Alignment: Overall Summary

The Open Court Grade 4 materials partially met the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include high-quality texts of appropriate complexity throughout the year. Some strategies and routines, including those for independent reading may need to be supplemented to align with the standards.

Text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks support students as both listeners and speakers. On-demand and process writing opportunities encompass all the genres set forth in the standards, though informative/explanatory writing has greater coverage. The program includes explicit instruction in and practice of grammar skills.

Materials contain explicit instruction in and assessment of grade-appropriate foundational skills across the year. However, the materials lack teacher guidance for remediation and support of students who are not performing at grade level. The continued growth and application of foundational skills is not supported in all parts of the reading program.

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 they 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 do not provide adequate growth in those skills. These projects also fall short of demonstrating the growth of students’ knowledge 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

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality and Complexity

0
20
37
42
30
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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
23
25
N/A
23-25
Meets Expectations
16-22
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

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

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The Open Court Grade 4 materials include high-quality texts that meet the expectations of the standards. Texts are appropriately complex, growing in complexity over the course of the year, but do not include comprehensive text complexity analysis information. The texts grow in complexity over the course of the year, but the strategies and routines may need to be supplemented to assure students are reading grade-level text independently by the end of the year. There is minimal support for independent reading and accountability.

The program provides text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks to support students as both listeners and speakers.

Students engage in daily writing opportunities over the course of the year, including opportunities for process writing, including editing and revision and the use of digital resources. While the writing opportunities encompass all the genres set forth in the standards, there is a greater emphasis on informative/explanatory writing. The program includes explicit instruction in and practice of grammar skills.

Materials contain explicit instruction in and assessment of grade-appropriate foundational skills across the year. However, the materials lack teacher guidance for remediation and support of students who are not performing at grade level.

Instruction, practice, and application of word analysis skills is found within the foundation skills materials, but the application of these skills is not supported within the anchor texts that are found in the Reading and Responding lessons.

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.

13/18
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The Open Court Grade 4 materials include a wide range of high-quality and high-interest texts that include rich language and key academic vocabulary. The historical fiction, myths, poetry, biographies and dramas meet the expectations of the standards and present a 50/50 balance between literary and informational texts. 

The overall complexity of the texts is appropriate to meet the instructional needs for Grade 4, however, 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. Additionally, while the complexity of the texts grows over the course of the year, the comprehension strategies and routines remain static and do not provide a clear path to grade-level reader independence. While students engage in reading a broad swath of texts, including a number of science and social studies texts, there are few suggestions, supports, and accountability measures designed to support independent reading.

Indicator 1a

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

4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

The materials contain a variety of publishable anchor texts that span the year’s worth of materials. The texts include a wide range of student interests such as weather, science fiction, adventure, Greek Mythology, and biographies. Colorful and engaging illustrations are common among the texts. Texts include rich language that builds on key academic vocabulary that is highlighted throughout the text. Texts cover a variety of historical events and human interest. Texts and topics allow students to relate and/or reflect on themselves, their world and their actions. The texts are well-crafted and content-rich. 

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students read an excerpt from Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. This classic story takes place on a farm but also contains fantasy elements, such as talking animals.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 5, students read To Space & Back by Sally Ride with Susan Okie. This autobiography describes the voyage of the first American woman, Sally Ride, as she travels to space on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, students read Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices. This informational text combines information about immigrants who traveled through Ellis Island, as well as free-verse poetry about the experience through a variety of perspectives. 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, students read Animal Defense Academy by Nicole Gill. This informational text is illustrated with both drawings and photographs of animals. The illustration of the skunk appears on each page along with more real pictures of animals and their adaptations.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students read Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This narrative poem, written in 1860, is a fictionalized account of the famous event in the American Revolution when American patriot Paul Revere rode to warn the Boston colonists of the approaching British soldiers. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 5, students read Sleeping Beauty, an excerpt from the larger text The Fairy-Tale Princess: Seven Classic Stories from the Enchanted Forest. This retelling of a popular fairy tale contains unique visuals with images sculpted out of paper.

Indicator 1b

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

4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1b. 

The materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Text types include, but are not limited to, historical fiction, myths, poetry, biographies, and dramas. The materials also reflect a 50/50 balance between informational texts and literary texts. Core texts demonstrate a comprehensive collection of informational and literary texts integrated throughout units. Some units may place more emphasis on informational or literature, but the overall year’s worth of material contains a balance. For example, Unit 4 contains five informational anchor texts with one literary text while Unit 6 contains six literary anchor texts. However, over the course of the year’s worth of materials students read a balance of text types. In addition, supplemental texts included to enhance core reading also provide a variety of genres including biographies, dramas, fables, historical fiction, poetry, narrative nonfiction, realistic fiction, and informational texts.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, during Reading and Responding, students read the biography, Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, during Reading and Responding, students read the realistic fiction text, Ruby Godberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, during Reading and Responding, students read the historical fiction text, My Diary From Here to There by Amada Irma Perez.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, during Reading and Responding, students read a folktale by reading an excerpt from How & Why Stories by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, during Reading and Responding, students read a biography, Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 6, during Reading and Responding, students read the play “The Doomed Prince” by Paul Thompson. 

Materials reflect a roughly 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts with 18 literary and 19 informational texts. 

  • Examples of informational include but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students read the biography, Louis Braille’s Gift to the Blind by Tanya Anderson.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, students read the informational text, Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 5, students read an informational text,Survival at 40 Below by Debbie S. Miller. 

  • Examples of literature include but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students read an excerpt from the literary fantasy text, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students read a realistic fiction text, Ruby Godberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, students read an historical fiction text, My Diary From Here to There by Amada Irma Perez.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, students read a folktale, How and Why Stories by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, students read the literary fantasy text, Mice in the Mint by Karen Martin.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 6, students read the play, “The Doomed Prince” by Paul Thompson.

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Materials include texts that are of an appropriate level of complexity for the Grade 4 Lexile band. Most texts are aligned to the Grade 4 Lexile band of 740L-1010L. For the first quarter, texts have a quantitative Lexile range from 680-1070. In the second quarter, texts have a quantitative Lexile range from 670-1110. During the third quarter, texts range quantitatively from 620-1190. For the final quarter, texts have a quantitative Lexile range from 620-920. Overall, these ranges are appropriate for the grade level. Each unit includes a “Preview the Selection” Lexile tab on Day 1 under the Reading and Responding Tab. Each Unit has an accompanying Lexile Reference Guide that lists the Unit, Lesson, Selection title and Lexile Score. Each unit provides a Scope and Sequence that also references the Lexile Score. The qualitative measurement information for complexity is limited. The Teacher Edition introduces the anchor text with a non-numerical scale of complexity, from simple to complex and a brief paragraph description. The Build Background/background information section gives some purpose to what students will be reading about but the information is limited. The educational purpose and placement within the unit and scope and sequence are not explicitly stated.

Most anchor/core texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson, which has a Lexile of 820. This text is slightly complex due to the presence of science and social studies content vocabulary, an unfamiliar setting, and sentence length. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read My Brothers’ Flying Machine: Willbur, Orville, and Me by Jane Yolen. The text has a Lexile level of 790 and is moderately complex due to science vocabulary and concepts, an unfamiliar setting, and a free verse format.

  • In Unit 4, Lessons 1-6, during Reading and Responding, students read two texts by Debbie S. Miller: Survival at 40 Below which has a Lexile of 1000 and Survival at 120 Above, which has a Lexile of 960. Both texts are very complex due to advanced science vocabulary and sentence length.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Our Constitution by William Bale, which has a Lexile of 930. The text is moderately complex due to the understanding of the advanced social studies content and academic vocabulary. 

Rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

  • There is no rationale for educational purpose and placement provided by the materials. Lexile level is provided as well as a complexity slider that indicates how complex the text is and why it is complex. The qualitative information is provided in the Teacher’s Guide in Preview the Selection.

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The instructional materials provide texts that cover the appropriate Lexile band for Grade 4. The Lexile levels of the texts range from 620-1190. The majority of texts are within the appropriate Grade 4 band of 740-1010. Text complexity falls within the grade level band and does not build over the course of the year. Throughout the course of the year, comprehension strategies that are modeled earlier on are revisited later with less modeling by the teacher. More complex texts have more modeling by the teacher, or use strategies previously taught in the materials. The texts require students to read and reread each text multiple times within the week. The first read of the core text is with strong teacher support; whereas on the third read, students do the reading independently with limited support, if needed. As the year progresses, the routines for reading and analyzing texts are similar and do not change based on the complexity of the text, making it difficult to see how the materials build independence in the reader throughout the year. Reader and task demands frequently focus primarily on comprehension strategies, such as predicting and making connections, that do not align with the standards. Over the course of the year, the materials transition from teacher modeling to teacher prompting when reading and rereading text selections. 

The complexity of anchor texts students read provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The texts in Unit 1 range in Lexile from 680-930 and include the text Ava and Pip by Carol Weston. This text has a Lexile of 680.

  • The texts in Unit 2 range in Lexile from 790-1110 and include the text Godspeed, John Glenn by Richard Hilliard. This text has a Lexile of 1110.

  • The texts in Unit 3 range in Lexile from 670-1050 and include the text My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Perez. This text has a Lexile of 780.

  • The texts in Unit 4 range in Lexile from 620-1000 and include the text Survival at 40 Below by Debbie S. Miller and Jon Van Zyle. This text has a Lexile of 1000.

  • The texts in Unit 5 range in Lexile from 780-1190 and include the text Lady Liberty, A Biography by Doreen Rappaport. This text has a Lexile of 760.

  • The texts in Unit 6 range in Lexile from 620-960 and include the text Paul Bunyan. This text has a Lexile of 820.

As texts become more complex, appropriate scaffolds and/or materials are provided in the Teacher Edition (e.g., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings, skill lessons). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read Godspeed, John Glenn by Richard Hilliard. This text has a Lexile level of 1110. During the second read, students work on sequencing and making inferences. Graphic organizers, teacher prompts, and modeling are included in the Teacher Edition.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read Plants Found a Way by Lynn Williams. This text has a Lexile of 850. The teacher models comprehension strategies, such as, Ask and Answer Questions and Summarizing. During Day 2, students reread the text and are asked to give facts and opinions about a section. Students are also asked about the main idea of a section. The teacher guides students by adding supporting details. On Day 3, students reread sections of the text again in order to identify fact and opinion and determine main ideas and details. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, the teacher summarizes the first half of The Smithsonian Institution with students, reminding students they are making connections as they read. This text has a Lexile of 890. On Day 3, during Close Reading/Access Complex Text, students reread part of the anchor text The Smithsonian Institution to analyze text complexity.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read The Labors of Hercules by Vidas Barzdukas. This text has a Lexile level of 960. During the first read, students work on the comprehension strategies of predicting and revising/confirming predictions, visualizing, and making connections. The Teacher Edition provides prompts for the teacher during the first read, but does not include the same level of in-depth modeling as is seen in earlier units. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the text Inspiring Connections: Art and Literature by Terrance Ming. This text has a Lexile of 820. The read-aloud includes teacher modeling of the comprehension strategies of clarifying, asking and answering questions, and summarizing. Students also practice accessing complex text by rereading the text and determining cause and effect.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The materials provide some opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. Each unit contains a variety of texts and genres, including an anchor text and a Science or Social Studies Connection, with many lessons containing a third text to support the anchor text. Students also have opportunities to read a variety of texts during small group instruction. The materials provide some supports and scaffolding for the teacher to foster independent reading; however, the prompts frequently focus on various comprehension strategies. The materials provide limited independent reading procedures. There is no independent reading accountability system available for the teacher or students to use, nor are there recommendations for the amount of time students should spend reading, or a suggested schedule to provide students adequate opportunities to engage in independent reading. 

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Over the course of the year, students read a variety of genres including autobiographies, biographies, explanatory texts, informational texts, fables, fairy tales, myths, tall tales, narrative nonfiction, legends, fantasies, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and poetry. Students also read a variety of text types including articles, excerpts, historical texts (including a primary source), and plays.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the nonfiction narrative “Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France” by Mara Rockliff. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, Reading and Responding, students read the play The Discovery Fair by Vidas Barzdukas. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Reading and Responding, students read the informational text “Radium and the FDA” for the Science Connection. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the myth The Labors of Hercules by Vidas Barzdukas. In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 3, Reading and Responding, students read the poem “Ode on a Herculean Vase” by Andreas Chryssos. In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 4 students read the informational text “Ancient Pottery Tells a Tale” for the Social Studies Connection. 

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Grade 4, students read 53 texts. Additionally, they listen to a read-aloud at the onset of each unit.  

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the informational text Masters of Illusion by Jean Enicks. In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 3, Reading and Responding, students read the poem “Ghost Crab” by David L. Harrison. In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 4, Reading and Responding, students read “Hiding from an Extinct Predator” for the Science Connection. 

  • Unit 6, Lesson 5, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty by Su Blackwell. In Unit 6, Lesson 5, Day 4, Reading and Responding, students read the poem “Inspiration” by Maggie Smith-Beehler. Students also read “Folklore and the Brothers Grimm” for their Social Studies Connection. 

There is limited teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers (e.g., independent reading procedures, proposed schedule, tracking system for independent reading). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Teacher Edition provides the teacher with a scope and sequence and Daily reading and responding lessons used along with the Student Anthology Anchor text, Science/Social studies Connection, and Vocabulary stories.

  • The Resource Library contains “Challenge Novels” for students reading above-level, which gives additional novels for these students to read. 

  • Few independent reading procedures are included in the lessons.

    • Leveled reading passages are suggested to be read independently with the On Level and Beyond Level passages. The Approaching Level readers are suggested to work in a small group with the teacher. Teachers are not provided step-by-step procedures for this portion of the lesson.

