Alignment: Overall Summary

Springboard Grade 6 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
17
32
36
35
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
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 6 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.
19/20
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The materials provide students with a variety of high-quality texts. The majority of anchor texts in the units are engaging, well-written, content-rich published works and feature many award-winning authors. The text supports the topic units and the skills presented in each lesson and considers a range of student interests such as: bullying, dancing, social media, homework, and animals.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students read a personal narrative, “My Superpowers” by Dan Greenburg. It is a humorous tale about standing up to a bully and the change that happens in a person when he/she stands up for himself/herself. This short personal narrative is engaging and has a powerful theme that will resonate with young teens.
  • In Unit 2, students read an excerpt from an autobiography, “Dogs Make Us Human” by Temple Grandin. This excerpt is taken from best-selling author Temple Grandin’s autobiography. Throughout the text, Grandin provides thought-provoking commentary to challenge readers to reconsider the importance of dependent relationships between dogs and humans. With a high interest topic and relatable language, this text will engage students.
  • In Unit 3, students read an article, “Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society?” This text is a structured list of pros and cons of social media. Statistical evidence is provided for each pro and each con. This informational text serves to give students background knowledge on the positive and negative effects of social media use which students later use as evidence in a debate.
  • In Unit 3, students read a news article, “Texas Teacher Implements No-Homework Policy, the Internet Rejoices” by Ashley May. This article from USA Today provides multiple sides of the argument on the topic of homework. This piece provides students with examples of evidence used to support differing claims on the same topic.
  • In Unit 4, students read the poem, “I Can Dance” by Pat Mora. The poem includes a vibrant illustration of a woman in colorful clothes dancing designed to capture students’ attention. It is also a modern poem and uses repetition of the line “I can dance.” Dance is something with which many students can identify. At the end, readers learn that the speaker feels most comfortable dancing alone in her room, which is also relatable to middle schoolers who often feel self-conscious.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials represent a mix of informational and literary texts. While some units are not as balanced, the overall program has approximately a 70% literary to 30% informational ratio. For example, Unit 4 is more literary focused, and Unit 3 is solely informational focused. Genres include, but are not limited to the following: articles, autobiographies, short stories, poetry, and plays.

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

  • Unit 1: “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers (short story)
  • Unit 2: “Oranges” by Gary Soto (poem)
  • Unit 2: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (novel)
  • Unit 4: The Miracle Worker by William Gibson (play)

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

  • Unit 1: “Schools Hustle to Reach Kids Who Move with the Harvest, Not the School Year” by Peter Balonon-Rosen (article)
  • Unit 2: “5 Things You Don’t Know about Service Dogs” by Morieka Johnson (article)
  • Unit 3: “Texas Teacher Implements No-Homework Policy, the Internet Rejoices” by Ashley May (article from USA Today)
  • Unit 4: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (autobiography)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation that texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The texts in the materials are appropriate for Grade 6 according to quantitative and qualitative analysis, and in relation to the associated student task. Some of the Grade 6 materials fall within the 6-8 grade level band (925L–1185L) in terms of quantitative measures and are within the appropriate rigor range in terms of qualitative measures. Other texts fall below the 6–8 grade level in terms of quantitative and qualitative measures, including the main novel students read in Grade 6. The range of Lexile levels in the Grade 6 materials is 660–1260L. Nine of the texts fall below the band; fourteen texts are within the band; and one text is above the stretch band. Thus, 42% of the texts fall outside of the band for Grades 6–8. Additionally, some texts are quantitatively well-below grade level, but the accompanying student tasks are moderately difficult. Substantial scaffolding is often provided.

Some examples are as follows:

  • In Unit 1, the overall quantitative levels are 680L–1060L. Students read nine texts, including narratives and short stories. In addition to analyzing characters and plot, students analyze the successful features of a variety of narratives and short stories and write their own based on these models. In the “Text Complexity Grade 6” document, seven of the texts are rated Moderate Difficulty for qualitative considerations and two, which both fall below the Lexile band, are rated Low Difficulty. In addition, eight of the texts are given an overall Complex rating with a task demand of Moderate-Analyze, and one has an overall Accessible rating with a task demand of Challenging-Create.
    • Activity 1.2: Text: “Schools Hustle to Reach Kids Who Move with the Harvest, Not the School Year” by Peter Balonon-Rosen. Lexile: 1050L. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activity 1.4: Text: “My Superpowers.” by Dan Greenburg. Lexile: 1020L. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activity 1.12:Text: “Thank You, M’am.” by Langston Hughes. Lexile: 800L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
  • In Unit 2, the overall quantitative levels are 770L–1160L. Students read a novel, a memoir, an autobiography, and a biography, which are qualitatively and quantitatively accessible for students to navigate working across texts. Some texts fall in the appropriate Lexile band for Grade 6; the texts that fall below include qualitative and/or associated task measures that justify the texts being appropriate for the grade level. Students use the text to explore topics, build knowledge, analyze, and synthesize text.
    • Activities 2.2–2.13: Text: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Lexile: Not provided; Internet search shows 770L. Qualitative: Not provided. Task Demand: Not provided.
    • Activity 2.17: Text: “Saying Farewell to a Faithful Pal” by John Grogan. Lexile: 1100L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activity 2.18: Text: “Dogs Make Us Human” from Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin. Lexile: 970L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
  • In Unit 3, the overall quantitative levels are 1000L–1280L. Students read opinion pieces, news articles, and a letter, which are qualitatively and quantitatively accessible for students to navigate working across texts. Tasks focus on increasing students’ knowledge of how to read, write, debate, and evaluate an argument. Students integrate several informational texts to develop and evaluate arguments.
    • Activity 3.8: News Article: “Teens Are Over Face-to-Face Communication, Study Says” by Katy Steinmetz. Lexile: 1280L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Understand.
    • Activity 3.11: Letter: “The First Americans” by Scott H. Peters. Lexile: 1000L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Challenging-Evaluate.
  • In Unit 4, the overall quantitative levels are 660L–1110L. Students read an article, an autobiography, a letter, and a short story comprised of letters, as well as a play and poetry. While some texts are qualitatively and quantitatively complex for students, several texts fall below the quantitative measure for the grade band. Tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through these tasks, students synthesize skills and knowledge learned over the course of the school year. Some texts are quantitatively well-below grade level, but the accompanying student tasks are moderately difficult. Substantial scaffolding is often provided.
    • Activity 4.3: Texts: “I Can Dance,” “Ode to teachers,” and “Dumped” by Pat Mora. Lexile: NA Poetry. Qualitative: Not provided. Task Demand: Not provided. The materials do not specify the overall rating for the complexity measures of these poems.
    • Activity 4.4: Text: “Pat Mora’s love for words spread a river of literacy” by Julie L. Ortiz. Lexile: 1110L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activity 4.5: Text: excerpt from “A Letter to Gabriela, A Young Writer” by Pat Mora. Lexile: 870L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze. The overall rating of this text is accessible in the materials.
    • Activity 4.9: Text: “Southpaw” by Judith Viorst. Lexile: 660L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activities 4.11–4.15: Text: The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. Lexile: NA Drama. Qualitative: Not provided. Task Demand: Not provided.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation that 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).

The materials provide an opportunity for students to read a variety of texts at various levels of complexity. Each unit consists of an assortment of increasingly complex texts and focuses on the development of student literacy strategies for reading complex texts independently. Units include texts with a range of complexity levels within the grade level stretch band, and the levels of most texts are located in a complexity chart in the Teacher Wrap section of the materials. Texts are scaffolded through multiple reading groupings such as in pairs, small groups, read alouds, and independent. Literacy skills are also supported through the use of graphic organizers and instruction on various strategies, such as close reading, marking the text, and guided reading. The complexity of anchor texts and literacy skills taught throughout the school year support students’ proficiency in reading independently at grade level at the end of the school year.

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2, the teacher reads aloud the short story, “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez. The students follow along reading closely for textual details. In the Teacher Wrap, the complexity level of this text quantitatively is a 680 Lexile (complex text) and qualitatively a “moderately difficult” text. Students read a narrative, an article, and examine a photograph about migrant families. Then, in pairs, they complete a graphic organizer to compare and contrast details from the texts regarding housing, money, time spent, and education for migrant students.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.8, students begin making evidence based claims. Students read Chapter 22 of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech with a partner in class. Then they read Chapters 23-25 as part of their independent reading. Although not listed in the Teacher Wrap, the novel has a 770 Lexile according to The Lexile Framework website. In small groups, students complete a graphic organizer to compare and contrast characters in the text. Students then write an informative paragraph comparing and contrasting the characters, using evidence from their graphic organizer to support their claims.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5, students are introduced to the research process and conduct initial research to deepen their understanding of a controversial topic about which they feel strongly.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students build an evidence-based argument about a controversial topic of their choice using the skills from each of the previous units and activities. Students research, gather evidence, draft, evaluate, and revise their arguments independently.

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 6 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.

Most of the prose text provided in the materials include an analysis of the quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task measures of the text. This information is provided to each teacher in the document, “Text Complexity Grade 6.” Since the materials include a variety of text types, not just prose, not all texts are accompanied with a text complexity analysis. For the texts included in the document, there is a clear rationale for the purpose and placement of the texts chosen. Detailed “Task Considerations” and “Reader Considerations” are also offered within this document. While this analysis includes correct information, this analysis is not included for all anchor texts or series of texts, including the main novel, Walk Two Moons. Further analytical considerations about texts can be found in the Teacher Wrap section. Such considerations include specific instructional applications for teachers, including how to support student analysis of the text with appropriate grouping and reading routines such as paired reading and whole-group read alouds. The materials also include specific sections in which the texts are woven together for a particular educational purpose. For example, the Knowledge Quest sections that are embedded throughout each of the units provide a collection of texts around a specific topic to allow students to integrate information about a topic from multiple sources.

Examples of texts accompanied by a text complexity analysis include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.16, students read “The Treasure of Lemon Brown,” by Walter Dean Myers. The Lexile level is 760L, which is below the Lexile Stretch Band for Grade 6-8; however, the qualitative measures show moderate difficulty, “Due to the text’s implied theme and substantial figurative language.” Combined with reader/task demands, the overall complexity for this text is complex.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.9, students read the excerpt of an autobiography, “Dogs Make Us Human” from Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin, to analyze how the author develops her point of view and central ideas. The Lexile Level is 970L, and the qualitative measure is moderate due to frequent scientific terms. The reader/task measure is also moderate for sixth graders. Also, in this activity is a Knowledge Quest section that includes film clips and an informational article to help students deepen their understanding of the importance of dogs to humans.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.8, students read the news article, “Teens Are Over Face-to-Face Communication, Study Says” by Katy Steinmetz, to analyze and evaluate an argument. The Lexile Level is 1280L, which is above the Grade 6-8 Lexile Band, and the qualitative and task measures are moderate for sixth graders. Also, in this activity is a Knowledge Quest section that includes an additional article to help students gather more information to develop an argument. The overall text complexity rating for this text is complex.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, students read the short story, “The Southpaw” by Judith Viorst. The Lexile level is 660L, which is below the Lexile Band for Grade 6 and is intended to be “read aloud by students.” Other information provided is as follows: “...the qualitative measures indicate a moderate difficulty level, due to the text’s unconventional structure.” The task demands are moderate and focus on “...analyzing the text’s language and discuss[ing] how word choice conveys the text’s theme and tone.” The overall text complexity rating of this text is accessible.

Examples of texts without a text complexity analysis include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, students read the novel, Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech. This text is read for the first half of Unit 2. No text complexity information is provided in the “Text Complexity Grade 6” document or in the Teacher Wrap section. An Internet search shows the Lexile level is 770L, which is below the Grade 6-8 Lexile Band.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.4, students read several poems, including “I Can Dance,” “Ode to teachers,” and “Dumped” by Pat Mora. No rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level is provided in the “Text Complexity Grade 6” document or in the Teacher Wrap.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts to achieve grade level reading.

The materials consist of multiple complex texts and scaffolded instruction to help students develop the skills and strategies necessary to achieve grade level proficiency in reading. Students engage in reading complex texts aloud as a class, independently, in pairs, and in small groups. Texts are organized in units with texts that support the unit’s theme. Genres include, but are not limited to, film clips, novels, poetry, and informational texts. Each unit contains a variety of texts and activities that require students to think deeply, monitor their understanding, and apply the knowledge they learn through meaningful tasks and assessments. In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is provided with opportunities to monitor student progress through formative and summative assessment data both anecdotally and through formal assessments. Students are also prompted throughout the activities and after assessments to reflect on their own learning.

