Alignment: Overall Summary

The Open Court Grade 1 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include high-quality texts throughout the year; however, not all texts are appropriately complex for the grade-level. 

Some text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks support students as both listeners and speakers; however, speaking and listening is not varied across the year and primarily takes place in whole group discussions. Process writing opportunities encompass all the genres set forth in the standards, though informative/explanatory writing has greater coverage. There are limited opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing aligned to the text. The program includes explicit instruction in and practice of most grammar skills; however, there are limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level grammar and usage standards to their individual writing.

Materials include a research-based synthetic approach to teaching foundational skills. Explicit instruction in most phonological and phonics standards is included in the materials; however, there is a lack of encoding practice for both newly taught phonics skills and high frequency words. Materials include decodables aligned to the scope and sequence of phonics and high frequency word instruction. While materials include explicit instruction in fluency focused on accuracy, rate, and expression, there is a lack of teacher level modeling of fluent reading.  Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills; however, teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits is lacking.

Not all units in the program effectively build students’ knowledge on a topic. While text analysis is well-covered, including some analysis of knowledge and ideas within and across texts, not all questions and tasks compel students to return to the text to support their contentions and conclusions.

Students engage in frequent writing tasks across the year; however, since informational writing encompasses nearly half of writing instruction, students may not achieve the full balance of writing genres outlined in the standards. 

The Inquiry projects that conclude each unit teach some research skills but due to student choice, do not provide adequate growth in those skills. These projects also fall short of demonstrating the growth of students’ knowledge, standards, and skills from the unit.  

The materials provide coverage of the standards throughout all units and over the course of the year; however, the preponderance of repetitive, unaligned reading strategies throughout the program moves the focus of the instruction, questions, tasks, and assessments away from a tight focus on grade level standards alignment. The program also contains a large volume of material without a suggested daily schedule; therefore, a full and standards-aligned implementation could be challenging.

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
26
52
58
33
52-58
Meets Expectations
27-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-26
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

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

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The Open Court Grade 1 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include high-quality texts throughout the year; however, not all texts are appropriately complex for the grade-level. 

Some text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks support students as both listeners and speakers; however, speaking and listening is not varied across the year and primarily takes place in whole group discussions. Process writing opportunities encompass all the genres set forth in the standards, though informative/explanatory writing has greater coverage. There are limited opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing aligned to the text. The program includes explicit instruction in and practice of most grammar skills; however, there are limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level grammar and usage standards to their individual writing.

Materials include a research-based synthetic approach to teaching foundational skills. Explicit instruction in most phonological and phonics standards is included in the materials; however, there is a lack of encoding practice for both newly taught phonics skills and high frequency words. Materials include decodables aligned to the scope and sequence of phonics and high frequency word instruction. While materials include explicit instruction in fluency focused on accuracy, rate, and expression, there is a lack of teacher level modeling of fluent reading.  Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills; however, teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits is lacking. Materials guide teachers in scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. Additionally, English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use.

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.

11/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The Open Court Kindergarten materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include high-quality texts throughout the year; however, not all texts are appropriately complex for the grade-level. It is difficult to determine if the complexity of most anchor texts students listen to provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth, since the majority of anchor texts do not have a quantitative measure that can be located in Lexile or provided by the publisher.  The materials do not include a description of the qualitative measures, features, or analysis for the texts, nor do they include a rationale for the purpose and placement of the texts.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. *This does not include decodables. Those are identified in Criterion 3.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include anchor texts that are high-quality and worthy of careful reading. Many of the texts are written by award-winning authors and contain illustrations and pictures that are visually appealing. The texts are relevant and relatable and include enriching academic vocabulary. Students read a range of topics from school to science to art. 

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

  •  In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students listen to First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenberg, which is a realistic fiction text that engages students in a story about a girl who is reluctant to attend school. This author has been a nominee for the 2003 Nevada Young Readers’ Award, the 2002 Colorado Children’s Book Award, the 2001 Storytelling Award, and the Publishers’ Weekly Bestseller List.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, students listen to Jake’s Tree by Dennis Fertig, in which a boy writes a poem about a tree in changing seasons. 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, students listen to the poem “Onomatopoeia” by Eve Merriam, who has received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. The poem uses imagery, alliteration, and personification to engage students. This poem combines weather content with evocative and alliterative vocabulary. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, students interact with the text Be my Neighbor by Maya Amjera. The story includes text features such as subtitles, captions, highlighted words, and engaging pictures. 

  • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, students listen to How Animals Move by Valentine Neidir. This informational text includes bright, clear photographs showcasing animals in motion and contains academic vocabulary. 

  • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, students listen to A Center for Everyone by Kate DeGoldi, which is about a family that meets with town government officials to have a community center built. The illustrations are detailed and vibrant and the text includes rich vocabulary and content. 

  • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, students hear Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter, who is an award-winning author. The author creates a picture-book biography of expressive artist Henri Matisse. 

  • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, students listen to Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss, which is a Caldecott Honor book written in rhyming fiction. The text utilizes rich vocabulary and introduces students to musical instruments and musical groups.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. *This does not include decodable. Those are identified in Criterion 3.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1b.

The materials include opportunities for students to listen to and read both literary and informational texts; however, there is an unequal balance of literary to informational texts. Instead of the 50-50 ratio suggested by the standards, there are roughly 65% literary texts and 35% informational texts. Throughout the year, students listen to and read a variety of genres including action stories, biographies, fables/fairytales, historical fiction, mythology, editorials, poetry, plays, realistic fiction, narrative nonfiction, and explanatory text. A larger number of literary texts are found in most units. Students have limited opportunities to interact with selections that contain an informational text structure.

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

    • In Unit 2, students listen to fantasy, poetry, realistic fiction, persuasive writing, and fables, as well as one informational text. Examples include Molto’s Dream by Raoul Krischanitz (fantasy) and Far Away Friends by Tamara Andrews (informational text). 

    • In Unit 5, students listen to realistic fiction, poetry, informational text, and a photo essay. Examples include “On the Globe” by Ann Harland (poem) and Inside the Fire Station by Jon Mader (informational text). 

    • In Unit 8, students read a variety of genres including fantasy, information text, explanatory text, fantasy, and a photo essay. Texts in this unit include Just Like my Mother by M.L. Cuffney (fantasy) and How Animals Move by Valentino Nedir (photo essay). 

  • Materials do not reflect a 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts. There are 60 literary texts and 31 informational texts. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students listen to First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 3, What Will I Be? by Jill Johnson (photo essay). In this unit, students listen to eight literary texts and one informational text.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students listen to My Two Best Friends by Claire Daniel (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 3, Far Away Friends by Tamara Andrews (informational text). In this unit, students listen to eight literary texts and one informational text.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students listen to “Cycles of Life” by Oliver Rodriguez (poem) and in Lesson 3, From Seed to Flower by Jeri Cipriano (explanatory text). In this unit, students listen to five literary texts and four informational texts.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, students listen to Ben’s Bright Idea by Daniel Bick (historical fiction) and in Lesson 2, Watching the Moon by Abi Manickam (informational text). In this unit, students listen to eight literary texts and four informational texts.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students listen to A New Town by Jess Miller (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 3, Inside the Fire Station by Jon Mader (photo essay). In this unit, students listen to six literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, students listen to “Finding my Place” by Laura Purdle Salas (poem) and in Lesson 3, Let’s Go to School! by Tyler Crawford (narrative nonfiction). In this unit, students listen to seven literary texts and two informational texts.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students listen to Why Evergreen Trees Never LoseTheir Leaves by Florence Holbrook (myth) and  in Lesson 2, Fruits and Vegetables at Work by Rowan Sienkiewic (informational text). In this unit, students read two literary texts and four informational texts.

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, students interact with Just Like my Mother by M.L. Cuffney (fantasy) and Grow Ladybug, Grow by Ursala Cook (explanatory text). In this unit, students read three literary texts and three informational texts.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, students interact with A Center for Everyone by Kate De Goldi (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 3, America Is...... by Louise Borden in (narrative nonfiction). In this unit, students read four literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, students interact with Our Trip to Washington D.C. by Lane Katsaros (realistic fiction) and The Bald Eagle, A Proud Symbol by Heidi McKelvey (informational text). In this unit, students read two literary texts and four informational texts. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students listen to The Girl in the Red Sweater by Evelyn Chu (realistic fiction), and in Lesson 3, Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter (biography). In this unit, students read three literary texts and two informational texts.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, students read Let’s Set the Stage by Madeline James (play) and in Lesson 2, Dance, A Balanced Art by Kathleen Defede (explanatory text). In this unit, students read six literary texts and one informational text.

Indicator 1c

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Instructional materials do not include a text complexity analysis for the read-aloud texts included in the Grade 1 materials. The majority of read-aloud anchor texts do not have a quantitative measure and could not be located on a platform that provides quantitative measures.The associated student task for the majority of the texts is for students to practice various reading comprehension strategies such as prediction, connections, and asking questions on the first read of the text. Then students discuss the text focused on skills during the Close Read portion of the lesson on another day. 

In Units 1-4, students listen to texts, and beginning in Unit 5, students read texts from the First Reader in addition to shared reading of Big Book stories. Quantitative details for First Reader texts beginning in Units 5-6 and Student Anthology texts in Units 7-12 are provided in the Resource Library, but a qualitative analysis is not provided. Pertaining to the First Readers, materials state, “In Units 5–6, in addition to using the Big Books, students transition to reading selections on their own in the First Reader, just as they did in kindergarten. The collection of stories, poems, and informational texts in the First Reader is a precursor to the Student Anthologies first graders will use starting in Unit 7. All students have a First Reader, which provides them with the opportunity to apply the comprehension skills and strategies they learned while working with the Big Books.” In Units 7-12, when students transition to Student Anthologies, materials state, “Beginning in Unit 7, students read all of their main reading selections from their Student Anthologies. Students have fully “graduated” from Big Books and the First Reader to the Student Anthologies, which are also used in the upper elementary levels.” The texts students read in Units 5-12 range in complexity from 260L-790L, making some texts within the Grade 2-3 and Grade 4-5 Lexile bands. 

The program does not include a rationale for educational purpose or placement of texts in the grade level, including a Lexile level for many of anchor read aloud texts. According to the Program Overview, “In Grades 4-5, where text complexity becomes even more difficult, Preview the Selection in the Teacher’s Edition states the Lexile level of the selection, indicates the level of complexity from simple to complex, and provides the reasoning behind why the text is complex.” However this information is not included in the Grade 1 materials.

Some texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. The majority of anchor read-aloud anchor texts do not have a quantitative measure, making it difficult to determine the overall complexity of the text. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students listen to the poem First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenger, which has a Lexile level of AD520L, which is appropriate for a read-aloud in Grade 1. The text organization is easy and it contains familiar vocabulary, simple sentence structure, and a clear theme. The tasks associated with the text are making connections and discussing the text. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, students listen to No Wolves Allowed by Sheila Sweeny Higginson has no Lexile level. The text has simple structure, events are in chronological order, the language is clear and literal, and the theme is simple, which makes it a low complexity text. Students watch the teacher make and confirm predictions and discuss the text. 

  • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, students listen to Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss, which has a Lexile Level of AD730L, which is appropriate for a read-aloud at the end of Grade 1. The text includes discipline-specific content knowledge of instruments and musical groups, making it more complex; however, materials provide the words for the teacher to read from the text, and not the actual text to share with students. Students listen to this text to start the unit and discuss the text. Students spend one day on this text.

Some texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 1. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, students listen to the text Jake’s Tree by Dennis Ferlig, which has no Lexile level. The qualitative features are moderate due to language and meaning.The associated tasks are not complex as students watch the teacher model using the Predicting and Visualizing comprehension strategies while reading aloud and then discuss the text. 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, students listen to an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, which the entire text has a Lexile of 920L; however, the Lexile of the excerpt is unknown. This Lexile falls within the Grade 4-5 Lexile band, which may not be an appropriate complexity, even as a read-aloud. The qualitative features are also very complex due to the unfamiliar vocabulary. Students spend time discussing the text, including the words bowed and sewn, but no other associated task is present.  

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students read Hello Japan by Lisa Kurlov, which has a Lexile level of 430L, which places it in the Grade 2-3 Lexile band. The qualitative features are of low complexity. The structure is simple, the language is conversational, and the meaning is literal. As students reread the text, they add information to the Two-Column Chart about the differences the characters experience while living in Ohio and while living in Japan in the story. 

  • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, students read the text Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes by Erick Ode, which has a Lexile of 530L, which places it in the Grade 2-3 Lexile band. The text is qualitatively high due to the meaning, knowledge, and structure. Students discuss the text, including how the author compares and contrasts animals.

The program does not include a rationale for educational purpose or placement of texts in the grade level.

Indicator 1d

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

2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials in Grade 1 do not include a quantitative measure for anchor read-aloud texts and the majority of anchor read-aloud texts cannot be located on Lexile.com or other sites that provide quantitative measures, making it difficult to determine if the texts support students’ literacy growth across the year. The texts students read beginning in Unit 5 range in Lexile level from 260L-790L; however, these texts are not appropriately sequenced across the year, with students at times reading more complex texts in earlier units. Additionally, reader and task demands focus primarily on comprehension strategies, such as predicting and making connections that do not align with the standards. The tasks across the year remain relatively the same with students practicing a comprehension strategy and then discussing the text. Comprehension strategies and questions are repeated throughout the year and applied to different texts, however since the texts stay primarily at the same level of complexity, students do not apply skills and strategies to more complex texts as the year progresses. Students usually spend one to two days on a text before moving on to another text, which may not provide all students with opportunities to advance their literacy skills and knowledge.

In the beginning of the year, the majority of lessons prompt the teacher to simply model and in the middle of the year, the teacher models and prompts students for answers. By the end of the year, the teacher prompts students, with scaffolds removed.

  • It is difficult to determine if the complexity of most anchor texts students listen to provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth, since the majority of anchor texts do not have a quantitative measure that can be located on Lexile.com or provided by the publisher. For example:

    • The texts in Unit 1 that students listen to do not all include a quantitative measure, so it is difficult to determine the range of texts in the Unit. The qualitative complexity ranges from low to moderate complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate tasks. In Unit 1, students spend time on questions that focus on comprehension strategies such as making connections, asking and answering questions, and predicting. The two texts in Unit 1 with a known Lexile include:

      • First Grade Stinks by Mary Ann Rodman, which has a Lexile of 490L and has a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated tasks are low and moderate. The overall text complexity is accessible.  

      • First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, which has a Lexile of AD520L. The text has a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated tasks range from low to moderate. The overall text complexity is accessible. 

    • The texts in Unit 7 include a Lexile range of 420L-700L. These texts are read by the students. The two read-aloud texts in the unit do not include a quantitative measure. The qualitative complexity ranges from moderate to high complexity. Associated tasks range from low to complex. In Unit 7, students continue to make connections, ask and answer questions, and predict. Students also spend time on other comprehension strategies, such as visualizing and clarifying. Some of the texts in Unit 7 include:

      •  Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundgren, which has a Lexile of 480L and has a high qualitative complexity. The associated tasks range from low to complex. The overall text complexity is complex. 

