Alignment: Overall Summary

Pearson Literature 2015 does not meet expectations of alignment. Texts and tasks in reading, writing, speaking, and listening partially meet expectations of gateway 1 criteria, providing some standards-aligned practice that may need supplementation by the teacher to fully meet the expectations of the students' literacy support. The instructional materials for Grade 9 do not meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are partially organized around topics. Materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
22
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
8
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
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

Pearson Literature Grade 9 partially meets the criteria for Gateway 1. Texts are of quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres. Some texts do not meet the criteria of text complexity. Anchor and supporting texts provide some opportunity for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. Materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions and tasks are evidence based and build to a culminating task. Materials provide some opportunity for discussions, but lack guidance and protocols. Both on-demand and process evidence based writing is present, however there is limited opportunity for students to practice and receive feedback before assessment. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.

Criterion 1a - 1f

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.
12/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Pearson Literature Grade 9 partially meets the criteria for providing quality texts that support students toward advancing toward independent reading. Texts are of quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres. Materials meet the criteria of text complexity. Also, text complexity analysis and rationale provided by the publisher is limited. Anchor and supporting texts provide some opportunity for students to engage in a range and volume of reading but may not succeed in having students achieve grade level proficiency.

NOTE: Indicator 1b is non-scored and provides information about text types and genres in the program.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for anchor/core texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year long curriculum are of publishable quality. Anchor texts are found in Part 3, Text Set of each unit. There are 1-2 anchor texts per unit for 9th grade (6 anchor texts in all). Each text is previously published and some are award winning. Anchor texts are well-crafted, content rich, and include a range of student interests, engaging students at the grade level for which they are placed. Subjects are compelling, content is meaningful, and the style of the texts is varied. Included anchor texts provide an appropriate amount of quality texts to span the school year.

Quality texts found in Grade 12 materials include (but are not limited to) the following high-quality text selections:

  • "Old Man at the Bridge" by Earnest Hemingway
  • “The Scarlet” Ibis by James Hurst
  • The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Alan Poe
  • “First Inaugural Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • “Instead of an Elegy” by G.S, Fraser
  • "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
  • New Directions by Maya Angelou
  • “From the Ramayana” retold by R.K. Narayan
  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • from the Odyssey by Homer
  • Perseus by Edith Hamilton

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Materials provide an appropriate balance between literature and informational text. Literature consists of stories, dramas, and poetry. Informational texts consist of argument, exposition, and media. There is an additional non-fiction section called Literature in Context: Reading in Content Areas. The materials offer a variety of text types including but not limited to short stories, drama, myths, tall tales, poetry, persuasive essay, magazine article, cartoon, memoir, speech, photographs, scientific article, infographic, epic, and interview. While most units follow the standards for a 70/30 balance of non-fiction versus fiction, Units 1 and 3 are heavier in fictional texts. Examples of texts include but are not limited to:

Unit 1- Short Stories

  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  • The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst
  • from The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
  • From Blue Nines and Red Words
  • from The New Yorker

Unit 2 - Nonfiction

  • "First Inaugural Address" by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • On Summer by Lorraine Hansberry
  • "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • from "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson

Unit 3 - Poetry

  • Poetry by Hughes, deSponde, Mistral, Dickerson
  • "I Hear American Singing" by Walt Whitman
  • The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Gwendolyn Brooks

Unit 4 - Drama

  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • from the Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • from Fragile Self-Wroth by Tim Kasser
  • My Possessions Myself by Russell W. Belk

Unit 5 - Myths and Tall Tales

  • from the Odyssey by Homer
  • "Siren Song" by Margaret Atwood
  • "The Washwoman" by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • "American Blood Donatoin"

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Most anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level.Some anchor texts (2 total) fall below the grade level. When the anchor texts below grade level on a quantitative measure, they have qualitative scores which make them appropriate. It is also important to note that all of the anchor texts fall well below the quantitative ceiling for the grade band, and no anchor texts had the highest qualitative score. The appropriate quantitative measure for grade 9 and 10 is 1050L to 1335L (when using Lexile as a measure).

vidence that supports my rationale (written in correct format): Note, qualitative measure is a scale of 1-5

  • Unit 1: “The Scarlet Ibis”, by James Hurst. Lexile 1070, Qualitative 2.6
  • Unit 2: “First Inaugural Address”, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Lexile 1190, Qualitative 3.6
  • Unit 3: “The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by Gwendolyn Brook, Qualitative 3
  • Unit 4: from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Lexile 710, Qualitative 4
  • Unit 5: from “The Ramayana” retold by R.K. Narayan. Lexile 950, Qualitative 4

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

There is a variety of complexity levels within the materials; however, they do not systematically increase within units nor across the year. Also, anchor texts range from bottom of Lexile band at the start of the year to below Lexile band at the end of the year and, the qualitative complexity features do not make up for the lack of quantitative complexity

  • Anchor texts do not increase in both quantitative or qualitative complexity over the course of the school year. Note that the qualitative measure here is the average of the scores on context/knowledge demands, structure/language conventionality, and levels of meaning/purpose/context. Each of these values had a score on a scale of 1 to 5 attached.
    • Unit 1: “The Scarlet Ibis”, by James Hurst. Lexile 1070, Qualitative 2.6
    • Unit 2: “First Inaugural Address”, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Lexile 1190, Qualitative 3.6
    • Unit 3: “The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by Gwendolyn Brook, Qualitative 3
    • Unit 4: from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Lexile 710, Qualitative 4
    • Unit 5: from “The Ramayana” retold by R.K. Narayan. Lexile 950, Qualitative 4
  • Series of texts within units include a variety of complexity levels.
    • In Unit 1 the average Lexile level is 1023
    • In Unit 5 the average Lexile level is 965

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

All anchor texts are housed in Part 3, Developing Insight, of each of the five units, and a “Big Question” is presented to tie these texts together. The rationale for educational purpose and placement of these texts within the unit is not found in the 9th grade text. The “Text Complexity Rubrics” are vague and offer limited information on what a teacher would need to scaffold in order for students to be successful. This analysis tool is also not always accurate and clear. It is not thorough or detailed enough to provide what is needed in order to provide correct scaffolded instruction. The rubric includes qualitative measurements broken into three parts: Context/Knowledge Demands, Structure/Language Convention and Clarity, Levels of Meaning/Purpose/Concept Level and each of these parts receives a scaled score from 1 to 5 (1 being low) and a brief statement describing why that score is given for all those components, not specifying which component it is associated with. The rubric also includes quantitative measures which include: a Lexile score, word count, and reader and task suggestions.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Within the qualitative analysis, Levels of Meaning is often described as often as “Accessible Concept” or “Challenging Concepts” rather than identifying the different levels of meaning in the text. The accessibility of the ideas/topics is really the knowledge demands.
    • Unit 1: “Rules of the Game”. Levels of Meaning states “Accessible concept (mother/daughter relationship; struggle to fit in)
    • Unit 3, part 2: “Women”. Accessible concept (struggles of African Americans); challenging concepts (death and the power of love)
  • At times, the qualitative analysis for structure is inaccurate
    • Unit 3, Part 2: William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 is described as “conversational tone; long lines; free verse; some challenging vocabulary” when the text is instead fourteen lines of Early Modern English arranged in three quatrains and a couplet.
  • Text sets are often provided analysis as a group. However, the analysis provided is not always accurate for each of the included texts.
    • Unit 3, Part 2. “I Hear America Singing” and three different haiku poems are grouped together for analysis. The qualitative analysis for structure states, “Complex sentences; long lines; free verse; concise images; some historical vocabulary”. While this is true for “I Hear America Singing” it is not all accurate for any of the haikus.
    • Unit 5, part 2. “An Ancient Gesture”, “Siren Song”, and excerpt of the Odyssey and “Ithaca” are all provided the same qualitative text complexity analysis. Though all texts are “modern perspectives on ancient Greek characters” as the qualitative analysis for Context states, the structure of these pieces ranges, from prose to the meter of Greek and Roman poetry, to dactylic hexameter, and the levels of meaning are different for each piece. Each author had a different purpose and integrated different meanings into their individual pieces.

