Alignment: Overall Summary

Springboard Grade 12 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
33
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 12 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 12 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 12 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:

  • Unit 1 contains a variety of texts intended to support students’ ability to analyze and critique rhetoric with a focus on immigration and cultural experience. Poetry is a featured genre and includes classic and contemporary poems such as “A Poison Tree” by British poet William Blake, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, “I Remember” by Edward Montez, and “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling.
  • Unit 1 also includes several essays by renowned authors such as the 1936 literary magazine publication “Shooting an Elephant” by political novelist George Orwell and “Stranger in the Village” by activist and Harlem Renaissance novelist, James Baldwin. Both authors were controversial for their time due to their political and racial activism.
  • Unit 2 continues with literary criticism and primarily features the 1913 play Pygmalion by Nobel Prize winner, George Bernard Shaw, but includes supporting materials such as the poem “Orpheus Sings: Pygmalion and the Statue” by classical Roman poet Ovid and the contemporary children’s passage “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
  • Unit 3 focuses primarily on The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare. This play is a timeless classic that provides opportunities for text-to-self and text-to-text connections. The themes of deceit, jealousy, and gossip reflect universal themes across multiple genres and age groups.
  • Unit 4 includes a variety of contemporary media publications for students to analyze the way media impacts how society interprets the news and develops opinions on events and issues. These include a 2014 publication in The New Yorker “How Headlines Change the Way We Think” by Russian-American writer and psychologist, Maria Konnikova. Konnikova uses this article to discuss bias and the role of the media and word choice in influencing readers.
  • Unit 4 also features a series of media publications on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath including “The Press, Race, and Katrina” by Madison Gray, published in 2006 in Time magazine. This article, written a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, reflects on the negative role that the media played in the portrayal of African Americans and the potential impact that had on rescue efforts.

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 12 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, short stories, tragedy, articles, drama, literary criticism, satire, novels, legal documents, films, advertisements, 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, Perception is Everything, features a combination of informational and literary texts to examine rhetoric and analysis. This unit focuses on choices that authors make to influence reader perception. Literary texts include poetry and novel excerpts including:
    • “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling (poem)
    • “The Poor Man’s Burden” by George McNeill (poem)
    • “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath (poem)
    • “Water” by Anne Sexton (poem)
    • Prologue from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (novel excerpt)
  • Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, is primarily literary. The unit focuses on analyzing literary works through different perspectives, such as feminism or Marxist criticism. Literary texts include folktales, fables, legends, myths, short stories, full-length drama, and novel excerpts. Literary titles include:
    • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (fable)
    • “Why Women Always Take Advantage of Men”-from Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston (folktale)
    • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (drama)
    • “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl (short story)
    • “Orpheus Sings: Pygmalion and the Statue” from Metamorphoses by Ovid (myth)
    • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (novel excerpt)
  • Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, builds on Unit 2 to deepen student understanding of critical perspectives of literary works. The focus text is a full-length Shakespearean tragedy. Literary texts include:
    • The Moor in English Renaissance Drama by Jack D’Amico (literary criticism excerpt)
    • “Othello on Stage and Screen” by Sylvan Barnet (essay)
    • The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (play)
    • Selected clips from two film versions of Othello (film)
    • “The Right to Love” by Gene Lees and Lilo Schifrin (song)
    • “The Canonization” by John Donne (poem)

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

  • Unit 1, Perception is Everything, features a combination of informational and literary texts to examine rhetoric and analysis. This unit focuses on choices that authors make to influence reader perception. Informational texts include essays, articles, advertisements, and speeches such as:
    • “To the National American Woman Suffrage Association” by Florence Kelley (speech)
    • “Clothing Brands Need to Step Up and Keep Women Safe in Their Factories” by Aruna Kashyap (article)
    • “On Seeing England for the First Time” by Jamaica Kincaid (essay)
    • “Stranger in the Village,” by James Baldwin (essay)
    • “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell (essay)
    • Pears’ Soap Company, Lightening the White Man’s Burden (1899) (advertisement)
  • Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, is primarily literary. There are few informational texts. These include:
    • “Cinderella, the Legend” from Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye, by Madonna Kolbenschlag (literary criticism excerpt)
    • Photographs: Stills from My Fair Lady directed by George Cukor (photographs)
  • Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, builds on Unit 2 to deepen student understanding of critical perspectives of literary works. The main informational text is an excerpt from The Moor in English Renaissance Drama, a literary criticism by Jack D’Amico.
  • Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, shifts the focus to critical analysis of informational texts in the media including reports, editorials, speeches, articles, legal documents, films and a teacher-selected podcast. The unit features all informational texts including:
    • “How News Has Changed” by Michael Griffin (article)
    • “President Outlines Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts” by President George W. Bush (speech)
    • Trailer of Trouble the Water directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (film)
    • “An Editorial: It’s Time for a Nation to Return the Favor” from The Times-Picayune (editorial)
    • “Looters Leave Nothing Behind in Storm’s Wake” by Mike Perlstein and Brian Thevenot (article)
    • “Kick Up a Different Kind of Tempest” by Tania Ralli (pictures)
    • The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 101 (legal document)

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 12 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 11–12 stretch band (1185–1385L), 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:

  • In Unit 1, the publisher provides a text complexity analysis for nine texts. These range from 870L to 1520L. Texts in the unit include poems, informational and argumentative texts, essays, and advertisements.
    • Activity 1.7 excerpt from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison: Quantitative, 870L: Qualitative, Moderate Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze
    • Activity 1.9 text “Children’s Bureau Act:” Quantitative, 1520L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 1.15 text “On Seeing England for the First TIme” by Jamaica Kincaid: Quantitative, 1230L: Qualitative, Moderate Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze
  • In Unit 2, seven texts are accompanied by a qualitative and quantitative analysis to explain the complexity of each text. The central text for the unit is the classical play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The majority of texts are below the grade level lexile band and fall between 700L to 1120L. Text types include a myth, narrative texts, and a fairy tale.
    • Activity 2.3 text “Orpheus Sings: Pygmalion and the Statue” by Ovid: Quantitative, 1120L: Qualitative, Moderate Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze
    • Activity 2.3 excerpt from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Quantitative, 980L: Qualitative, Moderate Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 2.19 text “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl: Quantitative 770L: Qualitative, Low Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
  • In Unit 3, the publisher provides complexity information for two texts that supplement the central text The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare (1320L). The unit also includes a song and poem which do not require a complexity analysis.
    • Activity 3.9 excerpt from “The Moor in English Renaissance” by Jack D’Amico: Quantitative, 1430L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 3.20 text “Othello on Stage and Screen” by Sylvan Barnet: Quantitative, 1370L, Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze
  • In Unit 4, publishers provide a text complexity analysis for 14 prose selections. With a range of 590L to 1600L. Unit texts reflect a balance of accessible, complex, and very complex texts. Text types include legal documents, articles, speech, reports, films, and editorials.
    • Activity 4.3 text “Why Partisans View Mainstream Media as Biased and Ideological Media as Objective by Matthew C. Nisbet: Quantitative, 1600L: Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Challenging–Evaluate
    • Activity 4.7 text “Looters Leave Nothing Behind in Storm’s Wake”by Mike Perlstein and Brian Thevenott: Quantitative, 1180L, Qualitative, High Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze
    • Activity 4.7 text “‘Attitude of Resilience’ Helped Create Demo Diva” by Simone Bruni: Quantitative, 590L: Qualitative, Low Difficulty: Task, Moderate–Analyze