      • Protective Plants by Rose McKenna, which has a Lexile of 700L and has a high qualitative complexity. The associated tasks are complex. The overall text complexity is complex. 

    • The texts in Unit 12 that students read have a range of 350L-680L Lexile levels. This range is lower than the texts in Unit 7. The qualitative complexity ranges from moderate to high. Associated tasks range from low to complex. Some of the texts in Unit 12 include:

      •  Start Up the Band! by Eve Tonkin, which has a Lexile of 350L and a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated tasks range from low to complex. The overall text complexity is moderate. 

      • Dance: A Balanced Art by Kathleen DeFede, which has a Lexile of 680L and a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated tasks range from low to complex. The overall text complexity is complex. 

  • As texts become more complex, appropriate scaffolds and/or materials are not provided in the Teacher Edition (i.e., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings). Texts remain relatively at the same complexity and scaffolds are removed throughout the year.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students listen to A New Friend at School by Tanya Anderson, which does not have a Lexile level and is qualitatively low. In this unit, the teacher models.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, students listen to A Trip to Peru by Chandler Tyrell, which has a Lexile of 410. The teacher moves from modeling to modeling and prompting. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, students read Start Up the Band by Eve Tonkin, which does not have a Lexile level. The teacher no longer models, and instead, prompts the students by asking questions during the read aloud.

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.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The Grade 1 materials include a range and volume of reading to help foster independence by the end of the year. The curriculum incorporates a read-aloud text at the beginning of each unit in order for the teacher to introduce the unit theme. Units 1-6 include Big Books, which are also read-alouds that teachers use to model and prompt students to learn comprehension strategies. In Units 5 and 6, students utilize First Readers and begin reading independently. Starting in Unit 7, students transition to the Student Anthology, in which students read each selection twice. Each unit incorporates a variety of genres and students listen to or read each text for a variety of purposes. While the curriculum provides various opportunities for students to interact with text, a routine for independent reading is not included. The majority of the reading is done in the whole group. No evidence is found of small group or partner reading. 

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

    • In Unit 2, students listen to a variety of text types including fantasy, poetry, realistic fiction, opinion writing, fables, and informational text. Some texts include Chicken Chickens Go to School by Janet McDonnell, which is a fantasy, and Far Away Friends by Tamara Andrews, which is an informational text.

    • In Unit 8, students listen to and read a variety of genres including fantasy, informational text, fables, explanatory text, and a photo essay. Titles include the informational text Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes by Eric Ode and the fantasy Just Like My Mother by M.L. Cuffney. 

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

    • Across the 12 units in Grade 1, students access seventy-two central texts via shared reading of a Big Book or Student Anthology. They also listen to twelve read-aloud texts to launch each unit. In Units 5 and 6 students decode and comprehend texts on their own in a First Reader, which contains ten texts in all. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, students listen to No Wolves Allowed  by Sheila Sweeny Higginson and Far Away Friends by Tamara Andews three times within a five-day span, for a variety of purposes. The texts are used for the teacher to model making and confirming predictions, identifying cause and effect relationships, and identifying main ideas and details.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students listen to the text Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundren on Day 1 in order to practice the skill of making connections and predictions. Then on the next day, students read the text again and practice understanding cause and effect to help make meaning. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, students read Grow, Ladybug Grow!, by Ursula Cook and Just like my Mother by M.L. Cuffney twice. The first time the students read the text is for students to practice comprehension strategies and the second time is to understand how to access complex text by searching for specific types of information.

There is no teacher guidance to foster independence for readers. There is no proposed schedule for independent reading. In addition, there is no tracking system to track independent reading. Most texts are not organized with built-in supports/scaffolds to foster independence and independent reading procedures are not included in the lessons. There is a Home Connection letter for each lesson and an instructional routine for reading a text, but there is no schedule or tracking system to help support and foster independent reading for students.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

10/16
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Criterion Rating Details

Some text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks support students as both listeners and speakers; however, speaking and listening is not varied across the year. The majority of discussions are done in the whole group with the teacher asking questions, meaning that all students may not be engaged in speaking and listening about what they are reading. Additionally, some discussion questions do not focus on developing students' speaking and listening skills anchored in what they are reading or listening to, but rather focus on thoughts and opinions. 

Process writing opportunities encompass all the genres set forth in the standards, though informative/explanatory writing accounts for nearly half of instruction. There are limited opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing aligned to the text. The program includes explicit instruction in and practice of most grammar skills; however, there are limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level grammar and usage standards to their individual writing.

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 1 meet the criteria of Indicator 1f.

Throughout the Grade 1 materials, the students respond to a variety of questions. Students read a text multiple times and are asked different questions for each read. During the first read, the questions may not be  text-dependent or text-specific questions; however, the majority of the questions afterwards are text-dependent and help students work towards grade-level standards by the end of the year. During the first read of a Shared Reading, roughly half of the questions are text-dependent and the other half are not. The Shared Reading has a comprehension strategy focus, which may be non text-specific such as making  connections, or may be text-dependent such as summarizing. After the first read, questions are also provided within the Discussion Starters, which include questions (both text-dependent and non text-dependent) for the teacher to guide class discussions. While some questions do ask opinions or for students to make connections, the text-dependent questions are aligned to the standards and require students to engage with the text.

  • Most questions and tasks included in the instructional materials within a unit and over the course of the year are text-based. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, after listening to First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman, students respond to, “What makes Haley change how she feels about first grade? How does Ryan react to the changes between kindergarten and first grade?”

    • In Unit 2,  Lesson 2, students listen to My Two Best Friends by Claire Daniel and the teacher asks, “Why does Hal get upset when Carlos wants to choose teams to play kickball?”

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, after listening to Journey of  Raindrop by Iad Barzdukas, students answer the questions, “What is the first event for the raindrops in the water cycle? What causes the raindrops to run to mist?”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, after rereading Watching the Moon by Abi Manickam, students are asked, “How does this heading help you understand the selection? How did the Moon change from Day 1 to Day 4?” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, after the class rereads Family Roots by Lisa Kurkov,the teacher says, “We met a new character on these pages. What is his name? What did we learn about Nelson?”

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, students listen to Fruits and Vegetables at Work by Rowan Sienkiewicz and the teacher says, “Let’s summarize the paragraph on page 65 to help us understand the information in this selection. Who would like to summarize this paragraph using his or her words?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, students read Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes by Eric Ode and are asked, “Why do you think the author named this selection Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes?”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, after listening to Our Trip to Washington, D.C. by Lane Katsaros, the teacher says, “Let’s summarize what we learned on these pages. Who can summarize these pages in your own words?”

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, while reading The Abstract Cat by Raj Manohar, students are asked, “What does Ms. Kang teach the students about abstract art on pages 166 and 167?” 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, after listening to Start Up the Band! By Eve Tonkin, students answer the questions, “Why does the narrator want to start a band? Why is Momma a good person to ask to help her?”

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

    • Some questions include the Depth of Knowledge Levels. The digital materials include the DOK level in parentheses following discussion starter questions; however, the same notations are not present in the PDF of the Teacher Edition. For example:

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, after listening to Insects Grow and Change by Katie Sharp, students answer the question, “What happens inside a cocoon? (DOK 1)” 

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, after reading The Bald Eagle: A Proud Symbol by Heidi McKelvey, students are asked, “Do you think the bald eagle is a good choice as a symbol for our country? Why or why not? (DOK 3)”

    • The materials include possible answers to questions. For example:

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, after listening to Sam’s Map by Miguel Navarro, students hear the question, “Why did Sam create a map of her neighborhood? Possible Answer: She wanted to show her cousins around her neighborhood.”

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, after reading The Abstract Cat by Raj Manohar, students hear, “What styles of art do the students see at the museum? Possible Answers: realistic and abstract art.”

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 1 meet the criteria of Indicator 1g.

Materials include opportunities across the year for discussions. The Program Overview explains in depth the purpose of several speaking and listening routines including Collaborative Conversation and Discussion, Reflecting on the Selection, and Exploring Concepts Across Selections. The instructional materials also provide rubrics for speaking and listening, as well as teacher guidance for employing speaking and listening opportunities. There are a few instances where students discuss in small groups.

  • Materials provide varied protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. These include:

    • Collaborative Conversation and Discussion describe the teacher moves to facilitate a discussion. The protocol states, “Initially, model the following examples of discussion starters, but then turn over the responsibility for using these to students.” It also includes sentence stems for students to use when asking open-ended questions and tips for teachers such as, “Students should have texts with them to reference during discussion” and “Help students see that they are responsible for carrying on the discussion.” 

    • Reflecting on the Selection provides students with an opportunity to discuss what they listened to or read. The protocol includes discussion prompts such as, “Discuss any new questions that have arisen because of the reading” and “Share what they expected to learn from reading the selection and tell whether expectations were met.”

    • Handing Off is a technique to turn over to students the primary responsibility for generating and sustaining a discussion. In this protocol, after a student finishes his or her comment, that student chooses (or hands off) to the next speaker. 

    • Exploring Concepts with the Selection provides an “opportunity for collaborative learning and to focus on the concepts.” Students form small groups “and spend time discussing what they have learned about the concepts from the selection.”

    • DIscussion Starters and Questions provide sentence starters to help aid in discussion such as, “I didn't’ know that ...'' or “I agree with ____ because...” This protocol allows for a gradual release of responsibility by the teacher.

    • In the Resource Library, there is a Management Routine for Listening. Instructions include, “Hold up the Eyes Icon and have students point to their eyes. Tell students they should always look at the person who is speaking.”

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

    • The Program Overview provides general guidance on the facilitation of speaking and listening instruction. It states, “Listening and speaking skills are integrated throughout the lessons in Open Court Reading” and then lists that the focus skills are “listening, speaking, interaction, and presenting information.” Throughout the program, tips are provided for the teacher to utilize when integrating these focus areas into classroom instruction including facilitating discussions, monitoring skills, and scaffolding support.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, students discuss the text Just Listen by Kathleen Widner Zoehfeld. The Teacher Edition provides instructional support that teachers can use with students such as, “If students have difficulty participating in the discussion, then reread various sections of the selection with them and point to the illustrations to help them understand the information on the pages.” 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, students discuss the text Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter. There is a note in the Teacher Edition to aid in the facilitation of the discussion, which states “To help students start a collaborative conversation with their peers, read over Conversation Strategies to give students ways to start or add to a discussion.”

Indicator 1h

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and support.

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Throughout the Grade 1 materials, students have opportunities to engage in a whole-group discussion following the first read of a text. Discussion Starters are provided to help support students’ listening and speaking. Most opportunities are about what students are reading or researching, but at times, students are asked for personal opinions or thoughts. At the end of a unit, students engage in a Theme Wrap-Up and Review where they meet in small groups to retell their favorite selection, review the knowledge learned, and share their thinking with the class. However, students do not have varied opportunities for speaking and listening. The majority of the time, students are speaking and listening during whole group discussions or turn and talk. Because the majority of discussions are done in the whole group with the teacher asking questions, all students may not be engaged in speaking and listening about what they are reading.

  • Students have opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through speaking and listening opportunities, though the opportunities are not varied.  Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, at the end of the Inquiry Project, students discuss what they have learned about friendship. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, after listening to The Tale of Lightning and Thunder by Edwin Clark, students discuss questions such as, “How does the family deal with the twins’ fear of the storm? What can you compare lightning and thunder with to make it less scary?”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, students select the text they like best from the Student Anthology and engage in the Theme Wrap-Up and Review. In small groups, students retell the selection and explain why they liked it. Then they identify what they learned about symbols from the texts and explain how the text features helped them understand the text. Each group shares out to the whole group.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, after reading Dance: A Balanced Act by Kathleen DeFede students discuss the text when asked questions such as, “How can a dancer spin faster? Why are balance and strength so important to dancers?”. Students are encouraged to respond to each other’s questions and ask new ones when they are relevant to the topic. 

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, after listening to the text, First Grade Stinks by Mary Ann Rodman, students discuss the character in the text. Discussion questions include, “What makes Haley change how she feels about first grade? How does Ryan react to the changes between kindergarten and first grade?”

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, students discuss the text Far Away Friends by Tamara Andrews by discussing things that pen pals can share with each other. Questions include, “How can you be a good pen pal? What can you learn from pen pals?”

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students look at the text features in Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundren and discuss, “How can you tell that this selection is organized by topics? How does the caption support the picture?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, students discuss the questions, “What is the same about the way that turtles and frogs move? What is different?” after looking at the photo essay “How Animals Move” by Valentine Neidr. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students discuss the text, “The Girl in the Red Sweater” by Evelyn Chu, and respond to discussion questions such as, “Why did people at the gallery say to Sonya, ‘You are the girl in the red sweater!” and ‘Why do you think Sonya likes to draw?”

Indicator 1i

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials include process writing in each unit. Students learn how to prewrite, draft, revise, edit, proofread, publish, and present. Materials include graphic organizers, editing and revising routines, rubrics, and model texts to support process writing. However, there are limited opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing opportunities over the course of the year. Opportunities for on-demand writing are limited in Units 1- 6. On-demand writing instruction and opportunities occur after the second read of a shared text in Units 7-12. Students write a response to a prompt related to the text. In addition, there are on-demand writing assessments at the end of Units 7-12 based on the writing genre they learned in the process writing lessons. On-demand writing is also found on the benchmark assessment given three times a year.

  • Materials include limited on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities are found throughout Units 7-12, but limited in Units 1-6. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students draw a self-portrait and write a sentence to describe their picture.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, after reading Pond Plants by Carol Krueger, students respond to the prompt, “Describe what life would be like as a fish living among pond plants. What do you see?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 4, the on-demand writing task states, “Pretend you are Turtle. What would you do to help Tadpole stop feeling sad?”

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, after reading A Center for Everyone by Kate De Gold, students respond to the prompt,Does Mrs. Santiago’s board-game club sound like fun? Describe the kind of club you would start and who you would want to join your club.”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, the on-demand writing task asks students, “Do you think the Statue of Liberty is a good symbol for the United States? Explain why or why not?”

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students write a sentence that describes a picture they drew, using the word abstract in their sentence. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, after reading Rock and Roll the Week Away by Robert Heidbreder, students respond to the prompt, “Describe how you feel when you listen to your favorite songs. Do you sing along?”

  • Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction.There is a predictable routine for students with graphic organizers and revising, editing, and publishing checklist. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, over the course of five days, students work on drafting a sentence. They begin by adding details in a pre-write to draft a sentence, revise their writing, and then use feedback they received from a partner or small group to improve their writing. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students write a description. On Day 3, they draft their writing. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, students edit their writing instructions. On Day 2, they edit for spelling and punctuation errors. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students revise their opinion statement. On Day 4, they focus on adding details. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, students write a summary after a reading selection. On Day 1, the teacher models how to get ideas for writing a summary. On Day 4, students revise their drafts using a checklist and on Day 5, students use an editing checklist and publish their writing. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, students publish and present their opinion piece on Day 4. Students use a publishing checklist to make sure their piece is displaying their best handwriting. 

