Alignment: Overall Summary

Springboard Grade 10 materials meet the expectations of alignment to the Common Core ELA standards. The materials include instruction, practice, and authentic application of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language work that is engaging and at an appropriate level of complexity and rigor for the grade.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
31
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
31
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

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectations for high-quality texts, appropriate text complexity, and evidence-based questions and tasks aligned to the Standards. Anchor texts are of high-quality and reflect the text type distribution required by the Standards. Materials balance the use of text excerpts and full texts and include opportunities for students to read full texts in their entirety. Quantitative, qualitative, and associated reader and task measures make the majority of texts appropriate for use in the grade level, and the variety in text complexity is coherently structured. Students engage in a range and volume of reading and have several mechanisms for monitoring their progress. Questions and tasks are text-specific or text-dependent and build to smaller and larger culminating tasks. Speaking and listening opportunities consistently occur over the course of a school year. The materials provide opportunities for students to engage in evidence-based discussions about what they are reading and include prompts and protocols for teacher modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Students have opportunities to engage in on-demand and process writing that reflect the distribution required by the Standards. As students analyze and develop claims about the texts and sources they read, writing tasks require students to use textual evidence to support their claims and analyses. Grammar and usage standards are explicitly taught with opportunities for students to practice learned content and apply newly gained knowledge in their writing.

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.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for text quality and text complexity. The majority of the anchor texts are of high quality and include a variety of texts published by award-winning authors. Materials balance the use of text excerpts and full texts and include opportunities for students to read full texts in their entirety. Most texts that either fall below the text complexity band or do not have quantitative measures are appropriate for use in the grade due to qualitative and associated reader and task measures. Materials include appropriate scaffolding and supports for students to access complex text. There is a marked increase in text complexity that supports students’ grade-level reading independence. The publisher-provided text complexity analysis document does not include all of the program’s core texts. Students engage in a range and volume of reading and have opportunities to monitor their progress toward grade-level reading independence.

Indicator 1a

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.

Texts within the units provide interesting and engaging subject matter that enable students to make personal and universal connections. The majority of texts are previously published and written by well-known authors. Texts range from historical to modern-day literature and represent a variety of text genres and multicultural and socially relevant themes across units. The units are designed to provide students a variety of text types centered on a topic, genre, or analytical skill; therefore, many units do not have an identifiable anchor text.

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

  • Unit 1 features “On Civil Disobedience” by globally known Mohandas K. Gandhi. As an anti-colonial political activist who practiced nonviolence, Gandhi’s work builds student’s knowledge about government and the different ways in which an individual can use their voice. This text may also motivate students to broaden their knowledge of Gandhi and his influence on well-known activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Unit 1 also includes a set of paired texts “On Surrender at Bear Paw Mountains” by the Nez Perce Indians’ Chief Joseph and “On Women’s Right to Vote” by women’s suffragist Susan B. Anthony. Both texts are seminal United States documents with literary and historical significance. Students examine the use of rhetorical appeals by author’s outside of the white, male perspective of U.S. history.
  • Unit 2 features the classic novel Things Fall Apart by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. He won the Man Booker International Prize for Literature for his body of fiction. This Common Core exemplar text is a cultural tale of an individual clashing with traditions and contains relatable content on family relationships and customs.
  • Unit 2 also features another international work “Half a Day” by author Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arab writer to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. This allegorical short story uses a school day to represent the journey and brevity of life and contains themes of socialization, aging, and memory.
  • Unit 3 features informational texts such as an excerpt from “Tinker v. Des Moines” a Supreme Court Decision. The Amendment 1 excerpt contains rich academic vocabulary to deepen comprehension of past and current legal issues and broaden personal perspectives on free speech and society.
  • Unit 3 also includes “Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability” an environmental report by the United Nations Event Programme (UNEP). This research report features rich domain-specific vocabulary and relevant environmental topics students can build upon.
  • Unit 4 features an excerpt of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. This graphic novel is an autobiographical account of the author’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The story contains engaging, thought-provoking images that speak of the human cost of war.
  • Unit 4 also includes other international works such as “Tuesday Siesta” by Nobel Prize winning Columbian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This short story contains rich imagery and sensory details to explore the universal topic of a family’s mourning process.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 10 reflect a balance of distribution of text types and genres, both literary and informational, across the instructional year. Students engage with a variety of text types suggested by the standards including journals, speeches, essays, research, short stories, editorials, graphic novels, interviews, articles, drama, legal documents, satire, novels, and poetry. Each unit is focused on a specific text type with multiple examples of each. Within a particular unit, the genre and type may not vary, but across the year, materials reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The following are examples of literature found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1, The Power of Argument, features various argumentative essays with a focus on taking a stand for or against a current social issue. This unit is primarily informational and contains very few literary texts. The literary texts included are:
    • “Touchscreen,” by Marshall Davis Jones (poetry)
    • “Virtual Pigskin,” by Mike Twohy (cartoon)
  • Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, features several short stories, a full length novel, and novel excerpts. The unit focuses on how characters can persuade each other and how authors use words language and elements to influence a reader. The texts are primarily literary and include:
    • “Marriage Is a Private Affair,” by Chinua Achebe (short story)
    • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (full novel)
    • “The Third and Final Continent” by Jhumpa Lahiri (short story)
    • Change by Mo Yan (novel excerpt)
  • Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, features poetry, short stories, multiple excerpts from plays and graphic novels, with a focus on literary analysis. The unit focuses on the universal concepts of praising, mocking, and mourning and how authors use literary elements to demonstrate these. Literary texts include:
    • “Vegetable Love in Texas” by Carol Coffee Reposa (poem)
    • Antigone by Sophoclese (play excerpts)
    • “Funeral Blues by Antigone," by W.H. Auden (play excerpt)
    • “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop (poem)
    • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel excerpt)
    • “Tuesday Siesta,” by Gabriel García Márquez (short story)

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1, The Power of Argument, features various argumentative works including op-eds, articles, and multiple speeches. The unit focus is taking a stand for or against a current social issue. This unit is primarily informational with texts such as:
    • “The Flight from Conversation” by Sherry Turkle (op-ed)
    • “On Civil Disobedience” by Mohandas K. Gandhi (speech)
    • “On Surrender at Bear Paw Mountain” by Chief Joseph (speech)
    • “Diners should pay attention to workers, not just the food,” by Kathleen Kingsbury (editorial)
  • Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, features several short stories, a full length novel, and novel excerpts. The main informational text included in the unit is an interview titled “An African Voice,” by Katie Bacon.
  • Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, features various texts, such as court documents, research reports, films, infographics, and articles, with a focus on combining information from multiple sources to write arguments. This unit is primarily informational and includes:
    • Jacobson v. Massachusetts by the Supreme Court (legal document excerpt)
    • "Herd Immunity" adapted from The National Institutes of Health (infographic)
    • “Vaccination” by The Jenner Institute (letter)
    • The Story of Bottled Water lnfographic: Reducing Your Bottled Water Footprint (film)
    • “Single‐Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability,” by the United Nations Environment Programme (research report)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis.

Publishers provide a Text Complexity Measures document that indicates the quantitative data, qualitative analysis, and task considerations for the significant texts in each unit. The analysis uses Lexile and qualitative measures based on CCSS Appendix A (pages 5–6). Poetry and canonical or Common Core exemplar texts are not included in this document.

While some texts fall above and below the College and Career Expectations for Lexile Ranges in the grades 9-10 stretch band (1050–1335L), the publishers provide a rationale based on the complexity of the qualitative features or the student task associated with the text. Most texts below the grade band are accompanied by a more rigorous task or require more student independence.

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

  • In Unit 1, the publisher provides complexity information for 14 texts. Lexile levels range from 500 to 1590 with three below grade band and three above the grade band. The majority of texts are labeled as complex per the text analysis documents. Text types include articles, speeches, editorials, and arguments. Several activities require students to use multiple texts.
    • Activity 1.2 text from the argument, “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Part One)” by Jane McGonigal, PhD: Quantitative: Lexile: 1230L, Qualitative: High, Task: Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 1.8 text “On Surrender at Bear Paw Mountains” by Chief Joseph: Quantitative, 500L: Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Compare-Contrast
    • Activity 1.9 text “Declarations of the Right of the Child” by the United Nations: Quantitative: 1590L: Qualitative, Moderate Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Research
  • In Unit 2, the publisher provides complexity information for six of the seven texts in the unit. The central text, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe does not have a text rationale. Of the six analyzed texts, three fall within the grade band, and three are below the grade band with a range of 810L to 1150L. Texts include a novel, poetry, novel excerpts, and short stories.
    • Activity 2.21 “Half a Day” by Naguib Mahfouz: Quantitative, 810L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 2.24 text excerpt from Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid. Quantitative, 1140L: Qualitative, Moderate: Task, Moderate–Analyze
  • In Unit 3, the publisher provides complexity information for nine texts. Texts in the unit include legal documents, op-eds, infographics, illustrations, and informational texts. Lexile levels range from 830L–1560L.
    • Activity 3.4 text Tinker vs Des Moines (Excerpt 3) from the Supreme Court of the United States: Quantitative, 1420L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Create
    • Activity 3.5 text Jacobson vs. Massachusetts by Supreme Court of the United States: Quantitative, 1560L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Create
    • Activity 3.7 text “Measles: A Dangerous Illness” by Roald Dahl: Quantitative, 970L: Qualitative, Moderate: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
  • Unit 4 contains only one text complexity analysis provided by the publisher. The central text in this unit is a canonical text Anitgone by Sophocles. Additional texts are poetry and graphic novel excerpts which generally do not adhere to the same complexity standards as prose. The single text complexity analysis provided is for the short story “Tuesday Siesta” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The text has a Lexile score of 830 and a qualitative measure of moderate. The associated analysis task is also of moderate difficulty. The publisher rationale for using a text below grade range is that the complexity comes from the multiple layers of meaning.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

Throughout the four units of study, students encounter challenging, rigorous texts and accompanying lessons, tasks, and assessments. Text selections fall within a range of accessible to very complex and low to high difficulty, with most texts falling within the moderately difficult range. Skills and knowledge build as students analyze a variety of texts and grapple with literary elements to complete two embedded assessments per unit. Thus, students work toward independence of grade level skills within each unit and continue to grow their skills and knowledge of content and topics across the school year. The task demands and expected level of independence also increase across the year.