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety and volume of texts to become independent readers at the grade level.

Materials include a mechanism for teachers and/or students to monitor progress toward grade level independence. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2, teachers read the short narrative story, “The Circuit” by Francisco Jiménez, aloud to students. Students reread the story in small groups in order to respond to text-dependent questions. Then teachers read the article, “Schools Hustle to Reach Kids Who Move with the Harvest, Not the School Year” by Peter Balonon-Rosen, aloud to students. Students reread the article in small groups in order to respond to text-dependent questions. In Activity 1.3, students choose texts to read independently and establish an Independent Reading Log to use for the whole school year. In Activity 1.4, students do a shared reading of the personal narrative, “My Superpowers” by Dan Greenburg. Students reread the narrative independently to find examples of hyperbole in the story.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students watch film clips from the movie Up by Pixar. As they watch each clip, the students complete a graphic organizer on the “internal and external changes in Carl Fredericksen’s life, and how he responds to them.” In Activity 2.3, students begin a novel study of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. After previewing the novel, the teacher conducts a read-aloud of chapter one and models the double-entry journal. In Activity 2.4, students work in small groups to read and complete a character analysis of chapters 5-6 from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Then, students read and work independently on chapters 7-9. In Activity 2.5, the teacher is given a choice to return to film clips from the movie, Up by Pixar, or use chapters 10-11 from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech to examine plot and subplot. Students independently read chapters 12-14. In Activity 2.9, in the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is given the instruction to “Move from student to student and observe as they answer text-dependent questions. If they have difficulty, scaffold the questions…”. In Embedded Assessment 1, the students complete an assessment to answer a prompt from the novel. After the assessment students are asked to reflect on their progress. The teacher uses a rubric to score the assessment.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, students study the parts of an argument. The Teacher Wrap section suggests that teachers illustrate the parts of an argument by using children’s books, such as I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow. In Activity 3.3, the teacher reads aloud an opinion piece entitled, “A Teacher’s Defense of Homework” by Andrea Townsend, as students listen and trace the argument in the text. In the Teacher Wrap, it suggests “After reading the opinion piece for the first time, allow students to discuss it with a partner, using the Knowledge Quest questions as a guide. Give partners a minute or two to discuss their initial reactions. Based on their discussions, determine if students are ready to move on to the text-dependent questions.” In Activity 3.4, students participate in a shared read aloud of the opinion piece, “A High School Student’s Perspective on Homework.” In Activity 3.5, students participate in a think-pair-share activity to develop an argument based on quotes that are provided in the instructional materials. After the think-pair-share activity, students begin research to develop an argumentative text to apply the knowledge they have learned about argumentation.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.2, students read a limerick, “from A Book of Nonsense” by Edward Lear independently. After answering questions about the limerick, students create their own limerick, giving teachers multiple ways to assess their learning about this type of poem. In Activity 4.3, students independently read the poem, “Oranges” by Gary Soto. Students answer questions about figurative language and theme of the poem. In Activity 4.3, students read the poem, “Fireflies” by Paul Fleischman independently. Students then answer questions about the poem, including the use of alliteration and figurative language, providing another opportunity for students to practice this skill. In Activity 4.4, students independently read three poems, “I Can Dance,” “Ode to Teachers,” and “Dumped,” all by Pat Mora. Students answer questions while analyzing the poet’s style, including examining figures of speech, punctuation, and repetition to see how the poet conveys meaning.

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 6 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, 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 6 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 Grade 6 SpringBoard materials are divided into four units of study, with a variety of texts and activities that provide students ample opportunities to engage directly with the texts when completing tasks. “Returning to the Text” and “Working with the Text” are two sections in the materials that require students to return to the text to complete text-dependent questions and activities. Also, most writing tasks and assessments include instructions to provide text evidence to support the students' thinking. In the Teacher Wrap section, teachers are given guidance, instructions, and suggestions for the planning and implementation of text-dependent questions to utilize with the reading in class.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, “Returning to the Text,” after reading an excerpt from Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, students return to the text to answer text-dependent questions. For example: “Describe the first meeting between Juli and Bryce from Bryce’s point of view. How does Bryce feel about meeting Juli? Use details from the story to support your answer.” This series of questions require students to “Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.16, “Composing Body Paragraphs Together,” students work collaboratively to craft a paragraph about a change in a book or story from the unit. In the paragraph, they must have “Supporting information: specific examples, details, evidence and facts” from the text. This task requires students to “Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.17, “Returning to the Text,” students are instructed: After reading the text, “Saying Farewell to a Faithful Pal” by John Grogan, “Return to the text as you respond to the following questions. Use text evidence to support your responses.” Question 4: “What was the author's purpose for writing the memoir? How is the author's purpose conveyed in the text? What are things the text shows that people can learn from dogs? What does the author learn from Marley?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, “Teacher Wrap,” teachers are provided with guidance for planning, and implementing text-dependent questions and activities. For example: “Discuss the strategy rereading, being explicit about its purpose before you have the students answer the text-dependent questions.” An example of a text-dependent question provided is question 8: In paragraph 5, why does the author include quotation marks? Whose words are being quoted in paragraph 5? Why would the author want to quote Young's words?
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.7, students create a multimedia presentation in which they synthesize their research about a poet. Students are directed: “Explain what makes your poet unique and provide evidence from your research to support your position.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.15, “Working with the Film,” while viewing the 1962 version of the film, The Miracle Worker, students answer text-dependent questions. For example, question number 1 is as follows: “What decision(s) does Keller make in this scene? What decision(s) does Annie make? Which of these decisions are most significant to the plot? Support your answer with evidence from the film.”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide students with quality tasks that integrate skills including writing and speaking tasks required by the standards. Text-dependent questions and speaking opportunities are coherently sequenced to build to a culminating task. Some examples of culminating tasks that provide opportunities for students to demonstrate an understanding of their learning through writing, speaking, or a combination of both include the Embedded Assessments in each unit. Opportunities include completing graphic organizers, text-dependent questions, class discussions, and performances/presentations.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students examine the concepts of internal and external forces on a character. They begin by viewing clips from the movie Up by Pixar. Using a graphic organizer, they capture notes on changes in a character based on the internal and external forces in the film. After the teacher models how to complete the first row of the graphic organizer, students work in triads to complete the last three clips. Students then discuss their recordings with the class. Finally, students work as a class to craft an informational paragraph “...explaining how Carl Frederick’s life changes due to internal and external forces in the film Up.” This is one of the activities that helps prepare students for the Embedded Assessment 1 which is a literary analysis.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1, students complete the following task: “Work collaboratively to research one side of a controversy that is affecting your school, community, or society. Then participate in a modified debate in which you argue your position and incorporate a visual display with appropriate headings and labels and/or multimedia for support.” Students work on their research answering a series of questions in Activities 3.2-3.8. For example, in Activity 3.5, students learn about the credibility of sources for their debate topic and respond to the following question: “Is the source reliable and credible? Does the source have a bias? Explain.”
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 1, students research a poet in a small group and make a five minute group presentation to the class. Students work on their research by answering a series of questions in Activities 4.6 and 4.7. For example, in the Synthesizing Research Stage, students respond to the following questions: “What conclusion(s) can you draw about the poet and his or her life? Which of the poet's poems might add to your presentation? Could you read it orally or present it visually?” When presenting their research on their poets, students are evaluated on their use of language, specifically their conventions of standard English grammar and usage. In addition, students are expected to use academic vocabulary and a formal tone in their oral presentation. Finally, students are expected to use appropriate eye contact and volume in addition to enunciating their words clearly while speaking.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide multiple opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that help support the growth of students’ speaking and listening skills over the course of the grade. The tasks encourage and/or require the discussion to incorporate the vocabulary, text, or topics of the unit. Some of the discussion protocols include, but are not limited to, Think-Pair-Share, Literature Circles, and Jigsaw. Teacher guidance is located in the Teacher Wrap for providing support and scaffolding for evidence-based discussions, including modeling and the use of academic vocabulary and syntax. All of the tasks are appropriate and connect to the standards required for Grade 6.

Materials provide multiple opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials, including support for teachers to identify students struggling with these skills. Support for evidence-based discussions encourages modeling and a focus on using academic vocabulary and syntax. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Language Checkpoint 1.5, students conduct a “Think-Pair-Share with a partner about the differences between the fragments in the excerpts…” In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is provided suggestions for possible answers which students may discuss. Then the teacher has some of the partners share out to the whole class.
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, students respond to text-dependent questions after reading an excerpt from the novel Flipped. In the Teacher Wrap, directions are provided to help teachers facilitate student discussion of the text-dependent questions: “Returning to the Text: Guide students to return to the text to respond to the text-dependent questions. Have students partner with someone new to reread the text and respond to the questions. Remind them to use evidence in their responses. Help them discuss and write responses to the questions in an appropriately formal tone and voice, making use of academic terms such as infer, plot, and evidence. Use the suggested answers as models for appropriate register, vocabulary, tone, and voice.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.13, students participate in a Literature Circle Discussion after their final reading of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Students are assigned a role in the discussion group and record the goals for the discussion. As they engage in discussion, each member takes notes in a Discussion Note-taking Graphic Organizer. Finally, they create a creative poster to “...synthesize their analysis…”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.16, students work with a group to Jigsaw the Scoring Guide for their argumentative letter. Each member in a group is assigned one part of the rubric to become an “expert” on, and then the teacher regroups the students so that at least one person in each group is an expert for each rubric section. In their new groups, students “...take notes on the Scoring Guide.”
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, students perform a scene from The Miracle Worker. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are instructed, “Purposefully plan groups and thoughtfully assign scenes to each group. Some scenes are more challenging than others (in terms of content and/or length). Each group's lines appear separately on the next several pages so students can mark the pages and use them as a script. Remind groups to thoughtfully assign the role of Helen. Because she doesn't have spoken lines, her physicality is critical to her role.”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation that materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide students with various opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills throughout the year. Students engage in a multitude of discussions and listening tasks which increase with difficulty over the course of the school year. Students demonstrate their learning by completing such tasks that include, but are not limited to, discussions, debates, oral presentations, performances, and Philosophical Chairs. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with guidance on modeling and monitoring of the tasks. They are also provided with scaffolds and extensions so teachers can support struggling and accelerated students. The tasks encourage and/or require students to cite evidence from the texts and sources from the activity.

Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading and researching through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, students participate in a Collaborative Discussion. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are given the instructions to conduct this as a Think-Pair-Share. This provides students an opportunity to talk about their thinking before they begin writing about “...a time when you and another person saw the incident differently. Explain both how you saw the incident and how the other person viewed it.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.7, students participate in discussion groups while reading the novel, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Students are instructed on formulating and responding to effective text-based discussion questions: “As your new group discusses these different questions, use the graphic organizer that follows to record key ideas. Remember to follow the communication norms for speakers and listeners as well as the discussion roles you identified with your class in questions 4 and 5. Give one another feedback on which questions are the most effective at encouraging interesting discussions and bringing out new ideas about meaning in the novel.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, students participate in a debate using the strategy “Philosophical Chairs.” To begin, students prepare for the debate on “Should students be assigned homework?” In this preparation, they are to cite text evidence to support their claim/argument. The rules are explained including, “Listen carefully when others speak…” and “Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard by the audience.” In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is given guidance on how to arrange the room, and how to label the chairs for the strategy “Philosophical Chairs.” As the students participate, the teacher acts as a mediator and is instructed to make sure each student participates at least once.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.8, students “Present a position on the controversy in a debate using evidence from research and contributing ideas clearly and responding to others' ideas.”

This activity requires students to incorporate evidence from texts and both speaking and listening skills. In the Teacher Wrap, in the Adapt section, teachers are provided the following instructions: “If students need additional help understanding how to prepare an argument, show a successful student model from the class and ask the student to use a think-aloud to describe the process he or she used to complete it. Have students take notes during the think aloud and write two strategies they could use in their own preparation of an argument.”

