter a vocabulary list provided by their teacher of key words for the reading of “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel. Prior to reading, students unpack and examine the term tangible in context of the material. The word tangible is a Tier 2 academic word and is often encountered across disciplines.  

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World, Section 1, Lesson 1, students are introduced to the terms activism, advocacy, and influence and answer a series of questions to incorporate the vocabulary in their learning: 

      • “Read the sentence containing the word activism. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people engaging in activism?

      • Read the sentence containing the word advocacy. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people engaging in advocacy?

      • Read the sentence containing the word influence. Can you think of an example of someone or a group of people who exerted influence?”

      In Section 3, Lesson 6, as students revise their multi-paragraph response to the Section Diagnostic, the student-facing materials direct students to “Review your Vocabulary Journal. Identify a significant word or words that you would like to use in your revision.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 11, students engage in a Socratic Seminar to analyze the texts from the unit that they have read so far. To participate in this speaking task, students use words from their Vocabulary Journals and other academic language.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 5, students prepare for the Section Diagnostic by completing Section 1 of the Discussion Tool. The instructions prompt students to use significant words from their Vocabulary Journal as follows:

      • “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, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 4, students use the Vocabulary in Context Tool to build their knowledge of vocabulary by examining the text to determine how the word is used. Some questions that guide students through reading the vocabulary words in context include:

      • “Does the author use any metaphors to help me determine the meaning of the word?

      • Does the author use any contrasting language (e.g., but, however, yet, nevertheless, despite, sometimes) to show an exception?” 

      In Section 2, Lesson 5, students write an expository text using key vocabulary learned throughout the unit as the Section Diagnostic. The student-facing materials prompt students to “Review your Vocabulary Journal. Identify a significant word or words that you would like to use in your response to the Section Diagnostic.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, 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 9 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 9 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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. 

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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. Some examples include: 

  • Texts are connected by cohesive topics/ themes/lines of inquiry.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, texts are centered around a Central Question: “Who changes the world, and how?” Students analyze book excerpts, articles, and a speech to expand their knowledge of how people make an impact on the world. In Section 1, Lesson 1, students examine the central question to prepare for the remainder of the unit. Other unit texts that connect to this theme include “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton and “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers. In the culminating task, students work in groups to research how change occurs in specific systems.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, students study the development and impact of photojournalism as a catalyst for change in the world, investigating the Central Question: “How do images change the world?” Examples of texts students study to explore a common line of inquiry include, but are not limited to “Introduction,” the book excerpt from Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle by Leigh Raiford and Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, texts are centered around the Central Question: “Why do we still read Shakespeare?” Texts that connect to this theme include “Why Do We Still Care About Shakespeare?” by Cindy Tumiel and contemporary film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, tasks center around the Central Question: “How does perspective shape our understanding of events?” The culminating task asks students to “Write a vignette from the perspective of a different character in the novel.” Students demonstrate the knowledge developed through the examination of multiple texts around this theme when they answer, “Explain which narrative techniques were incorporated into the vignette and the rationale behind their inclusion.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, texts are centered around a central theme: “How do we feed a growing world?” Texts that connect to this theme include “A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World” by Jonathan Foley, “The Case for Engineering Our Food” by Pamela Ronald, and “The Vertical Farm: A Keystone Concept for the Ecocity” by Dickson Despommier.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students revisit readings from the Foundation Unit or any other texts they encountered throughout the academic year. Students answer questions related to the research they wish to continue as they prepare to deliver a presentation by their learning community.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students learn the term tipping point before reading selections from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Introduction,” from his book The Tipping Point. In this lesson, students also discuss the term change agents in preparation for reading Phil Patton’s piece “Agents of Change.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students read the classic play Romeo and Juliet, along with supporting informational texts to expand students' knowledge and understanding of the cultural relevance of the play. The unit also includes the classic poem by Ovid, “The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe.” These classic complex texts allow students to gather the necessary skills for reading throughout the school year.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students read complex texts to build knowledge around the Central Question: “How does perspective shape our understanding of events?” Examples of texts include, but are not limited to, the essay “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel and “Sixty-Nine Cents,” an excerpt from Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 2, students explore the term food system as they review graphics such as the “Nourish Food System Map” and the reading “Food System Primer: The Food System.”

    • The Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, allows the opportunity for student agency when answering the questions: “What theme, question, or idea would I like to know more about?” and “How can the research process help my team arrive at a deeper understanding of a topic or idea?”

    • In the Application Unit, Section 2, Lesson 2, students investigate an inquiry of their choosing while revisiting complex texts from previous studies including, but not limited to, these Grade 9 appropriate texts from the Global Food Production Unit: “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” by Jayson Lusk and “10 Things You Need to Know about the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser.

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2b.

Grade 9 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 9 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, Who Changes the World, Section 1, Lesson 3, students analyze The Tipping Point by Matthew Gladwell. Students work through a sequence of questions to develop their understanding of the key ideas and details in the text. At the beginning of the lesson, students “highlight the phrase that illuminates where Hush Puppies first made their comeback” to draw them to key details in the text. The sequence of questions increase in the level of details and complexity, leading students to “make meaning from the text regarding the characteristics of change agents and some common elements that are in place when change happens.”

        In Section 2, Lesson 1, students use quotes from a collection of core texts to define a change agent. Students examine the key details and ideas presented in each quote to narrow a list of possible definitions to complete a template that defines the term change agent.

      • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 1, students examine the ideas and work of famous photojournalists and discuss the Central Question: “How do images change the world?” Early in the unit, students examine Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, attending to details as they consider: “What stands out to you as you examine this photo?”

        • In Section 1, Lesson 4, students attend to details about the role of the Farm Security Administration and its photographers by considering: “How do details from the text relate to or expand what you already have learned about the FSA and its photographers?”

        • In Section 2, Lesson 2, students examine Robert Capa’s “D-Day Invasion, June 6, 1944” and consider: “What details in the photo stand out to you or strike you as interesting or important?”

      • In The Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 2, students study Eyes of the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos to answer a series of scaffold questions to clarify the key ideas and details of the piece. The final prompt in the section asks students: “Why might the authors have chosen to title their book about Capa and Taro Eyes of the World? How did the photographers’ ‘invention of modern photojournalism’ change the world?”

      • In the Application Unit, Section 2, Lesson 2, students choose one of the texts from the Global Food Production Unit Reader to reread and assess independently using the Potential Sources Tool. The activity follows an opportunity to complete the task previously with a different text and a greater level of teacher support. Examples of questions include, but are not limited to:

        • “Does the text present ideas or information that I find interesting?

        • How does the information relate to other texts?

        • Does the text provide accurate, current and supported information?”

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

      • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 1, students have the opportunity to draft claims that explore the filmmaker’s choices in the Franco Zeffirelli, Paramount Pictures,1968 adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and whether these choices detract from the themes of the play. Students use their Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool to respond to the Act 1 Scene 5 adaptation by answering: 

        • “How did the director’s choices enhance the theme? What details from the film support your claim?

        • Did any of the choices detract from the theme? If so, how? What details from the film support your claim?”

          In Section 4, Lesson 4, students read William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to analyze elements of craft and structure. In Activity 2, students annotate the text and answer questions such as: “How do both Juliet and Lord Capulet’s reactions conflict with what we had learned about their relationship in earlier scenes?” Students also examine how the structural choices and character actions contribute to the meaning. These questions prepare students for further analysis in Section 4, Lesson 5, in which they answer, “How do her [Juliet’s] thoughts and behaviors develop a theme in the play?”

      • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students analyze the structure of a narrative and utilize the Narratives Reference Guide.

        In Section 1, Lesson 2, students read the novel The Book of the Americans by Cristina Henriquez, reviewing the concepts of setting, conflict, and plot. Students read and listen to the text and question their understanding as they read. Following this analysis, the activity concludes with students writing an evidence-based personal reflection of the thoughts and emotions the text provokes.

        In Section 2, Lesson 1, students examine a quote from The Book of the Americans, paying attention to word choice and imagery. Students use imagery later in the unit by including it in their responses during the Culminating Task.

        In Section 2, Lesson 3, students have an opportunity to closely read “Immigrant in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Bace and to “Choose a different color and underline or circle phrases that represent imagery or descriptive language.”

        In Section 4, Lesson 3, students compare two different voices in the text, answering:

        • “How does the Mayor's use of imagery differ from Alma’s?

        • What effect does this difference in voice have on the reader’s understanding of the text?”

  • 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, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 5, students create a Literary Elements and Narrative Techniques Note-Taking Tool for “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel after reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and practicing these skills. Students discuss the question: “Based on evidence from The Book of Unknown Americans and ‘The Wanderers,’ What connections can you make about the role of plot, setting, and conflict in narrative text?”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 1, students record key ideas and details from the article “History and Overview of the Green Revolution: How Agricultural Practices Changed in the 20th Century” by Amanda Briney. The materials include direct instruction and the use of the Evaluating Ideas Tool to guide students. By the end of the unit, students write an argumentative essay, using key ideas and details from different sources. Students must apply the skills from previous lessons and units, so direct instruction for the components is not included but embedded in the activity and questions.

      In Section 5, students complete a culminating task to create an argumentative product on current issues facing the food system. Some of the objectives students complete include:

      • Develop a logical sequence of claims that support your position, including at least one counterclaim to an opposing argument.

      • Support your position with evidence cited from relevant materials and research.

      • Include examples of the social, environmental, and economic issues in your subtopic and the implications of your proposed response or solution.