The complexity of anchor texts support students’ proficiency in reading independently at grade level at the end of the school year. Series of texts include a variety of complexity levels. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the beginning of the year, students focus on arguments. This starts with analysis of an op-ed article “The Flight from Conversation” by Sherry Turkle. Students then analyze a persuasive speech “Taking a Stand on Justice On Civil Disobedience” by Mohandas K. Gandhi. At the unit midpoint, students analyze the structure of an editorial to determine use of persuasive elements then write an argumentative essay on a topic of their own choice for Embedded Assessment 1. Students identify topics, research, and plan a debate topic in order to complete Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In the middle of the year, students compose an annotated bibliography to prepare for a position paper. In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, they must “reexamine the sources from previous activities” then “plan, write, and revise an argument” that clearly states a position. Using multiple sources including online resources, students evaluate the credibility of sources for accuracy and reliability. Students identify and research an environmental conflict, identify a topic, then plan and deliver a group presentation using the scoring guide provided.
  • By the end of the year students write a literary analysis of a work of literature. In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students read the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop and “analyze how the author evokes praise, mockery, and mourning in the poem through language, rhyme, meter, and structure.” This prepares students to analyze characters in Antigone by Sophocles, then perform a scene from the play based on analyses of character motivations. The rubrics and task demands are similar but build upon the ones students encountered in Units 1 and 2.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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 publisher provides a text complexity document for each grade level which includes a summary or rationale of the placement of the text and the overall, quantitative, qualitative, and task complexity measures. This document also includes qualitative considerations for levels of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands. The task considerations explain the assessments associated with the text and how they fit into the overall assessment picture, and reader considerations that help the teacher think about how individual students might be able to understand and engage with the text. Not all texts have a corresponding text complexity analysis in that document. However, the Teacher Wrap and Teacher Edition instructional notes provide a framework with text-specific guidance and purpose for the text. Most tasks such as close reading, independent reading, text-dependent questions, and writing assignments are addressed within the framework and are identified in the Teacher Wrap and Teacher Edition with a rationale for text placement and how the tasks relate to lesson goals and learning targets. The Text Complexity document does not provide information about Things Fall Apart, which is the central text of Unit 2, nor does it provide information about the poems and plays that are the main focus of Unit 4.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.10, Taking a Stand on Truth and Responsibility, students read an excerpt from Kofi Annan’s Nobel Lecture. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 1260 and an overall rating of complex. The Summary section provides this rationale for text placement: “This text is complex for a tenth grade reader and is first approached as a shared reading. The 1260 Lexile measure places the text in the 9–10 grade level band, but the qualitative measures indicate a high difficulty level due to its implicit purpose and unconventional structure. The task demands are moderate, resulting in an overall complex rating.” The Text Complexity document does not include any information on the poem “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones.
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.2, Love and Marriage, students read the short story “Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 810L with an overall rating of complex. The Summary section provides this rationale for text placement: “This text is complex for a tenth grade reader, which is fitting for literary fiction from another culture. The 810 Lexile measure places the text below the 9–10 grade level band, but the qualitative measure indicates a high difficulty level due to its structure and levels of meaning. The task demands are also challenging, resulting in an overall complex rating.” Students spend the bulk of the unit working with Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart; however, information for this text is not included in the publisher provided text complexity document. The document also does not contain information on the two poems—”Prayer to the Masks”by Léopold Sédar Senghor and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats—that students read in this unit.
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, Activity 3.3, Reading a Court Case on Freedom of Speech, students read an excerpt from the Court Opinion Tinker v. Des Moines. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 1020L and an overall rating of complex. The Summary section provides this rationale for text placement: “This text is complex for a tenth grade reader, which is common for primary sources of a legal or historical nature. The 1020 Lexile measure places the text below the 9–10 grade level band, but the qualitative measures indicate a high difficulty level due to the knowledge and language requirements. The task demands are moderate, resulting in an overall complex rating.”
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.10, Mourning in the Afternoon, students read the short story “Tuesday Siesta” by Gabriel García Márquez and begin to develop their own story. The lexile level for the text is 830 and the overall rating is complex. The qualitative aspects of language are described as, “Márquez uses descriptive imagery and many sensory details, which contribute to the story’s complexity.” Task considerations include, “students analyze syntax, tone, and characterization in this text. They also write a narrative scene in which they evoke a sense of mourning.” None of the poems, plays, or the graphic novel that students read in this unit are included in the Text Complexity document.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Students read and analyze a wide variety of text genres and topics across a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts of varying length. All units come with an overview that includes a table of contents with a list of texts, authors, and genres for each activity. Each unit includes a wide range of text types addressing multiple learning styles of students-including but not limited to visuals, texts with audio, and printed texts. Additionally, students experience a volume of reading as they engage in independent reading tasks that are embedded within specific activities and directly aligned to concepts and themes within the unit.

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

  • In Unit 1: The Power of Argument, presents students with a variety of argumentative texts including “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Part One)” by Jane McGonigal (essay), “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones (video performance), “The Flight from Conversation” (op-ed), an excerpt from On Civil Disobedience by Mohandas K. Gandhi (speech), and “Diners should pay attention to workers, not just the food,” by Kathleen Kingsbury (editorial).
  • Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, centers on the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The supporting texts include the “Declaration of the Rights of the Child,” by the United Nations (proclamation), “The Summer Hunger Crisis” by Billy Shore (editorial), “Marriage Is a Private Affair,” by Chinua Achebe (short story), “Prayer to the Masks,” by Léopold Sédar Senghor (poem), “An African Voice,” by Katie Bacon (interview), “Half a Day,” by Naguib Mahfouz (short story), and an excerpt from Annie John, by Jamaica Kincaid (novel).
  • Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, features a variety of informational texts on current social issues: “Amendment I” and an excerpt from the 1969 Supreme Court decision, Tinker v. Des Moines (legal documents), “On Immunity: An Inoculation” by Eula Biss (opinion piece), “Smallpox—The Speckled Monster” by James Gillray (infographic), an excerpt from “Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability,” by the United Nations Environment Programme (research report), and The Story of Bottled Water (film).
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, the unit includes multiple poems such as “Vegetable Love in Texas” by Carol Coffee Reposa, “Mutton” by Jonathan Swift, “Ode to Kool-aid” by Marcus Jackson, “Sonnet 130,” by William Shakespeare, and “Ode to the Cat” by Pablo Neruda. The unit also features “Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” by Kehinde Wiley (painting), “Tuesday Siesta” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (short story), and the central text Antigone by Sophocles (play).

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. The majority of the questions and tasks are grounded in textual evidence. Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks build to smaller culminating tasks and the larger Embedded Assessments. Students participate in evidence-based discussions on what they are reading and the materials include prompts or protocols for discussions, encouraging teacher modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. The materials include on-demand and process writing opportunities that accurately reflect the distribution required by the Standards. Writing tasks require students to use textual evidence to support their claims and analyses. The materials address grade-level grammar and usage standards and include opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to interact with texts by answering questions and completing tasks and assessments that require them to provide textual evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and support their thinking. The lessons are organized into recurrent sections that require students to draw on texts directly multiple times over the course of a lesson. The questions in each section build towards the Embedded Assessments in the unit. As students read, they complete several standard task sections: Making Observations, Focus on the Sentence, Returning to the Text, and Working from the Text. Students work from initial thoughts about key details in a text, to focusing on specific sentences in the text. Then, students answer a series of text-dependent/specific questions about the text and then finish the lesson with attention to specific quotes and how the text connects to the overall unit topic. In many lessons, there is also a Writing from Sources section for students to practice various writing types using the texts they read.

Students also complete text-dependent questions and tasks within the embedded unit assessments, informal and formal discussions, and quizzes. The Embedded Assessments require students to use the skills developed throughout the unit to interact with fresh texts and use textual evidence.

Instructional materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-dependent/specific over the course of a school year. Text-dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments consistently support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.2, students read an excerpt from Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. Students then “underline the central claim of this excerpt,” and “put stars next to McGonigal’s supporting statements.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, after reading “Marriage Is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe, students answer the questions, “What is implied by Nene’s use of the word yet in the first paragraph? What can we infer about the characters’ relationship?” and “What cultural differences exist between Nene and Nnaemeka?”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.4, students read an excerpt from the play, Antigone by Sophocles. After reading, students make observations about the text then answer questions including, “Beginning in line 1135, how does Teiresias connect his vision directly to Creon? How can Creon change the course?”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

The materials include several types of culminating activities for each unit of study throughout the year including assessments, frequent writing prompts, and collaborative tasks. The two Embedded Assessments per unit are directly aligned with the units’ topic and/or genre. The “Planning the Unit” section gives teachers a preview of the skills and knowledge that will be assessed in the Embedded Assessments. The beginning of the unit also unpacks the Embedded Assessments for students to keep the end products in mind as they progress through the unit. All lessons and writing prompts scaffold the required learning for the Embedded Assessments. The activities within each lesson include sequences of text-dependent questions that guide students’ understanding of the selections in the unit and build to daily and end of unit culminating tasks. Formative assessments along the way give students the opportunity to practice skills they are learning and allow teachers to assess student progress toward learning goals. The products that result from the Embedded Assessments vary in nature over the course of the year: creating an argument, participating in a debate, writing a literary analysis essay, writing a short story, creating an annotated bibliography, presenting a solution to an environmental conflict, writing an analysis of a piece of creative writing, and performing a scene from Antigone.

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

  • In Unit 1: The Power of Argument, Activity 1.6, students read the article excerpt from “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter.” Teachers direct students to reread and answer questions such as, “What is the key idea of this passage, and how does Headlee support it?” and “What was one of Headlee’s most valuable lessons in listening? What kind of appeal does she make?” In the section, Working from the Text, students work with a group to return to the text to identify empirical, logical, or anecdotal evidence. Next, students review logical fallacies then work with a partner to identify any logical fallacies in the text. Finally, students complete a writing task: “Evaluate the claim Celeste Headlee makes about the importance of communication. Then assess the evidence she sits to support the claim and identify logical fallacies or faulty reasoning she uses.” This lesson and others like it help prepare students for the first Embedded Assessment: “Write an argumentative essay on an issue of your choice that you feel strongly about. You will need to develop a clear claim, and conduct research to gather evidence that supports your claim. Your final argumentative essay should use the genre characteristics and craft of an argument.”
  • In Unit 4: Praise, Mock, Mourn, students read and analyze various literary works to write their own creative piece and analyze others in the first Embedded Assessment. Students complete tasks such as Activity 4.7 which requires that students “read two poems about war and analyze the authors’ uses of language, literary devices, and other structural features to convey messages to the audience.” For Embedded Assessment 2, students respond to the following prompt: “Your assignment is to choose a scene from Antigone with your group, mark the text for visual and vocal delivery, and then perform it in front of the class. Your performance should demonstrate an analysis of each character’s feelings and motivations. You will also be responsible for carefully viewing your classmates’ performances and providing feedback.” To prepare students for this task, students read and analyze the play Antigone by Sophocles. The tasks leading up to this include Activity 4.13 in which students analyze the characters of Antigone and Ismene in the opening scene and Activity 4.15 in which students analyze the attitude and emotions of Creon, the king of Thebes. In Activity 4.19, lesson tasks lead up to an analysis of the development of Creon as a tragic hero over the course of the play.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Teacher materials provide support and direction for teachers to fully implement grade-level standards and grow students’ speaking and listening skills. At the end of each grade level, a Speaking and Reading Strategies document lists the strategies used throughout the units, and indicates whether each is a strategy for teachers or students or both. The definition and purpose of each strategy is listed for strategies including choral reading, debate, drama games, fishbowl, note-taking, oral reading, rehearsal, role-playing, and Socratic seminar. There are also a series of graphic organizers that provide structures and protocol activities such as active listening feedback, active listening notes, audience notes and feedback, collaborative dialogue, conversation for quickwrite, discourse starters, and round table discussion. In the Planning the Unit section at the beginning of each grade level, the Activities Features at a Glance section includes icons that indicate which activities include listening, speaking, and discussion tasks. The Teacher Wrap also provides detailed instructions for teachers on engaging students in a variety of speaking and listening activities and groupings. For some activities, the Teacher to Teacher notes offer more detail on best practices with the strategy, and scaffolding suggestions for both students who need additional support and students who need extension activities.

Materials provide multiple opportunities, protocols, and questions for discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.6, the Teacher Wrap prompts teachers to “Conduct a shared reading of “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter” by Celeste Headlee. Pause at the end of paragraph 5 and ask students to describe the events surrounding Air Florida Flight 90. Have them discuss the communication between the pilots, the information they shared, and what might have been miscommunicated. Elicit a few responses before continuing with the reading.” After finishing the reading, teachers are prompted: “To respond to Working from the Text, have students work with small groups to discuss the types of evidence they identified while reading. Ask students to discuss the impact of the evidence on the text and the reader. Which types of evidence do they find most influential and why?”
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.7, students receive direct instruction in “Preparing for a Socratic Seminar” before reading the text, two chapters of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This includes, “Work with your group to create a visual and come up with talking points to present your response to the assigned question,” as a part of the prework. The teacher directions after group work say, “Students should also be questioning the text by writing level 2 and 3 questions for the seminar.” Teachers are given the following directions for the Socratic Seminar:
    • Begin the Socratic Seminar with the following question: “What are the consequences of the killing of Ikemefuna to individuals and to the community as a whole?”
    • Encourage students to pull evidence from the text to support claims made in the Socratic Seminar. Students' oral responses to literature should incorporate the same elements as in literary analysis.
    • At the conclusion of the seminar, ask students to select one of the questions from the graphic organizer and use it as the basis of an analytical paragraph. Students may consult their notes, group discussions, and Socratic Seminar notes.
  • In Unit 3: Voice in Synthesis, Activity 3.4: Analyzing Rhetoric in a Supreme Court Case, students read excerpt 3 of Tinker vs. Des Moines, the dissenting opinion by Mr. Justice Black. Students complete a first read of the text independently and code the text using elements of the SOAPSTone strategy. As a next step, the teacher guides the class in a discussion using the Making Observations questions. Students complete a Focus on the Sentence task independently then pair up to discuss and complete a set of text-dependent questions and fill out their SOAPSTone charts. Afterward, the teacher conducts a follow-up discussion “in which students focus on the contrast between the tone of Justice Fortas and Justice Black.” The teacher then introduces the rhetorical triangle as a means of organizing a discussion: author, audience, and text. In small discussion groups, students “Use the rhetorical triangle to frame an analytical discussion. Answer the following questions in your discussion group. Take notes during the discussion.”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

As noted in the teacher planning documents for each unit, speaking and listening skills are included throughout the unit. The majority of activities include at least one opportunity for students to speak and listen in academic discussions as they relate to reading selections and lines of inquiry. Materials provide directions for implementation and when appropriate for scaffolding the activity in the teacher edition. The Teacher Wrap offers additional support for facilitating discussions and prompting students with guiding and follow-up questions and activities. Discussions generally require students to provide textual evidence and use learned academic and literary vocabulary. Throughout the year students also have multiple opportunities to present in groups and as individuals. For each activity, teachers receive directions for implementation and when appropriate for scaffolding the activity in the teacher edition. The Teacher Wrap provides support for teachers to facilitate discussions and prompt students with guiding and follow-up questions and activities. The frequency and structure of the activities create the conditions for students to improve their skills over time.

Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading and researching through varied grade-level-appropriate speaking and listening opportunities.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.3, students read an excerpt from “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” (Part Two) by Jane McGonigal. The Teacher Wrap includes directions, questions, and follow-up questions to use while students are reading the selection. For example, “Have students review paragraphs 27–30 and summarize any similarities McGonigal identifies between the two stories” and “Ask volunteers to share their ideas regarding the point of McGonigal’s analogy and how it leads up to her final claim in the last line: ‘We are starving, and our games are feeding us.’” The materials prompt teachers to “direct students’ attention to the photographs. Lead them to discuss what these images suggest about the connection between people and gaming across time and culture.”
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.14, students read Chapters 20-22 of the central text Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The Teacher Wrap provides directions and questions for conducting several speaking and listening activities, such as “Explain what a missionary is. Then read aloud the excerpt from Chapter 20 as students mark the text for evidence of cultural misunderstanding. Have students think-pair-share a response to one of their highlighted statements. Then ask them to assess whether the speaker is justified, providing textual evidence to support their assessments. Share ideas in a whole-class discussion.”
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.4, in the “Returning to the Text” section, the teacher directions state, “Have students use small group discussion to reread the text and respond to the questions. Remind them to use evidence in their responses.” Questions include “What words does Teiresias use to convey his fright? What omen does Teiresias interpret, and what is the meaning of the sign? Beginning in line 1135, how does Teiresias connect his vision directly to Creon? How can Creon change the course? Consider how the language in this excerpt differs from the language you studied in the texts in Activities 4.2 and 4.3. What do you notice about diction that is used to communicate mockery, and how does it differ from diction used to praise?”

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

Throughout the units and over the course of the school year, the instructional materials require students to produce a mixture of standards aligned, on-demand, short, informal, focused writing projects and longer independent writing process tasks and essays that require multiple drafts and revisions over time with the use of digital resources where appropriate. The materials follow a scaffolded approach to writing within units and across the year. Students study authors’ craft and practice applying what they learned to their own writing. Students frequently practice the writing process of pre-write, plan, draft, review, revise and edit, which includes opportunities to collaborate with peers.

Students engage in on-demand writing daily throughout the lessons and process writing tasks in the unit embedded assessments, unit prompts, and supplemental workshops. The majority of writing tasks are evidence-based and text-based. There are two embedded assessments per unit which both include process writing tasks. These are outlined in the Teacher Edition. The Teacher Wrap also offers guidance for revision and editing. Each assessment also includes a scoring rubric and questions to help students in planning, drafting, and revising throughout the writing process. For on-demand writing, materials include Focus on the Sentence activities, in which students practice writing at the sentence level and then move into paragraphs and then essay-length writing pieces. The Gaining Perspectives section of the lesson uses an on-demand writing task for students to summarize the classroom discussion on a given topic. Reading to Build Knowledge sections include on-demand writing-to-source prompts. Independent Reading Checkpoint sections also include informal writing assignments where students reflect on and/or synthesize their independent reading.

The supplemental materials include ten Writing Workshops per grade level that provide direct instruction on the writing process for argumentative, explanatory, narrative, literary, research, narrative nonfiction, poetry, script, and procedural writing; however, it is critical to note that these are not part of the core materials and are used at the teacher’s discretion.

Examples of on-demand writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.11, students respond to this analytical prompt: “Write an essay in which you explain how Kathleen Kingsbury builds an argument using evidence to persuade her audience to support her claim regarding better treatment for restaurant workers. Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Kingsbury’s claim, but rather should explain how the author builds an argument to persuade her audience.”
  • In Unit 2:Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.5, students complete an argumentative prompt as the final component of the lesson: “Take a position on the question: Is it common for powerful leaders to have flawed characters? Why? How might this affect the community? Write an argumentative essay to support your position and explain how it relates to Okonkwo’s character.”
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.5, students read Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare and respond to a literary analysis prompt. They are asked to “write a paragraph that analyzes Shakespeare’s use of satire in achieving the sonnet’s purpose.”

Opportunities for process writing tasks and focused projects include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, Activity, 3.8, students examine the sources from previous activities in the unit to synthesize a response to a prompt about vaccinations. Students will plan, write, and revise an argument stating their opinion. Students will synthesize at least three of the sources examined in Activities 3.5–3.7 and develop a position about how much control they think the government should exercise over an individual's right to make personal decisions regarding vaccination.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Embedded Assessment 1, students analyze a previously written creative writing piece or another text from the unit. Students must address the author’s choices that serve the purpose of praise, mockery, or mourning in their analysis. Students will pre-write, plan, write, draft, revise, edit, and publish their writing pieces. The Teacher Wrap includes a suggestion for student support: “Students may find this assignment especially challenging. Provide guidance for thesis statement writing by providing a frame: The element of __________ works toward the purpose of (praise, mockery, or mourning) by __________.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. (Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.)

The materials provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and construct a variety of writing modes and genres across the school year. Because writing instruction starts at the sentence level and progresses through paragraphs to full, multi-draft pieces of writing, students and teachers are able to monitor progress. The majority of writing prompts, assignments, and assessments are text-based and reflect an in-depth look at author's craft across a variety of text types. Each unit contains two Embedded Assessments that require students to demonstrate their understanding of the unit focus through writing types and media as required by the standards. Students regularly engage in task-based writing and writing to sources, and direct instruction in narrative, argument, and informational writing. Students engage extensively in each writing type across the year as each unit exemplifies a different mode of writing. There is also variation of writing types within each unit typically for smaller tasks within lessons.

There are also ten Writing Workshops per grade level that provide direct instruction and practice for argumentative, explanatory, narrative, literary, research, narrative nonfiction, poetry, script, and procedural writing. It is important to note that these workshops are not a part of the core materials and must be used at the teacher’s discretion.

Materials include sufficient writing opportunities for a whole year’s use. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, students practice analyzing and writing arguments. Students read multiple essays and articles on a variety of social issues. Students write explanatory essays in which they analyze how authors build and support claims. For Embedded Assessment 1, students research an issue that they feel strongly about and write an argumentative essay that follows the craft of the exemplars they read in the unit. Students continue to practice using claims and evidence for arguments such as a Knowledge Quest on how video games affect brain function and behavior to prepare for a final debate for Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, students engage in narrative writing. Across the unit, students analyze exemplars and practice using narrative elements. Embedded Assessment 1 is a narrative analysis essay based on Things Fall Apart, in which students write about how a character reacts to the cultural and historical events and how this impacts the plot. After reading exemplar narratives, students complete Embedded Assessment 2: “Write an original short story that conveys a specific cultural perspective or historical moment. Conduct research into the time period and setting that you choose in order to convey the setting accurately.”
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, students read a variety of informational works across multiple media platforms to study argument. The unit focus is analyzing rhetoric across multiple sources on one issue. Students complete several argumentative writing tasks to practice making and supporting claims. For Embedded Assessment 1, students gather research on a solution to an environmental crisis and compile an annotated bibliography. This prepares them to write an argumentative essay with their solution to that crisis which they present for Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students read multiple poems, a graphic novel and the play, Antigone, to practice literary analysis of the language and author’s craft of creative writing. This prepares them to write their own creative piece that includes praising, mocking, or mourning. Students craft a literary analysis of their own piece or another in the unit for Embedded Assessment 1. For the remainder of the unit, students write short informational pieces analyzing Antigone.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

The instructional materials provide frequent opportunities for writing that requires students to analyze sources, make arguments with claims and supporting evidence, and synthesize information across texts and various media sources. These opportunities include on-demand tasks within lessons, as well as both embedded assessments per unit. Close, critical reading activities throughout the units incorporate text-based writing from the sentence level to multi-draft full-length compositions. Students also read additional texts independently within each unit and synthesize in writing what they learned from these texts along with the selections that are embedded in the lessons. Students complete two Knowledge Quests per unit, in which they read and analyze a collection of texts around a topic, theme, or idea and synthesize what they learned either in a Writing to Sources prompt or a class discussion. For significant tasks such as the Embedded Assessments, students are provided with graphic organizers, checklists, and/or rubrics to support their work.

Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1,The Power of Argument, Activity 1.12, students read three texts and an infographic before completing a Knowledge Quest, in which they “write about how video games affect the brain and behavior.” Students are then prompted: “Work with a partner to discuss whether you think time spent studying the effects of video games on the brain has value. Support your point of view with reasons and evidence from the texts you read, and listen openly to your partner’s point of view.” Students then write a summary that “highlights their points of agreement and disagreement.”
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.9, students research the precolonial and postcolonial culture of Nigeria. The lesson starts with On the Spot Research, in which students work with a group, choose a topic from a provided list, and write research questions to compare and contrast “how that cultural aspect of civilization changes from precolonial to postcolonial Nigeria.” Students are instructed to “research information about your topic using both print and digital resources.” Groups then share what they learned with each other. After reading a chapter from Things Fall Apart, students end the lesson with an informational writing prompt, which requires them to “write a paragraph to explain the values and norms of the Ibo culture.”
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, Embedded Assessment 2, students work in a group to present a solution to the environmental conflict, including justifications for their approach to resolving it. Their presentation must include research-based evidence. Students complete a graphic organizer that includes guiding questions, such as the following: “How will students integrate oral source citations to cite research, including paraphrased and quoted text?” and “ What evidence and citations will be included to develop claims, counterclaims, and reasons?”
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.7, students read two poems about war, “Grape Sherbet” by Rita Dove and “The War Works Hard” by Dunha Mikhail. They analyze the authors' use of language, literary devices, and other structural features to convey messages to the audience. Students must write a literary analysis that includes specific text-based evidence from multiple texts to build knowledge and vocabulary about wars and war heroes.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

Materials provide embedded instruction and practice of grammar and language concepts throughout the four units of study at each grade level. Sections titled Grammar and Usage point out authors’ use of grammatical constructs in the selections students are reading in the activity. The goal of providing these call-outs is to increase reading comprehension and to provide a model for students to incorporate the constructs into their own writing. Students engage in sentence-level grammar and usage practice through Focus on the Sentence tasks. Several times in the unit, students complete Language and Writer’s Craft tasks that “address topics in writing such as style, word choice, and sentence construction.” These exercises are also embedded in daily lessons, reference the text at hand, and include application to the students’ own writing.

Units also contain Language Checkpoints which provide more in-depth practice of conventions and usage; students study examples from unit selections and complete multiple exercises for practice, including revising sample sentences and revising sentences within their own work. The design of the various grammar and usage exercises enables students to practice concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways. Most tasks address the specific grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade, though not all lessons align to the grade-level standards. Language Workshops provide supplemental exercises on vocabulary, sight-words, and word studies; however, it is important to note that these workshops require additional instructional time and teacher planning as they are not a part of the core materials.