  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.3, students perform a creative oral presentation for a poem that they have analyzed. For this assignment, students must practice their speaking and listening skills before the presentation, so they analyze and discuss the poems with a partner. Notes in the Teacher Wrap section advise teachers to move from group to group to listen for students’ progress and provide guidance and modeling for students.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide a mix of on-demand and process writing, which include short and longer writing tasks and projects, throughout the school year. Writing tasks include short on-demand writing, such as Quickwrites, and other short writing tasks, such as Returning to the Text, Independent Reading Links, and Writing to Sources activities. Students also have opportunities to return to previous writing in order to revise and edit their original drafts. Finally, most units have two Embedded Assessments that require longer process writing including prewriting, revising, and editing the drafts. Some Embedded Assessments can be completed as on-demand writing tasks at the discretion of the teacher. Additionally, students conduct research using digital resources.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activities 1.7-1.9, students begin drafting a narrative about a memorable incident in their lives for Embedded Assessment 1: Writing a Personal Narrative. In Activity 1.7, students engage in planning and prewriting activities, including brainstorming details and creating a memory map. In Activity 1.8, students continue to plan their writing using cause and effect and characterization graphic organizers. Students draft their narrative working first on the beginning and then the ending. In Activity 1.9, students revise their narratives through adding dialogue, inserting transition words and phrases, revising the beginning and ending, selecting a title, and creating a finished document.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, Independent Reading Link, students complete a short, on-demand writing responding to the following prompt: “Find a topic that you can compare and contrast in your independent reading. You can compare people, objects, situations, or themes. The topics can be in two different texts you've read independently, or one independent text and Walk Two Moons. Write a paragraph that explains the similarities and differences between the texts.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2: Writing an Informative Essay, students “write a multiparagraph essay explaining how people can improve their lives through observing and interacting with animals. Planning, prewriting, drafting, evaluating and revising, and checking and editing for publication are included in this writing task. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are given the option of making this a “...timed writing prompt or as independent practice in or out of class depending on the needs and abilities of your class.” Additionally, teachers can “ ...have students draft and revise their essays on computers during one or two class periods.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.15, students have an opportunity to revisit the letter they drafted in Activity 3.14 and after a lesson on coherence, students revise the letter to improve its coherence. After their revision, they “Read your revised piece to a peer for feedback on its coherence.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, students conduct research on a famous poet using relevant digital sources about their poet. Students engage in on-demand writing as they annotate their sources. For print sources, they are instructed to use pencils and highlighters, and for digital sources, they are encouraged to use the tools available in the software to highlight important information. Then, they create a double-entry journal where they paraphrase, summarize, or quote information that relates to their research question on one side and then offer dialogic commentary on the other side.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.15 students complete a Quickwrite to answer this prompt: ”How would the scenes change if they were being recounted by Annie in an autobiography? Consider how the ideas, organization, and language would be different.”

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide opportunities for students to engage in multiple genres of writing, including, but not limited to narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory. For each mode of writing, students learn about the mode through both reading texts and writing tasks throughout the unit. In the SpringBoard materials, each unit focuses on a mode of writing. Unit 1 focuses on narrative, Unit 2 focuses on informative/explanatory, and Unit 3 focuses on argument. These writing tasks include on-going writing activities and cumulative embedded writing assessments. The small on-going writing tasks, such as Quickwrites or Writing to Sources, provide scaffolding of the focused writing process included in the Embedded Assessment. The materials provide opportunities for teachers and students to monitor students’ progress in writing and also give students opportunities to practice the focused type of writing prior to assessments. The majority of writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets within the unit, as they serve as model texts for the type of writing students are expected to create. Scoring Guides are provided for writing assessments for both students and teachers prior to writing.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activities 1.1-1.9, students learn about the narrative mode and read example narratives, such as “My Superpowers” by Dan Greenburg, to illustrate the elements of an effective narrative. In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1, students engage in narrative writing by responding to the following prompt: “Your assignment is to write a personal narrative that includes a well-told incident, a response to the incident, and a reflection about the significance of the incident.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, Writing to Sources: Informational Text, students engage in informative writing by responding to the following prompt: “Write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the two main characters in Walk Two Moons. Include examples from the text that show different types of characterization: appearance, actions, words, and the reactions of others.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, students complete an informative response to the novel, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Students have four options, including “Explain how the internal and external forces cause one character from the novel to grow and change.” and “Discuss how plot, setting, character, or conflict contributes to one of the novel’s themes.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.3, Quickwrite, students complete the following task: “Briefly state a claim a writer could make to support the idea that students should not be assigned homework. Tell whether the claim is debatable or not.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.15, Writing to Sources: Informational Text, students write an explanatory piece. After reading Act II of The Miracle Worker, students explain how memories can either complicate conflicts or motivate a character to act a certain way. To support their thesis statement, students are required to include details from the text along with explanations of how those details connect to the thesis statement.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide frequent opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using textual evidence. Most writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading text closely and working with sources. Students have short informal writing tasks, such as Working from the Text, Independent Reading Checkpoint, Independent Reading Link, and Writing to Sources, as well as longer writing tasks, such as Embedded Assessments, where they must provide reasons and cite evidence to support their claims. Over the course of the units, students engage in informative, narrative, and argumentative writing in which they analyze texts and support their claims with text evidence. These writing tasks help build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.4, Working from the Text, students analyze text and provide evidence to support their claim when respond to the following prompt: “Using the information from your class discussion and the graphic organizer, briefly summarize what the narrator learns from the incident in the story. Use specific details from the text in your summary.”
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.9, Independent Reading Checkpoint, students analyze their independent reading selection and the texts read in class, and provide evidence for their claims in responding to the following prompt: “Write a summary about how the theme of change is presented in your independent reading book. Explain the significance of these changes using text evidence to support your explanations. Tell how the theme of change in your book compares to the theme of change in at least one of the assigned texts you read.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, Independent Reading Link, students write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the two main characters in the novel Walk Two Moons. They are required to provide textual evidence to support their claims.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, Writing to Sources: Argument, students use the three argumentative texts they have read as sources to answer the question, “Should students be assigned homework?: In the instructions, students are reminded to “Provide reasons and cite evidence from the three argumentative texts you have read on the issue to support your position.”
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students complete the following task: “Think about a topic (subject, event, idea, or controversy) that you truly care about and take a position on it. Write an argumentative letter to convince an audience to support your position on the topic.” Students gather information from sources to provide evidence to support their position.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, Writing to Sources: Informational Text, students complete a writing task after researching a famous poet. Students are to “Explain what you have learned about your selected poet through research.” In the instruction, students are told to “Provide relevant information and examples from multiple sources, making sure to quote or paraphrase information to avoid plagiarism.”

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide three types of grammar and conventions lessons: Language Checkpoints, Grammar and Usage, and Language and Writer's Craft. Language Checkpoint lessons are isolated lessons in which students complete tasks in which they work with models and return to their own reading and writing to examine a specific area of grammar or conventions. Grammar and Usage lessons and Language and Writer's Craft lessons are embedded within the materials, incorporate the texts within the units, and progress to more sophisticated contexts throughout the school year. Grammar and convention lessons are identified by a green symbol in the Planning a Unit section and the Teacher Wrap section, so teachers can easily identify the location of these standards in the materials.

Materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Some examples include:

  • Students have opportunities to ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6, Grammar & Usage, students learn about possessive pronouns. The instructional delivery teachers provide includes: “Like nouns, pronouns can show possession. The possessive pronouns include mine, hers, his, theirs, ours, and its. Find the phrase father's brows in paragraph 4. The noun father's shows possession; the brows belong to the father. The phrase father's brows can be replaced by his brows. His is a possessive pronoun.” In Activity 1.12, these pronouns are incorporated in a Narrative Writing Prompt to which students respond: “This story is told from the third-person point of view. Choose a scene or plot event and imagine Roger's thoughts and feelings about what is happening. Draft a first-person narrative of his thinking at that point in the story. Be sure to: Use a variety of first-person pronouns (subjective, objective, intensive, and possessive) and ensure that they are in the correct case.”
  • Students have opportunities to use intensive pronouns.
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, Grammar and Usage, students complete three grammar exercises embedded within an excerpt from the novel, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. One of the exercises focuses on the use of intensive pronouns. Student-facing materials include an example of intensive pronouns used within the text: “I was holding hands with Juli herself.” Students then write a sentence using an intensive pronoun using the example as a model.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person. Students have opportunities to recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, Language and Writer’s Craft, students complete a series of grammar activities to practice matching pronouns to their antecedents, recognizing and correcting inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person, and recognizing and correcting vague pronouns. Instructions include: “Revise the following sentences to show correct pronoun usage. The teacher moved their desk to the back of the room. Tiffany and Nicole usually play basketball after school, but she had to go home early. The coaches wanted the players to study. They wanted them all to pass the exam.“ Students then utilize texts they have read in class to find examples of pronouns and their antecedents.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
    • In Unit 2, Activity LC2.3, Language Checkpoint, students complete the following task: “Focusing on CCSSL.6.3.B, maintain consistency in style and tone,” students first return to the novel Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech to identify and analyze verb tense in the text. Then students correct a short paragraph for verb tense and practice giving peer feedback for verb tense. Finally, students return to a previous writing activity and revise their writing for verb tense issues.
  • Students have opportunities to use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • In Unit 3, Activity LC 3.11, Language Checkpoint, students practice using parentheses, dashes, and commas to set off nonrestrictive elements first with given sentences and then with a provided student summary of “The First Americans” by Scott H. Peters and the Grand Council Fire of American Indians. Finally, students check their understanding by explaining why a sentence that does not use commas correctly is confusing and proofread their own writing from Activity 3.11, specifically ensuring that commas, dashes, and parentheses are used correctly with nonrestrictive elements.
  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly.
    • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, students craft an informative writing response to one of the prompts focusing on Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. In the Checking and Editing for Publication Stage of Writing, students must “Confirm that your final draft is ready for publication” by answering the following question: “How will you check for grammatical and technical accuracy, such as proper spelling and punctuation?” Spelling correctly is also included in the Scoring Guide for this assignment. The expectation is that students “demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and usage (including pronoun agreement, sentence variety, and verb tense).”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The Grade 6 materials are organized around the theme of change. Each unit takes on a facet of this theme: Unit 1–Stories of Change, Unit 2–The Power to Change, Unit 3–Changing Perspectives, and Unit 4–A Change of Scene. Within each unit, texts are also connected to appropriate topics, such as opinions on homework and teen technology use, as well as poets and authors. The texts included follow a logical sequence that scaffold students toward reading increasingly more difficult texts independently including stories, dramas, poetry, literary nonfiction, historical, scientific, and technical texts. The Planning the Unit page of the materials provides the rationale for the goal of the unit and details the scaffolding that will be used to help students increase their skills by the end of the unit and ultimately by the end of the year.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students explore the theme of “Stories of Change.” Students read a series of literary texts, including short stories, personal narratives, and a myth to develop an understanding of how stories are created to reflect the concept of change. The Planning the Unit page states that in the first half of the unit, students read texts that reflect personal narratives and by the second half of the unit, they focus on more imaginative narrative writing skills in order to produce their own short stories.
  • In Unit 2, the texts center on the theme of “Changes in Characters.” Students review this theme through a film, a poem, a narrative, and a novel. The Planning the Unit page states that the first half of the unit begins with students analyzing how internal and external forces cause characters and people to change. In the second half of the unit, students apply close-reading strategies while reading informational texts from multiple genres, including essay, memoir, and biographical film. Students practice the crucial skills of conducting research to compare and contrast different authors' presentations on changes in characters. The students focus on writing with clear development and organization.
  • In Unit 3, the theme, “Changing Perspectives,” is tied to the skill of argument writing. Students read a variety of texts, including news articles, opinion pieces, letters, and informational texts organized around controversial topics, such as homework and teen technology use, from different perspectives, for example that of a teacher and a student, in order to examine each key component to an effective written argument.
  • In Unit 4, the texts are organized around the theme, “A Change of Scene.” In Activity 4.5, students read two texts about Pat Mora. Then in the Knowledge Quest section, the students “think about the ways personal stories can inspire, challenge, and ultimately change a person.” In Activity 4.14, students read Act II from the play, The Miracle Worker by William Gibson. The students are focused on the language and imagery in the play. Then they reread and analyze the scene, watch the film clip, and compare the two texts. In the Embedded Assessment 2, the students “work collaboratively to prepare and present a scene from William Gibson’s play, The Miracle Worker.” This is a culmination of the skills work and texts from Unit 4, and connects to the theme, “A Change of Scene.”