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

There is a variety of readings provided in the materials including, but not limited to poems, short stories, nonfiction, drama, and novel excerpts. However, this variety is evidence across the year and is not reflected within each unit. The texts within the Grade 9 materials are organized in units largely by genre. Each unit is predominantly one genre type in Parts 1 and 2, with a small variety of types in Part 3. The anchor and exemplar texts for each unit are each part of the unit’s predominate genre. Students do not engage in any independent reading until the end of the unit in Part 4, “Demonstrating Independence”. Also, aside from Romeo and Juliet in Unit 4, students do not read any longer pieces. The only other opportunity for students to read entire books is with the materials suggested in Part 4, though it is unclear that any of these readings are “required” by the materials. There are no clear supports for teachers and/or students to monitor progress toward grade level independence.There are no clear supports to engage students in this independent reading.

  • Unit 1 offers 15 texts total; 9 are short stories, 6 are other types (poem, essays, memoir, magazine article, cartoon). All the variety of types is found in Part 3. Anchor and exemplar texts are all short story.
  • Unit 2 offers students 12 different texts with 3 different genres ranging in a variety of subjects and topics.
  • Unit 3: 30 texts total, 26 are poems, 4 are a variety (memoir, short story, speech, photographs). All the variety of types is found in Part 3. Anchor and exemplar texts are all poems.
  • Unit 4 offers 13 different texts with 6 different genres ranging in a variety of subjects and topics.
  • Unit 5 offers 14 texts total; 5 are tall tales or epics (including Part 1 and Part of the Odyssey), 9 are a variety (4 of these variety are poems that are retellings of segments of the Odyssey). The anchor text is an epic.
  • Materials do not include a mechanism for teachers and/or students to monitor progress toward grade level independence.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

Pearson Literature Grade 9 materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions and tasks are evidence based and build to a culminating task. Materials provide some opportunity for discussions, but lack guidance and protocols. Both on-demand and process evidence based writing is present.. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, 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).
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, 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; this may include work with mentor texts as well).

Most of the questions, tasks, and assignments provided over the course of a school year in the materials are text-dependent or text-specific. These text-dependent and text-specific questions, tasks, and assignments are consistent throughout the materials, including protocols for multiple reads, teacher-supplied guiding questions, tasks and embedded questions in the text, and close reading activities or critical thinking questions following text. The tasks require students to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

Examples of text dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Part 2, in “Gift of the Magi” students write a news report where they are asked to use quotes from the story to show characters’ reactions. Then students are to present a debate and use characters and events from the story as part of their supporting evidence.
  • In Unit 2, Part 2, after reading the essay, “Libraries Face Sad Chapter,” students are asked interpretation questions such as “According to Hamill, in what ways are current New Yorkers in debt to generations past? Use textual details to support your answer.” and “Does Hamill present a strong, varied defense of his position? Explain your thinking, citing evidence from the essay.”
  • In Unit 3, Part 2, “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe includes text-based questions embedded in the story. Students are asked comprehension questions like “What type of bells does Section 1 describe?”, literary analysis questions like “What is the effect of the repetition in lines 67-68?” and “How does the author give the stars in lines 6-8 human qualities? What is the term for this type of figurative language?” Also in Unit 3, Part 2 in the Close Reading Activities students answer text-dependent questions crafted for Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas for a collection of poems. One example of these questions is, “Which two words in line 17 of “The Seven Ages of Man” illustrate both slant rhyme and internal rhyme?”
  • In Unit 4, Part 3, after completing all the texts and activities, the assessment for “Writing to Sources” asks students to “Write an essay in which you examine connections between aspirations and identity. Support your ideas with textual evidence from two or more of the texts in this section as well as from the related research you have conducted.”
  • In Unit 5, students write an essay answering this prompt: “Each writer in this section draws on Homer’s epic to communicate a message suited to today’s world. In essay, compare how each poet uses classical allusions in combination with his or her own perspective. Support your ideas with evidence from the texts.”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are culminating tasks throughout the units.

  • At the end of every part 2 within each unit there is an Assessment: Skills. Within the Assessment: Skills, under Constructed Response, students have three writing opportunities, two speaking and listening tasks, and one research task which are connected to the texts read in this unit.
  • In part 2 & 3 of each unit, there are small culminating tasks after each text. These are found under the Close Reading Activities. Students participate in discussions, writings, literature analysis, and research. The culminating tasks are supported with text-dependent questions and a sequence of building tasks.
  • At the end of each unit 3 there is an Assessment: Synthesis, including Speaking and Listening and Writing tasks. Students have group discussions based on the theme of the unit and the texts read within the unit that support that theme. Within this assessment, they have two formal writing prompts focused on the theme and using the texts present in the unit for evidence to support their writing. These tasks build on the themes explored earlier in the unit, most notably the “Big Question” under consideration for the unit. Sequences of text-dependent questions and task throughout the unit prepare students for success on the culminating task. Culminating tasks provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and listening and/or writing.

There are culminating tasks throughout the units. Students participate in discussions, writings, literature analysis, research, and other activities. The culminating tasks are supported with text-dependent questions and a sequence of building tasks. At the end of each unit there is an Assessment: Synthesis. Within the Assessment:Synthesis students have group discussions based on the theme of the unit and the texts read within the unit that support that theme. Within this assessment, they have two formal writing prompts focused on the theme and using the texts present in the unit for evidence to support their writing. The Assessment Synthesis portion of the materials is a series of Speaking and Listening and Writing tasks. These tasks build on the themes explored earlier in the unit, most notably the big question under consideration for the unit.Sequences of text-dependent questions and task throughout the unit prepare students for success on the culminating task.Culminating tasks provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing.

Culminating tasks are varied over the year. In the Assessment: Skills portion found at the end of Part 2 in each unit, under the constructed response, students have three writing opportunities, two speaking and listening tasks, and one research task which are connected to the texts read in this unit. In the Assessment:Skills sections of the units, students read pieces of texts. The questions that follow are text-dependent and require students to return to the text in order to answer them. The second part of the Assessment: Skills is Constructed Responses. Students respond in writing to texts read so far in this unit. Students have to return to the texts read in order to respond.

Examples of culminating task found in materials include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Part 2 under the Close Reading Activity, after reading “The Cask of Amontillado”, students are asked to write a critique in which they analyze both the suspense of the story and the effectiveness of its ending. One question that supports this task is to identify a passage that foreshadows Fortunato’s fate at the hand of Montresor. They are also asked to fill out a plot diagram identifying two key events in the rising action of the story, the event that marks the climax, and one event that is part of the falling action. Citing details from the text, explain the plot’s resolution.
  • In Unit 4, Part 2 in Assessment: Synthesis students respond to the Big Question, “Do our differences define us?” Students will first have a discussion and then write a narrative on the topic. They are to synthesize personal information, information from the texts read in the unit, and research they conducted in the section. After each text in In Unit 4, there is a research prompt and/or task relevant to the Big Question that students will use in their Synthesis narrative. In Unit 4 Part 3 has varied culminating tasks throughout the unit including; Group discussion, writing a character analysis, researching and investigating a topic, creating an infograph from research, writing an expository essay, conducting a panel discussion, creating an annotated timeline, writing an advice column, writing an outline, and writing a critical and persuasive essay.
  • In Unit 5, Part 2 in the Assessment: Skills under the Constructed Response students are asked to write an essay in which they explain how the Odyssey exemplifies the epic form. Throughout the story, there are text-dependent questions about the “Epic Similes” found throughout this story. For example, “Have students review the Epic Simile section on this page. Ask them to compare a typical simile with an epic simile and to give an example of each.”