    • On Day 4 of each weekly lesson, within most units, during the Reading and Response portion, students are asked to read the anchor text a third time independently. Students are asked to read for specific information, such as, “Read specific parts of the story to identify ‘writer’s craft’ or to read the text all the way through.” 

  • There is no proposed schedule for independent reading.

  • Independent reading is embedded into daily lessons. Examples include but are not limited to multiple reads of anchor texts and fluency.

  • There is no tracking system to help monitor independent reading. The Scope and Sequence provides information on the amount of reading done in class by students.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

13/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The questions and tasks included in the Open Court Grade 4 materials include text-based questions and tasks coupled with protocols and opportunities for students to discuss and explore the materials they are reading. Students draw information from texts to support their discussions, including opportunities to question speakers and engage more deeply as listeners. 

The materials include frequent writing opportunities (both on-demand and process-driven) over the course of the year, however the on-demand opportunities infrequently require students to draw from the texts they are reading. Additionally, students are not provided frequent evidence-based writing opportunities outside of performance assessments. Students engage in editing and revision of their writing and use digital resources, when appropriate. While all writing types called for in the standards are taught in Grade 4,  there is a greater emphasis on informative/explanatory writing. 

The program includes explicit instruction in grammar usage and opportunities for students to practice grammar skills in-context. However, there is a missed opportunity for students to learn and practice using reference materials to support correct spelling.

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 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The materials include multiple opportunities for students to engage with text-dependent questions and tasks. The materials provide text-dependent questions throughout the week through the Access Complex Text, Essential Questions, Text Connections, and Anchor and Supporting text within the Teacher Edition and Student Anthology Student Book. During the first read, most questions are addressed through teacher-led discussions, but move toward students writing the responses on Days 3 and 4. The materials provide comprehension questions in the Student Anthology that ask students to refer to the text to answer. The Teacher Edition provides prompts, modeling, and possible answers that show how to refer to the text to respond to questions. These prompts help the teacher plan and implement the use of text-dependent questions and tasks with their reading. 

Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Louis Braille’s Gift to the Blind by Tanya Anderson. During the Text Connections section, students answer questions provided in the Student Anthology. The following are some of the questions they answer, “Biographers have noted Louis Braille had a stubborn personality. Give examples from Louis Braille’s life to support the benefits of this character trait.” and “Recall ‘Ava and Pip’ from Lesson 1. Do you think Ava or Louis Braille made the bigger sacrifice in order to help other people? Explain your answer, using examples from the selections.” 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, Discussion Starters within the Teacher Edition include, “How is the experience of space travel described in this selection similar to Sally Ride’s firsthand account in To Space and Back by Matthew Martinez? What is the difference between these firsthand and secondhand accounts? Does one give more information? Do the facts in the two selections ever conflict?” On Day 3, during Reading and Responding, Access Complex Text section, students read the text a second time and “identify one cause and its effect described on page 214 on Out of this World.” Students are also asked to “explain the sequence of events involved in the space shuttle’s descent as described on page 215.” Students write the answers in a sequencing chart. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 6, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp. While reading the text, the teacher provides the following questions, “Taro and his mother and brother have been forced to leave their home and live in a kind of camp surrounded by fences simply because they are Japanese and not because they have done anything wrong. Think about the selection ‘The Unbreakable Code,’ which you read at the beginning of this unit. Can you make a connection between these events and the early life of John's Grandfather?”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the anchor text Masters of Illusion by Jean Enicks. At the end of the lesson on Day 1, students are redirected to the Big Idea: “How do adaptations help plants and animals?” to discuss how the selection supports the idea of the unit. During Day 3 of the continuation of the Close Reading lesson, students identify the main idea and details in the selection by answering questions such as, “Look at the heading for the section on pages 384 and 385. This should help you determine the main idea, or overall point of this section. What is the main idea? The author uses three examples to support this main idea. What are they?” 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport. The Student Anthology includes comprehension questions such as, “Why didn’t workers digging the foundation on Bedloe’s Island complain about the rough work? Use details from the text to support your inference.” “What is the theme of ‘The New Colossus’? Explain how details support it.”

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the anchor text Little Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm, retold by Karen Martin. Students look at the setting of the story and how the author uses words to help them visualize the scene, “This is an important scene in the story. Little Red Riding Hood bravely faces the wolf and lures him out of the cottage so the huntsman can trap him. What specific words does the author use here to appeal to our senses and help us visualize the action?” During Day 2 of the Close Reading Lesson, students make inferences about the characters, following the prompt, “Sometimes we can see characters themselves making inferences when we read. They combine the evidence they see with their own knowledge to assume something about a person or situation. The huntsman has made two inferences here based on information from Little Red Riding Hood. Both are about the wolf. What are they and what are they based on?”

Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-based questions, tasks, and assignments. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. In the Keys to Comprehension section the students answer the following prompt, “Use information from the text to explain why Nelson Mandela was eventually freed.” The Teacher Edition provides the following possible answer, “The text says that South Africa began to fall apart and the world pressed South Africa to change. A new president came into power who agreed South Africa needed to change. All of these events led to Nelson Mandela being freed.”

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read the text To Space and Back by Matthew Martinez. Within the Text Connection portion of the lesson, in the Student Anthology on page 218, students answer questions such as, “What are some of the emotions a crew feels aboard a spacecraft? Why does the text say that astronauts are different inside after their return to Earth? Why do people in rural areas see more stars than people in cities?” Students are also encouraged to ask their own questions about the text. The Teacher Edition states, “Read each question with the class. Call on various students to answer each question. Provide enough time for students to respond to each other’s questions and ask new ones when relevant to the topic.” Possible answers are provided. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain. In the Access Complex Text section, the Teacher Edition provides the prompt for the teacher to help students determine the main idea and details of the text, “Remind students the main idea of a paragraph is the most important, overarching idea. Ask students to reread the second paragraph on page 285 and state the main idea.” The Teacher Edition provides a possible answer, then states, “Then help them determine the key details that support the main idea.”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students engage in a discussion by using questions that encourage them to draw upon the reading selection as well as other information they know about the topic in order to contribute to the discussion. Questions include, “How are the tales in the selection alike? How are they different? Besides the explanations for animal adaptations, what other lessons are taught by the tales?The Teacher Edition instructs the teacher to use Routine A, the Handing-Off Routine, to discuss as a class. The Management Routine A is provided in the materials, and is hyperlinked in the lesson for teachers using the online version. Possible answers are provided. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students are asked to summarize Hamilton’s career, citing text evidence. The Teacher Edition provides a possible answer to support the teacher. For example, “Possible answer: At 18, Hamilton was a soldier. He became a captain, then Washington’s aide-de-camp, and finally a commander. Hamilton then became a lawyer. He also worked in politics, becoming a New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention. President Washington then appointed Hamilton as leader of the Department of the Treasury.”

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students and teachers read from the Student Anthology book a Social Studies Connection titled, “Advertising a Folk Hero.” Students are guided through the discussion of the text with questions such as, “What people first told stories about Paul Bunyan? How do advertising designs and storytelling influence American popular culture? How do media like television and the Internet spread cultural ideas today?” In addition, students have the option to research places across the United States that feature the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. They respond to the question, “Why might a community build such a statue?” Possible answers are provided for all the questions in the Teacher’s Edition. Under the Go Digital section, the Teacher Edition provides information for the teacher to help the students conduct research.

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 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

Materials provide opportunities for students to use speaking and listening skills to apply their knowledge with a partner or whole group class discussions. In the Resource Library,  teachers can find procedures for a variety of speaking and listening protocols, including Selection Vocabulary, Clues, Problems, and Wondering, Reading the Selection, Know, Want to Know, Learned, and Handing-Off. The materials provide explicit “routines” throughout each unit. Although there are explicit protocols, the protocols have only slight variations over the course of the year. Variations in complexity occur through different types of student discussions, an increase of student independence, and question complexity.

Materials provide varied protocols to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 1, students learn about the Discussion Rules. This routine is continued after the first read of the text selection of every lesson in the unit. According to Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, students review the general rules of discussion and the teacher models how to ask for clarification about a topic that is being discussed. As the year progresses, students take more responsibility during the discussion. They connect conversations, explain their own ideas, clarify when necessary, summarize when appropriate, and ask additional questions. They begin discussing the selection. Discussion rules include:

    • Listen carefully as others speak. 

    • Do not interrupt a speaker. 

    • Raise their hands when they want to speak. 

    • Ask questions to get more information from a speaker. 

    • Respect others when they are speaking. 

    • Take turns speaking. 

    • Keep questions and responses focused on the idea that is being discussed.

  • The Know, Want to Know, Learned Routine supports students as they browse the story and encourages student discussion of possible things that may be learned, questions and connections to content or topic. 

  • The Handing-Off Routine is carried out in groups or with a partner, utilizing sentence stems for discussion such as: “I didn’t know that….” or “This selection made me think of…” or “I think this connects to the theme because…”. This routine encourages students to take control and lead the discussions, while the teacher periodically “checks in.” Over time, students are directed to take over more of the protocols and discussions as the teacher decreases their participation/scaffolding.

  • The Reading the Selection routine provides explicit teacher modeling of student expectations for before reading, during reading, and after reading, including speaking and listening protocols. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 1, students read My Brothers’ Flying Machine: Wilbur, Orville, and Me by Jane Yolen. Under Discuss the Selection, the Teacher Edition directs the teacher to, “Engage students in a discussion by asking them the questions that follow. Encourage them to draw upon the reading selection as well as other information they know about the topic in order to contribute to the discussion. Remind them they need to follow the class’s rules for discussion.” The Teacher Edition also directs the teacher to use the Handing-Off Routine.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 1, students browse Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Palacco using the Clues, Problems, and Wonderings Routine. The teacher gives a short background about the selection. Students follow Instructional Routine #12 during the reading where they use a graphic organizer to record any clues about the selection using text features such as charts, graphs, pictures or illustrations, write any possible problems anticipated (e.g., unknown words, confusing content, or text features), and record wonders about the selection in the third column of the graphic organizer. This includes connections to the theme or other stories. After reading, students review and discuss what they have written with the whole class. The Teacher Guide directs, “Have students explain their thoughts and what they have learned from the discussion. Tell them they can return to the CPW chart to determine whether any of their questions were answered or whether they learned any new information from reading this selection. Let students decide which items need further discussion.” The Teacher Guide also notes that in this selection, “Students might be unfamiliar with the word parlour. Students might wonder what the family will do when the textile mill closes.”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 1, students read Plants Found a Way by Lynn Williams. Students fill out a KWL chart while reading, which the materials introduce during the Preview the Selection section. Under Discuss the Selection, the Teacher Edition states, “Have students explain their thoughts and what they have learned from the discussion. Tell them they can return to the KWL chart to record facts and details discovered in the text. For example, students might have learned that some plants actually eat insects. Then let students decide which items need further discussion.” The materials provide a completed KWL chart and Instruction Routine 8: Know, Want to Know, Learned.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 6, Day 1, students read The Doomed Prince: An Egyptian Tale Retold in Two Acts by Paul Thompson. Under Discuss the Selection, the Teacher Edition provides the following prompt, “Engage students in a discussion by asking them the questions that follow. Encourage them to draw upon the reading selection as well as other information they know about the picture in order to contribute to the discussion. Remind them that they need to follow the class’s rules for discussion.” 

Speaking and listening instruction includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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 2, Lesson 3, Day 3, the Teacher Edition provides the teacher with support as students discuss the selection vocabulary. For example, materials state, “Explain to students that the concept vocabulary word for this part of the lesson is documentation. Tell them that documentation is defined as ‘materials that provide evidence or serve as a record’. Have students discuss how they think the word documentation relates to the unit theme. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 2, materials provide discussion questions with possible expected responses to support the teacher during the discussion. For example, materials state, “Why are Leah and Ayla at the museum after hours? What do they see? Possible Answer: The girls are there for a special program with their class. They get to stay at the Archives overnight. They are led into the Rotunda, where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are kept. They meet the Archivist of the United States, who tells them about these documents. They also see murals depicting the Founders, such as George Washington and Ben Franklin.”

Indicator 1h

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1h.

Throughout the year’s worth of materials, students have opportunities to discuss what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Discussions are incorporated into all the lessons under the Discuss the Text section. Students engage in conversations throughout each unit through the Reading and Responding portion of the lesson plan. Opportunities can be found within Reading and Responding in Access Complex Text, Text Connections, Close Reading, Comprehension Strategies, Discuss the Selection, Look Closer, and Inquiry Steps. These opportunities vary depending on the lesson and day within each unit. Many comprehension questions ask the students to discuss their answers and provide follow-up and related questions. Students discuss the theme and the Big Ideas in relation to the texts they are reading. Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and sources. Many of the discussions ask for evidence from the text that they are reading in the lesson. Students orally deliver their findings from the research they conduct during the inquiry process. A rubric is provided to assist in expectations for both the speaker and listeners during presentations. During the inquiry process, the teacher and students ask follow-up questions related to text previously read in the unit.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students listen for details about the conflict and its resolution in the story, Saving the City Below the Sea by Rosalie Keeley. After the Read-Aloud, students discuss the major events of the plot by answering questions such as,  “How would you describe the setting of this story? How do you know this story is a legend? What do you think the lesson of the story is?” Students are asked to revisit the purpose of reading by responding to, “What is the story’s conflict and resolution? What personal qualities does Hans have that help him make a difference?”

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Inquiry, students present their Inquiry Project to the class. Materials state, “Have students take turns recounting their experience doing the research project for Inquiry. What was difficult? What did they enjoy? Encourage them to share appropriate facts, ideas, and relevant, descriptive details at an understandable pace. Guide students to identify that informal English is appropriate in discussions such as these.”