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide text-dependent questions and activities to build students’ comprehension and knowledge over the school year. The texts, including, but not limited to, poems, novels, photos, and graphs, require students to carefully analyze the text for use of language, key ideas, details and craft, and structure. The tasks and questions are sequenced over the course of an activity, unit, and school year to progress from more literal and scaffolded tasks, to more rigorous and independent ones. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with guidance, instructions, scaffolds, and suggestions for the planning and implementation of questions and tasks to utilize in class. Teachers are provided with formative and summative tasks that show mastery of the concepts included in each unit.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, in the Planning the Unit section, the materials state that students “...will analyze stories about change as well as write your own ideas and stories about change.” In Activity 1.12, students read a short story “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes, and answer the question, “ How does dialogue between Roger and Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones differ from standard English? Use the examples in paragraphs 28 and 32 to explain why the author would not want to use standard English in these sentences?” In Activity 1.14, students read the myth, “Orpheus and Eurydice” by Bob Blaisdell. When the students complete the Return to the Text questions, they answer the question, “How does the author’s language in the final paragraph set a mood for a resolution?” Then in Activity 1.16, students read the short story, “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers, and answer the question, “Explain how the author uses language to create a mood during the first half of this story.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.5, students “...evaluate how the plot of Walk Two Moons evolves and affects the characters.” The first question is a Quickwrite, “How can going on a physical (external) journey change your emotional (internal) self?” Then students complete a graphic organizer to explore “How the characters respond to change” by “...record[ing] episodes that lead to character changes in Walk Two Moons.” Finally, students explore the two kinds of journeys by brainstorming events from the physical (external) and the emotional (internal) journey that the characters experience. Students also are asked, “Which journey in Walk Two Moons is the main plot of the novel? What are the subplots? How are the subplots related to the main plot in terms of time? Why are the plots structured in this way? Explain your reasoning.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.9, students look at a photo alongside the poem, “Since Hannah Moved Away” by Judith Viorst, and answer the question, “The person in this photo laments about a move, as does the poem’s speaker and Sal from Walk Two Moons. What does it mean to lament?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.10, students look at a model argumentative letter. In particular, they examine the structure of the argument. For example, “What does paragraph 2 say about students having access to the internet from the home instead of the school?” and “How does the author use paragraphs 3 and 4 to develop and strengthen the argument?”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.2, students read several limericks by Edward Lear and examine language, word choice, key details, craft, and structure by responding to the following questions: “What does the title of the collection tell you about the theme of the limericks? Which details in the limericks relate to the title? How do meter and rhythm affect the mood of these limericks? Read the seventh limerick. How do context clues help you figure out the play on words in the last line? After reading all seven limericks, would you call their writing style formal or informal? Also, what is the writer's attitude toward the subject of each limerick? Do all the limericks have the same tone? Explain your answer.”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In the SpringBoard Grade 6 materials, the majority of the questions and tasks in the materials support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. The teacher materials found in the Teacher Wrap section provide teachers with guidance on sequencing questions and tasks, as well as guidance on scaffolding and differentiation. The materials provide opportunities for students to integrate knowledge over a single text and multiple texts in each unit. Students are also provided with the opportunity to analyze their independent reading selections with the texts read in class through the Independent Reading Checkpoints and in some cases, the opportunity to analyze primary and secondary sources on the same topic. By the end of each unit and the program, students are integrating their learning from all the activities associated with that unit.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.9, Independent Reading Checkpoint, students analyze across multiple texts when connecting their Independent Reading Selection to the texts read in class. Students respond to the following prompt: “Write a summary about how the theme of change is presented in your independent reading book. Explain the significance of these changes using text evidence to support your explanations. Tell how the theme of change in your book compares to the theme of change in at least one of the assigned texts you read.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.6, students focus on Sal’s description of the singing tree in the novel, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, noting the time, the mood, and the details about the setting. Then, students respond to “What do the details about the tree tell you about the theme or central idea of the novel?”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.9, students compare the development of a theme in two different texts. “What theme is developed in both ‘Since Hannah Moved Away’ by Judith Viorst and Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech? How is the theme developed differently in each text?” This question requires students to analyze themes across two texts.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, students read “A High School Student’s Perspective on Homework” by Amedee Martella to examine the claims the author makes and identify the evidence used to support the claims. Students respond to the following questions: “What is the author's claim in this article? How do you know? The following claim is made in ‘A Teacher's Defense of Homework:’ ‘Homework isn't very beneficial for younger kids.’ How does ‘A High School Student's Perspective on Homework’ support this claim?”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.4, students read multiple poems by Pat Mora, specifically “I Can Dance,” “Ode to Teachers,” and Dumped,” and answer the following questions: “Looking at the three poems by Pat Mora, what kinds of experiences does she write about? What themes are present in all three poems? Use evidence from the poems to support your inference.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.5, students use primary and secondary sources about the poet, Pat Mora, to analyze across texts. Students respond to several questions, including: “Think about what you learned about Mora from her letter and this article. How does Mora use her own experiences to inspire future writers?”

Indicator 2d

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

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

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide culminating tasks for each activity and/or unit that are multifaceted and require students to demonstrate mastery of multiple Grade 6 standards. Culminating tasks include, but are not limited to, writing a narrative, writing an argumentative letter, engaging in a debate, and writing and performing a scene. The tasks require students to engage in integrated reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Tasks leading up to the culminating tasks are varied and provide teachers with ongoing formative and anecdotal readiness information. Teachers are prompted in the Teacher Wrap to actively engage with students as they work independently, in pairs, or in groups. The teacher provides scaffolded support such as guiding questions, as needed, to help students access readiness. The culminating tasks build to give students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge about the topic or topics of the unit and/or activity.

Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2, students complete a culminating task for Unit 1 by writing a short story. “Write a story using dialogue, vivid verbs, and figurative language that captures a real or imagined experience using characters, conflict, and a plot with exposition, climax, and resolution.” Throughout Unit 1, students are taught each element and practice to prepare for the culminating tasks. Teachers are equipped with information on whether students are ready to complete the culminating tasks. Students work in writing groups formed with three students “so that they can share and respond to each other’s drafts, as they serve in reader, listener, and writer roles and offer praise and suggestions to their peers."
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.19, students complete a culminating task for the activity by synthesizing the story of Temple Grandin. In this activity, students watch film clips and read two texts about Temple Grandin. After each text, students engage in text-dependent questions, discussion, and writing to explore each one. For example, after reading an excerpt from the autobiography, “Animals in Translation,” students answer the question, “How does Grandin change as the result of her new school?” After reading “Hampshire School for Wayward Wizards,” students work with a partner to answer text-dependent questions. In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is prompted to “Move from pair to pair and listen in as students answer the text-dependent questions.” There are suggestions for scaffolding the text-dependent questions if the teacher notices that students are struggling. Finally, students consider all the information about Temple Gandin to complete a writing task, “How did animals help Temple Grandin deal with the challenges of autism?”
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1, students research and debate a controversy. Students demonstrate their knowledge about a controversial topic through reading and researching, writing their plan for their argument, orally debating, and listening and responding to the opposing side.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, students “Work collaboratively to prepare and present a scene from William Gibson's play The Miracle Worker.” Students demonstrate their knowledge about drama through reading and analyzing the play, writing notes and annotating the scene, orally performing the scene, and listening and responding to the group members throughout the project process.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials include a cohesive year-long vocabulary plan that is included in the Vocabulary, and Word Connection sections of the materials. Additionally, the words are listed for each activity in the unit. The vocabulary listed is connected to the texts or the tasks in each unit and is hyperlinked to the text. Students engage in vocabulary instruction through direct teaching, using context, and completing a task such as graphic organizers. One graphic organizer used throughout the materials is the QHT framework which is Q—words you have questions about, H—words you’ve heard before, but not sure about the meaning, and T—words you could teach. Students encounter the vocabulary before, during, and after reading and vocabulary spans across multiple texts and/or tasks. Lists of Academic and Literary terms are provided in the Planning the Unit section of each unit. The vocabulary in each unit is embedded in reading, speaking, and/or writing tasks, and builds over the course over the unit.

Some examples are as follows:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2, the following vocabulary words are listed: “Academic: sequence; Literary: internal, external response; [Content/Text Specific] Terms: jalopy, gasping, strained, murmured, savoring, period, vital, language barriers, social isolation, inhibit.” Students then read “The Circuit.” Before reading, teachers give students these instructions: “As you read the story, underline details you learn about the main characters and mark places in the text where you see changes in their attitude or behavior. Circle unknown words and phrases. Use context clues to determine their meaning or use a dictionary. Some unfamiliar words in this story might be Spanish words.” QHT is introduced and students complete the graphic organizer for this strategy while reading the text. In Word Connections, students complete the following task: “Roots and Affixes: The Greek root chron in chronological means ‘time.’ Chronological means ‘ordered by time.’ Other English words having to do with time also contain this root. Based on this new knowledge, determine the meaning of the words chronicle, chronic, chronology, and synchronize.” In Working From the Text, Vocabulary, students “Return to the story and review the words and phrases that you underlined. Use these annotations to work with your class to create a sequence of events.” Students then complete a graphic organizer for the internal and external conflicts within the text.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, Vocabulary section, students learn about the vocabulary words, “Terms: Compare and Contrast.” Students then read Chapters 1–4 from Walk Two Moons. In Novel Student, Question 2, students “Take a closer look at the two main characters in Walk Two Moons by using the following graphic organizer to note all the ways the author uses characterization. You will use these notes to compare and contrast the characters.” Students then complete the graphic organizer comparing and contrasting the characters. Under Vocabulary, the terms compare and contrast are explained. Students revisit these terms several times over the course of the school year, including in Activity 2.17, Independent Reading Link, when they compare and contrast themes within the text from Activity 2.17 and their independent reading selection.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.1, Vocabulary section, students learn about the word controversy and its definition. They answer the question “Why do we have controversy in a society?” During Embedded Assessment 1, the students “Work collaboratively to research one side of a controversy…”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, Vocabulary section, students conduct research and receive the following vocabulary words, “Academic: evaluate, annotate.” In Vocabulary, explanations of both terms are provided. Students then respond to the following questions, “Evaluate your sources by determining their reliability, credibility, and usefulness. Can you trust the source of information? Why or why not? How does the source address your research question(s)? Does the source have a bias toward or against a person or topic? Annotate your sources as you read to make sure that you understand what you are reading. For paper sources, mark the text with pencil and highlighters. If you are working digitally, use the tools available in PDF or word-processing software. Your annotations will help you set up your double-entry journal.” Students revisit these two terms in Activity 4.8, reflecting on their command of the terms.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 Grade 6 SpringBoard materials support students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year and include writing instruction aligned to the standards. The materials include well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Students complete relevant and authentic writing tasks such as, but not limited to, writing a narrative, an argumentative letter, and a literary analysis. Students are provided with ample direct instruction, practice, and application of writing skills that gradually move towards student independence. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with instructions on leading students to establish a Reader/Writer Notebook to record learning and ideas for their writing and to monitor their own progress and Portfolios to provide a place for storing writing tasks which show growth throughout the year. Each unit contains two Embedded Assessments, most of which are writing prompts. Students are provided the writing prompt at the beginning of the unit for Embedded Assessment 1 and midway through the unit for Embedded Assessment 2. Each activity in the unit helps teach writing skills through analyzing texts and writing prompts scaffold students toward their full length writing in the Embedded Assessment.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.1, Teacher Wrap, teachers are instructed: “This is the time to create the Reader/Writer Notebook for students to keep all writing ideas and vocabulary notes for later reference. The notebook, coupled with the Portfolio, is an important tool for recognizing progress.”
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.1-2.13 provide students with instruction and prompts to prepare them for writing a literary analysis for Embedded Assessment 1. In each of the activities, students are provided with texts to model their writing after, and/or are provided brainstorming and reflective prompts to provide scaffolding and support such as, but not limited to the following: use a double-entry journal to practice recording textual evidence to support analysis about character, plot, subplot, and setting; prepare for a Literature Circle discussion by practicing the skills of questioning the text, examining how language impacts meaning, summarizing, and connecting; after reading the novel, students collaboratively discuss their ideas from their extended close reading and analysis of the novel, which prepares them to write a response for Embedded Assessment 1. Students are also provided a detailed rubric with questions prompting them to monitor their own progress during the writing process.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students complete the following task: “Think about a topic (subject, event, idea, or controversy) that you truly care about and take a position on it. Write an argumentative letter to convince an audience to support your position on the topic.” Students will experience the following stages of writing with this task: planning/prewriting, researching, drafting, evaluating, revising, checking and editing for publication. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with the following suggestions: “Portfolio: This would be a good time for students to review their work for the entire unit and choose work to move to their Portfolios. Students should also reflect on their skills and set goals for improvement.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, students write an informational text using research they have gathered about a poet. Students are reminded to utilize writing skills they have honed throughout the year including: answering their own research questions, evaluating the credibility of sources, integrating examples from multiple sources, avoiding plagiarism, using academic vocabulary and formal style, and revising/editing as needed. In addition, the provided scoring guide can be downloaded for easy access. Based on the progress through the writing tasks, teachers can monitor student understanding of the steps contained in the writing process.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide students opportunities to conduct multiple short and long research projects spread across a school year and include a progression of research skills appropriate for Grade 6. The materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic through embedding research in multiple activities in both the student text and the Teacher Wrap. The materials provide many opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze per their readings. The research topics align with the unit’s topic and to the tasks that students are engaging in during the lessons. For example, the students research how animals help people after reading several texts on Temple Gardin. The tasks allow students to conduct research both independently, and with a partner or group and require them to synthesize information gathered.