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

At the end of every unit in the Assessment: Synthesis, there is one speaking and listening opportunity where students have a group discussion. In the Close Reading Workshop found in each unit, there is a “Discussions” paragraph, which gives students some directions on how to have discussions. The directions for these end of unit activities ask students to “refer to text in this section, other texts you have read, your personal experience, and research you have conducted to support your ideas.” In some activities, there is a direction to “Present your ideas using academic vocabulary”, however, there is no modeling of academic vocabulary found in the material. There are some opportunities to promote students’ ability to master grade level speaking and listening standards. Within the reading selections, there are evidence-based questions for teachers to ask students in the margins of the teacher’s edition. A small percentage of these questions focus on academic vocabulary and syntax. In some lessons, directions in the margins will state “Have students discuss...” There are no discussion protocols provided in the material. The teacher materials provided repeat the students’ directions and remind teachers to prompt their students to read the directions. However, there are some protocols, monitoring tools, accountability rubrics, and guidance for organizing students found in the Professional Development Guidebook. Examples of materials partially meeting this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • Towards the end of each unit there is a speaking and listening lesson that addresses a different topic.
    • Unit 1: Evaluating a Speech
    • Unit 2: Delivering a Persuasive Speech
    • Unit 3: Oral Interpretation of Literature
    • Unit 4: Multimedia Presentation of a Research Report
    • Unit 5: Comparing Media Coverage
  • Each unit has a “Close Reading Workshop” where students use close reading strategies within the context of a particular genre. They are told to use the feature of the genre to help them read, discuss, research, and write about the genre they are about to read.

For example, from Unit 1, Part 1 there is a “Discuss” item. The write up tells students how to discuss. Students are to share their own ideas and listen to those of others. They are directed to participate in collaborative discussions, work on having a genuine exchange in which classmates build upon one another’s ideas. They are told to support their points with evidence and ask meaningful questions. In the margins of the teacher’s edition, it tells teacher that throughout the unit, students will be engaging in discussions about the selections they read.

  • In Unit 1, Part 2, while reading “The Most Dangerous Game” the Teacher Edition states, “Have students discuss Zaroff’s comment that he is civilized because he uses electricity to lure the ships.” This was the only time in Unit 1 where the teacher was directed to have students discuss while reading a text.
  • In Unit 2, There is an Assessment: Synthesis, Speaking and Listening: Group Discussion activity. Criteria for Success is listed as follows:
    • Organizes the group effectively. Appoint a group leader to present the discussion questions and keep the conversation moving. Elect at timekeeper to make sure the discussion is completed within the allotted time.
    • Conducts a thorough, informed discussion
    • Cite evidence from selections you have read.
    • Take time to explore all facets of the discussion issues.
    • Involves all participants in lively discussion
    • Make sure all group members have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion and invite everyone to respond to ideas and conclusions.
    • Adheres to the rules of academic discussion
    • Take turns sharing ideas and avoid interrupting one another. In cases of disagreement, clarify the points of each position and come to a consensus, if only to agree to disagree.

However, this is an assessment, and students have not had instruction on these criteria previously in the unit.

  • In Unit 3, Part 1, Setting Expectations - Exploring the Big Question, notes in Teacher’s Editon state, “Collaboration: Group Discussion 1. Have students work in pairs to take turns describing the examples of how people communicate. Then, discuss the following questions: What are some of the nonverbal ways people communicate? Which forms of communication might present the biggest challenges? 2. Review the Big Question vocabulary on the next page, following the teaching suggestions. Have students use vocabulary as they complete the activity on this page.” There is not enough support nor protocols for students to complete this activity successfully.
  • In Unit 4 students learn about Multimedia Presentations of a Research Report. The teacher directions state, “Before students give their presentations to the class, remind listeners to ask questions if any points are unclear. To maintain order, encourage them to raise their hands and wait to be acknowledged by the presenter before stating their questions.” Also, “Explain to students that they should use a copy of the Presentation Checklist (which students have in the textbook) to evaluate their own presentation and the presentations made by classmates.The text is organized into five categories:
    • Organizing Content (for example, use reliable sources to locate audio or video files. Then, evaluate any audio or visual files you choose to make sure they are credible and accurate)
    • Preparing the Presentation (for example, practice shifting from spoken content to media elements. Plan what you will do and state if any piece of equipment fails.)
    • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
    • Activity: Give a Multimedia Presentation (Use media evenly throughout your report)
    • Presentation Checklist (Presentation Content, Presentation Delivery)
    • Comprehension and Collaboration (With a small group, discuss the presentations you have viewed.)
  • In Unit 5, under the Assessment: Synthesis, students discuss the unit’s Big Question, “Do heroes have responsibilities?” There is a Criteria for Success provided which provides a scoring guidance for students, but not a protocol for students to follow for the task. There is a tip next to the Criteria for Success that states, “Use new vocabulary as you speak and share ideas, work to use the vocabulary words you have learned in this unit. The more you use new words, the more you will ‘own’ them.” However, this is not modeling the use of academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 5, Close Reading Activities, Student directions for a discussion state, “From Text to Topic Group Discussion: Discuss the following passage with a group of classmates. Listen closely and build on one another’s ideas. Support your own ideas with examples from the text. ‘Is a hero a hero twenty-four hours a day, no matter what? Is he a hero when he orders his breakfast from a waiter? Is he a hero when he eats it? What about a person who is not a hero, but who has a heroic moment?’ Questions for Discussion 1. Why does Wiesel ask these questions? 2. How do you answer each of these questions? How might Wiesel answer these questions? How do these questions clarify the problem Wiesel sees in defining heroism?” There are no clear directions on how to engage in the discussion itself, and no clear protocols.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading and researching through varied grade-level-appropriate speaking and listening opportunities. Opportunities include speeches, in-formal presentations, and engaging in small and large group discussions.

Instructional support is lacking for speaking and listening instruction. Prompts and presentations are included in final tasks with criteria for success listed, however clear instruction on how to engage in small or large discussions, debates, formal presentations is not included within materials.

The speaking and listening work requires students to marshall evidence from texts and sources and is applied over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, directions state, “With a small group of classmates, conduct a discussion about issues of conformity and conflict. Refer to texts in this section, other texts you have read, and your personal experience and knowledge to support your ideas. Begin your description by addressing the following questions: Why do differences between people cause conflicts? Is conformity always negative? Do conflicts over conformity ever have positive results or benefits? If so, under what circumstances, and for whom? Are the conflicts caused by pressure to conform - or to avoid conforming - always necessary, sometimes necessary, or never necessary? Summarize and present your ideas. After you have fully explored the topic, summarize your discussion and present your findings to the class as a whole.”
  • In Unit 1, in the Evaluating a Speech lesson teachers are to “encourage students to notice how a speaker uses language. Explain that speakers use loaded language to appeal to your feelings instead of your thoughts.” In the Assess portion of the lesson where students practice the skills, teachers explain to students that they should listen to the presentation and then write their own evaluations. In a group, they will complete the Evaluation Checklist to evaluate the presentations made by classmates.
  • In Unit 3, directions state, “Write a speech in which you explain your interpretation of one of the poems in Poetry Collection 1. Write an outline for your speech. Begin by jotting down the central point you want to convey and two to three points that support the main idea. Engage your audience by choosing interesting details that are appropriate to the purpose of your speech and support your interpretation of the poem. Engage your audience by choosing interesting details that are appropriate to the purpose of your speech and support your interpretation of the poem. Make your ideas memorable by using figurative language. Use a variety of sentence types, including long and short sentences and simple and complex sentences. As you deliver your speech, make eye contact with your audience and use gestures to emphasize ideas. Create a rubric so that classmates can assess your speech. Invite your listeners to give you feedback about your performance. After you deliver your speech, evaluate the feedback you receive and make notes about how you can improve the delivery of future speeches.”