    • In Unit 11, students write a biography over two weeks. During the first week, students plan and draft their biographies and during the second week, students revise and edit their drafts, and publish and present their biographies. 

  • Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided. Examples include:

    • The materials include Routine 18, which is an editing checklist. The teacher models how to use it before students use it on their own.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, students revise their description of animals. The lesson focuses on adding adjectives to make descriptions clearer and more interesting. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students edit and publish their opinion statement. On Day 5, students edit their work using the Editing and Publishing checklists. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, students revise their research report about government buildings. They use proofreading marks and add specific details.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, students revise their news story. The teacher models how to revise before students model on their own.

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. Examples include: 

    • In the digital materials, under ePresentation, the teacher can use electronic graphic organizers and revising and editing checklists. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students use computers to add graphics to their opinion piece. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, when publishing their description piece, students are encouraged to find and include photographs.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, students publish their news story. Options for students include typing it on the computer or recording themselves reading their news story and showing the video to the class. 

Indicator 1j

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Throughout the year, students have opportunities to learn, practice, and apply different genres and types of writing. Students learn and write opinion pieces, narrative pieces, and informational pieces. While students have the opportunity for all three writing types, it is not an equal distribution throughout the year. The majority of writing opportunities in Grade 1 are informational. Writing assignments at times are connected to the texts, but it is limited. The teacher may remind students about a text they have read, but there are limited opportunities for the teacher to analyze a text as an exemplar to help students develop their craft. Summary writing is included, but begins in the second half of the year.

  • Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing but do not reflect the distribution required by the standards.  Different genres/modes/types of writing are not equally distributed throughout the school year. Of the first six units, narrative writing is covered for two weeks and opinion for three weeks, while informational writing is covered over the course of 13 weeks. For example:

    • Students have opportunities to engage in opinion writing roughly 25% of the time. These writing pieces are found at the middle and end of the year, but include variation in type. Examples include:

      • In Unit 5, students write an opinion statement and create persuasive posters.

      • In Unit 7, students write opinions about the best book ever.

      • In Unit 8, students write an opinion piece about school dress code and another one about who they should invite to the class.

    • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing. Informational writing is found in roughly 67% of all writing opportunities and are found at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. There are a variety of types including instructions and biographies. Examples include:

      • In Unit 1, students write a Writing about Me and an autobiography.

      • In Unit 2, students write a description.

      • In Unit 3, students write descriptions about an object, an animal, and a person.

      • In Unit 4, students write a description and instructions.

      • In Unit 6, students respond to literature by writing a summary of three different texts.

      • In Unit 9, students write informative summaries and a description about a place.

      • In Unit 10, students write descriptions and a report.

      • In Unit 11, students write biographies and a news story.

      • In Unit 12, students write a news story.

    • Students have limited opportunities to engage in narrative writing and they account for only 10% of all writing assignments. They are only found in the beginning of the year and the last unit. Examples include:

      • In Unit 2, students write narratives about an event that happened at school. 

      • In Unit 12, students write make-believe stories. 

  • At times, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Examples include:

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, students respond to literature by writing a summary. The teacher models using the read-aloud text Block Party by Katie Doyle, and then they write a summary of the text Family Roots.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students write an opinion piece about the best book ever. 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, students write an informative summary about a book or story they have read. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, students write news stories. On Day 1, the teacher reads an article aloud about a person in the community as a model for the news story.

Indicator 1k

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials include limited opportunities for students to participate in evidence-based writing; however; many of the writing opportunities are based on personal experiences and opinions. Students begin writing about texts in Unit 7, but some of the writing prompts in Units 7-12 include personal opinions. Some of the process writing lessons involve writing a summary. Inquiry projects occur once per unit, related to the topic of the shared readers. At the end of the unit, students create a presentation of their learning. One of the options is a final writing project, but it is not required.

  • Materials provide some opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.  In Units 7-12, students are given a writing prompt about the text; however, some of them also ask for personal opinions. Examples include:

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, students begin learning to write a summary in response to reading. The lesson focuses on the read-aloud Block Party by Katie Doyle. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, after reading Pond Plants by Carol Krueger, students are asked, “Describe what life would be like as a fish living among pond plants. What do you see?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, after reading Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes by Eric Ode, students are told, “Imagine what it would be like to have dragonfly eyes. How would being able to see in every direction at once help you? Would there be any negatives to being able to see like this?”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, after reading Our Trip to Washington D.C. by Lane Kane Katsaros, students respond to the question, “Where would you go if you could take a trip anywhere in America?” The prompt does not require the students to refer to a text. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, after reading The Abstract Cat by Raj Manohar, students “Describe the difference between the realistic painting of the girl feeding the cat and Alex’s cat drawing. How do the cats look different?”

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, after reading Dance: A Balanced Art by Kathleen DeFede, students are asked, “Describe the kinds of music you like to dance to. What about the music makes you want to move your body?” These are not text-based questions. 

  • Some writing opportunities are focused around students’ recall of information to develop opinions from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources. Examples include:

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students write an opinion statement in response to the question, “What kind of house would be more fun to live in, a true house or a houseboat?” The question is not evidence-based. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students plan an opinion piece on what kind of animal makes the best pet. Students do this based on personal opinion. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students write an opinion about the best book ever. The task is open to any book, not just the selections read in the unit. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, students spend seven days planning and writing an opinion piece about the school dress code. Students research this topic by gathering information from different sources. 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, students write an informative summary about a book they read in the unit. 

    • In Unit 10, Lessons 2 and 3, students learn how to write a research report. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students write a biography by reading about a person to write about.

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 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

Materials provide explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards through the instruction and guided practice sections of the day’s activities that direct the teacher on wording and examples to teach the skill. Most grammar and convention standards are addressed in Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics. There are opportunities for students to apply grammar and conventions skills to limited in-context tasks. There are limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level grammar and usage standards to their individual writing.

  • Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

    • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.

      • In the Getting Started Unit, the teacher models writing uppercase and lowercase letters. The materials present letters in alphabetical order. On Day 1, the teacher introduces  Aa. “You may follow either the handwriting system presented here or the system used in your school. Write a capital A on the board, describing each stroke as you do so.” Students practice writing Aa.

      • In Getting Started, Day 2, Letter Recognition, the teacher models writing Cc and Dd. Students write the letters on handwriting paper, while some students write on the letters on board.

      • In Getting Started, Day 6, Letter Recognition, the teacher models writing Nn, Oo, Pp. Students make the letters in the air and then write the letters on handwriting paper.

    • Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher writes a list of common and proper nouns on the board. The teacher reads the words line by line and explains that nouns naming a specific person, place, or thing are called proper nouns. The teacher helps students identify the proper nouns. The teacher informs students that all the other nouns are common. Students find five things in the classroom that are examples of common or proper nouns.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains that possessive nouns show who owns or has something. The teacher models using an object from their desk. The teacher writes “teacher’s ruler” on the board and reads it aloud. The teacher points to the apostrophe and the s at the end of the word. The teacher shows an ePresentation to reinforce the concept. Students add ‘s to each noun in the first column of the ePresentation. 

    • Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher reviews subject-verb agreement. The teacher writes sentences on the board. Students identify subjects and verbs in sentences..

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher asks students to create sentences with and without subject-verb agreement. 

    • Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher defines personal pronouns. The teacher writes personal pronouns on the board and explains them. The teacher posts a list of nouns and verbs. Students say sentences using nouns. Then students restate the sentences with personal pronouns.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains indefinite nouns as a noun being replaced that is less clear. The teacher provides examples such as anyone, everything, anything, few, many, both. The teacher reads aloud sentences, and students identify the indefinite pronoun.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 3, the teacher reviews possessive nouns. The teacher explains that possessive pronouns replace possessive nouns such as “his pencil, your book, my desk, her hat”. The teacher posts a list of nouns, possessive nouns, and verbs on chart paper. Students dictate sentences using possessive nouns and then repeat the sentence with possessive pronouns. 

    • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher reads a sentence and emphasizes the action word, shakes. The teacher explains that shakes is the action happening now. The teacher reads a second sentence that has the verb rolled. The teacher points out the -ed and explains that the action happened in the past. Students look through their writing for places to add action verbs. 

      • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 3, the teacher explains the difference between present and past tense verbs. The teacher explains that some verbs do not use -ed. The teacher uses the ePresentation to show how some verbs change from present to past tense, such as eat to ate and see to saw. The teacher writes sentences on the board and has students identify verb tenses.

      • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains future tense as an action that will happen later. The teacher explains that adding will with the verb forms future tense. The teacher shows sentences with future tense. Then the teacher writes fragments on the board, and students add the future tense verb.

    • Use frequently occurring adjectives.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher shows the ePresentation visuals, which are examples of adjectives. The teacher writes nouns on the board. Students suggest descriptive adjectives to tell more about each noun.

      •  In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher asks students what adjectives are. The teacher states, “Adjectives are describing words that tell more about a person, place, or thing.” Students use an adjective to describe something on their desks.

    • Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher writes conjunctions on the board. The teacher explains how the words join sentences, words, or phrases. The teacher writes sentences on the board that contain conjunctions and students identify the conjunctions.

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains that writers use conjunctions to make their writing less repetitive. The teacher writes two words on the board. Students share sentences using the two words and a conjunction. For example, “milk, cookies Possible answer: My grandma gave me milk and cookies.

    • Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher writes two determiners (a, an) on the board. The teacher explains determiners. The teacher reads a sentence aloud, “The moon continues to look smaller.” The students identify the determiner. 

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains demonstratives. The teacher states, “This book is fun to read. Those books are fun to read. That door leads to the hall. These chairs are for students.” The students use the sentences as models and make sentences using this, that, these, those.

    • Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher writes dog on the board. The students share where and when dogs sleep, eat, and play. The teacher uses the students’ answers to explain that a preposition tells where and when for a pronoun or noun. The teacher writes more prepositions on the board and students suggest sentences using one of the prepositions.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher reviews prepositions by drawing a mountain and writing where they can go on the mountain or go to the mountain. The students complete Skills Practice 2 about prepositions.

    • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, the students practice reading and writing declarative sentences. The teacher asks students to add descriptive words to their sentences.

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, the teacher puts students into groups. Students write five sentences, one for each emotion on the board (excitement, happiness, sadness, fear, surprise). 

      • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 3, Revising, the teacher reminds students that compound sentences make their writing easier to read. The teacher asks students to include simple and compound sentences in their stories.

    • Capitalize dates and names of people.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher writes sets of words on the board. The teacher points out that Sarah and Miller are names, so they have a capital letter at the beginning. The students suggest sentences with names of people from the class. The teacher writes the sentences without the correct capitalization. The students edit the capitalization.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher has students state the day and date. The teacher writes them on the board. The teacher explains that days and months are proper nouns that need to be capitalized. The teacher writes a sentence on the board without the day and date capitalized. Students tell which words need capitalization.

    • Use end punctuation for sentences.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher reviews interrogative sentences. The teacher guides students in writing asking sentences and reminds them to use a question mark.

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher has students make sentences about pets. The teacher includes interrogative sentences. The teacher asks students about the punctuation marks and has the students create sentences with strong emotion. The teacher writes the sentences on the board and asks what the end mark should be at the end of the sentence.

    • Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 3, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher uses the date to show where to place a comma in a date. The teacher writes a sentence on the board and has students add where the comma goes.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher has students share familiar dates and write them on the board. The teacher reminds students about where to place the comma in the date.

    • Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher uses Routine 6 (Word Building Routine) to help students practice spelling words with long i using i and i_e. On paper, students spell words such as ride, slide, hide, stripe.

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher introduces the high-frequency word every. During Blending, students read every in the following sentence: Every summer, dozens of bunnies hop in the cornfield.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 4, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher uses Routine 6 (Word Building Routine) to help students practice spelling words with oo. On paper, students spell words such as book hood, cook.

    • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 1, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher uses Routine 7 (Sounds-in-Sequence Dictation Routine) for spelling cactus and person.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 3, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher uses Routine 9 (Sentence Dictation Routine) for writing and spelling “Huey painted the pew”. The teacher reminds students to ask themselves, “Which spelling,” if they are unsure which spelling to use.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 2, Spelling, the teacher has students take a second pretest with ch and sh words. 

  • Materials include some opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, students view page 6 of a text called Back to School Big Book. The teacher points out nouns on the page and reads more of the text. The teacher selects a noun from the text and asks students to create an oral sentence that contains the noun.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher displays a text called “A Friend Can.” Students talk about the nouns in the illustration and the teacher writes nouns on the board from the illustration. Students suggest adjectives to go with the nouns based on the illustration.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, students look through previous compositions for spots in which they might want to replace a noun with a pronoun. The teacher asks students to use personal and indefinite pronouns in their writing to make it easier to read.

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the students search “Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes” from the anthology for examples of prepositional phrases.

Indicator 1m

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Vocabulary routines occur frequently and routinely while students interact with texts; however, the vocabulary words are not repeated across multiple texts. Students may interact with words before, during and/or after reading. Vocabulary words are essential to understanding the text and comprehension questions often include the vocabulary words. In the second half of Grade 1, students also interact with vocabulary words in a new context called Vocabulary Stories. In these stories, students interact with the words by comparing and contrasting usage and parts of speech or by completing word-work activities such as adding plural endings.

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

    • Routine 13 is the Selection Vocabulary Routine and consists of five steps in Grade 1, including Develop, Practice, and Review Vocabulary. In Unit 7, students also Apply and Extend. In the two latter tasks, the words appear in short texts, but not in the Shared Reading. One of these stages occurs in every reading of the text, and may occur before, during, and/or after the reading of the text. 

    • Before reading the selection, the teacher orally introduces the definitions of vocabulary words essential to understanding the text. After reading, the teacher introduces additional vocabulary words. 

    • Beginning in the middle of Grade 1, students review the Selection Vocabulary Words by reading words in a new context as part of the new Apply vocabulary section in the Student Anthology. For example, in Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 3, students read the vocabulary story” Floating Away,” which contains the Selection Vocabulary words.

  • Vocabulary is repeated in contexts; however, students do not read them across multiple texts. For example: 

    • Students read a text multiple times over the course of several days. Students learn and practice more than one set of words during this time. For example, in Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 2, students learn the words types, fewer, citizens, and facilities. On Day 3, before reading the text, students review all of the words. After reading the text, students learn the words recreation, commute, hectic, and common. On Day 5, students review both sets of words. 

    • There are some references to previously-taught vocabulary words, but instruction is not included. For example, in Unit 6, Lesson 2, the Teacher Tip is “Continue to use vocabulary that students have learned in previous lessons when it is appropriate. Point out that the ‘places to play’ on pages 20 and 21 are for recreation, which was taught in Unit 5.” 