      • Express your claims, explanations, and supporting evidence with clear and powerful language in an appropriate tone for your purpose and audience.

      The task embeds the use of language, key ideas, details, and applying a structure to a final product that requires students to present their position and thinking clearly. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students complete a culminating task in which they “use the research portfolio you have built over the course of the unit a to develop a presentation for your learning community that shares your findings and conclusions.” By the end of the year, students choose their own topic for study and receive guidance in preparing their research by returning to guiding questions encountered in the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, 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 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.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2c.

The Grade 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton and complete a Note-Taking Tool to record moments of change that occur in the text, how the change happens, and how this could connect to a pathway they are studying in the unit. 

      • In The Development Unit, Photojournalism, students closely examine “Letter From Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to explore the idea of direct action and gain a solid knowledge of the period. This knowledge will then be applied to a photograph students will carefully examine. In Section 3, Lesson 4, Activity 1, the Teaching Notes state, “Reading this response [‘Letter From A Birmingham Jail’] helps to frame the context of not only this letter and the argument that follows, but also the events that Charles Moore photographed.” Students read and gain knowledge and understanding of King’s claims about direct action being the only option in Birmingham by describing the steps of a nonviolent campaign. The knowledge gained in the study of this letter allows students a thorough understanding of the individual text and a better understanding of the photograph they will examine at a later date. Students build an understanding of the background and context of the civil rights movement by considering: How does King use an emotional appeal (pathos) to develop his justification for direct action?

      • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 2, students read Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students answer a series of questions in the Section 3 Question Set that include:

        • “Where does Shakespeare use dramatic irony in this scene?

        • What effect does Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony have in this scene?

        Students also complete the Character Note-Taking Tool to analyze characters within the text.”

      • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students select a text to revisit, including but not limited to: “History and Overview of the Green Revolution: How Agricultural Practices Changes in the 20th Century” by Amanda Briney or “Impossible Foods, Impossible Claims” by Anna Lappa. Students assess the text utilizing the Potential Sources Tool, answering questions such as:

        • “Can I corroborate the information with other sources?

        • How extensive and supported is the information it provides?

        The lesson prepares students to assess potential sources of their choosing as they continue to build and integrate knowledge around a topic of inquiry and prepare for the culminating task.”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, students use the Note-Taking Tool to track moments of change that occur in the multiple texts read throughout the unit. In Section 1, Section Diagnostic, students construct a multi-paragraph essay using the texts they have read in the unit to demonstrate their understanding of “change agent.” Students respond to the following set of questions to create the essay:

      • “What are the characteristics of a change agent? 

      • How are these characteristics universal?”

      In Section 2, Lesson 2, using evidence from “Agents of Change” as well as evidence from other unit texts, students share and discuss self-developed, open-ended questions from the readings to demonstrate their understanding of the topic and critical thinking about the text set.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 3, students read “Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics” by Society of Professional Journalists and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. Students consider the code of ethics in conjunction with a quote by Dr. King, Jr. as he reprimands Flip Schulke, a photographer for Life magazine. Students discuss the connection between the code of ethics document and the quote as well as write an explanation of their position in response to the question: “Is it the job of the photojournalist to be a witness and the ‘eyes of the world’ or to ‘join the fray’?”

      In Section 3, Lesson 4, students respond to additional questions about the author's purpose and how he establishes credibility, including:

      • “According to King, what is the purpose of direct action?

      • How does King describe the usefulness of tension in this paragraph?”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 3, students study the essay “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel. Towards the end of the lesson, students answer guiding questions regarding the key ideas and details of the essay to deepen their analysis such as: What is Smith-Yackel’s argument? Is it explicitly stated or implied? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 3, students use the Delineating Arguments Tool to analyze the texts “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” and “How Does Agriculture Change Our Climate?” and use the information they collect to discuss and examine similarities and differences between the texts.

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

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students complete a culminating project comparing the development of themes in the film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. Students use tools such as the Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool to analyze both film adaptations, applying their learning to their final products. In Section 5, Lesson 1, students use evidence gathered using the Film-Theme and Note-Taking tool to summarize their thinking on how filmmakers Zeffirelli or Luhrmann enhance or detract from the theme.  

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 4, students explore the narrative “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel, making connections to The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Students analyze a quote from Henriquez’s text to further their analysis of narrative elements in the text. As students read and annotate “The Wanderers,” they consider how the author uses setting and conflict to develop the plot in the story and record entries in the Literary Elements and Narrative Techniques Note-Taking Tool as an independent activity. The tasks and close analyses of texts empower students to synthesize what they have learned about storytelling elements and to “rewrite a vignette from The Book of Unknown Americans from the perspective of another character.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 5, Lesson 1, students synthesize their knowledge from multiple texts to create a final product for the Culminating Task. Student incorporation of multiple sources of information is embedded within the task as students complete the Organizing Evidence Tool to analyze multiple texts to support the claims in their writing.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students complete a Culminating Task using “the research portfolio you have built over the course of the unit a to develop a presentation for your learning community that shares your findings and conclusions.” 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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2d.

The Grade 9 materials include multimodal and summative unit Culminating Tasks that provide various ways for students to communicate their understanding among 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, Who Changes the World?, students answer the unit Central Question: Who Changes the World? In Section 1, Lesson 3, students read the Introduction from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and the TED Talk “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers. Using these and other texts, students prepare to complete the two-fold Culminating Task, an oral presentation incorporating speaking and listening skills and a written reflection demonstrating reading and writing skills to address the question: “What are the conditions that caused or allowed change to occur in your pathway topic, and who were change agents?”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 5, Lesson 1, students begin working on the unit Culminating Task, an expository essay that addresses the prompt: “How does photojournalism highlight and define important moments in history and culture? Support your claims with textual evidence by citing one or more written texts and at least two photographs and photojournalists.” The task requires students to demonstrate mastery of several standards, including writing expository texts, citing textual evidence, using inferences to support central claims, and using precise language and domain-specific vocabulary.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 12, after reading Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and viewing film adaptations by Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann, students engage in the Section Diagnostic, a Philosophical Chairs Discussion, in which they create and defend a claim about the directors’ choices in transforming the story. To facilitate the discussion, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide possible statements for students to debate, such as:

      • “Zeffirelli’s choice to remove Paris from the final scene enhances the thematic idea of love.

      • Luhrmann’s choice to have Juliet awaken as Romeo takes the poison detracts from the thematic idea of fate.”

      In addition to supporting students’ speaking and listening skills, the discussion prepares students for the unit Culminating Task to write a literary analysis explaining how the directors’ choices in their adaptations enhance or detract from the development of a theme in the play. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition state:

      • “The statements for discussion are all connected to the directors and the choices they made in order to prepare students for the Culminating Task. If you add or change statements, make sure you include statements that have students think critically about the choices the directors made.”

      Teachers may also use the Section Diagnostic to inform instructional decisions and assess how students progress in their understanding.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lessons 5 and 6, students participate in a two-part Section Diagnostic focused on the tasks of reading, writing, and speaking. In Lesson 5, students write a response comparing themes found in The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and a companion text. Student-facing materials prompt students to answer:

      • “What is a theme in the novel, and how is it similar to a theme in one of the other texts in this unit?

      • What literary elements and narrative techniques did the authors use to convey the themes?”

      In Lesson 6, students write a short narrative inspired by a protagonist from an excerpt from Little Failure: A Memoir titled “Sixty-Nine Cents” by Gary Shteyngart. Students share their work within their writing groups and exchange feedback through discussion. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, as the unit Culminating Task, students write an argumentative essay in which they develop a perspective and argumentative position in response to a current issue facing the food system. In Section 3, Lesson 7, students collaborate in a peer review team to complete the Section Diagnostic, an argument proposal and research plan utilizing speaking, listening, and writing skills to explain and defend the argument they plan to develop. In Section 4, Lesson 3, students write a multi-paragraph synopsis of their arguments as the Section Diagnostic. The various tasks provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate an understanding of the texts they are examining through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 6, Lesson 1, students finalize presentations after compiling comprehensive research on a specific question. During the unit, 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students read Section 1 of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and discuss key distinctions in two events that illuminate different pathways of change. Student-facing materials provide guidance and a series of questions to support student comprehension and building knowledge, such as:

      • “In the fourth paragraph, the author provides three characteristics of an epidemic, and he says that the third characteristic is important to understand modern change. What is the third characteristic, and how does it relate to modern change?”

      Such questions and activities prepare students for the unit Culminating Task, a  collaboratively researched, developed, and delivered oral presentation addressing the unit theme and Central Question, Who changes the world?, that includes an individual self-reflection on the research process. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide guidance, such as:

      • “You might model how a question can lead a reader to specific details in the text, and walk through how you make meaning, or synthesize, across those details with respect to the question. Students might then practice this process and skill with the second question.”

      Teachers may use these opportunities to inform instructional decisions and to assess student understanding of the texts throughout the unit.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 2, students begin reading The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and answer text-dependent questions, including: 

      • “How has the author structured and used the elements of plot (exposition, complication, climax, falling action, and resolution) to develop the work?

      • How does the literary element or narrative technique shape the reader’s understanding of the text?”

