Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Reach for Reading Grade 5 partially meet expectations of alignment. The Grade 5 instructional materials partially meet expectations for Gateway 1. The materials partially meet the criteria that texts are worthy of students' time and attention, of quality, and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for the grade level. The materials partially meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The materials partially meet the criteria for materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards. The Grade 5 instructional materials partially meet expectations for Gateway 2 and provide some opportunities for students to build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
32
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
24
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

The Reach for Reading Curriculum for Grade 5 partially meets the expectations that high-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade; however, not all of the text selections support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the year. Materials provide some opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The instructional materials miss some opportunities for explicit and systematic instruction and diagnostic support in phonics, vocabulary development, morphology, syntax, and fluency.  

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.
17/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that texts are worthy of students' time and attention, are of quality and are rigorous, and support students' advancing toward independent reading. Anchor texts are of publishable quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade; however, not all of the text selections support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the year. Materials expose students to a broad range of text types and disciplines and include a volume of reading so students can achieve grade-level reading proficiency by the end of the year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The informational texts are mostly engaging with connected photographs and content. There are many plays, poems, and various short stories included throughout the program; however, there are no excerpts from novels or larger works are found throughout the curriculum.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students read God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau, a high-interest autobiography adaptation of an award-winning documentary film about Dau’s life growing up in Sudan. It is interesting social studies content with rich language and real photography.
  • In Unit 2, students read Ten Suns by Eric A. Kimmel, a Chinese myth with rich descriptive language and Asian-inspired illustrations.
  • In Unit 3, students read Coyote and Badger by Bruce Hilscock, a realistic fiction text with animal characters. It is written by a widely published author of children’s books in nature and includes interesting illustrations.
  • In Unit 4, students read Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Jull, a story about a famous historical figure. It contains rich language and colorful engaging illustrations.
  • In Unit 5, students read One Wall by Rochelle Strauss, an important nonfiction text with science and social studies crossover. It includes text features such as bold photographs, diagrams, and academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 6, students read Westward Bound by Michael J. Nobel, a quality piece of informational text, though it reads like a social studies textbook. It has maps, photos, drawings, and uses academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 7, students read Where I Live by well-known author Gary Soto, which is an engaging story with evocative language and vocabulary, interesting characters, and bright, engaging illustrations.
  • In Unit 8, students read Starting Your Own Business: Seven Steps to Success by Arlene Erlbach, which provides basic information about starting a business and basic business economics. It is high interest and contains good content vocabulary.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. The whole group and read aloud texts include a mix of nonfiction and fiction texts with a variety of genres including legends, science articles, plays, historical fiction, and poems. Students are exposed to the various texts throughout the entire program.

Examples of fiction texts include:

  • Unit 2: How the Fifth Sun Came to Be by Lulu Delacre - Aztec myth
  • Unit 3: Coyote and Badger by Bruce Hiscock - realistic fiction
  • Unit 4: Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle - tale
  • Unit 7: Where I Live by Gary Soto - short story
  • Unit 8: One Hen by Katie Smith Millway - realistic fiction

Examples of informational texts include:

  • Unit 1: "The Journey to Gold Mountain" by Allison Chen - history article
  • Unit 2: "Solar Cookers" by Kate Levine - newspaper article
  • Unit 5: "Why Save the Wetlands?" by Dinah Garton - science article
  • Unit 6: "One Man’s Gold" by Enos Christman - historical account
  • Unit 8: "Making Bucks by Washing Pups" by Mal Nguyen - article

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

Students read a variety of texts throughout the program within the grade band Lexile of 740-1010; however, several books are outside of this band, both below and above. There are also books for small group reading below, at, and above the Lexile band. However, in small group reading instruction, students receive tailored instruction.

Examples of texts that students read during shared reading that have appropriate quantitative and qualitative measures include:

  • In Unit 2, students read  Adventures in Solar Energy by Allison Chen, which has a Lexile of 860 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 4, students read Pioneer for Women’s Rights by Frank Lee, which has a Lexile of 980 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 5, students read Why Save the Wetlands by Dinah Garten, which has a Lexile of 980 and is qualitatively middle high.
  • In Unit 6, students read A Letter Home by Edmund Booth, which has a Lexile of 940 and is qualitatively middle high.
  • In Unit 7, students read Every Day, Every Day by Maria Delgado, which has a Lexile of 950 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 8, students read From Super Idea to Superjam by Edgar Wilson, which has a Lexile of 950 and is qualitatively middle low.

Examples of texts that students read during shared reading that have Lexiles outside of the band include:

  • In Unit 1, students read American Stories: adapted from PBS in the Mix, which has a Lexile of 610 and is qualitatively middle low. They also read Journey to Gold Mountain by Allison Chen, which has a Lexile of 1170 and has middle low qualitative features.
  • In Unit 2, students read How to Make a Solar Oven by Solargirl, which has a Lexile of 660 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 3, students read Living Links by Diana Salisian, which has a Lexile of 740 and is qualitatively middle high. They also read What’s on the Menu by Valerie Kasiske, which has a Lexile of 1090 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 4, students read Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle, which has a Lexile of 650 and is qualitatively middle low.
  • In Unit 5, students read A Legend of the Great Flood by W.J. Thomas, which has a Lexile of 690 and is qualitatively middle high.
  • In Unit 6, students read A Day in the Life of a Vaquero by Phyllis Edwards, which has a Lexile of 760 and is qualitatively high.
  • In Unit 7, students read Where I Live by Gary Soto, which has a Lexile of 750 and is qualitatively middle high.
  • In Unit 8 students read One Hen by Katie Smith Milway, which has a Lexile of 650, though is listed as having a Lexile of 760.

Examples of some texts students read in small groups that are in the higher level include:

  • In Unit 1, students read Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman which has a Lexile of 1050.
  • In Unit 2, students read Electricity and Magnetism by Peter Adamczyk and Paul Francis-Law, which has a Lexile of 1050.
  • In Unit 3, students read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, which has a Lexile of 1000.
  • In Unit 4, students read With Courage and Cloth by Ann Bausum, which has a Lexile of 1080.
  • In Unit 5, students read Droughts by Judy and Dennis Fradin, which has a Lexile of 1160.
  • In Unit 6, students read Bull’s Eye by Sue Macy, which has a Lexile of 1150.
  • In Unit 7, students read Earth’s Garbage Crisis by Christinane Dorion, which has a Lexile of 1200 and is qualitatively high.
  • In Unit 8, students read The Kid Who Invented the Popsicles by Don L. Wulffson, which has a Lexile of 1080.

Examples of some texts students read in small groups that are in the lower level include:

  • In Unit 1, students read An Immigrant Community of the 1900s by Gare Thompson, which has a Lexile of 520.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Sun by Fran Downey, which has a Lexile of 520.
  • In Unit 3, students read Shark Tales by Rene Ebersole, which has a Lexile of 440.
  • In Unit 6, students read Pioneer Edition, Explore the West by Brian LaFleur and Shirley Ann Costigan, which has a Lexile of 470.
  • In Unit 7, students read Pioneer Edition, Melting Away by Glen Phelan, which has a Lexile of 500.
  • In Unit 8, students read Jeans from Mines to Malls by John Micklos Jr., which has a Lexile of 400.

Indicator 1d

Materials support 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.)
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.)


Throughout the year students read a variety of texts and genres; however, not all of the text selections will help students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the year. The qualitative measures are in the middle low range and eventually go to middle high. Over the course of the year, the texts do not build in quantitative rigor, nor do the tasks associated with the texts increase in rigor. The complexity of texts are scattered throughout the year, with some lower level, less complex texts in the second half of the year through the last unit. There are  20-40 minutes a day of whole group reading of complex texts.

