Alignment: Overall Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
26
52
58
36
52-58
Meets Expectations
27-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-26
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

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

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The Open Court Kindergarten materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include high-quality texts throughout the year; however, not all texts are appropriately complex for the grade-level. It is difficult to determine if the complexity of most anchor texts students listen to provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth, since the majority of anchor texts do not have a quantitative measure that can be located in Lexile or provided by the publisher.

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

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

Materials include a research-based synthetic approach to teaching foundational skills. Explicit instruction in all phonological and phonics standards is included in the materials; however, there is a lack of encoding practice for both newly taught phonics skills and high frequency words. Materials include decodables aligned to the scope and sequence of phonics and high frequency word instruction. Materials include instruction in print concepts with opportunities for student practice using a variety of physical books. Materials include instruction in 50 high-frequency words; however, students do not have opportunities to spell the high-frequency words. Automaticity is practiced through the use of the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine and the Whole-Word Blending Routine. Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills; however, teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits is lacking. Materials guide teachers in scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. Additionally, English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use.

Criterion 1a - 1e

Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.

11/18
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Criterion Rating Details

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

Indicator 1a

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The anchor texts are high-quality and worthy of careful reading and consider a range of student interests. The materials include anchor texts that are written by award-winning authors and the illustrations are artistically and visually appealing. The texts are relevant and relatable in order to help spark rich discussions. Across the twelve units, there is a variety of topics that are of interest to students in Kindergarten including homes, animals, weather, and plants. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students listen to The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, who is a well-known author. The book includes beautiful illustrations, academic vocabulary, and an engaging storyline that will pique the interest of Kindergarten students. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students listen to Snow White and Rose Red, a Brothers Grimm tale retold by Daniel Munn. 

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students listen to Snow Day! by award-winning author Lester Laminack, a realistic fiction story that includes expressive illustrations by Adam Gustavson, which help to capture the excitement of the tale.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, students listen to an excerpt from the book, How a House is Built, by well-known author Gail Gibbons. The text includes labels and captions and provides students with information about who is involved, what materials are used, and how a house is built. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students listen to the text, Emma’s Walk by Charles Bell, in which a young girl learns about W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Duke Ellington. This text helps to build background knowledge in an engaging way. The selection includes rich vocabulary and content. 

  • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students listen to an excerpt from the non-fiction book, From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, who is an award-winning author. The text contains simple language, and includes bright illustrations to help build knowledge.

  • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, students listen to Animal Habitats by Augustine Carpenter, which includes real-life photos and complex text that show how animals can change where they live. 

  • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, students listen to an excerpt from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. This classic story was first published in 1902 and has sold over 45 million copies. 

  • In Unit 10, Lesson 10, students listen to the published poem, Abraham Lincoln: A Man for All the People by Maya Cohn Lingston. This text helps build background knowledge for students. 

  • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, students listen to Seymour Simon’s Colors in Nature by well-known author Seymour Simon. The text includes bright pictures that are sorted to show items in nature that are the same color. The rhyming text and interesting vocabulary will engage students. 

  • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, students listen to The Little Cloud by well-known author and illustrator Eric Carle. The text includes one line of text across two pages, allowing students to engage closely with the print in the text.

Indicator 1b

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include opportunities for students to listen to and read both literary and informational texts; however, there is not an equal balance as required by the standards. Students listen to and read texts that include biographies, fables, fairy tales, folktales, historical fiction, poetry, realistic fiction, nursery rhymes, rhyming fiction, photo essays, fantasy, explanatory, non-fiction, rhyming non-fiction, informational texts, and narrative nonfiction. A larger number of literary texts are found in most units. Students have limited opportunities to interact with selections that contain an informational text structure.

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

    • In Unit 1, the materials include the literary text genre of realistic fiction, fantasy, and poetry, as well as two informational texts. Examples of texts in Unit 1 include The One with Freckles by Brenda A. Ferber (realistic fiction), The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (fantasy), and Schools Around the World by John Russell (informational).

    • In Unit 6, the materials include the literary text genres of poetry (two selections), historical fiction, and realistic fiction. Unit 6 also includes two informational text selections. Examples of texts in this unit include Pass it Down by Elizabeth Reid (literary), “Abuelita’s Lap” by Pat Mora (poem), and  A Collection of Cultures  by Paul Caserta (informational). 

    • In Unit 8, students interact with informational texts, a photo essay, and realistic fiction. Some literary texts include The Best Place is Home by Toby Nash (poem) and Turtle Beach by Hannah Green (realistic fiction). Some informational texts include Day and Night in the Desert by the editors of Click Magazine (informational text).

  • Materials do not reflect a 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts. The Kindergarten materials include 59 literary texts and 31 informational texts. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students listen to Kids Rule at School by Myka-Lynne Sokoloff (fantasy), and in Lesson 2, Who is at Your School? by Jan Mader (informational). In this unit there are five literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students listen to the fairytale, Snow White and Rose Red by The Brothers Grimm, retold by Daniel Munn (fairytale), and The Lady and the Map: Florence Nightingale by Michael Green in Lesson 3 (biography). In this unit, there are six literary texts and one informational text.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students listen to Snow Day! by Lester Laminack, which is realistic fiction and When Rain Falls by Melissa Stewart (informational text). In this unit, there are three literary texts and four informational texts.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, students listen to Time to Move by Jeffrey Lee (explanatory text) and in Lesson 3, Wild Rides by Michael Coine (realistic fiction). In this unit, students listen to six literary texts and two informational texts.

    • In Unit 5, students listen to The Golden Windows by Laura E. Richards in Lesson 3 (fable) and Our Earth, Our Home by Kiyo Fischer (informational text) in Lesson 2. In this unit, students listen to four literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 6, students listen to “Abuelita’s Lap” by Pat Mora (poem) in Lesson 2, and Cultures and Holidays Around the World by Pam Conrad (informational text) in Lesson 1. In this unit, students listen to five literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, students listen to Jack and the Beanstalk retold and adapted by Gerald Fradette (fairytale), and in Lesson 3, From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons (explanatory text). In this unit, students listen to five literary texts and two informational texts. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, students listen to Turtle Beach by Hannah Greer (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 1, students see the photo essay “Seymour Simon’s Animal ABCs” by Seymour Simon and Liz Nealon. In this unit, students listen to three literary texts and four informational texts. 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, students listen to Rules of the Wild: An Unruly Book of Manners by Bridget Levin (fantasy) and Obey the Law by Albert Carangelo (informational). In this unit, students listen to six literary texts and one informational text.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, students listen to “President Me?” by Nicole Hatfield (poem) and in Lesson 2, Teddy’s Bears by Thomas Birch (narrative nonfiction). In this unit, students listen to two literary texts and seven informational texts.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, students listen to By Colors, My World Mis Colores, Mi Mundo by Maya Christina Gonzalez (realistic fiction) and in Lesson 3, Seymour Simon’s Colors in Nature (informational text). In this unit, students listen to seven literary texts and two informational texts.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, students listen to Little Cloud by Eric Carle (fantasy) and Shapes and Patterns by Orsalya Dalton (nonfiction). In this unit, students listen to seven literary texts and two informational texts.

Indicator 1c

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

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

Quantitative details for First Reader texts beginning in Unit 10 through Unit 12 and are provided by the publisher. The texts students read range in Lexile levels from 10L-330L. Materials state: “In Units 10–12, in addition to using Big Books, students transition to using a First Reader. The First Reader lets students read selections on their own. Each student has a First Reader, so it is not a shared reading experience with the teacher in charge of reading a selection from a single Big Book. Now students have the opportunity to practice all of their comprehension strategies and skills in a book of their own.”

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

It is difficult to determine the overall complexity of the texts included in the materials since quantitative measures were not provided and cannot be found for many read-aloud texts. Many tasks include students practicing a comprehension strategy on the first read, and then discussing the text on the second read. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students listen to Who is at Your School? by Jan Mader, which has no Lexile level. The text is considered moderately qualitatively complex due to the structure and language. On the first day, students listen to the teacher read and model the comprehension strategy of clarifying. Then students discuss what they learned from the text. On the second day, students classify and categorize the information in the text. 

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students listen to Two Foxes by Susan Kang, which has no Lexile level. The text is qualitatively high due to features such as the implied purpose of treating others kindly. Students use the text to practice the asking and answering questions comprehension strategy and discuss the author’s writing strategies.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students listen to Snow Day! by Lester Laminack, which has a Lexile of 460L, making it an appropriate read-aloud for Kindergarten students. This text is slightly-to-moderately qualitatively complex due to the easy-to-predict text organization, familiar vocabulary, simple sentence structure, and clear theme. The associated task is for students to use the visualizing and predicting/confirming reading strategy and the teacher models thinking about various literary elements such as sequence and cause and effect.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, students listen to Wild Rides by Michael Colne, which has no Lexile level. The qualitative features are moderately complex due to the meaning and language. The associated task requires students to use the clarifying and predicting/confirming comprehension strategy and discuss literary elements such as the plot of the story. 

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, students listen to Our Earth, Our Home by Klyo Fischer, which has no Lexile level. The text is considered qualitatively very complex due to language and knowledge demands. Students make connections and summarize on the first day with the text, then discuss the text, including cause and effect in the text, on the second day with the text. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students listen to Emma’s Walk by Charles Bell, which has no Lexile level. The text has several qualitative features that are very complex, such as multiple levels of meaning, cultural knowledge, and academic vocabulary. Students visualize and ask and answer questions on the first day with the text, then compare and contrast details and identify the sequence of events through discussions on the second day with the text. 

  • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, students listen to Jack and the Beanstalk retold by Gerald Fradette, which has no Lexile level. The text is considered moderately qualitatively complex due to the language. Students use the text to apply the predicting/confirming predictions and summarizing reading comprehension strategies. 

  • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, students listen to Day and Night in the Desert by the editors of Click Magazine, which has no Lexile Level. The text is considered qualitatively complex due to the language and knowledge demands. The associated task is for students to summarize and ask and answer questions on the first day with the text, then discussion about the main idea and details in the text on the second day with the text. 

  • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, students listen to The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter, which has a Lexile level of 800L. The text is extremely qualitatively complex as it contains unfamiliar vocabulary, multiple levels of meaning, and figurative language. Due to the complexity of this text, it may not be appropriate for Kindergarten students. Students make connections and clarify on the first day with the text, and discuss sequence and main idea and details on the second day of the text.  

  • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, students listen to Little Cloud by Eric Carle, which has a Lexile level of 470L, which is appropriate for a read-aloud. This text is considered slightly-to-moderately qualitatively complex due to the relatively easy-to-predict text organization, familiar vocabulary, simple sentence structure, and familiar vocabulary. On the first day with the text, students summarize and make predictions. On the second day with the text, students identify the main idea and details and compare and contrast details during a close read on the second day of the text.

The program does not include a rationale for educational purpose or placement of texts in the grade level. Lexile levels were also not provided for many of the texts. Lexile levels are found for texts in the student anthology, but not for read-alouds.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1d.

The materials in Kindergarten do not include a quantitative measure for anchor read-aloud texts and the majority of anchor texts cannot be located on Lexile.com or other sites that provide quantitative measures, making it difficult to determine if the texts support students’ literacy growth across the year. The texts students read beginning in Unit 10 range in Lexile level from 10L-330L; however, these texts are not appropriately sequenced across the year, with students at times reading more complex texts in earlier units. Additionally, reader and task demands spend time focusing on comprehension strategies, such as predicting and making connections that do not align with the standards. The tasks across the year remain relatively the same with students practicing a comprehension strategy and then discussing the text. Comprehension strategies and questions are repeated throughout the year and applied to different texts; however, since the overall complexity of the texts is unknown, students may not apply skills and strategies to more complex texts as the year progresses. Students typically spend one to two days on a text before moving on to another text, which may not provide all students with opportunities to advance their literacy skills and knowledge. 

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

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

    • The texts students listen to in Unit 2 do not have a quantitative measure, so the range of texts students encounter cannot be measured. The qualitative complexity ranges from low to high complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate tasks. In Unit 2, students spend time on questions that focus on comprehension strategies such as visualizing, clarifying, and making connections. Some of the texts in Unit 2 include: 

      • The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm retold by Daniell Munn does not have a Lexile level but has a low qualitative level of complexity. The associated task is also low complexity and the overall text complexity cannot be determined.  

      • The Lady with the Lamp: Florence Nightingale by Michale Greene does not have a Lexile level but has a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated task is also of moderate complexity and the overall text complexity cannot be determined. 

    • The majority of texts students listen to in Unit 7 do not have a quantitative measure, so the range of texts students encounter cannot be measured. The qualitative complexity ranges from low to high complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate tasks. In Unit 7, students spend time on questions that focus on comprehension strategies similar to the ones in Unit 2 such as visualizing, clarifying, and making connections.Some of the texts in this unit include:

      • Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji, which has no Lexile level but has a moderate level of qualitative complexity. The associated task is also of moderate complexity and the overall text complexity cannot be determined.