    • Content-specific words are taught and reviewed before and after a text. For example, in Unit 3, Lesson 1, students learn the words ripened and bundle prior to reading the text The Reason for Four Seasons retold by Susan Willow. Then during the reading, the teacher pauses and asks, “Why did the man put the corn in a bundle?” After reading, the teacher reviews the vocabulary words and asks non text-dependent questions such as, “How would you make a bundle of newspapers to take to the recycling center?”

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, students review vocabulary words that were introduced on Day 3. They review the definition, then use provided sentence stems to demonstrate their understanding of the meanings. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the vocabulary words fool and offered. On Day 2, the teacher introduces the vocabulary words population, remote, climate, and transportation. Both sets of words come from the text By my Neighbor by Maya Ajmora and John D. Ivanko, though they are not repeated in later texts. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, before listening to Uncle Sam by Helen Lepp, students are introduced to the vocabulary words barrels and icon. After reading, students are asked questions such as, “What was marked on the outside of the meat barrels that Samuel Wilson sent to the soldiers? What does it mean to say that Uncle Sam is an icon?”

  • Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words. For example: 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, after a close read/listen of the text Chicken Chickens Go to School by Valeri Gorbachev, students review the vocabulary words chicken, better, cried, and scampered, and then are asked questions such as, “What does Mrs. Heron mean when she says that she has a better idea than the ideas that Beaver, Rabbit, and Frog have suggested?”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, after listening to Watching the Moon by Abi Manickam, students review the vocabulary words position, continues and phrases. The teacher has the students use context clues such as, “Turn to page 31 and read the paragraph. What helps you understand that position means ‘the place where a person or thing is’?”

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students learn the words reproduce, life cycle, bulb, base, nutrients, carries, factories, and decay. The students then read assigned pages from the text Plant Life Cycle by Julie K. Lundgren to determine the meaning of the words. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, after reading Our Song and Our Flag: A National Symbol by Amerlia Gunderson, students learn the words values, banner, fort, spangled, proud, preserve, and fragile. Students are told, “The word banner means ‘a flag with a design, picture, or writing on it.’ Read the first sentence on page 15. Does the definition for banner make sense?”

Criterion 1n - 1s

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.

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Criterion Rating Details

Materials include a research-based synthetic approach to teaching foundational skills. Explicit instruction in most phonological and phonics standards is included in the materials; however, there is a lack of encoding practice for both newly taught phonics skills and high frequency words. Materials include decodables aligned to the scope and sequence of phonics and high frequency word instruction. Materials include instruction in print concepts; however, there is a lack of application to student materials. Materials include instruction in 75 high-frequency words; however, less than half are irregularly spelled words. Automaticity is practiced through the use of the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine and the Whole-Word Blending Routine. While materials include explicit instruction in fluency focused on accuracy, rate, and expression, there is a lack of teacher level modeling of fluent reading. Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills; however, teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits is lacking. Materials guide teachers in scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. Additionally, English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use.

Indicator 1n

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1n.i

Explicit instruction in phonological awareness (K-1) and phonics (K-2).

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Instructional materials provide teachers with systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds, and spoken words. However, the teacher does not explicitly teach distinguishing long from short vowel sounds without showing students vowel graphemes. Teachers can access videos in the professional learning section in the menu for examples on instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words called for in grade-level standards along with written examples in the Teacher Edition. Materials include explicit instructional routines for Sound-by-Sound Blending, Word Building, Whole-Word Blending, Blending Sentences, Sounds-in-Sequence Dictation, Whole-Word Dictation, Sentence Dictation, Closed Syllables, and Open Syllables. Sound/Letter cards are used for many activities. Digraphs are introduced in Unit 3, but not intentionally practiced again until Unit 11.Routines are consistent for the introduction of each new sound pattern and students have the opportunity to hear, say, encode, and read each pattern within the same lesson.

  • Materials provide the teacher with systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words. Examples include:

    • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 5, Phonemic Awareness, Listening for /i/ and / ī/, the teacher writes a long, thin Ii on one side of the board. The teacher points to the letters and tells students that these long letters say their name or make the /ī/ sound. On the other side, the teacher writes a shorter, stouter Ii. The teacher tells students that these short letters make the /i/ sound. Materials state, “Explain that you are going to say some words. If students hear /ī/, they should point to the long Ii and say /ī/. If they hear /i/, they should point to the short Ii and say /i/. did /i/ dine /ī/ wish /i/ win /i/ hide /ī/”.

    • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Phoneme Blending, the teacher tells students they will say a beginning sound. Then the Lion Puppet will say a word part. Materials state, “The game is to blend your sound and his word part to make a new word. Use the puppet to demonstrate: Teacher: /sss/ Teacher: /sss/ Puppet: nō Puppet: lōw Teacher: /sss/-/nō/. Snow! Teacher: /sss/-/lō/. Slow!”

  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phoneme Segmentation: Initial Sounds, the activity introduces students to the idea of isolating sounds in words or phoneme segmentation. Using the Lion Puppet, the teacher tells students he wants to teach them a new game. Materials state, “You will say a word and then they will say only the first sound of the word. Demonstrate with the puppet. Teacher: chair, Puppet: /ch/, Teacher: sail, Puppet: /s/”

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 1, Phoneme Segmentation: Final Consonant Sounds, using the Lion Puppet, materials state, “Tell students that you will say a word, and they will say only the final sound of the word. Demonstrate with the puppet. Teacher: maze Puppet: /z/ Teacher: plan Puppet: /n/”

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 3, Phoneme Segmentation: Medial Vowels, using the Lion Puppet, the teacher tells students that they will say a word and Lion Puppet will say only the sound in the middle of the word, the vowel sound. The teacher uses the puppet to demonstrate: “Teacher: jab Puppet: /a/ Teacher: fin Puppet: /i/. Your turn!”

  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Individual Sounds, the teacher says some words, and the Lion Puppet repeats the words sound by sound. Materials state, “Use the puppet to demonstrate: Teacher: map Puppet: /m/ /a/ /p/ Teacher: hot Puppet: /h/ /o/ /t/”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Individual Sounds, the directions tell the teacher to read a list of words and have students repeat each word sound by sound.

  • Materials provide the teacher with examples for instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words called for in grade-level standards. Examples include:

    • In the menu, teachers have access to professional learning videos about phonological/phonemic awareness, phoneme manipulation, and medial sounds. The teachers can watch a teacher utilizing the Lion Puppet with students to complete a section of the lesson.

    • Materials provide examples in each of the phonological/phonemic awareness lessons.

  • Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. Examples include:

    • Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher uses Routine 1, Introducing Sounds and Spellings Routine, to introduce /th/ spelled th. The teacher displays Sound/Spelling Card 33—Sloth, points to the picture, and tells students this is the Sloth Card. The teacher points to the th spelling and tells students that when the letters t and h come together, they make one new sound, /th/. The teacher then plays the “Sloth Story” which has a repeated line, “He thumps like this: /th/ /th/ /th/ /th/.” The name of the card, the sound, and the spelling are reviewed. The teacher writes th and says /th/. Students use their fingers to write the spelling several times in the air, on their palms, or on the surface in front of them as they say /th/. The lesson continues with words that end in /th/. 

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 4, Warm Up, What I Saw Game, the students pretend to go on a journey and see many things that start with different sounds. Students suggest an item beginning with /sh/, such as shell, shark, or ship. The teacher provides the following sentence frame: “On my journey, I saw a _____. It begins with /sh/." The game is extended by having students repeat the previous answers before adding their own. After a few students have participated, the teacher changes the target sound and is reminded to include other consonant digraphs: /th/ and /ch/ for beginning sounds and /ng/ and /nk/ for ending sounds.

    • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, 16 regularly spelled one-syllable words are provided. The teacher points out that the words each have one syllable. Students identify the vowel sound/spelling in each word and then identify the kind of spellings that come before and after the vowel in each word. The teacher asks them which vowel sound a vowel makes when it is closed in by consonants in a word or syllable. The students identify the consonant blends in ramp and risk. The teacher points to crab and crib, and students identify the sound and the spelling that differs in each word. The lesson continues with the word pair drop and drip. The words rock, rack, kid, and kit are used to review /k/ spelled k and -ck. Students identify the sound/spelling for /k/ in each word. 

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, the teacher uses Routine 2, the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine, to blend the words: use, used, mule, huge, cub, cube, cut, cute

    • Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, Introduce the Sound/Spelling, the directions tell the teacher to write a list of words on the board (e.g. make, base, state), say each word sound by sound, and use two fingers to bracket the a_e spelling.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 1, Warm Up, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher uses Routine I to introduce /oo/ for _ew. The teacher points to _ew and tells students this is another spelling for /oo/. 

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, the teacher uses Sound/Spelling 43-Hawk and Routine I to introduce au_. The teacher explains that au_ does not come at the end of the word or syllable.

    • Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, students identify the sound/spelling that is different in each word on the line (kit, kid, Kim, Kip). The teacher reminds students that each syllable in a word contains a vowel sound. They count the vowel sounds in each word to determine how many syllables it has. The teacher reminds students that when a vowel is closed in by consonants, it makes the short vowel sound.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 4, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, students identify and count the vowel spellings and syllables in each word. (hum, human, pup, pupil). The teacher points out that u has the short sound in the closed-syllable words hum and pup and the long sound in the open-syllable words human and pupil. Students identify the spelling for /ū/ in the words (united, unicorn, uniform, unison), and then students identify and count the vowel spellings and syllables in each word.

    • Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, the teacher explains to students that each word (deadlock, breadbox, headset, bedspread) is a compound word, or a word made up of smaller words. The teacher points out that each word that makes up these compound words is a separate syllable. The students blend the words syllable by syllable and are reminded that each syllable in a word has a vowel sound/spelling. Students identify the vowels and then count and clap the syllables in each word. 

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonics, Blending, About the Words, using Routine 11, the Open Syllables Routine, to help students blend the multisyllabic words, the teacher writes the word open and has students count and say its syllables (two: o-pen). The teacher points to the first syllable and reminds students that a syllable that ends with a vowel spelling is called an open syllable. Vowels in open syllables usually have the long sound.

    • Read words with inflectional endings.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 4, Phonics and Decoding, About the Words, the teacher tells students that pins, drums, and balls are plural nouns. Pins mean “more than one pin,” drums mean “more than one drum,” and balls mean “more than one ball.”

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 5, Phonics and Decoding, Review the Sound/Spellings, to review the sounds for -ed, the teacher writes the following words on the board, spotted, spelled, stacked, and students say each word sound by sound and identify the sound for the -ed ending. 

    • Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 5, the teacher follows Routine 6, Word Building Routine, to have students spell the words. Students use their a, b, g, j, i, r, and s Letter Cards to make jab, jig, rag, bag, brass, grab. 

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of the /ks/ spelled x. The teacher points to a picture card of an X and demonstrates the sound. The teacher asks the students to say the sound of the /ks/, blend and read eight words with the x at the end of the word, and dictates two words with the /ks/ spelled x for students to practice writing.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher follows Routine 8, the Whole-Word Dictation Routine (summer, searching, corner, shirt, charm, farm, earlier), and Routine 9, the Sentence Dictation Routine (Carter heard a dog barking), with the words and sentence.

Indicator 1n.ii

Phonological awareness based on a research-based continuum (K-1).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.ii.

The materials explain the phonological awareness skills hierarchy in the Program Overview. The included research document, “ Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading,” delineates a phonetic awareness sequence of instruction and practices for the expected hierarchy of phonemic awareness competence. The Appendix has a detailed Phonemic Awareness Scope and Sequence. The materials contain phonological awareness activities consistently through each five-day instructional sequence, and the materials use routines to introduce new concepts. Instructional materials include ample opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern. Students have three to five practice opportunities for each unit to master skills such as substituting, phoneme blending, oral blending onset and rime, and oral segmenting. Students have limited opportunities to practice distinguishing long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words without seeing the vowel grapheme. Materials include primarily oral practice and do include some multimodal and multisensory approaches to student practice. 

  • Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness instruction based on the expected hierarchy to build toward students’ application of the skills. Examples include:

    • In the Course Map, the menu on the left-hand side shows phonemic awareness skills by unit, lesson, day.

    • The Teacher Edition, Unit Planner, found at the beginning of each of the 12 Units, identifies the phonological/phonemic awareness skill taught or reviewed per day. In Units 1-2, phonological awareness and phonemic awareness skills are taught each day. In Unit 3, phonemic awareness skills are taught each day. In Units 4-8, phonemic awareness skills are taught on days 1, 3, 5.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students practice four skills. On Days 1-4, students practice substituting initial consonant sounds. On Days 1-3, students practice segmenting final consonant sounds. On Days 4-5, students practice restoring final consonant sounds. On Day 5, students listen for short and long /i/. 

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students practice five skills. On Day 1, students practice substitute initial and final consonant sounds. On Days 2 and 5, students blend single-syllable words. On Day 3, students segment individual sounds. On Day 4, students blend words with consonant blends. 

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students practice three phonemic awareness skills. On Day 1, students segment individual sounds. On Day 3, students blend single-syllable words. On Day 5, students listen for long vowel sounds.

  • Materials contain a clear, evidence-based explanation for the expected hierarchy for teaching phonological awareness skills. Examples include:

    • Foundational Skills: “Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading,” page 8, notes that “Instruction starts with larger linguistic units—sentences, words, and syllables— and progresses through onsets and rimes to the smallest linguistic unit—phonemes or individual sounds.”

  • Materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, students isolate and say initial sounds in words using the Lion Puppet.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 3, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to say the onset and rime of a word and asks the students to blend the sounds and state the whole word.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 1, students substitute the first sounds of a given word.

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 1, students sound out each phoneme in a given word.

    • In the Student Edition, Resources, Songs, students listen to the song “Apples and Bananas,” which repeats with substituting the long vowel sound (e.g., eeples, ipples, opples, upples) in the words. 

  • There are frequent opportunities for students to practice phonological awareness. Examples include:

    • In the Teacher Edition, the Unit Planner found on the first page of each of the twelve Units, identifies the phonological/phonemic awareness skill taught or reviewed each day.

    • Using the menu, teachers can access the course map which shows what is taught during each day regarding skills.

  • Materials provide opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern; however, practice opportunities for distinguishing long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words without seeing the vowel grapheme is limited. Examples include:

    • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. 

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonemic Awareness, Listening for /e/ and /ē/, the teacher says words such as see, bread, head. When students hear /ē/, students say /ē/ and give a thumbs up. When students hear /ĕ/, students say /ĕ/ and give a thumbs down.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up, Listening for /ŏ/ and /ō/, the teacher says words such as go, boat, top. When the students hear /ŏ/, students say /ŏ/and give a thumbs up. When students hear /ō/, they give a thumbs down.

    • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of one to twelve opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 1-8. 

        • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Blending; Initial Consonant Sounds, students practice blending initial consonants.

        • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Blending; Single-Syllable Words, students practice blending single-syllable words.

    • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of two to 13 opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 1-8. 

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Final Consonant Sounds, students practice segmenting final consonant sounds.

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 5, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Medial Vowels, students practice segmenting medial vowels.