Towards the end of each unit there is a speaking and listening lesson. The lessons include:

  • Unit 1: Evaluating a Speech
  • Unit 2: Delivering a Persuasive Speech
  • Unit 3: Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • Unit 4: Multimedia Presentation of a Research Report
  • Unit 5: Comparing Media Coverage

In the assessments found at the end of each unit, students are asked to engage in speaking and listening activities. The prompts are the same for each assessment and include: “With a small group of classmates, conduct a discussion about…. Refer to the texts in this section, other texts you have read, the research you have conducted and your personal experience and knowledge to support your ideas. Begin your discussion addressing the following questions….Summarize and present your ideas. After you have fully explored the topic, summarize your discussion and present your findings to the class as whole.”

While there are ample opportunities for listening and speaking about what is read and researched, the facilitation, monitoring and instruction within the materials is limited.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Writing tasks appear in the Writing Process, Close Reading Activities, and Assessment sections within the textbook. Within each part there are various writing opportunities to write both on demand and process writing.

On demand writing is presented. For example, In each unit’s Writing to Sources section there is a prompt under the heading “Timed Essay”. The essay prompt states students have 25 minutes or 40 minutes to write, and also provides a ‘5-Minute Planner’ detailing 4 steps students should take prior to writing. Also, at the end of each unit, in the Assessment: Skills portion there is a writing prompt under the heading “Timed Writing”. This assessment provides a writing prompt under the heading “Timed Writing”. In the teacher materials it states teachers should provide “ten to fifteen minutes” or “twenty minutes” for the Timed Writing.

The Writing Process section at the end of each unit’s Part 2 includes detailed instructions of the writing process for students to engage in to finish the writing task, including the prompt itself, the assignment details, prewriting and planning strategies, drafting strategies, suggestions on how to organize an essay, revising strategies and tasks, editing and proofreading, publishing and presenting, and reflecting on writing. The writing process is also detailed in some of the Close Reading Activities in Parts 2 and 3. For example, in Part 2 some contain a ‘Writing to Sources’ portion that includes a writing prompt along with the steps to complete the task. Though these steps change with each prompt, they include steps such as “listing the qualities, evaluating, explaining, and clearly stating your claim”. Students are reminded to “Make sure to include details from the text”. A ‘Grammar Application’ is also present. Also, in Part 3 some assignments include writing prompts with details on engaging in the writing process. Each of these includes a prompt followed by details on “Prewriting and Planning, Drafting, Revising, and Editing and Proofreading”. Finally, a writing process is detailed in each unit’s Assessment: Synthesis section, under the heading ‘Writing to Sources’. A Writing prompt is provided along with details for the following steps in a writing process: “Prewriting and Planning, Drafting, Revising and Editing”.

While opportunities to revise and/or edit are provided, support for students is unclear. The directions for revision are sufficient for students who are good at writing but do not provide enough clarity for students who might struggle with the task. For example, in the assignment on page 909, the guidelines for editing state “Check for coherence. Review your draft to be sure that your argument flows logically from beginning to end. If any parts of the essay feel out of place, move, rewrite, or eliminate that section.” If students are struggling to logically connect their argument within their writing, these revision directions will be of no help. Also, in Unit 1, in the Writing to Sources sources section, it says, “Write a comparison and contrast essay analyzing the characters’ views. Consider the following questions..” Students are asked to look at the Support for Writing to Sources page in their work books, but there isn’t any information on revising/editing to cover their process skills. Plus, Unit 4, Part 3, asks students to “write a brief short story in which you describe the events that might have led up to the scene depicted in the cartoon. Be sure to establish a conflict or problem and use dialogue and description to portray characters and events.” There is no opportunity states for students to partake in the edit/revise process.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. May include “blended” styles.

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials address five genres/modes in the Writing Process sections in each unit and through some annotated mentor texts. Also, there are Craft and Structure lessons throughout the textbook that link the stories and the Writing to Sources lessons after students read the stories. However, there is less instruction than opportunities to practice and apply skills. There are no exemplars and/or samples in the teacher’s edition for teachers to use to monitor students’ skills. There are limited guidelines and suggestions provided for teachers to monitor students’ writing skills. Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports).

Writing opportunities exist in each part of a unit so that students write across a school year. Writing tasks are included in the Close Reading Activities following texts and text sets, in stand-alone workshop tasks in each unit (the Writing Process sections) , in the assessments after Part 2 (Assessment: Skills), and in Part 3 (Assessment:Synthesis) of each unit. Materials provide limited opportunities for students/teachers to monitor progress in writing skills. There are rubrics in the Writing Process lessons, which occur once per unit. Also, rubrics are provided in the Professional Development Workbook. Support for teacher monitoring is not found. The teacher would need to create a larger system for students to track their progress for different writing modes.

  • All of the writing assessment prompts in the Assessment:Skills at the end of Part 2 are narrative or informational. There are no argumentative writing tasks within Part 2.
    • Unit 1, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Narrative, Students are directed to, “Write a short story in which you describe the events that might have led up to the scene depicted in the cartoon. Establish a conflict and use dialogue and description to develop characters and events.”
    • Unit 2, Assessment: Skills, Constructed Response, Writing Task 2, “Write an essay in which you compare and contrast to development of the central ideas of two texts from Part 2 of this unit.”
    • Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Narrative, ”Write a historical narrative in which your main character response to hearing President Johnson’s speech to Congress.”
    • Unit 5, part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Informative Text, “Write a compare-and-contrast essay in which you discuss the similarities and differences between Rama and Ravana, and explore what each character means in the epic’s presentation of good versus evil.”
  • At the end of each unit there is an assessment piece in Part 3, Assessment: Synthesis, where students are writing to sources.
    • Unit 1: Narrative and Argument
    • Unit 2: Narrative and Explanatory Essay
    • Unit 3: Narrative and Argument
    • Unit 4: Narrative and Explanatory Essay
    • Unit 5: Narrative and Argument

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.

Writing opportunities are presented throughout the materials but are not explicitly taught or monitored and are not consistently part of daily and weekly lessons that flow from the instruction and text-dependent questions. The majority of these writing tasks require the use of evidence from texts, however there are writing tasks that do not require evidence and ask for personal experiences and/or opinions and to go beyond the text. Materials do not always meet the grade level demands of the standards listed for this indicator, specifically the standard where students produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to tasks, purpose, and audience. Directions for students and teachers are limited and brief in regards to development, organization, style, purpose, and audience.