Some examples of “short” projects include:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.18, students complete a short research project on the topic of “animals helping people” after reading “Dogs Make Us Human” by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson. The teacher first ascertains the students’ knowledge about conducting research, and if needed, provides the steps of research from the Teacher Wrap. Then students conduct a KWHL (Know-Want to Know-How to Find the Information-Learn) with a partner and then use the chart to guide their research. Finally, students write a summary of their research.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1, students participate in a research task that involves writing and speaking. They complete the following task: “Work collaboratively to research one side of a controversy that is affecting your school, community, or society. Then participate in a modified debate in which you argue your position and incorporate a visual display with appropriate headings and labels and/or multimedia for support.” To further the research process, in Activity 3.12, students engage in a lesson on citing evidence. In this activity, students learn to cite sources through direct quoting and paraphrasing. After practicing these skills, students are asked to “Find a credible digital or print source of this information and paraphrase the information you find…” Students also are instructed to revisit their body paragraphs and “Cite sources from your research as needed to strengthen your argument.”

An example of a “long” projects is:

  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 1, students synthesize their research of a poet’s life journey. This is a longer research project that covers five days of instruction. In Activity 4.5, students learn how to create a bibliography to cite sources. In Activity 4.6, students work with their group to conduct the research and gather information about a famous poet. They are given guidance through a note catcher that has them gather facts, examine bias, record bibliography information, etc. In Activity 4.7, students work with their group to synthesize their findings and create a multimedia presentation.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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.

In the SpringBoard materials, students have frequent opportunities to engage in independent reading through scaffolded lessons and self-selected materials. Most texts are organized with built in supports/scaffolds to foster independence. Each activity includes supports/scaffolds called Learning Strategies, such as marking the text, rereading, and using graphic organizers. As indicated in the Teacher Wrap, texts are often scaffolded through completing first reads by the teacher or in small groups or pairs. Students then have the opportunity to independently read the text while responding to text-dependent questions. The text-dependent questions and the Learning Strategies scaffold student understanding in order to foster independence. In each unit, the Planning the Unit section provides a suggested independent reading list of both literature and informational texts which complement the themes and skills found within the unit. The Instructional Pathways section of the materials provides embedded independent reading in each of the units called Independent Reading Links and individual activities with two Independent Reading Checkpoints per unit. In these checkpoints, students are given a prompt for discussion, writing, or an oral presentation and are required to record them in their Reader/Writer Notebook.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.3: Planning for Independent Reading, the activity provides detailed guidance for independent reading for both students and teachers regarding the selection of texts, goal setting, and tracking progress. Students create a section in their Reader/Writer Notebooks for Independent Reading which they use throughout the course to document their learning from independent reading selections. In this activity, they learn the process of completing notes in their Reader/Writer Notebooks.
  • In Unit 2, Planning the Unit, teachers are given a list of both literature and informational text that could be used for independent reading. These titles connect to the theme of the unit. The chart also lists the author and Lexile for each title and teachers are encouraged to provide student choice for independent reading. Some examples of texts for Unit 2 include, but are not limited to, Ruby Holler (660L) by Sharon Creech, Hoot (760L) by Carl Hiaasen, The Call of the Wild by Jack Londen (1080L), and Animals in Translation (1130L) by Grandin, Temple, and Catherine Johnson.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.3, students are given an Independent Reading Link assignment to “Find a claim stated in one of the texts you are reading independently. Decide if it is debatable and write the opposing claim…”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, in the Teacher Wrap section, teachers are given instructions on ways to support students at various levels of independence. For example, the teacher is provided with guiding questions before, during, and after reading. The teacher is also prompted to listen during class discussion and “...determine if students are ready to move to the text-dependent questions.”
  • In Unit 4, students choose independent reading for the first half of the unit based on a poet. Students select poems the poet has written, as well as things written about the poet, such as articles and biographies. In Activity 4.7, Independent Reading Checkpoint, students prepare a short presentation on their poet for a small group of classmates.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 6 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 and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The materials for Grade 6 consist of four units containing 15-19 activities. The units are “Stories of Change,” “The Power to Change,” “Changing Perspective,” and “A Change of Scene.” Each unit has several suggested Instructional Pathways for teachers to consider in personalizing instruction to meet the needs of all students. The Instructional Pathways include English Language Arts Pathway, Language Development Pathway, and Flexible Pathway, which includes Close Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Flexible Novel Units. Lessons are designed for a 50-minute time frame. The instructional activities are designed to follow the same lesson structure of “Plan, Teach, Assess, Adapt.” In several units, students are engaging with the concepts multiple times from initially using models for instruction to finally completing tasks independently.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Instructional Pathways, teachers are provided with several Instructional Pathways depending on students’ needs. For example, one possible Instructional Pathway integrates “digital assessments, Language Workshops, Close Reading Workshops, and Writing Workshops” into a 36-39 day unit for a 50-minute instructional period.
  • In Unit 2, Instructional Pathways section, the directions specify that teachers should allot 34.5-38.5 class periods (50 minutes) for the unit. A table is provided for each activity which indicates the number of class periods needed to complete the activity. Activity 2.2 indicates two class periods are needed. This is an appropriate pacing for students to watch film clips from Up to “Analyze the effect of internal and external forces on a character,” learn elements of writing in the informative mode, and “Respond to an informative writing prompt using clear organization and details from a film to support the topic.”
  • In Unit 3, Planning the Unit section, teachers are provided an instructional sequence section that offers an overview of the unit. For example, the text states that in the first half of the unit, students will “define argument and controversy before exploring current social issues.” Then students read to identify arguments and complete an instructional sequence on citations. Finally, the teacher provides instruction on rhetorical appeals, and the students compose an argumentative letter.
  • In Unit 4, Instructional Pathways section, the table specifies to allot 37-40 class periods (50 minutes) for the unit. A table is provided for each activity which indicates the number of class periods needed to complete the activity. Embedded Assessment 2 indicates seven class periods are needed. This is an appropriate pacing for students to “Work collaboratively to prepare and present a scene from William Gibson's play The Miracle Worker.” Students are guided through the steps of Planning, Analyzing, Preparing, Rehearsing, Evaluating, and Performing the play. There is also a short reflection following the performance.

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 6 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 suggested amount of time and expectations for teachers and students of the materials are viable for one school year as written and do not require significant modifications. Instructional Pathways are provided for each unit which include a core English Language Arts Pathway, a Language Development Pathway, and Flexible Pathways. The four English Language Arts units total 137.5-150.5 days of instruction for class periods of 50 minutes. This allows teachers the flexibility to utilize the supplemental lessons that are available for Close Reading, Language Workshops, Foundational Skills Workshops, and Writing Workshops where needed. A balance of time is spent on activities and assessments to allow for maximum student understanding. In the Teacher Wrap, there are specific time recommendations for each part of the activity. Each of the four units contains 15-19 activities and two Embedded Assessments. Thus allowing a teacher to complete an activity in a 50 minute class period. Considering all the resources a teacher could reasonably complete the main activities and complete several of the additional workshops in a school year.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Grade 6 Language Workshop Activity 5, students are completing a Close Read Activity of the anchor text, “Oranges” by Gary Soto. The Teacher Wrap section for activity five states that the lesson will take one 50 minute class period.
  • In Unit 1, Instructional Pathways, English Language Arts Pathway, a total of 36-39 days are suggested for the unit. Thirty-one days are suggested for the 17 activities and one Language Checkpoint, and six days are suggested for the Embedded Assessments 1 and 2. For the Language Development Pathway, Language Development Workshops are suggested in addition to or in place of activities for a total of 36-49 suggested days. Close Reading, Foundational Skills, and Writing Workshops are also suggested and detailed pacing information is provided for each.
  • In Unit 4, in the Teacher Wrap, Activity 1.4, the suggested pacing for “Personal Narrative: Incident Response Reflection” is located in the left margin and suggests two 50-minute class periods to complete the task.

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 6 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 Grade 6 materials from the English Language Arts program and the additional Workshop resources have an instructional sequence that allows teachers and/or students to practice skills with ample opportunities for scaffolding as the activities progress. Each unit and workshop are designed with the end in mind and sequenced with activities and Embedded Assessments. They follow the “Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt” phases in order to provide teachers opportunities to measure student progress and provide differentiated instruction as needed. Every unit begins by “Previewing the Unit” where students engage in exploring the Learning Targets, Making Connections, Essential Questions, and Developing Vocabulary. Every unit ends with an Embedded Assessment and written reflection. All illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and other visual representations are correctly labeled.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.8, students plan a narrative through prewriting: “Use the reporter's questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how) to fill in the details of the narrative plan.” Then, students plan by completing the provided mind map organized by cause, incident, and effect. Finally, students brainstorm information about the characters by specifically writing about what the character says, does, and thinks. In addition, students share what others say about the character, descriptions about the character, and language techniques.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students watch four clips from the film Up by Pixar. Before viewing the clips, students are provided with the Learning Targets and Preview sections which provide context about the film. Students complete a detailed graphic organizer for each of the four film clips noting the internal and external forces that cause change in Carl’s life in each clip. Students use these understandings to draft an informational text which explains “how Carl Fredricksen's life changes due to internal forces in the film Up.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.9, unpacks Embedded Assessment 2, giving students a preview of the second half of the unit on argumentative writing. Each activity in the second half of the unit focuses on elements of argumentative writing, including: identifying claims, rhetoric and appeals to pathos and logos, citing evidence, and writing an introduction and conclusion. The prompt for Embedded Assessment 2 allows students to choose a topic that they are passionate and directs them to “Write an argumentative letter to convince an audience to support your position on the topic.” Clear directions within the assessment lead students through the steps of Planning and Prewriting, Researching, Drafting, Evaluating and Revising the Draft, and Checking and Editing for Publication. A brief reflection follows. The rubric for the assessment is provided on the page and provides clear explanations of score points for students.
  • In Writing Workshop Activity 2, students participate in the writing process as a class. Students select a topic. After students are instructed on the RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, and Topic) strategy, they plan, prewrite, draft, share, revise, edit, and publish their choice of RAFT activity. For Activity 3, they complete this entire process independently.

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 6 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, task, and assessment items.

Alignment documentation is provided for each unit, activity, and assessment within the Teacher Wrap. The Scope and Sequence documents and the Grade 6-12 English Language Arts Standards Correlations documents are provided in the Teacher Resources. In every activity (in the English Language Arts program and the workshops), CCSS are listed for the teacher, and for the student in a student-friendly format. Assessments are correlated to CCSS through rubrics or metadata information. Metadata information includes the difficulty level of the question, DOK (Depth of Knowledge), Bloom's Taxonomy level, and the Common Core Standard associated with the assessment.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.13, the students are provided with the Learning Target, “Explain how a character responds to change.” The Teacher Wrap displays “RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes, as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves towards a resolution.”
  • In the 6-12 ELA Standards Correlations document states that Reading Literature Standard 6.1 can be found in the English Language Arts book for the following questions and steps of activities: Unit 1, page 14, Working from the Text, Step 10; Unit 1, page 32, Returning to the Text, Question 1; Unit 2, page 116, Novel Study, Steps 1–2; Unit 2, page 123, Novel Study, Steps 1–3; Unit 2, page 164, Working from the Text; and Unit 4, page 297, Returning to the Text, Question 2. Links that lead directly to the page within the materials are also provided.
  • In the Scope and Sequence document, every activity is listed for the English Language Arts program with the focus standards and additional standards addressed in the activity. For example, in Unit 1, Activity 1.11, the focus standard provided is W.6.9a, and the additional standard addressed is W.6.10.
  • In the SpringBoard digital platform, there are assessments including quizzes that align with CCSS. For each question, there is metadata available that provides the difficulty level of the question, DOK, Bloom's Taxonomy level, and the Common Core Standard associated with that assessment. For example, on the National Grade 6 Activity 1-10 Quiz — Digital, the first question is considered medium difficulty, a D2-Skills and Concepts, B2-Understand and CCSS L6.6.

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 6 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 Grade 6 SpringBoard materials maintain a consistent layout for each unit and activity. The materials provide a basic instructional sequence that flows from top to bottom. There is consistent color coding throughout the activities that support students. There are basic annotation tools available for students. The digital platform does provide some graphics, mainly photographs, and film clips, that support student learning and engagement without being visually distracting. Students are primarily reading and writing in text boxes throughout the activities. The Zinc Reading feature is very engaging for students and has easy navigation in the platform. It provides very appealing digital articles, novels, and other texts.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.17, the Learning Targets and Preview are provided in a blue box. Below the box are questions about the genre of mystery which students answer in a text box directly below each prompt. After the questions, another blue box provides students with tips on Drafting the Embedded Assessment. The last part of the lesson is an orange box which contains directions for an Independent Reading Checkpoint.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 3.1, the materials display the Learning Targets and Preview in a light blue box at the top of the page. Students read from top to bottom of the page for the sequence of tasks. Links are provided to learning strategies, word connections, vocabulary, and independent reading. Charts and prompts allow students to type in an answer, add a link, or add an attachment. There is also the ability to utilize simple annotation tools such as highlighting, underlining, and starring. Color coding is used consistently to identify different parts of the activity. For example, yellow is used for questions; red is used for strategies; blue is used for learning targets.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.10, the Learning Targets and Preview are provided in a blue box. Below are questions about the elements of persuasion which students answer in a text box directly below each prompt. After the questions, students are provided a model argumentative letter which has a Setting a Purpose for Reading explanation above it. Following the letter, there is a blue box with Making Observations questions which students answer in a text box directly below each prompt. The remainder of the lesson provides more prompts which students answer in a text box directly below each prompt.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, students read the story “The Southpaw” by Judith Viorst, and the “innings” in the story are all formatted in a bold, larger type font. There is also a picture of a baseball for a visual connection. Then, in a blue box immediately after the story, students are asked to make observations about the story by answering questions.
  • In Zinc, the poem, “A Blade of Grass” by Brian Patten, has the text of the poem, an audio of the author reading the poem, photographs, and digital quizzes.

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 6 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 6 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 include annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the Teacher Wrap. The Teacher Wrap has several sections which aid teachers in presenting content, including Teacher to Teacher and Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt. The annotations are accurate, understandable, and give teachers assistance with presenting content. SpringBoard Digital offers embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6, students analyze narratives by reading Gary Soto’s “The Jacket.” In the Teacher Wrap, Teach section, teachers receive detailed guidance on presenting content, including instructions on conducting vocabulary development, the first read, scaffolding text dependent questions, the second read, and Language and Writer’s Craft. For example, the Teacher Wrap states, “Returning to the Text: During the second reading, students will be returning to the text to answer the text-dependent comprehension questions. You may choose to have students reread and work on the questions in a variety of ways: independently, in pairs, in small groups, together as a class.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students mark a sample paragraph about the film Up to analyze the topic sentence, details and examples from the film, the author’s commentary, and transition words. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers receive the following suggestion to present the content, “Teacher to Teacher: Consider using the SpringBoard Digital edition of the book to model marking the sample paragraph.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, Teacher Wrap, Assess section, the instructional suggestions provided to the teacher are as follows: “Review students' Check Your Understanding responses to confirm that students are excited about the hot topics and able to articulate why the topics interest them. Also, review what students say they learned about paraphrasing to ensure that they truly understand the concept.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.10, Teacher Wrap, Teach section, teachers introduce four drama games to students. “Read the Learning Targets and Preview with students. Then explain the new strategy drama games. Drama games provide students with the opportunity to create meaning kinesthetically. As students play various games, speaking and listening skills are reinforced and students develop a deeper understanding of a concept. Collaborative skills are also reinforced as students learn that the games will only work with the cooperation of others.” Detailed instructions for presenting each game, including grouping strategies, are provided in the Teacher Wrap.

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 6 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

Grade 6 SpringBoard materials include a teacher's edition introduction, Teacher Wrap section for each activity, and a resource list at the end. These materials support teachers as they plan, teach, and assess. The introduction gives teachers an overview of the features and what their purposes are. The Teacher Wrap provides parallel support for teachers as students engage in the activities, including, but not limited to, explaining the standards, giving teachers guidance on specific parts of the text on which to focus, and providing ideas and recommendations for support. The resources section provides teachers with more support including a list of the different strategies used in the activities. The teachers receive a definition of the strategy, as well as its purpose. These materials in tandem provide teachers with the knowledge and explanation to support all students.

Some examples include:

  • The Teacher Edition Introduction provides an overview of all the features available in the materials. This introduction includes, but is not limited to, Instructional Pathways that guide teachers in different activities to include based on student needs, and Leveled Differentiated Instruction which provides the verbiage to support students of various needs. All of these features are further explained in the Teacher Wrap section which is a parallel feature for each activity in the unit. For example, in Unit 1, Activity 1.12, the learning targets are written in student-friendly language, while the Teacher Wrap has the College and Career Readiness Standards. In this same activity, students read the short story “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes. The teacher is prompted to have students pay attention to the “...words and expressions in the story that expands on standard English such as ‘No’m.’” Explain that Langston Hughes is using variations from standard English to express the story in the truest way he can.”
  • A list of resources for the teacher including an Independent Reading Log, a list of Reading Strategies, a Graphic Organizer Directory, and a Glossary is included at the end of the Teacher Edition and is also listed in the Teacher Wrap. In the Reading Strategy section, the materials list all of the strategies including reading, writing, and speaking that students will use and then give the definition and the purpose of each strategy. For example in Unit 4, Activity 4.3, students use the learning strategy “Choral Reading.” In the Resources: Reading Strategies section, Choral Reading is listed along with the definition “Reading aloud one’s own text or the text of others…” and its purpose is “To share one’s own work or the work of others, build fluency and increase confidence in presenting to a group.”

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 6 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 Grade 6 materials provide explanations for the role of the course content in the overall materials in the Scope & Sequence Document, Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts, Planning the Unit, and the Teacher Wrap. Detailed standards information is provided for each activity, assessment, writing prompt, and for many text-dependent questions. Additionally, the Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts provides connections across multiple grade levels through Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT Connections. The Grade 6–12 Standards Correlations document also traces how each standard is represented throughout the sequence of courses from Grade 6 to Grade 12.

Some examples include:

  • In Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts, the materials state, “SpringBoard offers core instructional materials in print and digital form that are aligned to College and Career Readiness Standards, Advanced Placement (AP) coursework, and the SAT Suite of Assessments.” Furthermore the materials note, “SpringBoard English Language Arts focuses on the same essential knowledge and skills that are the center of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections of the SAT Suite of Assessments”
  • In the Planning the Unit section before each unit, a detailed list of AP and SAT Connections is provided. This list helps to contextualize the role of the standards across multiple grade levels. For example, in Unit 3, the following SAT Connections are provided in the Planning the Unit section: “In this unit, students will practice many important skills that will help them succeed on the SAT and other college readiness exams, including:

Correctly using punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive and parenthetical sentence elements as well as recognizing and correcting cases in which restrictive or essential sentence elements are inappropriately set off with punctuation. (LC 3.11)”

  • In each activity, the Teacher Wrap specifies both Focus Standards and Additional Standards covered. Standards are also specified for Scaffolding Text Dependent Questions and writing prompts embedded within the materials. This helps contextualize the standards within each activity. For example, in Unit 1, Activity 1.15, in the Teacher Wrap, the following Additional Standards are listed: “RL.6.2, W.6.10, L.6.3a, L.6.4a, L.6.4b, L.6.4c.”

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 6 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

Explanations of both the instructional approaches used within the text, as well as the research-based strategies incorporated, are located in the Teacher Edition. From these explanations, it is clear that the SpringBoard English Language Arts curriculum has considered not only the ways to evaluate students, but also the building of necessary skills for student success. The instructional design rationale is based on research-based strategies by leaders in the field of education.

Some examples include:

  • In the Teacher Edition, on page xxi under Assessments, it states that the units provide effective scaffolding for students completing the Embedded Assessments. In addition, teachers may assign short quizzes throughout the unit and longer assessments that mirror the types of questions students will be required to answer on other standardized tests like the SAT. On this same page, the research-based strategy is described as assessment for learning.
  • In the Teacher Edition, on page xvii, it states that this curriculum uses The Writing Revolution’s method, which is a part of the Hochman Method, to teach the foundational elements of writing. Specifically, the SpringBoard English Language Arts curriculum uses the Focus on the Sentence tasks to blend grammar with reading.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Closing Pages, the Learning Strategies Charts include the name of the learning strategy, the definition of the strategy, and the purpose of the strategy. For example, on page 394, the RAFT strategy is listed in the chart. The definition provided is as follows: “Primarily used to generate new text, this strategy can also be used to analyze a text by examining the Role of the speaker, the intended Audience, the Format of the text, and the Topic of the text.”
  • In the Teacher Edition, in the Introduction: Teacher Edition Features section, the materials note that “Springboard uses the widely respected Wiggins and McTighe Understanding by Design model. The program back maps from a defined set of essential skills and knowledge shown to propel students on their path to college and career.”
  • In the Teacher Edition, in the Introduction: Teacher Edition Features section, the program’s authors explain that the “Springboard’s lesson design also takes into account the work of the American Institutes of Research in its focus on students moving through multiple levels of cognitive engagement.” The lesson design also pulls in the research of Charlotte Danielson’s research on teaching instruction, Marzano and Pickering’s research on academic vocabulary development, and Robyn Jackson’s research on active instruction.

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 6 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 Springboard materials contain strategies for informing both students and families about the ELA Grade 6 program. The online and print versions of the Teacher Edition Introduction contain a letter to students. The materials include a Family Letter; however, the Family Letter is not available in Spanish in the print or online versions of the materials at this time. Each unit includes Unit Resources at a Glance, which specifies resources for Family Connections, including Family Letters, Suggestions for Independent Reading, and Student Progress Reports.

Some examples include:

  • For each unit, Family Letters provide an overview of the unit, including essential questions, knowledge, and skills. The letter also describes the two Embedded Assessments which students will be required to complete. The letter lists specific vocabulary and skills students will utilize in the unit and ways for families to support students in their learning. The materials state that Family Letters are available in English and Spanish; however, these letters are only available in English at this time.
  • The Suggestions for Independent Reading supports student progress by providing a list of texts about a variety of topics at a range of reading levels. Spanish texts are also included in the list. For example, in Unit 1, One Green Apple by Eve Bunting and The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake are two titles included in this list.
  • Student Progress Reports provide a way to inform all stakeholders how students are progressing on each aspect of the course. They are located on the SpringBoard Digital Dashboard Home under Progress Reports.
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.3, the Teacher Edition and Teacher Wrap suggest that the teacher introduces independent reading to the students by having them bring a book from home or checking one out from the library and sharing their reading experiences. It also describes a book pass activity for that first day where students pass their books to others, allowing students to preview a large number of books, perhaps sparking interest with particular text(s) for students to complete the independent reading requirement.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.8, in the Teacher Edition and the Teacher Wrap, in the Teacher to Teacher notes, guidance suggests that a librarian, parents, and/or students conduct a series of book talks where the speakers share ideas about independent reading, helping students to achieve their independent reading goals.