      These prompts and activities align to the Lesson 6 Section Diagnostic, an expository essay addressing the question: “How do authors engage readers through setting, plot, and conflict?”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lessons 1 and 2, students listen to a podcast and participate in a fishbowl activity to gather and organize relevant and sufficient evidence to demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives and identify counterclaims, reasoning, and evidence. In Lesson 1, students listen to “‘Fate Of Food’ Asks: What's For Dinner In A Hotter, Drier, More Crowded World?” an interview of environmental journalist Amanda Little by Terry Gross and answer questions such as:

      • “What was the most compelling idea or argument discussed about the future of food?

      • What are some challenges Little addresses? Have we discussed these challenges in the unit? Is there one challenge that seems most pressing?

      • What are some potential solutions to the challenges facing the food system Little discusses in her interview?”

      These questions help prepare and scaffold students to participate in the fishbowl, after which students answer:

      • “What were some of the most compelling arguments about the future of the food system introduced in our discussion?

      • What are some potential solutions that Little discusses in her interview that might directly address one of the challenges listed in the infographic?

      • Which challenges to our future food system are the most immediate? How does Little portray these challenges in her interview?”

      The series of questions and student answers allow teachers to assess student readiness for both the Section Diagnostic and unit Culminating Task.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students work in groups to submit research portfolios the instructor uses to assess their progress toward the Culminating Task, a collaborative research presentation that demonstrates their findings and conclusions of their group-developed research questions. In Section 1, Lesson 7, students submit their preliminary research portfolio, including their completed Exploring a Topic Tool, Central Research Question Checklist, Potential Sources Tool, and individual reflections. The Potential Sources Tool asks students text-specific questions, such as:

      • “What is the purpose of the text with respect to the topic?

      • Does the text provide accurate, current and supported information?”

      In Section 3, Lesson 8, students resubmit their portfolios, including the Research Frame Tool, Potential Sources Tool, Research Note-Taking Tool, Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool, Organizing Evidence Tool, Research Evaluation Checklist, and three claims about their inquiry questions or research problem. The Organizing Evidence Tool prompts students to state claims from their research and to cite supporting evidence from the resources they collected. In both portfolio submissions, the teacher provides feedback and students self-assess, answering a series of guided questions:

      • “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?”

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2e.

The Grade 9 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. The 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students make and record connections to the term “tipping point” by responding in their Learning Logs to the prompt: “If you could create or cause an important change what would you like to change?” Students then share their written responses with a writing partner. This activity is one of several scaffolds that prepares students for further writing throughout the unit and across the school year.

      • In Section 1, Lesson 9, for example, students complete the Session Diagnostic, a multi-paragraph explanatory essay that demonstrates their understanding of “change agents.” Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that require students to:

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

        • 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, Photojournalism, to complete the unit Culminating Task, students write an expository essay that supports their claims using citations from one or more written texts and at least two photographs and photojournalists. Students develop their writing skills throughout the unit through informal and formal writing opportunities. In Section 2, Lesson 2, for example, students read the introduction to Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Journalism by Marc Aronson, Marina Budhos, Henry Holt, and Company, and write a summary of the prologue using the Summarizing Text Tool. In Section 3, students complete the Section Diagnostic, a multi-paragraph response addressing the prompt: “How did the photojournalism of Charles Moore and others push the agenda of civil rights leaders into public discourse and serve as a catalyst for change?” Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that require students to:

      • “Form Claims: How well do I develop and clearly communicate a meaningful and defensible claim regarding the influence of photojournalism during the civil rights era using valid, evidence-based analysis?

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

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 1, students have the opportunity to address the Lesson Goal, “Can I develop and clearly communicate a meaningful and defensible claim about how a theme is developed during the course of multiple acts in Romeo and Juliet?,” by completing four activities that address the revision writing standards. Students revise their Section 3 Diagnostic multi-paragraph expository responses by revising to form a clear and strong claim, include strong textual evidence including relevant quotations, thoroughly explain the significance of the textual evidence through clear connections among ideas, and include effective integration and proper citation of quotations.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 1, Lesson 6, students complete the Section Diagnostic to draft a response to the question, “How do authors engage readers through setting, plot, and conflict?” Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that require students to:

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

      • 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?”

      Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provides additional guidance to support students, including: “As students might still be mastering the concepts they try on this Section Diagnostic, you might consider using their sentence-level writing as formative data that you can build upon in the next section.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students develop their writing proficiency through a series of portfolio submissions as Section Diagnostics. In Section 1, Lesson 7, students submit their portfolios, including their Exploring a Topic Tool and Central Research Question Checklist, which help students develop their research topics and inquiry questions that drive their research. Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that require students to:

      • “Generate Ideas: How well do I generate ideas, positions, and solutions to problems?

      • Develop Ideas: How well do I formulate questions and lines of inquiry that lead me to deepen my knowledge of important themes?

      • Collaborate: In my research team, how well do I brainstorm creatively, present my thoughts clearly, and listen to my peers’ perspectives to generate new ideas?

      • Communicate Effectively: How well do I write a clear, precise statement that communicates my team’s inquiry question or problem and its relevance to our learning community?”

      In Section 3, Lesson 8, students submit their portfolios, including tools, including the Research Frame Tool, Potential Resources Tool, and Research Note-Taking Tools. Students use these tools to develop their ability to identify and evaluate resources that address the inquiry pathways they developed. Here we see each portfolio requiring increasing complexity of student writing as they progress towards the Culminating Task. Lesson Goals for this activity include writing standards that require students to:

      • “Form Claims: How well do I use sources I’ve collected to form strong, credible claims based on clear textual evidence?

      • Organize Work: How well do I take meaningful notes that inform my further research, my writing about my inquiry question, and my team’s final presentation?”

  • 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, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 5, students utilize their Mentor Sentence Journals to compile powerful and interesting sentences. The student-facing materials guide students through the process through prompts including:

      • “What does this sentence contribute to the author’s ideas in the text?

      • How does it expand your understanding of the text or author?”

      Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance to support students, such as choosing at least one mentor sentence worthy of careful study in advance and offering students suggestions.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 10, students “write one-paragraph expository responses that identify a theme and how it is developed in Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.” The Teacher Edition provides the following guidance: 

      • “Sentence frames are used in this Section Diagnostic because it is the first place in the unit in which students are required to write a formal structured response. As students master the structure of an evidence-based claim, you might choose to taper off the use of sentence-frame models.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students complete the Culminating Task during which they “Rewrite a vignette from The Book of Unknown Americans from the perspective of a different character from the book. Consider plot, conflict, setting, character traits, theme, structure, and point of view.” The Culminating Task Checklist provides a list of requirements for the vignette and a rubric that addresses the following areas of writing development:

      • “How well do I use devices, techniques, descriptions, reasoning, evidence, and visual elements to support and elaborate on coherent and logical narratives?

      • 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?

      • How well do I use language and strategies to accomplish my intended purpose in communicating?

      • How well do I apply correct and effective syntax, usage, mechanics, and spelling to communicate ideas and achieve intended purposes?”

      Students revisit their Culminating Task Checklist by completing the Culminating Task Progress Tracker throughout the unit to determine their progress towards the Culminating Task. In the Teacher Edition, the Teaching Notes encourage instructors to record students' responses to make necessary changes to instruction in the next section based on student progress. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 1, the materials provide teachers and students with specific tools to help students work through a multistep analytical process. Students examine visuals to see how food is grown, harvested, and processed across the United States. Teachers have the option of providing the Visual Analysis Tool with “questions provided for students in the activity sequence come directly from this tool in order to help deepen their understanding of each image and begin to think about connections among the images. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition outline the tools available to support students writing development in this lesson and throughout the unit and year as follows:

      • "Tools are graphic organizers that support students’ reading and writing by helping them think through text, find pertinent textual details, and develop ideas for their writing. Note that many, such as the Analyzing Relationships Tool and the Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool, are text agnostic—they are designed to be used with any text.”

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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2f.

Grade 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 3, students join research groups that work collaboratively throughout the unit to complete the unit Culminating Task to research and create a 5–7 minute presentation about global, national, and local change agents and the conditions that caused or allowed change in one of the following pathways: technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, or scientific. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 4, students collaborate in character-based expert teams to closely examine photographs and text passages that represent Capa’s and Taro’s developing styles as photographers in preparation for the unit Culminating Task to write an expository essay addressing the question: “How does photojournalism highlight and define important moments in history and culture?” Over the course of the unit, students gather ideas and information from multiple resources and support their claims by citing evidence from one or more written texts and at least two photographs and photojournalists. Students analyze and explain how and why the photos were politically influential, made history, or were catalysts for social change. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 7, students expand their research skills by identifying and focusing on a controversial subtopic issue and questions related to food systems and production, and by delineating the key elements of an argument, first in writing and then in a peer review defense. This research task and embedded activities prepare students for the unit Culminating Task to develop a perspective and argumentative position in response to a current issue facing the food system, including an argumentative thesis supported by a series of evidence-based claims and at least one counterargument to an opposing perspective or position. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, students collect, organize, and analyze relevant ideas and resources encountered throughout the year to complete the unit Culminating Task, a collaborative research project in response to a self-generated inquiry question. Students curate a portfolio throughout the unit to complete this task and develop a presentation sharing their findings and conclusions at a celebratory community event, school, or classroom event. Instructional materials direct student presentations to:

      • “Share your Central Research Question and tell the story of why you became interested in the question and how you arrived at your current understanding of your research topic.

      • Present 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 citing evidence from a wide range of perspectives to help your audience understand the context and conclusions of your work.

      • Tailor your final presentation to your audience, using auditory, visual, and digital aids, as well as public-speaking techniques that will keep them engaged.