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 5, the teacher says a word and asks students to repeat only the first sound in the word. The students practice identifying the beginning sound of 15 single-syllable words.

    • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of one to four opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 2-10. 

        • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 2, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to model how to segment a word into individual sounds. The teacher says the word hid, and the puppet says the individual sounds, /h/ /i/ /d/. The teacher asks the students to say the individual sounds in 12 additional words. 

        • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Individual Sounds, students practice segmenting individual sounds.

        • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Individual Sounds, students practice segmenting individual sounds.

Indicator 1n.iii

Phonics demonstrated with a research-based progression of skills (K-2).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.iii.

The materials include the research report, Foundational Skills: Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading, which provides a clear, evidence-based rationale for phonics instruction and the progression of skills. Also, the Unit Planner for each unit provides a cohesive scope and sequence for phonics instruction based on the evidence-based rationale in the research report. Patterns and generalizations are presented and then reviewed for students to learn a manageable number of phonics patterns to learn deeply. Materials include lessons that provide students with frequent opportunities to decode phonetically spelled words, read complete words, and review previously taught grade-level phonics daily through sound-by-sound blending routines, blending sentences routines, whole-word blending routines, and oral language warm-ups. Students read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills through the use of the Whole-Word Blending Routine and Sentence-Blending routine when working with Sound/Spelling Cards, pages from the Student Edition, and word lists/sentences from the ePresentation Resources. Students have frequent opportunities to decode words in sentences through materials in the ePresentation resources, Core Decodables, Practice Decodables, and Skills Practice Pages. The materials include explicit, systematic teacher-level instruction of modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through the use of generating words with a specific letter/sound where the teacher writes the words on the board and points out certain spellings of sounds in words. There are limited activities that apply phonics as they encode words into sentences or phrases through the dictation and spelling portion of the day’s activities through Routines and words/sentences read aloud by the teacher. Student Skills Pages have additional encoding activities.

  • Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode (phonemes, onset, and rime, and/or syllables) phonetically spelled words. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, students engage in the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine in which they decode a word list with words with the /k/ sound.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, the teacher uses Instructional Routine 2, the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine, and Instructional Routine 4, the Blending Sentences Routine, to have students blend the words and sentences. In About the Words, students identify the spelling for /th/ and identify where in the word the spelling appears. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, students engage in the Closed Syllables Routine in which they decode a word list with words with the /s/ spelled ce and ci.

  • Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, students engage in the Blending Sentence Routine in which there are two sentences with words with the /k/ sound.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, Blending, students engage in the Whole-Word Blending Routine in which they are to blend words with spelling ce and ci as a unit.

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding /oo/ spelled _ew, Blending, the teacher uses Instructional Routine 3, the Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Instructional Routine 4, the Blending Sentences Routine, to have students blend the words and sentences from the ePresentation Resources. 

  • Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode words in a sentence. Examples include:

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 5, students find and read words with the long /i/ sound and then read the words in the sentence to build fluency. Students then read additional sentences in a decodable book. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher uses Routine 3, the Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Routine 4, the Blending Sentences Routine, to have students blend the words and sentences. In About the Sentences 1-2 from the ePresentation Resources, the teacher explains that the words on and of should be viewed as a "starting point" for a chunk of text to be read together. Students identify the chunks of text in the sentence.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 4, students read a decodable book with words in sentences.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 3, Student Skills Practice Page 266, students read the story and fill in the word missing in the blank.

  • Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to build/manipulate/spell and encode words in isolation based in common and newly taught phonics patterns. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 2, the teacher provides students with letter cards a, d, m, n, and s. The teacher uses the Word Building Routine and orally states a word. Students build the word with their letter cards and then blend the letter sounds and read the word with the teacher. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher dictates, and the students spell the words can, cap, cap, and clap

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 4, Phonics and Decoding, Dictation and Spelling, students encode words with the /j/ sound on Line using the Sounds-in-Sequence Dictation Routine 1.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up, the teacher divides the class into three or four teams. The teacher explains that they will write a long i spelling on the board and that teams will have one minute to think of words that use that spelling. When time is up, the teacher calls on each team to say and spell its words. The teacher writes the words on the board and awards one point for each correct word. 

  • Materials contain a variety of methods to promote students’ practice of previously taught grade-level phonics. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 5, Phonics and Decoding Review the Sound/Spellings, the teacher points to each Sound/Spelling Card being reviewed: 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, and 20 from the ePresentation Resources. Students name the picture on each card, say its sound, and name the spelling or spellings. They identify which cards are for vowels and which are for consonants. Students explain what the green band on the vowel cards means. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, Day 2, the teacher plays “Which Doesn’t Belong” with students. The teacher writes words on the board and asks students which word does not belong and why. The teacher accepts any response that follows previously-taught rules.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, Day 5, Phonics and Decoding Review r-Controlled Vowels, Blending, the teacher reviews r-controlled vowels by having students reread the words and sentences from Days 1 and 2 from the ePresentation Resources of words and sentences.

  • Materials clearly delineate a scope and sequence with a cohesive, intentional sequence of phonics instruction and practice to build toward application of skills. Examples include:

    • In the Teacher Edition, Scope and Sequence for Sound and Spelling Introduction, it indicates that a review of sounds occurs in Units 1-3, and then instruction moves to digraphs and inflectional endings, the introduction of the schwa sound, diphthongs, prefixes in Unit 9. R-controlled vowels are in Unit 11, and a review of diphthongs and inflectional endings occur in Unit 12.

    • In Unit 3, Unit Planner, there is a scope and sequence that highlights a progression of the following graphemes: -ed, sh, th, ar, and or. The unit culminates with a review of all the sounds of the unit.

    • In Unit 6, Unit Planner, there is a scope and sequence that highlights a progression of the following graphemes: y, ey, ai, ay, and igh. The unit culminates with a review of all the sounds of the unit.

    • In Unit 8, Unit Planner, there is a scope and sequence that highlights a progression of the following graphemes: ew, ou, aw, oi, and oy. The unit culminates with a review of all the sounds of the unit.

  • Materials have a clear research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence. Examples include:

    • In the “Foundational Skills: Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading” research report, the author Marsha Riot explains that the hierarchy of difficulty ranges from consonants whose sounds can be produced in isolation with the least distortion, high utility consonants, short vowels, digraphs, inflectional endings, and long vowels.

    • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, “Foundational Skills: Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading”, page 13 indicates that after simple consonants and short vowels, there should be instruction on long vowels, vce generalization, and digraphs.

  • Materials provide some opportunities for students to develop orthographic and phonological processing. Some encoding tasks do not require students to use letters and sounds to encode because students copy the word’s spelling. There are limited encoding tasks for students to encode in sentences or phrases. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, Dictation and Spelling, the dictation that occurs in every other lesson consists of one or more lines of words. Initially, Line 1 is Sounds-in-Sequence Dictation. After Whole-Word Dictation has been introduced, that routine is used for words on the remaining lines.

    • Unit 2, Dictation, contains a sentence for students to write. The students look at Skills Practice, page 30, and the teacher tells them that they will dictate, or say, two words, and the students should write the words on the lines at the bottom of the page. The teacher says the word, uses it in a sentence, repeats it, and then says it again. However, this is not independent encoding, as the students already have the words in front of them.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, Guided Practice, students complete Skills Practice pages 165–166 for additional review of /ē/ spelled _ie_ and dictation. They review the sound/spelling at the top of page 165, and students complete the activities on the pages. Dictation and Spelling. The teacher reminds students to ask “Which spelling?” when they are unsure about which spelling to use in a given word. After each line, have students proofread the spelling of their words and make needed corrections. However, this is not independent encoding into sentences or phrases.

Indicator 1n.iv

Decode and encode common and additional vowel teams (Grade 2).

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures, and features of text (1-2).

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include sufficient and explicit instruction regarding features of a sentence, such as capitalization, punctuation, and word spacing. Teachers use big books to teach concepts of print and have students identify the features of a sentence. Previously learned print concepts, letter identification, and letter formation are in some of the Warm Up activities and in student Skills Practice pages. There is minimal review of letter formation. Although students engage in reading pre-decodables and decodables on their own and with partners, there is a lack of explicit information on how print concepts are taught with student materials. The materials include lessons about text structures and text features.

  • Materials include some lessons and tasks/questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g., recognize features of a sentence). Examples include:

    • Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 1, about sentences, the teacher reminds students that sentences have punctuation and capitalization. The teacher asks students to identify the punctuation in the sentences displayed, identify capitalized words, and explain why the words are capitalized. 

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, about sentences, the teacher reminds students about end punctuation and capitalization. The teacher has students identify the end punctuation in sentences displayed and identify capitalized words. 

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 1, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher uses a sentence dictation routine and reminds students to use capitals and end punctuation when writing. 

  • Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures (e.g., main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). Examples include:

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 3, Access Complex Text, the teacher reminds students about main ideas and details. Students pay attention to the order of steps the author gives in “Time Is When.”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 4, Writer’s Craft, the teacher supports students in identifying the beginning, middle, and ending of a story. The teacher asks, “What problem happens in the beginning of the story? What is the first big event that happens? What happens next? What do Eliora and Samuel do? What happens after that? What happens when Mother and Father told the twins stories? What happened on page 45? How do Eliora and Samuel feel now?”

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 3, Access Complex Text, the teacher reminds students that authors use cause and effect in informational texts to show how two events are related. Students are to ask themselves two questions, “Why did this event happen? What made this event happen?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 5, Access Complex Text, the students identify the main idea of “Just Like My Mother.” The teacher asks, “What are the examples that the author uses to support the main idea?”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, Day 3, the teacher reminds students that authors use sequence words. Students use the boxes on the board to tell the order of events. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, Day 5, Access Complex Text, the students find examples of compare and contrast, sequence of events, and main idea and details. Students tell the sequence of countries the characters visited in “The Quest for Steps.”

  • Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g., title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 3, Print and Book Awareness, the teacher points out the heading number and title. The teacher tells students that a heading tells students what they will read about. Students browse the text for heading numbers and titles.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 3, Print and Book Awareness, the teacher shows students the index of a book and reminds students that an index is found at the back of a book. Students look through texts to find indexes.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 3, Writer’s Craft, the teacher reminds students that text features (illustrations, photos, and captions) help a reader understand the text. The teacher points to the word Transportation and asks, “Why is this word here?” The teacher reads a caption above a photo and asks, “What information does this caption give us?” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 4, Writer’s Craft, the teacher reminds students that photos help students see what is described or explained. Students read pages 52 and then analyze the text features. The teacher asks, “What does the photograph on page 52 show? What information does the photograph provide that the words do not?”

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 3, Writer’s Craft, students read two pages. One page has a list with bullets. The teacher points out that authors use lists with bullets to make reading clear. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, Day 4, Social Studies Connection, the teacher tells students that a subhead tells a reader what the paragraph will be about.

Indicator 1p

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

There are multiple opportunities over the course of the year for students to read on-level texts for understanding. However, there is minimal evidence about reading for a purpose. The materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding decodable books using Routine 5: Reading a Decodable with teacher modeling. Students utilize Routine 5 and Core Decodables and Practice Decodables when engaging in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity. The materials provide teachers with directives to provide explicit instruction in decoding as students hone their fluency (i.e., accuracy and automaticity) skills through decoding practice. The materials provide some opportunities for students to hear explicit, systematic instruction in reading elements such as accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression. Fluency is modeled infrequently by the teacher. Routine 5 focuses on having students read the decodable text. Therefore teacher explicit instruction and modeling are limited. Materials allow students to hear reading modeled by the teacher, using the same text the students read. The teacher uses echo reading to guide students in developing their rate and intonation. The materials have displayed sentences and decodable books, and there is a variety of decodable texts introduced throughout the year. The Rhyme Stew Big Book and Routine 5 provide opportunities for students to hear the fluent reading of a grade-level text by a model reader or peer. The materials include some systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words. Specific routines for teaching high-frequency words, Routine 4 and Routine 5, are included. However, the routines are not specified in the instruction. In Routine 4, the teacher writes or displays the high-frequency word and underlines the word. Students read the word. In Routine 5, the teacher reviews new and any previously-learned high-frequency sight words; however, the specifics about how the teacher explicitly reviews new and previously-learned sight words are not in the materials. Students spell a high-frequency word with the teacher if it is in the sentence they are reading during Phonics Blending and Sentence Extension, and they spell by typing them in during eActivities. Students practice reading words in isolation from the word wall and off the board. Less than half the words are irregularly-spelled words.

  • Some opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. Examples include:

    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

      • Students are provided multiple opportunities to read Pre-Decodables, Core Decodables, and Practice Decodables, targeting the phonics concepts for the grade level. It is not clear that students are reading for a purpose. There are comprehension questions to check for understanding.

        • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonics and Decoding, Fluency: Reading a Pre-Decodable, students read “I Can See.’ 

        • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, Fluency: Reading a Decodable Book, students read “Bird Shirts.”

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, About the Sentences, the teacher presents two sentences. The students reread each sentence several times with natural intonation and fluency (We will walk to the wildlife park. Mike can ride his bike well.). A reading purpose is not stated.

  • Materials support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words over the course of the year. Examples include:

    • In the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine, the teacher guides students through a process in which they spell a given word in a sentence sound-by-sound. Once the word has been spelled, the students reread the word to build fluency. Once the entire sentence has been written, the students reread the entire sentence to build fluency.

    • In the Whole-Word Blending Routine, the teacher guides students through a process in which they say the sound of each part of the word and then reread the word naturally. After the entire line of words has been decoded, the teacher directs students to reread the line to build fluency.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, Reading a Decodable Routine 5, students use their voices to show expression and intonation of the reading as the teacher reads the story.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, Day 4, the teacher uses Routine 5, Reading a Decodable Routine, as they read the story with students, the teacher models stopping and blending a word syllable-by-syllable and rereading the entire sentence.

  • Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and decodable words. Examples include:

    • Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Fluency, Reading a Decodable Book, the directions explain how to read the text for students to demonstrate proper intonation and pausing.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 1, Building Fluency, students reread Core Decodable 70 twice with a partner, alternating pages. The teacher observes students and checks their reading for speed, accuracy, and expression. 

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 1, the teacher reads a decodable, and students echo read. The materials indicate that teachers should model reading with expression.

      • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 4, the teacher models reading. Materials indicate that the teachers should model the proper rate of reading by using pauses.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, Day 4, Phonics and Decoding, Fluency, Reading a Decodable Book, the teacher uses Routine 5, Reading a Decodable Routine with the decodable story, “A Summer Home.” The lesson focuses on how fluent readers use commas in the text to help them control the pace of their reading. The teacher models reading at the appropriate rate by pausing at the commas. Students chorally repeat the sentence read. The teacher reads the rest of the story, continuing to model pausing at commas. 