Examples of how the materials support and do not support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the year include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students begin reading an oral history, I was Dreaming to Come to America by Veronica Lawler, labeled qualitatively middle high. It is paired with a close reading of "Returning to Chile!," an e-mail by Elena and Catalina Rojas, which is also qualitatively middle high. There is a mix of straightforward questions and some that require deeper thinking for inferencing and viewpoint.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, there are a series of four science reports grouped for closing reading. They are all labeled qualitatively middle low, but the Lexiles are over 900. These include Types of Rainforests by Sharon Sanchez (1020L), The Forest Floor by Edward Calvert (1040L), What’s on the Menu? by Valerie Kasiske (1090L), and Small Food Web-Big Trouble (900L) by Erin Ming. All the texts have questions that ask students to consider details to compare text structures.
  • In Unit 5, all of the texts are qualitatively middle high, but have much lower Lexiles than previous units. For example, in Week 3, students read the realistic fiction text, My Great-Grandmother’s Gourd by Christina Kessler, which has a Lexile of 700 and most of the tasks involve questions about details in the story or making connections to the text. In Week 4, there are a series of legends for close reads with Lexiles of 690, 820, and 940.
  • In Unit 7, the qualitative and quantitative features are not much higher than the complexity levels at the beginning of the year. For example, students read Message in a Bottle by David de Rothschild, which is labeled qualitatively middle high and has a Lexile of 780.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

The materials provide a qualitative measure in the form of Complexity Rubrics found under the Resource list tab; however, the rubrics do not share the rationale for why the specific text was chosen. Additionally, the qualitative measure provided is very broad, such as middle low, with no explanation of what makes the text qualitatively middle low. The program materials give a general rationale for why all of the texts were chosen for the program, but none are specific. The materials state that the Student Edition includes National Geographic content and authentic literature worth reading and rereading and that the units are four weeks long, built around a science or a social studies topic.

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Throughout the year, students engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency. Throughout the week, students read anchor texts in their anthology and participate in small reading groups with leveled texts. There is also Learning Station Time where students participate in various reading and writing stations or participate in independent reading.

In addition, students are exposed to a broad range of text types and disciplines throughout the year during whole group instruction, small groups, learning centers, and independent reading. Units have a shared reading and a close reading pairing each week with additional supplemental texts. There are also leveled readers related to the topic of each unit for small group and independent reading.

Examples of the various disciplines a student might read include:

  • In Unit 1, students read:
    • My Diary From Here to There by Amada Irma Perez - diary
    • I was Dreaming to Come to America by Veronica Lawler  - oral history
    • "Returning to Chile" by Elena and Catalina Rojas - email
    • A Refugee Remembers by John Bul Dau - autobiography
    • American Stories - documentary
    • "Journey to Gold Mountain" by Allison Chen - history article
  • In Unit 3, students read:
    • Coyote and Badger by Bruce Hiscock - realistic fiction
    • Living Links by Diane Salisian - fiction story
    • Types of Rain Forests by Sharon Sanchez - science report
    • "Fish of the Future" by Cheryl Block - interview
    • "Phyto Power" by Mary M. Cerullo - science article
  • In Unit 5, students read:
    • One Well by Rochelle Strauss - science feature
    • "Picturing the Pantanal" by Lisa Berti - science article
    • My Grandmother’s Gourd by Christina Kessler - realistic fiction
    • Juan Del Oso and the Water of Life by Enrique R. Lamadrid and Jan E. Arella - legend
  • In Unit 7, students read:
    • "The World of Waste" by Marybeth Lorbiecki - persuasive article
    • Message in a Bottle by David de Rothschild - essay
    • "Plastic: Some Clear, Hard Facts" by Boris Maletski - magazine article
    • "Earth Day, Every Day" by Maria Delgado - web article
    • "Where I Live" by Gary Soto - short story
    • "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" by Shel Silverstein - song lyrics

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
12/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based and require students to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit, as well as valid inferences, from the text. Some of the culminating tasks are in relation to the texts read throughout the unit; however, some are projects that do not require comprehension of the unit materials nor completion of the preceding equations and tasks. The materials provide practices and protocols for opportunities to discuss and interact with the curriculum content and vocabulary. Students have daily opportunities to practice speaking and listening; however, the practice opportunities are not always connected to the read-aloud text. Materials include multiple opportunities for both on-demand and process writing tasks that span the year’s worth of instruction and opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply narrative, opinion, and expository writing are provided; however, the majority of the writing lessons focus on expository writing. Materials provide opportunities that are varied and build writing skills over the course of the school year; however, materials do not consistently provide opportunities for students to learn to write careful analyses, well-defended claims, or clear information. Many of the writing prompts reference the texts read but do not require students to use textual evidence. Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. 

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria of most questions, tasks, and assignments being text- dependent/specific, which require 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).

Students are asked text-dependent questions during and after reading the texts throughout the program. While some questions are retell questions, others are text-specific that require the students to make generalizations or conclusions based on what they read.

Examples of text-dependent questions include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students are asked why Ellis Island was a symbol for immigrants across Europe and how they think a variety of viewpoints will help them understand what it was like to arrive in Ellis Island.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students read the blog, “Energy for the Future,” and answer what Culhane’s goal is and what strategy he uses to accomplish the goal.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, students are asked how phytoplankton and land plants are the same and how they are different as well as where do phytoplankton get the carbon dioxide they need for photosynthesis.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, after reading A Filmmaker for Justice, students are asked why they think Roshni wants to bring the struggle for women’s rights to the world’s attention and to paraphrase the last two paragraphs on page 263.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, after reading, Picturing the Pantanal, students identify the main idea in the first paragraph and identify some animals that live in Pantanal based on the text features.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, while reading the play, The Road to Rhyolite, students are asked why Shorty whispers about the gold he finds and what makes Doyle and his friend leap around.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, while reading the persuasive article, “The World of Waste,” students are asked what problem and solution are described.
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, after reading Another Way of Doing Business, students are asked questions such as how are the ideas about the elephant's actions related and what generalizations can they make about how people think about ivory.

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

The culminating tasks are Unit Projects, some of which are in relation to the texts read throughout the unit; however, some are projects that do not require comprehension of the unit materials nor completion of the preceding equations and tasks. Students are given choices at the end of each unit to demonstrate their understanding of the Big Question. The options include Write It! which addresses the writing standards, Talk About It! which addresses the speaking and listening standards, and Do It!, which also addresses the speaking and listening standards. Examples of project choices include:

  • In Unit 2, students write a letter to an astronaut including questions they would ask about the sun, perform a play of one of the myths read in class, hold a “press conference” about the first solar oven at their school with a partner, or write a song or chant to introduce one of the song selections from the unit. Some of these options allow students to integration knowledge from the unit, but not all require students to have answered a set of high-quality sequence of questions in order to do these projects.
  • In Unit 3, students research food chains on the internet and present their information in a visual display; create a dialogue for scenes in the story, Coyote and Badger; create a food web based on the texts in the unit; or write their own ode to animals based on the ode in the unit as the mentor text.
  • In Unit 5, students create a poster that encourages people to conserve water; decide on a media such as TV, web sites, or blogs and decide which one is best to convince people to conserve water; research a tropical wetland and then give a presentation; or write a short legend about two or three characters in the unit. While the options all connect to the text, the tasks do not require that students show an integration of skills.
  • In Unit 6, students learn what it takes to settle a new land and then can write a list of things they would take with them if they had to move, prepare questions to ask characters from the text, write three jokes about living in a new place, or find pictures that show what life was like for settlers. Many of these choices are not text-dependent, and do not require the students to integrate ideas.
  • In Unit 8, students learn about changing their future and can write about a business they would start by writing a list of steps they would need to get the business started, organize an activity that would help the school raise money, think of something that they could not live without and then make up a funny or serious song about what it would be like if someone had not thought of that thing, or research the internet to find a business that was started by a kid and then present their findings.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

The materials provide practices and protocols for opportunities to discuss and interact with the curriculum content and vocabulary, though there is not much evidence for these protocols being used within the program. The Best Practices Routines, which are the speaking and listening protocols are located in the front of the Teacher Guide. There are protocols for partner discussions, group conversations, and presentations. Clear directions and protocols are provided and supported by the Academic Talk Flip Chart. Group conversations are scaffolded with roles that are clearly defined and supported with sentence stems to help students fulfill their role in the discussion.