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 12 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. (for 11-12: materials should be supporting students’ toward reading materials in credit-bearing college coursework and/or authentic career documents) Series of texts include a variety of complexity levels. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the beginning of the year, the students focus on rhetorical analysis. In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, students study an advertisement from an 1890s magazine and write an analysis using Cultural Criticism. Students also analyze the structure of an argument and write a timed rhetorical analysis essay about an argumentative text, called Profiting on the Backs of Laborers by Victoria Riskin and Mike Farrell (1200L). Tasks like these help students prepare for the unit assessments. For example, Embedded Assessment 1 requires students to independently write a rhetorical analysis essay on the editorial “Tipping System Exacerbates Unfair Pay” at Restaurants by Kathleen Kingsbury.
  • In the middle of the year, students shift to literary analysis and informational writing. In Unit 2: The Collective Perspective, students read Act II of the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and write an informational essay that compares the character of Eliza with the statue in the Pygmalion myth. These demands of this essay and others in this unit are similar and build upon those found throughout Unit 1. In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, students read Othello by William Shakespeare. Among other similar analysis tasks, students develop a character analysis of Othello, applying the Cultural Criticism lens to answer a writing prompt. For Embedded Assessment 1 in this unit, students independenlty write a character analysis for Othello using one of the literary crtisicms studied (Feminist, Archetypal, Marxist, Cultural, or Historical).
  • By the end of the year, the focus is on argumentation. In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, students take an in-depth look at Hurricane Katrina through a variety of sources including articles, reports, legal documents, photographs, an infographic, a podcast, and film documentary trailer. Students have multiple opportunities to practice writing and presenting argumentative pieces. This leads to the final Embedded Assessment 2 in which students gather multiple sources of research and present an argument through their choice of medium. Suggestions include podcasts, a documentary, news broadcast, or persuasive speech. The scoring guide for teachers focuses on ideas, structure, and use of language.

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 12 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 the 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’s 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 the poems and plays that students read in Units 1–3.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.15, Digging Deeper for Meaning, students read the essay “On Seeing England for the First Time” by Jamaica Kincaid. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 1230 and an overall rating of complex. The Summary section provides this rationale for text placement: “This text is complex for a twelfth grade reader, and students read and analyze the text with considerable independence at this point in the unit. The 1230 Lexile measure places the text within the 11–12 grade level band, and the qualitative measures indicate a moderate difficulty due to its figurative language and complex layers of meaning. The task demands are also moderate, resulting in an overall complex rating.” Students also read a number of poems and an advertisement; however, these texts are not included in the Text Complexity document.
  • Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, Activity 2.3, Introducing the Myth presents an excerpt from Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 980 with an overall rating of very complex. The Summary section states, “This text is very complex for a twelfth grade reader, offering a challenging complementary text to the somewhat more accessible “Orpheus Sings” myth from earlier in the activity. The 980 Lexile measure places the text below the 11–12 grade level band, but the qualitative measures indicate a moderate difficulty level due to its completing levels of meaning and [use of] figurative language. The task demands are challenging, resulting in an overall very complex rating.” Students also spend a number of lessons reading the drama Pygmalionn by George Bernard Shaw and one lesson reading the fable The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; however, neither of these texts are included in the publisher-provided text complexity document.
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.9, A Historical Look at the Moor, students first receive direct instruction in Historical Criticism prior to reading the literary criticism, from “The Moor in English Renaissance Drama” by Jack D’Amico. This text receives an overall rating of Very Complex based on the above 11–12 grade level Lexile of 1430, qualitative level of High Difficulty and task level of Challenging. The Summary recognizes, “The text is very complex for a twelfth grade reader. As students approach college readiness, this text exposes them to the type of writing they will encounter in academic journals in college. The 1430 Lexile measure places the text above the 11–12 grade level band, and the qualitative measures indicate a high difficulty level due to its dense language and complex connections of ideas. The task demands are also challenging, resulting in an overall very complex rating.” Students spend the majority of this unit reading William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice, but neither this text nor the poem “The Canonization” by John Donne are included in the Text Complexity document.
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, Activity 4.15, Framing the Investigation, students read the article “Daylong Efforts to Repair Levee Fail” by Dan Shea. The Text Complexity document provides a Lexile score of 960 with an overall complexity rating of accessible. The Summary section provides this rationale for text placement: “This text is accessible for a twelfth grade reader, giving students a chance to apply Feminist Criticism with and engaging text. The 960 Lexile measure places the text below the 11–12 grade level band, but the qualitative measures indicate a moderate difficulty due to its unconventional language and subtle, complex theme. The task demands are also moderate, resulting in an overall accessible rating.”

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 12 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

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:

  • In Unit 1, Perceptions is Everything, students encounter a collection of poetry: “On Being Brought from Africa to America” by Phillis Wheatley, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, “in just–” by E.E. Cummings, “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath, and “Water” by Anne Sexton. These complement additional texts such as a speech to the National American Woman Suffrage Association by Florence Kelley, Pears’ Soap Company, “Lightening the White Man’s Burden” (advertisement), “On Seeing England for the First Time” by Jamaica Kincaid (essay), “‘Is this what the west is really like?’ How it felt to leave China for Britain,” by Xiaolu Guo (essay), and “Clothing Brands Need to Step Up and Keep Women Safe in Their Factories” by Aruna Kashyap (argument).
  • Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, features the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw along with several supporting texts including “Orpheus Sings: Pygmalion and the Statue” by Ovid, an excerpt from Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (novel), Stills from My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor (illustrations), “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution,” by Tracy Chapman (song lyrics), “Why Women Always Take Advantage of Men,” from Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston (folktale).
  • Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, introduces students to the central text The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (play). Supporting texts include “The Right to Love” by Gene Lees and Lilo Schifrin (song), “The Canonization” by John Donne (poem), an excerpt from The Moor in English Renaissance Drama by Jack D’Amico (literary criticism), and “Othello on Stage and Screen” by Sylvan Barnet (essay).
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, students “use critical perspectives to analyze informational texts.” For example, in Activity 4.5: Framing the Investigation, students evaluate the legal document “The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 101” and the article “Daylong Efforts to Repair Levee Fail” by Dan Shea.

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 12 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 12 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, Activity 1.18, after reading “Stranger in the Village” by James Baldwin, students answer questions including, “How do the villagers react to Baldwin when he first arrives in Switzerland?”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.17, students read the folktale, “Why Women Always Take Advantage of Men” by Zola Neale Hurston. After a rereading of the text, students complete a series of questions including: “How does the author use the language and dialogue in Chunk 1 to reveal how men see the relative advantages of men and women? Use details from the text to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.3, students read and analyze two texts, “Headlines Change the Way We Think” by Maria Konnikova and “Why Partisans View Mainstream Media as Biased and Ideological Media as Objective” by Matthew C. Nisbet. They answer questions using multiple texts. Questions include: “According to Konnikova's arguments, how does the headline frame the rest of the reader's experience? Cite details from the text to support your answer” and “According to the article, why was the misdirection in the headline easier to detect for the factual pieces used in the Ullrich Ecker study than in the opinion pieces?”