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read the text Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation by Pat Sherman. After reading the selection, students engage in a discussion using the Handing Off Routine by answering questions such as, “How does Ben learn to read and write? Why does Ben have to hide his ability to read? How does reading give someone power?” Students are then encouraged to pose their own questions to the class, asking questions that should be specifically linked to the discussion of Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Animal Defense Academy by Nicole Gill. In the Look Closer section, students answer comprehension questions. The Teacher Edition states, “Call on various students to answer each question. Provide enough time for students to respond to each other’s questions and ask new ones when relevant to the topic.” The questions are as follows,  “Why do animals use the defense they do in a snowy climate, according to the text?” “Describe the details that support the concept that an animal's first line of defense is running away.” 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Science Connection, students read The Story of Greenbacks as a class. Afterwards, students work with a partner to discuss the questions, “How was money different in the United States before 1862? How did the function of the U.S. government gradually change after 1862, in regard to money and banking? Do you think federal governments should have the authority to control a country’s money? Why or why not?”

Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 5, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read Survival at 40 Below by Debbie S. Miller. Under Discuss the Selection, the Teacher Edition states, “Encourage them to draw upon the reading selection as well as other information they know about the topic in order to contribute to the discussion.” The following questions are included, “Which animals in this habitat hibernate for the winter? What happens to them? What are some of the special body parts and functions that help arctic animals survive the cold?”

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students reread Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport. After the reading, students turn to page 556 in the Student Anthology book and locate Text Connections. Students read the questions and are asked specifically at times to use the text selection to explain their answer. For example, in question 4 students are asked to make a connection between two texts. “How does the section about Emma Lazarus in ‘Lady Liberty: A Biography’ connect with the poem ‘The New Colossus’?” The teacher calls on each student to answer the questions and then provides time for students to respond to each other's questions and ask new ones when relevant.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Look Closer: Keys to Comprehension, after a second read of the text, students are directed to use evidence when answering comprehension questions. The teacher calls on students to orally answer questions such as, “How does digging Lake Ontario lead to a new hobby for Paul Bunyan? Give details from the text to support your answer. Why do you think Babe the Blue Ox is the only pet Paul Bunyan ever has? Use text examples to support your inference.”

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read The Labors of Hercules by Vidas Berzdukas. Under the Discuss the Selection section, students use the Handing-Off Routine. The Teacher Edition states, “Encourage them to draw upon the reading selection as well as other information they know about the topic in order to contribute to the discussion.” The following discussion starters are included: “What qualities does Hercules show in this story? How are Hercules and Paul Bunyan alike? How are they different?”

Indicator 1i

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

The materials provide opportunities for both on-demand and process writing over the course of the year. On-demand opportunities are typically provided in the Reading and Responding section. Under the Look Closer section, students respond to a writing prompt located in the Student Anthology. Students also respond to prompts provided in the Skills Practice book that includes on-demand writing. However, on-demand writing opportunities infrequently require students to draw upon the texts in the unit. Process writing, including revising and editing, occur during the Language Arts section of the lessons. The teacher models revising and editing and the students are given time to revise and edit their pieces. The Skills Practice provides a revision and editing checklist for students. There are opportunities to use digital resources for typing, editing, and presenting throughout the materials. The Language Arts Handbook provides tips for writing on a computer.

Materials include on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. However, on-demand writing opportunities infrequently require students to draw upon the texts in the unit. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Louis Braille’s Gift to the Blind by Tanya Anderson. Under the Look Closer section, the students complete the writing activity on their own after answering comprehension questions. The writing activity in the Student Anthology states, “Think of an invention that could make life easier for others. Write a description of your idea.” Students are not required or encouraged to draw upon texts to support their idea.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Look Closer. Comprehension Questions, students answer the Look Closer questions orally as a class, then respond to the writing activity, “Do you think competition helps or hurts scientific investigations? Write a paragraph giving reasons to support your opinion.” Students are not required or encouraged to draw upon texts to support their opinions. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco. Under Practice Comprehension, students complete pages 195-196 in the Skills Practice I. The last prompt states, “Write a paragraph that describes the steps involved in doing an activity or making something. Use time and order words to make the sequence clear.” Students are not required or encouraged to draw upon texts to support their writing.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport. In the Look Closer section, students answer comprehension questions and then complete the writing activity on their own. The writing activity states, “In one kind of acrostic poem, the first letter of each line spells out a word. Create an acrostic poem about the theme of freedom, with lines that spell out the word liberty.” Students are not required or encouraged to draw upon texts to support their writing.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Look Closer Comprehension Questions, students answer the Look Closer questions orally as a class. Students reread “The Labors of Hercules” and “Ode on a Herculean Vase” and respond to the following writing activity, “Write your own description of one of the monsters Hercules faced. Be sure to use plenty of descriptive adjectives and adverbs.” However, they are not required or encouraged to draw upon texts to support their writing.

Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, Day 3, during the Language Arts block, students draft their opinion writing piece. Under the Guided Practice section, the Teacher Edition states, “Have students begin drafting their opinion essays using their notes and TREE graphic organizers to guide them. Circulate among students to monitor their progress and offer assistance as needed.”

  • In Unit 2, during the Language Arts block, students write informative/explanatory texts about a topic including careers, energy, animals, or history. Students move through each step in the Writing Process including Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing/Proofreading, and Publishing.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 3, during the Language Arts block, students draft a narrative. The Teacher Edition states, “Explain to students they will be getting into small groups to review their writing plans. Remind students, peer feedback is an important part of the writing process, and even the best writers ask others to look at their writing and provide suggestions for improvement.” The teacher is directed to use Routine B, the Writing Conference Routine, to guide them as they give and receive feedback. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, Day 1, during the Language Arts block, students work on editing their narrative writing. The materials provide a model narrative for the teacher to instruct how to edit. Under Guided Practice, the Teacher Edition states, “Have students edit and proofread their personal narratives, using proofreading marks and guided by the checklist on Skills Practice I on page 226. Remind them to trade their writing with a partner to check each other’s personal narratives for mistakes in spelling, grammar, usage, and mechanics.” 

  • In Unit 4, during the Language Arts block, students write an informative/explanatory essay by choosing a pair of living organisms to compare and contrast. Students move through each step in the Writing Process including Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing/Proofreading, and Publishing.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 6, Day 2, during the Language Arts block, students begin editing and proofreading their research reports by using a Checklist Routine. Students use proofreading marks and are guided by a skills practice checklist. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 4, during the Language Arts block, students edit their nonfiction text. During the Instruct section, the Teacher Edition states, “Display the ePresentation slide of proofreading marks, along with your partially edited response to nonfiction. Model editing and proofreading the remainder of your text. Be sure to narrate your thoughts as you correct mistakes so students understand why you are making the changes.” During the Guided Practice section students practice the skilsl in the Skills Practice and then apply the editing skills to their own text.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 4, during the Language Arts block, students edit and prepare to publish their Response to Literature. The Teacher Edition states, “Tell students they will be publishing and presenting their writing in the next day’s lesson. Remind them they need to create a clean copy of their text by using neat handwriting or by typing on a computer.” The Language Arts Handbook is provided for information and examples on how to publish and present their findings. 

  • In Unit 6, during the Language Arts block, students complete a variety of writing pieces including letters of request using the business letter format, a pattern, rhyming poem, historical fiction, and a biography. Students move through each step in the Writing Process including Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing/Proofreading, and Publishing.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 6, Day 1, during the Language Arts block, students begin revising their biographies, using the checklist on Skills Practice 2 page 236, as well as the notes they took during the writer’s conference. Students look for places where they can add transition words and phrases, like another, for example, also, and because that will help organize the ideas, events, and descriptions in their writing.

Materials include digital resources where appropriate. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students complete Inquiry: Step 5- Develop Presentations. During this time, students determine how they will present their information and slideshow presentations are included as an option. The Teacher’s Edition states, “To give students exposure to the way a slideshow program works, have them view the Tech Tutor videos found in the online resources.”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, Close Reading: Science Connection, students research a topic using digital resources. A question might be, “Research how living things formed crude oil and natural gas. What similarities do they share with the plants that formed coal?”

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students work on Inquiry: Step 5-Develop Presentations. During this time students create their presentations. The Teacher’s Edition states, “For any groups creating a podcast of a mock debate, make sure they practice their script. Once they are ready to record, download (if necessary) and use free online recording software.”

Indicator 1j

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

The materials provide many opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply the required writing types; however, there is no balance among the required writing types across the year. Each six-week unit provides a language arts section that focuses on process writing. Students typically work on 4-5 pieces in the unit. The units often focus on a text type, such as opinion, but those text types come up again in other units, as well as with the on-demand writing prompts in the Reading and Response section. Students learn to write opinion statements, informative/explanatory texts (informative reports, descriptions, explanations, summaries, book reviews), and narrative texts (personal narratives, autobiographies, biographies, realistic stories, fairy tales). With multiple process writing prompts and on-demand writing prompts throughout each unit, there are sufficient writing opportunities to cover the course of a year. 

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Approximately 32% of the Grade 4 writing is opinion. 

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, during the Language Arts block, students prewrite for their opinion piece. Under the Apply sections, the materials state, “Have students turn to Skills Practice I page 9. Explain to students the importance of choosing a purpose and an audience as part of the prewriting phase. Then lead students in a brainstorming session.” In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 5, Language Arts they publish the Opinion piece. 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 4, during reading and responding, students respond to the Write prompt in the Student Anthology which states, “Write an opinion paragraph explaining one thing you think should have been done differently during the immigration years of Ellis Island.” 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 2, during the Language Arts block, students complete the prewriting for their persuasive essay. Under Apply, the Teacher Edition states, “Direct students to get into small groups to review their writing plans. Have each student share their opinion and the reasons and explanations for supporting it.” 

  • Approximately 41% of the writing in Grade 4 is informative/explanatory. 

    • In Unit 2 during the Language Arts block, students spend six weeks focused on Informative/explanatory writing. Students use the “TIDE” graphic organizer for the planning and drafting phase. TIDE stands for T: topic sentence, ID: Important Details, E: ending.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students complete a Skills Practice page under the Guided Practice section. One prompt states, “Write a paragraph that describes the steps involved in doing an activity or making something. Use time and order words to make the sequence clear.” 

    • In Unit 4, Lessons 4-6, during the Language Arts block, students write a research report about a topic that interests them. This is a three-week task. In Lesson 4, Days 3-5, students “will spend the rest of the week looking in different sources for facts, examples, and explanations related to a topic that interests them.”

    • In Unit 6, during the Language Arts block, students write a biography over a two-week period, including researching their subject and taking notes.

  • Approximately 27% of the writing in Grade 4 is narrative. 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, Day 5, during the Language Arts block, students begin drafting their tall tale. In the Apply section, the Teacher Edition states, “Allow students time to review their plans once more and make any necessary changes based on peer feedback. Remind students they should also refer to the plot pyramid they completed on Skills Practice I page 225. Have students begin writing the draft of their tall tales.” Students publish their piece on Day 5.

    • In Unit 6, Lessons 3-4 of the Language Arts block, students write an historical fiction piece over a two-week period. 

Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 5, Day 2, during the Language Arts block, students are writing an informational piece about a country. They need to research their topic to find facts and information to support their writing. The directions state, “Explain that once they have determined the specific country they will write about, they will need to look in sources for important details about that country and take notes.”

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, Day 3, during the Language Arts block, students begin planning a tall tale. Under the Instruct section, the Teacher Edition states, “Ask students to recall the stories of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, or Daniel Boone.”

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 2, during the Language Arts block, students begin the Prewriting for their Response to Nonfiction text. In The Apply section, the Teacher Edition states, “Then tell students to browse Unit 1-4 in the Student Anthology, and choose a nonfiction selection for their writing. Have them take notes about the main ideas and most important details using the main-idea web on Skills practice 2 page 103.”

Indicator 1k

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

The materials provide limited opportunities for students to write using text evidence. Opportunities for evidence-based writing typically occur during research projects. Evidence-based writing is not always explicitly called for within the materials. Often, students are asked to discuss, answer or work with a partner, but the materials do not explicitly state that students are to respond with a written answer or a written answer using text evidence. Within every formal assessment in the Reading and Responding section, students answer a constructed-response question that asks them to use evidence from the text. However, there are not many opportunities for students to explicitly practice a text-based written response prior to the assessment. The “Getting Started” Week, Unit 1, provides more explicit directives for students to write using text evidence; however, the rest of the unit does not include the same explicit directive, leaving the teacher to make assumptions that the text-based evidence discussions should also be responded to in writing. Additionally, many of the tasks and questions do not require text-based evidence. Students are often asked to write in response to a broad topic that does not require a response based on text evidence. 

Materials provide infrequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Lesson 1 Day 2, during Language Arts, Write About the Selection, after reading Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, students write a paragraph that describes Alice. Students use evidence in the text, such as Alice’s thoughts and actions, to support their statements about her. On Day 3, Language Arts Writing, students write about the same text and describe what they would do and say if they attended the tea party. On Day 4, students write a paragraph about whether they would recommend the text to a friend and why. Students use evidence and details from the story in their opinion paragraph. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 5, during Reading and Responding, students complete a formal assessment. The prompt found in Lesson and Unit Assessment 1 states, “Read the question below. Write complete sentences for your answer. Support your answer with evidence from the selection.” The question states, “What characteristics of John Glenn made him such a good candidate for being an astronaut?” 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 6, Day 5, during Reading and Responding, students complete the formal assessment. One of the assessment prompts states, “Read the questions below. Write complete sentences for your answer. Support your answer with evidence from the selection.” The question states, “Imagine that you are a friend of the young prince. What might you have done together? What would you have talked about? Use information from the story and your imagination to describe your friendship with the prince.” 