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

  • Students have opportunities to use parallel structure.
    • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.10, the Language Checkpoint builds on a prior lesson in Activity 1.7 on parallelism. Students read: “In Activity 1.7 you identified examples of parallelism in Gandhi’s speech, “On Civil Disobedience.” Parallelism is a rhetorical device in which words or phrases are repeated in a rhythmic way. In this Language Checkpoint, you will examine parallel structure, a convention used to order items in a series. Sentences have parallel structure when two or more elements create a series. Each element in the series is of equal rank or importance, and all elements are expressed in a similar way. Words, phrases, and clauses can all be parallel.” Students then practice identifying and correcting lists of words or clauses that are not parallel.
  • Students have opportunities to use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.
    • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.10, the Language Checkpoint topic is Using Subordination and Coordination. Students learn how to “understand the difference between subordinate and coordinate clauses” and “Use subordinating and coordinating clauses conjunctions correctly when writing.” The exercises use examples from the text “Tuesday Siesta” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which the students read in Activity 4.10. For example: “Read the following independent clauses. Choose a subordinating conjunction to join them, and write your sentence. Soot and humid air filled the train. The daughter obeyed her mother's requests.” After instruction and practice using the provided text, students apply what they learned to their own writing: “Return to the scene that you wrote at the end of Activity 4.10. If you did not use any coordinating conjunctions, find two sentences you can combine. If you did not use any subordinating conjunctions, find an opportunity to use one. If you already used conjunctions, be sure you used ones that make sense and that you punctuated them properly.”
  • Students have opportunities to use a semicolon (and perhaps a conjunctive adverb) to link two or more closely related independent clauses.
    • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.4, students read the Op-Ed “The Flight From Conversation” by Sherry Turkle, PhD. The materials include a “Grammar and Usage” section within the text that points out the author’s use of a semi-colon : “Writers use a semicolon to join independent clauses when two or more clauses are of equal importance. In paragraph 11, notice the sentence “Human relationships are rich; they're messy and demanding.” In this sentence, the two independent clauses are about two aspects of human relationships.” At the end of the selection, students complete a “Focus on the Sentence” task where they practice what they learned: “Complete the following sentence. Turkle calls herself a ‘partisan for conversation’ because __________. Now, rewrite the sentence as two independent clauses joined by a semicolon. Turkle calls herself a ‘partisan for conversation’; she _____________.”
  • Students have opportunities to use a colon to introduce a list or quotation.
    • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.6, students complete the Language and Writer’s Craft section of the lesson. The focus is on colons and semicolons. After viewing the definition and several examples, students are prompted: “Write two sentences, one that uses a colon before a list and one that uses a colon to introduce a quotation.”
  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly.
    • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.11, the Embedded Assessment guide for students prompts them to edit their work for publication: “Which words need to be checked for correct spelling?”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Grade-level texts are organized around a theme and each unit explores a facet of the theme, as well as several Essential Questions. Students complete high-quality, coherently sequenced questions and tasks as they analyze literary elements, such as craft and structure, and integrate knowledge and ideas in individual texts and across multiple texts. Culminating tasks, such as the Embedded Assessments, integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening, or language and connect to the texts students read. Each unit contains Academic, Literary, and Content/Text-Specific terms. Students encounter vocabulary before, during, and after reading and vocabulary spans across multiple texts and/or tasks. The year-long writing plan allows students to participate in a range of writing tasks that vary in length, purpose, and difficulty. Throughout the year, students conduct short research projects during smaller culminating tasks and long research projects during appropriate Embedded Assessments. Students have frequent opportunities to engage in independent reading through scaffolded lessons and self-selected materials. Most texts are organized with built in supports, such as Learning Strategies, to foster independence. Each unit includes two types of embedded independent reading tasks, Independent Reading Links and Independent Reading Checkpoints.

Criterion 2a - 2h

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Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for texts that are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

The materials for Grade 10 are organized into four topic-based units of study. Each unit is centered around a topic or text genre, and students build knowledge through inquiry via a variety of literary genres and different types of informational text. Units are designed for students to utilize the texts to comprehend complex texts/topics. Activities within each unit develop students’ knowledge through structured learning activities that provide scaffolding of content leading students towards independent and proficient comprehension. Students also read independently and complete tasks in response to their independent reading texts to build their knowledge about topics/themes within complex texts.

The opening page of each unit features a visual prompt and a quote aligned to the topic to initiate a classroom conversation. The first activity of each unit is a preview of the unit that includes Essential Questions linked to the topic of the unit. Additionally, the units contain connected sub-topics that build upon one another as the instructional year progresses. The design of the materials supports students’ comprehension of complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently due to scaffolding, gradual release, and increasingly demanding texts and tasks as the units progress.

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

  • In Unit 1: The Power of Argument, students read a variety of argumentative texts such as op-eds, speeches, essays, and editorials with a focus on social issues. Students analyze the arguments and counterarguments focusing on the significance of words and strategies authors use to persuade readers, as they answer the three Essential Questions for the unit: “How should we interact with the world around us? To what extent are we responsible for our fellow humans? How do we use evidence to create a persuasive argument?” For example, in Activity 1.5, Analyzing an Argument, students read and analyze Sherry Turkle’s op-ed, “The Flight from Conversation”. Then the students write an original essay explaining how Turkle builds her argument in the text. After analyzing more than ten argumentative texts, students write their own argumentative essay. The end of the unit exposes students to articles and a film regarding video game usage in order to prepare students for a class debate.
  • In Unit 2: Persuasion in Literature, instruction builds on the topic from Unit 1 and focuses on novels and short stories. The unit is organized around the Essential Questions “What can a character’s use of persuasion reveal to a reader? How can a work of literature reflect a cultural perspective? What is the value of making connections between characters from different texts, time periods, or cultures?” Students focus on language and writer’s craft while they read the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. After writing a literary analysis essay for the first Embedded Assessment, students read and analyze literary elements in several cultural-based short stories in order to write a short story of their own.
  • In Unit 3: Voice in Synthesis, students read a variety of texts to support them in “synthesizing a wide range of views from a variety of sources and find[ing] their own voice among the crowd.” Essential Questions for the unit include “What is the relationship between individual freedom and social responsibility? What does it mean to have a voice? How does one enter into an ongoing discussion about a subject?” Some of the types of texts include but are not limited to research reports, editorials, Supreme Court documents, films, and political cartoons. In Activity 3.5: Exploring Opinions about Vaccines, students read a judicial opinion, ”Jacobson v. Massachusetts,” and write a letter to the editor persuading readers of their perspective on the issue. This topic spans several lessons. In Activity 3.7: Two Opinions on Measle Vaccines, students “read two texts about vaccinations and then synthesize the information to participate in a parlor conversation using the texts from this unit. The unit supports students through a research project in which they present a solution to an environmental issue. After creating an annotated bibliography for the first assessment, students analyze several research reports on environmental issues as they gather their own research for the final essay and presentation.
  • In Unit 4: Praise, Mock, Mourn, instruction shifts back to a literary focus using poetry and drama to help students understand how an author’s use of language shapes readers’ perceptions. The unit is organized around several Essential Questions including “Why are humans inclined to respond to people, objects, or events with praise, mockery, or mourning? How can authors use language to create an effect on their readers? How can a performer communicate a character’s perspective through oral and visual interpretation?” The first half of the unit takes readers through a variety of poetry including works by William Shakespeare, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Jonathan Swift. Students also read a scene from the play Antigone. After analyzing other poetry including peer works, students craft their own poem for the first Embedded Assessment. Students then complete reading Antigone and present an interpretive scene from the play for the second Embedded Assessment.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher-order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Across the four instructional units, there is a common pattern to activities within and across lessons. The lessons are organized into recurrent sections that require students to draw on texts directly multiple times over the course of a lesson and unit: Making Observations, Focus on the Sentence, Returning to the Text, and Working from the Text. Students work from initial thoughts about key details in a text, to focusing on specific sentences in the text. Then, students answer a series of text-dependent/specific questions about the text. The majority of these tasks almost always include an analysis of the key ideas, structure, craft, and language, and require students to seek evidence from the text to support their thinking. The Teacher Edition also includes multiple text boxes per lesson titled Scaffolding the Text-dependent Questions which provides a sequence of questions teachers can ask during the reading.

For most texts, students analyze language and/or author’s word choice (according to grade-level standards). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address language and/or word choice.
    • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, Activity 2.3, students analyze Ibo and African proverbs and folktales found within the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Students analyze the Ibo proverb “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten” and must “Explain what you think this proverb means. How does the proverb help the reader’s understanding.” Students read and discuss other proverbs from the novel and explain each one’s meaning in the provided graphic organizer. Then, students explore folktales discussed in class using another graphic organizer. “Check Your Understanding” questions such as “How and why might an author use proverbs and folktales in a novel?” prepare students for an informational writing prompt, during which they “Explain how the proverbs and folktales you analyzed in this activity provide insight into the values of the cultures from which they come.”

For most texts, students analyze key ideas and details, structure, and craft (according to grade-level standards). Some examples are as follows:

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details.
    • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, Activity 1.9, students read the Proclamation “Declaration of the Rights of the Child” by the United Nations. After reading, students answer “Knowledge Quest” questions such as “What fundamental rights did you learn about?” Next, they answer a series of text-dependent questions in the “Returning to the Text” section, such as “Reread the statements at the beginning of the proclamation starting with ‘Whereas.’ How do these statements serve to set up the principles that follow?’ and “What does the word welfare mean in paragraph 4? Use a dictionary and the word's context to help you decide. Then use the declaration's principles to help you infer what the General Assembly believes are possible threats to a child's welfare.” In the next section of the lesson, then look at a pie chart from the World Health Organization with statistics of the number of hungry people in the world and answer questions that synthesizing both sources in the “Working from the Text” section, such as “Look back at the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child,’ Principle 4. Considering the World Health Organization data, how is the world upholding the promises of the declaration?”
  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address structure.
    • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity 4.8, students read the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. After reading, students make observations about the text then write an analysis of the poem using the TP-CASTT strategy (Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude, Shifts, Theme, Title). They compare and contrast their evidence with a partner and use the information to formulate a written analysis of the poem in essay form.
  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft.
    • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, Activity 3.6, students synthesize information from multiple texts and analyze characteristics of multimedia texts.While watching a video, students analyze the text to determine the metaphor illustrated in the video. Then students read an opinion piece “from ‘On Immunity: An Inoculation’” by Eula Biss, underlining rhetorical strategies used throughout the text. “Working from the Text” questions require students to dig into the extended metaphor Biss used in her work as they reread the text, “Circle each word or phrase related to banking,” and think-pair-share with a partner to answer “What role does Biss’s banking metaphor play in her opinion piece?” Later during the activity, students analyze James Gillray’s illustration “Smallpox-The Speckled Monster,” noting their observations about the text. After reading the informational article paired with the illustration, students respond to the following “Returning to the Text” questions: “How does Gillray’s use of irony contrast the illustration’s image with its title? How does Gillray use exaggeration to make his point?” As students work with both the illustration and the informational article, students work in pairs to “identify which methods of satire Gillray employs.”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The materials provide sequences of texts and accompanying text-dependent tasks that promote the building of knowledge and integration of ideas within texts and across texts. The Shared Instructional Vision of the materials is rooted in four principles that are designed to promote this type of learning: close observation and analysis, evidence-based writing, higher-order questioning, and academic conversations. Each unit follows a similar pattern to build student knowledge through close attention to a series of texts that when synthesized help students address the unit Essential Questions.