      • Jack and the Beanstalk retold and adapted by Gerald Fradette, which has no Lexile level. The text is qualitatively moderately complex. The associated task is also of moderate complexity. The overall text complexity cannot be determined. 

      • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, which has a Lexile level of 560L. The text has a moderate qualitative complexity. The associated task is complex. The overall text complexity is complex. 

    • The texts students listen to in Unit 11 range in Lexile level from AD460L-550L Lexile Level. In this unit, students read texts in the 70L-330L Lexile range. The qualitative complexity ranges from low to high complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate tasks. In Unit 11, students spend time on questions that focus on comprehension strategies such as asking and answering questions, making connections, predicting/confirming, summarizing, and clarifying. Some of the texts in this unit include:

      • Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell, which has a Lexile level of AD540L. The materials present the text as a read aloud within the materials with no pictures, but the actual text is not presented to students. Due to this, the qualitative measures are low complexity. The associated task is low complexity. The overall text complexity is low.  

      • Chameleon’s Colors by Chisato Tashiro, which has a Lexile level of AD540L. The text has a moderate qualitative complexity. The reader and task demands are low and complex. The overall complexity is moderate. 

      • Seymour Simon’s Colors in Nature by Seymour Simon, which has a Lexile of NC550L and a high level of qualitative complexity. The associated tasks are moderate. The overall text complexity is moderate. 

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

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students listen to Snow White and Red Rose, by Brothers Grimm retold by Daniell Munn, which has no Lexile level. In this Unit, the teacher simply models. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students listen to Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji, which has no Lexile level. In this unit, the teacher shifts from modeling to modeling and prompting. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 3, students listen to Seymour Simon’s Colors in Nature by Seymour Simon and Liz Nealon, which has a Lexile of NC550L. The teacher no longer models, and instead, prompts the students by asking questions during the read aloud.

Indicator 1e

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

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations of Indicator 1e.

In the Kindergarten materials, students have the opportunity to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year. Students engage with Big Books (66 total in Kindergarten), First Readers in the last three units, and Teacher Read-Alouds that begin each unit. Each unit begins with a selection that is read aloud by the teacher to introduce the unit theme. In each unit, there are Big Books that are used for read-alouds, where the teacher models comprehension strategies. The selections incorporate a variety of genres. Students listen to the Big Books several times for different purposes, including applying comprehension strategies, identifying elements of the writer’s craft, and practicing fluency. In Unit 10, students are introduced to First Readers, where students begin reading texts on their own. While the curriculum provides various opportunities for students to interact with read-alouds, a routine for independent reading is not included. The materials provide a Home Connection letter for each lesson and an instructional routine for reading a text, but there is no system for scheduling independent reading or tracking independent reading. 

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

    • In Unit 1, the read-alouds include a variety of genres, including realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry, and informational texts. Some examples of texts include The One with the Freckles by Brena A Ferber and Kids Rule at School by John Russell. 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2 students interact with three texts within a five-day span. The texts are all different genres and are Big Book read-alouds. The texts are “Push and Pull”, a poem by Kay Davis, The Little Green Engine, a fantasy by Karen E. Martin, and “How We Move” a poem by William Vega.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, students interact with three big books within a five-day span. The texts vary in genre and text structure. These texts include Famous Faces Carved in Stone, an informational text by Fredrick Nelson, A Feathered Friend, a narrative nonfiction by Phillip Frederick, and “President Me?”, a poem by Nicole Hatfield.

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

    • Teachers use Big Books to model comprehension strategies. In Units 10-12, in addition to using Big Books, students transition to using a First Reader, which allows students to read on their own. This allows students to practice “all of their comprehension strategies and skills in a book on their own''. 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students listen to  Hail: Ice from  the Sky by Cynthia Light Brown. Then the teacher introduces the Big Book, Weather Measures by Yvonne Morrison and the students listen to the text three times for a variety of purposes including comprehension strategies, print directionality, and discussing author’s writing strategies.

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, students listen to How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons. Students listen to the text three times for a variety of purposes including focusing on print directionality, comprehension strategies, and classifying and organizing information. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, students read the First Reader text “A Feathered Friend” (no author). For the first read the students read a short section and then respond to comprehension/skill prompts. After the first read, the teacher frames the second read with complex text skills and students reread in order to analyze the text. 

    • No evidence is found for students to engage with texts in small groups.

There is no teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers. There is no proposed schedule for independent reading or a system to track independent reading. The texts are not organized with built-in supports to foster independence and there are no independent reading procedures included in the lessons.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

10/16
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Criterion Rating Details

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

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

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria of Indicator 1f.

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

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, after listening to The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, students answer the question, “Did you feel like Chester Racoon before you started school? Why or Why not?”

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, after listening to Beauty and the Beast by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, retold by Kate Bernard, students respond to questions such as, “How would the story be different if one of the older sisters went to stay with the Beast? Would it end happily? Why or why not?”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, after hearing Pushes and Pulls: The Little Green Engine by Karen E. Martin, students are asked, “Why do you think the little green engine could pull the heavy train?” 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, after listening to Our Earth, Our Home by Kiya Fischer, students answer the questions, “Why is it important to think of Earth as our home? What natural resource do you enjoy most?”

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, after listening to Emma’s Walk by Charles Bell, students respond to the questions, “Does Grandma think the writers, artists, performers, and musicians are important? Why or why not?”

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, after hearing Turtle Beach by Hannah Greer, students are asked, “Do you think the turtles will come back to lay their own eggs on the beach? Why or why not?”

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, after listening to the poem “Family Rules” by Jean McKeegan, the teacher asks, “What questions do you have after reading the first stanza of the poem? Look at the illustration. Does it help answer any of your questions?”

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, after listening to My Colors, My World Mis colores, mi mundo by Maya Christina Gonzalez, students are asked, “Which illustrations showed the colors around the girl best? Why do you think so? How would the colors change if the girl lived in a different place?”

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, after listening to Little Cloud by Eric Carle, the teacher asks, “What happened after Little Cloud turned into the clown?”

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

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

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, after listening to Day and Night in the Desert by the Editors of Click Magazine, students are asked, “Which desert animal did you like best? Why? (DOK 3)”

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, after listening to George’s Rules adapted by Andrew Short,the teacher asks, “Which rule is the hardest one to follow for you? Why? (DOK 3)”

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

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, after listening to The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm, retold by Emily Greggs and Bethany Martin, students are asked, “How did the elves’ kindness help the shoemaker? Possible Answer: Each day, the shoemaker was able to buy more leather than he had bought the day before because of the money he made from the shoes.” 

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, after listening to George’s Rules adapted by Andrew Short, the teacher asks, “Which rules do you see illustrated? Possible Answer: I see the boy looking sad on page 29. That illustration goes with the rules ‘Be serious when it is time. It is sometimes right to be blue’.”

Indicator 1g

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria of Indicator 1g.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Discuss the Selection occurs after the first read for each text. This is sometimes accompanied with Teacher Tips, which may include think-pair-share or sentence starters. 

    • In Reading the Selection, there is a discussion procedure for before, during, and after reading. For after reading, it states, “Have students discuss the selection, make connections to other selections in the unit as well as to selections in other units, discuss what new information they learned.”

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

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

    • In the Program Overview, it states what is expected of both listeners and speakers. The teacher is expected to model behaviors, and rubrics are shared so that students know what teachers are looking for.

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

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

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, students discuss the text My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth. The Teacher Edition suggests that students engage in a think-pair-share, and to “give students time for processing ideas. Have students think about responses for a brief, designated amount of time.”

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, students discuss the text Abraham Lincoln: A Man for all the People by Myra Cohn Livingston. Before beginning the discussion, the Teacher Edition tells teachers to remind students about important speaking and listening habits such as, “Encourage students to listen to others and take turns speaking.... Remind students to speak loudly enough so that everyone can understand and to answer using complete sentences.”

Indicator 1h

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

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

  • Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through speaking and listening opportunities, though they are not varied. Some opportunities require students to discuss the text specifically, while other opportunities have students share personal experiences or opinions related to the text. Examples include: 

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, after listening to the poem “Kindergarten Rocks!” by Loris Lesynski, students are asked to discuss their favorite parts of the poem. Students respond to questions such as, “Do you think the activities listed in the poem are fun? What are your favorite things to do in kindergarten?”

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, students discuss the text Wild Rides by Michael Coine. Students first draw a picture of a ride they would like to go on. During the discussion, students share their drawings, describe the movement of the ride, and talk about different ways things move. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, after listening to What Green Beans Need by Carol Elliot, students are asked, “Where do vegetables, like green beans, come from?” and then students name as many vegetables as they can. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, for the Theme Wrap-Up and Review, students meet in small groups based on their favorite selection from the unit. Students retell the text and explain why they liked it. Students then identify what they learned about animal habitats from the selections and how the text features helped them understand the texts. After the small group discussion, each group shares out to the entire class and the other students ask questions in order to clarify or gather additional information. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, after listening to the poem “Red, Yellow, and Blue by Joseph Phelan, students discuss their favorite part of the selection. The teacher reminds students to speak loudly enough so that everyone can understand and to answer using complete sentences. 

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

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, after listening to Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji, students are asked to discuss their favorite parts of the selection. Students answer specific questions such as, “What kind of plant would you like to see at a botanical garden? Why? Which fable did you like best? Why?”

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, students discuss the setting in Obey the Law! by Albert Carangelo. The students look at the illustration and then discuss, “What details about police officers can you learn from the illustration?” 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, the students discuss the main ideas and details of the text, The Shape of my Heart by Mark Sperring. Students respond to, “What details describe what that narrator, the person telling the story, loves?”

Indicator 1i

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials include opportunities for students to engage in process writing everyday in each unit. Students learn how to prewrite, draft, revise, edit, proofread, and publish or present. Materials include graphic organizers, routines, rubrics, and model texts to support process writing. However, materials include limited opportunities for students to engage in on-demand writing throughout the year.

  • Materials include limited on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. An example of one on-demand writing opportunity follows:

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students dictate sentences to tell the beginning, middle, and end of a make-believe story and then illustrate the story. 

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students begin brainstorming topics for a list of rules for working together. They then revise the classroom rules list and learn about presenting and sharing writing. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, students begin prewriting by drawing a picture to show their opinions about which characters show the most kindness in stories from the Anthology Let’s Be Kind (no author).

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students describe a place, and on Day 4, they draft pictures for their descriptions. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students work on drafting a persuasive poster explaining which animal is the best animal to have for a pet. 

    • In Unit 6, students write a story with a beginning, middle, and an end, connected to the theme Our Country, Our Cultures

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students write a make-believe story. On Day 1, students prewrite. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, students write a report. On Day 3, students use a checklist to edit their report.

    • In Unit 12, students write a humorous rhyming poem. They begin by brainstorming ideas and rhyming words for the poem, and then draft the poem. Students then revise and edit the poem before publishing it and sharing it with the class. 

  • Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided. In each unit, students engage in process writing and are explicitly taught revising and editing. Examples include:

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, students write a poem and then revise and edit with a peer, looking for “spacing between words, capital letters at the beginning of sentences, and end punctuation.”

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, students revise their book review. On Day 2, they meet in groups to evaluate the reasons they have included to support their opinions and then revise their writing. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, the teacher circulates to support students revising their sentences. The teacher reads the items on the revising checklist and students dictate changes they want to make. 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, students edit an opinion piece. On Day 3, students use a checklist to edit for correct spacing, capital letters, and periods at the end of sentences. 

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. Examples include:

    • In the ePresentation feature in the digital version, teachers have access to graphic organizers as well as revising and editing checklists, which can be presented to students. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students publish their story and it is suggested that the students dictate the story titles to the teacher so he/she can type them on the computer. 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, students use a computer to share their writing. Students either type or scan their writing before displaying it for the class to see.

Indicator 1j

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Throughout the year, students have opportunities to learn, practice, and apply different types of writing. Students write opinion, narrative (including poetry), and informative genres and a variety of types within the genre. Informational writing makes up the majority of writing time and accounts for nearly half of all finished pieces. At times, writing assignments are connected to the texts. The teacher may remind students about a text they have read, but there are limited opportunities for the teacher to analyze a text as an exemplar to help students develop their craft.

Materials provide opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing, but it does not reflect the distribution required by the standards.  Different genres/modes/types of writing are not evenly distributed throughout the school year. For example: 

  • Students have opportunities to engage in opinion writing at the beginning, middle, and end of the year; however, opinion writing accounts for roughly 25% of the writing assignments. There is a variety of opinion writing including a persuasive poster and a book review. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, students write an opinion.

    • In Unit 5, students create a persuasive poster and write a book review. 

    • In Unit 9, students write an advertisement and write an opinion.

    • In Unit 10, students write an opinion. 

  • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. Informative/explanatory writing accounts for roughly 50% of the writing assignments. There are a variety of informative writing opportunities including a summary and a news story. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, students describe a person and a character.

    • In Unit 3, students describe a place and the weather. They draw weather that is different from the current weather. Students are encouraged to write a sentence to tell about their picture. 