  • Materials provide some opportunities for students to hear fluent reading of grade-level text by a model reader. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up Features of Print, “Hey, Diddle, Diddle” on pages 6–7 of the Rhyme Stew Big Book, students listen closely and stop the teacher when they hear something wrong. The teacher reads the first line of the rhyme, sweeping their hand under the words. Then they move their hand to the second line and read it, beginning with the last words: fiddle the and cat The. A volunteer points to the word that students should read first for that line. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Reading A Decodable, the teacher uses Routine 5, the Reading a Decodable Routine, as the teacher reads the story with students.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 4, students read a decodable book and echo read with a partner. Teachers remind students to read at an appropriate rate.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 4, Building Fluency, students chorally re-read Core Decodable 114 twice with a partner. The teacher reminds students that if they don’t understand or recognize a word while reading, they should reread the word and then reread the entire sentence until they can read it accurately, automatically, and fluently. 

  • Materials include systematic and explicit instruction of irregularly-spelled words. Examples include:

    • Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly-spelled words.

      • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 7, Reading a Pre-Decodable, High-Frequency Words, the teacher writes the words have and I on the board. The teacher reads each word, spells each word, and uses the word in a sentence.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, Blending, the teacher displays the word said, underlines it, reads it, spells it, and rereads it. The teacher writes the word said on an index card and adds the card to the high-frequency word bank.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 2, Fluency: Reading a Decodable Book, the teacher reviews the high-frequency words about and around by pointing to them in the High-Frequency Word Bank and have students read the words. The teacher does not explicitly instruct on high-frequency words.

  •  Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words in isolation. Examples include:

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 5, Warm Up, the teacher holds up a High-Frequency Word Flashcard and asks students to read the word and use it in a sentence. The instruction calls for teachers to “review all of the previously learned high-frequency words.”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 4, Warm Up, the students play a game in teams. The students pull a high-frequency word card out of a bag, and if they read it correctly, the team gets to keep the card. If read incorrectly, the student returns the word to the bag. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 1, Warm Up, High-Frequency Word Review, the high-frequency words students have learned are reviewed by using the High-Frequency Flash Cards and having a word bee. The teacher divides students into two teams. The teacher shows a word to the first member of Team A. The student says the word and uses it in a sentence. Play continues by alternating teams and using a different high-frequency word each time.

  • Materials include a sufficient quantity of new grade-appropriate irregularly-spelled words for students to make reading progress. Examples include:

    • The Teacher Edition, Appendix, page 24, High-Frequency Word Lists, Section 4, lists 75 high-frequency words for Grade 1. Fewer than half the words are irregularly-spelled words.

    • The Teacher Edition, Appendix, Scope and Sequence, pages 6 - 13, indicates that 20 Kindergarten (K) High-Frequency words are reviewed in Getting Started and Unit 1. The first new word, call, is introduced in Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2. Unit 2 reviews ten K words and introduces six new words, Unit 3 reviews seven K words and introduces nine new words, Unit 4 reviews seven K words and introduces 11 new words, Unit 5 reviews four K words and introduces 11 new, Unit 6 introduces 16 new words, Unit 7 introduces 10 new words, Unit 8 reviews one K word and introduces 9 new words, Unit 9 introduces one new word, Unit 10 introduces one new word, Unit 11 introduces two new words, and no new words are added in Unit 12 nor is there any review indicated in Unit 12 in the Scope and Sequence.

    • In Unit 2, the teacher introduces the high-frequency words call, look, was, what, big, got, all, if, to, get, ask, of, as, he, his, just.

    • In Unit 4, the teacher introduces the high-frequency words girl, her, with, any, from, like, water, but, do, long, my, no, where, an, they, she, yes, were.

Indicator 1q

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include the use of decodable texts aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Students have multiple opportunities to reread decodable texts independently and in partnership with their peers to build fluency. The materials include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the scope and sequence. The materials include explicit, systematic teacher-level instruction of modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through the use of generating words with a certain letter/sound. The teacher writes the words on the board and points out certain spellings of sounds in words. Students have limited activities that apply phonics as they encode words into sentences or phrases through the dictation and spelling portion of the day’s activities through Routines and words/sentences read aloud by the teacher. In addition, there is minimal practice, if any, for writing high-frequency words in context.

  • Materials support students’ development learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g., spelling-sound correspondences of digraphs, decode one-syllable words, syllable and vowel relationship, decode two-syllable words, read words with inflectional endings) in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

    • In the Instructional Routine 4, Blending Sentences Routine, Sound-by-Sound, students blend each word using the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine. Once all the words have been blended or read, students reread the sentence naturally, with expression and intonation. In Whole Word Blending, as students become more automatic in blending, the teacher writes the whole sentence, and students read the words, stopping to blend only those words that cannot be read quickly and automatically. They write or display each word and blend it using the Whole-Word Blending Routine.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 5, students first find and read words with the long /i/ sound and then read the words in the sentence to build fluency. Students read additional sentences in a decodable book. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 3, Phonics and Decoding, the teacher uses Routine 3, the Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Routine 4, the Blending Sentences Routine, to have students blend the words and sentences. Using About the Sentences 1-2 from the ePresentation Resources, the teacher explains that the words on and of should be viewed as a "starting point" for a chunk of text to be read together. Students identify the chunks of text in the sentence.

  • Materials provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly-spelled words in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, the word said is one of the high-frequency words for the lesson. Students read a decodable book; the word said is used on four of six pages. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 2, the word were is the high-frequency word for the lesson. Students read a decodable book. The word were is used on three of six pages in the decodable. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 3, Reading a Decodable, the high-frequency word don’t aligns with the Scope and Sequence for Unit 6, Lesson 3, in which it is introduced. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, Day 5, Reading a Decodable, the high-frequency word some aligns with the Scope and Sequence for Unit 10, Lesson 3, in which it is introduced.

  • Lessons and activities provide students some opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

    • Unit 2, Dictation, contains a sentence for students to write. The students look at Skills Practice, page 30, and the teacher tells them that they will dictate two words, and the students should write the words on the lines at the bottom of the page. The teacher says the word, uses it in a sentence, repeats it, and then says it again. However, this is not independent encoding, as the students already have the words in front of them.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 1, Guided Practice, students copy the sentence “Steve will be here.” and choose a sentence to copy that matches the pictures. Similarly, in Unit 8, Lesson 3, Day 4, Guided Practice, students copy the sentence “Roy has a new toy train.” Students practice writing it correctly on the lines. These copying activities happen infrequently.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, Guided Practice, students complete Skills Practice pages 165–166 for additional review of /ē/ spelled _ie_ and dictation. They review the sound/spelling at the top of page 165 and complete the activities on the pages. In Dictation and Spelling, the teacher reminds students to ask “Which spelling?” when they are unsure which spelling to use in a given word. After each line, have students proofread the spelling of their words and make needed corrections. However, this is not independent encoding into sentences or phrases.

  • Materials include decodable texts that contain grade-level phonics skills aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include:

    • The Core Decodables contain 114 books with decodable texts for students to practice phonics skills. Takehome Books 1 and 2 also have 114 books that contain decodable texts. Practice Decodables include 91 books that contain decodable texts.

    • The Core Decodables, Books 1-38, contain texts aligned to the graphemes: al, ff, e, u, and dge. Books 39-77 have texts aligned to ea, ar, nk, ee, and ce. Books 78 -114 contain texts aligned to oa, oo, aw, oy, and im. These texts are aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

  • Materials include decodable texts that contain grade-level high-frequency/irregularly-spelled words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include:

    • The Core 20 Decodable, “At the Mall,” highlights the high-frequency word call. Core 35 Decodable, “A Red Fox,” highlights the high-frequency words: down, its, and red. Core 63 Decodable, “A Mess,” highlights the high-frequency words: ride, walk, we, and well.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 4, Reading a Decodable, Core Decodable 71, “Summer Heat,” the high-frequency word is two. The lesson also includes an ePresentation Resource with a list of the 81 Previously Introduced high-frequency words.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 3, Reading a Decodable, Core Decodable 80, the high-frequency word is don’t. The lesson also includes an ePresentation Resource with a list of the 97 Previously Introduced high-frequency words.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 4, students read a decodable book. The decodable includes the words the, up, her, said, of, he, asked, six. The materials include a list of previously introduced high-frequency words for the lesson.

Indicator 1r

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials provide student practice in forming letters. However, there is a lack of assessment regarding mastery of letter formation. Diagnostic Assessment Guides indicate teachers should re-teach or provide intervention, although there is little explicit reference to specific re-teaching or intervention strategies. The materials include a Unit Planner that indicates where assessments are located in the Assessment Book. There are Diagnostic and Benchmark Assessments. The materials do not include assessment results guidance in the following areas: determining students’ proficiency level based on stages of reading development and specific, concrete instructional suggestions on how to support students’ progress toward mastery. There is a missed opportunity for providing teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits. Assessments are in the Assessment Book, Diagnostic Assessment Book, and the Benchmark Assessment Book. The Assessment Blackline Masters provide student copies of each assessment. Teachers have both a Student Assessment Record and a Class Assessment Record. Students use eActivities and eGames for informal assessment. A Teacher Resource Book with interventions is not cross-referenced with each assessment. There is a lack of direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention for each assessment. The materials provide multiple assessment opportunities for fluency, as noted in the Unit Planner of each unit. In the Assessment Book, fluency in Units 7-12 is measured through reading passages noting reading prosody and rate. The Diagnostic Assessment can be used with an individual student or groups of students and measures how many high-frequency words a student correctly reads in one minute. The Benchmark Assessment is administered three times per year and measures both high-frequency word fluency and passage fluency. There are also differentiated teaching ideas in the teacher edition, but there is a lack of direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention based on each assessment. Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills. 

  • Materials include limited assessment opportunities that measure student progress of print concepts. Examples include:

    • In the Foundational Skills Diagnostic Assessment, page T5, the teacher assesses the student’s ability to write G, q, f, R, and z.

    • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 1, Reviewing Sounds and Letters, Dictation and Spelling, the teacher asks students to write as many letters of the alphabet as possible. Students write both uppercase and lowercase letters. The teacher explains to students that they are not expected to know all of the letters at this point. The purpose of the activity is to gather baseline information, not for assessment.

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of  phonological awareness. Examples include:

    • The Assessment Book, Table of Contents, lists an assessment for each week and an assessment at the end of each unit.

    • In the Diagnostic Assessment, Phonemic Awareness, the teacher says a word, changes one sound in the word to create a new word, says the new word, then asks the students to say yes or no if the new word accurately represents the change in sound.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Final Consonant Sounds, the teacher says a word, and students have to choose the picture with the same final sound as the given word.

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics and decoding. Examples include:

    • In the Assessment Book, the phonics assessments cover Phonics and Word Reading, Sounds and Spellings, encoding of missing sounds in words, and Phonics Review. Decoding Ability in context is measured under Reading Prosody in the Oral Fluency assessments.

    • In the Diagnostic Assessment Book, the phonics assessment covers decoding and encoding.

    • In the Diagnostic Assessment, there are two Phonics and Decoding assessments. Students identify the given word in a wordlist, and two Oral Reading Fluency assessments in which students read as many words as they can from a word list.

    • In the Benchmark Assessment, Test 1, Group Dictation, students spell the selected words given by the teacher, and in Test 2, Oral Fluency Passage Reading, students read a passage with 133 words.

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis. Examples include:

    • In the Foundational Skills Benchmark Assessment, each benchmark assessment has a high-frequency word reading assessment that occurs three times throughout the year.

    • The Unit Planner for each unit indicates when assessments are administered. For example, Unit 3, Unit Planner, Lesson 3, Day 5 indicates when Assessment pages 26-27 and Assessment 28-32 will be done.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 5, Formal Assessment, the test assesses Letters and Sounds and checks for word spelling. Students are given three similarly-spelled words and must select the correct spelling of the word. Page 57 has a similar activity for students to locate five high-frequency words (here, pretty, could, day, way).

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of fluency. Examples include:

    • In the Assessment Book, there is an Oral Fluency Assessment for each unit, beginning with Unit 7. The assessments score reading rate, accuracy, and prosody.

    • In the Assessment Book, the Diagnostic Assessment has an Oral Reading Fluency component. The Diagnostic Assessment can be used as an initial screener with an individual student or groups of students. The assessment does not measure passage reading but measures how many high-frequency words a student correctly reads in one minute.

    • The Benchmark Assessment is administered three times per year and measures both high-frequency word fluency and passage fluency.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. Examples include:

  • In the Foundational Skills Diagnostic Assessment, page iii, the materials state,  “Students’ results in the Diagnostic Assessment will assist you in making key instructional placement decisions. Use the results of these assessments to identify a student’s reading needs. The Diagnostic Assessments contain material in the four technical skill areas in which an on-level student should be able to show mastery, defined as a score of 80 percent or higher in the multiple-choice subtests and the appropriate number of words identified in the oral reading fluency measure for the time of the year. Students who score below the expected level on any of the technical skill areas will need to remedy this through additional scaffolding and support provided in Intervention.”

  • No evidence was found for the assessment of letter formation.

  • In the Performance Expectations: Lesson and Unit Assessments, 80% mastery is considered an acceptable level of mastery (e.g., four out of five items correct).

  • In the Performance Expectations: Oral Fluency Assessment, students must meet the following benchmarks to meet grade-level expectations: 59 (Unit 1), 65 (Unit 2), 71 (Unit 3), 77 (Unit 4), 84 (Unit 5), and 91 (Unit 6). 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 5, there are two formal assessments. One is for the understanding of the skills taught in the lesson and the other for skills taught in the unit.

  • The Diagnostic Assessment Book helps the teacher identify student strengths, weaknesses, and areas of concern in four technical skill areas: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Decoding, Spelling, Oral Reading Fluency. The Diagnostic Assessment can be used as an initial screener with individual students or groups of students who might be lacking the prerequisite skills for the grade level. The information from the Diagnostic Assessment can then be used to inform instruction in those specific areas. 

  • The Foundational Skills Benchmark Assessment, Oral Fluency: High-Frequency Word Reading Tracking Chart provides the teacher with the goal for each benchmark assessment (i.e., 15, 40, 75).

  • The Benchmark Assessment Book, pages iv and v, notes the Benchmark Assessment “has two major components: 100-Point Skills Battery and Oral Fluency. 

    • The 100-Point Skills Battery component samples skills from 5 strands within the grade-level curriculum: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Decoding, High-Frequency Word Reading, and Spelling.

    • The materials state, “Because each of the Benchmark Assessments is equivalent in difficulty and format, they provide a means for measuring the progress of all students in a classroom over the course of the academic year. Improving total scores on the Benchmark Assessments indicates a student’s increasing mastery of the foundational skills curriculum.”

  • In the Performance Expectations: Oral Fluency Assessment, students must meet the following benchmarks to meet grade-level expectations: 59 (Unit 1), 65 (Unit 2), 71 (Unit 3), 77 (Unit 4), 84 (Unit 5), and 91 (Unit 6).

  • The Assessment Book, page vi, notes expected fluency (words correct per minute) for Units 7-12. The end-of-year expectation for students for prosody is four of five prosody elements in the average range.