Within each unit activity there are sequences of text-specific and text-dependent questions designed to continuously bring students back to a deeper engagement with the texts. The sequence of questions first appear in the Working from the Text section. Additional sections such as Returning to the Text, Focus on Sentences, Writing Prompt, and Check Your Understanding also include text-specific questions and writing prompts that deepen students’ understanding of individual texts and genres. Certain features of the text encourage the integration of knowledge within and across texts such as the Knowledge Quest section that requires students to read a collection of texts on a specific topic, build knowledge and vocabulary on the topic and develop new understandings and considerations as they progress through the reading selections. Essential Questions at the beginning of each unit also provide students the opportunity to integrate and develop ideas across texts as they return to these questions throughout the unit and examine how their thinking has changed. Tasks throughout the unit require students to demonstrate this evolving understanding across texts. The tasks also prepare students for the two Embedded Assessments in each unit.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, during Activity 1.6 students read an excerpt from an argument essay by Celeste Hedlee titled “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter” and analyze the evidence the author uses to support her argument. After reading, students answer a series of text-specific questions: “What does the author suggest caused the tragedy of Air Florida Flight 90? How does she come to this conclusion?” and “What is the key idea of this passage, and how does Headlee support it?”, as well as “The author writes, ‘In my private life, I’ve lost contact with family members and I’ve seen friendships die in silence when I failed to say what was really on my mind.’ What is the author’s purpose for including this reflection?” Next, students return to the text to locate examples of evidence and identify whether they are empirical, logical, or anecdotal. Following that, they learn about logical fallacies and apply that learning to identify instances of logical fallacies in the reading selection. Next, they respond to a Check Your Understanding prompt: “What other fallacies are commonly used in arguments? With a partner, discuss the ways in which anecdotal evidence could be an example of false or fallacious reasoning.” Lastly, they analyze the author’s argument in a writing assignment: “Evaluate the claim Celeste Headlee makes about the importance of communication. Then assess the evidence she cites to support the claim and identify any logical fallacies or faulty reasoning she uses in her argument.”
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion In Literature, students read pieces of world literature to analyze how themes are developed and persuasion is used in literature. Activity 2.22: Poetic Connections focuses on Chapter 22 of the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and two poems, “Prayer to the Masks” by Leopold Sedar Senghor and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. Students complete a Knowledge Quest (KQ) to answer “In what ways might a cultural conflict begin?” in conjunction with the three texts. Returning to the Text contains KQ identified questions after each poem. Examples include: “How does the speaker's use of the words they and we add an adversarial tone to the poem? Who is ‘they’? Who is ‘we’?” and “What do Leopold Sedar Senghor and William Butler Yeats say comes out of a cultural conflict? In both poems, what causes the conflict?”
  • In Unit 4: Praise, Mock, Mourn, students explore the impact of an author’s use of language on a text. In Activity 4.2, students read three odes about food. After reading "Vegetable Love in Texas" by Carol Coffee Reposa, students respond to these questions: “How does the speaker compare and contrast summer with the tomato she picks” and “What words does Resposa use to describe tomatoes? What connotations do these words have?” Then students read "Mutton" by Jonathan Swift and answer the following questions: “Identify any half rhymes in the poem. What effect do these have on the poem?” and “What do you think Swift was trying to convey in this poem? Cite evidence in the text to support your answer.” After students read "Ode to Kool-Aid" by Marcus Jackson, questions include “What does the narrator compare Kool-Aid to in lines 20 -24? What is the effect of this contrast?” and “What is the impact of the image in the final two lines of the poem?” In the Working from the Text section, students then answer, “As you reread each of the poems aloud, make notes of the images you see in your mind. In what ways do the poet’s choice of words and phrases, figurative language, and rhyme and meter help you create these mental images?” Finally in Examining Author’s Craft, students dig deeper into the language choices that reveal tone, mood, and voice through questions such as “In the poem, ‘Vegetable Love in Texas,’ what tone does the speaker use to describe the color of the tomatoes? What words help reveal the tone to the reader?”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Each grade level contains four units of study that have two Embedded Assessments each. These assessments serve as culminating tasks for a skill set driving the unit instruction. The Embedded Assessments require students to demonstrate learning through interpretation of readings, synthesis of research, and analysis of various types of texts. Students may be prompted to present their work through a variety of ways: dramatic interpretation, creative writing, analysis essays, arguments, media presentations, or debates. The unit tasks and texts build student knowledge and capacity to complete the assessments which include reading, writing, research, speaking, presenting, and listening over the course of the year. The assessments and daily tasks within the unit include collaborative group projects along with independent work. To prepare for the assessments, students answer constructive response questions, annotate texts, complete graphic organizers, and write both short and longer essay responses.

Within units, students also complete Knowledge Quests in which they read collections of texts to build their knowledge around a topic and its related vocabulary. Each Knowledge Quest begins with a central question and supporting questions that focus on student learning. After reading the collection of texts, students return to the knowledge question in order to synthesize what they learned through the readings and associated tasks, thus demonstrating their accumulated knowledge on the topic. This is accomplished through a writing prompt or academic discussion. Both the Embedded Assessments and the Knowledge Quests provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they learned through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

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

  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, students read the central text Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and several supporting texts to study how culture and conflict are conveyed in literature. In Activity 2.15, students complete a Knowledge Quest in response to this Knowledge Question: “In what ways might a cultural conflict begin?” Students read two poems “Prayer to the Masks” by Léopold Sédar Senghor and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. As students read the poems, they consider their answer to the knowledge question and participate in a class discussion of text-dependent questions about the readings. Lastly, they discuss their thoughts on the knowledge question with a partner before completing a culminating task on the set of texts: “After reading ‘Prayer to the Masks’ and ‘The Second Coming,’ reflect on the ways cultural conflicts can begin. Also, think about how we tend to describe conflicts. With a partner, make a T-chart with the headers ‘Positive’ and ‘Negative.’ Then brainstorm lists of positive and negative words that relate to the idea of conflict. After you have completed your chart, observe which column contains more words and think about why. Discuss: Why might someone view conflict as a negative thing? When might conflict yield a positive result?” Tasks like these build students’ capacity for writing a literary analysis of Things Fall Apart during Embedded Assessment 1. Students then continue their practice with literary elements. In Activity 2.22, students read a novel excerpt to determine how the author develops characters through setting and then write a narrative developing a complex character. Similar tasks lead students to Embedded Assessment 2 in which they craft an original narrative: “Write an original short story that conveys a specific cultural perspective or historical moment. Conduct research into the time period and setting that you choose in order to convey the setting accurately.”
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, students read multiple texts on environmental issues and synthesize their learning across the texts. In Activity 2.8, students practice synthesis: “Ever since Jenner experimented with the smallpox vaccine in 1796, mandatory vaccination has been a controversial issue. In an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources you examined in activities 3.5–3.7, develop a position about how much control you think the government should exercise over an individual’s right to make personal decisions regarding vaccination.” Students also build an annotated bibliography for the first Embedded Assessment that will provide the research for the next assessment. In Activity 3.15, students read a research report and answer questions such as “Identify two of the author’s proposed solutions to curb the negative impact of plastics in the environment,” and “Who is the author’s intended audience? What evidence directs you to this conclusion?” in the Returning to the Text section. In the Working from the Text section, students “Complete the graphic organizer to show how the report synthesizes evidence to present a claim,” and then “Use the graphic organizer to plan your own report.” After much research practice, students complete Embedded Assessment 2, in which they deliver a group presentation to share a solution to the environmental conflict the group has researched throughout the unit. The group is tasked with not only presenting the circumstances surrounding the conflict but justifying their approach to resolving it. Students are encouraged to use multimedia delivery per the scoring rubric.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students use their analyses of the poems, short stories, and scenes from Antigone by Sophocles as models to craft an original creative writing piece which praises, mocks, or mourns a subject during Activity 4.11. Students follow the writing process from brainstorming to a final draft. For Embedded Assessment 1, students write “an analysis of your own creative writing piece, or of another text from the unit.” Students analyze the author’s choices to achieve the purpose of the praise, mockery, or mourning. The assessment ends with a reflection on the students’ understanding of how works to praise, mock or mourn cross time and culture and how writing their work impacted their understanding of how these themes are conveyed. Students then complete reading Antigone and focus on presenting dramatic presentations. In Activity 4.18, materials prompt students: “Look back at the text. Where can you find elements of praise, mockery, and mourning? How might you convey these in a performance?” Then students “Work collaboratively in a small group to plan and perform the scene you just read among Creon, Haemon, and the Chorus Leader by marking the text for pauses, emphasis, volume, and tone to convey the words, thoughts, and actions of the characters. Be sure to think about how each character could adapt his or her speech to reflect or enhance the meaning of the action taking place in the scene.” This task prepares students for the final assessment: “Your assignment is to choose a scene from Antigone with your group, mark the text for visual and vocal delivery, and then perform it in front of the class.”

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/language in context.

In the opening pages of the text, the publisher explains the year-long, embedded approach to vocabulary incorporated in all grade levels. It explains, “Students are given ample opportunities to read and hear new words, explore their meanings, origins, and connotations, and use them in written and oral responses.” Students practice their vocabulary learning throughout lessons, activities, and assessments across the school year. Students not only learn the meanings of new vocabulary, they learn origins and connotations, and they apply their new knowledge through written and oral applications. The materials call out literary and academic vocabulary in boxes, and difficult vocabulary terms found in reading selections are glossed. Word Connections boxes also provide information for a “word with multiple meanings and nuances, an interesting etymology, a telling root or affix, a helpful Spanish cognate, a relationship to another word, or a connection to another content area.” At the beginning of each unit, there is a list of the literary and academic vocabulary for students, and the Teacher Wrap includes detailed information about vocabulary development including the importance of learning new vocabulary, what types of vocabulary students will encounter, and suggestions and resources for instruction. The Resources section at the conclusion of each grade level also contains a few strategies for working with vocabulary—Guided Reading, Question Heard Teach (QHT), Cloze Reading, Cognate Bridge, and Visual Prompts—as well as Graphic Organizers for working with vocabulary—Definition and Reflection, Verbal & Visual Word Association, and Word Maps.

Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to analyzing the purpose of word choices. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, students build on their knowledge to read and understand excerpts from Tinker v. Des Moines during Activity 3.4. In the activity, students define “multi-meaning” words in context. In the Teacher Wrap, teacher guidance states that students’ definitions of words can serve as formative assessments and opportunities for feedback.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students read a section of Antigone by Sophocles (lines 427 - 712) during Activity 4.16. In a Word Connections box, students learn and work with a multiple-meaning word: “The word passionate has several meanings related to one idea: having or showing strong emotions. Can you figure out the variations in tone or meaning of this word? Which meaning is most accurate for the context used in line 538?”

Opportunities are present for students to learn, practice, apply, and utilize vocabulary in multiple contexts. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, a vocabulary box in Activity 1.4 explains the definition of the literary term diction, connecting to direct instruction on how to analyze an author’s diction. Students learn the word’s meaning, then apply it to the current text. Later in the activity, a vocabulary box explains the etymology of the word oxymoron before the word is applied in the text-dependent questions.
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, during Activity 2.2 students use their understanding of persuasion to analyze a short story called “Marriage is a Private Affair” by Chinua Achebe, and write a possible ending. Students “circle unknown words and phrases and to determine the meaning of the words by using context clues, word parts, or a dictionary.”
  • In Unit 4, Powerful Openings, during Activity 4.6, students sort text specific words “into categories based on the words' meanings and relationships. Consult print and digital resources, such as a dictionary, a thesaurus, or an encyclopedia, to help you create categories.” This activity prepares students for the novel introduced in Activity 4.7, All the Light We Cannot See by Athony Doerr. Students complete an Opening Writing Prompt “taking special notice of the words you sorted in the previous activity. Then answer the following question. Does anything about Doerr's use of these words in the passage surprise you? Explain your answer.” The Teacher Wrap provides support and direction. For example, “Point out that these paragraphs contain six words that students sorted in the previous activity: leaflets, ramparts, cartwheels, flutter, artillery, and mortars. Then have students respond to the prompt. Invite students to share their reactions to reading the words leaflets, ramparts, cartwheels, flutter, artillery, and mortars in context.”

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The materials provide year-long comprehensive writing instruction throughout the four units of study via formative practice, frequent writing prompts, performance-based assessments, language checks, research tasks, and optional Writing Workshops. Writing tasks range from formal to informal, on-demand to multi-draft, and expressive to analytical. This includes short and full-length research tasks that require finding, analyzing, and synthesizing sources for evidence. Writing activities are incorporated daily for students to respond to texts for a variety of purposes such as making observations, analyzing content and author’s intent, and preparing for discussion or group work. Language and Writer’s Craft and Language Checkpoints give students practice in utilizing language and conventions in writing.

Each unit contains multiple writing prompts that build to the two Embedded Assessments in which students have the opportunity to write across multiple genres. Guided instruction, modeling, opportunities for practice, protocols, and rubrics help students build the skills necessary to complete tasks of increasing difficulty and for teachers and students alike to monitor growth. Supplemental materials include ten additional Writing Workshops that provide a closer look and additional practice of various writing genres. However, it is important to note that these are not a part of the core materials and will require additional time and teacher planning.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, students take an in-depth look at how authors build arguments through a variety of text genres and media. For example, in Activity 1.5, students use what they have learned about the structure of an argumentative piece of writing to construct an essay explaining the structure of Sherry Turkle’s argument in her op-ed “The Flight from Conversation.” The teacher breaks down the assignment into a series of steps under the headings of Examining a Multiple-Meaning Word, Developing the Claim, Gather Ideas, Write a Thesis, Craft the Introduction, Compose Body Paragraphs and Incorporate Quotations, Write the Conclusion, Self-Review and Peer Feedback, and Finalize Your Essay and Reflect. Students complete multiple scaffolded tasks for analyzing argumentative pieces on social issues to prepare for writing their own argumentative essay for Embedded Assessment 1.
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, students build on what they learned from analyzing the structure of arguments and apply it to an analysis of how characters use argument in works of literature through their reading of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. For example, Activity 2.7 prompts students to “look back at the scene where Ezedu tries to persuade Okonkwo not to participate in the killing of Ikemefuna. How does Ezedu build his case? What does Okonkwo's response reveal about his character? Write a literary analysis explaining your answer.” Similar tasks throughout the first part of the unit prepare students to write a literary analysis essay for Embedded Assessment 1. Students continue to study literary elements in the second half and use what they have learned to compose an original narrative for Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, students refine and expand their understanding of the craft of argument. This time students read a variety of informational texts such as legal documents, research reports, films, infographics, and articles on social issues to practice synthesizing information from multiple sources to write arguments. For example, in Activity 3.8, students “reexamine the sources from previous activities in this unit to synthesize a response to a prompt about vaccinations.” Students will also plan, write, and revise an argument stating their opinion. The materials include a graphic organizer for students to narrow their ideas into three supporting ideas with evidence. After students complete their first draft, they complete the Bare Bones test with a partner for revisions and editing. Tasks in the unit lead students through a research project for a solution to an environmental issue. For Embedded Assessment 1, students create an annotated bibliography of their research and complete an essay presenting their solution the second Embedded Assessment.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students continue to practice literary analysis and forms of creative writing as they study various poems, play excerpts, and short stories. For example, in Activity 4.5, students read Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare and respond to a literary analysis prompt asking them to “write a paragraph that analyzes Shakespeare’s use of satire in achieving the sonnet’s purpose.” In Activity 4.10, students “write a short scene in which a character mourns something or someone.” Activity 4.11 prepares students for the first assessment task. The Writing Prompt tells students to think back on how the texts in this unit have conveyed praise, mockery, or mourning. “Choose one of these three purposes and create a literary text that illustrates this purpose.” For Embedded Assessment 1, students “write an analysis of their creative writing piece or another text from this unit. Their analysis should examine the choices made that serve the purpose of praise, mockery, or mourning.” Students utilize a graphic organizer to plan their analysis. They also write a reflection explaining the steps they took when completing the task.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

The materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice evaluating sources, gathering relevant evidence, and citing and reporting findings accurately through shorter, focused, research tasks as well as more in-depth research projects. Throughout the year, students work collaboratively and independently to build their research skills. The Teacher Wrap provides suggestions for resources for teachers to bring to the classroom for students to explore and also provides students with choice in pursuing research avenues. Students analyze embedded selections and outside research brought to the classroom conversation. The units provide students shorter practice tasks that build their capacity to complete more extensive research projects generally through one or both of the Embedded Assessment.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, during Activity 1.6, students read the argumentative text “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter” by Celeste Headlee, then analyze the evidence used in the text that supports the author’s claim(s) in order to prepare for Embedded Assessment 1. Students demonstrate skills and knowledge of genre characteristics for an argumentative essay as they complete tasks such as rereading the text in order to “locate examples of evidence” and “identify whether they are empirical, logical, or anecdotal.” The following guidance is provided: “With your group, discuss the impact of the evidence on the text and the reader, using examples from the text to support your answers.” Students practice these short research skills across multiple texts on current social issues to prepare for Embedded Assessment 1, which requires students to plan, draft, revise, and edit an argumentative essay based on the topic of their choice. Students must include a clear, debatable claim, various types of research-based evidence, counterclaims, and evidence to disprove them.
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, students read the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe as well as additional cultural short stories. After completing a literary analysis on the novel for Embedded Assessment 1, students analyze and discuss literary and cultural elements in the short stories. This prepares them for their own research-based creative writing piece. In Activity 2.23, students begin their research: “Consult print or digital resources to locate the answers to your questions. Record what you learn in the following graphic organizer, and then think about how the answers might impact your story.” After collecting research and planning their story, students complete Embedded Assessment 2. This task involves both writing and research: “Write an original short story that conveys a specific cultural perspective or historical moment. Conduct research into the time period and setting that you choose in order to convey the setting accurately.”
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, students read the poem “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden during Activity 4.6. In the Gaining Perspectives section, students conduct on-the-spot research: “In ‘Funeral Blues,’ the narrator grieves as he shares personal feelings about the loss of a loved one. While grieving is natural after a loss, for some people grief can lead to depression. Depression is a common disorder with various symptoms, such as chronic sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, and/or apathy (lack of interest in things that used to bring pleasure). People experiencing depression should speak to a trusted friend or family member, a counselor, or a nurse or doctor about such symptoms. Think about how you might learn more about the difference between grief and depression. With a partner, research and discuss where you could find expert advice on how to help a friend who recently lost someone and who may be suffering from depression. Then write a summary of your discussion in your Reader/Writer Notebook.” Similar tasks build student capacity for writing their own creative piece that emulates praising, mocking, or mourning.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

Each unit begins with a Planning the Unit section for teachers that includes a text list called Suggestions for Independent Reading which relate to topics, themes, and genres featured in the unit. The lists include a list for literary and nonfiction/informational texts, each with author, title, and Lexile level where applicable. Spanish selections are also provided. These lists can also be found in the Resources section along with a student independent reading log. Throughout the year, materials include frequent opportunities for students to engage in independent reading through lessons and self-selected materials. The beginning of each unit features a preview of the unit’s focus and guiding questions connected to the topic to support students in selecting the most appropriate independent reading texts and developing a reading plan. Twice per unit, the materials include Independent Reading Checkpoints that require students to complete an informal discussion or writing assignment. Students also respond to Independent Reading Links that require them to articulate connections between their independent reading and the skills/concepts they are learning about in the classroom, which also holds them accountable for completing their independent reading books and required reading logs. The Teacher Wrap also includes additional guidance for teachers to foster independence for all readers. When students read and analyze longer texts across the Activities, the materials suggest scaffolding strategies to support students along the way, gradually leading to their reading independence across the year. Additional readings can be found in the digital resource Zinc Reading Labs.

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

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, the Previewing the Unit section of Activity 1.1 invites students to explore the big ideas and tasks of the unit and make plans for their own independent reading. Students record their daily reading pace in their Independent Reading Log and write a brief daily report in their log responding to what they have read. Students must also include questions or predictions about what they have read. Some suggestions for independent reading include Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and Chain of Fire by Beverly Naidoo (fiction); Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography by Benazir Bhutto, The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris, and Reality Is Broken by Jane McGonigal (nonfiction).
  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, students analyze how a character uses persuasion in a short story and how an author creates complex characters and uses diction to express their relationship during Activity 2.2. In the activity, students complete an Independent Reading Link that requires them to consider the use of persuasion in their independent reading and choose a persuasive passage and mark it for a claim, evidence, counterarguments, and rhetorical strategies. Students discuss their marked passage with a partner and address whether or not they are convinced of the argument and why. Then, they must allow their partner to do the same with his/her passage and consider the similarities and differences between the two passages.
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, during Activity 3.9, students examine how to develop a research plan for a research report. Students also complete an Independent Reading Link that prompts them to take the time to study the ways in which authors use research. For their Independent Reading, students choose a fiction or nonfiction text that requires extensive research by the author. The materials provide students with examples such as a court decision, an investigative report, or a work of historical fiction. As they read, students identify the types of sources the author likely used and what his/her research process might have been. Students also create an Independent Reading Plan with personal reading goals in their Reader/Writer Notebook.
  • In Unit 4, Praise, Mock, Mourn, Activity, students write and revise a literary text that praises, mocks, or mourns a person, object, or event during Activity 4.11. The Planning for Independent Reading section requires students to review their independent reading text and analyze how the author uses literary devices such as imagery, irony, sarcasm, and satire to shape the reader's perception of a person, character, event, or idea. Students must consider whether the author's intent was to praise, mock, or mourn or to do something else. Then, students write a literary analysis of the text that includes a thesis statement about the author's purpose for writing and support it with examples from the text that show how the author used literary devices to steer the reader's thinking and communicate the theme of his or her work. Students also use their notes from the unit's Independent Reading Links to help them complete the task.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for instructional supports and usability. Although the materials are well designed and include lessons that are effectively structured, the suggested amount of time for the materials is not viable for one school year and would require several significant modifications. The materials provide detailed explanations, annotations, and research-based strategies to support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards. Although the materials include quality scoring rubrics and scoring guidance to gather accurate measures of standards mastery, the materials do not provide guidance for teachers to interpret assessment data or suggestions for follow-up. The materials include a variety of scaffolds and strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. Digital materials are accessible but are available in limited platforms. Embedded technology is effectively used to enhance and support student learning but there are not opportunities to differentiate the materials based on individual student’s needs. While the digital platform allows some customization, adaptive or assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech, are not available. The materials include a number of digital collaborative opportunities; however, there are limited opportunities for teacher-student collaboration.

Criterion 3a - 3e

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for use and design to facilitate student learning. Although the materials are well designed and include lessons that are effectively structured, the suggested amount of time for the materials is not viable for one school year and would require several significant modifications. Student materials include clear directions and explanations, and reference aids are correctly labeled. The materials include alignment documentation for all questions, tasks, and assessment items. The design and formatting of the teacher and student materials is not distracting or chaotic and allows for thoughtful engagement with the content.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The instructional materials, which are based on Understanding by Design, include four units of study, a Language Workshop, a Close Reading Workshop, and a Writing Workshop. Each unit is organized around a collection of texts or tasks based on theme. The four units are The Power of Argument, Pivotal Words and Phrases, Persuasion in Literature, Voice in Synthesis, and Praise, Mock, Mourn. Teachers access the unit materials on the Digital Bookshelf. The introductory materials include a Planning the Unit section at the beginning of each unit which suggests possible instructional sequences. Next, the Instructional Pathways section offers a pacing guide for the activities and workshops, based on a 50-minute class period.

The teacher materials include a digital Teacher Wrap bar to the left of the page that can be accessed at any time and provides a range of additional information, such as step-by-step guidance for each activity including standards citations, vocabulary support, pacing recommendations, independent reading suggestions, and a possible instructional pathway. Each unit includes two embedded assessments that are directly aligned to the content students experience throughout the activities within the lesson. Information about the assessments are accessed through the table of contents tab and the unit overview.

In Planning the Unit, there is an Activities at a Glance and a Resources at a Glance section. The Activities at a Glance provides a clear overview of what is included in the unit activities. Activities begin with learning targets, a preview, key vocabulary, and learning strategies that are covered during the lesson. Additionally, some activities include recommendations for leveled differentiated instruction to support the implementation of a specific section of a given lesson. The Unit Resources at a Glance section provides an overview of the various supplemental resources for the unit. The Teacher Edition also includes a pacing guide that provides several instructional pathway options including where to incorporate additional resources.

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

There is more material available than could be taught in a 180-day school year. The materials require 180–191 class periods for course completion. The pacing of each unit varies, depending on the length of time required to cover the content. Schools with adjusted schedules, such as a double blocked schedule, may be able to cover the content within a 180-day school year; however, schools without adjusted scheduling require extensive planning to integrate and utilize all aspects of the curriculum, in addition to inserting the most appropriate supplementary resources while working towards covering all grade-level standards within a school year.