The partner discussion protocol includes sentences stems and opportunities for each partner to talk. The group conversation protocol includes roles for each student including a facilitator, encourager, timekeeper, and note taker. There are also sentence stems to help students with the discussion. At the end of the discussion, the class comes back together and a few students share what their groups discussed.

The presentation protocols are outlines for students and include criteria such as stand up tall, speak clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear, and introduce the presentation. The protocols also include directions for listeners, such as listen attentively, ask questions if you do not understand something, and make eye contact. However, the materials provide no clear opportunity for students other than English Language Learners to engage in oral presentations.  The Cooperative Learning suggestions in the text also provide support for partner and group discussion configurations that can be used with the protocols.

Examples of opportunities for evidence-based discussions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reviews the rules of discussion including taking turns when speaking, listening to what others say, and respecting others views. Then the teacher discusses the idea, speaking at a normal pace and talking loudly enough so everyone can hear. Students then discuss the Big Question which is how where you are, can change who you are.
  • In Unit 6, Week 5, the teacher reviews the Big Question: "What does it take to settle a new land?" The teacher asks the students how the text, The Road to Rhyolite, explains what turns a boomtown into a ghost town. Students engage in a Four Corners discussion strategy and a step-by-step protocol is provided.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, the teacher follows a step-by-step protocol for Inside-Outside Circle, during which students explain a process to a classmate.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 supports.

Students practice speaking and listening skills daily, though it is not always connected to the texts that they hear in read alouds. Some of the specific opportunities come before the text is read during a vocabulary lesson or during an opportunity to make predictions. There is also a Speaking and Listening Learning Station that does use texts, but not the anchor texts from the unit.

Examples of opportunities for students to practice their speaking and listening, though not always in conjunction with a text, include:

  • In Unit 2, one of the end-of-unit project options is to review pages 137-141 in the text about how to make a solar oven and then hold a pretend press conference for classmates using formal presentation language.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, during the Speaking and Listening Learning Station, one option has students watch a video about Cesar Chavez and share the new information they learned. They can add the new information to their sequence chains, and then share and compare their sequence chain with a partner.
  • In Unit 6, Week 4, students act out a scene from Discovering Treasure. They then discuss and compare how they brought the dialogue and stage directions to life.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students compare and discuss the similarities and differences between sequential and problem-solution text structures, using problem-solution text structure, using From Super Idea to Super Jam and Diego’s Awesome Salsa.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

Materials include multiple opportunities for both on-demand and process writing tasks that span the year’s worth of instruction. Throughout the day, students participate in power writing, daily writing skills, writing lessons, and practice writing during learning stations. Students also write on Day 5 of small group reading time. In addition, students participate in a week-long writing project each week that takes them through the writing process.

There are many opportunities for students to participate in on-demand writing. This includes timed writing to improve stamina, writing lessons, and writing in response to texts that are read.

Each day, students participate in power writing each day, a timed, one minute, on-demand quick write. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students write as much as they can about the word, specialize.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students write as much as they can about the wild west.

Students practice daily writing skills. This is a week-long lesson that addresses a writing objective for the week. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students learn about transitions.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students learn how to write concisely.

Writing lessons, often based on the texts read, are included each week. For example:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students write a paragraph about connections they made to the text, A Visit to the Desert.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students read the newspaper article, "Blind Teen Starts Business Creating Braille Menus," and after thinking about the relationships the character had with people who helped her with her business, the students write a response about the relationships and what impresses them about her accomplishments.

On Day 5, students write during small group reading time. Students are given three options. For example:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students have the choice of writing a news brief, drawing a character sketch, or writing a journal entry.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students have the choice of creating a travel brochure, drawing a character sketch, or writing a journal entry.

Students write during daily Learning Station time. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, one of the options for students is to review the story, Ten Suns: A Chinese  Myth, and then write a brief story about what happens to the characters.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, students use information from research online about science careers to write a help wanted advertisement or they can research an animal, draw it, and write a description of the animal.

Process Writing opportunities include students participating in a week-long writing project each week. Students are given a prompt, study a model, prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish, and present. One week a unit, students participate in a week-long Research Project that often has students plan, research, organize, draft, and present ideas. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students write a compare and contrast essay about ancient Mexico. They must choose two gods from the text, How the Fifth Sun Came to Be, and compare their roles and actions.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students write an opinion piece for Martin Luther King Jr. Day by answering questions, such as why are the actions of individuals important and how can a person make a difference.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students engage in a research project on water supply problems.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students come up with an idea for a new product and then design a print ad or TV commercial to sell it.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Instructional materials provide opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply narrative, opinion, and informative/expository writing; however, the majority of writing prompts focus on expository writing. Students are often asked to respond to the text. Narrative writing focuses on process writing and students have few opportunities for opinion writing. Materials provide tasks for students to use different modes of writing. Students write arguments, opinion pieces, persuasive essays, informative texts, interviews, letter or emails, reports, procedural texts, explanatory texts, narratives, stories, character sketches, poems, tall tales, myths, trickster tales, folktales, science fiction stories, and responses to texts. The instructional guide provides supports for teachers to assist students as they progress through the program, such as graphic organizers, checklists, and rubrics.   Each week focuses on a different writing genre, appropriately aligned to the text. Mini-lessons are scaffolded throughout the week in order to support student outcomes. Model writing samples and other instruction support accompany each unit.

Examples of narrative writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, students write a personal narrative about a time that they had to adjust to a new place or situation.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students write an animal adventure story from the perspective of the animal.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students write a tale to tell young campers as they gather around the campfire.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students write a science fiction story about the world being buried in trash.

Examples of expository writing include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students write an expository paragraph describing some aspect of what it was like to come to America in the early 1900s.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students write one or two paragraphs to compare the two characters’ roles and actions in the story, Maul and the Sun.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students write a science report explaining a food web within one ecosystem.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students write a paragraph about one of the inferences they made when reading the editorial.
  • In Unit 5, Week 4, students write a magazine article that explains something about the importance of water.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, students write a journal entry from the perspective of a miner in Rhyolite.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students write a how-to article on the topic of reusing common household items.

Students write opinion writings such as:

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students write a newspaper article on their opinion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day by explain how contributions of individuals can be important and how one person can make a difference.
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, students write an essay that persuades people to  reduce the amount of trash they produce.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

Materials provide opportunities that are varied and build writing skills over the course of the school year; however, materials do not consistently provide opportunities for students to learn to write careful analyses, well-defended claims, or clear information. Many writing prompts are related to the texts, but do not require students to find evidence. Other writing prompts use the text as a mentor, but do not require the students to demonstrate understanding.