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 12 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: writing a rhetorical analysis essay, writing a reflective essay, illuminating Pygmalion, applying a critical perspective, writing a literary analysis, staging an interpretation, examining how an issue is presented in media texts, and presenting an argument.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3: Evolving Perspectives, Embedded Assessment 1, students complete this culminating activity: “Select a character from Othello and write a literary analysis about him or her using one of the critical lenses that you have studied (choose Feminist, Marxist, Cultural, Historical, or Archetypal for this assignment). You will support your analysis with valid reasoning and sufficient evidence from your reading, observations, and previous written work.” Leading up to this culminating assessment, students complete tasks such as Activity 3.3, “review the elements of Cultural Criticism and apply the lens to compare how two authors address similar themes.” In Activity 3.5, students “evaluate the social status of each character in Othello based on their cast descriptions.” Then they “use the Marxist perspective to write an essay explaining how the economic context of the setting influences the dynamics between characters.” To practice using Feminist Criticism, students “analyze the character of Desdemona through a feminist lens” in Activity 3.10. By Activity 3.14, students begin preparing for the Embedded Assessment as they work in groups to apply a specific critical perspective to a character in Othello.
  • In Unit 4: Creating Perspectives, students explore how media sources use different lenses, rhetorical strategies, and bias to present news. In Embedded Assessment 1, students complete this culminating activity: “Your assignment is to write an argumentative essay that argues for the use of a particular critical lens to interpret an event. Your essay must include an annotated bibliography and evidence from at least five texts gathered alone or with your group members.” Some of the activities leading up to this culminating assessment include Activity 4.2: “Read an article that traces the history of the media industry since the advent of television news.” Then in Activity 4.3, students “read and analyze two texts that present different perspectives on the root cause of media bias.” By Activity 4.4, students begin practicing for the Embedded Assessment as they “watch two reports of a news event, noting any reporting and filming techniques that indicate bias.” Students are then prompted to “write an argument exposing the bias and logical fallacies evident in one of the news reports.”

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 12 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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.14, students take part in a Socratic Seminar. In the section, “Working from the Text”, there is a call-out box “Introducing the Strategy: Socratic Seminar,” which says, “A Socratic Seminar is a focused discussion that is tied to an essential question, topic, or selected text. You participate by asking questions to initiate a conversation that continues with a series of responses and additional questions. In a Socratic Seminar, you must support your opinions and responses using specific textual evidence.” The teacher wrap goes on to provide additional directions on reforming groups from the small groups saying, “Form larger groups of 8 to12 students to compare perspectives and prepare for the Socratic Seminar.” Students then follow several steps in preparing for and conducting a Socratic Seminar that are spelled out in the “Working from the Text” section for students. The teacher wrap provides the following directions for teachers:
    • With students still in their new, combined groups, review the bulleted list in the Participating in a Socratic Seminar section. Answer any questions students may have. Then, conduct a Socratic Seminar using the pre-seminar questions and any additional questions the students have generated.
    • As students participate in the Socratic Seminar, check for a well-rounded understanding of Cultural Criticism, incorporating concepts of nationality, ethnicity, and social class.
    • To conclude the Socratic Seminar and to check understanding, have students respond to the Post-Seminar Reflection questions individually.
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, Activity 2.16, during a whole-class reading of the text, the Teacher Wrap says, “After paragraph 7, pause to discuss the Word Connections boxes. Have students identify how the word mandate is used in the text. Then ask them about the author's possible intent for using the word. Elicit other words that the author could have used.” Later in the lesson, teachers are prompted: “Language & Writer's Craft presents a good opportunity for students to focus on the use of parallelism in lists. Show them the following sentence: ‘I looked through my closet and found the following items: a shoe without laces, a shirt with a hole, a belt without a buckle, a book with a ragged cover, and a torn dollar covered with ink doodles.’ Explain that the base parts of the list are parallel nouns. Ask students to create and share their own sentences using parallelism.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.17, materials prompt students: “Work in groups to apply a specific critical perspective to a character in Othello. Then you will create a class presentation to share your findings with your peers.” In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are directed to ask the groups to discuss their assigned critical perspective and complete a graphic organizer that includes specific discussion questions such as, “How does this perspective provide insight into a particular theme?” Materials also prompt teachers: “Monitor their discussions, questioning assumptions and offering suggestions as needed. Remind groups to use language and word choices that are precise and engaging enough to keep listeners interested.”

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 teachers to facilitate discussions and prompt 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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception Is Everything, Activity 1.6, students conduct On the Spot Research: “With your group, use the following questions to conduct research on one of the following poetic forms: villanelle, sonnet, ode, haiku, pantoum, concrete poem, prose poem, ballad, limerick. Jot down notes about the form you have selected.” Students then have a follow-up discussion and are prompted: “With a partner, discuss how you would use your respective poetic forms to write about a childhood memory. Spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas for an original poem using either of the forms. As you brainstorm ideas, consider the purpose of your poem: Will it tell a story, teach a lesson, or focus on a single image, such as a scene from nature? Will the tone be playful, melancholy, or reflective?”
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, Activity 2.15, students learn about the feminist perspective. The Teacher Wrap includes directions with questions and follow up activities to practice with the critical theory. Materials prompt teachers: “Introduce the phrase ‘feminist lens’ and ask students what they think using a feminist lens means. Ask the students to form small discussion groups to talk about the points in the Feminist Criticism section. Ask them to share one example from a text they have read or from real life. As part of a think-pair-share activity, have students complete student steps individually. Then ask students to work in pairs and share their paraphrases. Ask partners to note any missed concepts or paraphrases that may not be clear. After they have worked in pairs, ask the students if there were any points they found especially difficult or challenging to paraphrase. Have students share these points and see if the class can come up with a way to paraphrase them.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives: Activity 3.8, in the Working from the Text section, students learn about oral interpretation. After reading a monologue, students discuss with a partner about how they would perform an oral interpretation of the monologue. They highlight lines important to conveying the message and tone. Students receive the following questions to guide their discussion: “Discuss how you would have Othello deliver these lines in a performance by your acting company. As you discuss the planning of your performance, highlight lines that you find particularly important in conveying how Othello's past experiences led him to his present circumstances” and “Use the lines that you have highlighted to practice giving an oral interpretation of Othello's monologue with your acting company. Listen attentively and provide feedback on each other's use of enunciation, volume, rate, tone, pauses, and gestures.”

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 12 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, and the Teacher Wrap offers guidance to the teacher 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. Knowledge Quests include on-demand writing-to-source prompts. Independent Reading Checkpoint sections also include informal writing assignments where students reflect on and/or synthesize 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, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.9, students are guided through a Knowledge Quest with specifically marked questions throughout the activity. The final component is a Knowledge Quest writing prompt: “Think about how Kelley advocated for the rights of children. Write an informative text that tells people how they can make a convincing case about a problem that inspires people to take action.” Students return to the Knowledge Quest questions to identify the ways Kelley made a convincing case to identify the components they need to include in their writing.
  • In Unit 2: The Collective Perspective, Activity 2.5, students write a comparative analysis of characters from two different texts: Pygmalion and Metamorphoses. In preparation to write the analysis, students receive direct instruction about “organizing information” with a focus on comparing two texts.
  • In Unit 4: Creating Perspectives, Activity 4.3, students read the article, “How Headlines Change the Way We Think” by Maria Konnikova. While reading the first few sentences of the article, students complete a Quickwrite: “Why do you think that Konnikova suggests that the headline might be the most important part of her article? What purpose do headlines serve in an informational text?”