Examples of writing tasks found in the units that provide opportunities for students to learn, practice and apply writing using evidence while encouraging close reading of the the texts include:

  • In Unit 1, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Argument. “In ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, readers encounter a compelling, if disturbing, plot. Write a critique in which you analyze both the suspense of the story and the effectiveness of its ending. Present a clear claim, or position, and defend it with evidence from the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Write. “Write an expository essay in which you explain how the two poets communicate a sense of grief for Kennedy, both as a private person and as a public figure. Support your thesis with details from the text, including a discussion of literary techniques, word choice, and poetic structure.”
  • In Unit 4, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Argument. “Write a critical response in which you evaluate Tim Kasser’s argument.”
  • In Unit 5, Part 2, Assessment Skills, Constructed Response, Writing Task 2. “Write an essay in which you analyze how an author from Part 2 of this unit draw on and transforms a theme or topic from an older work.”In Unit 2, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Informative Text: Students write an abstract of “Libraries Face Sad Chapter”. The following student instructions are found, “An abstract is a summary of a work. Abstracts are often included in research databases and other reference sources. They provide a preview of the work so that researchers can determine if the entire work is relevant to their focus. As you work on your abstract, apply the following criteria: Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.; Clearly state the main point of Hamil’s essay.; Briefly identify important supporting details in a sequence.; Use clear, concise language to make every word count.; Do not include language verbatim from the original essay. Paraphrase, or restate the material in your own words.; Reread your abstract to make sure your summary is throughout and that you have not expressed your own opinions.
  • In Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Informative Text, “Write an analytical essay in which you compare and contrast Elena’s feelings of connection to the people in the house next door with those that her family and neighbors feel for the presidential family. Follow these steps: Review the story and take notes about Elena’s feelings for her neighbors and her community’s feelings for the presidential family.; Clearly state your thesis and cite examples from the story, including direct quotations, to develop and support your ideas.”
  • In Unit 4, Assessment: Synthesis, Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text, “Write an essay in which you examine connections between aspiration and identity. Support your ideas with textual evidence from two or more of the texts in this section as well as from the related research you have conducted.”
  • In Unit 5, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Argument, “Write a response to literature in which you analyze the character of Perseus, determine whether he displays true heroism, and effectively state and defend your position. Follow these steps: Explain the criteria you used to assess whether someone is truly heroic. Then, show how Perseus does or does not meet that criteria.; Develop your position thoroughly, but also take into account at least one differing opinion. Supply evidence that explains the strengths and limitations of both interpretations,; Write a conclusion that makes logical sense, given the argument you have laid out, and briefly restate the points you have made.”

Examples of writing tasks that do not require students to use evidence from the texts under consideration and do not require close reading of the text, or analysis or claims include, but are not limited to:

  • In In Unit 2, Writing Process,students “Write a cause and effect essay to explain an event or a conditions in a subject area that interests you, such as business, the arts, technology, history, sports, or music.” and in In Unit 5, Writing Process, students, “ Write an autobiographical narrative about an event that taught you a valuable lesson.”
  • In Unit 1, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources Informative Text. In “Rules of the Game,” both Waverly and her mother learn a variety of lessons. Think about another lesson you could teach either character. Create a written presentation that details your ideas.
  • In Unit 1, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Narrative. Students, “Write an autobiographical narrative in which you describe how a special trait of your own has either set you apart from others or helped you fit in.”
  • In Unit 2, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Argument p. 251 In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King uses persuasive techniques that inspire listeners. Write a proposal to a local, state, or national official or to a government agency about the idea of creating “I Have a Dream Day” to be celebrated on the day the speech was given.
  • In Unit 3, Assessment: Synthesis, Writing: Narrative, “Write a memoir about a newsworthy event that occurred in your community or elsewhere in the country and affected you. Include details about how you learned about the event, how you and others responded, how you felt at the time, and how you viewed those experiences in hindsight. Draw parallels between your reactions and those of others to the texts you have read in this section and the research you have conducted.”
  • In Unit 4, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Argument. “ Write an advice column in which you explain the qualities that make someone a trailblazer and suggest how others can emulate those traits.”

The materials do not meet all the demands of the standards listed for this indicator. For example, Writing Standard 1 speaks specifically about developing “claims and counterclaims fairly, while pointing out strengths and limitations of both”. No counterclaims were required to be addressed in students writing. There was also a lack of norms and conventions of the discipline in which students are writing. Writing standard 8 was also missing. There was no instruction on how to cite sources or how to determine if a source is reliable.

Indicator 1n

Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.

Materials include instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade band, however the instruction is not always explicit. Since these standards are found within 9-10 grade band, it would be to students’ benefit to study out of the 9th and 10th grade textbooks consecutively. Most conventions lessons are found in the Close Reading Activities in Part 2 of the texts. After the convention lesson there is a Writing to Source lesson within the Close Reading Activities. Within lesson directions, students are asked to apply the grammar lesson just learned. For example “use correct spelling and use parallelism in your writing”. Also, there is an activity called, “Extend the Lesson: Sentence Modeling” for each convention taught. Students look at a model sentence from the text just read, and are asked to notice the grammatical structure. Then they imitate the sentence, matching the grammatical and stylistic feature just discussed. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.

  • Materials include instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Each unit contains both grammar and conventions standards in all three parts of the unit. For example, in Unit 2 students work on direct and indirect objects, predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives, colons, semi colons, Ellipsis points, independent and dependent clauses, subject verb agreement, punctuation marks, dependent and independent clauses. In Unit 4, students work on parallelism, combining sentences with phrases, getting organized, and using block quotations.
  • Some explicit grammar instruction is found. There is usually one task for each standard. Most tasks that the materials identify as aligned to language standards are tasks that require students to already know about the grammar rule or convention. Often, the direct instruction comes in units after the tasks that require students to know and apply the rule. For example: Language Standard 1a, parallel structure, is not taught, only referred to on pages 141, 199, and 290. Then on page 466, parallel structure is defined, but no examples given. Students have to find the examples on their own. On page 634 parallel structure is finally fully explained and multiple examples are provided.
  • Part 2 of each unit contains a writing focus where the students must write a paper and use the instructions given to draft their essays, using the skills provided. For example, in Unit 2, students are working through the writing process where they revise to correct faulty Subject-Verb Agreement. Students are also directed to, “Scan several paragraphs in your draft and underline all compound subjects and indefinite pronouns. In each case, make sure that the verb form you have used agrees with the subject. There are no definite examples given to guide students in this task.
  • Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in and out of context. In one lesson, students work on independent and dependent clauses found in Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech”. In another lesson, students use their own writing to identify modifying phrases.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for Grade 9 do not meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are partially organized around topics. Materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Culminating tasks do not always promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic. The materials include a year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year, however, it is not cohesive and the vocabulary does not connect across texts. Materials include some writing instruction aligned to the standards and shifts for the grade level, although teachers may need to supplement and add more practice to ensure students are mastering standards. The materials include some focused research skills practice. The materials do not meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

8/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. While the texts in the student materials are connected by grade level appropriate topic or theme, they are mostly connected by genre. Each unit is framed by a focusing question, and the texts within each unit are loosely tied to the topic of this focusing question. It is not clear that these topics necessarily build knowledge about the world in any real way, and there is no clear sequencing of texts to build students’ knowledge or ability to comprehend complex text. Reading selections within each unit have a variety of grade appropriate qualitative and quantitative text complexity measures, but do not effectively scaffold students toward more complex texts.

Evidence that supports my rationale (written in correct format):

  • Each unit is dominated by a text genre:
    • Unit 1: Short Story
    • Unit 2: Nonfiction
    • Unit 3: Poetry
    • Unit 4: Drama
    • Unit 5: Myths
  • The focusing question for each unit is quite broad. As a result, the texts that are included in each unit are not focused enough to help students build knowledge on a single topic or theme. Here are some of the texts in selected units:
    • Unit 1: “Old Man at the Bridge” by Ernest Hemingway, “The Girl Who Can” by Ama Ata Aidoo, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, from Blue Nines and Red Words in Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet.
    • Unit 3: “A Voice” by Pat Mora, “Dream” by Langston Hughes, “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, “We Never Know How High We Are” by Emily Dickinson, “Instead of Elegy” by G.S. Fraser, “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress” by Lyndon Baines Johnson, ad “Carry Your Own Skis” by Lian Dolan
    • Unit 5: “Pecos Bill: The Cyclone” by Harold W. Felton, “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood, from the Rayamana retold by R. K. Narayan, an infographic on American Blood Donation, and “There Is No Word for Goodbye” by Mary Tall Mountain
    There are some places in the materials where the texts are organized by theme to build students' knowledge, although these are minimal. For example, the text sets in Part 3 of each unit include a series of texts organized around a topic and also include a variety of text types. For example:
    • Unit 1: Conformity. This unit includes a short story, poem, essay, and memoir
    • Unit 3: The Kennedy Assassination. This unit includes poetry, memoir, and short story
    • Unit 5: Defining Heroism. This unit includes an epic, a myth, a narrative essay and an infographic.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Most of the questions focus on key ideas & details, structure, and craft. There are few questions that support students in analyzing author’s language and word choice. The questions that do focus on language and structure do not support students to analyze its effect on the text. The text keeps a consistent pattern throughout in regards to students’ work. Items continue to be found at the end of readings, within readings, and in the assessments located at the end of each part. Questions and tasks provide evidence of student understanding of the definitions and concepts of the components identified in each unit.The questions and tasks help students to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