  • The Benchmark Assessment, page iv, provides cutoff points for the three assessment periods for high-frequency word reading fluency and oral passage reading fluency. On page v, Diagnosis, it is noted that if a student falls below the cutoff score on the Oral Fluency assessments, they should be considered for intervention and should be closely monitored.

Materials provide limited support to teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. Examples include:

  • In the Foundational Skills Diagnostic Assessment, page iii, students who score below the expected level on any technical skill areas will need additional scaffolding and support provided in Intervention.

  • In the Assessment Book, page v, the materials indicate, “Comprehensive assessment will make it easier to identify students who are struggling, provide them with additional instruction and practice, and prevent their falling further behind.”

  • In the Benchmark Assessments, Diagnosis, page v, offers only general help with the next steps. The guide states, “If students score below the cutoff for any Benchmark Assessment, use one or more of the following to help students get back on track: Reteach students who need extra help; Practice opportunities are available to students within the Skills Practice Workbooks, Leveled Readers (Approaching Level), eGames, and Language Arts Handbook; Differentiate Instruction during Workshop; Intervention should be assigned to students who need more intensive help.”

  • The Assessment Book, page vi, provides some general suggestions for helping students: “When appropriate, allow students to move to new skills rather than limiting them to instruction and practice in only the skills with which they are struggling. For example, if students have not mastered recognition of the first cluster of alphabet letters, allow them to move on to other letters while continuing to practice the first set.”

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics and Decoding, Fluency: Reading a Decodable Book, Building Fluency, Teacher Tip, the directions tell the teacher if students are not reading at an appropriate rate, point out the end punctuation and model appropriate phrasing.

Indicator 1s

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include differentiated suggestions and a photo library to support language development and comprehension of vocabulary. English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use. The materials also provide an EL Appendix and a Newcomers English Language Development Teacher’s Guide with eight board games to support those lessons. The materials guide teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or at the OCR “Approaching Level.” Each digital lesson has a toggle that can be switched on for differentiation support strategies and lesson extensions/adaptations. These activities can also be found in the Differentiated Instruction Guide in the Resource Library. The Program Overview refers to small groups as part of Workshop time, but there is no guidance in the Foundational Skills Kit explaining how or when to do Workshop small groups. Although the program overview indicates differentiated instruction occurs in small group settings, and differentiated instruction guides are provided in daily lessons, no mention of changing from the whole group to small group exists in the digital guide. The materials provide a Supplemental Word List in the Appendix found in the Resource Library to extend learning in the lesson. The Program Overview references lessons containing detailed suggestions for differentiated instruction for those Beyond Level. Although there is a toggle switch for differentiated learning in the digital teacher edition, differentiation for Beyond Level was noted in the printed teacher edition at the bottom margin. The differentiated activities for Beyond Level are only evident in the print Teacher Edition, not in the digital Teacher Edition. Many of the above-grade-level activities are not seen as doing more than their classmates rather different activities based on skill level.

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. Examples include:

  • In the English Learner Teacher’s Guide, Contrastive Analysis Chart for Speakers of Other Languages: Phonemes, there is a correlation chart that compares English phonemes to those of other languages.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of the /ks/ spelled x. Materials provide an EL guide to the lesson indicating specific photo cards to support the lesson and routines and procedures according to language proficiency. 

  • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of the long /o/ spelled oa. Materials provide an EL guide to the lesson indicating specific photo cards to support the lesson and routines and procedures according to language proficiency. 

Materials provide some strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level foundational skills and to meet or exceed grade-level standards. Examples include:

  • The Resource Library, Program Overview, page 7, refers to Workshop time to allow for small groups, but there is no elaboration of this in the lessons.

  • The Resource Library, Program Overview, page 21, indicates that differentiated instruction tips in the teacher guide should be used in small groups, but these do not show up in the lessons.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 2, Differentiated Instruction, the teacher works with small groups of students who need additional practice with words ending in /Ǝl/ spelled -al, -el, -il, and -le. The teacher says some words, and students give a thumbs-up signal when they hear /Ǝl/ at the end of a word. The teacher uses the words: apple, cattle, travel, mend, store, settle, string, stencil.

  • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, Day 2, students read a decodable book. Materials include a differentiated instruction guide with suggestions for before and after reading.

Materials provide extensions and/or advanced opportunities to engage with foundational skills at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level. Examples include:

  • The Resource Library, Appendix, Supplemental Word List can be used in several ways to extend the lessons. Words are listed by beginning sounds, ending sounds, and medial vowel sounds.

  • In the Resource Library, Program Overview, every lesson contains detailed suggestions for differentiating instruction for the following groups of students: Approaching Level, On Level, and Beyond Level (this is seen in the print materials, but not on online materials).

  • In Unit 2 Lesson 1, Day 1, printed version, while On Grade students generate words with /k/, students Beyond Level generate multisyllabic words with the sound of the /k/ and state the number of syllables in the word they generate.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, printed version, dictation, and spelling, students Beyond Level generate sentences and dictate sentences to partners.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Not all units in the program effectively build students’ knowledge on a topic. While text analysis is well-covered, including some analysis of knowledge and ideas within and across texts, not all questions and tasks compel students to return to the text to support their contentions and conclusions.

Students engage in frequent writing tasks across the year; however, since informational writing encompasses nearly half of writing instruction, students may not achieve the full balance of writing genres outlined in the standards. 

The Inquiry projects that conclude each unit teach some research skills but due to student choice, do not provide adequate growth in those skills. These projects also fall short of demonstrating the growth of students’ knowledge, standards, and skills from the unit.  

The materials provide coverage of the standards throughout all units and over the course of the year; however, the preponderance of repetitive, unaligned reading strategies throughout the program moves the focus of the instruction, questions, tasks, and assessments away from a tight focus on grade level standards alignment. The program also contains a large volume of material without a suggested daily schedule; therefore, a full and standards-aligned implementation could be challenging.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

12/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The Open Court Grade 1 materials include twelve units that are formed around a topic or theme related to the program theme. Each unit includes a big idea and question that is aligned to a vertical thread that runs across each grade level in the program. However, not all units work toward building knowledge on a topic as some work toward a unifying theme. 

Within each unit, the questions and tasks lead students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft and structure of the texts they are studying. Students also engage in some analysis of knowledge and ideas within and across texts, however not all questions and tasks compel students to return to the text to support their contentions and conclusions.

Students engage in frequent writing tasks across the year; however, since informational writing encompasses nearly half of writing instruction, students may not achieve the full balance of writing genres outlined in the standards. 

While the Inquiry projects provide an opportunity for students to extend their learning about the topic or theme of each unit, these projects fail to consistently incorporate the knowledge and skills students gain throughout the unit nor do they require the students to incorporate and demonstrate the integration of the knowledge and skills that align to the standards. Since the projects may be done in a group for every unit, they may fail to build each individual student’s research skills as required by the standards.

Indicator 2a

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2a.

Most of the units in Grade 1 focus on a topic; some are tied together by broad themes. Topics in Grade 1 include Science Cycles, Light and Sound, Around Our Town, Around Our World, Roots and Seeds, Animals From Head to Toe, Red, White, and Blue, and Art in Motion. Themes found in the Grade 1 curriculum include Back to School and Be My Friend. Each lesson in a unit also includes two to three essential questions that are the focus for the text(s) during that week; however, at times, these essential questions do not consistently connect to the Big Idea in a way that helps build knowledge on a specific topic. Each unit includes three lessons, and within each lesson, students listen to up to three texts in a given week with up to three different essential questions, meaning students do not spend enough time on a topic to build knowledge. Most anchor texts within a given week are paired with a poem, as opposed to an informational text on the same topic that builds knowledge. According to the Program Guide, “Through the engaging themes that stretch across grade levels in SA Open Court Reading, students learn about universal truths, such as kindness and friendship, as well as about cross-curricular subject areas, such as life science and government.” The topics/themes across all grades are character, changes, communities, life science, government, and creativity. 

  • Some texts are connected by a grade-level appropriate topic. Some texts build knowledge and the ability to read/listen and comprehend complex texts across a school year. Examples include:

    • In Unit 3, Science Cycles, the Big Idea is “What is a cycle?” and the texts included in each lesson in this unit focus on a different aspect of science cycles such as time, seasons, and life cycle. Students progress quickly through each text and essential question, which doesn’t provide students with adequate time to build knowledge on the topic. Three texts and three different essential questions are included in each of the three lessons within the unit.  For example, in Lesson 1, students listen to the informational text, Time is When with the essential question, “What measurements of time can you think of?” Within this week, students also listen to the myth, The Reason for Four Seasons with the essential question, “What changes do you see when the seasons change?” and the poem, “The Months,” with the essential question, “What is your favorite time of year? Why do you like it?” In Lesson 2, students listen to a realistic fiction text, Jake’s Tree, with the essential question, “What changes in nature can you see?”, a narrative nonfiction text, Journey of a Raindrop with the essential question, “What happens to water after it rains?”, and a poem, “Spring Rain,” with the essential question, “Why is springtime rain important for nature?” In Lesson 3, students listen to an explanatory text, From Seed to Flower, with the essential question, “What changes do you see when watching a flower grow?”, an informational text, Insects Grow and Change, with the essential question, “How do animals change as they grow older?”, and a poem, “Cycles of Life” with the essential question,  “How do living things change as they grow?” 

    • In Unit 8, Animals From Head to Toe, the Big Idea is “Why do animal bodies have different features?” and the texts focus on how animals use different parts of their bodies; however the texts and essential questions within the unit do not consistently build knowledge pertaining to the Big Idea. For example, in Lesson 1, students listen to a fantasy text, George Makes Friends, with the essential question, “How do animals' body parts help them in their environments?”, an informational text, Gecko Toes and Dragonfly Eyes, with the essential question, “How do animals taste, touch, smell, see, or hear?”, and a fable, The Fable of the Lion and the Mouse, with the essential question, “How might a small animal help a bigger animal?” In Lesson 2, students listen to an explanatory text, Grow, Ladybug, Grow!, by Ursula Cook, with the essential question, “What types of physical changes happen as babies grow into adults?”, and a fantasy text, Just Like My Mother, with the essential question, “In what ways are you similar to the people in your family?” In Lesson 3, students listen to a photo essay, “How Animals Move” with the essential question, “Which parts of your body help you move?”

  • Some texts in a unit are connected by a theme, as opposed to building knowledge on a topic. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Back to School, the Big Idea is “Why do we go to school?”  Students listen to texts such as First Grade Stinks!, which is a story about the transition from Kindergarten to Grade 1 (Lesson 1) and What Will I be?, which tells about different jobs (Lesson 3). The texts in this unit are tied together by a broad theme of school. The unit does not provide an opportunity for students to build knowledge on a specific topic. 

    • In Unit 2, Be My Friend, the Big Idea is “What does it take to be a good friend?’ Students listen to texts about friendship such as Molto’s Dream, which is about a tiger who does not want to share with his friends (Lesson 1) and Far Away Friends (Lesson 3), which is about how children can make friends all across the globe by becoming pen pals. The texts in this unit are tied together by a broad theme of friendship, but there are limited opportunities for students to build knowledge.

Indicator 2b

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria of Indicator 2b.

Materials include multiple opportunities for students to  interact with anchor texts within a week. During a Shared Reading session, questions on key ideas, details, craft, and structure are modeled and/or prompted by the teacher. Shared reading prompts transition from teacher modeling in the early units to modeling and prompting in the middle of the year, to just prompts by the end of the year. Following a reading, Discussion Starter questions ask students to recall ideas from the text. On a subsequent day, students read or listen to the text again in order to analyze Writer’s Craft or to use an Access Complex Text strategy. The Look Closer section at the end of each selection specifically asks students to analyze the key ideas and details, the writer’s craft, and the text structure of the selection. The type of questions asked in this section require students to delve deeper into the text to help them access the complex text and to make sense of the text.

While most questions and tasks are high-quality, provide a logical sequence, and build in rigor throughout the year, some questions engage students in practices that do not align to the grade-level standards. The teacher models tasks at the beginning of the year and gradually releases more of the task to the students.

For some texts (read-aloud texts K-1 and anchor texts Grade 2), 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; however, the bulk of the questions and tasks address reading strategies that steer students' focus away from the text. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, after listening to Chicken Chickens Go to School by Valerie Gorbachev, students are asked questions such as, “Why will Beaver, Rabbit, and Frog not talk to the little chickens when they say hello? How does Mrs. Heron help the little chickens make friends with the other chickens?”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, during Access Complex Text, students discuss the sequence for the text Sam’s Map by Miguel Navarro. Students are asked questions such as, “What is happening on page 5? What is happening on page 6? What happens in the end?” Students are also asked questions that do not address craft and structure nor are text-based such as, “What would you put on a map of your neighborhood?” 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, during a reread of Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundgren, students discuss cause and effect. Students respond to questions such as, “What happens when seeds are ready? What is the cause? What is the effect?” Prior to this students are asked a series of connection questions such as, “Can anyone make any connections with your own life? Have you watched a plant grow from a seed?” 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, after listening to Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein, students are asked to tell the main idea and some details that support the main idea.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, students read Dance, a Balanced Art by Kathleen Defede, and are asked, “What is the main idea of these pages? Which supporting details does the author give?”

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

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students listen to Chicken Chickens Go to School by Valeri Gorbachev, and after the second read the teacher asks questions about the author's craft such as, “How does the author make the little chickens seem like real students on their first day of school? How does the author make Mrs. Heron seem like a real teacher?” 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, after reading Me and My Shadow by Amy Tao, the teacher reminds students that authors use text features such as illustrations, photos, captions, and charts to help readers make sense of what they are reading. The teacher asks students to tell what the illustrations on pages 16 and 17 show. Additional questions include, “What information do the signs on the tree stump on page 16 tell? Why is this important?” Students also respond to questions such as, “The next time you are outside on a sunny day, how will you experiment with your shadow?” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 1 after reading A Trip to Peru by Chandler Tyrrell, students are asked four questions, none of which address craft and structure. The questions include, “How does the land of Peru contribute to the culture of the people who live and lived there? What part of Bailey’s trip sounds the most exciting to you?”

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, after reading Crayons by Jane Yolen, students review point of view and then answer the questions, “Who is telling the story or poem when it is told from the first-person point of view? Who is telling the story or poem when it is told from the third-person point of view?” Students reread the poem and explain from which point of view the poem is told and how they know.

Indicator 2c

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2c.

In the Grade 1 materials, students have opportunities to analyze the integration of knowledge within a single text; however, materials provide limited opportunities for students to analyze the integration of knowledge across multiple texts on a topic. Questions that provide students opportunities to analyze the integration of knowledge mostly occur during the Access Complex Text portion of the lesson plan. Materials also include questions within a given week that focus on comprehension strategies such as making connections, predicting, and visualizing, as opposed to questions that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge. Some sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts.