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 6 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 6 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard units build to Embedded Assessments that direct the instructional pathway and give teachers a clear destination. Each task leading up to the Embedded Assessments provides teachers with a multitude of ways to measure students’ progress towards mastery of the standards required for the Embedded Assessment. Students are assessed in multiple ways including speaking, listening, reading, writing, and language tasks. These activity assessments include anecdotal evidence from the teacher for monitoring discussion and task completion, text-dependent questions, Check for Understanding tasks, Focus on the Sentence tasks, completion of graphic organizers, and completion of writing prompts. Each assessment is designed to prepare students for upcoming lessons and assessments since the SpringBoard materials are designed with the “end in mind” and are based on what students will need to be college and career ready and successful in their next grade level.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2, students “Write a story using dialogue, vivid verbs, and figurative language that captures a real or imagined experience and includes characters, conflict, and a plot with exposition, climax, and resolution.” This assessment is graded using a standards-aligned rubric to measure the students’ development of ideas, structure, and use of language. Throughout the unit, the students engage in multiple tasks that indicate their readiness, as well as mastery of standards needed, for the Embedded Assessment. For example, In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, after reading an excerpt from the novel Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, students answer text-dependent questions focused on the character’s point of view. In Activity 1.13, students dig into the elements of storytelling such as exposition, setting and conflict and then use a Plot Diagram to identify the elements using a fairy tale. In Activity 1.17, they create a draft of a short story.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.7, students participate in Fishbowl discussions, so the assessment that is included requires teachers to listen to student discussions to ensure they are analyzing key details from the novel and using appropriate speaking and listening skills. In the Teacher Wrap, teacher guidance includes the following tasks to ensure students’ understanding: “Have students reflect on the discussion activity by answering the Check Your Understanding questions.” In the Assess section, the materials include the following suggestions for teachers: “Monitor the fishbowl discussions and assess students' ability to provide detail from the text and personal commentary in response to the questions. Also, review students' responses to the Check Your Understanding questions to gauge students' ability to self-assess their effectiveness in discussions and to see how well they can connect their learning from this activity to the Essential Question.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, students examine and work with different graphs. The lesson includes multiple points for assessing students' understanding. At the end of Activity 3.7, students complete a Check for Understanding task by answering “Why are visual displays, such as charts and graphs, helpful in trying to convince an audience? Which of the visual displays that you viewed was most effective? Why?” Later in the unit, students complete a culminating Embedded Assessment that requires them to “...incorporate a visual display with appropriate headings and labels...for support.”

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 6 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The materials include both formative and summative assessments, including end of unit assessments, embedded assessments, and activity quizzes. Standards are clearly denoted for each assessment. The standards are divided into Focus Standards—those that are emphasized and are always included—and Additional Standards when applicable. Assessments include a list of correlated standards and standards for individual items are located in the Assessments tab. Other locations of standards include the following: on the actual Assessment (End of Unit Assessments and Activity Quizzes) and in the Teacher Wrap (for Embedded Assessments).

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.14, students complete a Narrative Writing Prompt during which they write a new opening for “Orpheus and Eurydice” by Bob Blaisdell. These standards are listed in the Teacher Wrap for the writing prompt: W.6.3a, W.6.4, W.6.3d, and L.6.3a.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.9, students read “Since Hannah Moved Away” by Judith Viorst and answer text-specific questions. The focus standard numbers and their associated full text are listed under the poem and in the Teacher Wrap: RL.6.2, RL.6.5, RL.6.6, and RL.6.9. Additional Standards are listed without their associated full text: RL6.10, L.6.5a, and L6.6.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, students answer three questions aligned to standard RI 6.7 during the Activity Quiz. The Activity Quiz includes a link to the full text of the standard.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, the Teacher Wrap includes the following Focus Standards and their associated full text: RL.6.5, SL.6.1a, SL.6.2, and SL.6.6. The Additional Standard, L.6.6, is listed without its associated full text.

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 6 partially meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials include quality scoring rubrics and scoring guidance that allow teachers to gather accurate measures of mastery of standards for both culminating Embedded Assessments and also formative assessments included in the activities. Standards alignment for Embedded Assessments is listed in the Teacher Wrap. The following items are also located in the Teacher Wrap: guidelines for scoring, specific directions for student work, and strategies and suggestions for students who are struggling with a particular task. Teachers may assign shorter Activity Quizzes at the end of a lesson or longer End of Unit Assessments. The teacher has access to the metadata for each Activity Quiz and End of Unit Assessment question, including difficulty level, Depth of Knowledge (DOK) level, Bloom’s Taxonomy level, and standards alignment. However, 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.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.12, teachers have the ability to assign a digital quiz on standards RL6.2 and W.6.4. This assessment includes two multiple choice questions. Each question also includes metadata for the teacher. The metadata includes the difficulty level, DOK level, Bloom’s Taxonomy Level and CCSS. However, no guidance is provided on interpretation or suggestions for follow-up steps.
  • In Unit 2, Language Checkpoint 2.4, students receive instruction and complete an assessment on the concept of Using Noun Agreement. (W.6.5) In this Activity, the teacher provides direct instruction on editing for noun agreement. Then students work in pairs to practice the skill. In the Teacher Wrap, teacher guidance is as follows: “Check their answers before having them independently correct the remaining sentences.” At the end of the Activity, students complete a Check for Understanding task by “Creating a sentence that uses noun agreement.” They share this sentence with a partner and add a question to their Editor’s Checklist. In the Teacher Wrap, teacher directions include checking students’ responses to ensure “...responses reflect an understanding of noun agreement and an ability to create rules for their own writing.” Further guidance for additional practice, as well as opportunities to point out model sentences in the novel, is included in the Adapt section of the Teacher Wrap. “If students need additional practice identifying noun agreement issues, have them review Part 2: Usage in the Grammar Handbook.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, students engage in a lesson on graphs and visuals. At the end of the activity, students respond to Check for Understanding questions: “Why are visual displays, such as charts or graphs, helpful in trying to convince an audience? Which of the visual displays that you viewed was most effective? Why?” In the Teacher Wrap, the guidance prompts teachers to examine the visual the students created and ensure it supports the claim given. In the Adapt section, the materials provide teachers with ways to support students who are struggling. For example, “Consider having them practice reading the example visuals, either in carousel format or by having groups rotate their examples to the next group.”
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, students receive a scoring guide in the form of a rubric for their performances. They are evaluated on ideas, structure, and use of language using the following ratings: exemplary, proficient, emerging, or incomplete. Each of these markers has specific bulleted points regarding the performance to aid in scoring. The Focus Standards for this activity are listed as RL.6.5, SL.6.1a, SL.6.2., and SL6.6. In addition to the teacher using the scoring guide, the Teacher Edition directs students to score other groups as well. When the performances are complete, the Teacher Edition instructs students to reflect on their performance and include this reflection in their portfolio.

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 6 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The materials include routines to monitor student progress. Questions after reading, activity quizzes, and discussion questions all offer teachers the opportunity to gauge student progress throughout each unit. These monitoring suggestions are provided in the Teacher Wrap.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, the Teacher Wrap provides teachers with guidance to monitor student understanding of the lesson content. “Teacher to Teacher: Focus on the Sentence tasks provide a quick opportunity to formatively assess students' understanding of a text, concept, or skill while also providing practice with writing academic sentences. In addition to checking the content of students' responses, make sure to observe whether they are able to construct grammatically correct sentences that follow conventions of punctuation and capitalization. If students need additional support and practice recognizing and correcting sentence fragments, guide them through Language Checkpoint 1.5: Punctuating Complete Sentences.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.6, students write about how the setting of Sharon Creech’s novel Walk Two Moons relates to the theme or central idea. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers receive the following guidance to ensure students are progressing toward the goals: “Review students' responses to the writing prompt to ensure that they understand how a novel's setting relates to its theme and to check that they have met all the criteria of the writing prompt in their paragraphs. Also, review their Check Your Understanding responses to see if they are able to combine simple sentences to create compound sentences.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.13, students read Act II from The Miracle Worker by William Gibson and answer text-specific questions afterwards. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers receive this guidance to monitor student progress: “Move from pair to pair and listen in as students answer the text-dependent questions. If students have difficulty, scaffold the questions by rephrasing them or breaking them down into smaller parts. See the Scaffolding the Text-Dependent Questions boxes for suggestions.”

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 6 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest that build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide students with multiple ways for students to engage in independent reading. Independent reading is integrated into the curriculum materials to increase student literacy skills by improving stamina, confidence, and motivation. A list of suggested titles students can choose from for independent reading is included at the beginning of each unit in the Planning the Unit section. The list includes literary and informational texts that support the topics presented in the unit. Independent Reading Checks are placed throughout the units to hold students accountable for their reading, including Independent Reading Links that bridge their learning with their independent reading. Finally there is a digital reading log that students complete as they independently read to “...record their progress and thinking.”

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Planning the Unit, there is a list of information and literature recommendations for independent reading that “...relate to the themes and content of the unit.” For example, in Unit 1,some of the recommended titles include the following: The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake, Dumpling Days by Grace Lin, and Woodsong by Gary Paulsen.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.1, students focus on changes that occur in their independent reading book throughout the unit and track their observations on the “Independent Reading List.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5, students complete the following task during an Independent Reading Link: “Look for examples of formal and informal style used in your independent reading. In what context is each style used? Who is the speaker? Who is the audience? What is the subject under discussion? Record some examples of tone in your Reader/Writer Notebook and log your responses to the questions for each.”
  • In the Resources page there is an independent reading log for students to use to “...record your progress and thinking about your independent reading during each unit.”

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 6 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 6 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 grade-level standards.

The materials include strategies to meet the needs of all learners in meeting the grade-level standards. In the Planning the Unit section, the materials provide multiple Pathways to incorporate the core ELA activities with additional Foundational Skills, Language, Close Reading, and Writing Workshops to support the needs of a range of learners. The Planning the Unit section also includes an Independent Reading List to provide options for independent reading based on topic, student choice, and text complexity. The Teacher Wrap includes strategies for scaffolding activities in the Scaffolding Text-Dependent Questions, Leveled Differentiated Instruction, and Adapt sections. Additionally, the Teacher Wrap provides specific guidance on how to adjust tasks to meet students on the following levels—Developing, Expanding, Bridging, Support, and Extend.

Some examples include:

  • In the Planning the Unit section, there is a Spanish cognates list for every unit to support ELL students whose first language is Spanish. For example in Unit 1, the list includes, but is not limited to the following words: coherence/cohencia and theme/tema.
  • In the Planning the Unit section, there are a few customized pathways for teachers to follow based on students’ needs. For example, the Language Development Pathway includes additional activities that include the Language Workshop and Foundational Skills Workshop. For example, in Unit 2, the Language Development Pathway includes, but is not limited to, a Language Workshop 2A.1 Genre Focus and the option to complete the Embedded Assessment 1 collaboratively.
  • In the Teacher Wrap, there are specific prompts to scaffold text-dependent questions for each Activity. For example, in Unit 3, Activity 3.4, Question # 3 asks students “What makes the author an authority figure on homework?” In the Teacher Wrap, prompts that teachers may use for students who are struggling include “How old do you think the author is? What do the author’s parents do for a living? Why is this important?”
  • For many Activities, the Teacher Wrap includes a section called Leveled Differentiated Instruction that offers support to the teacher to differentiate a task based on students’ Developing, Expanding, Bridging, Support, or Extend levels. For example, in Unit 3, Activity 3.10, students complete a two-column graphic organizer on “Times I Was Persuasive” and “Outcomes.” For Developing, the teacher guidance states, “Guide students to revise their list to be sure it includes words such as can, has and to.” For Bridging, the teacher is to “Guide students to revise their list to be sure it includes words such as probably, certainly, definitely, should/would, and might and phrases such as in my opinion. For Extend, the teacher should “Invite students to create a poster that advertises a favorite food, sport. Challenge them to say how their poster is like an advertisement and why advertising is a powerful form of persuasion.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, the Teacher Wrap provides teachers with guidance to ensure all students can successfully address the writing prompt. The Adapt section states, “If students need additional help explaining the theme, review how to write an effective theme statement and provide a model (e.g., ‘In the story ‘The Southpaw,’ Judith Viorst expresses the idea that if you want something in life, you have to be willing to fight for it.’). Then have students respond to the prompts.”