    • In Unit 4, students write a news story about something interesting on the way to school.

    • In Unit 7, students write a summary and describe a planet. 

    • In Unit 8, students describe an animal and write a report.

    • In Unit 10, students describe a character.

    • In Unit 12, students describe patterns.

  • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. At the beginning of the year students write poems (Units 3, 4, and 6); however, narrative writing does not begin until Unit 6. They account for roughly 15% of the writing assignments and are found at the middle and end of the year. Examples include:

    • In Unit 6, students write a story. They engage in guided practice and brainstorm characters with their class. 

    • In Unit 7, students write a make-believe story.

    • In Unit 11, students write a make-believe story.

  • Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). The teacher refers to texts, but does not engage in an analysis of an exemplar text as a model. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students learn about describing a story character. Students spend a few days describing characters from books previously read, including Snow White, and students use the description words to draw illustrations that describe Snow White and dictate a sentence about her. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, students write a book review about a book from the unit. The teacher models using the book Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, students listen to The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and review the dialogue between characters. Then students include dialogue in their own writing.

Indicator 1k

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

While students in Kindergarten write daily, materials include limited opportunities for students to write using information from text. The majority of the writing opportunities are based on students’ personal experiences and are not text-based. There are no opportunities for students to respond to what they listen to over the course of the year. When students do have evidence-based writing opportunities, they are often about character traits or a book review of a favorite shared reading text. There are opportunities for evidence-based writing in the final Inquiry presentations, but these are not required by the materials.

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

    • Inquiry projects occur once per unit and are related to the topic of the shared readings. Students ask questions and recall concepts that are added to a class Concept/Question Board. At the end of the unit, students create a presentation of their learning. A final shared writing project is one of the options, but it is not required. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, after listening to The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, students brainstorm describing words about the character Chester. The students say the words and the teacher writes the describing words.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students look at a digital graphic and describe a plant. Students are told to think of a time they touched and smelled a plant and to include sensory words based on that experience in an Idea Web. 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, students describe a character as a written task. During the lesson, students recall familiar characters and practice telling character traits. When students begin writing, they create a new character. 

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

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, the students participate in shared writing. The teacher writes a character’s name in the left column and the students give examples of how the character shows kindness and the teacher adds it to the right column. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, students write book reviews about the best selection from Unit 5. They need to include what the selection is about and two reasons why they think it is the best. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, students write a summary about what plants can do. Students are asked to recall information they have learned so far in the unit as well as other books in order to help write the summary. 

    • In Unit 8, Lessons 2 and 3, after reading the Big Book “Animal Homes,” the students help the teacher complete an Idea Web about different animal homes. 

    • In Unit 9, Lessons 2 and 3, students discuss the rules in the book That’s Not Fair! Together with the teacher, students create a pros and cons chart and the teacher asks, “Are there any other pros or cons I should add from the story?”

    • In Unit 10, Lessons 2 and 3, after reading Vote for President by Dennis Fertig, students choose who would make the best president and explain what makes them a good leader.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

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

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

    • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher models how to make uppercase and lowercase Ss using the letter formation procedure. 

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 1, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher models how to make uppercase and lowercase Hh using the letter formation procedure.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 3, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher models how to make uppercase and lowercase Cc using the letter formation procedure.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 5, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher models how to make uppercase and lowercase Kk. Students write a line of uppercase K's and a line of lowercase k’s.

    •  Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher prompts students to share what other kinds of words can be nouns. During Guided Practice, the teacher helps students list nouns that are people.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher reminds students that nouns name people, animals, things, and places. The teacher provides clues, and the students name the word for the place.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage and Mechanics, the teacher explains that an action is called a verb. The teacher reads, “I run.” During Guided Practice, the teacher reads aloud a poem. Students identify the verbs in each line.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher models using a present-tense verb. In Guided Practice, students generate sentences about a picture. Students use present-tense verbs in their sentences.

    • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher points to a picture of a boy and writes boy on the board. The teacher puts the numeral 1 next to the word boy. The teacher has two boys stand in front of the class and demonstrates adding an s to boy. Students participate in guided practice to make other nouns plural, such as clock.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher points to the word fox and states, “I see one fox. If there were more than one fox, I’d say something like ``I see two foxes’.” The teacher writes foxes on the board and underlines the -es. The teacher explains when -es is added to nouns. The teacher models adding -es to dish, couch, and fox. Students participate in guided practice.

    • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains an interrogative sentence and provides example words such as who what, where, why, how. The teacher reads three sentences, and the students identify which sentence asks a question. In Guided Practice, students listen to sentences and determine which sentence is a question sentence.

    •  Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with). 

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Warm Up, the teacher reminds students that prepositions are words such as through, in, bedside, and on. The teacher has students stand in a line. The teacher gives the directions, “Sit in the chair.” After completing the action, students identify the preposition.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher models a book’s position and states, “Where is the book? It is in the drawer.” The teacher writes prepositions on the board. During Guided Practice, students share prepositions about a character in a set of pictures.

    • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Review Vocabulary, the teacher asks the following questions, “What is another word for photograph? Where do you think Alex had a freckle?” Students are to answer in complete sentences.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, the teacher introduces students to the idea of a sentence. The teacher states a simple sentence,  “The walls are green.” The teacher explains that a sentence names something and tells about the something. The teacher repeats the sentence and asks students if it is a complete sentence. The teacher speaks aloud other sentences and phrases. Students provide a thumbs up or thumbs down to show if the spoken words are a sentence.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher states three sentences out of order. The teacher models using order words (first, next, last). In Guided Practice, students help put sentences in order and add order words.

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher models making a sentence using words and pictures. In Guided Practice, students create sentences using words and pictures.

    • Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains that capital letters show where a new sentence starts. The students come up to the board and identify initial capital letters.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher points out that sentences have an end mark. The teacher writes a declarative sentence without the capital letter at the beginning and without the period at the end. Students identify what is missing.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, Day 1, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher explains that the pronoun I is always capitalized. The students suggest sentences that include the I. Students write the capital I.

    •  Recognize and name end punctuation.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 2, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, Guided Practice, students identify that a sentence is missing ending punctuation.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 5, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics, the teacher demonstrates writing a complete sentence with ending punctuation. The students complete Skills Practice I, which requires students to add ending punctuation.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 4, Close Reading, the teacher asks questions about exclamatory sentences. “Where do we find an exclamation point on page 26? What does an exclamation point tell the reader? How do we read the last sentence on page 26?” The teacher asks questions about interrogative sentences. “What punctuation is at the end of an interrogative sentence? What interrogative sentences does the author write?”

    • Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher names pictures. Students write s if the word for the picture starts with /s/. 

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 3, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher names pairs of pictures. Students write t under the picture that starts with /t/.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 1, Penmanship/Handwriting, the teacher reviews pictures and asks students if the picture begins with /b/. The students write b if the picture starts with /b/.

    • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 5, Phonics, the teacher gives students Letter Cards (i, d, n, k, w). The teacher says the word wind. The teacher asks students what sounds they hear one by one. Students place the Letter Cards in order to build wind.

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics, the teacher gives students Letter Cards (a, m, p, s, s, t). The teacher says the word mats. The teacher asks students what sound they hear one by one. Students place the Letter Cards in order to build mats.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 1, Phonics, the teacher gives students Letter Cards (o, m, p, s, t). The teacher says the word post. The teacher asks students what sounds they hear one by one. Students place the Letter Cardsin order to build post.

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

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, Day 1, Print and Book Awareness, the students look at a text and point to and name the capital letters. Students explain why the letters are capitalized at the beginning of the sentences.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 2, Comprehension Strategies, the teacher reminds students that asking and answering questions helps the reader think about the text. The teacher asks students for examples of question words.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 2, Discuss the Selection, the teacher asks questions about the text, and students answer using complete sentences.

Indicator 1m

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Vocabulary routines occur frequently and routinely throughout the year; however, vocabulary words are not repeated across multiple texts. Students may interact with words before, during, and/or after reading. Vocabulary words are essential to understanding the text and comprehension questions often include the vocabulary words.

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

    • Routine 9 is the Selection Vocabulary Routine, which consists of three steps in Kindergarten-- develop, practice, and review. One of these three stages occurs with every reading of a text. 

    • According to the Program Overview, before reading a selection, the teacher orally introduces the definitions of vocabulary words that are essential to understanding the story and gives examples. Students use the words in sentences. 

    • According to the Program Overview, during reading, students monitor their understanding of words and texts; however, there are no lessons that provide instruction for students in this process. 

    • According to the Program Overview, after reading, the teacher introduces the remaining vocabulary words. 

    • Vocabulary instruction occurs in Foundational Skills, Reading and Responding, and Language Arts. During Reading and Responding, vocabulary words are selected to help students understand the text.

  • Vocabulary is repeated in context, yet it is not repeated across multiple texts.Vocabulary words are previewed, reviewed, and practiced across multiple days using the same texts or in the absence of texts. However, the vocabulary words are not found across multiple texts. Additional words are added on each day. For example:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 2, the students are introduced to the vocabulary words colorful, secretary, counselor, and problem. On Day 3, before reading the text, students complete a practice vocabulary activity where they fill in the blank of a sentence with appropriate vocabulary words. 

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 1, the vocabulary word inviting is introduced and students are asked to find it in the text Kindness Is by Patrick Murphy. On Day 2, three additional words from the selection Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm are taught, hearth, expect, and piece. On Day 3, the words are reviewed and students also learn the words withered, fellow, and accusingly. On Day 4, students practice these words and add the word helping from the text Kindness Goes by Many Names by Tanya Anderson; however, the words introduced on previous days are not found in this text. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 2, before reading, students learn the words define and exchange. In Lesson 1, Day 4, students review the vocabulary words from Day 3 (other, decoration, filled and seals). On Day 5, students review additional words from Days 3 and 4 (hold, cracks, teach, tradition, other, decoration, filled and sealed). 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1 , Day 2, the teacher explains the words adapt and balance and then during reading, the teacher asks questions such as, “What does the author mean when he writes ‘to adapt to each other’?” Then after the reading, the teacher asks questions such as, “What in this selection is out of balance without rainforests?” 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 2, the vocabulary words shed and sieve are introduced in the read-aloud The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. These words are not featured in any other story selection this week.

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students learn the words freckle and photograph and while listening to the text The One with the Freckles by Brenda A. Ferber. Students are asked, “What does Alex mean when he says, ‘I’m the one with the freckle?’” and “What does Alex mean by ‘one photograph of me’?” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, students learn the words define and exchange. While listening to Cultures and Holidays Around the World by Pam Conrad, students are asked, “What does the author mean when she writes ‘people define the way they live’?” and “What does the author mean by ‘exchanging gifts’?”. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students review the vocabulary words packet and fertilizers and then respond to questions such as, “What in this story is in a packet? What in this story fertilizes the soil and gives the plants the food they need?” 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 3 students learn that “the word ‘sport’ means to wear.” Students then look at this word on page 44 of their text and the teacher asks, “What helps you understand that the word sport means ‘to wear?”.

Criterion 1n - 1s

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

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Criterion Rating Details

Materials include a research-based synthetic approach to teaching foundational skills. Explicit instruction in all phonological and phonics standards is included in the materials; however, there is a lack of encoding practice for both newly taught phonics skills and high frequency words. Materials include decodables aligned to the scope and sequence of phonics and high frequency word instruction. Materials include instruction in print concepts with opportunities for student practice using a variety of physical books. Materials include instruction in 50 high-frequency words; however, students do not have opportunities to spell the high-frequency words. Automaticity is practiced through the use of the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine and the Whole-Word Blending Routine. Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills; however, teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits is lacking. Materials guide teachers in scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level. Additionally, English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use.

Indicator 1n

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

Indicator 1n.i

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

The instructional materials provide teachers with systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds, and spoken words. Teachers can access videos in the professional learning section in the menu for examples on instruction in syllables, sounds (phonemes), and spoken words called for in grade-level standards along with written examples in the Teacher Edition. Materials include explicit instructional routines for Sound-by-Sound Blending, Word Building, Whole-Word Blending, and Blending Sentences which are used frequently throughout the unit lessons. Sound/Letter cards are used for many activities. Additionally, routines are consistent for introducing each new sound pattern, and students can hear, say, encode, and read each pattern within the same lesson.

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

    • Recognize and produce rhyming words.

      • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 2, Oral Language, the teacher explains that rhyming words are words with the same sounds at the end. Materials provide examples of rhyming words, such as blue and two

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 1, the materials provide the teacher with pocket chart picture cards that rhyme, including goose/juice, bee/tree, cat/hat, and the teacher displays the cards in the pocket chart and says a sentence with each rhyming pair.

    • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 4, Phonemic Awareness, Word Part Blending, the teacher explains to students that they must learn to listen carefully to how words sound as they learn to read and write. The teacher tells them they will play a listening game. The teacher says a word in two parts, and the students listen carefully and tell what the word is. Using the dinosaur puppet, the teacher says, “dino...saur” “What’s the word?” Puppet: “dinosaur

      • In Unit 5, Day 1, Lesson 2, Warm Up, Syllable Segmentation, the teacher says a student’s name syllable by syllable and says the name again, clapping out the syllables announcing the number of syllables in the name (ex. Madison- Mad...i...son - three, Jacob-Ja...cob, two. 

    • Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonological Awareness, Orally Blend Onset and Rime, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to tell students he wants to play a new blending game. Materials describe the game, “You will say the beginning of a word and the puppet will say the end. Tell students to listen carefully because sometimes the first part of the word will only be one sound. Teacher /s/, Puppet - ad. “What’s the word? Everyone- sad. Do this with the list of words provided.”

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness, Oral Segmenting Onset and Rime, using the Lion Puppet, the teacher tells the students that they will play a new game. The materials explain that the puppet will say the word sack, and the students will repeat the word. The teacher says the first part of the word (/s/), and the students repeat the first part. Then the teacher says the last part of the word /ack/, and the students repeat the last part. The puppet then changes the first part of the word, and the students repeat the new word. 

    • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Matching - Initial Sounds, the teacher tells the students they will play a game in which they try to find two words that begin with the same sound. “Explain that you want them to listen closely as you say pairs of words and to give a thumbs-up signal if a pair of words begin with the same sound and the thumbs-down signal if the words do not begin with the same sound. Then they should say the beginning sound if it is the same. Try these word pairs: happy, hurry /h/.”

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 1. Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation- Final Sounds, the teacher says the words laugh, half, proof. The teacher tells the students that these words end with the same /f/ sound. The teacher says the words again, stretching out the final sound. 

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 2, Phonemic Awareness Phoneme Segmentation, Tape the Pocket Chart Picture Card 58 (picture of a gate) onto the board. Materials state, “Beneath the picture, draw three connected boxes. Have ready several sticky notes. Point to each box, from left to right, and tell students each box stands for a sound in the word. Use the following procedure to isolate and pronounce each sound in the word: Teacher: What is the name of the picture? Everyone: gate Teacher: What is the first sound you hear in the word gate? Everyone: /g/ Place a sticky note in the first box as everyone says /g/. Continue the procedure guiding students to isolate and pronounce the medial vowel and final consonant sounds.”

    • Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.

      • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonemic Awareness Phoneme Substitution: Initial Sounds, the Lion Puppet tells the students he wants to teach them something new. The puppet says a word and a new beginning sound, and the puppet wants them to use the sound to make a new word from the old one. “Say the word hill. Have students repeat the word hill. Then say /m/, and ask students what word they make when they replace the first sound in hill with /m/. mill Continue changing the initial phonemes to /s/ and /p/, sill, and pill.”

      • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, Day 5, Phonemic Awareness Phoneme Addition: Internal Sounds, the Lion Puppet tells students he wants to play a new game. He explains that students will add a sound to a word to make a new word for this game. The lion says a word, and students repeat the word. The lion says a sound and tells where he wants the sound to be added to the word. Then, everyone says the new word.

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

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

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

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

    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. Examples include:

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of s, explicitly stating, “The sound of the letter Ss is /s/. The word sausages starts with /s/.” The teacher continues the lesson by pointing to the alphabet card and saying /s/ repeatedly.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 3, the teacher introduces the sound of m, explicitly stating “The sound of the letter Mm is /m/. The word monkey starts with /m/” and points to the letter card Mm, repeatedly saying the sound /m/. 

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 4, Alphabetic Principle, Listening for /kw/, each student gets Letter Card Qq. Students say /kw/ as they take their cards. The teacher says a word, and students listen for /kw/ in the word. If they hear /kw/, they hold up the Qq card when given the signal. Words include quit, quake, package, carrot, lotion, queen, mission, quill, quaint, watch, quintet, quick.

    • Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels. Examples include:

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 3, Day 4, Alphabetic Principle, Alphabet Sound Card Short Ii is displayed. Students tell what they remember about Giggles the Pig. The teacher plays the sound, then the story. Students join in with “/i/ /i/ /i/ /i/ /i/.” 

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 5, the teacher introduces blending long /a/ words spelled a_e. The teacher writes the word cap and guides students to blend the word. The teacher writes the word cape and asks students to blend the word, underscoring the a_e pattern in the word cape.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 5, the teacher introduces blending long /i/ words spelled i_e. The teacher writes the word hid and guides students to blend the word. The teacher writes the word hide and asks students to blend the word, underscoring the i_e pattern in the word hide.

      • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, Day 5, Phonics, the teacher uses Routine 6, the Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Routine 7, the Sentence Blending Routine, for this activity. Before working with the word lines, the teacher points to Alphabet Sound Cards Long Aa, Short Ee, Long Ee, Short Uu, Bb, Gg, Ll, Nn, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, Vv, and Ww and reviews the sound and the letter for each card. Students then blend these words and one sentence: beg, best, Steve, even, gave, brave, rewet, and replug; He gave Steve his best.

    • Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ. Examples include:

      • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 3, Alphabetic Principle, Blending, the students blend the word land using the sound-by-sound blending routine. Then, they change the l to s, making the word sand. The students blend and read the new word. The teacher focuses on each sound individually before helping students to blend the sounds. 

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 3, Alphabetic Principle, Blending, the students blend the word rip using the sound-by-sound blending routine. Then, they change the r to s to make the word sip. The students blend and read the new word and use each word in a sentence to show the different meanings. This is continued with run/fun, load/road, rain/pain, night/right/, and peach/reach.

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

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of /h/. The teacher asks students to listen for the /h/ sound in a poem read aloud. The teacher asks the students to make the sound of the /h/ several times. The lesson progresses with the teacher saying a word and asking students to hold up their Hh card if they hear the word starts with the /h/. The teacher points to a pair of words, with only one starting with the letter h, and asks students which word starts with the sound /h/ and how they know it begins with the sound /h/. The teacher guides students on a workbook page, asking students to write the letter h if the picture begins with the sound /h/. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the sound of /j/. The teacher asks students to listen for the /j/ sound in a poem read aloud. The teacher asks the students to make the sound of the /j/ several times. The lesson progresses with the teacher saying a word and asking students to hold up their Jj card if they hear the word starts with the /j/. The teacher points to a pair of words, with only one starting with the letter j, and asks students which word starts with the sound /j/ and how they know it begins with the sound /j/. The teacher guides students on a workbook page, asking students to write the letter j if the picture begins with the sound /j/.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics, Building and Reading Words, each student is given the a, m, p, s (2), and t Letter Cards. They place all the cards in a row at the top of their desk. The teacher follows Routine 5, the Word Building Routine, to complete this activity. The teacher says mats and then uses the word in a sentence. The students say the word and then tell the first sound they hear in the word mats. The students check the Alphabet Sound Card and tell which letter says /m/. The teacher points to Alphabet Sound Card Mm. and has students pull down Letter Card m. The students tell what sound they hear next in mats. They check the Alphabet Sound Card and tell which letter says /a/. The teacher points to Alphabet Sound Card Short Aa, and the students pull down Letter Card a. The teacher uses the same procedure to have students identify the final two sounds in mats, checking the Alphabet Sound Cards and then pulling down Letter Cards t and s. The teacher displays mats and has students proofread their words, correcting their spelling if necessary.

Indicator 1n.ii

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials explain the phonological awareness skills hierarchy in the Program Overview. The included research document, “Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading,” delineates a phonemic awareness sequence of instruction and practice for the expected hierarchy of phonemic awareness competence. The Appendix has a detailed Phonemic Awareness Scope and Sequence. The materials contain phonological awareness activities consistently through each five-day instructional sequence, and the materials use routines to introduce new concepts. Students have ample opportunities to orally practice blending onset and rimes and use elkonin boxes to practice naming individual phonemes. Materials include various multimodal and multisensory approaches to student practice, such as e-learning activities, magnetic boards, and oral practice.

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

    • The Course Map indicates that Phonological and Phonemic Awareness begins on the eleventh day of school in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, and continues in every lesson through the entire K level (Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 5).

    • The Unit Planner on the first pages of each unit provides a cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness. On page 37, the Unit Planner indicates the following order of Phonemic Awareness skills: for Lesson 1: Listening for Sounds; Rhythm on Days 1, 2, & 3. On Day 4, it moves to Listening for First and Last Sounds; Rhythm. Day 5 builds to Listening for First, Middle, and Last Missing Sound; Rhyme.

    • In Unit 7, Unit Planner, a scope and sequence highlights a progression from phoneme blending, phoneme segmentation of initial sounds, and phoneme manipulation of initial sounds.

    • In Unit 10, Unit Planner, there is a scope and sequence that highlights a progression from phoneme deletion, segmentation, addition, substitution of initial, internal, and final sounds. 

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

    • In the Teacher Edition, Supporting Research, “Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading,” page 8, states that, Thus, effective phonological awareness instruction for kindergarten and first-grade students follows a sequence of difficulty that begins with larger linguistic units—sentences, words, and syllables— and progresses through onsets and rimes to the smallest linguistic unit—phonemes or individual sounds.” 

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, Teacher Tip, Onset and Rime: “An onset is the initial consonant(s) sound of a syllable. The onset of big is /b/, and the onset of stop is /st/. A rime is the part of a syllable that contains the vowel and all that follows it. The rime of big is -ig, and the rime of stop is -op. Now that students have learned that spoken words can be broken down into syllables, they are ready to learn that even syllables can be broken down into smaller pieces of sound. With this activity, they will begin to blend one-syllable words from the onsets and rimes.”

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

    • In Unit 1 eActivity, Lesson 1, Foundational Skills Blending, the students listen to a word and drag a red marker for each sound they hear.

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonological Awareness, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to guide students through orally blending words together. The puppet says the first consonant sound(s) and then the ending of the word. The teacher asks students to orally blend the parts of the word (e.g.,/pl/….ay play).

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 1, Phonological Awareness, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to say the first part of a word, and the teacher says the final sound. The teacher asks the students to blend both parts of the word orally. 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 2, Phoneme Matching: Initial Sounds use Pocket Chart Picture Cards 57—frog, 132—top, and 55—fish. The students say the name for each picture. The directions state, “Display the Pocket Chart Picture Cards in a row, and then ask a student to point to and say the names for the two pictures that begin with the same sound. Have the student hold up the two Pocket Chart Picture Cards that she or he has named. Have the class repeat the names and the sound. For the example cards, students should say frog, fish, /f/.”

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

    • The Course Map indicates that Phonological and Phonemic Awareness begins on the eleventh day of school in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, and continues in every lesson through the entire K level (Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 5).

    • In the Teacher Edition, Unit 1-12, Unit Plan, every lesson begins with a phonological or phonemic awareness activity.

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

  • Materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern. Examples include:

    • Recognize and produce rhyming words.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of three to five opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 3-12. In Units 1-2, there are eight to twenty-six practice opportunities.

        • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 2, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, Substituting Words in Rhymes, students practice substituting words in rhymes.

        • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, Day 5, Warm Up, Oral Language, students practice producing rhyming words.

    • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of two to nine opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 2-9. 

        • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 5, Phonological Awareness, Phoneme Blending: Final Sounds, students practice phoneme blending of final sounds.

        • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up, Syllable Segmentation, the teacher says a word and claps the syllables. Students tell how many syllables the word has.

        • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 3, the Pickled Peppers Big Book is turned to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Students sing the song. The teacher says the words from the song, and students clap out the syllables of each word and then tell how many syllables they heard. The class repeats the words, stressing each syllable and repeating until they can blend the words smoothly.

        • In Unit 10, Lesson 2, Day 3, Warm Up, Phoneme Blending: Initial Sounds, students practice phoneme blending of initial sounds.

    • Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of one to seven opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 3-12.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1-3, students practice oral blending of onset and rime.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 2, the teacher explains to the students that they will say the beginning of a word, and the puppet will say the end. The teacher repeats the process for ten single-syllable words and has the students blend the onset and rime and say the whole word.

    • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of three to five opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 3-12. The range in Units 1-2 is eight to 26 practice opportunities.

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 2, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Matching: Initial Sounds, students practice phoneme segmentation initial sounds.

      • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, Day 4, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Segmentation: Final Sounds, students practice phoneme segmentation final sounds.

      • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher draws boxes beneath picture cards, one box for each sound. The teacher has the students “name the picture, and then pronounce the isolated initial, medial vowel, and final sounds” in three-phoneme words/pictures.

    • Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.

      • In the Common Core Standards Correlation, there is a range of seven to 20 opportunities per unit for student practice in Units 9-12. 

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up, Phoneme Manipulation: Initial Sounds, students practice phoneme manipulation of initial sounds.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, Day 5, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme Manipulation: Final Sounds, students practice phoneme manipulation of final sounds.

      • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 1, Warm Up, the teacher uses the Lion Puppet to substitute medial vowel sounds by modeling with switching the /a/ in bake to /e/ and asks the students to substitute the medial vowel sound in four additional long vowels, single-syllable words.