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

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Embedded Assessment 1, students write a rhetorical essay for this prompt: “Write an essay in which you critique and evaluate how the author of ‘Tipping System Exacerbates Unfair Pay at Restaurants’ builds an argument to convince her audience that restaurant workers deserve fair wages from their employers instead of tips. In your essay, explain and evaluate how Kathleen Kingsbury uses one or more of the features in the directions that precede the passage (or features of your own choosing) to develop her argument. Be sure that your critique focuses on the most relevant features of the passage. Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Kingsbury’s claims. Instead it should explain and evaluate how Kingsbury builds an argument to persuade the audience.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Embedded Assessment 1, students are guided through the writing process to answer the writing prompt: “Select a character from Othello and write a literary analysis about him or her using one of the critical lenses that you have studied (choose Feminist, Marxist, Cultural, Historical, or Archetypal for this assignment). You will support your analysis with valid reasoning and sufficient evidence from your reading, observations, and previous work.”
  • In Unit 4, Creative Perspectives, Embedded Assessment 1, students write an argumentative essay that uses a particular critical lens to interpret an event. Students’ essays must include an annotated bibliography and evidence from at least five texts gathered alone or with group members. Students will pre-write, plan, write, draft, evaluate, revise, and edit in preparation for publication.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, students practice using reader response criticism to write a range of informative, creative, and argumentative pieces. After reading a variety of poems, students write an informational paragraph on the use of language to convey meaning in a selected poem. Students then craft their own poem using the craft of a studied poem. Students also practice writing a literary analysis essay on the use of language in an excerpt from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and write a personal informative essay that inspires people to take action on a cause. For Embedded Assessment 1, students compose an essay to “critique and evaluate how the author of ‘Tipping the System Exacerbates Unfair Pay at Restaurants’ builds an argument.” In the second half of the unit, students use Cultural Criticism to analyze a variety of text types including advertisements. Students practice writing a reflective essay on a significant life event to prepare for Embedded Assessment 2 in which they write and present a personal reflective essay of a time they or someone they know felt like a “stranger in the village” or a group.
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students continue using literary criticism to write informational, argumentative, and literary compositions. The first half of the unit takes students through several writing prompts for the play, Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw. Students write a script for a dramatic scene based on a personal experience with a faux pas. After finishing the play and studying several critical theories, students “write an alternate ending that adheres to the conventions of a play script” that focuses on character change and uses one critical theory. Students also write an argumentative essay for the prompt: “To what extent does Shaw adhere to or depart from the Pygmalion archetype?” These prompts helps students prepare for Embedded Assessment 2 in which they “transform a scene from Pygmalion so that it reflects one of the critical perspectives” studied in the unit. The second half of the unit continues with students practicing literary criticism of short stories, folktales, and fables. Their final writing task is Embedded Assessment 2: “Write an analytical essay applying the Feminist Critical Perspective to a short story.” Students choose from “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin or “The Chaser” by John Collier.
  • In Unit 3: Evolving Perspectives, students continue studying literary criticisms as they read The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare and excerpts from other interpretations. The first part of the unit contains multiple writing prompts across all three writing types because students read the entire play before completing the first assessment. These prompts include writing an informative paragraph that “explains how Marxist Criticism can inform analysis of characters in the play” and literary analyses of the characters Brabantio and Othello from either Cultural or Marxist Criticism. Students also write a short story from the perspective of the character “Emilia talking to a close friend.” After viewing film adaptations of the play, students compose an argumentative essay “explaining which film adaptation best illuminates one of the themes presented in the play.” These tasks prepare students for Embedded Assessment 1 in which they choose a “character from Othello and write a literary analysis about him or her using one of the critical lenses.” The rest of the unit is brief and requires students to write about how screen and stage interpretations can impact the audience perspective before writing their own scene interpretation for Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In Unit 4: Creating Perspectives takes students through a variety of texts, such as films, articles, essays, and documentaries, to look at how serious social issues or events are portrayed in the media. Writing prompts focus heavily on argumentative writing with a few informational prompts. Students use the criticism types learned across the year to analyze arguments in media through prompts, such as “Write an argumentative paragraph on whether the media or the reader’s interpretation is more powerful” and “write an argument exposing the bias evident in the way one of the news stories reports the event.” Students also “write a brief essay explaining how producers of media can select information--interviews, statistics, images, or sounds-- to frame the information they present through a particular lens.” For Embedded Assessment 1, students write an argumentative essay that argues for the use of a particular critical lens to interpret an event. In the second part of the unit, students analyze the arguments across multiple media sources on Hurricane Katrina to prepare for the final assessment in which they research a concerning topic or issue to write and present an argument using a chosen media, such as a persuasive speech, short documentary film, podcast, or a video news broadcast.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria that 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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.10, students practice writing a rhetorical analysis essay prior to writing one for Embedded Assessment 1. Students have 50 minutes to read, analyze, and write about a text. The prompt asks students to consider how the authors use evidence and reasoning to support claims and then write an essay in which they “explain how Riskin and Farrell build an argument to persuade their audience that child labor in the U.S. argricultural sector is a disgrace and needs to be changed.”
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, Activity, 2.16, students read “Cinderella, the Legend” by Madonna Kolbenschlag and write a rhetorical analysis for this prompt: “Write a response in which you explain how Kolbenschlag builds an argument to persuade her audience. As you write, consider how she uses persuasive elements to develop, support, and connect her ideas.” Students are reminded to support their “analysis by citing textual evidence.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.9, students learn about Historical Criticism. During the Knowledge Quest, students “think about a contemporary film and write an informative text explaining how the film uses stereotypes to affect racial prejudice.” They are directed to provide a claim and use details from the film to support that claim.
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives: Activity, 4:3, students read and analyze two articles, “How Headlines Change the Way We Think” by Maria Konnikova and “Why Partisans View Mainstream Media as Biased and Ideological Media as Objective by Matthew C. Nisbet. Both articles present different perspectives on the root cause of media bias. Students then present their own perspective in a classroom debate and complete a written response. Students must include a claim, supporting evidence, and address a counterclaim in their written response.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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.