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 6 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 SpringBoard instructional materials include multiple opportunities and support for English Language Learner (ELL) students. The materials include a Cognate Directory in the Planning the Unit section in order to provide support for students whose first language is Spanish. Teachers have the option to substitute Language Development Pathway units for Instructional Pathway units. While the Language Development Pathway includes many of the activities from the core ELA Pathway, this supplemental support also includes additional embedded language in the form of Language Workshops to support ELLs. Additionally, Foundational Skills Workshops are suggested for small groups of students who need support for and practice with fundamental reading skills. The Leveled Differentiated Instruction section of the Teacher Wrap provides detailed guidance for supporting English Learners at World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) levels—Beginning, Developing, Expanding, Bridging—as well as differentiation for a level called Support. This guidance includes both accommodations and modification of work for students at varying levels where appropriate. Furthermore, in the Teacher Wrap, the Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt sequence Adapt section provides strategies for students who need additional scaffolding or support. For activities with Returning to the Text questions, a section on Scaffolding Text-Dependent Questions is provided in the Teacher’s Wrap. This section gives guidance on scaffolding vocabulary or concepts for students for each of the Returning to the Text questions.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Teacher Wrap, the materials provide teachers with strategies to help English Language Learners. During Activity 1.3, teachers help students choose stories that are an appropriate language proficiency reading level. Teachers may use the Narrative Analysis and Writing graphic organizer to help students understand the traditional structure of a narrative, as they work to complete Activity 1.4. Students may use sentence frames when completing the writing prompt for Activity 1.5.
  • In Unit 2, Planning the Unit, the materials provide the following guidance: “If your class includes Spanish speakers, consider adding the following cognates to your classroom Word Wall. For English Language Learners whose primary language is not Spanish, consider using an online translator or dictionary to support comprehension of vocabulary terms.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5, the Teacher Wrap section includes the following considerations for teachers of English Language Learners: “If your class includes Spanish-speaking students who are at an early stage in their English language development, you may find it useful to have them look up the vocabulary terms from this activity using the Spanish/English glossary in the Resources section of the student edition.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.7, the Teacher Wrap section suggests the following to provide adaptations for students who have barriers in the learning process: “To help students who are not quite clear on how to create a multimedia presentation, create a model of a multimedia presentation plan and use the think aloud strategy to explain your process and choices.”

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

Within each unit, the Teacher Wrap includes suggestions for Leveled Differentiated Instruction. The Extend level provides 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. There are sometimes suggestions for ways in which teachers can engage their students in a greater challenge, within the Adapt section of the Teacher Wrap. SAT and AP connections for all students are provided in the Planning the Unit section. Occasionally, the Suggestions for the Independent Reading List provide suggestions for students who read above grade level. The materials also state that the Flexible Pathways offer opportunities to extend learning, but explicit directions on how to utilize the workshops provide more advanced opportunities for students above grade level are not provided.

Some examples include:

  • In the Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts, the materials state, “flexible activities from SpringBoard's Close Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, or Flexible Novel Units that enable teachers to extend, support, or customize instruction.” However, it is unclear in the materials how these Workshops are intended for extending instruction for advanced students as explicit instructions are not provided.
  • In the Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts, the materials provide an overview of the support offered in the Leveled Differentiated Instruction section of the Teacher Wrap; “The suggestions provide the tools that learners at various levels of language proficiency need to successfully participate in class.” Support is provided for the WIDA levels Beginning, Developing, Bridging, and Expanding, as well as two additional levels labeled Support and Extend. The Extend level is defined as, “Extend suggests ways to stretch students who are ready for a challenge.”
  • In Unit 1, the Leveled Differentiated Instruction in the Teacher Wrap includes Extend suggestions three times. In Activity 1.4, the Level Differentiated Instruction section suggests students use the Narrative Analysis Graphic Organizer to analyze the text’s structure. The Extend suggestion states “Challenge students to write about how the author’s reflection on the incident reveals the story’s theme.” In Activity 1.9, the Extend suggestion states, “In conversations today, challenge students to use descriptive words that mean the same thing as says or said.” In Activity 1.14, to Extend, teachers “Challenge students to read another version of “Orpheus and Eurydice” and then write a short paragraph that tells how it is the same as and different from the version in their Student Reader.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, the Teacher Wrap provides an extension for students who are prepared. The materials state, “To extend this assignment for students who are prepared, you could assign a multiparagraph essay in response to any of these prompts.”

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials provide multiple, but strategic collaborative grouping settings in every unit. Students are placed in pairs, triads, small or large group settings to maximize their learning opportunities. For example, there might be discussion before writing, or collaborative work before independent work. The Teacher Wrap gives specific instructions on how to group the students, and materials needed for the task. The Resource section at the end of the textbook lists the Collaborative Strategies included in the materials with the definition and purpose of the strategy.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2, students “Role play with a partner, the jobs the narrator and his father do.” In the Teacher Wrap, it states to “Read aloud the Gaining Perspectives paragraph with students. Then assign partners and allow time for them to conduct their role plays and write their summaries.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students complete a graphic organizer within a triad setting. In the Teacher Wrap, the materials state the following: “For the next three clips, have students work in groups of three, with each student only completing one column for each clip. Then have group members share and discuss what they write for the corresponding column before reviewing the graphic organizer as a class.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5, students complete a Think-Pair-Share to respond to quotes from Bernard M. Baruch. Afterward, they complete a quickwrite based on the quotes. Collaborative Strategies in the Resource section of the materials includes the following information about Think-Pair-Share: “Definition: Pairing with a peer to share ideas before sharing ideas and discussion with a larger group. Purpose: To construct meaning about a topic or question; to test thinking in relation to the ideas of others; to prepare for a discussion with a larger group.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, students work in collaborative groups to engage in activities about tone, point of view, and conflict and plot. The Teacher to Teacher section of the Teacher Wrap gives specifics on how to set up the grouping for this activity. “Plan to arrange your room to accommodate the literacy centers and groups. You may want to divide your room in half and set up four literacy centers on each side. This will keep the groups small and minimize disruptions as groups work and rotate.” Further instructions include how to place the materials, what students need with them, and other resources such as dictionaries that may be useful as students rotate through the centers.

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 6 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 Grade 6 SpringBoard English Language Arts Teacher Edition/ National 2021 instructional materials reviewed function well on Firefox and Google Chrome using Windows 10 and MacIntosh operating systems. The materials functioned on a variety of common platforms and operating systems. They functioned using the Internet Explorer platform but required multiple clearings of the cache when navigating between different tabs in the SpringBoard Digital Bookshelf. The materials did not function well on the Microsoft Edge browser.

Some examples include:

  • When using Microsoft Edge, only the “next” and “previous” hyperlinks worked for navigation, requiring the user to 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 (e.g., 1.7) do not direct the user to the activity but rather to the top of the unit page (e.g., Unit 1: Stories of Change). 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 (e.g., the link for Embedded Assessment 1 in Activity 1.1: Previewing the Unit).

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The instructional materials include various uses of technology throughout the units to enhance student learning. Each unit includes activities that integrate the use of technology through web-based research, digital annotations of text, videos, digital graphic organizers, and the SpringBoard digital platform. In addition, the digital platform provides various technology tools— Ebook SmartTools—that allow students to practice and apply the skills they are learning such as marking the text, highlighting the text, using sticking notes, and defining words by the right click of the mouse. It also provides the opportunity to share to Google Classroom. SpringBoard also offers a digital resource called Zinc, which students may use during independent reading. Zinc Reading Labs offers a variety of informational and literary texts that teachers may assign and that students may self-select.

Some examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Teacher Wrap, the Teacher to Teacher note for Activity 2.2 suggests that teachers use the SpringBoard Digital edition of the book to mark the sample paragraph in front of the class after students have attempted marking the same paragraph, demonstrating the “marking the text” digital platform feature.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, during the publishing phase of the argumentative letter, the teacher directions recommend that students be provided with online resources to ensure that their final draft is ready to be published. Additional guidance suggests students collaborate with others using technology. The Teacher Edition states that teachers should provide a variety of applications and websites for students to communicate and collaborate. No specific digital resources are provided.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.8, after reading articles about technology in the text, the Student Edition of the text has an Independent Reading Link box where students are encouraged to search for the subject “communication technology” on Zinc to find independent reading material to learn more about how technology has impacted our lives.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, students use the Internet and digital tools to “plan and conduct a research project about a famous poet that will include gathering and evaluating sources.”

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

The materials provide teachers with a variety of opportunities to personalize learning for their students or classes as a whole, but do not provide technology solutions for differentiation based on individual students’ needs. For example, the SpringBoard Grade 6 Instructional Pathways for each unit can be customized for student needs but not individualized. In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher can make additions and revisions to the lesson plan by using the Add and Edit feature. The Teacher Wrap also includes guidance for differentiation and can be used to support or extend students learning as needed. Assessments, including Digital Assessments, may be customized, as well. The onus of the personalization falls on the teacher, as the students have little ability to control their own pathway. While the digital platform allows for some customization, adaptive or assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech, are not utilized within the materials.

Some examples include:

  • Teachers have opportunities to differentiate Activities and lessons and the Teacher Wrap includes suggestions for those opportunities. However, changes cannot be made to the individual documents, so teachers would have to adjust for that. For example, in Unit 2, Activity 2.2, the Teacher Wrap states, “Note whether students struggle due to a problem with identifying verb tenses that use auxiliary verbs. If they do, provide additional practice with these verb tenses.” There is no way to add the additional practice to the lesson and there is no specific resource listed, so teachers would need to find another lesson for practice.
  • The Teacher Wrap includes the ability for teachers to add notes or materials by clicking on the Edit or Add Section links embedded within it.
  • The digital and embedded assessments may be assigned and adjusted based on student needs. The digital assessments may be assigned to one student, some students, or all students. There are no accessibility features, such as highlighting, annotating, and text-to-speech, available for the digital assessments. While digital tools like highlighting are available, these tools are not adaptive technologies.
  • In the Zinc Reading Lab, students have the ability to choose their own independent reading materials. There is a list of titles at differing reading levels, genres, and categories. Some Spanish titles are included in the list as well.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Grade 6 SpringBoard materials have many features that allow customization for local use. The teachers have the ability to customize the lessons in Instructional Pathways by using the digital platform to add workshops for Foundational Skills, Close Reading, Writing, and Language. Teachers may use the Edit feature in the Teacher Wrap to revise or change the lesson plans.The Assessments, Activity Quizzes, and End of Unit Assessments may be customized and presented to the students in a way that meets their needs. For example, assessments may be printed out or completed digitally. The lessons and assessments may also be added to a Google Classroom. An additional program, Zinc Reading Labs, may be seamlessly integrated into the core program to provide additional independent reading opportunities. Within the Zinc Reading Labs, students have the ability to choose from a wide variety of suggested titles for independent reading, including some written in Spanish. Finally, in the Class Roster, teachers may customize their class by creating groups within the class to monitor certain students closely.

Some examples include:

  • Teachers may customize the Instructional Pathway for their classes by adding the suggested Close Reading, Writing, Foundational Skills and/or Language Workshops in each unit. The Planning the Unit section for each unit states, “Teachers can build customized pathways through this unit by making purposeful choices about which resources to use based on students' learning needs. The charts below outline a few possible pathways to show how teachers might integrate digital assessments, Language Workshops, Close Reading Workshops, and Writing Workshops into instruction. Additional planning resources—including detailed standards correlations—are available on SpringBoard Digital.” The section includes a list of workshops to assist teachers with constructing the best learning opportunities for their students. Teachers may assign these workshops to whole classes, groups of students, or individual students.
  • In the Teacher Wrap, the Edit On function allows teachers to make notes, edits, or revisions to lessons.
  • In Assessments, teachers may decide the types questions to include, the assessments to assign, and the format for completing the assessment. There is a mixture of multiple-choice, short answer, extended response, and essay writing questions. The digital assessments may be completed online or they may be printed.
  • The SpringBoard materials also offer additional products that work with the core materials. These include a Close Reading Workshop, Language Workshop, and Writing Workshop. In addition, there is an option to include Zinc, which is an additional source of materials that includes, but is not limited to, independent reading, fluency practice, test prep, and vocabulary instruction.

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 6 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.).

The materials provide numerous opportunities for students to collaborate with each other in the classroom and reference opportunities for collaborating via technology when appropriate. Limited opportunities for teachers to collaborate with students exist; however, the materials provide two opportunities for teachers to collaborate with their peers via technology. Teachers may collaborate with each other using SpringBoard Community which is linked on the teacher digital homescreen. They may also work together on professional development by using the Professional Development tab located on the teacher digital homescreen. The materials may also be added to Google Classroom via a button found on each digital page, providing potential opportunities for teacher to student collaboration.

Some examples include:

  • The SpringBoard Coordinators Manual provides details about the SpringBoard Online Community, which allows teachers to collaborate with other teachers utilizing the SpringBoard Materials. The materials state the Online Community is “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.”
  • On the digital platform, teachers have the capability to share the unit activities to Google Classroom which allows students to have access to collaborate with others.
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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 978-1-4573-1285-4 Teacher College Board 2021
National Edition English Language Arts Print Student Edition 978-1-4573-1292-2 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 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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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