  • Some questions that accompany a text help students analyze key ideas and details, structure and craft well according to grade level standards. For example:
    • Unit 1, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Description,”(a)Find two examples of description in the text. (b) How does Tammet’s use of description help readers understand his unique perceptions?
    • Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Key Ideas and Details “(a) Whose dreams does Johnson describe? (b) Interpret: What does Johnson want to do with these dreams?”
  • Some questions do too much of the thinking for students. For example:
    • Unit 5, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, “In Campbell's view, how does the selflessness of the hero, described earlier in the interview, relate to the heroic task of motherhood? Explain, citing details from the text.”
    • Unit 5, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, “Odysseus recounts most of the action in Part 1 in the form of a flashback. List the events in Part 1 in chronological sequence, beginning with the end of the Trojan War.”
  • The questions that do focus on language and structure do not support students to analyze its effect on the text. Here is an example from Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Analysis, Language Study,Selection Vocabulary: “The following passages appear in “American History.” Define each boldface word. Then, use the word in a sentence of your own.”
  • Students are asked to analyze in similar format with similar supports from the beginning to the end of these materials. By the end of the year most items are not embedded in student work rather than taught directly with the goal of increasing student independence.
  • At the beginning of each unit there is an Introducing the Big Question section where language standards are given and academic vocabulary along with vocabulary terms are introduced to the students. Additionally, there is a Close Reading Workshop where students have a modeled piece of text that discusses word choice. Also, at the end of each text there is a Word Study and Language Study component. For example, “Explain how the Latin root -dur- contributes to the meanings of obdurate, endure, and duress. Consult a dictionary if necessary.”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

Some questions and tasks support students to build knowledge from a text or from research that grows from an idea within a text. Few questions across a unit or part of a unit build students knowledge or ideas on a single topic or theme. The teacher’s edition provides answers for most questions, instructional guidance on how to support students to complete tasks, and suggestions for multiple reads of texts. However, this guidance does not change from the start to the end of the year in the materials. The integration of knowledge and ideas does not change from the first to the last unit of the materials. The tasks are the same format throughout the materials in terms of guidance and support. For example, the Assessment Synthesis, Writing to Sources: Argument section of Unit 1 and Unit 5 are very similar but for the topic of the prompt. There are few sets of questions that provide opportunity to analyze across texts. There are single questions and tasks that do so. At the end of each unit’s ‘Part Three’ text set, there are not any questions that require students to analyze across texts.

  • In Unit 1, “The Most Dangerous Game” asks students to write a compare and contrast essay analyzing the characters’ views. Then later in Unit 1, “Rules of the Game” students are asked to compare and contrast some character traits and their causes and effects in the story. Then, mid-way through the unit, students read two texts on the unit theme and compare and contrast points of view and complete a timed write comparing and contrasting two characters within those two texts, “The Girl Who Can” and “Checkouts”.
  • Unit 1, part 3, Assessment Synthesis, Writing to Sources: Argument, “Write an argumentative essay in which you state and defend a claim about the values of individuality and conformity. Build evidence for your claim by analyzing the presentation of individuality and conformity in two or more texts from this section. Clearly present, develop, and support your ideas with examples and details from the texts.”
  • Unit 5, Part 2, Writing to Sources, Explanatory Text: Essay, ”Each writer in this section draws on Homer’s epic to communicate a message suited to today’s world. In an essay, compare how each poet uses classical allusions in combination with his or her own perspective. Support your ideas with evidence from the texts.”
  • Unit 5, Assessment: Synthesis, Speaking and Listening, Group Discussion, Conduct discussions. “With a small groups of classmates, conduct a discussion about issues of heroism and responsibility. Refer to the texts in this sections, other texts you have read, your personal experience, and research you have conducted to support your ideas.”
  • Some tasks do not help students build knowledge from the texts in the selections, but require students to use knowledge from outside the materials in their writing. For example, in Unit 3, Assessment: Synthesis, Writing: Narrative, “Write a memoir about a newsworthy event that occurred in your community or elsewhere in the country and affected you. Include details about how you learned about the event, how you and others responded, how you felt at the time, and how you view those experiences in hindsight. Draw parallels between your reactions and those of others to the texts you have read in this section and the research you have conducted.”
  • The integration of knowledge and ideas does not change from the first to the last unit of the materials. The tasks are the same format throughout the materials in terms of guidance and support. For example: Unit 1 prompt: “Write an argumentative essay in which you state and defend a claim about the values of individual or conformity. Build evidence for your claim by analyzing the presentation of individuality and conformity in two or more texts from this section. Clearly present, develop, and support your ideas with examples and details from the text.” Unit 5 prompt: “Write an argumentative essay in which you state and defend a claim about the values of heroism and responsibility. Build evidence for your claim by synthesizing ideas about heroism from two or more texts in this section. Present, develop, and support your ideas with examples and details from the text.”’ Each provides a bit of background, an assignment prompt, and then a series of the same supports for “Prewriting and Planning, Drafting and Revising and Editing”

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Questions and tasks presented in the Assessment Synthesis in part 3 of each unit do not demonstrate that students have been prepared to demonstrate knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Each unit’s Assessment: Synthesis section has singular tasks for different literacy standards. Constructed Response in each unit at end of Part 2 has separate Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Research Tasks. Each of these integrates Reading (Literature or Informational Text) with the single literacy task (Speaking and Listening, Writing, Research) so that students can demonstrate mastery of two standards at once, but no more. The only place where topics or themes from multiple texts is addressed is Assessment: Synthesis at the end of Part 3. Students are also encouraged to use a variety of sources such as texts from selections, other texts they have read, and personal experience, so that it is unclear they are building knowledge from selection materials. There are no questions clearly drawn from any text, either in the form of text dependent or text specific questions. There is no integration of literacy skills in these assessments. They are each stand-alone (reading, speaking and listening, or research). This Assessment Synthesis at the end of Part 3 in each unit is only place to show knowledge, but there is no clear opportunity to demonstrate knowledge from Parts 1, 2, or 4 of each unit. Some examples illustrating this include:

  • At the end of Part 2 of each unit, there are separate writing, speaking and listening, and research tasks. These all demonstrate only one standard at a time, rather than integrated skills. For example: Unit 1, “Writing Task 3, Write an essay in which you analyze how events in a story from Part 2 of this unit are ordered by cause-and-effect relationships. Speaking and Listening Task 4, Deliver an oral presentation in which you analyze how an author develops a character in a story from Part 2 of this unit..Research Task 6, In Part 2 of this unit, you have read literature that explores different kinds of conflict. Now, conduct a short research project on a conflict that affects your community. Use both the literature you have read in Part 2 and your research to reflect on and write about this unit’s Big Question.”
  • Each unit’s Assessment Synthesis section has singular tasks for different literacy standards. For example:
    • Unit 3, Assessment: Synthesis, singular tasks for Speaking and Listening, Writing: Narrative, Writing to Sources: Argument. Materials list Writing and Speaking and standards as being met by these three tasks.
    • Unit 5, Assessment: Synthesis, singular tasks for Speaking and Listening, Writing: Narrative, Writing to Sources: Argument. Materials list Writing, Speaking and Listening and two Language standards as being met by these three tasks (one language standard each applies to each writing task).
  • Assessment Synthesis tasks, in this example a Speaking and Listening prompt at the end of the unit, show little content or skill connection to the previous Speaking and Listening prompts throughout the unit. Unit 3 Final Unit Speaking and Listening Task: Assessment Synthesis Speaking and Listening Assignment, Conduct Discussion. “With a small group of classmates, conduct a discussion about the Kennedy Assassination and communication. Refer to the texts in this section, other texts you have read, research you have done, and your personal experience and knowledge to support your ideas. Begin your discussion by addressing the following questions: What forms of communication did people use to learn of the Kennedy assassination? Can communication in the wake of such a tragedy be negative? What are the benefits of communication after a tragic event? Are those who communicate information after a tragedy affected differently from those who receive the information? Summarize and present your ideas. After you have fully explored the topic, summarize your discussion and present your findings to the class as a whole. All of the Speaking and Listening tasks that are presented earlier in the unit are unrelated to this task.
  • Topics and themes from multiple sources are addressed in the Assessment Synthesis at the end of Part 3 of each unit. The focus of the theme is too loose to provide any real demonstration of knowledge on a specific topic. For example, here are the assessments in Unit 1. These are tied to the “Big Question - Is Conflict Necessary?”
    • Speaking and Listening Assignment-Conduct discussions. With a small group of classmates, conduct a discussion about issues of conformity and conflict. Refer to the texts in this section, other texts you have read, and your personal experience and knowledge to support your ideas. Begin your discussion by addressing the following questions: Why do differences between people cause conflicts? Is conformity always negative? Do conflicts over conformity ever have positive results or benefits? If so, under what circumstances, and for whom? Are the conflicts caused by pressures to conform - or to avoid conforming - always necessary, sometimes necessary, or never necessary? Summarize and present your ideas. After you have fully explored the topic, summarize your discussion and present your findings to the class as a whole.
    • Writing: Narrative Assignment Write an autobiographical narrative, or true story about your own life, in which you discuss a conflict you experienced that was driven either by the pressure to conform or resist conforming. Note that an effective autobiographical narrative explores the significance of a related series of events in the writer’s life. As you draft your narrative, make connections between your experiences, details in the texts you have read in this section, and the related research you have conducted. These connections will make your narrative richer.
    • Writing to Source: Argument Assignment Write an argumentative essay in which you state and defend a claim about the values of individuality and conformity. Build evidence for your claim by analyzing the presentation of individuality and conformity in two or more texts from this section. Clearly present, develop and support your ideas with examples and details from the text.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for providing a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. The materials define both “general academic vocabulary” referred to as Tier 2 in the CCSS, and “domain-specific academic vocabulary’” called domain specific or Tier 3 in the CCSS, both as academic vocabulary. This confuses the issue of vocabulary instruction by mis-identifying types of vocabulary. Vocabulary is not repeated in various contexts, and across multiple texts. The words identified at the start of each unit are not the same words used within texts and specific words are not addressed in tasks tied to texts. There is no attention paid to the use of words in text to enhance, unlock, or explore their meaning or use in any way. Academic and high-value words are highlighted in blue and defined in the sidebar for students, but is unclear what students should do with these words. Students are not supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks. There are no opportunities are present for students to learn, practice, apply and transfer words into familiar and new contexts.

  • Each unit’s Part 1 includes a list of vocabulary, identified as both academic and general. Students are directed to write definitions of words they know, look-up words they do not, and then use them all in a paragraph about conflict. However, these words are not those identified and defined in later texts.
  • Students are asked to use the words in later writing or speaking prompts in Close Reading Activities in Parts 2 and 3. (For example, Unit 1, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, sidebar prompt under the heading “Academic Vocabulary”: “As you write and speak about ‘The Most Dangerous Game,’ use the words related to conflict that you explored on page 3”).
  • The Student Companion All In One Workbook sections include ‘Vocabulary Builder’ and ‘Big Question Vocabulary’ activities for various text selections. The ‘Vocabulary Builder’ activity includes terms from selected texts, but the activities themselves do not provide insight to the text or author’s use of terms. Also, it is not clear in the materials when or how the Student Companion should be used (as supplemental activities, to replace activities in the materials, as homework, etc.) Here are some examples of activities in the workbook:
    • Vocabulary Builder from “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. Directions: In each item, think about the meaning of the underlined words and then answer the question. 1. If you think that a certain place is hallowed ground, would you consider it with respect or indifference? Explain.
    • Writing about the Big Question - Big Question Vocabulary from “On Summer” by Lorraine Hansberry. “Use one or more words from the list above to complete each sentence. 1. To try to understand summer, Hansberry recalls _________ gathered through her __________.”
  • Many Close Reading Activities in Parts 2 and 3 of each unit have a Language Study portion. Words from the text are listed and students are directed to “Choose one word from the list to fill in the blank for each sentence. Then, identify the context clues in each sentence that helped you”. There is no exploration of the words as used in the text selections to explore their meaning, author choice, etc.
  • In Unit 5, there is a “Use New Vocabulary” prompt on the side of Assessment: Synthesis Speaking and Listening “As you speak and share ideas, work to use the vocabulary words you have learned in this unit. The more you use new words, the more you will ‘own’ them.”
  • “Academic Vocabulary” prompts are found on the side of Close Reading Activities:
    • Unit 5, Part 3, Academic Vocabulary: Academic terms appear in blue on these pages. If these words are not familiar to you, use a dictionary to find their definitions. Then, use them as you speak and write about the infographic. In this case, the words in blue are: distinct, underscores, implicitly. These same words are not used in the infographic to task is addressing.
    • Unit 1, Part 3, Academic Vocabulary: “Academic terms appear in blue on these pages. Use a dictionary to find their definitions.Then, use them as you speak and write about the infographic. Words in blue: analyze, evidence. The words in blue from the text are: monotonous, squelching, allegedly. They are not the same words.

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Writing tasks appear in the Writing Process, Close Reading Activities, and Assessment sections within the textbook. Within each part there are various writing opportunities, but time limits on the assignments is unclear. On many assignments, teachers and students are not directed to use the writing process. Also, in most cases, it is unclear when students are asked to edit and revise. Questions are provided to guide the process, but teaching and modeling is not present.

The digital resources included are limited and not necessary for students to use in order to support their writing process or product. There are teacher and student resources available on- line. Materials do not always attend to the demands of the writing standards for this indicator.

Writing prompts, accompanied by steps for a writing process, most often appear in the assessments section rather than in the day to day instruction. For the prompts in the Close Reading Activities, there is little clear guidance to teachers and students on how to engage the process outlined in the materials - there is no indication for which tasks students receive in- depth feedback, for which prompts students should engage in the writing process over a longer term, and which prompts should be considered on-demand or shorter tasks.

Writing prompts span the school year, but instruction is limited. Though prompts in Close Reading and Assessment sections have directions for students “brainstorm a list, use the rubric below, cite your sources” there is no opportunity for students to work on the drafting of a claim, selection of relevant vs. irrelevant evidence, guidance on how to make formal citation of sources in writing, frames for connecting claims, evidence, and reasoning, or otherwise. The writing instruction remains relatively the same throughout the school year. The Guided Exploration portion of each unit’s Part 2 includes a “Writing Process” portion that does provide supports for the writing process. However, these supports do not build on one another from one unit to the next and the writing prompts in this section are divorced from any of the selection’s grade-level text. Without cohesion between the units and clear grade-level text-dependence, these sections are not aligned to grade level standards and do not create instruction that spans the year. Though there are models in Part 1 and 2 of each unit, how this writing develops over a school year is unclear. There are no protocols, guidance for instruction, nor monitoring support provided.