Few 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, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, during Language Arts, students work on prewriting their informational writing. During the Instruct section, the Teacher Edition states, “Tell students they will have the opportunity to research a topic before they begin planning. Remind them there are different sources they can use to find information, such as print and digital encyclopedias, nonfiction books, and the Internet.” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students respond to the writing prompt after reading Masters of Illusion by Jean Enicks and “Ghost Crab” by David L. Harrison. The writing prompt states, “Make up a story about an animal that finds itself in a situation where its usual kind of camouflage doesn’t work. How does the animal solve its problem?” Students may use information from the text to help respond to this prompt, but they are not required to use text evidence in their writing.  

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students respond to the writing prompt after reading The Labors of Hercules by Vidas Barzdukas. The writing prompt states, “Write your own description of one of the monsters Hercules faced. Be sure to use plenty of descriptive adjectives and adverbs.” The text will help students write their description; however, students are not required to use text evidence in their writing.

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 4 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. The Skills Practice pages, Dictation, Writing Assignments, and the Apply section of the Teacher Edition provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the application of skills in context, including applying grammar and convention skills to writing.

Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and usage standards for the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Adverbs, Instruct, the materials state, “Display the following sentence and point out the adverb. This is the playground where we found our dog, Tucker. Explain that an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs often tell how, when, where, or to what extent an action is performed. Explain the adverb where in the last sentence is a relative adverb. A relative adverb introduces a group of words that tell more about a noun. When, where, and why are the main relative adverbs, and they are used in place of the phrases at which, in which, and for which.”

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 5, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students each write three sentences: one with a demonstrative pronoun, one with a reflexive pronoun, and one with a relative pronoun at the start of a relative clause. Students exchange sentences with a partner and check for correct usage. Volunteers share their sentences with the class.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Verb Tenses, Apply, students brainstorm a list of regular verbs. The teacher chooses one of the verbs and verb tense and directs students to write a sentence using that verb and tense. Volunteers share their sentences and confirm that each uses the correct tense. This is continued until students have written sentences for each of the six verb tenses discussed in this lesson. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 4, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Subordinating and Correlative Conjunctions, Complex Sentences, Possessives, Verb Tenses, Irregular Verbs, the teacher asks students to name the main verb tenses: past, present, future. The teacher reminds students that the progressive tenses describe actions that are ongoing, and they are formed by using a form of the verb be with the participle of the main verb. The teacher asks the students to identify the progressive tense verb in the sentences in the ePresentation Resources.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Verbs, the materials state, “Display sentences from ePresentation Resources. Explain to students modal auxiliary verbs express a condition about the action or state of being. Modal auxiliary verbs include can, could, would, should, may, and must. In the fifth sentence (Jordan should shovel the driveway when he gets home. should shovel.), the modal auxiliary verb should tell the reader it will be best if Jordan does shovel, but it is unknown whether he will or will not.”

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students write three sentences: one with a modal auxiliary verb.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 5, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Guided Practice, three sentences are displayed and the teacher helps students reorder the adjectives in each sentence so they follow conventional patterns.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students choose an object in the classroom and provide multiple adjectives describing it. Students use two or more adjectives in the same sentence to describe the object. The teacher discusses the correct order of adjectives. The exercise is repeated with other objects as time allows. 

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to form and use prepositional phrases.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, Presentation and Mechanics Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases Instruct, the materials state: “Display sentences from ePresentation Resources. Point out the preposition and the object of the preposition in each sentence. The air was filled with excitement. with; excitement; Jayden lost his gloves behind the desk. behind; desk Explain a preposition is a word that relates a noun or a pronoun and is used to convey locations, time, directions, or provide details. The noun or pronoun that follows the preposition is the object of the preposition. Point out to students that the preposition in the second sentence behind relates the object of the preposition desk.Tell students a preposition must have an object and cannot stand alone. Explain to students a prepositional phrase is the group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with the object of the preposition. For example, in the second sentence, the prepositional phrase is behind the desk.”

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Direct Objects, Prepositional Phrases, Capitalization, Simple Sentences, Kinds of Sentences, Coordinating Conjunctions, the teacher reminds students that a prepositional phrase provides information about locations, time, directions, or additional details. The teacher asks students to identify two prepositional phrases from the ePresentation Resources sentence. 

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 5, Developing Oral Language, the teacher organizes the class into two groups. Each group writes simple sentences using words from the word lines on the ePresentation Resources. The groups exchange papers and extend the sentences they have been given. The teacher explains that as students write extended sentences, they should add details that demonstrate the meanings of the target words from the word lines. Groups wrap up the exercise by reading aloud their extended sentences.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, the teacher displays run-ons and fragments and students write complete sentences to correct each one. Examples: Before my uncle arrives next week. Bella listened to the band’s new song she didn’t like it. Students exchange papes with a partner, and partners check that all sentences have subjects and predicates.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 4, Word Analysis Homophones and Homographs, Word Relationships Decoding, the materials state, “Review that homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and different meanings. The teacher asks students to define the word homophone (“same sound”). Remind students that homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and different meanings.”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 2, Word Analysis, Guided Practice, the teacher displays sentences, and students identify the misused homophone in each sentence and correct it. Examples: Are you going two the store after work? Did you bring you’re lunch today?” 

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use correct capitalization.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students each write a pair of sentences: one that has a proper noun or nouns as the subject, and one that has a proper noun or nouns as an object. Students are reminded to use correct capitalization. Students exchange sentences with a partner and rewrite the sentences using pronouns. Volunteers share their new sentences with the class. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Capitalization Review, students review capitalization in dates, addresses, geographical locations, book titles, languages, races, and historical events. Materials state, “Review that, in book titles, typically the first and last words are always capitalized, as well as other important words. Remind students historical documents are capitalized like titles.”

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Commas and Quotation Marks in Direct Quotations and Dialogue, the teacher displays the sentences from the ePresentation Resources and points out the dialogue in each sentence. The teacher explains to students that dialogue and direct quotations are the exact words spoken by characters or real people and to use quotation marks to set off the exact words, and to place commas and end punctuation inside the quotation marks as well. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, the ePresentation slide with sentences is displayed. Each student writes three sentences containing dialogue, using the displayed sentences as the dialogue being spoken. The first sentence has the speaker tag at the beginning; the second has the speaker tag in the middle; and the third sentence has the speaker tag at the end. Students exchange sentences with partners to check for correct usage of commas and quotation marks. 

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 5,Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Guided Practice, the teacher displays sentence pairs and models combining the first pair to create a compound sentence. Volunteers create compound sentences from the remaining pairs. A conjunction is provided to use if necessary. Example: The sink is full of dirty dishes. The trashcan is overflowing.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Review, an ePresentation slide with sentences is displayed, and students combine them into compound sentences or sentences with compound subjects or predicates. The teacher reminds students to put a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 5, Spelling, students write words dictated by the teacher. The teacher reads each word, uses it in a sentence, and gives students time to spell it correctly. The words on the list have Latin roots flect, ped, and loc.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 5, Spelling, students write words dictated by the teacher. The teacher reads each word, uses it in a sentence, and gives students time to spell it correctly. The words on the list have suffixes -ist and -ous.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 6, Day 2, Apply, students continue revising their opinion essays using the writer’s goals, the feedback they received from their peers, and the revising checklist on Skills Practice 1 page 66. The teacher reminds students to try to use precise word choice and include enough details to make their ideas clear and interesting.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 1, Informational Writing, Instruct, the teacher reminds students that revising is the third step in the writing process. Students carefully read their writing and make changes to improve the content of their work. They meet in writer’s conferences where peers read their drafts and provide feedback. Writer’s goals are displayed, which include,  “Use a strong voice. Include precise details and descriptions. Present a clear purpose for writing.” 

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to choose punctuation for effect.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Guided Practice, the teacher writes sentences on the board, leaving off the end marks. Students identify each sentence type and choose the appropriate end mark. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students work with partners to write a declarative sentence, an exclamatory sentence, an interrogative sentence, and an imperative sentence. Partners exchange sentences with another set of partners, read the sentences, and correct any errors in capitalization, end punctuation, or usage.

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 5, Day 4, Writer’s Craft Language Use: Formal vs. Informal Language, the materials state, “Point out Sally Ride’s statement on page 195 that she wrote the selection to answer some of the questions that young people ask of astronauts. Talk about why this purpose might signal the use of less formal language than what might be found in a scientific report or article for professionals or adults.”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 1, Persuasive Essay, volunteers take turns presenting their persuasive essays to the class. Listeners identify the opinion that is introduced at the beginning of the essay; a reason and explanation that are shown in support of the opinion; an opposing viewpoint that is addressed in the essay; a persuasive technique used in the essay (facts, logic, emotion); examples of transition words and phrases used in writing; examples of language or reasons that were appropriate for the audience.

Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills in context, including applying grammar and convention skills to writing. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 4, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Apply, students each write a pair of sentences: one that has a proper noun or nouns as the subject, and one that has a proper noun or nouns as an object. Students are reminded to use correct capitalization. Students complete Skills Practice 1 pages 69-70 where they write object pronouns to replace nouns and write in missing pronouns in a paragraph.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, Narrative Writing: Revising, Guided Practice, students complete Skills Practice 1, page 183, to practice adding vivid action and describing words and phrases to sentences. The teacher models revising their draft narrative. Students use the teacher model as a guide to revise their narratives. 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 3, Writing to Explain, Guided Practice, after reviewing information in the Language Arts Handbook, students rewrite a paragraph so that the sentences have a variety of beginnings. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 3, Letters of Request: Revising, Appy, students revise their letters of request to include precise words and phrases in their letter.

Indicator 1m

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

The teacher materials provide a daily lesson or component for vocabulary development and strategies that are consistent throughout each unit. The Scope and Sequence provides the vocabulary words for each lesson. Lessons contain concept vocabulary that relates to the unit theme as well as selection vocabulary found in the mentor text. The selection vocabulary words are also included in a vocabulary story, in which keywords are used and highlighted throughout the text in the Student Anthology Book. The Social Studies and Science Connection texts contain some of the selection vocabulary words as well. Students discuss vocabulary words together in class and write sentences using vocabulary words in the Skills Practice book. In the Language Arts portion of the materials, students are encouraged to use their new vocabulary in writing. 

Materials provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Section 4 of the Language Arts Handbook examines a series of vocabulary skills in the form of mini-lessons for students to learn, practice, and apply to their writing. 

  • The Selection Vocabulary Routine provides guidance and support for student instruction which is referenced throughout the year: The routine is as follows:

    • Develop Vocabulary: Display the vocabulary words, pronunciations, and parts of speech. For each vocabulary word, discuss the definition. Have students use the context in the selection or the parts of the word to verify the meaning of the word. Provide examples and clarification as needed. 

    • Practice Vocabulary: As a class, review the selection vocabulary words by completing the vocabulary activity orally. Have students complete the vocabulary Skills Practice individually.

    • Apply vocabulary: Have students spread the vocabulary story in Skills Practice. Review the selection vocabulary words and discuss the new forms of the words and any meanings that may have changed. Discuss the Concept Vocabulary Word and its connection to the theme.

    • Extend Vocabulary: As a class, complete the Extend Vocabulary Activity to help students expand their understanding of the selection vocabulary words. If applicable, complete the Multiple-Meaning Words activity to help students identify and understand the multiple-meaning vocabulary words.

    • Review Vocabulary: Complete the vocabulary activity to help students review the words. Provide examples and clarification as needed.

  • The activities in the Intervention Guide can be used to develop and reinforce vocabulary. If students struggle to comprehend the meaning of vocabulary words, it is recommended to develop student-friendly definitions before proceeding with reinforcing activities. Reinforcing activities are grouped by general activities as well as category-specific activities for position words, naming words, action words, descriptive words, and listening, speaking, and viewing.

Vocabulary is repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, Concept Vocabulary is introduced in the Build Background section for Ava and Pip by Olga and Aleksy Ivanov. The Concept Vocabulary Word is leadership. The Teacher Edition directs the teacher to define the word and states, “Have the students discuss how they think the word leadership relates to the unit theme.” The unit theme is Making a Difference. After the reading, the Teacher Edition states, “Remind students that the Concept Vocabulary Word for this selection is leadership. Give them the definition again and ask them to discuss how that word relates to this selection.” In Lesson 5, Day 3, students again examine the word leadership as they read Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson and apply their knowledge of this word as they discuss the theme of leadership using this text and the poem “The Statesman” by J. Patrick Lewis. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students are introduced to the selection vocabulary for Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain. The Teacher Edition states, “Display the vocabulary words. Read each line with the class, and then have students turn to page 285 in the Student Anthology. Use the activity below to help students develop their vocabularies.” Vocabulary words include immigrant, contagious, and warrant. In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read “Earth Day Rally” in their Skills Practice book. The Teacher Edition states, “Tell students that as they read this story they should circle the selection vocabulary words they recognize. Have them note how each vocabulary word is being used within the story. After students have finished reading the vocabulary story, tell them to use the Student Anthology Glossary to compare and contrast how the words are used in ‘Hope and Tears’ with how they are used in ‘Earth Day Rally’.”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, Apply Vocabulary, after reading the vocabulary story for the week, students are asked to, “Use the Student Anthology Glossary to compare and contrast how the words (including the Selection Vocabulary word ecology) are used in ‘Plants Found a Way’ with how they are used in ‘Papa Begins to Hope.’”

Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read “Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa” for their Social Studies Connection. Two of the selection vocabulary words, apartheid and cleanse, are used in this selection. Students use their understanding of the vocabulary to better understand the timeline included in the selection as well as answer questions, such as. “Read the time line and think about what you know about the history of South Africa. What negative and positive roles has the government played in that country?” 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, Concept Vocabulary, students focus on the word endurance. Students respond to the question,After reading this week’s selection, you can see why astronauts need endurance. What other professionals need endurance? Why?” 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read “Songs of Freedom'' as a part of the Social Studies Connection. This passage contains the vocabulary words flee, designated, and plantations. Students answer questions such as, “Why did fugitives from slavery take the risk of running away?”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 4, Day 4, in the Science Connect Article “An Unusual Heritage,” Content Vocabulary is highlighted throughout the article, including lacked and resisted. In Extend Vocabulary, students use a Word Web and write the word merge in the center. Then students write synonyms for merge. The routine continues with antonyms. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 1, during Reading and Responding for the text Give Me Liberty! The Story of the Declaration of Independence by Russell Freedman, students learn the concept vocabulary liberate. In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students discuss the Content Vocabulary. The Teacher Edition states, “Tell students to think about the Concept Vocabulary Word liberate. Ask, How do you think people feel when they have been liberated?”

Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Program Overview, Vocabulary, directions state that after reading “Students review any interesting words they identified and discussed during reading. They record these words in their Writer’s Notebooks and are encouraged to use these words in their discussions and in writing.” Students also use the words in a variety of oral and written activities. Vocabulary review activities are found regularly throughout the lesson.

  • Visual Vocabulary can be found in the Resource Library. This activity allows students to see and hear the word in the form of a flash card. Students are given the pronunciation of the word, part of speech, definition, and how the word is used in context. In addition, students see the word and an image that can be connected to the word.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students practice vocabulary under the Practice Vocabulary section. The Teacher Edition states, “Display the following sentence stems, and have students complete each one. Make sure students’ responses show that they understand the vocabulary words.” Example sentence stems are, “You might be flattered if someone told you ______.” and “To perform a heart transplant, a surgeon must _____.” Students complete the Skills Practice page on vocabulary where they circle words that match each sentence and write responses to questions about vocabulary using complete sentences. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students use the Instructional Routine and the vocabulary strategy, Context Clues, to understand the meaning of the word revolved on page 120 in the Student Anthology. Students browse the preceding lines for clues that might help them understand the definition of revolved. Students practice on their own with the word reputation. It is defined as “what most people think of a person or thing.” It also appears on page 121. The teacher asks the students, “How can you use context clues in the surrounding sentences to understand this meaning of reputation?”

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students discuss the concept vocabulary. The Teacher Edition states, “Tell students to think about the Concept Vocabulary Word transition. Ask, When in your life did you have to make an important transition? Why did you do it? How did it make you feel?”

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students reflect on the vocabulary from the text selection, using the Selection Vocabulary Routine. This activity gives students practice with the selection vocabulary and verifies they understand the meaning of each word. Students discuss their answers to prompts in small groups. Each group shares their answers with the class.  The prompts include, “What is a signal you see every day? Describe it. What is it for? What is something new you have tried recently? How many attempts did it take to get it right?”

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 5, during Reading and Responding, students review vocabulary. Students decide which word correctly completes each sentence. They explain their answers and provide examples and clarification as needed. Students may also use time to create their own sentences using the selection vocabulary and review the meaning in context.

Criterion 1n - 1p

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

4/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials contain explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis across the year. Assessment opportunities are provided multiple times throughout Grade 4 to inform instructional adjustments of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis to help students make progress toward mastery; however, materials lack direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention for each assessment. 

Students have a variety of opportunities to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills within the foundational skills-related materials, including the decodable stories. However, there is no support for students to then apply those skills within the anchor texts that are found in the Reading and Responding lessons. The materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate oral reading fluency, however there is a lack of support for the teacher to make instructional adjustments for students to assure they are progressing in their fluency skills.

Indicator 1n

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level foundational skills by providing explicit instruction in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.

Materials contain explicit instruction of irregularly-spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year through the areas of word analysis and phonics/decoding sections in the Teacher Edition, and also through the use of instructional routines. There are multiple assessment opportunities in the Assessment Book, Diagnostic Assessment Book, and The Benchmark Assessment. There is a Teacher Resource Book with interventions, but it is not cross-referenced with each individual assessment. There is a lack of direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention for each assessment.

Materials contain explicit instruction of letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology consistently over the course of the year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to learn how to use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to accurately read unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonics and Decoding, Decoding, the teacher displays 16 words to students and uses Routine 2, the Closed Syllable Routine, to discuss the words with the students. All of the words are multisyllabic and have closed syllables. Some closed syllables contain double consonants. Four of the words are closed syllables and homographs. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Word Analysis Presentation Regular and Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives Decoding, the teacher uses the ePresentation visual to display one word at a time for students to read. After students have read all four lines of words, the teacher shows students the sentences one at a time to practice reading words with the target concepts in context. The teacher uses Routine 4, the Reading Long Words Routine, to discuss the words with students. Students identify the prefix, if there is one, and read it. Students find the base word or the root and suffix to read parts of the word using their phonics and syllable knowledge.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Word Analysis Latin Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes, Decoding, the teacher uses the ePresentation visual to display one word at a time for students to read. After students have read all four lines of words, the teacher shows students the sentences one at a time to practice reading words with the target concepts in context. The teacher reviews/tells students the meaning of prefixes and suffixes. Latin roots include nat and scrib/scrip.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, Day 1, Word Analysis, Decoding, students read 16 words and two sentences. The words include multisyllable words and words with the suffixes -hood, -ate, and -are. The teacher uses Routine 5, the Words with Prefixes and Suffixes Routine, to discuss the words with students. Students identify and discuss the common suffixes in the words.

All tasks and questions are sequenced to application of grade-level work (e.g., application of prefixes at the end of the unit/year; decoding multi-syllable words). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Getting Started and Lesson 1, students learn various spelling patterns. In Units 1-5, students transition to word analysis and learn Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes, open and closed syllables, antonyms and synonyms, homophones and homographs, words with inflectional endings, regular and irregular plural nouns, regular and irregular comparatives and superlatives, and open and hyphenated compound words. Unit 6 is a review of skills from Units 1-5. 

  • The Resource Library, Scope and Sequence includes a Foundational Skills section with Phonics and Decoding, High Frequency Words, Fluency, and Word Analysis. The Scope and Sequence outlines the foundational skills instruction over the course of the year. Materials consistently allow students to participate in explicit instruction of foundational skills, guided practice, and application during the Apply the Concept section using Skills Practice pages and ePresentations. 

  • In the Resource Library, Program Overview, Grades 4-5, page 28, the text provides information about applying Word Analysis skills in the Apply the Concept section of the materials. Students learn to identify and read meaningful chunks of words rather than individual spellings. Word Analysis also supports vocabulary development. Students learn how inflectional endings change a word’s tense, number, and how affixes can be added to a root or base word to create or derive a new but related meaning. Students learn how to deconstruct words and construct new words by adding affixes to base words and roots.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis to help students make progress toward mastery; however, materials lack direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention for each assessment. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Resource Library, Assessment, Lesson and Unit Assessment, Book 1, the Diagnostic Assessment includes a Phonics and Decoding Section. On page iv, the text informs teachers that the Diagnostic Assessment can be used as an initial screener with individual students or groups of students. Students’ results can be used to identify a student’s reading needs. The guide indicates that students who score below the expected level in any skill area, including Phonics and Decoding, will need additional scaffolding and support provided in intervention.

  • The Resource Library, Assessment, Lesson and Unit Assessment, page v notes that the Lesson and Unit Assessments Comprehensive assessment will make it easier to identify students who are struggling. The Lesson and Unit Assessments Comprehensive assessment provides teachers with additional instruction and practice and prevents students from falling further behind. The Lesson and Unit Assessments assess word analysis through multiple choice questions with a goal of scoring 4 out of 5.

  • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Assessment, Lesson and Unit Assessment, there is a Word Analysis portion of each Lesson and Unit Assessment. The assessment checks Word Structure and Meaning practiced in the unit.

  • In the Resource Library, Assessment, Benchmark Assessments are given three times during the year. They provide a means for progress monitoring, with a separate score for Word Analysis. On page vii, the Diagnosis section indicates that if students score below the cutoff, teachers should provide reteaching, practice opportunities, differentiation during Workshop, and intervention for students who need more intensive help.

  • In the Resource Library, the Intervention Teacher Guide is aligned to the skills taught in each lesson. Materials also include a Formal Assessment on Day 5 for each lesson that assesses the skills taught during Days 1-5. While materials provide these assessment and intervention resources, materials do not provide the teacher with specific guidance on what to do with formal assessment results and when to use intervention materials. 

Indicator 1o

Materials include opportunities for students to practice and apply grade-level phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1o. 

Over the course of the year, the materials provide multiple and varied opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in Phonics and Decoding lessons and Word Analysis lessons. Students apply skills through word lists and sentences in the ePresentation Resources and some of the Skills Practice pages. There are 90 leveled Reading Passage Cards that connect a comprehension skill and a vocabulary (word analysis) skill in a passage. After reading the passage, students answer comprehension questions and complete an activity that focuses on vocabulary (word analysis) skills. However, there is no evidence of students having opportunities to access different foundational skills in anchor texts in the Anthology for Reading and Responding lessons.

Multiple and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills in connected tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 2, Word Analysis, Guided Practice, students study the Greek roots phon and graph, and the prefixes auto- and tele- as they complete Skills Practice 1 pages 95-96.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 1, Word Analysis, Decoding, the teacher displays words and sentences for students to read. Twelve of the words on the word list contain the prefixes dis-, non-, un-, and re-, and the inflectional endings -ed and -ing. During About the Words, students use the prefixes to determine the meaning of the words and discuss how the inflectional endings change the meanings of the base word.

  • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Leveled Reading, Reading Passages Comprehension and Vocabulary Activities, Word Analysis Kit, the Leveled Reading Passages give students extra fluency practice. Students apply their vocabulary/word analysis skills, comprehension skills, or the strategy for the week. 

  • The Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Leveled Reading, Reading Passages Comprehension and Vocabulary Activities, Word Analysis Kit, Leveled Reading Passage Card 86, Mixing Matter, targets the comprehension skills of Classifying and Categorizing ideas and objects mentioned in the passage, and the Vocabulary Skill of reviewing the prefix pro- and the suffix -hood.

  • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Leveled Reading, Reading Passages Comprehension and Vocabulary Activities, Word Analysis Kit, Leveled Reading Passage Card 8, Ride of an Unsung Hero, the materials state, “Objectives: Read Reading Passage Card 8. Identify the setting to better understand the passage. Review Greek roots phon and graph.”

Materials do not include tasks and questions that provide opportunities for students to access different foundational skills within the anchor text and supporting texts. 

  • No evidence found. 

Indicator 1p

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in order to read with purpose and understanding.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1p.

Materials include multiple opportunities over the course of the year with the core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading of Phonics and Decoding lessons, Word Analysis lessons, the Anthology, and some Skills Practice pages. Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills over the course of the year. Benchmark Assessments and the Lesson and Unit Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information on students’ current fluency skills. However, assessment materials do not link teachers directly to instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding; however, that purpose is not consistently connected to grade-level standards.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, Reading and Responding, the teacher sets the purpose for reading “Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation.” The materials state, “Before students read, have them use their own and others’ desired outcomes to set their purposes for reading. Have them ask themselves questions such as: How does Ben learn how to read? How does it help him? What happens to Ben once the war breaks out?” Students practice reading the text with prosody. The materials state, “Have students work with partners to practice reading pages 242 and 243 with proper phrasing and appropriate pauses.”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 1, Reading and Responding, the teacher sets the purpose for reading the text “The Smithsonian Institution.” The materials state, “Before students read, have them use their own and others’ desired outcomes to set their purposes for reading. Have them ask themselves questions such as: How was the Smithsonian founded? How does the Smithsonian collect its artifacts? What kinds of things does the Smithsonian research?” Students practice reading a portion of the selection with automaticity by reading and rereading the selection. The materials state, “Have students follow along as you read page 561 of “The Smithsonian Institution” aloud. Then have them echo read the passage with the same expression, rate, tone, and automaticity you modeled.”

Materials support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 2, Fluency, the teacher reminds students that fluent readers read with appropriate prosody and that prosody is the pitch, loudness, tempo, rhythm patterns, and phrasing of language as it is spoken or read aloud, with phrasing being the key factor. The teacher models breaking sentences down into phrases or units that make sense, and stresses phrases and clauses in sentences by circling them or putting parentheses around them for students. Students do the same on their own, focusing on identifying phrases that create a natural-sounding rhythm. Selected sentences from “Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea” are written on the board, and the teacher draws parentheses around the phrases and clauses. The teacher reads the sentences with a natural rhythm, grouping related words together as indicated. Students practice reading the sentences fluently. Student pairs mark sentences in “Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea” in a similar manner and practice reading these sentences fluently. The teacher makes sure they are reading with a natural-sounding rhythm and grouping words appropriately.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 6, Day 1, Fluency, before reading Skills Practice 1, pages 231-232 “Saving the Wetlands,” the teacher tells students that reading with appropriate expression is a key element of fluency. The teacher reads the first three paragraphs to model reading the dialogue with expression, and the students read the entire passage with appropriate expression. The same passage is used on Day 2, and the focus is on reading words automatically.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 1, Fluency, before reading Skills Practice 2, pages 151-152, “The Year of a Tree,” the teacher tells students that reading at an appropriate rate is essential to fluency. Students follow along as the teacher reads aloud the first two paragraphs to model appropriate rate by pausing at punctuation, as indicated. The students read the entire passage aloud, paying attention to their reading rate. The same passage is used on Day 2, and the focus is on reading a text accurately.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 4, Fluency, Automaticity, the teacher reminds students that automaticity involves recognizing words automatically when reading, and automaticity allows readers to focus on understanding what they read instead of the process of decoding words. Students follow along as the teacher reads pages 134–135 of “Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea” aloud. Students echo read the passage with the same expression, rate, tone, and automaticity. The teacher discusses any words that continue to give students trouble.

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Students have opportunities to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 1, Reading and Responding, Fluency, Accuracy, the teacher reminds students that reading with accuracy means reading all words correctly and confidently. To read with accuracy, students must show that they know the pronunciations of all words in the text. The teacher reads aloud from the Anthology, pages 366 and 367 of “Animal Defense Academy” and models how to read quickly and accurately. Students reread the pages, concentrating on reading fluently and accurately. The teacher reminds students to use context to confirm their word recognition and understanding.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 1, Reading and Responding, Fluency, Automaticity, the teacher reminds students that automaticity allows students to focus on understanding what they read instead of decoding words. Students practice automaticity by reading and rereading a text. The teacher reminds students to use context to confirm meanings or syllable-by-syllable decoding to establish pronunciations if they encounter any unfamiliar words. Students practice reading the word and then the sentence that contains the word until they can read each automatically.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current fluency skills. However, materials do not provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Assessment, Lesson and Unit Assessment, there is an Oral Reading Fluency strand of each Unit Assessment. The scope of the assessment includes oral fluency development from lesson to lesson and unit to unit. The assessment checks oral reading rate and accuracy and reading prosody. A chart shows expected correct words-per-minute for each unit. There is also a checklist for prosody with the end of year expectation that students should demonstrate four out of five prosody elements at the average level.

  • The Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Assessment, Diagnostic Assessment can be used as an initial screener with an individual student or groups of students. Oral Reading Fluency is one of the six skill areas assessed. 

  • The Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Assessment, Benchmark Assessment is given three times per year (end of Units 1, 3, and 6). Oral Fluency is a strand in the Benchmark Assessment. Reading cut-offs are provided in a table on page vi.

  • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, the Intervention Teacher Guide is aligned to lessons for instructional adjustments but not to data from the assessment.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Open Court Grade 4 materials include six units that are formed around a topic or theme related to the program theme, however not all units effectively build students’ knowledge on a topic. Within the lessons, students analyze the key ideas, details, craft and structure of the texts they are studying, including 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 they may not achieve the full balance of writing genres outlined in the standards. 

The Inquiry projects that serve as the final task for each unit provide research and extension opportunities but fall short of serving as a means for teachers to determine how well students can integrate the standards-aligned knowledge and skills gained from instruction. The option for research tasks to be completed as a group for every unit may not provide enough opportunity for students to build their individual research skills as required by the standards.

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 4 materials include six 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 daily writing tasks and have frequent opportunities to grow their writing skills throughout the year. However, the Grade 4 materials do not reflect the balance of writing genres called for 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)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2a.

The materials include six overarching program themes over the course of the year, including Character, Changes, Communities, Life Science, Government and Creativity for Grades K-5. Each grade-level unit focuses on a theme or topic connected to the overall program theme. The grade-level units contain a big idea, theme question, and inquiry. Grade 4 includes both themes and topics including Making a Difference, Science Fair, Our Heritage, Our History, Adaptations in Action, National Treasures and Literature meets Art. The series of texts in each unit are mostly cohesive and relate to the overall program theme. All units provide essential questions and a theme connection question. Big Idea and concept boards are used to broaden student knowledge while engaging with complex texts. Each lesson within a unit contains anchor texts that help to build knowledge based on the topic or theme. There is vertical alignment across the program, so similar topics and themes are seen throughout the grades. Although there are connections to both the overarching program themes and vertical alignment within the materials, students are not always building knowledge towards a topic. Often students are building knowledge around a theme. 

Texts are connected by a grade-appropriate cohesive topic in some units. Some texts build knowledge and the ability to read and comprehend complex texts across a school year. 

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

  • In Unit 3, texts are connected to the theme of Our Heritage, Our History. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 1, students read The Unbreakable Code by Sara Hoagland Hunter (historical fiction), and answer the Essential Questions, “What can we learn from our ancestors? How can our heritage inspire us?”

    • In Lesson 2, students read Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation (narrative nonfiction) by Pat Sherman and answer the Essential Questions, "What struggles did our ancestors face? How does telling stories of our ancestors’ struggles honor them?”

    • In Lesson 4, students read Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain (informational text) and answer the Essential Question, "Why is the United States sometimes referred to as a nation of immigrants?”

    • In Lesson 6, students read Fish for Jimmy by Katie Yamasaki (historical fiction) and answer the Essential Questions, "What challenges can groups of people face? How can people work together to overcome challenges set before them?”

  • In Unit 4, texts are connected to the topic of Adaptations in Action. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 2, students read Animal Defense Academy (informational text) by Nicole Gill and answer the Essential Questions, "What types of animals must defend themselves? What kinds of adaptations serve as defenses?”

    • In Lesson 3, students read “Ghost Crab” by David L. Harrison (poem) and answer the Essential Questions, "What adaptations do ghost crabs have? What adaptation does the name ghost crab suggest?”

    • In Lesson 5, students read Survival at 40 Below by Debbie S. Miller (informational text) and answer the Essential Questions, "What animals can be found in cold habitats? What adaptations are necessary to survive there?”

    • In Lesson 6, students read Survival at 120 Above by Debbie S. Miller (informational text) and answer the Essential Questions, "What animals can be found in warm habitats? What adaptations are necessary to survive there?”

  • In Unit 5, texts are connected to the topic of National Treasures. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 1, students read Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (narrative poem) and answer the Essential Questions, "How did patriots contribute to our country’s founding? How can a story become a national treasure?”

    • In Lesson 3, students read Our Constitution: A Blueprint for Government by William Bale (informational text) and answer the Essential Questions, "What was the purpose of the Constitution? What does the Bill of Rights protect?”

    • In Lesson 5, students read Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport (narrative nonfiction) and answer the Essential Questions, "Who contributed to the Statue of Liberty? Why are they an important part of the American story?”

    • In Lesson 6, students read The Smithsonian Institution by Elliot Young (informational text) and answer the Essential Questions, "What is the Smithsonian Institution? Why was it founded?”

  • In Unit 6, texts are connected to the topic of Literature Meets Art. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 2, students read The Labors of Hercules by Vidas Barzdukas (myth) and answer the Essential Questions, "What kinds of stories are told in mythology? How can mythology influence art?”

    • In Lesson 4, students read The Sun and the Moon by David Park (folktale) and answer the Essential Questions, "How can themes be the same in literature from different cultures? How can they be different?”

    • In Lesson 5, students read Sleeping Beauty by Wendy Jones (fairy tale) and answer the Essential Questions, "What kinds of stories are told in fairy tales? How can fairy tales influence art?”

    • In Lesson 6, students read The Doomed Prince by Paul Thompson (play) and answer the Essential Questions, "Where do stories come from? Why might a story be unfinished?”

Texts are connected by a theme in some units. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, texts are connected to the theme of Making a Difference. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 1, students read Ava and Pip by Carol Weston (realistic fiction) and answer the Essential Question, "How can making a difference start at home?”

    • In Lesson 2, students read Louis Braille’s Gift to the Blind by Tanya Anderson (biography) and answer the Essential Question, "When can helping oneself also help others?”

    • In Lesson 4, students read Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson (biography) and answer the Essential Question, "How can a small idea grow into a big difference?”

    • In Lesson 6, students read More Than a Game: Making a Difference Through Athletics by Dennis Fertig (biography) and answer the Essential Question, "Where do you see the effects of difference makers?”

  • In Unit 2, texts are connected to the theme of Science Fair. Texts in this unit include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Lesson 1, students read The Discovery Fair by Vidas Barzudukas (play) and answer the Essential Questions, "How do scientists collaborate? What do they learn from each other?”

    • In Lesson 3, students read My Brothers’ Flying Machine: Wilbur, Orville, and Me by Jane Yolen (narrative nonfiction) and answer the Essential Question, "What can inspire inventors?”

    • In Lesson 4, students read Godspeed, John Glenn by Richard Hilliard (biography) and answer the Essential Question, "How do scientists build on previous discoveries?”

    • In Lesson 5, students read The Space & Back by Sally Ride with Susan Oakie (autobiography) and answer the Essential Questions, "Why do scientists go to space? What do they hope to learn?”

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 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 2b.

The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze key ideas, writer’s craft, and text structure. Each lesson provides opportunities through the Access Complex Text section in which students look at main ideas and/or various text structures. Writer’s craft is addressed with every text, typically on Day 4. The Teacher Edition provides prompts and modeling for the teacher to help address the key idea, structure, and craft. The Teacher Edition typically has the teacher model analyzing key details and structure in the first lessons, and later the teacher  prompts students to find key details and structure. 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 most texts, students analyze key ideas and details and craft and structure (according to grade-level standards). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Ava and Pip by Carol Weston. Under Access Complex Text, students work on the ideas of compare and contrast. The Teacher Edition states, “Remind students that comparing and contrasting the main characters in this story will help them better understand the characters and how they relate to each other. Have students use details from these pages to describe the personalities of Pip and Ava. Then have them explain how the girls are alike and different.” A graphic organizer and possible answers are included. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read the anchor text My Brothers’ Flying Machine by Jane Yolen. Students reread the page and discuss what the main idea of the passage is. Students use the Main Idea Chart which provides support such as, “The Wright brothers worked hard to build a new, engine-powered airplane they called the Flyer. Detail 1: The brothers built a wind tunnel to learn about drag and lift and tried out different wings. The new plane had a forty-foot wingspan and a twelve-horsepower gasoline-powered engine. The 600-pound plane could not be assembled in the shop.”

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 6, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp by Katie Yamasaki. During Access Complex Text, students study main ideas and details. The Teacher Edition states, “Have students state the main idea of the text on page 326, or what the text is mostly about. Then discuss what details support this main idea.”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 5, Day 1, Reading and Responding students read Survival at 4 Below by Debbie S. Miller. During the first read, the students focus on the comprehension strategy of predicting. The Teacher Edition prompts the teacher to model the following, “FInally, the snow and ice are melting. ItT looks like spring is coming. Many of  the animals have been hibernating, all have been conserving energy, and some have struggled just to stay alive during this harshest of seasons. I predict the habitat will be much more active now. Animals will be out hunting for food and exercising. Let’s read on to see if the environment changes in this way.” Students have worked on predicting previously, and it does not grow in sophistication as the year progresses. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 5, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport. During Access Complex Text, students focus on main idea and details. The Teacher Edition states, “Have students reread page 538 and explain what this section is mostly about. Then, discuss which details in this section are key in supporting the main idea.” Possible answers are provided for the teacher. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 2, Reading and Responding students read Little Red Riding Hood by  Brothers Grimm retold by Karen Martin. Under the Access Complex Text section, students focus on Main Idea and Details. The Teacher Edition provides the following prompt, “Have students reread the first paragraph on page 625. Ask them to state the main idea, or what the paragraph is mostly about. Then discuss what details support the main idea.” This is the second day students have read through the text, and spending time on finding the main idea and details in this section is a surface-level activity and does not work to build knowledge. 

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft and structure. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 5, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, students read My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Pérez. During the first read, students focus on the skill of summarizing. In the Teacher Edition, the materials provide a script for teachers to model summarizing. Later in the text, the materials provide a teacher prompt, which states, “Review Amada’s letter to Michi on page 317 and her diary entry on page 318. How would you summarize what Amada has written?” A possible answer is provided. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read How and Why Stories by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss and answer questions to reflect the craft and structure of the text selection including, “Explain what pourquoi means, and use it to define pourquoi tale. How do you know ‘How & Why Stories' is prose and not a poem?”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read the narrative poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and are asked to identify metaphors and similes in the poem. The materials state, “Have students reread the first stanza on page 462 and identify and explain the metaphors the poet uses here. Discuss what two things are being compared and what effects the poet achieves with this comparison.” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read Paul Bunyan by Dennis Fertig and are asked questions to reflect the craft and structure of the text selection including, “Paul’s fall in California has caused something called the San Andreas Fault. We can tell from context that it is a large crack in the land. How can we clarify exactly what this feature is and find out more about it? Look at the word cradle on page 585. Cradle is defined as 'a small bed for a baby, often on rockers.’ How can you use context clues and the illustration on this page to verify this meaning? Look up ‘Hercules’' in an encyclopedia. What does the text mean when it says Paul Bunyan has ‘herculean strength’? What genre is “Paul Bunyan'' and how do you know? How might it have been different if it had been written as a poem?”

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2c.

The materials provide some questions and tasks that support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. Within the Reading and Responding sections of the lesson such as: Access Context Text, Close Read, Writer’s Craft and Inquiry, Steps 1-6 are paired with Anchor Texts and supporting texts in both the Student Anthology and Science/Social Studies Connection Text. Students have the opportunity to analyze topics and integrate ideas in their discussions, comprehension and writing tasks. Often discussion questions and prompts posed by the teacher help to incorporate knowledge related to the topic or theme with the text being read during class. Some comprehension questions found in the Student Anthology require students to incorporate knowledge and ideas, although many comprehension questions are surface-level and do not always require the student to access the text. The materials also focus on comprehension strategies that are repeated throughout the course of the year. These comprehension strategies are often focused on helping students build knowledge. 

Some sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students are asked to “describe three problems with Captain Barbier’s writing system.” Students explain what problems occurred with this writing system. Later students are asked, “Consider how Louis Braille’s achievement led to improved access to learning for blind people. Do you think Braille writing is still as important today as it was in his time? Why or why not?” Students analyze the text to explain their answer and provide evidence from the text to support their thinking.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 5, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read To Space & Back by Sally Ride with Susan Okie. Students answer three comprehension questions about the text that relate to the text, but do not function to build knowledge. Some of the questions could be answered without reading the texts. “Why did Sally Ride write her book, and how do you know? Summarize the main topic of the selection from ‘To Space & Back.’ Describe the procedures Sally Ride and other astronauts went through when preparing for liftoff in the space shuttle.” 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read “The History of Crochet Lace in Ireland” for the Social Studies connection. Under Reading the Connection, students answer questions in the Student Anthology, such as, “How did global interdependence impact the Irish women that made crochet lace in the 1800s?” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students analyze both single and multiple texts by answering Close Reading, Text Connections, and Writer’s Craft questions. Students read the text Animal Defense Academy by Nicole Gill and focus on the Compare and Contrast skill. Students answer prompts such as, “Students reread the paragraphs about gazelles and ostriches on page 363. Describe how the two animals are similar and different. Record their responses on a Compare and Contrast chart.” During the Close Reading section, students use a Venn diagram to track the idea and details as they read.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students are asked to reread page 470. “Make sure they understand the dialogue between Jefferson and Adams. Then ask them to compare these men based on details from the text.” Students analyze the text to explain similarities and differences between the two men.

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 4, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read The Sun and the Moon by David Park. Under Access Complex Text, students focus on making inferences. The Teacher Edition states, “Have students make an inference about the tiger or the children based on the information on these pages.” This prompt emphasizes the comprehension strategy of making inferences without building knowledge. 

Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. Under the Text Connections section, students answer prompts found in the Student Anthology, such as, “Describe one way in which ‘The Statesman’ helps you better understand a theme of ‘Nelson Mandela’.” A possible answer is provided.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices by Gwenyth Swain. Under the Look Closer section, students answer prompts in the Student Anthology, such as, “Integrate information from ‘Fiona’s Lace’ and ‘Hope and Tears’ in order to describe what might have been the route and experience of Irish immigrants coming to the United Stated in the late 1800s.” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, students read the texts, Masters of Illusion by Jean Enicks and Ghost Crab by David L. Harrison. Students are asked to make a connection between the crab’s life and the behaviors and adaptations of other animals they have learned about in this unit. During Day 4, Concept Development, students use Information from both Masters of Illusion and Animal Defense Academy by Nicole Gill to compare and contrast the ways an octopus, a collared lemming, and a snowshoe hare use color to hide from predators.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 4, Day 4, during Reading and Responding, students read Mice in the Mint by Karen Martin. In the Look Closer section, students respond to prompts in the Student Anthology, such as, “Compare and contrast how ‘Mice in the Mint’ and ‘Our Constitution’ cover the topic of Hamilton’s work at the Constitutional Convention.”

Indicator 2d

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

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 2d.

All units conclude with an Inquiry Project that develops around a Unit Theme and Question Board that builds on student knowledge, understanding, and “wonderings” and questions throughout the Inquiry Process. Students learn about a topic that is integrated throughout with specific texts and text sets, including the Read-Aloud, Discussion Starters, Big Idea, Essential Questions accompanying each text, Theme Connection text, Science/Social Studies connection, and Concept Board. However, since students have so much choice in the topic of the Inquiry Project and how they complete the project, this may limit how much topical knowledge is demonstrated and how much reading and writing students complete during the process. The Inquiry Rubric is designed to assess speaking, listening, and research skills. It is not specifically designed to assess reading and writing. The Inquiry Projects process evolves and changes as the units progress, including the extent of teacher modeling, support provided, variations in project ideas, grouping of students, note-taking strategies, and presentation choices. Speaking and listening rubrics can also support the speaking and listening process as it is also used in the Handing-Off Routines. Additionally, students frequently complete the tasks in groups or pairs; therefore, it may be difficult to truly determine each student’s knowledge and skills gained from the unit. 

Culminating tasks are not evident across the year. While some Inquiry Projects are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate one or more standards at the appropriate grade level, and comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), the degree to which students are allowed to make choices about the tasks may not provide sufficient evidence for the teacher to assess their progress in relation to the grade-level expectations for reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Additionally, for units that are organized around a topic, the degree of choice left to students may limit the amount of topical knowledge measured in the inquiry tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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.” The Inquiry Projects follow the same process across all units. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 3, students complete Inquiry Step 1: Develop Questions. Students work as a class to brainstorm ideas, but work in a small group on their Inquiry Project. To assist students while brainstorming ideas, the Teacher Edition states, “To review the idea of questions generated by unit selections, remind students of the selection The Discovery Fair and its essential questions, ‘How do scientists collaborate? What do they learn from each other?’Discuss ways that the selection answered these questions. What other questions did the selection bring up?” The students then work to create inquiry questions and add them to the concept board. However, the students are not required to adhere closely to the unit topic or theme in order to demonstrate the content knowledge gained from the unit. Additionally, there is no requirement for students to demonstrate mastery and integration of the standards taught throughout the unit.

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2e.

The materials contain a variety of text types addressed over the course of the year, with instruction, guided practice, and independent work in the Language Arts section of the materials. The Scope and Sequence of the Teacher Edition lays out the year-long writing plan for the materials. The first three units have students practice a different type of writing for the full unit. These include persuasive/opinion, informational/explanatory, and narrative writing. These are distributed throughout the school year in later units also, as well as writing in a specific genre; however, they do not reflect the balance called for in the standards. Students write every day during the Language Arts section and the materials include sufficient writing opportunities for students. The materials create a gradual release model by beginning with more guided instruction, and releasing to more independent work as the year goes on. Each lesson includes sections organized into Instruct, Guided Practice, and Apply. Often during the Instruct or Guided Practice section, the materials provide an example text the teacher can use to model instruction. Procedures and routines are provided for the teacher regarding conferencing with students about their writing and modeling writing. The materials provide the teacher with instructional routines, checklists, student writing goals, rubrics, and detailed plans in the Language Arts Lesson Plan found in the Teacher’s Unit Lesson Plan. Editing, revising, and publishing checklists are provided for the students in the Skills Practice book. 

Materials include writing instruction that partially aligns to the standards for the grade level and supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, during the Language Arts section, students work on opinion writing. Students complete four opinion writing pieces over the course of six weeks. The first piece is an opinion piece written as a class, then an opinion piece written with a partner. Lastly, students write two opinion pieces independently. 

  • In Unit 3, during the Language Arts section, students write four narrative pieces over the six week periods. Students write a realistic story, a fantasy, a personal narrative, and a tall tale. The realistic story is written as a class, and the fantasy story, personal narrative, and tall tale are written individually. 

  • In Unit 5, during the Language Arts section, students write four pieces. Students write a persuasive essay, a response to nonfiction, describing an event, and a response to literature. Students write these pieces individually. 

  • In the “Look Closer” section of the Student Anthology, students respond to an On-Demand writing prompt under the Write section. This typically happens on every Day 4 for every lesson in all the units. 

Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Resource Library, the materials provide an Instructional Routine for Modeling Writing Strategies. The routine includes information such as, “Model how to use the strategy when writing by saying aloud your thoughts and by describing each thing you do. Provide students with assistance in applying the strategy until they can do it on their own.” 

  • In the Resource LIbrary, the materials provide a Management Routine for Writing Conference. The routine includes these steps, “Review any feedback the student has received. Identify positive elements of the student’s writing.” Strategies to help with students' writing are provided as well as writing conference questions about the students’ ideas, organization, voice, and word choice. 

  • Grade 4 students keep writing notebooks. Set-up directions for the writing notebook include a spiral-bound notebook or three-ring binder with four dividers. Each divider includes a Response Journal for students to write their thoughts about each selection as they read, a Vocabulary section for students to record vocabulary words and their definitions from each selection, an Inquiry section for students to organize ideas and record information they find as they research theme-related concepts, and a Writing Ideas section for students to note ideas they have for writing or ideas to improve or add to existing writing. During Workshop, students are able to practice and review what was taught in the lesson, read, work on writing activities, or work on Inquiry projects that relate to the unit theme. Materials include protocols for the Workshop, Modeling Writing Strategies, Presenting Writing, and Writing Conferences.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 4, during the Language Arts section, students meet in Writer’s Conferences as a part of prewriting for their informational piece. In the Instruct section, the Teacher Edition directs the teacher to display questions on the board such as, “Does the plan include an opening sentence that presents a clear and focused topic? Does the plan avoid opinions about the topic?” The Teacher Edition also states, “Use the questions as you model evaluating your own plan. Narrate your thoughts as you answer each question and confirm whether your plan is a good one. Try to model making a change or two to your own plan so students are assured that this is a natural part of the writing process.” The materials provide an example text that the teacher can use. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, during the Language Arts section, as students work in the Revising stage of the writing process, the teacher displays the Writer’s Goals and reviews those with students. Additionally, students are directed to the Language Arts Handbook page 284 for more information and examples of revising with precise word choice. On Day 5 the students publish their narrative writing. The Teacher Edition states, “Use the Writing Rubrics found in the Level Appendix to evaluate students’ narrative writing. You may use any of the rubrics for Genre, Writing Process, and Writing Traits. Share with students what you will be looking for when assessing their narrative writing.” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 6, Day 2, during the Language Arts section, students edit their research report. In the Guided Practice section, the materials tell the teacher to use Routine 12, Using a Checklist Routine, for the editing. The materials provide a model text for the teacher to use to guide students through editing the text and using the checklist.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, during the Language Arts section, students refer to page 170-171 in the Language Arts Handbook to review the model of persuasive writing. In addition, students use the Graphic Organizer Routine to complete a two-column chart similar to the one on Skills Practice 2 page 89. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, Day 4, during the Language Arts section, students focus on grammar, usage, and mechanics. For the Guided Practice, the materials provide example sentences for the students to edit. For the Apply section, students create their own sentences to share with the class. Students complete the Skills Practice page about Direct Object, Prepositions, Prepositional Phrases, Capitalization, Simple Sentences, Kinds of Sentences, and Coordinating Conjunctions with a partner.

  • Writing Rubrics can be found at the end of each unit in the Appendix. Different sets of rubrics cover various elements of writing, including genre, writing process, and writing traits.The rubrics are intended to help teachers provide criteria and feedback to students. The program provides a four-point rubric in each of the four areas: 1 point: student is performing below basic level, 2-point: student abilities are emerging, 3-point: student work is adequate and achieving expectations; 4-point: student is exceeding writing expectations.

  • Writing rubrics align with the standards so teachers can monitor student progress. For example, the materials provide a Four-Point Rubric for Informative Writing. One aspect where students may earn a four on the rubric states, “Topic/position is clearly stated, previewed, and maintained throughout the paper. Topics and details are tied together with a central theme or purpose that is maintained/threaded throughout the paper.”

Indicator 2f

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2f.

The materials include a year’s worth of research projects called Inquiry Projects. During Inquiry portions of the units, students learn more about the unit by investigating the theme or overarching idea. Inquiry begins in Units 1-2 as whole-class instruction. The teacher models the steps of the investigation for students, who apply the steps in future research. In Units 3-4, students work in small groups on investigations of interest to them. Students learn research skills including locating reliable Internet websites and sources for information, interviewing subject-matter experts, collecting information, taking notes, working collaboratively, and presenting information in a variety of ways. While students have opportunities to brainstorm questions, create a conjecture, and conduct research, the research skills remain static across the year and do not grow in sophistication. Inquiry begins with whole class inquiry and then transitions to group work. Over the course of the year, students do not conduct the inquiry process independently; therefore, students never demonstrate individual mastery of the research skills outlined in the standards. The materials provide numerous modeling prompts for the teacher to use, as well as graphic organizers and rubrics to help guide research. Students choose which resources they want to use for research, with a heavy emphasis on online content. Some guidance is provided to assure students are selecting appropriate and adequate resources for their projects. The Inquiry Projects serve as an extension of the unit and are not always tied to the unit texts.

Research projects are somewhat sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • The Inquiry process has the same steps throughout the year: Step 1: Develop Questions, Step 2: Create Conjectures, Step 3: Collect Information, Step 4: Revise Conjectures, Step 5: Develop Presentations, and Step 6: Deliver Presentations.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 3, students begin Step 1: Develop Questions, by brainstorming question ideas as a large group. Then, students form small groups based on their interest in particular questions. A student may help the teacher model the difference between effective and ineffective inquiry questions. Students share possible research questions and volunteers add them to the Concept board. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 2, students complete Inquiry Step 6: Deliver Presentations. The Teacher Edition states, “Have each group present its findings and any audio recording or visuals to the rest of the class. Presenters should sequence ideas in an organized manner and use appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support the main ideas while speaking clearly in formal English at an understandable pace.” There is also an expectation that students will paraphrase and interpret key ideas and details from the presentations. The Teacher Edition states, “Connect each presentation to the information from the unit selections. Did the presentation illustrate something related to science that was very different from information in the unit selections? Was there any overlap in terms of content?”

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 2, students complete Inquiry Step 3: Collect Evidence. In this lesson, students focus on a note-taking technique called mind mapping. After reviewing the previously taught note-taking strategies, the Teacher Edition states, “Display the Example Mind Map, and explain to students a mind map is a way of organizing information into categories and determining relationships between pieces of information.” The class practices using the mind mapping strategy by rereading “Little Red Riding Hood” and creating a sample mind map. 

Materials provide some support for teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 6, Day 2, for Step 6: Deliver Presentations, students present the findings of their research with requirements that include, “Sequence ideas in an organized manner and use appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support the main ideas while speaking clearly in formal English at an understandable pace.” Upon completion, the other students are directed to, “paraphrase and interpret key ideas and details from the information presented orally and through other media,” noting “how each speaker’s points are supported by reasons and evidence and explain how any visuals helped them understand the presentations.” Additionally, the materials direct the teacher to create a parallel between the “interconnectedness of the groups’ research to the interconnectedness demonstrated by the actions of people within the strong communities of “Fiona’s Lace” and “My Diary from Here to There.” The materials ask, “How can sharing findings help everyone learn more? Discuss how the presentation method helped communicate the information to the audience. Was there anything groups would do differently in the future? Model giving positive feedback and constructive suggestions for future presentations. Provide sentence frames, if needed. For example, I liked it when you . One thing we might do next time is.” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 2, students complete Inquiry Step 2: Create Conjectures. In this lesson, students turn a question into a conjecture. The materials provide a model for teachers to use in this lesson. The Teacher Edition states, “Help students practice making conjectures by discussing the sample question, How can humans work with California condor adaptations when reintroducing them to the Pacific coast?” The materials provide a sample conjecture the teacher can use. The materials state, “Discuss other conjectures that could relate to this model question.” 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, students complete Inquiry Step 2 as they practice developing conjectures by discussing the sample question, “How did the two-party political system develop in the United States?” The Teacher Edition provides support for the teacher to conduct a think-aloud, including scripted statements such as, “If I were to make a conjecture about this question, I would think about what I already know, and perhaps do a little preliminary research. In this case, I did a little preliminary research and learned that, although many Revolutionary War-era founders disliked political parties, the first parties began because of arguments over disagreements about federal power and state rights. I will use this to make this conjecture: The US two-party political system first developed because of long-term disagreements over state and federal power.” The teacher reviews each group’s question, and helps the group brainstorm conjectures, while reminding them one question can have many conjectures. 

Materials provide some opportunities for students to conduct research projects that synthesize and analyze content tied to the topics under study as a part of the research process. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 2, students complete Inquiry Step 4: Revise Conjectures. The lesson focuses on using students’ research to change and revise their conjectures. The materials provide a sample Venn diagram for the teacher to use to demonstrate looking over combined evidence to revise a conjecture. The Teacher Edition states, “Have student research groups use their own synthesized information to confirm or refute their conjectures. Help groups revise their conjectures, as needed.” 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 6, Day 4, students complete Inquiry Step 6: Deliver Presentations. After giving their presentations, students are asked to, “Discuss any new findings, based on the presentation(s), that might lead groups to revise their conjectures.” Students are expected to complete additional reading to find more information. The Teacher Edition states, “Have students research and select books of their own choosing to read independently to help them find further information and answer their new questions about the unit theme.” A list of books are provided for the teacher. Students post their new research questions on the Concept/Question Board. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 4, students work on Inquiry Step 3: Collect Information as they organize their research and cite the sources they have used for their research. The teacher reminds them of the importance of avoiding plagiarism, The teacher also assists the students as they organize and sort their notes and sources.

Criterion 2g - 2h

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

4/8
+
-
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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2g.

Over the course of each unit, as some of the instruction, questions, tasks, and assessment questions align to grade level standards, a significant amount of time is spent on comprehension strategies that do not align to the standards. These comprehension strategies include predicting, cause and effect, making inferences, visualizing, and making connections. Over the course of the year, many of these strategies are repeated and do not support knowledge building and growth toward mastery of grade level standards. The assessment components may help the teacher to confirm progress toward mastery of some standards. However, they may not provide a strong picture of the depth of the knowledge and skills built during the unit as many assessment questions focus on unaligned comprehension strategies. An intervention guide is provided to differentiate instruction for students, but most differentiated instruction uses the same materials with question or activity scaffolds. Some differentiated activities fall short of meeting the standards, particularly for students working below-level. 

Over the course of each unit, some instruction is aligned to grade-level standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, Day 2, Language Arts, students focus on opinion writing, going through all the steps of the writing process. During this lesson, students pre-write an opinion paper. The teacher provides guided practice and applies the model throughout the writing process to provide support. Students work on opinion writing for the entire unit. (W.4.1, W.4.4-6)

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 1, during Reading and Responding, the teacher models the use of the comprehension strategies Visualizing and Asking/Answering Questions during the first read of My Brothers’ Flying Machine by Jane Yolen. Students look specifically for descriptive nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and sensory language that appeals to their five senses when attempting to visualize, so that it may help them understand and better engage with the text. Students are also provided with sample visualizing sentence stems to provide students with support. The teacher asks questions such as, “Has your question from the previous page been answered here? Will you have to consult an outside source for more information?” These strategies do not align to grade-level standards.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 5, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students look closely at the text, Survival at 40 Below by Debbie S. Miller by engaging in a second read and focusing on the text-complexity skills, Sequencing and Making Inferences. Students may use a graphic organizer during the reading to sequence the order of events and to note any time-order words from the text that help indicate sequence. In the Teacher Edition, guiding questions reflect the focus of the skills in the lesson. For example, students reread the descriptions of how the “wood frog and the ground squirrel prepare for hibernation.” Students are asked to explain the steps in each process in the correct sequence and encouraged to use time-order words in their responses. (RI.4.1, 4.5)

Over the course of each unit, some of the questions and tasks are aligned to grade-level standards. However, some questions are focused on repeated rounds of comprehension strategies that do not build knowledge nor align to grade-level standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 1, prior to the read-aloud of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, the teacher is reminded to teach these comprehension strategies to students: Predicting, Asking and Answering Questions, Visualizing, Summarizing, Making Connections, and Clarifying on the board. Students tell what they know about each one. These strategies are not aligned to the standards for this grade level; however, they form the foundation for roughly a quarter of the questions across the program. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 3, during Reading and Responding, Text Connections, students make text connections with six comprehension questions asked. Some require text evidence; however, some are not aligned to grade-level standards. For example, “In ‘The Unbreakable Code,’ Grandfather experienced prejudice while fighting in World War II. How was his experience similar to that of people kept at Ellis Island during the war, based on the information in ‘Hope and Tears’?” (RL.4.1, RI.4.9)

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 2, during Reading and Responding, students read Give Me Liberty! The Story of the Declaration of Independence by Russell Freedman. The Teacher Edition provides the task, “Have students reread the paragraphs about Thomas Jefferson on page 469. Ask them to identify one fact and one opinion stated about Jefferson in the text.” In previous lessons, students identify facts and opinions. This strategy does not align with grade-level standards. 

Over the course of each unit, some of the assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. However, they may not address the depth and breadth of the standards nor the knowledge gained from the unit. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 4, Day 5, Language Arts, the materials provide a formal assessment under Monitor Progress. The assessment focuses on grammar, usage, and mechanics and has students choose the correct plural noun. This does not measure a grade-level standard.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Lesson and Unit Assessment, students are asked questions such as, “The following question has two parts. First, answer Part A. Then, answer Part B. Part A: What was unusual about the beetles at the nature center? Part B: Which sentence from the story best supports your answer for Part A?” (RI.4.2)

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 6, Day 5, during Reading and Responding, students complete the formal assessment under Monitor Progress. The assessment looks at the students’ understanding of skills taught during the unit. One of the questions states, “Read the item below. Write complete sentences for your answer. Support your answer with evidence from the selection. In your own words, explain what the Smithsonian Institution does and describe the two parts you find most interesting. Explain why you chose these parts.” This does not measure a grade-level standard.

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

  • RL.4.1-6 and 10 are found in all units. RL.4.7 and 4.9 appear in five out of the six units.

  • RI.4.1-5 and 7-9 are covered in all units. RI.4.5 is only covered in three units, and minimally over the course of those units.

  • W.4.1 (including all substandards) is found only in Units 1 and 5. W.4.2 is found primarily in Units 2, 4, 5, and 6. W.4.2.d only appears in Unit 4, with four repetitions therein, thus limiting the focus on precise, domain-specific vocabulary in writing. W.4.3 (including all substandards) is found primarily in Units 3 and 6. W.4.4-8 are found across most units. W.4.9 appears only in units 5 and 6, and sparsely within those units. W.4.10 appears in all units. 

  • SL.4.1-6 appear in all units. 

  • The majority of the language standards are found across the year; however, some language standards are found only a few times throughout the year. 

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h.

The materials are all grouped into six units over the course of the year. This program is designed for 36 weeks of instruction plus an additional Getting Started week-long lesson in Unit 1. Each lesson contains five days with activities for Foundational Skills, Reading and Responding, and Language Arts. The core instructional materials are all contained within those sections of the materials. While the materials do provide a scope and sequence to help teacher’s plan their year along with highly-structured lessons that follow a similar format week after week, the materials do not include a daily schedule or time allotment for each section of the lesson. The daily plans and instructional routines do not explicitly state a suggested time frame or estimated amount of time per activity. Without suggested times for the various activities, it would be a challenge to fit the activities within these three components into the daily schedule. Workshop Time is the only portion for which a suggested time frame of 15-30 minutes is provided. Within the Workshop Time, the materials suggest including decodables and leveled readers during Workshop Time, as well as providing time to work on the Inquiry project during Workshop. Optional materials do not distract from the core learning, although it can be unclear when optional activities should be incorporated. 

  • Suggested implementation schedules and alternative implementation schedules align to core learning and objectives. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • The materials contain a scope and sequence for each unit. For example, in Unit 3, the materials state the theme, Our Heritage, Our History, and then lay out the three components: Foundational Skills, Reading and Responding, and Language Arts. The materials presented in the scope and sequence follow core learning, but a suggested time frame is not provided. 

    • An Intervention Teacher Guide is provided in the Resource Library. These materials provide lessons for all six units. The lessons in the Intervention Guide line up with the lessons in the traditional Teacher Edition, following the same path. 

    • The Curriculum Overview states that Foundational Skills include Phonics and Word Analysis, Oral Language Activities, Reading the Decodables, and Reading Fluency Passages. Recommended time for instruction is not provided.

    • The Curriculum Overview states that during Reading and Responding, students read each selection twice: the first time to practice comprehension strategies, and the second to analyze complex text. Students work with vocabulary every day using the Selection Vocabulary Routine. Students read a science or social studies connection text toward the end of each week. Recommended time for instruction is not provided.

    • The Curriculum Overview states that during Language Arts, students work on the writing process daily during this block. Spelling and grammar are also included in the Language Arts block. Recommended time for instruction is not provided.

  • Suggested implementation times and schedules are not provided for most aspects of the program. The volume of materials may be more than can be completed within the scope of an average school week/year.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • The Scope and Sequence provides a color-coded planner which includes Foundational Skills (green), Reading and Responding (red), and Language (blue) in that order. Each day begins with Foundation Skills lessons, then moves to the Reading and Responding lessons, ending with Language Arts. Recommended time for teaching and implementation of daily lessons is not provided. 

    • The Workshop Overview states, “Workshop can be implemented during the reading/language arts timeframe in a flexible manner. This can come before the core instruction begins, sometimes in the middle of the reading/language block, or at the end of that time period. Workshop may last 15-30 minutes, depending on the needs of the classroom.” This is the only time frame mentioned in the materials.

    • There are six units included in the materials. Each unit is made up of six lessons, with each lesson covering five days. There is also a Getting Started lesson at the beginning of Unit 1. 

  • Optional tasks do not distract from core learning. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Letter cards are provided to help students form letters. Penmanship videos are included to help students write cursive letters. The Program Overview suggests that the teacher should create a writing area for Workshop and, “The area should also have various Letter Cards and other handwriting models for those students who want to practice letter formation or handwriting.” These materials do not appear to have specific lessons, and are meant to supplement the materials. 

    • The Social Emotional Learning Content Guide illustrates how Character Lab can integrate with Open Court Reading. The Teacher Tips guide states, “Incorporate the Playbook or SEL outcome as part of building background and discussing the selection around the Essential Question.” 

    • Core and Practice Decodables: Pre-Decodables and Decodables give students practice reading at their own pace and allow them to listen to a fluent model of reading. Decodable Stories Takehome Books allow students to apply their knowledge of phonic elements to read. Each story supports instruction in a new phonics element and incorporates elements and words that have been learned earlier.

    • Genre Practice provides students with additional opportunities to read and respond to a variety of genres. Each activity contains one or two reading selections. Multiple-choice or written-response comprehension questions and a writing prompt follow the reading selection(s).

  • Optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Challenge Novels are intended for beyond-level students and are suggested as additional reading to what students already complete with the normal lessons. The Challenge Novels focus around the unit theme. For example, the Unit 1 theme is Making a Difference. Students read the Challenge Novel Rules. During Week 1 Think about It, students think about questions such as, “How can loyal friendship make a difference in people’s lives?” The Challenge Novel also contains comprehension questions such as, “Explain why Catherine makes up rules for David. Why do you think she makes up rules for herself?” There is not a clear expectation on when the students are expected to complete these additional questions. 

  • The Visual Vocabulary provides a brief video for vocabulary words. These videos provide audio of the word, the definition, an example sentence, and a picture to help students better understand the vocabulary. 

  • Technology and Digitally Enhanced Activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • ePresentation can be used during the lesson as a presentation tool of the elements within the lesson.

    • eGames provide students a way to practice skills learned in class from all key sections within the daily lesson including Foundational Skills, Reading and Responding, and Language Arts. These may be found in the Resource Library under “Games.”

    • eActivities give students additional practice with high frequency words, comprehension, grammar, spelling, and writing. These may be found in the Resource Library under “Activities.”

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, with specific attention to engaging students in order to guide their 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 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
Teacher's Edition Vol 5 097‑8‑0078‑9999‑4 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Teacher's Edition Vol 1 978‑0‑0789‑9995‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Teacher's Edition Vol 2 978‑0‑0789‑9996‑3 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Teacher's Edition Vol 3 978‑0‑0789‑9997‑0 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Teacher's Edition Vol 4 978‑0‑0789‑9998‑7 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Teacher's Edition Vol 6 978‑0‑0790‑0000‑2 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Word Analysis Teacher Guide 978‑0‑0790‑0108‑5 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Program Overview Grade K-5 978‑0‑0790‑0166‑5 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Open Court Reading CORE ELA Teacher's Editions Package 978‑0‑0790‑0402‑4 McGraw-Hill Education 2018
Word Analysis Kit 978‑0‑0790‑0417‑8 McGraw-Hill Education 2018

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 3-8 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