      • Respond to questions from your audience respectfully and knowledgeably by citing your sources and expressing your conclusions.”

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 7, students work in groups to select a source text about a local change agent, analyze the text to determine its relevance and credibility, and discern its value to their research. To support this task, students use the Attending to Details Tool to analyze the text for the central idea and the guiding questions in the Foundation Unit Research Guide to evaluate the text for bias and credibility.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 2, students develop the skill of film analysis by viewing two film adaptations of Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet and analyzing the choices that each director made, comparing the theme development in Act 1 of the play with the theme development in Act 1 of the film adaptations and evaluating whether the directors’ choices enhance or detract from the themes developed in the play. To support student readiness for this task, students examine the reference table on the first page of the Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool to learn what director choices to consider when analyzing a film and use the Tool to capture their analyses. Student-facing directions instruct students as follows:

      • “As you view the prologue and Act 1, Scene 1, pay attention to the following director choices:

        • costumes

        • soundtrack

        • camera shots

        • acting (facial expressions and body language).”

      • In addition, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance to support students as follows:

        • “Film analysis is likely a new skill for students. For the first few scenes, it might be important to model for students how to complete the Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool during this activity.

        • Paying attention to all four director choices on first viewing might be challenging for students. You might want to have students focus and take notes on one or two, and share their observations and notes with a partner.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 5, Lesson 6, students engage in a sustained recursive inquiry process as part of their research for the Culminating Task during which they rewrite a vignette from The Book of Unknown Americans from the perspective of another character from the book. During the lesson, students use the Culminating Task Progress Tracker to assess their own learning. Students also examine and discuss as a group the 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 provide an Application Unit Potential Topics Tool for students to capture their reflections, and the student facing materials provide questions for consideration, 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.”

      Teachers may use the Culminating Task Progress Tracker to conference with students and guide their questions when monitoring readiness for the unit Culminating Task and in the initial stage of planning for the Application Unit end of year research project. In addition, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide additional guidance relating to the Application Unit Potential Topic Tool as follows:

      • “1. 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. 

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

  • 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, Who Changes the World?, students work toward the Culminating Task during which they collaboratively participate in a research team to choose a pathway topic and create and deliver a 5–7 minute presentation about global, national, and local change agents and the conditions that caused or allowed change in one of the following pathways: technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, or scientific. In Section 3, Lesson 6, students refine and revise their Section 1 Diagnostic to “demonstrate how your understanding of change agents has expanded and changed after reading additional texts.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 3, students practice using the Delineating Arguments Tool to break down two texts related to the central idea of the unit: “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment” by Jayson Lusk and “How Does Agriculture Change Our Climate?” by Barrett Colombo et al. Students use the Delineating Arguments Tool to identify the issue/question, purpose, perspective, and position of the texts in addition to claims, counterclaims, and supporting evidence.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 5, Lesson 7, students synthesize and analyze the texts and films they have studied throughout the unit to write a literary analysis to answer the question: “How can adaptations enhance or detract from the themes of the original text?” Students select themes from Romeo and Juliet by William Shaekspeare and compare and contrast how those themes are developed in two film adaptations of the play. Students must research the information from the films and synthesize this information with what they have read while studying the text of Romeo and Juliet. The Culminating Task Checklist provides the following guidance to instruct students on how to synthesize the information to develop their literary analysis: “Write a literary analysis in which you explain how the directors’ choices in their adaptations enhance or detract from the development of that theme in the play. Be sure to state your response and logically and suciently support your response with evidence from the texts and films. Support your claims with textual evidence, including direct quotations with parenthetical citations.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students complete a rewrite of a vignette from The Book of Unknown Americans from the perspective of a different character from the book. Students read a large array of stories within The Book of Unknown Americans as well as other story sources, including but not limited to “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel and “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel. Students analyze and then synthesize the various narrative techniques and themes in each of these stories and their sources. During their readings of the various texts, the student’s research and plan the realistic characters, events, and conflicts they will portray in their rewrite of a vignette from The Book of Unknown Americans. In Section 4, Lesson 4, Activity 1, students create expert and home teams during a jigsaw activity designed for students to research and then report elements of setting, plot, and conflict in the novel “The Wanderers” by Guadalupe Nettel. Students then use this information for research in creating their own elements of setting, plot, and conflict in their rewritten vignette.  

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students complete a short research project during which they read and analyze change agents using a presentation protocol to learn about the change agents in the text “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton. Working in groups, students use the Change Agents Note-Taking Tool to analyze one change agent from the reading and present their findings to the class in order to learn about all the individuals the author highlights. Later in the unit, Section 4, Lesson 1, students begin a longer research project, the unit Culminating Task during which they “to create a 5–7 minute presentation about global, national, and local change agents and the conditions that caused or allowed change in one of the following pathways: technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, or scientific.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 7, students write an “evidence-based multipart claim and supporting paragraph” addressing the question, “What is the greatest challenge facing the global food system?” In Section 3, Lesson 7, students present their ideas using the Delineating Arguments Tool and “present the issue, question, perspective, position, and major claims and counterclaims for [their] final arguments.” Finally, in Section 5, Lessons 1–6, students compose their Culminating Task of developing their argumentative thesis using evidence-based claims, revise their work, present their findings to the whole-class, and reflect on the process. 

    • 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 that they will explore throughout the unit. In Section 1 Lesson 2, 1, 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 might lead to valuable questions and problems to explore in their research. The teacher discusses each phase of the Research Plan and the Research Portfolio Description section. 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. Students may choose topics and texts from any of the prior units: Who Changes the World?, Photojournalism, Romeo and Juliet, The Book of Unknown Americans, and Global Food Production.

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 9 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 9 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 both 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 three 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 9 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 9 Course-at-a-Glance, materials offer two pathways for instruction: “A” and “B.” Each pathway recommends the teacher implement the following units: Foundation Unit: Who Changes the World; Development Units, Romeo and Juliet and Global Food Production; and Application Unit: What Do I Want to Research? The variation between “A” and “B” is that “A” recommends the teacher implement the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans and “B” recommends the teacher implement the Development Unit, Photojournalism and assign the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans as independent reading throughout the year. Because the pathways cover the same units, each pathway aligns with core learning and objectives. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lessons 1–11, materials clearly label the Core and Optional Lessons. For example, Lesson 1 is Optional and states, “If we were unable to craft a definition of a change agent based on key understandings from four core texts, we will find one quote in each text and use these quotes to drill down to our definitions of a change agent.” Teachers can choose to add the lesson as necessary. Lesson 2 is a Core Lesson during which students read and analyze “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton to help frame their research pathways. During Section 2, students practice using open-ended questions and text evidence collected from various sources to engage in academic discourse, a skill they will need to master to prepare for and present a pathway topic to the class. 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 9 Program Guide, the publisher describes the layout of each unit, including some suggested timings for Activities in the unit. For example, the Program Design section of the Program Guide states the following regarding pacing: “Lessons are designed to span 45–90 minutes, but the total length of a lesson depends on how many Activities are chosen. Knowing that the needs of students may vary widely, educators are best suited to make decisions on pacing.” Based on this information, the number of Core Lessons would make it difficult for educators to complete the suggested pathways.

    • In the Grade 9 Course-at-a-Glance, materials provide two Model Yearlong Paths as suggestions. For example, Model Yearlong Path A includes the following units: Foundation: Who Changes the World,” The Book of Unknown Americans, Romeo and Juliet, Global Food Production, and Application: What Do I Want to Research? 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, Photojournalism, the unit includes five sections. In Section 1, students have six Core Lessons, a Section Diagnostic, and an Independent Reading lesson to complete. In the Core Lessons for Section 1, students have a total of 24 Activities to complete. For example, in Section 1, Lesson 2, Activity 3, students respond to a series of questions in a class discussion and complete a Visual Analysis Tool. If there is room for instruction and support, this activity could take a typical 45-minute instructional day. Because the materials leave instructional decisions to the teacher, there is choice in what is and is not taught to accommodate desired timeframes. The suggested implementation schedule is not reasonable if students follow all core content, as there are five units that consist of roughly 4–5 sections with anywhere between 6–12 Core Lessons and some lessons containing 3–5 core activities.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, each of the Model Yearlong Paths in the Course-at-a-Glance includes this unit in its pathway, as it contains a literary analysis essay task. This unit consists of 51 lessons, seven of which are considered Optional. Some of the Optional Lessons would need to be omitted, in order to complete instruction within a nine-week grading period.   

  • Optional tasks do not distract from core learning. 

    • In The Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World, Section 2, Lesson 1, students receive support that stems from the Section Diagnostic and establishes key skills to complete the Culminating Task with success and gain a skill used throughout their high school career. The lesson overview reads, “If we were unable to craft a definition of a change agent based on key understandings from four core texts, we will find one quote in each text and use these quotes to drill down to our definitions of a change agent.” This activity enhances the activities, questions, and goals of the unit while providing support for students that may need additional practice.

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 1, during an Optional Lesson, students draft a claim that evaluates how the film directors’ choices enhance or detract from the themes of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: “We will rewatch a key scene from the Luhrmann film and attend to Specific details. We will use the model claim from the Section Diagnostic to draft our own claim.” If selected, this lesson supports students and aids in their success when writing and revising multiparagraph expository responses that demonstrate their understanding and development of the themes found in Acts 1–3 of Romeo and Juliet during a future activity. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 8, students use feedback from the teacher to make revisions to the paragraph they wrote for the Section 2 Diagnostic. This optional task provides students with the opportunity to improve the work they completed for a core assignment. 