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

  • Students have opportunities to apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested.
    • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.6, students read Act I, Scene I (lines 178-206) of William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice. During Grammar & Usage, the materials point out similarities and differences in the language and structure used during the time period of the play and modern times. “Even though the English of Shakespeare’s day is somewhat different from the language we use today, much of the sentence structure remains the same. Note Roderigo’s sentence, ‘I think I can discover him, if you please to get good guard and go along with me.’” The materials explain Shakespeare’s use of a complex sentence, outlining the independent clause, subordinate clause, and type of subordinate clause. Students then “Find another complex sentence from Othello and annotate it for independent clause, dependent clause, conjunction, and adverbial clause where appropriate.”
  • Students have opportunities to resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Garner's Modern American Usage) as needed.
    • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.5, students learn about the class structure Shakespeare’s play Othello in preparation for reading the text. At the conclusion of the lesson, students learn about and practice decoding the meaning of words through Language & Writer’s Craft: Decoding the Meaning of Words. Using the word decorum as an example, students view several steps for determining word meaning including word patterns and context clues. Students are then reminded: “Sometimes you need to use a dictionary to be sure you understand a word's denotation (definition) and its connotations (associations). If you look up the definition of decorum, you will learn that it means ‘correct behavior.’ You can also research a word's etymology (history) to learn how it has evolved. Decorum was originally a theater term regarding the appropriateness of part of an artistic performance within the larger artwork.” Students then practice following the steps: “Read the following text. What does the word implored mean? First, jot notes based on context clues and your knowledge of word parts and changes. Then look up the word in a dictionary and record its definition.”
  • Students have opportunities to observe hyphenation conventions.
    • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.8, the Language and Writer’s Craft focus is hyphenation. After providing a definition of hyphens, the instruction includes an example and task for students. “Example: Globally, [women’s rights] movements have forced many companies to revisit their gender pay gap and anti-harassment policies. PRACTICE Look over “Clothing Brands Need to Step Up and Keep Women Safe in Their Factories” again. List the five other examples of hyphenation from the text. If the hyphenated word functions as an adjective, write the noun it modifies.”
  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly.
    • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.5, students complete a writing prompt. Teachers remind students to “use academic vocabulary and standard English capitalization, punctuation, and 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 12 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

32/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria that texts 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 12 are organized into four topic-based units of study with a heavy emphasis on using critical and theoretical lenses for analysis. 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 are required to 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:

  • In Unit: 1 Perception is Everything, students “apply Reader-Response and Cultural Criticism in determining author’s purpose, audience, and message.” Students read a variety of texts to answer the Essential Questions “Why do writers make particular choices when composing a text?”; “How does the interaction between a reader and a text create meaning?”; and “What does it mean to be a stranger in a village?” The texts in this unit include both informational and literary texts. After analyzing poetry, novel excerpts, arguments, and speeches, students write a rhetorical analysis essay to “critique and evaluate how the author of ‘Tipping System Exacerbates Unfair Pay at Restaurants’ builds an argument to convince her audience that restaurant workers deserve fair wages from their employers instead of tips.” The second part of the unit shifts to Cultural Criticism as students read various poems and essays to complete tasks such as Activity 1.13, What is Cultural Criticism. Students read the poem “Speaking with Hands” by Luis J. Rodriguez and “write a paragraph analyzing one stanza of the poem through the lens of Cultural Criticism.” For the second Embedded Assessment, students “write and present a reflective essay that illustrates an event in which you or someone you know felt like a ‘stranger in the village.’”
  • In Unit 2: The Collective Perspective, instruction builds upon the first unit and continues with literary criticism of texts including myths, novel excerpts, folktales, and a full length drama. The Essential Questions for the unit include “How do writers develop great characters?”; “How does a person’s environment affect his or her identity?”; and “How does power affect people’s interactions and relationships?” The first part of the unit introduces students to Marxist Criticism as they read the drama Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The first Embedded Assessment requires students to “write a script that transforms a scene from Pygmalion so that it reflects one of the critical perspectives.” The second part of the unit shifts to Feminist Criticism through modern and traditional folktales, children’s stories, and short stories. For the second Embedded Assessment, students apply literary criticism across two short stories, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Chaser” by John Collier.
  • In Unit 3: Evolving Perspectives, students must “apply multiple critical lenses to various texts and genre types” as they answer the Essential Questions “What role does literature play in examining recurring social issues?” and “How can an original text be adapted for different audiences?” The first part of the unit engages students with The Tragedy of Othello by Shakespeare and includes film adaptations and several introductory texts. For example, Activity 3.3 reviews the elements of Cultural Criticism and presents the song “The Right to Love” by Gene Lees and Lilo Schifrin and the poem “The Canonization” by John Donne. The activity prompts students to use criticism to answer the question, “Is the point of view of the speaker from a marginalized or dominant perspective?” After reading the play, students write a literary analysis essay on Pygmalion. Though much shorter, the second part of the unit looks at Othello across time and prepares students to write a stage handbook and present an interpretation of a scene from the play using a critical lens.
  • In Unit 4: Creating Perspectives, instruction integrates the year-long focus on criticism and perspectives. Unit texts are informational and include articles, speeches, law, infographics, editorials, and reports about social issues. The unit’s Essential Questions include “How do media sources influence our understanding of the truth and significance of an issue?” and “How are media texts constructed to cater to media consumers’ interests, experiences, assumptions, and biases or to promote a particular agenda?” During the unit, students choose a topic or issue to research for their final argumentative presentation. During Activity 4.7, students read a series of informational texts on the social and political issues of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Students analyze each of the seven texts and culminate the lesson with an informational essay that synthesizes all the texts in the activity. This prepares students for the first Embedded Assessment which requires them to “write an argumentative essay that argues for the use of a particular critical lens to interpret an event.” The second part of the unit presents several speeches and support for students to prepare their final assessment during which they choose a medium such as a film, broadcast, podcast, or persuasive speech to present an argument on their chosen topic or issue.

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 12 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 are asked to analyze language and/or author’s word choice (according to grade-level standards). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address language and/or word choice.
    • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, Activity 4.7, students examine author’s word choice as they read multiple texts about Hurricane Katrina. Questions include “What is the ‘favor’ in the editorial’s title? What does describing displaced New Orleanians as ‘in exile’ suggest about how they view themselves? What effect does describing the looters as ‘a tide of law breakers’ have on readers? What impact does the author’s use of words like hoodlums, animals, thugs, and looting have on the tone of the article?” Once students read all of the texts, students work in groups to respond to their assigned Essential Question. Students use the information they glean from their peers’ presentations to respond to the other Essential Question listed in the provided chart. Students work with various organizational approaches before responding to an informational writing prompt.

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

  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details.
    • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.13, students read the poem “Speaking with Hands” by Luis J. Rodriguez to examine how cultural context and literary devices in poetry contribute to meaning. After reading, students work through a series of tasks that contain text-specific and text-dependent questions. For example, right after reading, students consider the Making Observations section which asks “What is Mama’s experience in the corner store?” and “What details from the poem can you visualize?” Students reread the poem and answer a sequence of questions for Returning to the Text. These include “In stanza 3, why does the speaker's mother start ‘an argument at the cash register’? Use details from the text to make inferences about what she wants.” To complete the reading, Check Your Understanding asks students “How do you think different cultural backgrounds can influence how a reader understands Rodriguez's poem?” The lesson culminates with a Writing Prompt: “Write a paragraph analyzing one stanza of the poem “Speaking with Hands” through the lens of Cultural Criticism. Does the author’s work speak to larger cultural and societal issues?” Tasks and texts like these help students prepare for Embedded Assessment 1 in which students write a reflective essay that illustrates a time when students or someone they know “felt like a ‘stranger in the village’ or were perceived as a stranger by some group.”
  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address structure.
    • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students analyze how the structure of the play Pygmalion: The Sequel by George Bernard Shaw incorporates or departs from a traditional dramatic structure. Students examine Shaw’s sequel to see if the play follows a traditional five-act structure, what elements are presented to orient the reader to the story, whether the play has a clear rising and falling action, and how the elements advance the plot. Students answer questions such as “What is the climax of the story? How does it advance the plot? Is there a clear conclusion to the play’s plot? Why do you think Shaw chose to structure the play the way he did? What purpose does this allow him to achieve?” Students respond to a literary writing prompt by writing “a script that reflects Shaw’s version of the play’s ending.”
  • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft.
    • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, Activity 3.4, students demonstrate their understanding of dramatic, situational, and verbal irony through the performance of a scene. Prior to developing the scene, students examine the definition of the types of irony, and consider questions such as: “How can you make irony a significant part of your plot? How is dramatic, verbal, or situational irony, used in the scenario?” When students begin to collaboratively draft their scene they must consider: “Is the language and word choice precise and engaging enough to keep listeners interested?” At the end of the activity students’ overall understanding is assessed by responding to the following question: “What did you learn about analyzing irony, writing dialogue, and performing a short scene?”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 to 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:

  • In Unit 1: Perception Is Everything, students read the poem “I Remember” by Edward Montez and evaluate the author’s use of imagery, sensory details, and diction during Activity 1.5. Students read the poem, make observations about the poem then reread the poem before answering a series of text-specific questions that include “How does the poet’s diction affect your understanding of the memories described?” Students then complete a graphic organizer on the different types of imagery in the poem followed by two prompts that require them to evaluate and critique the author’s craft: “Now that you have evaluated some of the key elements of the poem, evaluate the poet’s use of language. Use the following questions to guide your discussion with a partner: Which lines might evoke an emotional response in readers? Which lines illuminate a theme found in the poem? How effective is the poet’s diction in helping the reader understand the speaker’s memories?” Students then complete a Quickwrite: “Do you think Montez’s use of imagery, specific details and diction is effective? Use specific evidence from the text to support your commentary.” The Activity concludes with a Check Your Understanding question: ”Think about Edward Montez’s poem ‘I Remember’ and write a new response to the unit Essential Question: Why do writers make particular choices when composing a text?”
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students learn “to understand and apply Archetypal, Marxist, and Feminist critical perspectives to drama, nonfiction, and narrative texts.” The anchor text is the drama Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw accompanied by the original myth from Ovid, literary criticism, a folktale, a fable, and a short story. Students review what they learned about Feminist Criticism in Activity 2.15, then answer questions about the lens such as, “If a matriarchal society is the opposite of a patriarchal society, what is the basis of the difference?” and “What assumption does Feminist Criticism make about the treatment of female characters in literary texts?” During Activity 2.18, teachers read the class the picture book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein while students listen for evidence that supports a feminist critique of the book. Students then use two column notes to record a quote on one side and their analysis of the quote through a Feminist lens on the other. Finally for the Writing Prompt, students focus on the last line of the story “And the tree was happy” to write an explanation of why the tree would or would not be happy. Students then answer “How could a feminst analysis of this story give the reader a new or different understanding?”
  • In Unit 3: Evolving Perspectives, during Activity 3.9, students complete a Knowledge Quest based on the Knowledge Question “How do stereotypes affect the social issue of racial prejudice?” Students read a piece of literary criticism, “The Moor in English Renaissance Drama” by Jack D’Amico, that examines the topic of stereotypes. After reading, they answer a series of Knowledge Quest questions: “Which of the author’s claims stand out to you the most? What questions do you have after reading this essay? What are your first thoughts about the relationship between stereotypes and racial prejudice after reading the article?” These questions are followed by a series of text-specific questions and a Knowledge Quest prompt that requires them to write an essay, bringing knowledge of an outside source into the conversation: “The author of this essay explores the way theater can lead ‘the individual spectator’ to look closer at stereotypes and re-examine prejudices. Think about a contemporary film and write an informative text explaining how the film uses stereotypes to affect racial prejudice. Be sure to: Provide a well-reasoned claim that is clearly stated. Use significant and relevant examples, details, or quotations from the film that thoroughly develop and support your claim. Provide an engaging conclusion that supports the claim and examines its implications.”

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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. They require students to demonstrate their learning through interpretation, synthesis of research, and various types of analysis. 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:

  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students read the central text Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw to practice using different types of criticism learned in Unit 1. In Activity 2.3, students complete a Knowledge Quest in response to this Knowledge Question: “Why do people believe the price of playing creator outweighs the gains?” Students read a myth “Orpheus Sings: Pygmalion and the Statue” from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and an excerpt from the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley that examine the theme of humans “playing God.” As students read the selections, they answer 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 then complete a culminating task on the set of texts: “Think about the two texts. Which was greater: the price of playing creator or the gains? Write an argumentative text answering this question.” Tasks like these prepare students for Embedded Assessment 1: “Work with a partner to write a script that transforms a scene from Pygmalion so that it reflects one of the critical perspectives you have studied.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, students read The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare. Embedded Assessment 1 requires students to use what they have learned about Feminist, Marxist, Cultural, Histocial or Archetypal literary criticism to write a literary analysis of one character from Othello. Activities leading up to the Embedded Assessment take students through each of the types of literary criticism. For example, in Activity 3.5: Viewing a Cast of Characters through a Marxist Lens, students read background on Marxist Literary Theory, then use what they have learned about Venetial social hierarchy of the 1600’s to assign each to a social class. Students must identify text evidence to support their choices. The activity ends with students writing an informational paragraph explaining how Marxist Criticism can inform analysis of characters in a play. These tasks and the first assessment comprise the majority of the unit which builds student capacity for Embedded Assessment 2: “Your assignment is to interpret a scene from Othello to emphasize the principles of one of the critical perspectives you have studied, and then plan, rehearse, and perform the scene. With your acting company, write a letter to the audience explaining the message your interpretation is trying to convey.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, the materials prompt students to collaborate to “present an argument in a medium of your choice (persuasive speech, short documentary film, video news broadcast, podcast)” in a five to seven minute presentation during Embedded Assessment 2. Students then complete a Juror Ballot while watching each other’s presentations with the task of assessing “the quality of the presentation” and “the degree to which you believe it will successfully persuade the intended audience.” Students use research from earlier in the unit as the basis of their argument. For example, in Activity 4.13, students work with their group to create a plan for their presentation. The group completes such steps as reviewing their guiding questions and choosing a common question broad enough for individual questions, writing a strong thesis statement for the common question, synthesizing research, choosing organizational options, defining roles, identifying conventions, deciding to use or not use digital media, and creating a plan for the presentation.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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 Map.

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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, Activity 1.5, the prompt for Activity 1.5 states: “Analyze the way a poet uses imagery and diction to create particular effects. Evaluate and critique how an author uses language to convey a sensory experience to readers.” Teachers then “help students define the terms imagery, sensory language, and diction. Then discuss the purpose and function in writing.” Students “mark any imagery or sensory language they notice in the poem.” Teachers finish by reviewing the vocabulary with students and “ask them to work with a partner to brainstorm words to define the term diction.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, Activity 4.11, students read “Remarks by President George W. Bush at Warren Easton Charter High School on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina” by George W. Bush. The Teacher Wrap suggests that students pause at the end of Paragraph 5: “After paragraph 5, pause to discuss the Word Connection box. Select a few compelling words from the text, such as status quo, and ask students about the author’s possible intent for using them. Elicit other words that the author could have used.” The Word Connection box provides the etymology of the vocabulary term status quo: “Etymology: The term status quo comes from Latin and literally means ‘the state in which.’ In English, the term refers to the existing state of something, and it is often used negatively in political discourse to criticize acceptance of current conditions and the slow pace of social or political change. Reread paragraph 5 of the speech and look for Bush’s use of the term status quo. What does he mean by it in this context?”

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

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, the Word Connections box for Activity 1.6 reviews the etymology of the word allergy. In the Teacher Wrap, a Teacher to Teacher tip includes this guidance, “Use the Word Connections features throughout the student book to help students identify and internalize patterns in the formation of English words.” It goes on to explain how to discuss words to help students go beyond the instruction and activities in the book to acquire new vocabulary they can use fluently.
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students analyze and compare two texts from different literary periods during Activity 2.3. In the Teacher Wrap, teacher guidance indicates the need to “review the meaning of the term myth with students.” Additional directions instruct teachers to “have students work in pairs to define the term in their own words and think of both examples and non-examples.”
  • In Unit 2,The Collective Perspective, Activity 2.6, students read Act III of Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. At the beginning of the Activity, the academic vocabulary term faux pas and its definition are introduced. Students also learn the etymology of the term in a Word Connections box: “The term faux pas is an example of a ‘loan’ phrase—one borrowed from another language that becomes, over time, adopted into common use. The literal translation of faux pas from French is ‘false step,’ but it has been used in English since the 17th century.” The Teacher Wrap suggests that teachers have students make connections to other readings as they read: “Have students review the annotations they will make as they read Pygmalion Act III. Engage students in a brief discussion about other transformative characters they have recently encountered in their reading who also face early challenges and commit significant mistakes.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception Is Everything, students examine rhetoric and literary analysis to practice criticism. For example, in Activity 1.5, students evaluate and critique poets’ use of imagery, sensory details, and diction and choose one poem they have studied to write an evaluation of how that poet’s choices create an effect: “Revisit any of the poems you have read so far in this unit. Write a paragraph explaining how the poet purposefully uses language in the poem to convey meaning or to create a specific effect on the reader. Be sure to describe key genre characteristics such as precise language, structural elements, and the use of poetic devices.” For Embedded Assessment 1, students write a rhetorical analysis essay on the article “Tipping System Exacerbates Unfair Pay at Restaurants” by Kathleen Kingsbury. Students must “explain and evaluate how Kathleen Kingsbury uses one or more of the features in the directions that precede the passage (or features of your own choosing) to develop her argument.” In the second part of Unit 1, students study Cultural Criticism and analyze several essays and poetry on personal experiences. In Embedded Assessment 2 students complete a similar task with an original piece: “Write and present a reflective essay that illustrates an event in which you or someone you know felt like a ‘stranger in the village’ or were perceived as a stranger by some group.”
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, the focus on criticism and analysis continues with attention to more literary works. For the first part of the unit, students practice applying criticism such as Marxism to Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. For Embedded Assessment 1, students work with a partner to write a transformed scene from Pygmalion to reflect one of the criticisms they studied. In the second half, attention shifts to Feminist criticism using a blend of literary works. For example, students read Madonna Kolbenschlag’s literary criticism “Cinderella, the Legend” and Zora Neale Hurston’s folktale “Why Women Always Take Advantage of Men.” During Activity 2.17, students form discussion groups and use a Venn diagram compare and contrast the ideas about men and women presented in both texts. While considering some of the key ideas of Feminist Criticism, students “decide whether Kolbenschlag and Hurston would tend to agree or disagree with the ideas here,” using evidence from both texts to support their responses. This task also grants students the opportunity to share whether they agree or disagree with the same statements as they record their views in the last column of the table. After writing a paragraph summarizing some of the significant points of their group’s discussion, students respond to an informational writing prompt: “Write a detailed response explaining a key idea of Feminist Criticism from the graphic organizer you completed in this activity. Evaluate how Kolbenschlag and Hurston explore this idea in their writing.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, students engage in more independent practice with criticism as they make choices about the type of criticism they want to use. While students read Othello by William Shakespeare and study other adaptations, they write multiple literary critiques such as in Activity 3.7: “Write a character analysis of Othello that describes him from the Cultural Criticism perspective.” Prior to the first assessment, Activity 3.15 prompts students to “select one of the themes presented in Othello. Write an argumentative essay explaining which film adaptation of Othello best illuminates one of the themes presented in the play through its use of dramatical elements.” For Embedded Assessment 1, students transition through the writing process to answer this prompt: “Select a character from Othello and write a literary analysis about him or her using one of the critical lenses that you have studied (choose Feminist, Marxist, Cultural, Historical, or Archetypal for this assignment). You will support your analysis with valid reasoning and sufficient evidence from your reading, observations, and previous work.” These and similar tasks prepare students to complete Embedded Assessment 2: “Your assignment is to interpret a scene from Othello to emphasize the principles of one of the critical perspectives you have studied, and then plan, rehearse, and perform the scene. With your acting company, write a letter to the audience explaining the message your interpretation is trying to convey.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, students study a variety of reports, articles, films, and speeches to analyze how the media presents different perspectives including bias. In Activity 4.3, students respond to the question “Who holds more responsibility for media bias, the journalist or the reader?” and write an argument defending their position. By Activity 4.6, students have read and watched multiple pieces on Hurricane Katrina and complete an informational prompt: “After discussing the infographic, podcast, and video in groups, write a brief essay explaining how producers of media can select information—interviews, statistics, images, or sounds—to frame the information they present through a particular critical lens.” Tasks such as these prepare students for Embedded Assessment 1 in which students draw upon their cumulative skills and compose an essay with limited assistance: “Your assignment is to write an argumentative essay that argues for the use of a particular critical lens to interpret an event. Your essay must include an annotated bibliography and evidence from at least five texts gathered alone or with your group members.” The final assessment for the year requires students to demonstrate independence and capacity when choose writing styles: “Your assignment is to present an argument in a medium of your choice (persuasive speech, short documentary film, video news broadcast, podcast) in which you transform the information you gathered from your research in the first part of the unit into an argument concerning the topic/issue you have chosen.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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:

  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students read the central text Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and practice various forms of literary criticism. During Activity 2.2, students complete an On the Spot Research activity on archetypes: “Conduct research on the four archetypes your teacher has assigned to your group. Jot down key words relating to the archetypes in the notes column of the graphic organizer. Discuss your findings, and work collaboratively to add a list of examples of this archetype to your graphic organizer. Consider characters in movies and other works of fiction. Then use your notes and list of examples to write a definition of each archetype.” Students complete a similar task in Activity 2.4 that references their independent reading books: “Using your understanding of Archetypal Criticism, analyze the characters presented in the text you are reading. Which archetypes or universal symbols do you notice in your independent reading? How does identifying archetypes deepen your understanding of the text? Write a brief response in your Reader/Writer Notebook.” Students study and practice several other types of literary criticism before completing Embedded Assessment 1: “Work with a partner to write a script that transforms a scene from Pygmalion so that it reflects one of the critical perspectives you have studied.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, students read a variety of articles, speeches, reports, and media items to understand how authors can persuade readers by their presentation of information. In Activity 4.7, students select a text from a collection of texts which focus on the aftermath and portrayal of Hurricane Katrina. After reading, teachers assign students essential questions depending on the articles they choose. Students complete an in-depth reading and tasks section then present their answers to the questions while the class records notes and observations. After collecting a variety of evidence, students complete the writing prompt: “Write a brief essay using evidence from the various articles you have discussed to answer your guiding question.” Over the next activities, students prepare a research plan with their group to take a critical perspective on Hurricane Katrina. In Activity 4.9, students take a close look at evaluating sources: “It is important to be able to identify if sources will help to strengthen your argument. Think about which search engines and terms you will use and how you will know that sources are credible and accurate. This task requires you to examine each source for credibility, accuracy, bias, and relevance. Keep in mind that you should be able to analyze each source through one or multiple critical lenses.” The materials then present students with a list of questions to ask about the credibility of their sources. After completing the research, students complete Embedded Assessment 1: “Your assignment is to write an argumentative essay that argues for the use of a particular critical lens to interpret an event. Your essay must include an annotated bibliography and evidence from at least five texts gathered alone or with your group members.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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:

  • In Unit 1, Perception is Everything, the Previewing the Unit section of Activity 1.1 invites students to explore the big ideas and tasks of the unit to make plans for their own independent reading. The activity also requires students to create an Independent Reading Plan that requires them to answer questions including but not limited to the time and place they will set aside to read independently, and a specific date they plan on finishing the text. Some suggestions for independent reading include Going Bovine by Libba Bray, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (fiction); Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler, Hirshima by John Hershey, and Moneyball by Michael Lewis.
  • In Unit 2, The Collective Perspective, students read excerpts from the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and make connections to archetypal elements found in Ovid's myth during Activity 2.11. They also evaluate the effectiveness of the author's choices in the form of an argumentative essay. In the activity, students complete an Independent Reading Link that requires them to review their notes from Activity 2.1, watch a film adaption of their independent reading text, and jot down how narrative elements are presented in the original text and film versions. Students also compare how the author and filmmaker handled dialogue, character, exposition, and the interpretations of the characters and consider if they were the filmmaker, what would they have done differently. Students discuss their observations with a peer and record notes of their discussion in their Reader/Writer Notebook.
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, students “analyze a character's motivations and traits by closely reading a soliloquy, and interpret a scene and evaluate how the delivery of lines can be used to amplify dramatic irony” during Activity 3.11. Students complete an Independent Reading Link that directs them to reflect on the internal thoughts and dialogue between characters in their independent reading. Students then work with a partner to discuss how this external or internal dialogue gave them more insight into character motivations. The Teacher Wrap recommends the following for the discussion between pairs: “ As pairs discuss the Independent Reading Link, encourage them to consider points of comparison between the character's internal thoughts and external dialogue.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, the Previewing the Unit section of Activity 1.1 invites students to explore the big ideas and tasks of the unit to come and make plans for their own independent reading. The materials inform students that they will read a variety of informational texts including a series of texts on Hurricane Katrina. Student guidance recommends that they consider choosing nonfiction relating to the media, such as a biography about a prominent journalist or books about the experiences of journalists reporting from the front lines. Later in the unit, students find independent reading texts that will deepen their understanding about Hurricane Katrina and its long-term effects.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for instructional supports and usability. The materials are well designed and include lessons that are effectively structured, and the suggested amount of time for the materials is viable for one school year. 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

8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for use and design to facilitate student learning. The materials are well designed and include lessons that are effectively structured. The suggested amount of time for the materials is viable for one school year and does not require significant modifications; the expectations for teachers and students are reasonable for the suggested timeframe. 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 12 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 Perceptions is Everything, The Collective Perspective, Evolving Perspectives, and Creating Perspectives. 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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.

The materials require 136–148 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, should be able to cover the content within a 180-day school year. Schools without adjusted scheduling may still require extensive planning to integrate and utilize all aspects of the curriculum, including the most appropriate supplementary resources, as they account for instructional days missed due to holidays, field trips, and other school-related activities.

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 12 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. Reoccuring 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 12 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 12 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 allowing 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 12 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 12 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 AP/SAT, Unpack Embedded Instructions, Cognate Directory for ELL students 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 12 meet the criteria that materials with 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 12 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The materials are consistently aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards along with Advanced Placement (AP) 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 12 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 emphasizes 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12 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 12 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, during Activity 4.2, students read the article “How News Has Changed” by Michael Griffin and analyze the text through answering questions and analyzing evidence. These tasks lead to a writing prompt at the conclusion of the Activity where students write an argument citing evidence from the text they read. The Teacher Wrap includes a box titled Leveled Differentiated Instruction that contains suggestions for scaffolding the content of the Activity: “In this activity, students might need support with prewriting before they respond to the writing prompt.” It describes three levels of support:
    • Developing: “Group students, and have them focus on the historical critical perspective. Have them complete the Conclusion Builder graphic organizer as prewriting support, discussing and recording how important historical events transformed the news industry. Provide transition words, such as and, but, so, and or, to help with cohesion.”
    • Expanding: “Group students and have them use the Conclusion Builder graphic organizer to record evidence that shows how the development they have chosen affected the news industry. Provide transitions, such as because, moreover, however, and therefore, to help create cohesion.”
    • Bridging: “Allow students to work collaboratively to complete the Conclusion Builder graphic organizer as prewriting support. Encourage them to first record evidence for their chosen development and then allow that evidence to inform their thesis statements.”

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 12 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 12 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:

  • In Unit 2, A Closer Perspective, students learn about archetypes and collaboratively write definitions of common archetypes found in society during Activity 2.2. The materials provide teachers with the following recommendation for an extension task: “Pair students and have them research Carl Jung and the twelve common archetypes. Have pairs choose four of these twelve for their On the Spot Research. In addition to completing the graphic organizer, have students write and reflect on which archetype they find most compelling in literary texts.”
  • In Unit 3, Evolving Perspectives, during Activity 3.6, students reread Act I, Scene I from The Tragedy Othello: The Moor of Venice, annotate the lines, and perform the scene with their acting company. The Leveled Differentiated Instruction box includes a possible extension task: “Pair students who need an extra challenge and have them rewrite the scene in present-day language and context. Remind students to retain the characters’ emotions and preserve the core content of the scene. Invite pairs to read a portion of their rewrite for the class.”

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 12 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, Perception is Everything, the teacher directions for Activity 1.8 state, “Following the reading, have partners think-pair-share to discuss their Making Observations notes. Listen in on group discussions to gauge comprehension.” Later in the same activity, materials prompt teachers: “In new pairs, instruct students to complete a SOAPSTone analysis in Working from the Text.”
  • In Unit 4, Creating Perspectives, students read multiple texts including editorials, articles and government reports relating to Hurricane Katrina during Activity 4.7. The materials prompt teachers to “Create groups of three to four students, and assign each group one of the articles. When grouping students and assigning texts, take into consideration student reading proficiency and text complexity (Teacher Wrap).” Guidance then prompts teachers to “consider grouping students by Embedded Assessment groups in order to give them practice working together (this grouping is evident in Activity 4.8: Creating a Research Plan).”

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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:

  • 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 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.
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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 12 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 support 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 12 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 12 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 978-1-4573-1291-5 Teacher College Board 2021
National Edition English Language Arts Print Student Edition 978-1-4573-1298-4 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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