Daily writing skills and writing lessons are not consistently evidence-based writing opportunities. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students review the weekly writing skill by collaborating with a partner to write a short passage that includes two characters. Students include both dialogue and actions that give clues to each character’s traits. This requires no text evidence.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students work on introductory sentences for the entire week. Students use a model, then practice using sentence stems, and finally work together to write introductory sentences for an original story.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students write a paragraph about the character in their character map.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students write their response to the idea of living in a spaceship such as TransHab for months or years.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, after reading Saving Bison from Extinction, students write their opinions about whether they think the bison would have been left alone if the railroad had not come.

Some weekly writing projects are connected to texts, while others do not require students to provide evidence to support analysis or claims. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students write a story about a student’s first day at a new school. They are required to include an engaging introduction that presents that character and his or her situation.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students write a science report explaining a food web within one ecosystem by using the texts from the unit.

Some small group reading writing prompts ask students to find evidence; however, many choices do not require students to return to the text for evidence. This also depends on which leveled group students are in. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students considered on level have the choice of writing a new ending for the story in which Mary and her brothers find the treasure of Amelia Island, write an email in which they recommend or do not recommend the book to a friend, or write a journal entry in which they explain whether or not they think Mary and her brothers made the right decision to go looking for the treasure.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students considered below level have the choice of writing a few sentences telling what they think happens to Andrew and his friends after the tour ends, write three questions that they would want to ask Andrew about his experience in the garbage, or write about an invention they would make to get rid of or reduce garbage.

Weekly learning stations include a writing station. These stations rarely ask students to find evidence from texts.

  • In Unit 5, Week 3, students either make a poster about Sudan or the write a news article to go with the headline about the new water pump that came to Fatima’s village.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5  meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

The materials contain Daily Grammar practice throughout all eight units. During Days 1-3 of a week, students play a game to practice using the new grammar or punctuation skill. On Day 4, students complete a Practice Master to show their knowledge from the previous three days of instruction. On Day 5, there is a review of the skills and then an assessment of the skill. Students have opportunities to practice and apply spelling through editing and proofreading passages.

Students have opportunities to explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, during Daily Grammar, the teacher reviews conjunctions and explains that conjunctions connect words or groups of words. Correlative conjunctions are introduced. On Day 4, the students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with correlative conjunctions.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 1, during Daily Grammar, the teacher introduces interjections and teaches the rules:
    • Interjections are words or short groups of words that show feelings.
    • An interjection that shows strong feeling ends with an exclamation mark.
    • An interjection that shows mild feeling or weak feeling is followed by a comma.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, during Daily Grammar, students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with interjections, commas and semicolons.
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, during Daily Grammar, the teacher introduces prepositions and prepositional phrases that show location, direction, time, and give details.

Students have opportunities to form and use the perfect verb tenses (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked). For example:

  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Days 2, during Daily Grammar, the teacher introduces the regular past-perfect tense. The teacher introduces and teaches the following rules:
    • The past-perfect tense of a verb tells about an action that was completed before another action in the past.
    • The regular past-perfect is formed with the helping verb had and a main verb ending in -ing. The students contrast the verbs started and had planned. On Day 4, the students use proofreading and editing marks to correct errors with past-perfect tense.
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, Day 1, the teacher introduces the future perfect tense and teaches the rules:
    • The future-perfect tense tells about an action that will be completed at specific time in the future.
    • The future perfect is formed with the helping verbs will have followed by either a main verb ending in -ed or a special form of the main verb.
  • On Day 4, the students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with future perfect tenses.

Students have opportunities to use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions. For example:

  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students generate sentences to include past-perfect and past-progressive tense by choosing verbs from a word bank.

Students have opportunities to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, the teacher introduces present progressive verbs and how the helping verb changes to agree with the subject of the sentence. On Day 4, the students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with helping verbs and present progressive forms of verbs.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 1, the teacher introduces present-perfect tense. On Day 4, students use proofreading and editing marks to correct errors with present-perfect tense and helping verb agreement.

Students have opportunities to use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, during Daily Grammar, the teacher reviews conjunctions and explains that conjunctions connect words or groups of words. Correlative conjunctions are introduced. On Day 4, the students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with correlative conjunctions.

Students have opportunities to use punctuation to separate items in a series. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, during Daily Grammar, the teacher introduces the use of commas in a series and teaches the rules: Use commas to separate three or more items in a series. Always use a comma before the coordinating conjunction in a series.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, during Daily Grammar, students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with interjections, commas, and semicolons.

Students have opportunities to use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, during Daily Grammar, the teacher reviews introductory elements and teaches the rule: "Always use a comma after introductory clauses that begin with words, such as because, since, while, if, when, and although." On Day 4, students use editing and proofreading marks to correct errors with the use of commas with introductory clauses.

Students have opportunities to use a comma to set off the words, yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?). For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, during Daily Grammar, Day 2, the teacher introduces and teaches the following rules: Use commas to set off a direct address, yes or no answer before a statement, and a tag question at the end of a statement.

Students have opportunities to use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. For example:

  • In the Anthology Handbook, punctuation rules are listed for quotation marks. The rules include the use of quotation marks with titles of magazines or newspaper article or chapter from a book.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, the teacher introduces the rules for punctuating titles that include italicizing, underlining, and using quotations with titles.
    • On a computer, italicize the titles of books, plays, movies and TV series.
    • If you are handwriting a title of a book, play, movie or TV series, underline it.
    • Use quotation marks for titles of poems, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, chapters of a book, and episodes of a TV series.
  • On Day 4, the students used proofreading and editing marks to correct errors in title of works.

Students have opportunities to expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style. For example:

  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 3, during Daily Grammar, students generate sentences that use adverb clauses at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of a sentence. On Day 4, students use proofreading and editing marks to correct errors with adverb clauses.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 3, students practice combining sentences using page T325n.

Students have opportunities to compare and contrast the varieties of English used in stories, dramas, or poems (e.g., dialects, registers). For example:

  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 4, the teacher conducts a Language mini-lesson. The teacher contrasts a character’s formal way of speaking and another character’s informal way of speaking. Students find other examples of formal and informal speech from the text. Students are encouraged to compare and contrast the examples.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
3/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards. Foundational skills across Grades 3-5 contain a focus on similar skills rather than focusing on skills for the grade level standard. Students have opportunities to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected tasks, but opportunities for students to apply word analysis skills in connected texts are limited. Materials include few word analysis assessments to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. While fluency practice opportunities are regularly included, some days of practice lack an explicit focus on fluency.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

Foundational skills across Grades 3-5 contain a focus on similar skills rather than focusing on skills for the grade level standard. For example, in Unit 3 of all three grade levels, there is a focus on long vowel and making plural words with -s and -es. While the level of the word gets longer, the skill is similar in all three grade levels.

Materials contain phonics and word work instruction based in prior grade level phonics learning rather than providing explicit instruction in Grade 5 phonics and word recognition. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students are taught short vowel sounds in multisyllabic words.
    • In Week 1, the teacher displays the word aspect with a line between the syllables. The teacher is to emphasize the short /a/.
    • In Week 3, the teacher displays the word classic and puts a line between the syllables. The teacher states the word and points to the syllables. Students sort the spelling words into three categories: short /i/ in the first syllable, short /i/ in second syllable, and short /i/ in more than one syllable.
  • In Unit 2, students are taught short vowel sounds in multisyllabic words, digraphs, and consonant blends
    • In Week 1, the teacher displays the word density. The teacher points out the CVC pattern and explains: “One vowel between two consonants usually has short-vowel sound, but there are exceptions to this rule.” Students divide words into syllables.
    • In Week 4, the teacher displays the word droop. The teacher points to the blend dr and emphasizes the blend. The teacher explains the blend.
  • In Unit 3, students are taught long vowels and plural words with -s and -es.
    • In Week 1, the teacher displays procure and points out the syllables. The teacher circles o and pronounces the word. The teacher states: “When a syllable ends with a vowel, the vowel is usually long.”
    • In Week 4, the teacher shows words with s, sh, and ss. The teacher shows students how to add -es to make the words plural. The teacher shows peril and phase and shows students how to add -s to make plural. Students categorize plural words.
  • In Unit 4, students are taught long vowels with vowel combinations, and students are taught verbs with endings.
    • In Week 2, the teacher displays the word creed and circles the ee. The teacher pronounces the word. The teacher displays impeach and circles ea. The teacher pronounces the word. Students sort words into the two categories.
  • In Unit 5, students are taught long vowels with vowel combinations, and students are taught r-controlled vowels.
    • In Week 2, the teacher shows the word pursue, circles ue, and pronounces the word. The teacher explains: “The vowel combination ue is used to spell the long /u/ sound at the end of a syllable.”
  • In Unit 6, students are taught r-controlled vowels, words with y, words with oi, oy, ou, ow, and words with oo, ew; au, aw, al, all.
    • In Week 2, the teacher displays depart, alert, stirrups, fortress, and durable.
    • In Week 3, the teacher shows bout and vow. The teacher circles ou and ow and pronounces the words. Students write each of the spelling words on index cards.
  • In Unit 7, students are taught words with hard and soft /c/ and /g/, words with oo, words with VCV pattern and VCCV pattern, and multisyllabic words with VCCV pattern and VCCCV pattern.
    • In Week 1, the teacher shows calculate, certify, criticize and underlines each c. The teacher pronounces the words and explains hard /c/ and soft /c/.
  • In Unit 8, students are taught words with prefixes and words with suffixes. Students also learn about syllable types and multisyllabic words.
    • In Week 3, the teacher displays abide, gallery, and gentle. The teacher explains: “When the last syllable of a word ends in -y or -le, the preceding consonant usually goes with the -y or -le.” The teacher pronounces the words, and students echo.
    • In Week 4, the teacher explains how to break a long word into syllables. Students print each spelling word on index card and students draw vertical lines in pencil where they think syllable breaks are in each word.

Some tasks and questions are sequenced to application of grade-level work (e.g., application of prefixes at the end of the unit/year, decoding multi-syllable words). Instruction in prefixes and suffixes are limited to two units, Unit 3 and Unit 8. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, during Vocabulary Strategy, the teacher introduces prefixes: “A prefix is a word part added to the beginning of a word that can affect its meaning.” Students learn in-, micro-, and mis-.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, the teacher is directed to review with students the meanings of the following prefixes: bio-, de-, mis-, trans, and un-.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 1, during Vocabulary Strategy, the teacher introduces suffixes: “Today we will learn about a word part called a suffix that we add to the end of a word.” Students learn -able, -ist, -ful.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, the teacher shows eVisual 3.39 and reviews the suffixes students have learned and how adding a suffix can change a base word’s meaning.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 2, the teacher shows students reassure, regain, and unequal. The teacher pronounces the words and explains what a prefix is. Students write the spelling words which contain the prefix on index card.

Minimal assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. Examples include:

  • In the Reach for Phonics Foundations, there are the following assessments: Placement/Summative Test and Mastery Progress Checks.
  • The materials contain a Phonics and Decoding Test for reading placement.
  • At the end of a week, there are spelling tests for assessing the phonics and word work skill for the week. If students need additional practice, there are reteach opportunities.

Materials contain some explicit instruction of word solving strategies (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words in the Reach into Phonics Foundations. Examples include:

  • In Script 1: Lessons 1-6, during Guided Practice 1, students identify letters and letter sounds in a word. During See it Say it Hear it Read it, partner B states the sounds of each letter and blends the letters into a real word.
  • In Script 3: Replacement for Lessons 18-19, the teacher explains the schwa vowel sound. The teacher displays letter tiles for Word 1 and divides the word into syllables. Students use the schwa sound to decode the word.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected tasks. Opportunities for students to use word analysis skills are limited for applying the skills to connected texts. Examples of students using word analysis in connected tasks are:

  • In Unit 1, students are taught short vowel sounds in multisyllabic words.
    • In Week 1, students practice activities to work on short /a/ words such as aspect and bashful.
    • In Week 3, students participate in activities such as syllable categories to practice short /i/ and /u/ words.
  • In Unit 2, students are taught short vowel sounds in multisyllabic words, digraphs, and consonant blends
    • In Week 2, students participate in activities to practice ck and sh in words.
    • In Week 4, students practice activities to learn consonant blends, such as nd, st, lt, mp, nt, fr, sm, sn, sl, cl, tr, pl, and dr.
  • In Unit 3, students are taught long vowels and plural words with -s and -es.
    • In Week 1, students participate in activities to practice long /e/, /i/, and /o/.
    • In Week 4, students practice making plurals with words such as mammal, cell, and phase.
  • In Unit 4, students are taught long vowels with vowel combinations, and students are taught verbs with endings.
    • In Week 2, students participate in activities with long /a/ such as ai and ay. Students make notecards of the words and shuffle the letters for a partner to unscramble the letters.
    • In Week 4, students participate in adding the ending -ing to verbs. Students create a postcard with as many spelling words that contain verbs with -ing.
  • In Unit 5, students are taught long vowels with vowel combinations, and students are taught r-controlled vowels.
    • In Week 1, students practice words with long /i/ using ie and igh. Students create sentences using sentences with smaller words they found in a spelling word.
    • In Week 2, students practice words with long /u/ that contain ui and ue such as duel and blueprint. Students play a game spelling words with ui and ue.
  • In Unit 6, students are taught r-controlled vowels, words with y, words with oi, oy, ou, ow, and words with oo, ew; au, aw, al, all.
    • In Week 2, students write spelling words with ar, er, ir, or, ur on index cards and students highlight the r-controlled combination.
    • In Week 3, students learn words with ou and ow. Students make comic strips with the words.
  • In Unit 7, students are taught words with hard and soft /c/ and /g/, words with oo, words with VCV pattern and VCCV pattern, and multisyllabic words with VCCV pattern and VCCCV pattern.
    • In Week 1, students create word webs that use the following words: accumulate, calculate, certify, comply, container, criticize, disgusting, garbage, indulge, obligation, regulate.
    • In Week 4, students write a poem using the Watch-Out Words, which are words homophones using VCCV.
  • In Unit 8, students are taught words with prefixes and words with suffixes. Students also learn about syllable types and multisyllabic words.
    • In Week 3, students write and perform a skit using the Watch-Out Words with contain disburse, disperse, advice, and advise.
    • In Week 4, students play a game taking turns writing a missing word in a sentence and checking the spelling of the word.