      • In Section 4, Lesson 4, materials offer an optional activity to help students deepen their understanding of the novel The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. The three teacher-lead Activities are as follows:

        • “The novel contains many quotes that develop the feelings and emotions of characters, themes in the text, and quotes that develop tone or create a mood. Find six quotes (two of each type) in which the author accomplishes this. Write one text-dependent question for each quote you find.

        • Write a literary essay discussing how Henriquez uses literary elements and narrative techniques to develop a theme in the novel. Use collected quotes as evidence to support your ideas.

        • Choose one character from The Book of Unknown Americans and write a character analysis using dialogue and quotes from the text to support your ideas.”

  • Optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 3, students review the code of ethics for journalists to broaden their understanding of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The student-facing materials provide the following guidance: “We will consider the code of ethics in conjunction with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in response to Flip Schulke, a photographer for Life magazine during the civil rights movement.” This Optional Lesson connects to Lessons 2 and 4, during which students examined photos from Birmingham, Alabama, to analyze excerpts from “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 6, during an Optional Lesson, students review the elements and definition of a food system by creating their own food system map as a class: “We will review our claims formed at the end of Lesson 3 and incorporate different global challenges facing food into our understanding of the food system. This Optional Lesson can support students as they prepare to complete the Section Diagnostic in Lesson 7, during which they explain their understanding of the food system and the major challenges and issues within it while writing an evidence-based multipart claim and supporting paragraph.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 4, students may complete a series of Activities to help them compose invitations to an intended audience for their public presentations. These tasks allow students to see how explanatory/informative texts can be used for a specific purpose and help students think about the intended audience of their presentations. For example, in Activity 4, students consider the following questions:

      • “Given the possible audience members we would like to invite, what kind of language (academic/professional/conversational, formal/informal/casual) should we use to best communicate with them and why?

      • Given all the information we would like to include, what kind of structure should we use to best communicate the details to our prospective audience members and why?”

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 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.

8/9
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 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 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3a. 

Across the school year, the Teacher Edition includes guidance in the Teaching Notes. Teaching Notes categories are as follows: 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 5, students use a Reference Guide to determine the credibility of sources. The Teacher Edition includes Teaching Notes with Teaching Strategies and Decisions, such as “If students need additional support with assessing sources, you might direct them to the Assessing Sources Reference Guide. You might define credibility and credible source for students (believable, fair, trustworthy).”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 4, students do a close reading of a passage and use the Section 2 Question Set. In the teacher-facing notes for this activity, guidance notes that students can use the Visual Analysis Tool or Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool for extra support. Materials also provide information about the author to aid in instruction, and teacher guidance also suggests using vocabulary lists from prior chapters to support instruction. 

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 6, students read Lines 1–105 of Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic notes which state, “Note: Lines 1–30 of Act 1, Scene 1 contain lewd jokes. Shakespeare used both high- and low-brow humor in his plays. Students should connect this scene to emerging themes about family relationships, hate, and violence.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lesson 2, Teaching Notes on Teaching Strategies and Decisions to help solidify understanding. A set of questions in the Student Support and Differentiation portion of the Teaching Notes helps teachers diagnose student problems and suggests various tools to support their students, such as the Annotating and Note-Taking Reference Guide.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 1, Teaching Notes address Teacher Strategies and Decisions and Student Support and Differentiation, such as paring down a student’s list of research options for them to digest the project better and make progress. In Lesson 4, students learn how to provide parenthetical citations for the sources of information and quotations they use. The Teaching Edition includes Teaching Notes on Student Support and Differentiation which states, “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 9 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 provide additional tools that teachers can use beyond current offerings in the course materials, such as K-W-L protocols and Notice and Wonder tables. Materials also include teacher guidance on film analysis to support students with this concept, and provide specific background information on instructional concepts.

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 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide suggestions on other strategies to use when trying to access background information from students:

      • “Other strategies to activate background knowledge include using the K-W-L protocol or a Notice and Wonder table. The K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learn) protocol asks students to identify what they know about the topic at the beginning of the unit, lesson, or activity; generate questions about what they want to know about the topic; and, in the end, determine what they learned about the topic. In a Notice and Wonder table, students take note of parts of the text in one column and write ‘I wonder’ statements based on those observations in a second column.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 3, the Teacher Edition includes the following explanation for how teachers can help students who are struggling with finding the central idea: “Are students struggling to determine the central and supporting ideas? If so, they might benefit from the following: engaging in focused annotation and a short discussion (see the Annotating and Note-Taking Reference Guide); rereading the text multiple times using guiding or text-specific questions, each with a different purpose (see the guiding questions in the Questioning Reference Guide for examples of additional text-dependent questions); using a Reading Closely Tool, such as the Attending to Details Tool…”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 3, the Teacher Edition provides adult-level explanations for teachers regarding the complex concept of the frame narrative structure. Teacher guidance suggests thinking of the concept as the frame of a house, “The frame of a house determines, for example, how many rooms a house has and how the facade will look; it also provides strength and structure to the building. Students can relate these constructs to how the frame of the phone call to Social Security provides strength and structure to the narrative and how Smith-Yackel used the frame to highlight the exhaustive list of jobs her mother held.”

    • In the Development Section, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 1, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition explain what the Green Revolution was and point out key details to improve the instructor’s knowledge of the subject:

      • “The Green Revolution refers to a general time period between 1950 and 1960 in which an increase in technological initiatives in agriculture predominantly impacted countries in the developing world.

      • Its overall impact was an increase in global food production as a result of new chemical fertilizers, mechanization in agricultural techniques, and developments in irrigation.

      • [...] Norman Borlaug is often referred to as the father of the Green Revolution.

      • Various environmental, socioeconomic, and health impacts are often discussed in relation to the Green Revolution, and it has been the object of both praise and criticism.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Teacher Edition leads teachers to use the Application Unit: Teacher Planning Guide to facilitate student learning throughout the Application Unit. An adult-level explanation that is provided in the guide specifies how teachers can guide student research on page 2 of the Application Unit: Teacher Planning Guide. It states, “Students should be encouraged to build on a familiar topic (including those of the foundation and development units) to provide them with a comfortable, and even advanced, starting point. They can draw on their written work and class discussions from earlier units and use their responses to a unit prompt on their Application Unit Potential Topics Tools to determine areas of interest within the topic.” 

  • 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, Romeo and Juliet, Section 4, Lesson 2, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition explain the significance of a scene from Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet by pointing out the following:

      • “In the Zeffirelli film, the mood of the scene starts out humorous and playful with the characters smiling.

      • The camera shots make it difficult to see the moment that Tybalt stabs Mercutio, but from Tybalt’s facial expression, it was clearly an accident.

      • From his facial expression, body language, and intonation, the viewer can tell that Romeo clearly wants to kill Tybalt, but Zeffirelli reduces Romeo’s responsibility for the death by having him on the ground, lifting his sword in self-defense when Tybalts runs onto it. 

      • Zeffirelli chooses to interrupt this scene with a short excerpt from the following scene with Juliet, heightening the emotion of the scene.”

      Materials provide insight into film analysis to help the instructor improve their own knowledge of the director’s choices to better assist students in their analysis of the film.

Indicator 3c

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

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 4, Lesson 2, students present their Culminating Task or actively listen to and participate in the presentation of their classmates. The Culminating Task Checklist includes evaluation criteria: Reading & Knowledge, Speaking & Listening, and Writing. For example, when students apply Speaking & Listening Goals, they are asked to Communicate Effectively, “How well do I use language and strategies to accomplish my intended purpose in communicating?” Teachers can correlate the evaluation criteria to their local standards. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS. 

    • In the Development Unit,  Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 3, an example of a Lesson Goal includes: “Can I use language and strategies to accomplish my intended purpose in communicating, especially when presenting as a group?” 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, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 7, students utilize a Diagnostic Checklist as they write and revise a multiparagraph expository response that demonstrates their understanding and development of the themes found in Acts 1–3 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The Section Diagnostic provides learning goals, such as Reading & Knowledge Goals, when students summarize, “How well do I express an accurate understanding of themes in literary texts?” Teachers can correlate the language of the learning goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 4, Lesson 2, the teacher encourages students to use the Academic Discussion Reference Guide when they work with partners to discuss quotes they identified as important in the novel The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. Lesson Goals include: “Can I recognize and interpret important relationships among key details and ideas (characters, setting, tone, point of view, structure, development, etc.) within texts?” and “Can I use connections among details, elements, and effects to make logical deductions about an author's perspective, purpose, and meaning in texts?” Teachers can correlate the language of the Lesson Goals to the CCSS. Materials do not specifically cite CCSS.

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 3, an example of a Lesson Goal includes: “Can I understand the meaning of, and relationships among, key concepts of argumentation, such as perspective, position, claim, evidence, and reasoning, as they apply to a text introducing the concept of food security?” 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 Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 10, students “celebrate our in-depth work by presenting our findings to our classmates.” As a final activity for the grade level, student teams present their research findings or participate as the audience by listening attentively to the other teams’ presentations, taking notes, and considering three questions while observing. One question reads, “What are the most interesting or surprising things you learned from this presentation?” Student grading utilizes items from the Culminating Task Checklist, including Reading & Knowledge, Speaking & Listening, and Writing. One such goal in the Reading & Knowledge section asks students to analyze relationships, “How well do we compare, contrast, and synthesize multiple sources to deepen our understanding of our Central Research Question or inquiry question?” 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 9 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 9 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 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. 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, such as, “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 9 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. The Program 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 2, Activity 2, materials listed in student-facing materials and the Teacher Edition Teaching Notes include the Change Agents Note-Taking Tool.

  • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 2, Lesson 2, materials listed include: Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary List, Vocabulary Journal, and the Academic Discussion Reference Guide to record and discuss the terms adapt, enhance, and detract in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

  • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 4, Lesson 2, materials listed include the Organizing Evidence Tool to help record evidence, claims, and counterclaims students find in the resources they collect for their Culminating Task.

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 9 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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 3, Lesson 6, students refine and revise their Section 1 Diagnostics to demonstrate how their understanding of a change agent expanded or changed after reading additional texts. Learning goals incorporate language of the standards, and 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, Photojournalism, 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 the following for Gather and Organize Evidence:

      • “How well do I gather and organize relevant and sufficient evidence to demonstrate my understanding of the texts and topics of this section, as well as the task posed by the question in the Section Diagnostic?”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 5, Lesson 2, students utilize a Culminating Task Planning Guide that incorporates language that connects to grade-level standards, including, but not limited to:

      • “Determine Your Focus: Determine the theme you will trace and whether the director choices in each film enhance or detract from the development of that theme.”

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 9 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, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 8, students complete a Section Diagnostic in which they compose a multiparagraph response addressing the following question: “How did the photojournalism of Charles Moore and others push the agenda of civil rights leaders into public discourse and serve as a catalyst for change?” Before completing the response, students review the Section 3 Diagnostic Checklist and review their Learning Logs to look at previous activities’ responses to help them address the Section Diagnostic prompt. Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest that teachers “check on students individually, answering questions and prompting students to be specific in their answers to the questions[, and] encourage them to think about the connection of images to rhetorical appeals.”

In Lesson 9, as students reflect on their Section Diagnostic, Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition explain many ways of collecting and interpreting student performance, specifically:

  • “You may want to have students complete this metacognitive activity in class so you can gather feedback from several students regarding what they have learned and what they still need to learn. 

  • You might want to create a visible class tracker for each class, noting student learning along the way. 

  • Academic feedback should provide students with relevant information in the midst of their learning process, including concrete ideas of how to improve their skills.”

  • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Unit Overview, Materials Tab, the Evaluation Plan Document outlines the many opportunities that teachers have to assess student learning: “The unit includes a variety of formal and informal opportunities designed to assess student learning and performance: a Culminating Task, which is the final, summative assessment for the unit; Section Diagnostics, which are formative assessment opportunities to track student progress toward the Culminating Task; and informal opportunities in each lesson to monitor student performance.”

  • In the Application Unit, the materials provide an Evaluation Plan to help instructors monitor student progress throughout the unit. The materials explain the function of the Evaluation Plan:

    • “This document identifies the unit’s Culminating Task, its Section Diagnostics, and the subsequent lessons and activities that provide practice and enrichment opportunities for students whose performance on diagnostics indicates a need for continued monitoring or additional targeted support.”

The Evaluation Plan outlines how to monitor, diagnose, and evaluate student performance and outlines goals in reading, writing, and listening and speaking for the unit.

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 9, students work on the Section 1 Diagnostic in which they write a multi-paragraph response on change agents. The Teacher Edition provides guidance on how teachers can determine student learning and provide follow-up for students who are struggling on a specific aspect of the assessment: “Sentence frames can also be a useful scaffolding for all students, regardless of ability range and are particularly useful for English learners...If you observe trends in students' misapplication of writing techniques, you might consider planning a mini writing activity to address the issue in the next lesson.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 2, students read and annotate “Chapter 3: Moving Up the Food Chain,” an excerpt from Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown, W.W. Norton & Company. Students determine how the authors support their claims. The Teacher Edition provides guidance for teachers to interpret and support student learning: “If students still seem confused about the difference between an argument and evidence, pull an example from the chapter so they have an idea about what to look for.Claim: ‘The type of animal protein that people choose to eat depends heavily on geography’ (Brown 25). Evidence: ‘Countries that are land-rich with vast grasslands—including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Russia—depend heavily on beef or—as in Australia and Kazakhstan—mutton’ (Brown 25).”

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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, students complete three Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students write an expository response to the following question: “What is a change agent?” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students participate in a Socratic Seminar, using evidence from “Agents of Change” by Phil Patton, as well as other texts read during the unit. Guiding questions include: “What are the qualities of a change agent? How do change agents impact their communities? What conditions allow change to occur?” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students “Refine and revise your Section 1 Diagnostic to demonstrate how your understanding of a change agent expanded or changed after reading additional texts.” During the Culminating Task, students work in groups to “Collaboratively research, create, and deliver a presentation about change agents.” Afterwards, students individually write a narrative in which they reflect on their research process. 

  • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students write an evidence-based, multi-paragraph expository response to the following question: “How do photographs and photojournalism influence politics?” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students participate in a Socratic Seminar, responding to questions such as: “What is the role of photojournalism in constructing the way in which viewers catalog and remember history? How does photojournalism shape the events it documents? How did the work of photojournalists Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and others in the midst of the Spanish Civil War and World War II shape or change viewers’ perspectives of the history of those events?” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students write a multi-paragraph expository response to the following question: “How did the photojournalism of Charles Moore and others push the agenda of civil rights leaders into public discourse and serve as a catalyst for change?” During the Section 4 Diagnostic, students write an expository response to the following question: “Does the image Falling Man successfully define a significant aspect of 9/11? In other words, is the image an important, albeit disturbing, image, or is it in poor taste?” During the Culminating Task, students write an expository essay in which they “[explain] and [analyze] how photojournalism highlights and defines important moments in history and culture.” 

  • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During the Section 1 Diagnostic, students write a one-paragraph literary analysis “that identifies a theme and how it is developed in Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.” During the Section 2 Diagnostic, students participate in a Socratic Seminar and “analyze how the directors’ choices enhance or detract from the thematic ideas in Romeo and Juliet and capture the discussions in your Discussion Tool.” During the Section 3 Diagnostic, students write and revise a multi-paragraph literary analysis, citing textual evidence, in response to the following questions: “What is a theme from Act 1 that is further developed in Acts 2 and 3? How is that theme developed?” During the Section 4 Diagnostic, students engage in a Philosophical Chairs Discussion “in which you take a position by defending or countering a claim about the directors’ choices in transforming Romeo and Juliet.” During the Culminating Task, students “Write a literary analysis in which you explain how the directors’ choices in their adaptations enhance or detract from the development of a theme in the play.”  

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research, students complete four Section Diagnostics which lead to the end-of-unit Culminating Task. During each of the Section Diagnostics, “students submit their research portfolio to receive feedback on elements of their research project, such as their research questions, pertinent research tools, analysis of sources, and draft presentation materials.” During the Culminating Task, students work in research groups and “use the research portfolio you have built over the course of the unit to develop a presentation for your learning community that shares your findings and conclusions.”

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 9 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 9 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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 5, students learn a protocol for goal setting and evaluation of progress. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide opportunities for student support and differentiation, including questions for the teacher to reflect on and use to make instructional decisions: “Will students benefit from some examples to help them answer Question 2 about contributing to the group? If so, some examples include: gather more sources; analyze sources; develop claims; determine our task, purpose, and audience; draft our presentation; revise our presentation; edit our presentation; and lead a conference with our teacher.” 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 1, students examine some places where food is produced by looking at a series of photos using a Visual Analysis Tool that depicts how food is grown, harvested, and processed throughout the U.S. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide student support and differentiation guidance around the suite of tools and resources students will utilize: “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, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 10, students prepare for the Socratic Seminar for the Section Diagnostic. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following strategy to support special populations during the Section Diagnostic: “Allow some differentiation by having higher-level students work individually. Pair struggling students with those who have at least medium ability to help their partners formulate thoughts and responses to the questions.”

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 3, students conduct research and gather resources for their Culminating Task. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition give opportunities for students who struggle with the content and those who may be more advanced: 

    • “At this early point in their research, students still use the Potential Sources Tool to support their developing ability to assess sources for usefulness. Students who have already internalized and can apply the process of the tool might find it cumbersome. For these students, consider introducing them early to the more advanced Research Note-Taking Tool, which is introduced to the entire class in the following lesson.”

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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 8, students explore the periodic sentence and examine Mentor Sentences to see how sentence structure can have an impact on writing and speaking. In the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition, the materials explain that if students master the content quickly, they can create examples that move beyond the model presented: “For example, if students conceptually understand that a semicolon links independent clauses, you might encourage them to use a semicolon to link more than two independent clauses for effect.”

    • In Section 2, Lesson 8, students read and annotate the introductions to Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” and Phil Patton’s “Agents of Change,” and the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggests, “The two texts vary in text complexity, and you can guide students toward one text over another, if appropriate.” In Section 2, Lesson 11, students can choose between notetaking tools for their independent reading based on their proficiency in analyzing a text:

      • “[...] some students might continue to use Reading Closely Tools to develop their initial understanding of the text. Others might be ready to make analytical claims about the text. They might use Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tools to assist in such an analysis.”

  • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lessons 4 and 6, students listen to readings of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest, “As students become more comfortable with the language and familiar with the characters, you might assign them or have them self-select specific roles to read aloud during the lesson.” 

  • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 3, students read the texts “How Does Agriculture Change Our Climate?” by Barrett Colombo et al. and “Why Industrial Farms Are Good for the Environment”' by Jayson Lusk and use the Delineating Arguments Tool to annotate the text. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition have question sets to aid in annotating the text for struggling and advanced students suggesting, “Some students who demonstrate advanced competency might benefit from an additional challenge.” The materials then provide a series of questions the instructor can use:

    • “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?)”

  • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 5, students reread “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to analyze the author’s use of language. The Teacher Edition provides the following information to provide opportunities for students who may be performing above grade level: “If students master the concepts quickly, you might have them experiment with grammatical rules to create sentences that move beyond the model. For example, if students conceptually understand that a semicolon links independent clauses, you might encourage them to use a semicolon to link independent clauses, for effect.”

  • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 5, Lesson 5, Activity 2, students participate in a peer-review process to receive feedback on the vignettes they have drafted. The Teacher Edition provides the following information to give students who are performing above grade-level opportunities to extend their learning: “Students who demonstrate more sophisticated writing skills might benefit from having time to complete a more extensive revision of their work, or experimenting with a unique organizational structure or stylistic technique.”

  • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 4, Lesson 2, students conference with the teacher to get feedback to develop the claims for their writing. The Teacher Edition provides the following guidance for students who are performing above expectations: “For students who are highly engaged and working quickly and independently, you can bring additional challenges to their tasks by asking them to think of ways to make their part of their final presentation more exciting and illuminating for their audience.”

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 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 4, Lesson 2, students present their Culminating Task on the Central Question, “Who changes the world?,” in their groups. Students choose from the following pathways—technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, or scientific—and create a 5–7 minute presentation about global, national, and local change agents and the conditions that caused or allowed change. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students work through a series of lessons and activities to answer the Central Question, “How does perspective shape our understanding of events?” Students use a variety of formats and methods over time to deepen their understanding of literacy ideas. For example, in Section 2, Lesson 5, students have the opportunity to solidify their understanding of the text by participating in discussion with peers: “We will answer comprehension and analysis questions about the text to solidify our understanding.” In Section 4, Lesson 6, students explain and apply literacy ideas as they write an expository piece about literary techniques: “We will apply our knowledge of text structure and dialogue by writing an original narrative paragraph, using ‘My Mother Never Worked’ as a springboard.”

  • 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, Photojournalism, Section 5, Lesson 3, students begin writing their expository essays for the Culminating Task in which they discuss how photojournalism highlights and defines important moments in history. Students write their introductory paragraph and gather feedback from peers and the teacher: “As students share responses, you will want to check on them individually and offer feedback to partners, giving suggestions, answering questions, and occasionally probing students to think further by questioning them about their compositions.” Students apply the feedback and suggestions to their writing and to the discussion that follows the lesson. 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 4, students develop inquiry questions to guide their research and share their thinking with the teacher for feedback. After meeting with the teacher, student-facing materials outline how students share their thinking with their team members and discuss how their work has changed: “In teams, discuss the feedback your teacher has given you on your Central Research Question. Revise, or refine, the question as needed.” In Section 1, Lesson 5, students follow a similar process to apply the changes in their thinking to different contexts. In this lesson, teacher-facing materials explain how students apply their thinking to a research portfolio and a brief presentation to the class: “In the following lesson, student teams present their research materials to date. This allows students to pause, gather their growing research portfolio, and practice communicating their research questions, ideas, and founding interests.”

  • 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, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 8, students revise their work to fully support and develop their ideas based on the needs of the task, purpose, and audience. Students share their draft responses with a partner for feedback. The student-facing materials include guiding questions, such as: “2. Do I sufficiently explain how each supporting claim is connected to the central claim?” 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lessons 8–9, students take a position and delineate a supporting argument in favor of one or more agricultural practices seen as promising in addressing global food challenges and sustainability. Materials provide students with opportunities to self-reflect on their work on the Diagnostic and assess their progress toward the culminating task. For example, students respond to questions in their Learning Logs, such as: “5. How well did you develop and use an effective and efficient process to maintain workflow during this task?” Then, students evaluate their skills and knowledge using the Culminating Task Progress Tracker.

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 9 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 opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students interact with partners. The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “Watch the TED Talk by Dr. Clint Smith entitled ‘The Danger of Silence.’ Then, follow the directions below:

      • Think of one word that describes how you feel about Dr. Smith’s talk.

      • Share the word with your partner. Briefly explain to your partner why you chose the word you did.

      • Write your partner’s word and explanation, as well as your own, in your Learning Log.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 1, students pair up in study teams of four students to analyze photographs by photojournalist Charles Moore and answer series of discussion questions:

      • “Describe the people and objects appearing in your image.

      • When do you think this photo was taken?

      • What about the photograph allows you to deduce this date or time period?”

    • In Section 4, Lesson 3, students participate in a jigsaw activity where they answer questions based on a section of Tom Junod’s “The Falling Man: An Unforgettable Story.” For example, “What descriptive details or images stand out to you as you read?” Afterwards, students share their findings with the whole class. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 3, Lesson 6, students work in small groups to review and annotate a text. Student-facing materials include the following guidance in the lesson introduction: “In small groups or pairs, we will review ‘The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges’ from Lesson 1 and brainstorm possible topics related to it as we consider questions from the Culminating Task...In your small group, discuss the topics and challenges that the questions address. Discuss the relationship among the perspectives and positions encompassing these subtopics.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 2, Lesson 2, students move into groups assigned by the teacher to unpack the Potential Sources Tool using the Assessing Sources Reference Guide and guided questions on the Potential Sources Tool. Students then share their findings with the whole class. In Section 3, Lesson 1, students work in research teams as they begin to find resources for the inquiry pathways they select. Students work with this team throughout the unit to complete their Culminating Task. 

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

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 2, Lesson 3, students work in their research teams for the Culminating Task for the unit. The Teacher Edition includes the following guidance on grouping students: “There are several ways you might have students select their research teams. You can have each student write down their top two choices on index cards and assign groups from their choices, or you can have students select their own groups. You can also assign students heterogeneously, based on their demonstrated reading, writing, and presenting skills.”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 2, students work in jigsaw groups to examine the figurative language in the balcony scene. The Teacher Edition provides guidance for implementing the jigsaw method: “The jigsaw method is an instructional strategy that is effective for reading and analyzing text that can be easily segmented. This cooperative learning strategy allows for multiple parts of the text to be analyzed. It encourages strong speaking, listening, and presenting skills for all students and values each student’s contribution as an expert. Finally, by discussing the text multiple times, students benefit from hearing the text analyzed in different ways. In a jigsaw, students work in two different groups: expert and home.”

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 5, Lesson 1, students create a team presentation for a classroom, school, or community audience. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest strategies on how to manage the diverse grouping of students: 

      • “Because each class working on this unit might have different themes, team sizes, timelines, and final presentation venues, clarify the specifics of this process to your students.”

    • The Teaching Notes continue with strategies for logistics and listening and speaking assignments.

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 9 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, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 3, students utilize a Vocabulary in Context Tool to identify words that are not familiar and work collaboratively. Materials include questions in the Vocabulary in Context Tool to support students with using context to determine the meaning of a word, including but not limited to: “Does the word have a root word? Do I understand what the root word means? Does the author use any words to indicate the unknown word has a nearby synonym (i.e., a word that has the same meaning as the unknown word)?”

    • The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include reminders such as, “Native English speakers might grasp nuances in contextual clues, such as tone or cultural references, while English learners might not understand, making it all the more difficult for them to define the targeted vocabulary word.” Guidance includes additional details and suggestions on providing student support, such as creating mental images and associations.

  • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 3, students listen to and follow along in their text to a read-aloud of the essay “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel. The student-facing materials provide instructions, including, “As you listen, pay attention to how the author structures the essay and uses dialogue to develop character.” The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include strategies and reminders relating to the read aloud, such as, “English learners in particular benefit from read-alouds, as they can follow text while listening to accurate pronunciation and prosody of language.”

  • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 4, Lesson 1, Activity 6, students read Foley’s “A Five-Step Plan To Feed the World,” and then interact with words they defined to cement their understanding of the meaning. Guidance in the student-facing materials directs students to work in pairs to “read through the list and identify words and phrases from the article that you think you understand and ones you are uncertain about.”

    • The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide a list of exercises to assist students in interacting meaningfully with new words, including but not limited to: “Write example and nonexample sentences that use the new words. Answer hypothetical situations that use the new words. Craft analogies. Connect the meaning of the words to texts or topics they have previously studied.”

    • Additional teacher guidance in the Teaching Notes includes reminders of the importance of using words in meaningful contexts: “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).” Teacher guidance also notes that “You might combine new vocabulary with sentence starters, such as those found in the Academic Discussion Reference Guide, to provide opportunities for English learners to practice using academic language in the classroom.”

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 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, students listen to a Ted Talk by poet Clint Smith titled “The Danger of Silence,” where he discusses the power of being silent about issues such as the civil rights movement, genocide, and those impacted by natural disasters. In the unit’s Culminating Task, students engage in a group presentation where they choose technological, cultural, business and marketing, humanitarian, political, or scientific pathways to explore and address the question, “What are the conditions that caused or allowed change to occur in your pathway topic, and who were change agents?” Students use Phil Patton’s “Agents of Change” to help them choose their pathways. The text provides a summary of some of the outliers in history who have made a significant change, such as Leonard and Phil Chess.