Indicator 1n.iii

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

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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include the research report, Foundational Skills: Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading, which provides a clear, evidence-based rationale for phonics instruction and the progression of skills. Also, the Unit Planner for each unit provides a cohesive scope and sequence for phonics instruction based on the evidence-based rationale in the research report. Patterns and generalizations are presented and then reviewed for students to learn a manageable number of phonics patterns to learn deeply. There are lessons that provide students with frequent opportunities to decode phonetically spelled words, read complete words, and review previously taught grade-level phonics daily through word-building routines, phoneme blending activities, oral language warm-ups. There are numerous activities to decode words at the phoneme level and read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills through the use of the Whole-Word Blending Routine and Sentence-Blending routine when working with Alphabet Sound Cards, letter cards, and word lists/sentences from the ePresentation Resources. Students have frequent opportunities to decode words in sentences through materials in the ePresentation resources, PreDecodables, Core Decodables, Practice Decodables, and Skills Practice Pages. The materials include explicit, systematic teacher-level instruction of modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters in writing tasks. The teacher models how to form the letter, reviews the Alphabet Sound Card, and the sound the letter makes. The teacher references and reminds students to use the Alphabet Sound Cards when writing words and thinking through the letter/sound correspondence. Students have some phonics activities as they encode words into sentences or phrases through penmanship/handwriting and Student Skills Pages at the letter/sound level; however, on some Student Skills Pages, students write the word that completes each sentence, but the students choose from a set of words and do not encode the word independently.

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics Building and Reading Words, the teacher gives each student the a, m, p, s (2), and t Letter Cards. The teacher follows Instructional Routine 5, Word Building Routine, to complete this activity. The teacher says, “We sit on mats.” The students say the word and tell the first sound they hear in the word mats. /m/ They check the Alphabet Sound Card and tell which letter says /m/. Students then pull down Letter Card Mm and say what sound they hear next in mats. /a/ The teacher uses the same procedure to have students identify the final two sounds. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 5, Alphabetic Principle, Blending Words with Long Aa, the students begin blending with /ā/ written a_e. The teacher writes a_e on the board and the word cap. Students blend the word using Routine 3, the Sound-by-Sound Blending Routine. /k/ /a/ /p/ . The teacher writes the letter c next to cap. Students say the letter’s sound. The teacher writes a_e, making sure to underscore the blank between the letters a and e. The class says the sound of a_e. If necessary, the teacher reminds students that a_e says /ā/. The teacher blends the sounds with students and points to the blank between a and e, and tells students they need another letter to make a word. The teacher writes p in the blank. Students say the letter’s sound /p/and then blend the word. Students read both words on the board (cap, cape). 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, Day 1, Phonics Blending, the teacher uses Instructional Routine 6, Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Instructional Routine 7, Sentence-Blending Routine, for this activity. The teacher points to Alphabet Sound Cards Cc, Gg, Jj, Ll, Mm, Nn, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, and short Uu. They review the sound and the letter for each card. Using the ePresentation Resources, the teacher displays the word run. Students sound out /r/, then /u/, then /n/ and use the blending motion to blend all three sounds, and say the word run. The teacher repeats the routine with the words jump, plug, and plus. They repeat the routine with the words just and unjust

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

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 1, Alphabetic Principle, Building and Reading Words, students engage in the Word Building Routine in which they read the complete word they spelled and proofread for spelling.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 5, Phonics Blending, the teacher uses Instructional Routine 6, Whole-Word Blending Routine, and Instructional Routine 7, Sentence Blending Routine, for this activity. The teacher displays the word zap from the ePresentation Resources, and students sound out /z/, then /a/, then /p/. They use the blending motion to blend all three sounds, and students say the word zap. They repeat the routine with the words yap, yams, and flags. Students repeat the routine with the word size. They repeat the routine with the words nose, froze, and zone.

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

    • In the Teacher Edition, Instructional Routine 4, Reading a Decodable Routine, students read a page silently and then read the page aloud. Students apply their knowledge of spelling and syllabication patterns to blend decodable words. They refer to the Alphabet Sound Cards as necessary. They repeat this procedure for each page. After this reading, students respond to the story by discussing unfamiliar words, retelling the story,  and responding to questions by pointing to the answers in the text.

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 3, Day 5, Reading the Decodable, the teacher uses Instructional Routine 4, the Reading a Decodable Routine, for the procedure for reading the decodable book.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, Day 2, Guided Practice, the students complete Skills Practice page 205 for additional practice in blending and writing words. They read aloud each sentence, and students blend each word as much as necessary. Students write the word on the line before moving on to the next word.

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

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 1, the teacher gives the students individual letter cards and uses the Word Building Routine for the students to build the words cap and cape

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher gives the students individual letter cards and uses the Word Building Routine for the students to build the words: mats, maps, taps, pats, and stamps

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 3, Alphabetic Principle, Building and Reading Words, students engage in the Word Building Routine in which they use Alphabet Sound Cards to spell the words: moles, mold, told, and lone.

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

    • Sound cards are used to review letter names and sounds. 

    • Alphabet books are used to review letter names and sounds.

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

    • The Teacher Edition, Scope and Sequence for Sound and Spelling Introduction, indicates the sequence for introducing each consonant and vowel sound. The pattern introduces a sound as an initial sound, a final sound, and then a review of two or three sounds at a time. The sounds introduced correspond with the decodable words in a core and practice decodable book.

    • In Unit 3, Unit Planner, a scope and sequence highlights a progression of the following sounds with corresponding letters: s/s/, m/m/, d/d/, p/p/, and a/a/. The unit culminates with a review of all the sounds of the unit.

    • In Unit 6, Unit Planner, a scope and sequence highlights a progression of the following sounds: j/j/, f/f/, x/x/, z/z/, and u/u/. The unit culminates with a review of all the sounds of the unit.

    • In Unit 10, Unit Planner, Lesson 1, there is a scope and sequence that highlights a progression of the building and reading words with the following letters and sounds: a, m, p, s, t, d, n, i, b, c, r, u.

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

    • In the Teacher Edition, Resource Library, Foundational Skills: “Five Ways to Build the Cornerstone of Proficient Reading,” page 12, the materials state that “There is no single best sequence for introducing sounds and letters” but that the sequence “should begin with relationships that have high utility in making words” and “short vowels should be introduced gradually, followed by digraphs, inflectional endings and long vowels.”

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

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

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 2, Phonics, Guided Practice, the teacher guides students in completing Skills Practice page 190 for additional practice blending and writing words. The teacher says, “Listen as I read each sentence. Look at the picture. Blend and read each word. Circle the best word to fill the blank and then write the word on the line.” This is only a partial encoding activity and does not include sentences or phrases.

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, Day 5, Guided Practice, students complete Skills Practice pages 58–59 for additional practice writing the letters h and t and identifying initial /h/ and /t/. Some of the things in the pictures on page 58 begin with /h/, and some start with /t/. The teacher names each picture and asks students if it starts with /h/ or /t/. They write an h or a t to complete each word. This is only a partial encoding activity and does not include sentences or phrases.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, Day 3, students complete Skills Practice page 211 for additional practice in blending and writing words. The teacher reads aloud each sentence. Then students blend and read each word to the right of the sentences. Finally, students write the word that completes each sentence before moving on to the next word. This is only a partial encoding activity.

Indicator 1n.iv

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

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 1o

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for Indicator 1o.

The materials provide instruction for all 26 uppercase and lowercase letters. Letter identification is explicitly taught in Kindergarten Unit 1, Getting Started section and continues in the Alphabetic Knowledge and Alphabetic Principle sections of Units 1 - 9. Unit 1, including the Getting Started days, is completed in 25 days. The materials include both whole group and independent activities for students to identify, locate and name all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). During Warm Up, students identify letters on the Alphabet Sound Card and then look around the room to find labeled items that begin with their letter. There are Student Skill Practice pages for students to locate the letters of the day from the day’s learning. Students use The Alphabet Book to locate letters being taught for that day’s learning. The materials provide explicit instructional support for general concepts of print, including print carries meaning, reading left-to-right, and words are made of letters. The materials include a variety of physical books that are suitable for the teaching of print concepts including Big Books, Pre-Decodable Books, Core Decodable Books, and Core Pre-Decodable and Decodable Takehome books.

  • Materials provide students with frequent opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 1, Warm Up, Find the Words and Letters, the teacher assigns each student a letter and has the student identify their letter on the Alphabet Sound Card. Students look for and identify their letters on various classroom items. The teacher repeats the sequence for all letters Aa-Mm.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, Warm Up, The Alphabet, the teacher tells the students to name the letters as the teacher points to the card. The teacher repeats the sequence for all letters Nn-Zz.

  • Materials provide opportunities to engage in practice locating all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 4, Alphabetic Knowledge, Alphabet Book H, Skills Practice, page 4, students identify Gg by coloring them all one color and Hh by coloring them all a different color on a page full of boxes and letters.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 5, Warm Up, The Alphabet, students look for labels in the classroom that contain the letters Gg or Hh.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, Alphabetic Knowledge, Alphabet Book P, Skills Practice, page 10, students find and circle the letters Oo and Pp.

  • Materials provide opportunities to engage in naming all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson1, Day 1, Warm Up, The Alphabet, the teacher tells the students to name letters as the teacher points to the card.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, Warm Up, Letter Recognition, the teacher points to a letter on an Alphabet Sound Card, and students name the letter and stand up if it is an uppercase letter and sit down if it is a lowercase letter.

  • Materials contain isolated, systematic and explicit instruction for all 26 letters (recognize and name uppercase and lowercase). Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher displays the Aa and Bb sound cards. The lesson progresses from identifying uppercase and lowercase letters in student names, identifying differences in shapes between the uppercase and lowercase letters, and finding uppercase and lowercase letters Aa and Bb in an alphabet book.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 4, the teacher displays the Xx. Yy, and Zz sound cards. The lesson progresses from identifying uppercase and lowercase letters on the card, writing words on the board and having students identify the capital and lowercase letters, to students responding when they see Xx, Yy, or Zz in the corresponding alphabet book text. 

  • There is a defined sequence for letter instruction to be completed in a reasonable time frame over the school year. Examples include:

    • The Teacher Edition, Course Map, provides the sequence of instruction for letter names. All 26 letters are initially presented in Unit 1 in alphabetic order. Initial identification lessons teach 2-3 letters in one lesson. 

    • In the Teacher Edition, Scope and Sequence for Sound and Spelling Introduction shows letter instruction continues throughout Grade K in regard to the different positions the letter can be found in words. This can be found in the Alphabetic Knowledge section of Unit 1 and Unit 2 and then the Alphabetic Principle section of Units 3-9.

  • Materials include frequent and adequate tasks and questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g., follow words left-to-right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing, upper- and lowercase letters). Examples include:

    • Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.

      • In the Teacher Edition, Resources, TE Routines, Routine 1, Reading a Pre-Decodable, students learn that a book is read without stopping with the teacher moving a finger beneath the words and rebuses to show the progression of print. Students follow along as the teacher reads.

      • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 2, Print and Book Awareness, Pickled Peppers: The Mulberry Bush, the teacher displays the Big Book, Pickled Peppers, and reads with students, accentuating the repeated words and moving their fingers from left to right and top to bottom. 

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, Day 1, Print and Book Awareness, Peter Piper, the teacher reads the rhyme slowly, accentuating the rhyming words and moving their fingers from left to right under the words as they are read. The teacher reminds students to read from the left side of the page to the right side.

    • Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.

      • In Unit 1, Getting Started, Day 3, Environmental Print, The Alphabet, the teacher explains to students that words are made of letters. The teacher points to a few of the labeled items in the classroom and names the letters used to write the words. The teacher pronounces the entire word after naming the letters, moving a hand from left to right to track the text. 

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 1, Alphabetic Knowledge, Letter Order: Make a Word, the teacher writes the word map on the board in large lowercase letters and says the word, map. The teacher asks students, “Do you have the first letter in the word map as your Special Letter?” The student with the Special Letter m comes up and stands in front of the m written on the board. The student holds their letter so the class can see it. When students are in the correct order, the teacher says, “m-a-p spells map.” The students repeat spelling the word, m-a-p. The materials include a note to the teacher, “Though students have not yet attached the sound to their Special Letter, students can learn from this activity that the order of letters is very important to the spelling of words. Students will begin to understand how letters combine in a certain order to make words.” 

    • Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 5, Print and Book Awareness, Pickled Peppers, the teacher displays “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” and reads it aloud. The teacher draws students' attention to the rhyme's first line and points out that the line is the same as the rhyme's title. The teacher reads the line aloud, alternating pointing to the words in the title and in the first line. The teacher asks the students how many words are in the line and then has students count the words aloud as they are pointed to. The teacher points to the spaces between the words in the line and explains that in print, words are separated by spaces. The students count the number of spaces in the first line.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Lesson 1, Print and Book Awareness, Pickled Peppers, while working with familiar rhymes, the teacher reminds the students that words are separated by spaces. The teacher calls on volunteers to point first to the words, and then to the spaces before and after each word. The number of words and spaces is counted in the first line.