  • For many writing assignments, there is no clear instruction for students. For example, in Unit 1, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Students are directed to “Clearly state your claim” This assumes that students already know how to make a clear claim. They are also directed to, “Make sure to include details from the text as evidence…” Again, if students don’t know how to introduce evidence, cite evidence, or select best evidence s very well they would need some support in place. There is no support for these parts of writing.
  • Writing instruction remains similar throughout the school year. Writing tasks in Part 3 of every unit include: Close Reading Activities: Prewriting and Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Proofreading each time. Specific directions vary according to requirements of the task, but do not build from one to the next across the school year.
  • “Writing Process” prompts found in Part 2 of each unit are not aligned to the texts students read. In Unit 1, the assignment is, “Write a response to a work of literature that engages you as a reader.” In Unit 3, “Write a problem-solution essay about an issue that confronts your school or community.” Finally, in Unit 5, “Write an autobiographical narrative about an event that taught you a valuable lesson.” None of these assignments require text evidence, and do not build in sophistication over the school year.
  • There is no differentiation in writing instruction from the start to the end of the school year. Prompts do not build on one another, and instruction doesn’t change across the year).
    • Unit 1, Part 2, Close Reading Activities, Writing to Sources, Argument, “In ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ readers encounter a compelling, if disturbing, plot. Write a critique in which you analyze both the suspense of the story and the effectiveness of its ending. Present a clear claim, or position, and defend it with evidence from the text.
    • Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Discuss - Research - Write, Writing to Sources, Informative Text, “Write an analytical essay in which you compare and contrast Elena’s feelings of connection to the people in the house next door with those that her family and neighbors feel for the presidential family.”
    • Unit 5, Part 1, Close Reading Activities, Connections: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Write, “Nearly all tall tale heroes and their counterparts in epics, myths, and legends display superhuman abilities. Modern forms of entertainment, such as comic books and action movies, also feature heroes with superpowers. In an essay, discuss how Pecos Bill’s abilities are similar to or different from those of another heroic character with which you are familiar. Cite details from the tale to support your ideas.”
    • While opportunities to revise and/or edit are provided, support for students is unclear. The directions for revision are sufficient for students who are good at writing but do not provide enough clarity for students who might struggle with the task. For example, in the assignment on page 909, the guidelines for editing state “Check for coherence. Review your draft to be sure that your argument flows logically from beginning to end. If any parts of the essay feel out of place, move, rewrite, or eliminate that section.” If students are struggling to logically connect their argument within their writing, these revision directions will be of no help. Also, in Unit 1, in the Writing to Sources sources section, it says, “Write a comparison and contrast essay analyzing the characters’ views. Consider the following questions..” Students are asked to look at the Support for Writing to Sources page in their work books, but there isn’t any information on revising/editing to cover their process skills. Plus, Unit 4, Part 3, asks students to “write a brief short story in which you describe the events that might have led up to the scene depicted in the cartoon. Be sure to establish a conflict or problem and use dialogue and description to portray characters and events.” There is no opportunity states for students to partake in the edit/revise process.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills that build to student independence. Research prompts exist in Close Reading Activities and in Constructed Response tasks in the Assessment: Skills section, but they are not sequenced to build research skills. It is also unclear that these prompts meet the expectations set-out in grade-level standards pertaining to research. Materials do no support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic. Research projects presented in the materials are more general in nature, than topic specific.

There are limited opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking and listening , and language skills to synthesize and analyze multiple texts and source materials about a topic or topics. Students analyze multiple texts (3 at the most) in the Assessment: Skills and Assessment: Synthesis prompts, but not around clear a topic or topics. Few are tasks are about a topic across topics, more often about standards across topics. No resources for student research are suggested. The materials provide little clarity on the scope (in terms of time, allocation of resources, and student product) of any of these research tasks.

Research prompts are not sequenced to build student independence. Below are research projects suggested for units 1, 3, and 5. The tasks are similar and do not get more challenging as the school year progresses.

  • Unit 1, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Research, Investigate the Topic, “Conduct research on the language barrier faced by some immigrants coming to the United States. Find memoirs, articles, or essays by people who immigrated as children and learned English once they arrived. Summarize your research in a journal or blog entry about individuality and conformity as it relates to the language one speaks.”
  • Unit 3, Part 3, Close Reading Activities, Research, Investigate Topic, “Most people who were alive when President Kennedy was shot remember precisely where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Conduct interviews with people in your family or community who remember the assassination and record their recollections, or local archival interviews with people recounting their experiences. Prepare an oral history and share it with others.”
  • Unit 5, Part 2, Assessment: Skills, Research, Task 6, Do heroes have responsibilities? “In part 2 of this unit, you have read about heroes. Now you will conduct a short research project on a local hero. Your hero might be a classmate, a neighbor, or even a family member or friend. Use both the texts you have read in Part 2 and your research to reflect on and write about this unit’s Big Question.”

Research projects are tied to the unit’s Big Question, but do not build knowledge of the topic. Here are some examples of vague linking of topic in Assessment: Synthesis

  • Unit 1, Assessment: Synthesis, Assignment, “Write an argumentative essay in which you state and defend a claim about the values of individuality and conformity. Build evidence for your claim by analyzing the presentation of individuality and conformity in two or more texts from this section. Clearly present, develop, and support your ideas with examples and details from the texts.
  • Unit 3, Assessment: Skills, Research, Task 6, How does communication change us? “ In part 2 of this unit, you have read poetry that explores different aspects of communication. Now you will conduct a short research project on one of the poets whose work you have read. Explain how the poet’s life experiences and beliefs about poetry are reflected in his or her work. Use both the poems you have read and the research you have conducted to reflect on this unit’s Big Question.”
  • Unit 5, Part 2, Writing Process, Focus on Research, “When you write narrative texts, you might perform research to: gather authentic details about the setting of your story, find out how others who participated in the events perceived or were affected by them, gather background information, such as historical data, that provides a context for the events you describe. Incorporate direct quotes from others smoothly into your story, noting who spoke and under what circumstances. If you use quotations from other writers, cite them accurately.”

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

There is some organization built in with supports or scaffolds to foster independent reading. These include multi-draft reading instructions and a section in the Time and Resource Manager where teachers are to “Direct students to read the selection independently” and “Build knowledge of the topic by direction students to read the text independently”. However, it is unclear what students might do when encountering a text outside of the anthology’s selections. There are no procedures, such as a proposed schedule or accountability system organized for independent reading suggested in the lessons. The suggested texts for independent reading span a wide volume of texts at various readability levels. There is no clear guidance provided for what is read in and out of class.

Independent reading is only clear in Part 4 of each unit, not in the rest of lessons. In Part 4, which is 2 pages long, ‘Titles for Extended Reading’ are provided but not any expectations or timeline or further purpose. It is not clear which texts under consideration in Parts 1-3 of each unit are meant for group reading, whole class reading, independent reading, nor which are to be read in class and which are to be read outside of class.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

+
-
Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3e

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
N/A

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
N/A

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
N/A

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
N/A

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
N/A

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
N/A

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
N/A

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
N/A

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)
N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2017/08/31

Report Edition: 2015

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Pearson Literature 2015 Grade 9 Student Edition 978‑0‑1332‑6820‑1 Pearson 2015
Pearson Literature 2015 Grade 9 978‑0‑1332‑6830‑0 Pearson 2015
Student Materials: Common Core Companion Workbook, Grade 9 978‑0‑1332‑7110‑2 Pearson 2015

The publisher has not submitted a response.

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

ELA High School Review Tool

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

For ELA, our review criteria evaluate 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 complements 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