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 3, Lesson 1, students study a video about the civil rights movement and discuss its contents during a class discussion. The video includes individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, and other physical characteristics based on the description provided in the Teacher Edition. The description of the video consists of the following information in the Teaching Notes section: “The 10-minute documentary was made by students McKay and Miranda Jessop and won the 2013 National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. The video tells the story of the Children's March, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, as well as the impact of these events on the civil rights movement in 1963. The video also includes personal interviews with Barbara Cross, daughter of Reverend John Cross of the bombed church, and Clifton Casey, who demonstrated at age 16.”

  • 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, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 3, students discuss the text “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel. This text addresses gender roles to avoid and confront stereotypical gender roles. The Teaching Notes provide information to explain how the text portrays characters: “The term gender refers to male and female cultural and social roles and expectations of behavior that societies place on people. Gender is at the center of this essay; while most of the ‘jobs’ that Martha Smith engaged in were traditionally handled by women, she also helped with farm work in jobs traditionally associated with male roles. It is important to note that the entirety of the narrative is not focused on gender; farming and caring for a family outside of a job that pays into Social Security are also explored.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 1, students review concepts from Section 1 to see how the topics connect to the central question, “How do we feed a growing world?” In the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition, materials suggest revisiting texts covered so far, such as “10 Things You Need to Know About the Global Food System” by Evan Fraser and Elizabeth Fraser. In this text, students discuss issues with food security related to the Arab Spring and food prices in Zambia. The texts focus on specific issues to avoid creating generalizations.

  • 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 Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 1, students read “Why Do We Still Care About Shakespeare” by Cindy Tumiel to begin discussing the central question, “Why do we still read Shakespeare?” In the text, Tumiel makes the case that students can see the importance of Shakespeare in their daily lives. Tumiel demonstrates how students can go beyond the subject as they look at how it connects to their lives. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, students analyze The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. This novel centers around a Mexican family which immigrated to America. The main character of the novel is Maribel Rivera, who is the teen daughter in the family and suffers from a tragic accident that damages her brain. The novel showcases how Maribel overcomes many obstacles due to recovery from the accident and overcoming obstacles stemming from being an immigrant. At the end of the novel, Maribel regains much of her brain function.

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 9 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 Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 1, students explore the central question, “Who changes the world?” Students engage in a peer-to-peer discussion and complete a Quick Write in response to the following question: “5. If you were to provide an answer to the Central Question today, what would it be?”

    • The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide ideas for support and differentiation using an asset-based lens: “Students are encouraged to bring the knowledge, insight, and curiosity they already have to enhance their experience in the unit. English learners in particular benefit from making connections to their cultural and social backgrounds.”

Indicator 3t

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 3, Lesson 1, students use their vocabulary journal to decipher the meaning of words found in The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez. 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 include teacher guidance on how to engage culturally diverse students in the learning of ELA.

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students watch a TED Talk, “The Danger of Silence.” The Teaching Notes include the following guidance for teachers to engage culturally diverse students in the learning of ELA: “An introductory video can provide a diverse group of students with an accessible medium through which to enter into the content of a particular text or topic. Speakers often employ basic interpersonal communicative skills when speaking, giving students, particularly English learners, a good opportunity to gain background knowledge or vocabulary that can support their reading and understanding of other texts.”

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 1, Lesson 1, students watch a clip of Get the Picture by Cathy Pearson. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition explain the importance for English language learners: “Speakers often employ basic interpersonal communicative skills when speaking, giving students, particularly English learners, a good opportunity to gain background knowledge or vocabulary that can support their reading and understanding of other texts.”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 1, Activity 6, students watch the video “William Shakespeare: Legendary Wordsmith” and respond to guiding questions during the viewing. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance: “You might encourage English learners to annotate the text in their home language.”

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
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 10, students prepare to participate in a Socratic Seminar organized around key questions about modern photojournalism. 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students use the Video Note-Taking Tool when watching Dr. Clint Smith’s TED Talk entitled “The Danger of Silence.” The Teaching Notes in the teaching edition share, “You might use a transcript of the TED Talk, which can be accessed on YouTube, for students who need additional support. This will be especially handy in the following activity as students conduct a deeper analysis of the ideas presented in the talk.” The Tools also 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.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, 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.” 

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 1, Lesson 3, students learn how to use the Potential Sources Tool to aid in their pre-searches. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition shares, “The printed student book includes twelve copies of the Potential Sources Tool...Students can also keep track of their sources using an electronic copy of the tool in their Google Drive.” 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.”

  • 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, Global Food Production, 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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 Remote Learning Guide, materials reference a variety of technology that provide opportunities for students and/or teachers to collaborate:

      • Create a shared document, graphic organizer, or assignment for each group (e.g., Google Docs, Microsoft 360)

      • Students meet via conferencing software (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime).

      • Use a resource outside of the LMS (Learning Management System) to promote collaboration (e.g., Flipgrid, Parlay, Padlet).

    • The Remote Learning Guide also includes a table that lists instructional strategies with technology solutions. For example, when utilizing “discussion boards and collaboration tools,” the materials suggest that teachers use the LMS, Parlay, or Flipgrid. 

    • In the Foundation Unit, Who Changes the World?, materials provide opportunities for collaboration with peers and the teacher through discussions, one-one-conferencing, peer review and research teams, and other collaborative activities. Students use a series of Google Docs, which allow collaboration features, such as sharing and commenting. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition do not explicitly point out how teachers can utilize technology to facilitate these interactions. 

    • In the Development Unit, Photojournalism, Section 2, Lesson 3, students work collaboratively to examine the characters in Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, Henry Holt, and Company. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition provide guidance on students’ use of the Character Note-Taking Tool, which is a Google Doc available in the student materials: “To practice these skills, students can work in small groups on one assigned character, preparing a short presentation of the group’s ideas to the whole class, which happens in the following lesson. You might have students use the Character Note-Taking Tool to help organize their notes.”

    • In the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 1, Lesson 2, students work on their Vocabulary Journals to locate unfamiliar words in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition suggest, “You might also have students work collaboratively to create a Word Wall that is maintained and revisited throughout the unit.” In the Remote Learning Guide, materials note that Word Walls can be created and shared digitally through Google Docs and Jamboard and used directly in the LMS. 

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, Section 2, Lesson 3, students work collaboratively to analyze “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Bacca. Students use the Literary Elements and Narrative Techniques Note-Taking Tool, which is a Google Doc for students to track and discuss their thinking with their partner. Student-facing materials include the following guidance: “We will collaborate with peers to analyze the poem ‘Immigrants in Our Own Land’ in order to deepen our understanding of how authors use literary elements and narrative techniques to illuminate meaning and themes.”

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 1, Lesson 1, the Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition note that students can create their own note-taking systems in the form of Google Docs, in addition to using the tools provided. The Teaching Notes include instructions on how a student can create a copy to edit their own document. Materials do not explicitly explain the share features that Google Docs also offers.

    • In the Application Unit, What Do I Want to Research?, Section 3, Lesson 6, students work on revising their research as a team in preparation for presenting the Culminating Task. The student-facing materials include guidance on utilizing the team’s Research Frame Tool, which is a Google Doc. The student-facing materials include the following guidance: “As a team, again revise your Research Frame Tool to reflect new information and questions that have emerged from your research thus far. If it is more efficient or easier to read, start with a blank copy of the tool or compose it on paper or electronically.”

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 7, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince is a Core reading and lesson within the program. In the Material tab, the Unit Text List labels the text “Use” as “Optional.” In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, the “Genre/Format” of the text “Immigrants in Our Own Land” by Jimmy Santiago Baca in the Unit Text List is labeled as a “Short Story,” yet the text is a poem. There is a minor typo in the Development Unit, Romeo and Juliet, Section 3, Lesson 1, Activity 3 when the student-facing materials state, “Use your notes on the Film-Theme Note-Taking Tool Tool [sic] to respond to the following questions from the Luhrmann Adaptation of Act 1, Scene 5 portion…”

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 9 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 that 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, Who Changes the World?, Section 1, Lesson 2, students watch a TED Talk for a second time to gain a deeper understanding of activism and the other terms they have learned throughout the unit. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition include the following guidance on the use of embedded technology: “You might use a transcript of the TED Talk, which can be accessed on YouTube, for students who need additional support. This will be especially handy in the following activity as students conduct a deeper analysis of the ideas presented in the talk.”

    • In the Development Unit, The Book of Unknown Americans, materials reference artwork online to help facilitate classroom activities. For example, in Section 1, Lesson 1, students locate Norman Rockwell’s painting, The Catch. The Teaching Notes in the Teacher Edition state that “Students can access the painting online.” In Section 2, Lesson 1, students access Diego Rivera’s mural, The Uprising, to examine how the artist uses character traits in the painting. 

    • In the Development Unit, Global Food Production, Section 2, Lesson 4, students learn additional information about the agriculture economist Jayson Lusk to gain a deeper understanding of his perspective and any of his possible biases to help them more accurately delineate and evaluate the argument in his op-ed, which students read in the previous lesson. The Teacher Edition suggests that teachers find more information about Jason Lusk using digital tools: “When he wrote the New York Times op ed piece in 2016, Jayson Lusk was a professor of agricultural science at Oklahoma State University. More recently, here is a short biography from the website of an organization called Food Tank, who interviewed Lusk in 2020 (the interview can be found on the Internet by searching for his name and ‘foodtank.com’).”

abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/06/09

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Odell Education High School Literacy Program Unit Readers Grade 9 978‑1‑9750‑7749‑5 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