Indicator 1p

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials provide a limited purpose for reading. The purpose is primarily conducted through a picture walk and prediction before reading. The materials contain no explicit directions for the teacher to model how to engage a text to emphasize reading for a purpose. While students discuss illustrations, make predictions, and engage in text-to-self thinking, there is no evidence found that materials contain explicit directions and/or think-alouds for the teacher to model how to engage with a text to emphasize reading for purpose and understanding. The materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding through the use of Pre-Decodable and Decodable Books and the use of the Pickled Pepper Big Book and Pocket Chart Word Cards. Students utilize Routine 4: Reading a Decodable when engaging in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity. This routine is in Units 11 and 12 as the units before that focused on fluency and automaticity of letters, sounds, and phonological awareness skills based on the scope and sequence and Kindergarten expectations. The materials provide systematic instruction of high-frequency words with words introduced throughout the year. Although there are frequent opportunities for students to read the high-frequency words and many instances of teachers modeling the reading of the words, there are not frequent opportunities for the teacher to model spelling for the students. Teachers do not model the spelling as part of introducing high-frequency words. Students spell a high-frequency word with the teacher if it is in the sentence they are reading during Phonics Blending and Sentence Extension, and they spell by typing them in during eActivities. There is a sufficient number of high-frequency words in the Kindergarten materials.

  • Some opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read emergent-reader texts. Examples include:

    • Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, Reading a Pre-Decodable, students browse through the Pre-Decodable Book “The Zoo, look at the illustrations, and comment on what they see to make predictions about the story. After reading the book using the Reading a Pre-Decodable Routine, the teacher leads the students in a group discussion to discuss the characters and events in the illustrations. Students connect the story to any zoo experiences they may have had. They also name other animals at a zoo and tell what they know about them.

      • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 5, Reading a Pre-Decodable, students browse “Cal Can Bat” to look at illustrations to make predictions about the story. There is no purpose for reading.

      • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 5, Reading a Decodable, students browse the decodable book, “Kim and Sam, look at the illustrations, comment on what they see, and make predictions. Although they do make predictions, students are not given a purpose for reading this story.

      • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 5, Reading a Pre-Decodable, students browse “Cute Little Mule” to look at illustrations to make predictions about the story. The materials do not provide a purpose for reading.

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

    • In the Resource Library, Reading a Decodable Routine, Reread the Decodable includes partner reading, choral reading, and turn-taking, all of which are used to build fluency.

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

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

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 1, Teacher Tip, Blending, if students find the whole-word blending difficult with the new blending sentences activity, they should drop back to sound-by-sound blending until they can blend with fluency.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 1, Warm Up, Reviewing Word Order, the teacher assigns the words in the top line of page 9 (the rhyme “Little Boy Blue” on pages 8–9 of Pickled Peppers) to individual students and gives them the corresponding Pocket Chart Word Card. They stand in a row, hold up their cards, and repeat their words in order from left to right several times until they can do it with fluency.

  • Materials include systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does). Examples include:

    • Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

      • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, the teacher introduces the sight word the. The teacher writes the on the board, points to it, says the, and asks students to say the word the. The teacher uses the word in a sentence and points to it again, asking students to read the word the. The teacher asks the students to find the in environmental print around the room. The lesson progresses to the teacher guiding students to read the decodable book “The Lunch”, which focuses on the sight word the.

      • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 2, Reading a Pre-Decodable, Core Pre-Decodable 7: “The Zoo,” the teacher writes the high-frequency word had on the board. The teacher points to the word and says it. Then students say it with the teacher. The teacher tells students that the word had can be used to describe what someone or something owned. Students use had in a sentence. For review, the class reads each high-frequency word in the Word Bank, and students select one to use in a complete sentence.

      • In Unit 3, Lesson 2, Day 5, the teacher introduces the word of. The teacher writes the word of on the board, points to it, says of, and asks students to say the word of. The lesson progresses to the teacher guiding students to read the decodable book “We Carry,” which includes the previous high-frequency word the and also includes the word of

  • Students have opportunities to read and practice high-frequency words in isolation; however, students do not have opportunities to spell high-frequency words. Examples include:

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 1, Day 4, Reading a Pre-Decodable, High-Frequency Word, the teacher writes the word he on the board and reads it aloud. Students say it with the teacher and then repeat it independently. Later in the lesson, the teacher is directed to review by reading each high-frequency word listed in the Word Bank, including the newly added he. The high-frequency words are also listed on the inside back cover of Core Pre-Decodable 8. 

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 2, Day 5, the teacher points to individual high-frequency words in a poem and asks students to read each word. The teacher points to the words little, boy, the, in, is, a, you, him, I, for, if, do, and to. The teacher points to individual words in a word bank and asks students to read the words is, on, a, the, with, at, go, you, and, was, can, and up. The teacher pulls high-frequency word flashcards from a bag and has the students read the individual words a, and, at, can, go, is, on, the, up, was, with, and you.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, Day 5, the teacher reviews the high-frequency words as, some, were, then, but, a, can, at, in, he, and and. The teacher writes each word on the board and asks students to read each word individually. 

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

    • In the Teacher Edition, Appendix, page 21, High-Frequency Word Lists, Section 4, lists 50 high-frequency words for Kindergarten.

    • In Unit 11, Lesson 1, Day 5, the class reviews high-frequency words little, to, did, said, all, do, of, we, am I, a, and, at, on, go, taught in previous lessons.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, Day 5, the class reviews high-frequency words be, what, a, am, of, can, I, he, have, do, them on, taught in previous lessons.

Indicator 1q

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include the use of decodable texts aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Students have multiple opportunities to reread decodable texts independently and in partnership with their peers to build fluency. The materials include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the scope and sequence. Students have phonics activities as they encode words into sentences or phrases through penmanship/handwriting and Student Skills Pages at the letter/sound level. On some Student Skills Pages, students write the word that completes each sentence, but the students choose from a set of words and do not encode the word independently. In addition, there is minimal practice, if any, for writing high-frequency words in context. 

  • Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g., one-to-one correspondences, syllable segmentation, rime and onset recognition, long and short sounds with common spellings and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters) in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 5, students read a decodable text including the words Cal, at, bat, Tim, tips, cap. Students read a decodable text using a decodable routine. The routine includes directions asking students to re-read the decodable to build fluency. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, Day 2, Alphabetic Principle, Alphabet Book, students point to words in the book that have the letters Ww, such as Walruses, Wildcats, and woof.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 1, Day 5, Reading a Decodable, Blending, the teacher reviews Routine 6, the Whole-Word Blending Routine, with students before reading Core Decodable 17, “Cute Little Mule.” They blend the words go, pole, use, mule, and excuse

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

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, the word the is the high-frequency word for the lesson. Students read the pre-decodable book “The Lunch.” The high-frequency word the is in the pre-decodable on each page in a rebus formatted pre-decodable.

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 3, Day 2, the word has is the high-frequency word for the lesson. Students read the decodable book “The Tree.” The pre-decodable book has the words the, has, and in using rebus formatted sentences. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 5, the students read a decodable book with the words can, his, is. Students read the decodable using Reading a Decodable routine, in which students reread the decodable with a partner, taking turns, or by choral reading. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 5, students read a decodable book with the words you, can, said, and, that, see in sentences. Students read the decodable using Reading a Decodable routine, in which students reread the decodable with a partner, taking turns, or by choral reading. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 5, Reading a Decodable, students engage in Routine 4, in which they reread the decodable “Jake Plants Grapes.” This text reviews the following high-frequency words said and that.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, Day 5, Reading a Decodable, students engage in Routine 4 in which they reread the decodable “We Did It!” This text reviews the high-frequency words be and she.

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

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, Day 1, students practice writing the number word two in isolation. In Unit 9, Lesson 2, Day 3, students practice writing the number word nine in isolation. These opportunities occur infrequently in the Grade K materials.

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, Day 1, Student Edition, Guided Practice, the students complete Skills Practice page 204 for additional practice in blending and writing words. The teacher reads aloud each sentence and helps students blend each word as much as necessary.

    • In Unit 12, eActivity: Lesson 2, Day 4, Foundational Skills, students read, spell, and type high-frequency words in isolation. If the student is using a tablet or interactive whiteboard, they write the letters with a finger. How to spell and type the word is modeled in the eActivity.

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

    • In OCR Foundational Skills Kit, Grade K, Core Decodables, there are 28 books with decodable texts for students to practice phonics skills. The Takehome Decodables include 28 books with decodable texts, and the Practice Decodables have 28 books with decodable texts.

    • The OCR Foundational Skills Kit, Grade K, Core Decodables, Books 1-9, contains texts aligned to the following graphemes: b, c, o, r, and g. Books 10-19 have texts aligned to the graphemes: j, f, w, k, and ae. Books 20-28 contain texts aligned to the graphemes: e, g, h, n, s, t, and v. This sequence is aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

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

    • The Core Decodables, Books 1-9, contain texts aligned to the graphemes: b, c, o, r, and g and the following high-frequency words: as, have, his, on, did, and girl. Books 10-19 contain texts aligned to j, f, w, k, and ae and the high-frequency words: was, were, her, what, said, that, down, and they. Books 20-28 contain texts aligned to e, g, h, n, s, t, and v and the high-frequency words: when, some, but, can, we, and her. These are aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

Indicator 1r

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials include a Unit Planner in the far-right column that identifies which days of the lessons contain assessments in the Assessment Book. The Assessment Book and Benchmark Assessment Book provide teachers with information regarding students’ current level of understanding and skills and instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students progress toward mastery. The Assessment Blackline Masters Books provide student copies of assessments to view as teachers note responses on pages in the Assessment and Benchmark Assessment Book. There are multiple opportunities to assess foundational skills concepts, but there were no assessments found for letter formation. Materials also do not include assessment results guidance in the following areas: determining students’ proficiency level based on stages of reading development and specific, concrete instructional suggestions on how to support students’ progress toward mastery. There is a missed opportunity for providing teacher guidance for instructional strategies for assessment area deficits. Students use eActivities and eGames for informal assessment. A Teacher Resource Book with interventions is not cross-referenced with each assessment. There is a lack of direct, explicit information on how to provide intervention based on each assessment. Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills.

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

    • In the Unit Planner, at the front of each Unit, the assessment column on the right identifies which lessons contain the assessments that can be found in the Assessment book, but it does not include instructional suggestions.

    • The Assessment Book, T-12-T15 contains pages for the teacher to record student responses regarding letter identification. Students view the Assessment Blackline Masters Book during the assessment.

    • The Benchmark Assessment and Foundational Skills Assessment provide resources for the assessment of letter identification.

    • The Assessment Book, T-32, provides a checklist to assess a student’s ability in print concepts utilizing the Pickled Peppers Big Book.

    • The Resources, Assessment, Assessment TE, Unit 2, Print Concepts, is administered individually. Students demonstrate an understanding of 18 print concepts including front and back of book, title, author, table of contents, page number, letters, words, space between words, illustration, first and last word on the page, and moving finger from left to right.

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

    • The Unit Planner shows the frequency of formal and informal assessments. There are three Lesson Assessments and one Unit Assessment per unit.

    • In the Benchmark Assessment, Test 1, Rhyming, the teacher says a word, and the students must supply a word that rhymes.

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Phonemic Awareness: Word Sequence, the teacher says a group of words, asks the positionality of one of those words, and the students provide the word’s position in the group (e.g., first, middle, or last).

    • In Unit 6 Assessment, Phonemic Awareness: Phoneme Segmentation, the teacher says a word, and the students must repeat the word sound-by-sound.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, Day 5, Progress Monitoring, Assessment, pages 80-83, the materials assess students’ understanding of skills taught in the unit, including beginning and ending sounds.

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

    • In the Diagnostic Assessment, there is one Phonics and Decoding assessment in which students identify letters representing a given sound, and one Oral Reading Fluency assessment in which students provide the sound of the associated letter.

    • The Resource Library, Benchmark Assessment, Test 1, Letter Sounds, provides a recording sheet for the teacher to document student knowledge of letter sounds for r, b, e, w, f, h, s, t, a, and p and an area to note errors and/or self-corrections.

    • In the Resource Library,  Benchmark Assessment, Test 2, Oral Fluency, students provide the sound the letter makes.

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

    • The Unit Planner for each unit indicates when assessments are completed. For example, Unit 1, Lesson 2, Unit Planner, Assessment column, notes Assessment pages 2-3 on Day 3 and Assessment pages 4-6 on Day 5.

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, Day 5, the teacher completes a formal assessment of high-frequency words. The teacher asks students to read a list of high-frequency words, including the words he, his, him, is, on, of, can, girl, have, to, it, did, were, him, and is.