All information regarding pacing can be found in the Digital Bookshelf resource for teachers including the scope and sequence for each unit. The Teacher Edition Features section provides an overview of the essential features of the curriculum, including the design, instructional pathways, and additional ELA support tools, including a platform for students called Zinc which includes diverse texts aligned to Springboard material. Each of the four units includes a pacing chart that outlines each activity, assessment, and optional pathways. These pathways provide teacher guidance for integrating the supplementary materials from the Flexible Novel Unit and the Language, Close Reading, and Writing Workshops. The Language Workshops are used at designated points in each unit; however the Close Reading and Writing Workshops are additional. Teachers would need to make decisions on how, when, or if they would integrate these workshops. The suggested time for each activity varies. For example, some lessons are suggested to take place over the course of two 50-minute class periods.

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.).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.)

The student materials include ample supplementary materials that serve as additional practice resources. Throughout each lesson, students engage with reading selections in a variety of ways, enabling them to practice necessary skills. They are provided multiple opportunities to interact with the text through digital tools such as highlighting, underlining, and circling. Teachers have the option to select from quick multiple-choice assessments found on SpringBoard Digital which assess students’ knowledge and skills of activities within the curriculum. Teachers can also select which quizzes to assign over the span of a unit based on student needs.

Each unit follows the same format including icons, symbols, and activity titles/categories. The four units begin with explicit goals, learning targets, and a preview of the activity. Each activity also concludes with a check for understanding to assess students’ understanding of the activity. As the activity progresses, directions and tasks are labeled and tasks for student engagement with content are clearly indicated. Visuals are accompanied by captions and/or are related to the content of the readings. Reoccurring strategies and activities are assigned specific symbols. For example, an enlarged V is provided for vocabulary which appears each time students are given new vocabulary or engaging in vocabulary-related tasks. Additional reference aids include consistent use of visual prompts to analyze topics/themes, highlighted vocabulary, numbered paragraphs, enlarged titles of text and relevant subtitles.

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

In the Teacher Resources section of the Digital Dashboard, the materials provide information about standards alignment for each activity across all four units. This document details the activity number, title, focus standards, and additional standards. Information on standard alignment can also be found in the Assessments section of the Dashboard; the standards are aligned to the overall assessment but not individual questions on the assessments. Teachers are able to generate standards-based progress reports for their students through the Progress Reports section of the Dashboard. Additionally, the Teacher Wrap in the eBook provides linked standards for each activity, and the Correlations Viewer in the eBook shows page numbers for aligned content for each standard.

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The materials are presented in a digital format that is interactive and easy to navigate. Each unit and the accompanying materials are designed with a clear and consistent layout that is student and teacher-friendly. Each unit opens with a visual prompt and provides students with the goals of the unit. All activities across the four units are structured and presented in the same way, which includes repeating symbols and images for the activities in each lesson. The font, media size, and type are standard and easy to read. The eBook incorporates interactive digital features that allow students to engage with the content of lessons. Students are provided ample space to respond to questions on this digital platform. The Teacher Wrap is readily accessible when viewing student activities to avoid having to move back and forth between two separate pages, and the number of words on each page of the digital platform are sufficient. Additionally, the activities include scaffolded templates that allow students to write directly in a large box and add links and attachments.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for teacher planning and learning for success with CCSS. The Teacher Wrap includes useful annotations, suggestions, and guidance on presenting content in student-facing and ancillary materials. The materials include explanations of more advanced literacy concepts to support teachers with improving and deepening their understanding of the content. The Teacher Edition explains the role of the Standards in the context of the overall curriculum and also outlines the various research-based strategies used during instruction. The materials include suggestions for how parents or caregivers can support students at home, as well as suggestions for how teachers can share student progress with parents and caregivers.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The materials for each grade level provide an ELA Standards Correlation document and incorporate introductory content, including a Table of Contents and an introduction to the scope of the materials. The introduction explains the materials’ design, approach, and vision. Also included is a breakdown of the available components of the Teacher Edition: Planning the Unit, Instructional Guidance, Differentiation, Integrated Assessments, and Workshops (Language, Close Reading, and Writing). The introduction also explains the additional tools—SpringBoard Digital, Zinc Reading Labs, and Turnitin Revision Assistant—for users who have digital access.

Instructional materials include systematic annotations and suggestions on presentation of the content starting in the opening pages and continuing through the ancillary materials. The start of each unit includes “Planning the Unit” to give teachers an overview and point out areas where teachers may want to use ancillary materials to enrich or scaffold the unit. This section includes: context, suggested materials, instructional sequence, connections to Advanced Place ment (AP)/Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Unpack Embedded Instructions, Cognate Directory for English Language Learners (ELL) whose original language is Spanish, Activities at a Glance chart, Unit Resources, Independent Reading suggestions, Instructional Pathways for embedding ancillary materials in language and foundational skills, and Flexible Pathways for adding writing and close reading units within the unit.

In each activity, the Teacher Wrap sidebar provides the addressed standards, pacing recommendations, step by step teaching guidance, scaffolding for text-based questions, suggestions for leveled differentiated instruction, assessment guidance and ways to adapt the assessment. Additional call-out boxes provide “teacher-to-teacher” advice for some activities, text complexity information, and additional writing and language standards being taught in the unit. Additionally, teacher materials include a resources section at the back of each grade level, including documents for organizing independent reading, a breakdown of learning strategies, a variety of graphic organizers, an English-Spanish glossary, an index of skills, and an index of authors and titles.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The Teacher Edition integrates directions, procedures and additional information designed to extend teacher knowledge of instructional content and pedagogy. The opening pages for each unit provide rationales for skills taught throughout units. The closing pages for each grade level provide the definition and purpose of the Learning Strategies used across the year. The Teacher Wrap sidebar, present throughout units and activities, provides professional support such as Teacher to Teacher recommendations and Leveled Differentiated Instruction that suggests implementation moves to adjust and extend lessons. The Teacher Wrap also provides explicit directions and explanations for implementing activities as well as recommended answers and additional explanations for literary concepts and tasks.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The materials are consistently aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards along with Advanced Placement coursework. The materials are “Based on the Understanding by Design model” and teach “students the skills and knowledge that matter most to meet AP and college and career readiness standards.” The English Language Arts Pathway contains “student-centered activities that gradually develop the skills and knowledge needed for the Embedded Assessments and are aligned to grade-level standards.” Each activity begins with standards-aligned learning targets and provides the lesson focus standards. Materials also include standards-aligned unit assessments for each half unit. Lessons occasionally make connections to social studies and and/or health education through the Gaining Perspectives sections. The Planning the Unit section at the beginning of each unit lists the AP and SAT connections that will be made in the upcoming unit. The materials also include an ELA Standards Correlation chart that outlines each standard addressed in the curriculum and where in the curriculum the standard is addressed. The digital version provides links to standards built into lessons and a standards correlation document that links standards to specific activities.

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

The introductory pages for each grade level describe the instructional design of the materials and the authors’ approach to the different components of instruction. The materials are based on the Understanding by Design Model, a widely known approach to learning by Wiggins and McTighe that focuses on understanding the assessment at the end of instruction to see how the learning students need to be successful on the assessment should build. The program is also designed through a “Shared Instructional Vision” between Springboard and AP. This model emphasises close observation and analysis, higher-order questioning, evidence-based writing, and academic conversations. Springboard also aligned the materials with the knowledge and skills needed for the evidence-based reading and writing sections of the SAT assessments.

The materials are research-based, classroom tested, and created by classroom practitioners. The introductory pages includes the following statement: “SpringBoard’s lesson design also takes into account the work of the American Institutes for Research in its focus on students moving through multiple levels of cognitive engagement: progressing fluidly from comprehension and understanding, to analysis, and ultimately to synthesis and the creation of new content. Each lesson is designed to allow for the type of facilitation and flexibility referenced by Charlotte Danielson in her work on teacher instruction. We have also integrated the research of Marzano and Pickering by building students’ background knowledge in the area of academic vocabulary development. Finally, SpringBoard is directly informed by Robyn Jackson’s work on rigorous instruction. As Jackson suggests, our content requires students to be ‘active, not passive,’ and our units feature activities that stress ‘implicit meaning, ambiguity, layers, and complexity.’

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.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The materials include an introductory letter for students in student-friendly language to support their understanding of the curriculum structure, its focus, and the type of activities they will encounter: “SpringBoard helps you make connections between the concepts you're reading and writing about in class and the real world. Instead of just memorizing how to do things, you'll draw on your own and your classmates' experiences and knowledge to come to new and deeper understandings.” Students receive suggested independent reading books to aid in their understanding of each unit’s theme. SpringBoard Digital provides teachers with the ability to share progress reports with students, grades, additional messaging, and embed correlations at point of use to support students in making connections between standards and content. The materials include a Family Letter in English and Spanish for each unit; however, the Family Letter is not available in Spanish in the print or online versions of the materials at this time.

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for assessment. The materials include regular and systematic formal and informal assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessments clearly denote which standards are emphasized. Although the materials include quality scoring rubrics and scoring guidance that allow teachers to gather accurate measures of students’ mastery of standards, the materials do not provide guidance for teachers to interpret assessment data or suggestions for follow-up. The materials include routines and guidance that highlight opportunities to monitor student progress. Independent reading is integrated into the materials to increase student literacy skills and improve student stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Assessment is a key part of the design of Springboard’s curriculum. The materials offer frequent opportunities for formative and summative measurements of student performance. Each unit includes two Embedded Assessments, which summatively measure students’ performance on key concepts. These assessments include scoring guides and student examples for teachers and students alike to use during the process. Each unit also includes many types of formative checkpoints that allow students to practice what they are learning, and for teachers to assess student progress. These tasks include Making Observations questions, Returning to the Text Questions, Check Your Understanding Tasks, Focus on the Sentence Tasks, Graphic Organizers, Writing Prompts, and Reflection Questions. The digital version of the materials also includes multiple-choice quizzes for each activity and unit assessments that are aligned to the standards in each half-unit.

The units are designed around the same format: plan, teach, assess, and adapt. Materials offer teacher guidance for assessment. In the Teacher Wrap, the assess section explains the opportunities for assessment in the unit. Materials also provide the connection between the formative assessments and the two Embedded Assessments and the overview of the skills being assessed.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
0/0

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are emphasized.

The materials include an ELA Standards Correlation document that lists individual standards and their corresponding tasks, questions, and assessments in the units. The document contains links to these specific locations in the online version of the materials. The digital materials contain icons with drop down boxes that indicate the standards for the activities. For the print materials, the Common Core College and Career Readiness Standards that correspond to the Embedded Assessments are listed at the bottom of the page for each assessment. The standards mentioned in Scaffolding the Text-Dependent Questions boxes are linked to formative assessments.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

SpringBoard units follow a Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt process. These steps are outlined in the Teacher Wrap for each activity. This gives teachers guidance toward formative and summative assessments that includes checkpoints and recommendations for adjusting lessons to build student capacity for the Embedded Assessments. The digital version of the materials provide teachers with the ability to track student progress through functions such as the Revision Assistant and formative and summative assessment packages; however, this review did not include access to these functions. The digital and paper materials provide scoring guides for the Embedded Assessments and recommended answers to student questions. The Scaffolding sections and the teaching notes provide guidance for follow-up based on what teachers observe in student responses during the activities. The materials do not provide guidance for the teacher to interpret assessment data or provide suggestions for follow-up for the assessments provided, including Embedded Assessments, Activity Quizzes, or End of Unit Assessments.

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The materials are organized into four units of study that are broken down into a systematic series of activities—lessons built around specific texts or tasks. Each activity follows a similar structure and routine including read the learning targets, follow the directions for annotations in the As You Read section, complete the first read, Make Observations about the text, Return to the Text to answer text-dependent questions, and Work from the Text by analyzing certain aspects of the text. Follow-up tasks also include Focusing on the Sentence, Language and Writer’s Craft, and/or a final Checking your Understanding. The Teacher Wrap directions follow a Plan, Teach, Assess, and Adapt format and provide teachers with suggestions for how to monitor student comprehension and progress toward the Embedded Assessments.

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent reading is an important part of each unit of the materials. At the beginning of each unit, students create their own plan for independent reading that will complement the content and skills of the unit. Materials provide unit-specific, independent reading instructions for students and teachers. The opening pages of each grade give the following information about the independent reading embedded throughout each unit, “While students work their way through each unit, they respond to Independent Reading Links that prompt them to make connections between the reading they’re doing on their own and the skills and knowledge they’re developing in class. Twice per unit, Independent Reading Checkpoints give students a chance to reflect on and synthesize their independent reading in an informal writing assignment or discussion.” The Planning the Unit sections for each unit contain a list of suggested titles, both literary and nonfiction/informational. The resource section of the materials contains an Independent Reading Log for students to use to record their progress.