Students practice using prefixes and suffixes from Units 3 and 8 in connected tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, during Vocabulary Strategy, the teacher introduces three new more prefixes: de-, un-, and trans-. The teacher is to model how to use the chart and context clues to determine the meaning of decompose.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 4, during Vocabulary Practice, the teacher shows students eVisual 3.17 and explains that students have to find the word in the sentence with a prefix. Then students define the prefix.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, students are showed eVisual 3.19. Students use context clues to figure out the missing word in sentences. The missing word has a prefix.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students learn two more suffixes and read the suffixes in words in sentences. Students determine the meaning and part of speech.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 4, the teacher shows eVisual 3.38 which contains base words and words with suffixes. Students use the meaning of the base word to write the meaning of each word and its part of speech. Students use each form of the word in an oral sentence.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, students practice un- and re- by making a drawing and using re- and un- in words to describe the drawing.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students learn three suffixes: -ly, -less, -ful. Students classify words into the following categories: 2 syllables, 3 syllables, and 4 syllables.

Materials include few word analysis assessments to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. During the weekly vocabulary tests, students usually fill in a blank with a missing spelling word. This does not require students to analyze word parts. In Units 3 and 8, students use prefixes and suffixes to analyze word parts to answer the assessment. For example, in Unit 3, Week 2, students answer the following question: "What does the word retell mean in 'I asked him to retell the story.'?" The answer options are as follows: not tell, tell again, tell wrongly, tell beyond.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities being frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Fluency is included almost daily, although some days the fluency practice lacks an explicit focus on fluency especially on Days 3 and 4. On Day 1, students hear the teacher model a fluency aspect such as expression, phrasing, accuracy, and intonation. On Day 2, partners read aloud a text and the teacher circulates and listens for fluency such as expression. On Day 3, students read the whole group text and the teacher monitors their expression, accuracy, and rate. On Day 4, students read the whole group text and the teacher monitors their expression, accuracy, and rate. On Day 5 of Weeks 1 and 3, students use the Comprehension Coach to practice reading fluently or students can use a Practice Master to read.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading.

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level texts with purpose and understanding. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, a student reads aloud the following purpose statement: “Amada discovers that her family is moving. Find out why.” The class discusses the purpose.
    • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, a student reads aloud the following purpose statement: “Find out how Cesar Chavez’s life changed when he was ten.” The class discusses the purpose.
    • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 3, the teacher reads aloud the introduction and states: “Find out about the complex world of garbage and recycling.” The class discusses the purpose.

Materials support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary.  For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher explains correct phrasing: “When you read with correct phrasing, you pause at the end of each group of words that goes together. Punctuation gives you clues about when to pause between groups of words.” However, students do not practice phrasing.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, the teacher circulates and listens as students read a myth to monitor students’ intonation, rate, and accuracy.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 5, students practice fluency by reading Practice Master 3.24. The teacher assess intonation, rate, and accuracy.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 2, the teacher circulates and listens as students read A Day in the Life of a Vaquero to monitor students’ phrasing, accuracy, and rate.

Materials do not consistently support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). Opportunities are limited to Phonics Games in Intervention and the instruction is not connected to texts.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency.

  • During Day 5 of Week 1 and 3, there are opportunities for students to be assessed in their fluency. Students can use the Practice Master to read and show fluency. The teacher evaluates expression, rate, and accuracy.
  • In each unit, a teacher can use the Oral Reading Assessment to document student fluency. If a student needs to be retaught, the manual points the teacher to the Fluency Routines.
    • In Fluency Routine 1, the focus is Choral or Echo Reading/Marking the Text. The teacher is directed to select short passage. The teacher is to model reading the text or use an audio CD or MP3 format. Students mark the passage for the reader’s phrasing and intonation. Students chorally read the text or echo read the text. Students read the text multiple times with a partner until they can read the passage fluently.
    • In Fluency Routine 2, the focus is Paired Reading. The teacher is directed to select an appropriate text. Students are paired with a partner or an adult. Partners alternate reading sentences. The teacher is to encourage students to read with prosody.
    • In Fluency Routine 3, the focus is Recording and Tracking. Students use the Comprehension Coach to record and analyze their readings. Student are to re-recorded as needed. Student note their accuracy and rate.
    • In Fluency Routine 4, the focus is Timed Reading. Students use the Comprehension Coach to record their reading. “The Comprehension Coach encourages students to read carefully and thoughtfully, repairing miscues, thinking about vocabulary, and actively comprehending." Students graph their WCO on a graph each time they use the Comprehension Coach.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the expectations for Gateway 2. Some unit texts are organized around a topic to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently and other unit texts are organized around the development of a specific strategy or skill. Coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts are included and students have opportunities to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Some questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. The materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary and words in and across texts. Writing instruction and tasks do not consistently increase in complexity or lead to students independently demonstrating grade-level proficiency by the end of the year. The materials provide opportunities for focused research projects that encourage students to develop knowledge by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and sources. While the materials include a design for independent reading, a plan for how independent reading is implemented and a system for accountability for independent reading both inside and outside of the classroom are not present.

Criterion 2a - 2h

24/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

The eight units contain themes and topics. Over the course of four weeks per unit, students participate in listening, reading, writing, and discussing around a science or social studies topic and Big Question. The science units focus on a topic that helps to build knowledge, while the social studies topics seem to build skills around a theme. There are National Geographic videos to build background knowledge for each unit.

The following units explore science content and each week of the unit has a different topic about the overarching topic. The units are centered around a topic that helps to build knowledge. Samples of the units include:

  • In Unit 3, the overall topic is “Nature’s Network” with a Big Question, “What is nature’s network?” Over the four weeks, students read realistic fiction, fiction, science reports, an interview, and science articles to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn about the following skills: plot, determine importance, compare text structure, relate concepts, main idea and details, and identify supporting details. To wrap-up the unit, students share their ideas about answering the Big Question through making a food chain, acting out a food web, performing a play, or writing an ode. The following topics are focused on each week: Week 1: Ecosystems, Week 2: Ecosystems, Week 3: Ocean Exploration, and Week 4: Ocean Life.
  • In Unit 5, the overall topic is “Every Drop” with a Big Question, “Why is water so important?” Over the four weeks, students read a science feature, science articles, realistic fiction, a legend, a Zuni legend, and an Australian legend to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn about the following skills: main idea and details, make connections, explain relationships between ideas, explain interactions between events, review and integrate ideas, determine main idea, analyze character, compare characters, determine theme, integrate ideas, and compare theme. To wrap-up the unit, students share their ideas about answering the Big Question through making a poster, making a presentation, writing a legend, or creating a plus-minus chart for the pros and cons of each type of media and use their charts to make a decision. The following topics are focused on each week: Week 1: Water Supply, Week 2: Water Systems, Week 3: Water Sources, and Week 4: Water Sources.
  • In Unit 7, the overall theme is “Talking About Trash” with a Big Question, “Why should we care about garbage?” Over the four weeks, students read a persuasive article, an essay, a magazine article, a web article, a short story, and poems to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn about the following skills: author’s viewpoint, synthesize, explain author’s reasons and evidence, form generalizations, use multiple sources to solve a problem, compare, review and integrate ideas, goal and outcome, draw conclusions, determine theme, explain elements of a poem, and compare approaches to theme. To wrap-up the unit, students share their ideas about answering the Big Question through writing and reciting a poem, performing a skit, giving a speech, or creating a piece of art. The following topics are focused on each week: Week 1: Earth’s Resources, Week 2: Managing Resources, Week 3: Environmental Issues, and Week 4: Environmental Issues.

Other units that are the social studies texts focus more on skills and strategy and are centered around a theme. Examples of text sets focused on thematic learning that support students skills and strategy development, but do not build knowledge on a topic or set of topics include:

  • In Unit 1, the overall theme is “Crossing Between Cultures” and the Big Question is “How can where you are change you who you are?”. Over four weeks, students read a diary entry, oral history, email, autobiography, and a historical article to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn the following skills: character development, preview and predict, analyze viewpoint, describe viewpoint, compare and contrast, monitor and clarify, fact and opinion, and explain relationships. To wrap-up the unit, students can share their ideas about answering the Big Question through writing a letter, giving a tour, creating a documentary, making a collage.
  • In Unit 4, the overall theme is “Justice” and Big Question is “What is justice?”. Over four weeks, students read a tale, history articles, first-hand accounts, a biography, and a social studies article to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn the following skills: theme, make inferences, interpret figurative language, analyze viewpoints, sequence, and compare text structures. To wrap-up the unit, students share their ideas about answering the Big Question through making a collage and writing a summary, researching protest songs, holding a debate, and holding a mock press conference in a project titled “Meet the Reporters”.
  • In Unit 6, the overall theme is “The Wild West” and the Big Question is “What does it take to settle a new land?”. Over four weeks, students read a history article, an essay, historical accounts, a letter, plays, and a narrative poem to address the Big Question. Students use the texts to learn the following skills: cause and effect, visualize, explain relationships between events, identify author’s purpose, review and integrate, compare viewpoints, explain the structure of a poem, determine theme, and compare themes. To wrap-up the unit, students share their ideas about answering the Big Question through completing a project titled “On the Road” where they imagine that they are moving to an unsettled area and create a packing list, write an explanation about why they chose the items, and explain why they chose to leave some items behind; putting on a comedy show; conducting an interview; and creating a photo-essay.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Throughout the program students are asked a series of questions to help them analyze the details, key ideas, craft, language, and structure of individual texts. Many questions are analysis questions and some ask students to compare different aspects of the text or to make inferences.  

Students answer a variety of questions throughout the program that require them to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of texts. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, while reading I was Dreaming to Come to America by Veronica Lawler, students are asked what the emotional meaning or connotation Lazarus has for the word roots.
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, during small group discussion for Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, students answer a series of questions that help to build understanding: "Why did people in Tucson, Arizona, form a human flag? Why has the number of stars on the flags changed over time? Why is the Fort McHenry flag being preserved rather than restored?"
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, during the small group discussion for Symbols of Freedom by Frank Mills and Meg Runway, students answer a series of questions to help build their understanding of the text: "How did the United States get the Statue of Liberty to naming two ways the Statue of Liberty has inspired people? Compare and contrast the Statue of Liberty to Washington D.C."
  • In Unit  4, Week 2, while reading Journey to Freedom by Peter Winker, students analyze the language by describing how the Underground Railroad is like a network.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, during the small group discussion of From Work to School by Shirleyann Costigan, students answer a series of questions to help them comprehend the text: "Describe two ways that life changed from the 19th century to the 20th century. How were common schools different from public schools? Analyze the author’s viewpoints about loyals and newsies by comparing and contrasting the viewpoints."
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students read an essay titled Message in a Bottle and form generalizations that they can make about the benefits of recycling plastics and explain what happens when you toss a stone in the water.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students read Jeans: From Mines to Mall by John Micklos Jr. in small groups and answer many questions in a sequence to help analyze the text: "What role did Thomas Edison play in the popularity of jeans? Describe how marketing affects what people decide who wear."

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

Throughout the year, students read a range of texts and are asked text-dependent questions and tasks that help them analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. At the end of each week, students reflect on the Big Question for the week and use all of the texts to answer the question. By reading a range of science and social studies topics, students build knowledge, and the text-dependent questions help students to analyze the texts.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 4, students read the blog, “Energy for the Future” by Thomas Taha Rassam Culhane, and answer a series of question to help integrate knowledge. These questions include asking students what have they used today that is powered by electrical energy and how that connection helps them understand the text, how electrical energy gets into homes and schools, and why Dr. Culhane and his students use black aluminum fins for their water heater.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, after reading Journey to Freedom by Peter Winkler, students are asked what they can infer from the fact that slavery was not legal everywhere.
  • In Unit 6, Week 4, Day 5, students reflect on the Big Question about what it takes to settle a new land. Students reflect on all of the texts from the unit and are asked how they explain what turns a boom town into a ghost town.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 5, students reflect on the Big Question about why we should care about garbage and think about all of the texts read in the unit to explain why people should care about garbage.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

At the end of each unit, students complete Unit Projects. Students have a choice of four different projects; however, only some of the projects require students to demonstrate knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Since students have choice in which project they complete, they may elect the projects that do not require knowledge from the unit.

For example:

  • In Unit 2, students study the power of the sun. The whole class is required to write a blog that tells about how the power of the sun affects people and nature. Project choices enable students to either demonstrate understanding of a text or demonstrate understanding of knowledge, but not all choices require both.
    • Students write a letter to an astronaut and include questions they would like to know about the Sun.
    • Students hold a pretend press conference with a partner about the first solar oven at school. Students are required to prepare interesting facts and details from the text.  
    • Students write and perform a myth from the unit. This requires knowledge of a text, but not necessarily knowledge of a topic.
    • Students write a song or chant with a partner to introduce one of the text selections.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about justice. All students make a poster about justice before picking one of the project choices. The project choices require knowledge of the term, justice, in order to complete each project.
    • Students make a collage of headlines that have to do with justice from magazines and newspapers. While this requires knowledge of the term justice, students are not required to integrate the skills of speaking, listening, or reading.
    • Students work in a group to research protest songs, or songs that shine a light on injustice. Students put the songs together in a book and write an introduction that tells about each song.
    • Students work with a small group of students to hold a debate about an issue people are talking about now in the school or community. Students write arguments for and against the issue on index cards. This integrates reading, speaking, writing, and listening and requires an understanding of the term, justice.
    • Students role play a press conference with real people and the story characters in the unit. Students ask questions about the fight for equal rights.
  • In Unit 6, students learn what it takes to settle a new land. Prior to the project choices, students write a description of what Rhyolite or another boom town was like, which requires both knowledge and an integration of skills; however, not all of the project choices require a demonstration of knowledge from the unit or an integration of skills.
    • Students write a list of things they would take with them if they had to move to a new place.
    • Students choose people to represent characters from the play, The Road to Rhyolite. They prepare questions to ask characters about their lives in the west.
    • Students write three jokes about living in a new place and then put on a comedy show to share them with the class.
    • Students find pictures that show what life was like for settlers who went west. Students then arrange the photos to make a photo essay and write one to two sentences to describe each place.
  • In Unit 8, students learn how one idea can change the future. Prior to making a project choice, all students write an article for a teen magazine explaining how one idea can change lives. This requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integration of skills; however, not all of the project choices require students to demonstrate knowledge through an integration of skills.
    • Students choose a business that they would like to start and write all the steps they would need to get the business started.
    • Students organize an activity that would help raise money for their school.
    • Students think of something that they could not live without and make up a funny or serious song about what the world would be like without that thing.
    • Students research to find a business that was started by a kid and then present it to the class. While this integrates the skills of reading and speaking, it does not require knowledge from the unit.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Five to 10 new vocabulary words are introduced each week and are integrated throughout the week with stand alone activities, in texts, in questions and answers, and in some writing assignments. The Tier II words are weaved into the year-long curriculum and students regularly interact with them each week. Some weeks students learn words that are in the text, and other weeks students focus on vocabulary learning skills such as using context clues or breaking apart a word.

The Teacher Edition includes a vocabulary section in the prefatory material that provide routines for vocabulary practice throughout the week. Routine 1 includes activities for identifying a word when it is unknown, definitions of words, and practice discussions with new words. Routine 2 includes expanding word knowledge with graphic organizers. Routine 3 includes activities for paired work with new words. Routine 4 includes more complex graphic organizers to extend and possibly reteach words (options and samples are provided). Routine 5 includes “Text Talk Read Aloud” to teach text-specific vocabulary after a selection has been read aloud. These include sentence frames and stems. Routine 6 is for reteaching with some guidance for direct instruction.

Following these routines is a selection of possible vocabulary games and activities to incorporate into class time. The section also includes activities and games for vocabulary practice from vocabulary bingo and whole group to other partner and individual activities.

In the individual units, after learning the words, the words appear in the text for the day. The comprehension questions following the text also include the words or the answers require the use of the vocabulary words. The Teacher Edition also provides information on how to reteach words if they are using them incorrectly. Specific examples of vocabulary words and or lessons within the materials include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students focus on the skill of using a dictionary to learn unfamiliar words, such as symbol, benefit, hyphen, and promise. Students also focus on the parts of speech of the words, especially if they have multiple meanings. Students practice using dictionary skills for their words throughout the week. On Day 4, in small groups, students create word webs for each of their key words for the week.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students learn 10 new words, including five that are Tier II and Tier III science words, such as microscope and magnify using Routine 1. Students answer questions about the texts with the key words in the questions, such as "How are tiny things like nutrients and chlorophyll related to larger plants or animals?" There are ways to reteach the words if students are having difficulty, such as additional questions teachers can ask about the text with the vocabulary words. On Day 3, students use Routine 2 to reinforce the new vocabulary words and on Day 4, they use Routine 3. On Day 5, students play a game where the teacher gives clues about the word and the first student who knows the word wins. The end of week assessment includes vocabulary word questions.
  • In Unit 5, Week 4, Days 1 and 2, students learn to relate words and begin analogy work using the vocabulary words, such as acquire, ancient, familiar, and observe, by making word webs. On Day 3, students write the words on index cards and they practice using the words in sentences. On Day 4, students work with their vocabulary words to find synonyms and antonyms. If students are still struggling with the meaning of the words and how to create word webs, students are retaught how to make word webs on Day 5.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students learn 10 new academic and science vocabulary words, including plastic, reduce, renewable, and pollution using Routine 1. Students hear the words in the read aloud throughout the week and writing prompts include the use of the words. For example, on Day 1, students need to write an opinion paragraph about whether classes should be punished for not recycling. Students make word maps with partners, and share examples and non-examples throughout the week. Students also work on synthesizing their ideas about the texts and incorporate vocabulary words to do so.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria that materials 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.

Materials include multiple and varied opportunities for both on-demand and process writing tasks that span the year’s worth of instruction. Students write daily through multiple means, such as one minute power writing, writing about what they read, and writing to improve grammar.  Students also write on Day 5 of small group reading time. Students participate in a week-long writing project each week; however, not all writing tasks increase in rigor from the beginning to the end of the school year. Week-long writing projects are introduced during Week 4 of every unit, but the same routine happens each week, with only a difference in the writing prompt. Each writing project begins with students studying a model, prewriting and completing a RAFT, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

Daily writing skills lessons do not consistently increase in rigor or lead to students independently demonstrating grade level proficiency by the end of the year. The same guidance and supports are provided throughout the year. Each week students write each day, but the progression of writing lessons does not increase in rigor, and at times the skills do not connect across the days to support increasing independence. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, students write a paragraph about a character. On Day 2, students write questions about the science fiction story, How the Sun Got His Hat. On Day 3, students write a paragraph that explains how the illustration contributed to the meaning of the story. On Day 4, students use vivid words to write a description of the moon. On Day 5, students write a paragraph that states an opinion.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, students write about characters in the story. On Day 2, students write a paragraph about how making connections helped them understand Bobby’s report. On Day 3, students write a few sentences explaining how an author uses elements of the setting to compare key parts of the story, but then on Day 4, students write short stories using sound words. Finally on Day 5, students work in pairs to write their own poems.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 1, students write sentences to compare how Gates and Allen started their business in Starting Your Own Business. On Day 2, students respond to an article by writing about the subject’s relationships’ with others and expressing opinions about what impressed them the most about her accomplishments. On Day 3, students write three questions to ask the subject of the article they read. On Day 4, students write a paragraph to compare the information given in two news articles. However, on Day 5, students write a paragraph explaining the most important advice they would give to someone starting their own business.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

In every unit, there is a week-long research project. Students are introduced to the concept and skills of research in Unit 1, and this is revisited in each unit. Students research a variety of topics including ghost towns, animals, and energy sources. Students present their research in a variety of means including oral presentations, multimedia presentations, and formal research papers. Throughout the week-long research projects, students are taught to plan by choosing a topic, asking research questions, taking notes from a variety of sources, and then making a draft before a published copy. The topics researched and the means to present research increases in complexity within each unit. These research projects include:

  • In Unit 1, students choose a country outside of the United States. They find out why people might immigrate from there to the United States. Students then pretend that they are one of those immigrants and share with the class why they made the decision to come to the United States.
  • In Unit 2, students research an invention that uses solar energy. They create a poster to share their findings, including a diagram to show how the invention works. Students write research questions and research using a variety of sources.
  • In Unit 3, students research an ocean animal and prepare an oral presentation. The presentation includes multimedia elements. Students write three or four research questions, and then gather information both in print and digital materials.
  • In Unit 4, students research and write a short biography about a well-known civil rights activist. In their research, they also have to think about how this person’s beliefs and accomplishments compared to those of Cesar Chavez. Students then take on the persona of the activist and present an actual speech to the class.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students research water-supply problems. In this task students work in a real life situation to understand the facts of the issue and extrapolate possible solutions from what they have learned. Students gather information, record notes, and then arrange their information in an organized manner. This project supports students using multiple sources and synthesizing information into a coherent, new frame.
  • In Unit 6, students have to take a role as a former resident of a ghost town and give a presentation at their next meeting. To prepare, they have to research ghost towns by finding out what happens to create one. They then choose a specific ghost town to call home and explain what happened to it as it went from boom to bust.
  • In Unit 7, students are given the task of designing a poster to inform voters of the pros and cons of plastics in order to help voters make informed decisions.  
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, students engage in a research task around student businesses. In this task, students identify possible businesses the class could start and find successful. This project builds on earlier structures and guides students to identify information and create a presentation.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially 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.

Independent reading is mentioned in this program; however, materials do not include a plan for how it is implemented and a system for accountability for how students will engage in a volume of independent reading both inside and outside of the classroom. While all the information for independent reading is found in the Small Group Reading Guide, materials do not explain when this should occur in or outside of the classroom nor for how long each day. There is no recording device provided nor accountability for how much students read or how well students read.

The Teacher Edition provides an independent reading routine but it does not include specific information. It suggests that teachers select topics and provide a rich collection of books to choose from, though teachers need to select these books. Recommended Books for each unit are listed in the Teacher Edition and are identified by fiction and nonfiction and are connected to the overall unit and topic/theme. It is suggested that the books include known texts, classroom favorites, and picture books. Students should be supported in selecting their books of interest for independent reading according to the Teacher Edition, but how a teacher should do this is not explicitly stated. After independent reading, materials suggest that students should share their reading experiences and summarize what they read. Teachers are encouraged to extend the independent reading by giving extension activities, such as rewriting the story with a different ending or writing a letter to the author.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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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 and take into account effective lesson structure and 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.
N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
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 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
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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 10/02/2019

Report Edition: 2017

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

The publisher has not submitted a response.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. 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).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, 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.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support 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 rubrics 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 complement the rubrics 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.

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