    • In Unit 7, Assessment, students underline the high-frequency word the teacher says from a choice of three words. The words are: look, what, with, her, was. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, Day 5, there are both an Informal Assessment and a Formal Assessment. The Informal Assessment has students use the Unit 8 eActivity, Lesson 1, Foundational Skills, Blending, and also the Unit 8 eGame, Lesson 1, Foundational Skills. The Formal Assessment has students count phonemes in spoken words.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, Day 5, there is a formal assessment of medial sounds. There are five questions. The first one is, “Teacher: This activity is about sounds in the middle of words. Listen carefully to what I say. Draw a line under the letter you think is correct. The word in the box is met. Which letter can replace e in the middle of the word to make the new word mat?” The students have three vowels to choose from. On page T101, students read five high-frequency words there, do, be, little, she.

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

  • The Assessment Book, T 11, suggests that if students do not meet the recommended performance level, they should repeat the assessment after intervention or additional instruction.

  • The Assessment Book, vi, provides criteria expectations for letter identification and print concepts.

  • The Assessment Book, page 5, notes: “The primary purpose of the lesson assessments is to allow the teacher to monitor student progress regularly. This process makes it less likely that a student will fall behind because it allows teachers to adapt or repeat instruction as needed.”

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

  • In the Performance Expectations: Lesson and Unit Assessments, the benchmark is six correct out of eight assessment items on letter recognition.

  • In the Benchmark Assessments, Diagnosis, page v, the materials state “Because each segment of the Benchmark Assessments provides a separate score for that strand of the curriculum, the strand scores can be used to identify the specific curriculum areas that are strengths or weaknesses for a student or across a classroom.”

  • In the Benchmark Assessment, page 54, High-Frequency Word Reading Tracking Chart, the number of high-frequency words read correctly in one minute is plotted. There are targets for the number of words read correctly expected by each of the three benchmark assessments (first assessment - 5 words, second assessment - 15 words, third assessment - 38 words).

  • In the Benchmark Assessments, pages 52-54, the teacher has a Benchmark Tracking Chart for each student. Plotting student scores gives a visual appreciation of progress, standing, and student trends.

  • In the Benchmark Assessment, Screening, the following are cut-off scores for Oral Fluency: Letter Sounds: 10 (Test 1), 12 (Test 2), and 30 (Test 3).

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, the materials provide teachers information regarding students' knowledge of the letters representing beginning sounds in hat, let, and nap and ending sounds in nap, but, and hen.

  • In Unit 12, Lesson 3, Day 5, there is a recording sheet for high-frequency words. The teacher makes one copy of page 41 for students to use during the assessment and a copy of the chart to record results. The teacher circles the words that a student reads incorrectly. The teacher notes students’ strengths and weaknesses, the types of errors they make, and when they self-correct.

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

  • The Benchmark Assessment suggests that if students score below the cutoff for any Benchmark Assessment, teachers can use one or more of the following to help students get back on track: (1) reteach students who need extra help, (2) provide practice opportunities to students within the Skills Practice Workbooks, Decodable books, eGames, and Language Arts Handbook, and (3) differentiate instruction during Workshop. Intervention should be assigned to students who need more intensive help. These suggestions are general in nature, not specific to the assessment skill.

  • The Assessment Book, Class Assessment Record, identifies students who have not mastered specific skills clusters. Students can be grouped for additional instruction and practice in the skills they have not yet mastered.

  • In the Benchmark Assessments, Screening, it states, “At the beginning of the year, and then periodically throughout the year, any student who falls below the cutoff score on the 100-Point Skills Battery or Oral Fluency assessments should be considered for intervention. The student’s progress should be closely monitored through weekly oral fluency assessments.”

  • The Assessment Book, page vii, provides some general suggestions for students to help them progress, but they are not specific. The materials state, “The High-Frequency Word assessments are based on five words plus an automaticity rating for a total score of six. The acceptable level of performance is four out of six. Also, you may choose to examine a student’s performance on the High-Frequency Word assessments at the word level. Here are some patterns of performance you might consider. 

    • Misreading regular vowels and consonants suggests that the student needs more practice in reading highly decodable words.

    • A student who reads highly decodable words well but has difficulty with less decodable words probably understands the most common sound spellings. The student probably needs practice in reading common words that have uncommon sound spellings. 

    • When a student reads words correctly but slowly or with hesitation, the student likely lacks confidence. Paired reading with an adult or older student who reads will help to build confidence and fluency. 

    • Frequent self-corrections imply that the student is not yet reading automatically. Paired reading with an adult or older student who reads will help to build automaticity.”

Indicator 1s

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The materials include differentiated suggestions and a photo library to support language development and comprehension of vocabulary. English Language (EL) Tips are integrated throughout the lesson at the point of use. The materials also provide an EL Appendix and a Newcomers English Language Development Teacher’s Guide with eight board games to support those lessons. Routines are clear in the English Learner teacher’s guide, and routine names match the names of routines for the whole class (e.g., whole-word blending). The materials guide teachers in scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or at the OCR “Approaching Level.” Each digital lesson has a toggle that can be switched on for differentiation support strategies and lesson extensions/adaptations. These activities are also in the Differentiated Instruction Guide in the Resource Library. The Program Overview refers to small groups as part of Workshop time, but there is no guidance in the Foundational Skills Kit explaining how or when to hold Workshop small groups. Although the program overview indicates that differentiated instruction occurs in small group settings, and differentiated instruction guides are provided in daily lessons, there is no mention of changing from the whole group to small group in the digital guide. 

The materials provide a Supplemental Word List in the Appendix found in the Resource Library to extend learning in the lesson. The Program Overview references lessons containing detailed suggestions for differentiated instruction for those Beyond Level. Although there is a toggle switch for differentiated learning in the digital teacher edition. Differentiation for Beyond Level was noted in the printed teacher editionat the bottom margin. The differentiated activities for Beyond Level are only evident in the print teacher edition, not the digital teacher edition. Many of the above-grade-level activities are not seen as doing more than their classmates rather different activities based on skill level.

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards. Examples include:

  • In the English Learner Appendix, Contrastive Analysis Chart for Speakers of Other Languages: Phonemes, a correlation chart compares English phonemes to those of other languages.

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 5, the teacher assists ELs by repeating word cards with additional picture cards to demonstrate compound words. 

  • In Unit 6, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher instructs students on the sound of the j. Materials provide instructions for teachers for four different English learner levels, with varying prompts according to English language proficiency level.

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

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

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

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, Day 5, materials provide a differentiated instruction guide for the sections labeled word part blending and how the alphabet works.

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

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

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

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 2, Alphabetic Principle, students Beyond Level come up with their own words and explain if they start with the s/s/.

  • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, Day 4, Phonemic Awareness, students Beyond Level come up with their own words to segment using Elkonin boxes.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

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

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

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

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

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

12/24
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Criterion Rating Details

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

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

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

While the Inquiry projects provide an opportunity for students to extend their learning about the topic or theme of each unit, these projects fail to consistently incorporate the knowledge and skills students gain throughout the unit nor do they require the students to incorporate and demonstrate the integration of the knowledge and skills that align to the standards.

Indicator 2a

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Most of the units in Kindergarten focus on a topic; however, some are tied together by broad themes. The topics included in the Kindergarten curriculum are Weather, Pushes and Pulls, Homes, Our Country, Plant Life Cycles, Animal Homes, Rules, and Great Americans. Some of the units focus on a broader theme, including Off to School and Let’s Be Kind. Each lesson in a unit also includes two to three essential questions that are the focus for the text(s) included during that week; however, at times, these essential questions do not consistently connect to the Big Idea in a way that helps build knowledge on a specific topic. Each unit includes three lessons, and within each lesson, students listen to up to three texts in a given week with up to three different essential questions, meaning students do not spend sufficient time on a topic to build knowledge. Most anchor texts within a given week are paired with a poem, as opposed to an informational text on the same topic that builds knowledge. According to the Program Guide, “Through the engaging themes that stretch across grade levels in SRA Open Court Reading, students learn about universal truths, such as kindness and friendship, as well as about cross-curriculum subject areas, such as life science and government.” The themes across all grades are character, changes, communities, life science, government, and creativity.

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

    • In Unit 4, Pushes and Pulls, the Big Idea is, “How do things move?” The texts and essential questions at times work together to build knowledge about pushes and pulls. Students progress quickly through each text and essential question, which doesn’t provide students with adequate time to build knowledge on the topic. For example, in Lesson 1, students listen to an explanatory text, Time to Move, with the essential question, “What makes things move?” and a nursery rhyme, “The Bus”, with a different essential question, “How can you describe motion?” In Lesson 2, students listen to a poem, “Push and Pull”, with the essential question, “How can you make things move?”, fantasy text, The Little Green Engine, with a different essential question, “What do pushes and pulls do?”, and another poem, “How We Move”, with a third essential question, “How do wheels help toys move?” In Lesson 3, students listen to a realistic fiction text, Fun Ways to Move, with the essential question, “What things do you push and pull every day?” and another realistic fiction text, Wild Rides, with a different essential question, “What are different ways things move?” 

    • In Unit 7, Ready, Set, Grow, the Big Idea is, “What do plants need to grow?” The texts and essential questions at times work together to build knowledge about what plants need to grow. Students progress quickly through each text and essential question, which doesn’t provide students with adequate time to build knowledge on the topic. For example, in Lesson 1, students listen to a realistic fiction text,  What Green Beans Need, with the essential question, “ How do plants grow?” and a realistic fiction text, Garden Stories, with a different essential question, “What might you find in a garden?” In Lesson 2, students listen to a poem, “What Plants Need” with the essential question, “What do plants need to grow?”, a fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk, with a different essential question, “How can plants look different?”, and another poem, “The Seed” with a third essential question, “Where do plants get what they need?” In Lesson 3, students listen to an explanatory text, From Seed to Plant, with the essential question, “How do plants change as they grow?” and an informative text, Plants All Around, with the essential question, “Where do plants live?”

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

    • In Unit 1, Off to School, the Big Idea is, “What is school all about?” The texts in this unit are loosely organized around the theme of different aspects of school, such as The Kissing Hand (Lesson 1) with the essential question, “What are some ways you are brave?” and Who Is at Your School? (Lesson 2) with the essential question: “Who can help you at school?”

    • In Unit 2, Let’s Be Kind, the Big Idea is, “What is kindness?” The texts in this unit are loosely organized around the theme of kindness, such asThe Elves and the Shoemaker (Lesson 1) with the essential question,  “Is it better to give kindness or receive it?”  and The Lady with the Lamp: Florence Nightingale (Lesson 3), with the essential question: “How can being kind help others?”

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria of 2b.

Kindergarten students interact with texts multiple times over the course of the week in order to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure. In the beginning of the year, the teacher models how to answer these questions, and by the end of the year, the teacher prompts students to answer these questions themselves. Following a Shared Reading, students are asked Discussion Starter questions in order to recall key ideas from the text. On a subsequent day, students listen to the text again in order to analyze Writer's Craft or to use an Access Complex Text strategy. The Look Closer section at the end of each selection specifically asks students to analyze the key ideas and details, the writer’s craft, and the text structure of the selection. The type of questions asked in this section require students to delve deeper into the text to help them access the complex text and to make sense of the text.

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

For some texts (read-aloud texts K-1 and anchor texts Grade 2), students analyze key ideas and details and craft and structure (according to grade-level standards).

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details; however, the bulk of the questions and tasks address reading strategies that steer students' focus away from the text. Examples include:

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, after listening to The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, the teachers assist students in retelling the story. Then the teacher asks, “What was the secret of the Kissing Hand? How did it help Chester Raccoon?”

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 3, after listening to Snow Day! by Lester L. Laminack, students discuss the plot. Students answer the questions, “What problem is introduced in the beginning?”, What happens in the middle of the story?”, and “What happens at the end of the story?” During this lesson, students are also asked, “Does a snow day sound fun to you?” and “Do you think the weather forecaster said there would be lots of snow? Why or why not?” 

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, after listening to the text Time to Move! by Jeffrey Lee, the students are asked a series of questions including one about key details, but the rest are not connected to details. The questions are, “What objects do children push or pull at recess? Which activity on the playground is your favorite? Have you ever thought about how people and things move on the playground?” 

    • In Unit 6, Lesson 3, after listening to A Collection of Cultures by Paul Caserta, the teacher asks, “What key details did we learn about Chinese culture?” after reading aloud page 60. Then, after reading page 61, the teacher asks, “What is the main topic?” and “What key details did we learn about Irish culture?” 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, while listening to Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji, the teacher asks questions about the main idea and details such as, “What is the main idea of the story on pages 20-21?” and “What details do we learn about lovie trees?” 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, while reading “That's Not Fair! '' by M.C.Hall, the teacher stops after the first few pages and asks, “How does the story begin? What happens next? Then what happens?” 

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, while listening to If I Were President by Catherine Stier, the teacher focuses on the reading strategy of clarifying and asks questions such as, “Is anyone confused about something?” and “Does anyone want to clarify an unknown word?”

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

    • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students listen to Snow White and Rose Red by Brothers Grimm retold by Danile Munn. As the teacher reads, he/she models the comprehension strategy of visualization. Most of the task involves the teacher modeling the picture in her head as he/she reads the story. One of the prompts for the teacher addresses the language of the text, “There are some descriptive words on page 38 that help me to visualize the story. When I read ‘his face becomes crimson with rage.’ I picture the dwarf’s face all red.”