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

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students listen to “Time is When” by Beth Bleick, and are asked questions about cycles such as, “How is a week a cycle? How is the time from your last birthday to your next birthday a cycle? What is time?” 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, after reading Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundren, students use illustrations in the text and answer questions such as, “Why are there arrows between each step? Why is there an arrow from the fourth step back to the first step?” 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, after listening to Uncle Sam by Helen Iepp, students respond to questions such as, “Why is Uncle Sam a symbol of the United States? How are Uncle Sam and Samuel Wilson the same? What is the connection between Samuel Wilson and James Montgomery Flagg?” 

  • Some sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students are asked to think about the previously read texts including The Little School Bus by Carol Roth, What Will I Be? By Jill Johnson, and We Couldn’t Wait by Maggie Smith-Beehler. Students answer questions such as, “Who rode the little school bus to school? What did the students in We Couldn’t Wait learn in school?” There is no opportunity provided to analyze across multiple texts in Unit 1. 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, after reading Time is When by Beth Gleick, students are asked to think about the Read-Aloud on Day 1, The Reason of Four Seasons, and the teacher asks, “How is The Reason for Four Seasons different from Time is When?” 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, while reading Plant Life Cycles by Julie K. Lundren, the teacher pauses and asks, “What connections can you make between this selection and From Seed to Flower in Unit 3?” This question does not provide students with an opportunity to integrate knowledge between the two texts.

Indicator 2d

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

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 2d.

Materials do not include culminating tasks that demonstrate students’ knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. At the end of each unit, students complete an Inquiry Project, but these are not evaluated on any specific reading or writing standards and do not require demonstration of knowledge accumulated through the unit. The Inquiry Projects do relate to the theme or topic of the unit, but text-dependent questions and tasks prior to the Inquiry Projects do not necessarily help students complete the project. Some tasks may be considered culminating in units; however; they are not found consistently throughout the year.

  • Culminating tasks are not found across a year’s worth of material nor are they multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level. Examples include:

    • Inquiry Projects at the end of each unit are related to the theme of the unit, but do not require students to demonstrate mastery of several standards. According to the Program Guide, the Inquiry Projects require students to “conduct an investigation into something related to the theme that interests them.”

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students begin by discussing what they enjoyed most about the unit and what they have learned from the texts. Then the students draw and write a sentence about what they have learned about school in the unit. This type of culminating task is not found in most units. 

  • Culminating tasks are not varied across the year and do not provide students the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening). For example: 

    • The end-of-unit Inquiry Projects allow students to choose the modality in which they present. There is no integration of skills required. 

    • Inquiry Projects do not ask for any demonstration of comprehension or knowledge of the topic.

    • Examples of tasks include, in Unit 5, that students research the theme Around Our Time. Options for presenting include dressing up as a community worker and explaining what they do, creating a mural of people or places in the community, or writing job descriptions of the community workers that were interviewed.

Indicator 2e

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2e.

Grade 1 students participate in writing tasks across the entire year. The majority of student writing is process writing, which occurs daily and includes a variety of genres, though it focuses more on informational writing. On-demand writing only occurs in the second half of the year and the majority of writing tasks do not rely on information students have read, making it difficult for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year. The program includes graphic organizers, a range of rubrics, and sample responses.

  • Materials include some writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and writing instruction spans the whole school year. Examples include:

    • Students learn how to write opinion pieces during process writing instruction in Units 5, 7, and 8. There is little variation in the task itself and teacher directions to draft their pieces is general. 

    • Students learn how to write narrative pieces during process writing only twice during the year -- in Units 2 and 12. Instruction is limited and similar in both units. For both units, students use their story map to draft their story.

    • Throughout the year, students learn how to draft during process writing. In Unit 1, students draft their autobiography. They are given a sentence frame to draft a sentence that goes with a picture. In Unit 11, students begin working on their drafts by following the model, the notes, and their sequence maps. 

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

    • Students learn to use the POW (P= pick an idea, O= organize my notes, W= write) Graphic Organizer, which is a mnemonic device to help students plan and draft any genre of writing. Students use this same organizer across the entire year. 

    • The Program Overview explains how to conference with students to provide feedback. There is a basic procedure for conferencing, which has the student reading his or her work aloud using one or more of the strategies to help the student improve his/her work, and having the student add, delete, or rearrange something in the writing. This process is the same throughout the entire year. 

    • The Resources Library provides graphic organizers, including a cluster web, a Venn diagram, and a story map. 

    • Rubrics are provided for different genres. There is a four-point rubric for the writing process and a four-point rubric for writing traits. 

    • The materials include Instructional Routine 18, which is a checklist to help students edit and revise their writing. 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, the teacher models how to use a list as a graphic organizer.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students engage in the Story Sharing Protocol for revising their biography. Students share their writing and then other students share suggestions on how to revise the story.

Indicator 2f

Materials include a progression of research skills that guide shared research and writing projects to develop students' knowledge using multiple texts and source materials.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2f.

Within each unit of the Grade 1 materials, students engage in research through the Inquiry Project. Students learn and apply the same six research steps across the year, with some shifting from teacher-led to student-led tasks. Five of the six are repeated from Kindergarten. In each unit, students have the opportunity to choose the research question and mode for presentation, making it difficult for the teacher to provide explicit instruction in research skills. As a result, research projects are not sequenced across the school year to include a progression of research skills according to the grade-level standards. Directions are vague and explicit instruction for research skills is not found throughout the program.

  • Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills that build to mastery of the grade-level standards. Examples include:

    • In each unit there is an Inquiry Project and according to the Program Overview “a gradual release from whole-class to small-group or individual inquiry structures” will happen. However, there is no specific guidance on how or when to make that shift. 

    • The same steps for research and inquiry are taught throughout the year without a progression of skills. Five of the six skills are from Kindergarten. The steps are: (1) Generate Ideas (2) Develop Questions (3) Create Conjectures (4) Collect Information (5) Confirm or Revise Conjectures and (6) Share Presentations

    • Teacher language is very similar or even identical at various points in the year. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide states, “Ask students whether they have any wonderings or questions about friendship they might want to investigate.” Then in Unit 9, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide says again, “Ask students whether they have any additional wonderings or questions about patriotism that they might want to investigate.” 

    • Because students choose their research for each unit, there is no clear progression of skills. In Unit 3, Lesson 2, materials state, “If students are reading nonfiction selections about the water cycle, model for students how to take notes or draw pictures to record the sequence of the water cycle.” In Unit 9, Lesson 2, materials state, “If students are conducting surveys about patriots, help them generate who, what, when, where, why, and how questions to ask on the survey.” In addition, no explicit instruction is provided.

  • Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic. For example:

    • In all units, there is a Concept/Question Board where students can display their ideas about the unit theme to help them generate research questions. For example, in Unit 5, students learn about the community and are encouraged to bring in and post items related to the community such as photos, maps, and local newspapers. 

    • In Unit 11, several texts from the unit are provided to help develop students’ knowledge of the unit topic of art such as, Cave Paintings: Messages from Long Ago by Sarah Ward Terrell, and Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter.

  • Materials include minimal shared research projects to help develop students’ research skills. Whole-class experiences guide students through research. For example: 

    • In Unit 3, students study the science cycles and the teacher models taking notes from nonfiction selections. As students research, they place their findings on the Concept/Question board to share their research. 

    • The Inquiry Project Rubric includes two areas for collaboration, though examples of shared research are not found throughout the program.

Criterion 2g - 2h

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

4/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials provide coverage of the standards throughout all units and over the course of the year, however, the preponderance of repetitive, unaligned reading strategies throughout the program moves the focus of the instruction, questions, tasks, and assessments away from a tight focus on grade level standards alignment. The program also contains a large volume of material without a suggested daily schedule; therefore, a full and standards-aligned implementation could be challenging.

Indicator 2g

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2g.

Materials include instruction that is aligned to grade-level standards; however, a great deal of time is also spent on reading comprehension strategies that are not connected to the standards, such as predicting and making connections. Because of this, some instructional questions and tasks do not focus on grade-level standards. During the first read of a text, the teacher models comprehension strategies. The bulk of this instruction and corresponding questions are not aligned to the standards. During a second read of the text, with Access Complex Text topics and Writer’s Craft, instruction and tasks tend to be standards-aligned. Similarly, some assessment questions align to the grade-level standards, while others focus on reading comprehension strategies and other areas that are not part of the grade-level standards.

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

    • In Unit 1, students are taught three reading comprehension strategies, which include asking and answering questions (RL/I.1.1), as well as making connections and predicting, which are not aligned to the standards.

    • In Unit 7, students are taught various ways to access complex texts such as compare and contrast (RI.1.9) and main idea and details (RI.1.2), but also sequence, classify, and categorize, which are not aligned to the standards.

    • In Unit 8, students focus on the comprehension strategies of asking and answering questions, clarifying, making connections, and summarizing. For each of them, two of the three lessons are standards-aligned. 

    • In Unit 11, students focus on various reading comprehension strategies including asking and answering questions (RL/I.1.1), as well as making connections, predicting, clarifying, visualizing, and summarizing, all of which are not connected to a grade-level standard. 

    • In Grade 1, students read a variety of unique text types, which meets the Standard for RL.1.5. Some of the text types include realistic fiction, myths, biographies, and rhyming fiction. 

    • Standard SL.1.1 states that students should have “collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts.” Students are taught how to do this in the Handing-off Strategy and it is used in later units including Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 3, Unit 9, Lesson 2, Day 3, and Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 3.

  • Over the course of each unit, most questions and tasks are aligned to grade-level standards.  Examples include:

    • In the materials, students work on the Writing Standards W.1.1, W.1.2, and W.1.3; however, there is not an equal distribution of time spent on writing opinion, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing pieces. 

    • Throughout the year, students learn about text features (RI.1.5), including in Unit 5, Lesson 1 where students locate and discuss heading and captions, and in Unit 11, Lesson 3, where the students review photographs and their purpose. 

    • After a first read of a text, there are discussion questions that mostly align to grade-level standards. In Unit 8, Lesson 1, students are asked, “Why does the mouse beg the lion to let her be free? How are the characters different? Which words or phrases in the story tell how the mouse and the lion feel?” These questions align to RL.1.1, RL.1.2, RL.1.3, and RL.1.4.

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students are asked to look at three words and listen to a story and then draw a line under the answer that shows what caused Hank to fail. This is assessing cause and effect, which is not aligned to the standards.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students look at three pictures and listen to a story and then draw a line under the picture that shows what happens next. This assessment focuses on sequencing, which is not aligned to the standards. 

    • In Unit 9, students are assessed on grade-level standards such as vocabulary (RI.1.4) and narrative writing (W.1.3).

  • By the end of the academic year, standards are addressed within and across units, however the focus on unaligned strategies throughout may not allow students to fully master the depth and breadth of the standards. For example: 

    • Some standard are covered consistently throughout the year such as:

      • RL/I.1.1, which is found in every unit.

      • RL.1.2, which is found in Units 1 - 6, 8-9, and 11-12.

      • RL.1.3, which is found in every unit.

      • W.1.8, which is found in every unit

      • SL.1.1 and SL.1.5 which are found in every unit

    • Some standards are not covered within each unit; however, they are spread out throughout the year. For example,

      • RL.1.9 is found in Units 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12.

      • RI.1.9 is found in Units 3 - 12.

      • W.1.2 is found in Units 3, 4, 9 - 12

Indicator 2h

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

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2h.

Materials include implementation schedules that align to core learning and objectives. However, there are 190 full lessons in the Grade 1 materials and no guidance is provided on how to implement the program when there are not 190 days of instruction available. In addition, individual lessons do not indicate how much time is spent on a topic in a day. Lessons are written in a linear way with suggested activities in the core lesson and alternative options below as teacher tips. Optional tasks support core learning and are flexible in order to meet the needs of all students.

  • There are no suggested implementation schedules and alternative implementation schedules found in the program. For example:

    • The Scope and Sequence outlines units, lessons, and instruction. Lessons are broken down by days; however, within the day, there is no approximate teaching time for each area of study or information on how to complete the topics in one day. 

    • The program guide gives suggestions on when small group instruction can be offered. The Teacher Edition states, “Whatever the case may be, workshop should be flexible and work well for both you and your students.” 

    • In Unit 1, there is a Getting Started Section which is included in order to provide teachers with an opportunity to observe students and evaluate their levels prior to the start of instruction. This is a ten-day lesson plan, and gives teachers the ability “to spend more or less time on a specific lesson, depending on the needs” of the students.

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

    • There are 190 days of planned instruction for Grade 1. This includes two weeks of a Getting Started section at the beginning of the year, and 12 units with three weeks of lessons (each week with five days of instruction) for each unit.  

    • There are no recommendations provided to accommodate school schedules that have fewer than 190 days of instructional time.   

    • Daily lessons do not include time frames for individual activities, nor do the program materials indicate a total literacy block time frame. In a typical lesson, there are 27 distinct activities in one day (15 in Foundational Skills, six in Reading and Responding, and six in Language Arts). This does not include the additional 15 - 30 minutes for Workshop time.

  • Optional materials and tasks do not distract from core learning. For example:

    • Workshop is part of core learning, but the activities and resources in each area (reading, writing, listening, phonics, and fluency) are up to the teacher. This time is meant for extra practice with core content, individualized learning, or small-group time. 

    • There is a suggested timeline for what Workshop will look like in each unit based on the grade level. 

    • There are additional lessons for intervention that can be used flexibly and taught to individual students or used during small group instruction during Workshop. The materials review and reinforce skills being taught to the whole group.

  • Optional materials and tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction. For example:

    • Workshop time is when teachers can work with small groups or individual students. All students are either working on independent material or working with the teacher, which can focus on preteaching, retreating, or engaging in enrichment activities. Students not working with the teacher have options such as reading a decodable, completing writing assignments, or practicing skills with eGames.

    • Teacher tips and notes on differentiation are used liberally throughout the Teacher Edition and are always options. Sometimes they are reminders or activities to include in the moment to enhance core instruction and other times they are suggestions for Workshop time.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

Indicator 3a

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

N/A

Indicator 3b

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

N/A

Indicator 3c

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

N/A

Indicator 3d

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

N/A

Indicator 3e

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

N/A

Indicator 3f

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

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

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

Indicator 3i

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

N/A

Indicator 3j

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

N/A

Indicator 3k

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

N/A

Indicator 3l

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

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

Indicator 3m

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

N/A

Indicator 3n

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

N/A

Indicator 3o

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

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

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

N/A

Indicator 3r

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

N/A

Indicator 3s

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

N/A

Indicator 3t

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

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

Indicator 3w

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

N/A

Indicator 3x

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

N/A

Indicator 3y

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

N/A

Indicator 3z

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

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/10/07

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Program Overview Grade K-3 978‑0‑0214‑5682‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Open Court Reading CORE ELA Teacher's Editions Package 978‑0‑0766‑6623‑2 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 1 978‑0‑0766‑8014‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 3 978‑0‑0766‑8114‑3 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 4 978‑0‑0766‑9560‑7 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 5 978‑0‑0766‑9565‑2 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 6 978‑0‑0766‑9572‑0 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 2 978‑0‑0766‑9823‑3 McGraw-Hill Education 2016

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 K-2 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