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.
10/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for differentiated instruction. The materials include a number of scaffolds and strategies to support the needs of a range of learners. Leveled, differentiated, instructional supports for English learners, students who need additional scaffolding or support, and students who need extensions or more advanced opportunities are built into the curriculum. Suggestions for grouping students are outlined in the Teacher Wrap.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The Planning the Unit section at the beginning of each unit provides information on differentiation so that teachers can personalize instruction through customizable pathways such as the English Language Arts Pathway, Language Development Pathway, and a Flexible Pathway. This allows teachers to plan the unit in the best way in response to a range of learners including English Language Learners, struggling or below grade level readers, and above grade level readers. This section also includes Unit Resources at a Glance, which offers English language development support, and foundational language skills support. Throughout the Activities and lessons, teachers encounter Leveled Differentiated Instruction features that provide scaffolding for challenging tasks. The differentiation model includes six levels, and the first four—Beginning, Developing, Expanding, and Bridging—correspond to World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) level descriptors. The next level is listed as Support and is recommended for students who may not be English language learners but still need support to perform at grade level. The last category is Extend and provides opportunities for students to further challenge themselves. Teacher-to-Teacher boxes also provide suggestions from veteran classroom teachers on how to enhance, support, differentiate, and extend lessons and activities. The Resources section at each grade level also contains a variety of graphic organizers teachers can use to supplement and scaffold instruction.

The following serves as an example of support found across all four units.

  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, the unit begins with a Leveled Differentiated Instruction Directory so that teachers may easily locate tasks and activities “for English language learners at various levels of language proficiency.” In Activity 2.4, students read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Chapters 1-4). The Leveled Differentiated Instruction located in the Teacher Wrap contains accommodations for students who are performing below grade level or who are progressing toward grade level;
    • Developing: “In pairs or groups of three, assign students either the character of Okonkwo or his father. Provide each student with two copies of the Character Map graphic organizer.”
    • Supporting: “Have students pretend that they are casting directors. Have them write casting call character descriptions.” This includes students who may need more challenging tasks.
    • Expanding: “Provide two copies of the Character Map graphic organizer-one for Okonkwo's character and one for his father's. Encourage students to pause after each paragraph or section and record details.”

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.

The Planning the Unit section includes a Spanish cognate dictionary to encourage students to notice the connections between their primary language and English to help them develop academic vocabulary more quickly. For English language learners whose primary language is not Spanish, teachers are encouraged to “ consider using an online translator or dictionary to support comprehension of vocabulary terms.” The Activities at a Glance feature also provides teachers with guidance to determine which activity includes ELL support with the use of icons. Throughout the activities in each unit, teachers encounter Leveled Differentiated Instruction features that provide scaffolding for challenging tasks. There are six levels to this differentiation model, and the first four—Beginning, Developing, Expanding, and Bridging—correspond to World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) level descriptors. The next level is listed as Support and is recommended for students who may not be English language learners but still need support to perform at grade level. The suggested texts for independent reading include Spanish titles. The Glossary at the end of each grade level includes Spanish entries alongside the English ones. Because teachers have the flexibility to create different pathways through the unit that relate to students’ needs, those who are learning the English Language or who need additional support in meeting grade-level standards have many opportunities to practice their skills through Language Workshops and Foundational Skills Workshops.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Each unit includes an overview of a “flexible pathway” to allow teachers to make choices from the supplementary materials to meet the learning needs of students. Suggestions for Leveled Differentiated Instruction are built into the Teacher Wrap within each unit. One of the support levels is Extend and is designed to provide ways “to stretch students who are ready for a challenge.” The teaching model provided in the Teacher Wrap follows a Plan, Teach, Assess, and Adapt structure, and often in the Adapt portion, there are suggestions for ways in which teachers can engage their students in a greater challenge. The Flexible novel units also allow for extension opportunities.

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

  • In Unit 2, Persuasion in Literature, the Extend recommendation for Activity 2.7 is for students who are working above grade level while preparing for a Socratic Seminar: “Have students think of useful expressions for academic discussion that are not included in the Discourse Starters graphic organizer. Have them post the expressions in the classroom.”
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, the materials recommend tasks for students that are ready to engage in more rigorous work during Activity 3.13. The Teacher Wrap directs instructors to “challenge students to trade annotated citations with another group or individual. Have students critique the annotated citations for missing or unclear information, and then give recommendations on how to modify it.”

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to learn, practice, and perform in a variety of grouping configurations, and teachers likewise use these groups to accentuate their instruction. Students often work in pairs and small groups and take part in whole-class activities as well. These groupings are often used in sequence as a strategy for enhancing learning. When students conduct a first read of a text, they do it in a variety of groupings. The materials provide teachers with speaking and listening strategies that encourage collaboration including but not limited to the definition and purpose of debates, role-playing, literature circles, and Socratic seminars. In the Teach step of the Plan, Teach, Assess, Adapt teaching model, teachers learn how to effectively use grouping strategies. The supplemental Close Reading Workshops are also useful in a variety of student groupings; however, it is important to note that these workshops are not a part of the core curriculum and require additional time and planning.

The following are examples of groupings that occur frequently across all four units:

  • In Unit 1, The Power of Argument, students read the text “A Flight from Conversation” by Sherry Tuckle during Activity 1.4. After answering text-based questions individually and in groups, students then prepare for a Socratic Seminar. The materials provide teachers and students with a detailed explanation of the process. The Teacher Wrap gives additional steps and guidelines to help students during and after discussion. The materials state, “Conduct a Socratic Seminar by arranging the classroom in a fishbowl formation (concentric circles).” After giving guidelines for how to transition students between circles, the materials give additional support for discussion: “There are several possibilities regarding the tasks for students sitting in the outer circle. You may direct them to silently listen, take notes, prepare feedback for an assigned member of the inner circle, live-blog the discussion’s key points, or serve as a kind of ‘phone a friend’ if someone in the inner circle wishes to consult.”
  • In Unit 3, Voice in Synthesis, students read the Supreme Court Opinion Tinker v. Des Moines (Excerpt 3) during Activity 3.4. For the First Read, students read the text independently. They then participate in a whole class discussion of the Making Observations questions. For the Returning to the Text activity, students work in pairs to reread portions of the text, answer questions, and apply the SOAPSTone strategy to analyze the current and previous text. The pairs then return to a whole class discussion of the contrast between Excerpts 2 and 3.

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for effective technology use. Although digital materials are web-based, they were not compatible with multiple internet browsers. While the platform was accessible using Internet Explorer, use required multiple clearings of the cache while navigating the platform. Digital materials were not compatible with Microsoft Edge. Embedded technology, such as videos and digital graphic organizers, enhances student learning. The materials provide opportunities to personalize learning for whole classes, but there are not opportunities to differentiate the materials based on individual student’s needs. While the digital platform allows some customization, adaptive or assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech, are not available. Teachers can customize lessons and add Workshops, within the digital platform. Lesson plans and assessments can also be customized. While the materials include a number of digital collaborative opportunities, there are limited opportunities for teacher-student collaboration.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that 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., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The instructional materials are available to consumers in both print and digital form for both students and teachers. The digital platform is web-based and functions well on Firefox and Google Chrome using Windows 10 and MacIntosh operating systems. SpringBoard Digital functions on a variety of devices such as desktops, laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and various smartphones. The materials were accessible using Internet Explorer but required multiple clearings of the cache when navigating between different tabs in the Springboard Bookshelf. The materials do not function well on Microsoft Edge.

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

  • When using Microsoft Edge, only the “next” and “previous” hyperlinks worked for navigation, requiring the user click page by page instead of being able to use the Table of Contents. The left-hand sidebar was not functional. The unit activity links do not direct the user to the activity but rather to the top of the unit page. The links to add text, links, or an attachment are not functional on Microsoft Edge.
  • Multiple links within the text itself do not direct the user to the activities.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The digital materials contain program supplements that are intended to enhance student learning through additional practice with standards and skills. Activity Quizzes are available for each activity in each unit and can be assigned at the teacher’s discretion. The Activity Quizzes are multiple choice assessments that can be used to monitor student understanding and help teachers make adjustments in instruction as needed. Unit Assessments are also available as a part of SpringBoard Digital for each half unit at each grade level. These assessments consist of multiple-choice and open-response questions which are modeled after the SAT. Other enhancements available on Springboard Digital include Zinc Reading Labs, a library of supplemental reading material, and Turnitin Revision Assistant, a writing feedback tool for students. In the introductory materials, publishers state, “Students are encouraged to continue building their knowledge of the topic by going to Zinc Reading Labs and searching for and reading related texts.” Turnitin Revision Assistant offers teachers and students online tools to enhance writing such as “instant feedback to students as they write,” and “a template to help you create an outline.” Links that clearly denote what standards are addressed for tasks are provided.

The tools available in the online version of the textbook include a set of annotation tools and the ability to share annotations to Google Classroom, embedded audio versions of the text, and a tool to define unknown words. Online assessments include similar enhanced technology features. The questions within the activities give students the option to create a response within the textbook platform, link to a document, or upload a document in the question response area. Teachers can link assignments to Google Classroom from within the Teacher Edition.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

While the digital platform allows for some customization, adaptive or assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech, are not provided. Digital assessments may be assigned to all students, groups of students, or individual students; however, these assessments do not include accessibility features such as highlighting, annotating, or text-to-speech. The SpringBoard digital materials have interactive features that help students access the material and accentuate their learning such as the ability to digitally highlight, annotate, and define text. They can also add their own digital material when answering questions by clicking on icons and inserting web links and/or attachments. Students may also listen to the audio versions of many selections. Teachers have the option to project and print content, including assessments, according to student needs. Teachers also have the ability to link the content with Google Classroom which gives teachers more flexibility and options to customize content for students. Digital options include the Zinc Reading Lab and electronic student portfolios and notebooks. The Turnitin Revision Assistant is a tool that students can use to receive personalized feedback on written assessments. The Instructional Pathways may be customized to meet students’ needs but teachers do not have the ability to personalize individual student’s learning.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The materials are designed intentionally for teachers and schools to have a great amount of flexibility in how they deliver the curriculum. The program is customizable in a number of ways, and teachers and districts may mix and match program elements such as the Instructional Pathway, Language Workshops, Close Reading Workshops, and Writing Workshops. Teachers may incorporate supplemental pathways such as the Language Development Pathway, Foundational Skills Workshop, and Flexible Pathways during a unit of instruction, according to whether students need extra support or an opportunity for extension. Teachers and districts may also supplement the curriculum with readings from the Zinc Reading Lab, and students may use the Turnitin Revision Assistant to receive feedback on their written assessments. Teachers may also create Assignment Reports and Standards Report by Timeframe as well as individual progress reports for selected students or groups (Google Classroom). Teachers may also add links or attachments to tasks.

In the opening pages, the authors of the materials describe their method as “A Living System of Learning.” They state, “SpringBoard puts students in charge of how they learn to create a more dynamic classroom experience with a flexible design and rich library of tools and resources, SpringBoard helps educators personalize instruction to meet student needs.”

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.)
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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.).

Teachers may collaborate with each other using SpringBoard Community, “A cloud-based community of SpringBoard teachers, instructional leaders, and trainers across the country who: Share resources, activity ideas, best practices to enhance classroom instruction and can also collaborate in various other ways.” Teachers may also engage in collaborative professional development using the Professional Development tab located on the teacher digital homescreen. The materials provide limited opportunities for teachers to collaborate with students. Materials may be added to Google Classroom, providing potential opportunities for students to collaborate with teachers and their peers. Students may also utilize the messaging tool to digitally communicate with other students.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 08/27/2020

Report Edition: 2021

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
National Edition English Language Arts Print Teacher Edition 978-1-4573-1289-2 Teacher College Board 2021
National Edition English Language Arts Print Student Edition 978-1-4573-1296-0 Student College Board 2021

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.

Please note: Beginning in spring 2020, reports developed by EdReports.org will be using an updated version of our review tools. View draft versions of our revised review criteria here.

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 HS 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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