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students listen to Weather Measures by Yvonne Morrison, and the teacher asks, “What does the author mean by ‘weather forecast’?” During this Lesson, students are also asked, “Do you think it is important to study the weather? Why or why not?” This does not address craft and structure 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, the students preview the text, How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons, and the teacher points out the name of the author and illustrator and explains that the person did the jobs of both author and illustrator. Then the teacher has the students describe the roles of authors and illustrators. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students do a close read of the text Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji in order to analyze the craft. The teacher states, “Fables also use characters or things that act like people. Who are the characters in Miss Gloria’s fable? How do the characters act like people?” Other questions about this text do not address craft and structure nor are they text dependent such as, “Are the trees bigger than people?” 

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, after listening to Rules of the Wild: An Unruly Book of Manners by Bridget Levin, students are asked how they know the text is a fantasy after reviewing the elements of fantasy. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, after browsing the “Stripes, Spots and Dots” Big Book, students are asked a series of questions that do not address craft and structure including, “Where can you find patterns in your neighborhood?” and “Do you think it is easier to find patterns in a city or in nature?” 

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2c.

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

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

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, after listening to Hail: Ice from the Sky by Cynthia Light Brown, students are asked questions to analyze the text such as, “What does humid mean in the phrase ‘when it is hot and humid’? Do you think it is always colder at the top of the clouds than on the ground? What descriptions helped you understand what hail is?” 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, students listen to Our Earth, Our Home by Kiyo Fischer. Students analyze the text with questions such as, “On page 33, we can find why the author wants his readers to keep Earth clean, ‘We all live on Earth together.’ What other reasons does the author give?”

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, the teacher reads aloud the text, Jack and the Beanstalk. The topic of this unit is plants and none of the questions or tasks during the first read helps students build knowledge about plants. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 1, students listen to Life in a Tropical Rainforest by Dan Katsuyama, and answer questions such as, “What does the author mean when he writes ‘a balance exists in the rainforest’? Why are rainforests important?”

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 3, while reading Obey the Law! by Albert Carangelo, the teacher asks, “What details about police officers can you learn from the illustration? What does a police officer wear?” 

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

    • In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students retell the poem, Hail: Ice from the Sky by Cynthia Light Brown, and the text, Weather Measures by Yvonne Morrison. The teacher asks, “How might you measure hailstones? What information did you learn from “Hail: Ice from the Sky” and “Weather Measures” about weather? Did you have any unanswered questions after the reading of those selections? Which selection or selections were explanatory text? How do you know?” However, students are not asked to analyze the texts and to identify similarities and differences between the texts. 

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 1, students review Homes Around the World and The Three Little Pigs. Students answer questions such as, “What materials might the characters of The Three Little Pigs use to build a house today? Which home from Homes Around the World would be best in your neighborhood? Why? How was Homes Around the World the same as The Three Little Pigs? How were the two selections different?”

Indicator 2d

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

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

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

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

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

    • In Unit 10, Lesson 1, the class discusses what they have learned about leaders and the President from selections they have read; however, this type of task is not found in most units, nor does it require students to integrate skills. 

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

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

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

    • Examples of tasks include, in Unit 3, that students explore and share ideas about weather and are given options to present their findings such as creating an experiment with different materials to keep cool in the sun, making a weather report for the school based on weather observations, or presenting information about preparing for, and responding to, severe weather.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria of Indicator 2e.

Students in Kindergarten participate in writing tasks across the entire year. The majority of writing instruction is process writing, which occurs daily and includes a variety of genres, though it focuses more on informational writing. On-demand writing only occurs in the second half of the year, and the majority of writing tasks do not rely on information that students have read, making it difficult for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year. The program includes graphic organizers, model texts, and sample responses. There is no process for monitoring students’ writing development. Rubrics are not provided in the Kindergarten materials.

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

    • Students learn how to write stories three times during the year, including Unit 6, where students complete an Idea Web as a class for the story, and Unit 7, where students learn to use a Story Map to plan. By Unit 11, students name all the ways to brainstorm for writing. In Unit 6, students draw pictures and label them with captions “first”, “next”, and “last”. In Unit 7, students write their own sentences. 

    • Students learn how to write opinion pieces in Units 2, 9, and 10. In Unit 2, students draw a picture and dictate an opinion statement. By the end of the year, students write their own sentences. 

    • Students learn how to revise throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, students learn about revision and students “check their names for proper letter spacing.” In Unit 11, students are told that “sometimes writers think their stories would be better in a different sequence and they change the sequence by revising.” 

  • Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement. There are no resources provided to monitor students’ writing development. Examples include:

    • The Benchmark Assessments do not include ways to monitor Kindergarten students’ writing development. 

    • The Resources Library provides graphic organizers, including a Cluster Web, a Venn Diagram, and a Story Map. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students are given a Story Map to help them write a make-believe story. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 1, students write a humorous poem by looking at the exemplar poem “Black and White.”

Indicator 2f

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Within each unit of the Kindergarten materials, students engage in research through the Inquiry Projects found in each unit. Students learn and apply the same five research steps across the year, with some shifting from teacher-led to student-led tasks. In each unit, students have the opportunity to choose the research question and how to present on their topic, making it difficult for the teacher to provide explicit instruction in research. A progression of research skills across the year are missing as a result. Due to student choice, research projects are not sequenced across the school year to include a progression of research skills according to the grade-level standards.

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

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

    • In the first several units, the teacher models how to develop a research question. By Unit 8, student pairs or groups come up with the research question. 

    • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, each student is assigned a part of the shared writing project.  By Unit 3, Lesson 2, the teacher guides “students to plan how they will share the class’s research and findings.”

    • The same steps for research and inquiry are taught throughout the year without a progression of skills. The steps are: (1) Develop Questions (2) Create Conjectures (3) Collect Information (4) Develop Presentations and (5) Deliver Presentations.

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

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 1, students learn about plants and have planted seeds. On a two-column chart, the students record observations of what they see each day and add drawings to the descriptions. Students use texts from the unit such as, What Green Beans Need by Carol Elliot and Garden Stories by Kevin Sanji to help with the research.

    • In Unit 12, several texts from the unit are provided to help students with the Inquiry Project about patterns and colors such as, Outside in the City by Varun Black, Shapes and Patterns by Orsalya Dalton, and The Shape of my Heart by Mark Sperring.

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

    • In Unit 4, Lesson 2, the class completes a research project about pushes and pulls. The students conduct experiments to test the class conjecture and the teacher records notes of the students’ findings. Then the teacher guides students to reevaluate the problem or question based on what they learned in their experiments and the students decide if they need to gather more information before continuing. 

    • In Unit 7, students learn about plants. The Unit Overview states “Research your question with an experiment, such as planting a seed and watching it grow, and by reading books about plants. Decide how you will present your research as a class. Examples include a class science journal or a slideshow showing pictures from your experiment.” This does not include shared research. 

    • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, students work on researching animal habitats. The teacher notes suggest that the class shares information learned through research via a science journal, a digital slide, or a mural. 

    • In Unit 12, Lesson 2, the teacher tells “students they will explore what makes a pattern and different kinds of patterns. Have students decide which research strategy—experiments, observations, interviews, or surveys—will help them find information about their question and conjecture.” This does not include shared research opportunities.

Criterion 2g - 2h

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

4/8
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Criterion Rating Details

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

Indicator 2g

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Materials throughout the Kindergarten program spend some time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction; however, other parts of the curriculum are spent on reading comprehension strategies, such as making connections, that are not aligned to the standards. During the first read of a text, the teacher models comprehension strategies. The bulk of this instruction and the corresponding questions are not aligned to the standards. During a second read of the text, with Access Complex Text topics and Writer’s Craft, instruction and tasks tend to be standards-aligned. Due to the focus of the first read of the text being placed on comprehension strategies as opposed to standards, some assessment questions are not always aligned to the standards.

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

    • In Unit 2, some of the instruction is aligned to grade level standards. Students focus on standards such as RL.K.2, which focuses on main idea and details as well as RL.K.1, which focuses on asking and answering questions. Other instruction is not aligned to the grade-level standards such as visualizing, clarifying, sequencing, and predicting. 

    • In Unit 6, some of the instruction is aligned to grade-level standards such as RL.K.9, which focuses on the story elements of setting and character. However, the unit also focuses on other elements of Writer’s Craft, which are not aligned to the standards, such as text features (stanzas and headings) and language use (dialogue and descriptive words).

    • In Unit 7, some instruction is aligned to the standards. Students focus on asking and answering questions, and two of the three lessons are standards-aligned. Similarly, students also focus on making connections and two of the three lessons are standards-aligned. 

    • In Unit 12, the materials include a focus on accessing complex texts by focusing on the standards RL/I.K.2 (main idea and details) and RL/I.K.9 (comparing and contrasting). This unit also focuses on classifying and categorizing, cause and effect, and sequence, which are not aligned to the standards. 

    • In Kindergarten, there are a variety of text types, which meets the standard RL.K.5 (recognize common types of texts). Students read realistic fiction and fantasy. 

    • Beginning in Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 5, students use Management Routine A, which addresses the standard SL.K.1.A, which states that students should follow agreed-upon rules for discussions. This also occurs in Unit 5, Lesson 1, Day 5, and all subsequent Units and Lesson on Day 5.

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

    • In Unit 5, Lesson 2, Day 5, students meet in groups to discuss the question, “Which selection was your favorite? Why?” While this covers the speaking and listening standard SL.K.1.B, it does not address a knowledge or comprehension standard. 

    • In Unit 7, Lesson 3, Day 5, students work on a presentation independently, which does not align to the shared research and writing standard W.K.7.

    • In Unit 9, Lesson 2, students choose to stage and make, “a digital recording of a panel discussion with audience participation about rules. While the presentation is digital, it does not align to W.K.6, which is about using digital tools to produce and publish writing. 

    • After a first read of a text, students are asked comprehension questions. The questions are tagged to Speaking and Listening Standards and not reading standards. In Unit 7, Lesson 3, students are asked “Why do people need plants? What plants in your neighborhood do you like best?” and these questions are tagged to the standards SL.K.1a., SL.K.3, and SL.K.6.

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

    • In Unit 2, the Lesson 1 assessment asks students to listen to a story and decide if it is a folktale, which is not aligned to the standards.

    • In Unit 3, students are assessed on vocabulary (RL.K.4), comparing and contrasting (RL.K.9), and cause and effect (RI.K.3). 

    • In Unit 7, the Lesson 3 assessment asks students to look at three pictures and draw a line under the one that is similar to the first picture, which is aligned to RL/I.K.9. Students complete a similar assessment for Unit 8, Lesson 1.

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

    • Some of the standards are repeated throughout the majority of the units, such as:

      • RL.K.1 is found in Units 1 - 2, and Units 4 - 12.

      • RL.K.2 is found in Units 1 - 12.

      • RL/I.K.6 is found in every unit.

      • W.K.5 is found in every unit except Units 3 and 4.

      • SL.K.1 and SL.K.2 are found in every unit

    • Some of the standards are not found across most of the units; however, they are spread out throughout the year. For example:

      • RL/I.K.4 is found in Units 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12.

      • RL.K.9 is found in Units 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9.

      • W.K.2 is found in Units 1 - 4, 7 - 8, 10, 12

Indicator 2h

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

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Daily lessons do not include time frames for individual activities, nor do the program materials indicate a total literacy block time frame. In a typical lesson, there are 16 distinct activities in one day (seven in Foundational Skills, six in Reading and Responding, and three in Language Arts). This does not include the additional 15-30 minutes for Workshop time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

Indicator 3a

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

N/A

Indicator 3b

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

N/A

Indicator 3c

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

N/A

Indicator 3d

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

N/A

Indicator 3e

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

N/A

Indicator 3f

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

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

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

Indicator 3i

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

N/A

Indicator 3j

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

N/A

Indicator 3k

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

N/A

Indicator 3l

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

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

Indicator 3m

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

N/A

Indicator 3n

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

N/A

Indicator 3o

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

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

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

N/A

Indicator 3r

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

N/A

Indicator 3s

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

N/A

Indicator 3t

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

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

Indicator 3w

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

N/A

Indicator 3x

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

N/A

Indicator 3y

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

N/A

Indicator 3z

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

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/10/07

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Program Overview Grade K-3 978‑0‑0214‑5682‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Open Court Reading CORE ELA Teacher's Editions Package 978‑0‑0766‑6615‑7 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 1 978‑0‑0766‑7705‑4 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 2 978‑0‑0766‑7707‑8 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 3 978‑0‑0766‑7970‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 4 978‑0‑0766‑7983‑6 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 5 978‑0‑0766‑7986‑7 McGraw-Hill Education 2016
Teacher's Edition Vol 6 978‑0‑0766‑7991‑1 McGraw-Hill Education 2016

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

ELA K-2 Review Tool

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

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations