Alignment: Overall Summary

Springboard Grade 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 meet the expectations for anchor texts are 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: making choices, using social media, and accessing an education.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students read an excerpt from the autobiography, Bad Boy, by Walter Dean Myers. This award-winning author explores an engaging and language-rich event from his childhood that led to personal growth. This excerpt serves as a model for the use of the writer’s craft of language.
  • In Unit 2, students read the article, “The Joy of Instagram” by Megan Garber. This high-interest article argues how taking pictures of special life events enhances those experiences. Since most students can relate to media platforms such as Instagram, students will be engaged in reading this text while also being exposed to the rich academic vocabulary that is present in the article.
  • In Unit 2, students read the speech, “Nobel Lecture” by Malala Yousafzai. In this well-known speech, the youngest Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai discusses the importance of access to education in all communities. Students will be interested and engaged in the text because it is written by an age-appropriate figure, and the text contains rich academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 3, students read the novel, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor. This thought-provoking novel provides an introduction to the unit’s theme: Choices and Consequences. The novel follows a middle school student, Paul, through a series of events where Paul and his fellow classmates ultimately suffer the consequences of their various choices.
  • In Unit 4, students read the poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost. This poem includes an illustration of the appearance of Robert Frost. This is a popular poem that many have previously heard. If students are not familiar with it, the activities help students unpack the text. Then students have an opportunity to practice rate, volume, pitch, and inflection with a poem that is familiar to them by that point.

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 7 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 60% literary to 40% informational ratio. For example, Unit 2 is entirely informational text focused, and Unit 1 and Unit 4 are mostly literary focused. Genres include, but are not limited to the following: speeches, articles, essays, short stories, novels, myths, and dramas.

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

  • Unit 1: “Arachne” by Olivia E. Coolidge (Greek myth)
  • Unit 3: Invictus by Clint Eastwood (film)
  • Unit 4: “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes (poem)
  • Unit 4: “Study Tips” by Mary Hall Surface (monologue)

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

  • Unit 1: “Decision Making Made Easy” (infographic)
  • Unit 2: “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth (speech)
  • Unit 3: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
  • Unit 4: “William Shakespeare” by The Shakespeare Globe Trust (informational text)

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 7 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 7 according to quantitative and qualitative analysis, and in relation to the associated student task. Some of the Grade 7 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 7. The range of Lexile levels in the Grade 7 materials is 590–1490L. Seven of the texts fall below the band, ten texts within the band, and ten texts above stretch band. Thus, 63% 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the overall quantitative levels are 590L–1250L. In this unit, students read personal narratives, myths, and folklore. In addition, students also analyze sensory details and figurative language in personal narratives, and explore plot structure and symbols while reading myths and folklore. Out of the ten texts included in the “Text Complexity Grade 7” document, five fall within the Lexile band; one is above the band; and four fall below the band. With those four that fall below the band, three of them are ranked as “low difficulty” qualitatively with the task demand being “Accessible-Understand.”
    • Activity 1.5: Text: Excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers. Lexile: 930L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
    • Activity 1.8: Text: “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Named Ashley?” by Imma Achilike. Lexile: 850L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task: Accessible-Understand.
    • Activity 1.15: Text: “Mbombo” from Voices of the Ancestors: African Myth by Tony Allan, Fergus Fleming, and Charles Phillips. Lexile: 1120L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
    • Activity Activity 1.15: Text: “From In The Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World” by Virginia Hamilton. Lexile: 1010L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
  • In Unit 2, the overall quantitative levels are 750L–1250L. Students read informational texts, news articles, and speeches, which are qualitatively and quantitatively accessible for students to navigate working across texts. Most texts fall in the appropriate Lexile band for Grade 7; 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.
    • Activity 2.2: Text: “How Kids Can Resist Advertising and Be Smart Consumers” by Caroline Knorr. Lexile: 1090L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
    • Activity 2.15: Text: “Should We Live Life, Or Capture It?” by Marcelo Gleiser. Lexile: 940L. Qualitative: Low Difficulty. Task: Moderate- Analyze.
    • Activity 2.14: Text “Ain’t I a Woman?” by Sojourner Truth. Lexile 750L. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task: Challenging- Evaluate
    • Activity 2.14: Text: “Nobel Lecture” by Malala Yousafzai. Lexile 830L. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task: Challenging- Evaluate.
  • In Unit 3, the overall quantitative levels are 680L–1490L. Students read a novel, poems, informational texts, and a song. Some texts are quantitatively and qualitatively accessible for students. However, no Lexile measures are provided for the novel and poetry which make up a great deal of the instructional sequence for the unit. Students spend time completing several moderate tasks with the novel, but without listing the qualitative measures and task demand for the text, it is difficult to determine if the relationship between text and student tasks creates a balanced level of complexity for students.
    • Activities 3.2–3.11: Text: Tangerine by Edward Bloor. Lexile: Not provided, Internet search shows 680L. Qualitative: Not provided. Task Demand: Not provided.
    • Activity 3.14: Biography: “The Nobel Peace Prize 1993, Biography of Nelson Mandela” from Nobel Lectures. Lexile: 1490L. Qualitative: Medium. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
  • In Unit 4, the overall quantitative levels are 680L–1320L. Students read informational texts, poetry, monologues, and a drama. While some texts are qualitatively and quantitatively complex for students, quantitative and qualitative measures for other texts fall below grade level. Tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through these tasks, students synthesize skills and knowledge learned over the course of the school year.
    • Activity 4.7: Text: “The Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath.” No author listed. Lexile: 1320L. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
    • Activity 4.11: Text: “William Shakespeare” by The Shakespeare Global Trust. Lexile: 680L. Qualitative: Low. Task Demand: Accessible-Comprehend.

Activities 4.11–4.15: Text: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. 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 7 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 independently. 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 1.5, the students complete a first read of an excerpt from Bad Boy, a memoir by Walter Dean Myers. The complexity level of this text quantitatively is a 930 Lexile (complex text) and qualitatively a “low difficult” text. The teacher is instructed to conduct a shared reading of the text for the first read. Students then return to the text and answer text-dependent questions independently.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, students complete a first read of the first four pages of the novel, Tangerine by Edward Bloor. Although not listed in the Teacher Wrap, the novel has a Lexile of 680 according to The Lexile Framework website. The Teacher Wrap instructs the teacher to complete a shared reading, and then have a discussion of the setting, characters, and initial events in the novel. Then students continue reading “Part 1” and complete double-entry journals and questions independently.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.14, students independently complete a first read of an excerpt from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. The Teacher Wrap suggests that the teacher leads a class discussion using the Knowledge Quest questions. Students will share any details they learned about the speaker. Then students work independently to reread the text and respond to the text dependent questions.

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 7 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 7.” 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, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor. 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 1.8, students read the personal narrative “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Named Ashley” by Imma Achilike. The Lexile level is 850L, which is below for Grade 7. As indicated in the materials the information provided is as follows: “...the qualitative measures indicate a low difficulty level, due to the intuitive structure and accessible vocabulary.” The task demands are accessible and focus on “...analyzing the use of figurative language, and descriptive details in this personal narrative.” The overall text complexity rating for this text is accessible.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.14, students read the speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” by Sojourner Truth, to analyze how the author uses rhetorical devices to develop her argument. The Lexile Level is 750L, which is below the Lexile Band for Grade 7. The qualitative measure is moderate due to its unconventional structure. The students also need to make inferences. The task is challenging and requires students to evaluate. Also, in this activity is a Knowledge Quest section that includes another speech that students will compare to Truth’s speech. Students explore how the authors develop arguments in each speech. The overall text complexity rating for this text is complex.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.14, students read an excerpt from the autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. The Lexile level is 1250L, which is above the Lexile Band for Grade 7. Other information provided is as follows: “...the qualitative measures indicate a medium difficulty level due to its complex levels of meaning and figurative language.” The task demands are accessible and focus on “..build[ing] students’ knowledge of Nelson Mandela...analyz[ing] two texts of different genres about the same topic, citing evidence to support their analysis.” The overall text complexity analysis for this text is complex.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.11, students read an information text, “William Shakespeare” by The Shakespeare Globe Trust. The Lexile level is 680L, which is below the Lexile Band for Grade 7. The purpose of including this text is to provide foundational information about William Shakespeare’s life to the readers before they begin reading his work. Other information provided is as follows: “...the qualitative measures indicate a low difficulty level, due to the conversational language and clear structure.” The task demands are accessible and the focus “..provides students with background knowledge about Shakespeare…”. The overall text complexity rating on this text is accessible.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.3, students read the poems, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni. No rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level is provided in the “Text Complexity Grade 7” document or in the Teacher Wrap.
  • In Unit 3, students read the novel, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor. No text complexity information is provided in the “Text Complexity Grade 7” document or in the Teacher Wrap. An Internet search shows the Lexile level is 680L which is below the appropriate Lexile level for Grade 7.

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 7 meet the expectations for anchor and supporting texts that 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 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 1.3, teachers read the poems, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni, aloud to students. Students respond to text-dependent questions in a whole class discussion and return to the poem to provide evidence for their responses. In Activity 1.4, students read the personal narrative, “The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas, in small groups. Students reread the text in small groups while responding to text-dependent questions. In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is urged to “move from group to group and listen in as students answer the text-dependent questions. If the students have difficulty, the teacher scaffolds the questions by rephrasing them or breaking them down into smaller parts. See the Scaffolding the Text-Dependent Questions boxes for suggestions.” In Activity 1.5, students do a shared reading of an excerpt of the memoir, Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers. Students reread the memoir independently to respond to text-dependent questions.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students read an informational text, titled “How Kids Can Resist Advertising and Be Smart Consumers” by Caroline Knorr. The teacher conducts a shared reading of the text. Then students reread the text in small groups and respond to the text-dependent questions. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are directed to “Move from group to group 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.” In Unit 2, Activity 2.3, students read an informational text, titled “Mobile Kids” by Nielsen. Students read the text in small groups using annotation for statistics and text features. Students reread the text with a partner and answer text-dependent questions. In Activity 2.4, students examine a variety of ads - print, online, and television - provided by the teacher. Students examine the ads and engage in activities to analyze the ads for the effectiveness of different persuasive techniques. In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, the students complete an assessment to write an essay that “explains the role of advertising in the lives of youths.” 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, the teacher introduces the novel, Tangerine, to students. As students read through the first few pages of the novel, they utilize the “question the text” strategy. In Activity 3.3, students complete a double-entry journal to keep track of the word choice the author uses to develop the tone of the novel. Students also complete a graphic organizer to track the evidence from the text that helps them write a literary analysis paragraph later in the unit. In Activity 3.4, students participate in a close reading activity in which they analyze the impact of flashback and foreshadowing on the text. In the Teacher Wrap, the teacher is directed to “Have students work with partners or small groups to skim/scan to find examples of foreshadowing in Tangerine and to note these on the chart. If students need help locating examples, focus them on a specific day, such as August 18 or August 30.” Students also begin drafting their literary analysis paragraph.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.6, students independently read the poem, “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf” by Roald Dahl. Then, students analyze the use of sensory language, poetic devices, syntax, dialogue, and diction within the poem. In addition, they compare and contrast the poem to the narrative story and identify the ways that Dahl includes comedy within the piece, helping teachers identify the students’ level of comprehension. In Activity 4.7, students independently read the informational text, “The Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath” (no author included). After reading, students summarize the poem and make inferences regarding the use of the word gentlemen, after being provided a historical context of the word. Based on the student responses to these questions, teachers can determine if students understand the gist of the text.

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 7 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 7 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 7 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, 1.12, “Returning to the Text,” after students read “Phaethon” by Bernard Evslin, they return to the text to answer text-dependent questions. For example, Question 2: "Look at paragraphs 22–23. How does the argument between the friends set the plot in motion? Cite details from the story to support your answers.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, “Teacher Wrap,” teachers are provided with guidance in planning and implementing text-dependent questions and activities. For example, with the text, “How Kids Can Resist Advertising and Be Smart Consumers” by Caroline Knorr, the teacher guidance states, “Remind them to use evidence in their responses,” and “If students have difficulty, scaffold the questions by rephrasing them or breaking them down into smaller parts.” A scaffolded text-dependent question provided is as follows: “In the first paragraph, the author states that many of today's ads don't look like ads. Why does the author think this is a problem? Use text evidence in your response. Skim the first paragraph. What do the ads look like if they don't look like ads? Why is that unfair? How would you feel if you learned that something's real purpose was deliberately hidden from you?”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.3, “Returning to the Text,” after reading “Mobile Kids” from Nielsen, students are instructed: “Return to the text as you respond to the following questions. Use text evidence to support your responses.” Students respond to questions such as: “What was the goal of Nielsen's ‘Mobile Kids’ survey? Explain using details from the article. Based on paragraph 2, what inference can you make about the intended audience? What details in the article support your inference?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.10, “Working with the Text,” while reading “To An Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman, students answer the following text-dependent question: Question 7: “Remember that the tone of a text describes its ‘feel,’ or the overall attitude it communicates to the reader. What is the tone of the poem? And what effect do meter and rhyme scheme have on the poem? Use text evidence to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.13, “Working from the Text,” students work in groups to perform a dialogue from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Act 1, Scenes 4 and 5. After the delivery of the presentation, students complete an activity entitled, Writing to Sources: Informational Text. In this activity, students complete the following: “Explain how you made choices about vocal and visual delivery to interpret your character in a performance. Be sure to: identify specific character traits that your character possesses; provide textual evidence of characterization: dialogue, thoughts, appearance, emotions, and actions; explain how you portrayed the character in your performance.”
  • In Unit 4, National ELA Grade 7 Unit 4 Part 2 Summary Assessment, students are required to answer the following text-dependent question on the assessment: “Based on the informative text “At The Theater,” which choice most likely describes what the actors would have looked like on a stage in Shakespeare’s time?”

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 7 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 7 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, Embedded Assessment 1, students write an informational essay and participate in a collaborative discussion. Students respond to the following prompt: “Your assignment is to write an informational essay that explains the role of advertising in the lives of youth and then to exchange ideas in a collaborative discussion.” Students gather evidence from texts read in class by answering a series of text-dependent questions in Activities 2.2-2.9. For example, in Activity 2.2 and 2.3, students read texts about advertising and respond to the following question: “How do advertising and technology affect young people? Use evidence from both texts in your response. What steps would you recommend kids like you take to reduce the influence advertising has on your choices?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.9, after reading Tangerine by Edward Bloor, answering questions about the text, completing a graphic organizer on conflict in the text, and evaluating a presentation’s effectiveness given by their teacher, students first write a literary analysis paragraph that describes the conflict contained within the subplot and how that relates to the main conflict. Then, they present that paragraph to a small group, ensuring that they maintain eye contact, use good volume, and follow the conventions of the English language. This activity helps prepare students for Embedded Assessment 1, Writing a Literary Analysis Essay and Embedded Assessment 2, Creating a Biographical Presentation.
  • In Unit 4, after several oral performances, students consider how writers and speakers use language for effect and to communicate meaning to an audience in Activity 4.8. This helps to prepare them to analyze Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and perform a dramatic dialogue in Activity 4.11. In Activity 4.11, students engage in a choral reading of the monologue. In Embedded Assessment 2, students “work collaboratively with a partner to plan, rehearse, and perform a dialogue from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.”

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 7 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 7 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, debate, group discussions, and Fishbowl. 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 the tasks are appropriate and connect to the standards required for Grade 7.

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. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.3, students respond to text-dependent questions after reading the paired poems “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers “facilitate student discussion of the text-dependent questions: “Returning to the Text: Guide students to return to the poems to respond to the text-dependent questions in a whole class discussion. Remind them to use evidence in their responses.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.5, students engage in a Fishbowl discussion where they consider specific advertisements and explain why they would buy certain brands over others. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers help students consider the roles of marketing and advertising in those decisions and then share the outer circle’s observations before having students switch circles. For teachers who are new to the Fishbowl discussion strategy, additional information to support teachers is found in the Resources area.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.15, after reading “Should We Live Life or Capture It?” by Marcelo Gleiser, students prepare an evidence-based argument to present in a debate with a group. Students are expected to use academic vocabulary that they have learned from the text. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers “urge students to use the collaborative discussion skills they have learned.” Also teachers are encouraged to have students use their listening skills by completing the following task: “During the debate, teachers have students record each speaker's argument, claims, reasoning, and evidence.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, teachers review the vocabulary contained in Word Connections. Teachers give students several new vocabulary words and guide them to determine their meanings. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are given suggestions to assess student’s knowledge, one of them being sharing their question to the text in their double-entry journal with partners, small groups, or the whole group. Students include textual evidence (summaries, paraphrases, and/or quotations) when answering. If students need more scaffolding, teachers can conduct a guided reading and model what students should do in their responses.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.3, students participate in a discussion around their understanding of the terms and concepts around Comedic Anecdote. After students watch a clip from the comic Jerry Seinfield, students record ideas about the intended audience and purpose, and as a class, craft the ideas into one central class statement about the audience and purpose. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with suggestions on ways to group students, encourage students to analyze and evaluate their assigned area on the Scoring Guide, and to utilize language of the Scoring Guide.

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 7 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 7 SpringBoard materials provide students with various opportunities to develop 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 learning by completing such tasks that include, but are not limited to, discussions, oral presentations, and writing groups. 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. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6, students participate in Writing Groups to get feedback on their writing. The goal of this activity is to “....work collaboratively to respond to one another’s writing and to help each other through the revision process by asking clarifying questions.” In the groups, they have a role, guidelines, and response starters. The teacher discusses the “Rules for Discussion,” including but not limited to “Listen attentively,” “Respond thoughtfully,” and “Keep comments and discussion focused on the writing drafts.” In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are prompted to circulate, monitor, and if needed, “Model how to build on others’ comments to facilitate discussion.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.8, students gather evidence from a news article and discuss their thinking with a partner. Students answer and discuss the Working from the Text and Returning to the text questions. Examples include: “What are some of the factors that make it attractive for companies to market to children? Cite text evidence that helps you answer the question.” and “What is meant by the phrase “tip the scale”? Use context to clarify the meaning.” Teachers move from pair to pair to check student understanding and support student growth in speaking and listening skills.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.15, students “orally present claims, relevant facts, and details.” Students are instructed, “Share your findings with your research partner or group. Prepare a brief summary of your findings to present to a larger group. When you present, be sure to: Present your claim and the evidence from your research in an organized way, including facts, details, and examples. Use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, clear pronunciation, and appropriate register.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.11, students analyze and present a choral reading of a monologue from Shakespear’s Twelfth Night. To prepare students for the presentation, teachers facilitate several activities to help build and monitor students’ speaking and listening skills, such as participating in class discussion and listening to and analyzing an audio recording of the monologue.

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 7 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 7 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 Independent Reading Link, Independent Reading Checkpoints, 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 1.6, students complete a timed writing to draft a narrative about a situation where they made a choice and the consequences of their actions for Embedded Assessment 1. They are instructed to do some prewriting and revising in this activity. In Activity 1.7, students revise the beginning by focusing on the lead. In Activity 1.8, students revise the middle of their story through a set of grammar activities and the looping strategy. In Activity 1.9, students revise the end of the story by examining the ending of three texts from the unit. Students revise independently and then ask their writing group for feedback.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.6, Writing to Sources, students complete the following: “Using information from one of your searches, write a paragraph summarizing the information you found about marketing to young people. Be sure to: use precise and formal language to present information, use transitions that create coherence, and include a concluding statement that explains why the source is credible, and if the source is also reliable.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2: Writing an Argumentative Essay, students “write an argumentative essay that states and supports a claim about an issue of importance to you.” Planning, prewriting, drafting, evaluating and revising, and checking and editing for publication are included in this writing task.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.14, Quickwrite, students complete the following activity: “Both suspense and foreshadowing affect the plot of a story. With your group, discuss how these techniques help the reader think about the conflict. Then write a quickwrite to capture your ideas and those of your group about how suspense and foreshadowing affect plot.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.15, students conduct research on Nelson Mandela using relevant digital sources. Students learn about evaluating Internet resources and annotated bibliographies. In the Independent Reading Link, students are given the following directions: “Apply what you have learned about bibliography annotations by writing an annotation of the text you are reading independently. After the annotation, include a statement about whether you would recommend the source for use in a research presentation. Explain why you think the source is reliable, credible, and a good choice for research on the topic. Draw upon specific details and information from your Independent Reading Log and Reader/Writer Notebook.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.15, Independent Reading Checkpoint, students complete a short, on-demand writing, responding to the following prompt: “Throughout the second half of this unit, you have selected plays and monologues to read independently. Select a character from your independent reading and describe how the playwright developed the character through dialogue and staging.”

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 7 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 7 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 and argumentative, Unit 3 focuses on informative, and Unit 4 includes narrative. These writing tasks include on-going writing activities and cumulative embedded writing assessments. The small on-going writing tasks, such as Quickwrites, Writing to Sources, or Writing Prompts 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, Activity 1.6, students engage in a timed writing for a multi-paragraph autobiographical narrative. Before writing, students work on a plan for the time they should spend on each part of the writing process as they work to craft the narrative. Specifically, they need to include the incident, the response, and their reflection about the choice made in the narrative. These requirements mirror the text, “The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas, which students read during Activity 1.4.
  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2: Creating an Illustrated Myth, students work with a partner to “create an original myth that explains a belief, custom, or natural phenomenon through the actions of gods or heroes. Be sure your myth teaches a lesson or a moral and includes illustrations that complement the myth as it unfolds.”
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.1-2.9, students learn about the informative mode and read example informational pieces, such as “Mobile Kids” from Nielson, to illustrate the elements of effective informative writing. In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, students engage in informative writing by responding to the following prompt: “Your assignment is to write an informational essay that explains the role of advertising in the lives of youth and then to exchange ideas in a collaborative discussion. For your essay, you may use as sources the articles in this unit and at least one additional informational text that you have researched.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2, students write an argumentative essay that states and supports a claim about an issue of importance to them. They experience the writing process of planning, prewriting, drafting, evaluating, revising, checking, editing, and publishing.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5, Writing to Sources: Informational Text, students complete the following task while reading, Tangerine by Sharon Creech: “write a literary analysis paragraph about one of the sibling relationships (Costello or Fisher brothers).” This task is done with a group to prepare for the Embedded Assessment which is a literary analysis essay.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.3, Narrative Writing Prompt, students complete the following task: “Draft an original monologue about a real or imagined comic holiday experience.” Additional instructions include to “Use specific language to communicate a humorous tone. Use narrative techniques and craft to tell the story and create interest.”

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 7 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 7 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 Writing to Sources and Narrative Writing Prompt, 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, argumentative, and narrative 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 1.12, Narrative Writing Prompt, students write a paragraph about either Phaethon or Apollo, making a claim about their characteristics and how those aspects of their personalities affect the plot. They are required to include at least two examples from the text to support their claim.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.8, Writing to Sources: Information Text, after watching The Myth of Choice and reading the article, “More Companies Market Directly to Kids” by Michelle Norris, ABC News, students complete the following task: “Using evidence from the film and article, write a paragraph in which you compare and contrast information in both sources.”
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2, students write an argumentative essay in which they assert their own claim about an issue of importance to them. Students gather information from sources to provide evidence to support their position.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students work collaboratively to create a multimedia presentation on a leader whose decisions have positively affected society. Students conduct their own research and determine how the information about the person’s character, actions, and/or speeches justifies the person as a great leader. Students use this evidence to support their ideas.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.5, Writing to Sources: Informational Text, students analyze text and provide evidence to support their claim when responding to the following prompt: “Based on your analysis of the poem, write a paragraph that explains the purpose and effect of ‘The Raven.’”

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 7 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 7 SpringBoard materials provide three types of grammar and conventions lessons: Language Checkpoints, Grammar and Usage, Language, and Author’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 Author’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. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. Students have opportunities to choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.8, Grammar and Usage, students complete three grammar exercises located before, during, and after reading “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Named Ashely?” by Imma Achilike. The first exercise focuses on compound-complex sentences. Student-facing materials provide an example of a compound-complex sentence from the text. Students answer questions regarding how the example conveys differing relationships among ideas. The next two exercises focus on the function of commas to set off phrases and clauses. The materials provide definitions and examples of independent and dependent clauses. Students then revise their narrative drafts, looking for clauses and using commas to correctly offset them.
    • In Unit 3, Activity 3.3, Language and Writer’s Craft, after the students learn about subordinating clauses in a detailed lesson, students practice their learning during the following task: “Find and highlight at least one subordinate clause in the sample literary analysis paragraph from earlier in this activity. Determine whether or not the subordinate clause is also a subordinate adverbial clause. Then review the literary analysis paragraph you wrote and revise it in your Reader/Writer Notebook, making sure it includes at least one subordinate clause. Experiment with different subordinating conjunctions to see how they change the meaning of your sentence.”
  • Students have opportunities to place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
    • In Unit 2, Activity LC 2.16, Language Checkpoint, students learn about placing modifiers, practice identifying modifiers, and then revise sentences with misplaced and dangling modifiers. Students revise several sentences and then read an example personal narrative, in which they identify the dangling and misplaced modifiers. Then they rewrite the sentences to correct the modifiers. Lastly, students practice writing sentences with modifiers by responding to the prompts such as: “Write a sentence about what happened when you got home from school yesterday. Begin your sentence with the word when.”
    • In Unit 4, Activity, 4.3, Grammar and Usage, students complete a lesson on dangling and misplaced modifiers. In the lesson, the concept is explained with examples and the materials also present ways to correct errors. Then students return to their monologue to “revise sentences that contain misplaced or dangling modifiers.”
  • Students have opportunities to use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore and old [,] green shirt).
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.8, Grammar & Usage, students receive the following information on commas: “Writers use commas to separate or set off different parts of a sentence. For example, commas are used to separate items in a series and independent clauses joined by a conjunction. They are also used to set off a quotation or an introductory word, phrase, or clause from the rest of a sentence. Additionally, they often separate two or more adjectives that describe the same thing. Commas are visual signals that tell readers to pause. Study the author's use of commas in paragraphs 5 and 6. Notice how each pause helps slow the pace of reading, allowing readers to understand how the different parts of a sentence work together to create an idea.” An example is provided in paragraph 6 in the following sentence: “You know, the ones they sell in the stores along with name-embossed sharpeners, rulers and pencil pouches.”
  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly.
    • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1, students write a personal narrative revisiting notes created in early unit activities. 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 correct spelling and grammatical accuracy?” Spelling correctly is also included in the Scoring Guide for this assignment. The expectation is that students create narratives that “contain few or no errors in spelling, punctuation, or capitalization..”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 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 7 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 7 materials are organized around the theme of choices. Each unit takes on a facet of this theme: Unit 1: The Choices We Make, Unit 2: What Influences My Choices, Unit 3: Choices & Consequences, and Unit 4: How We Choose to Act. Within each unit, texts are also connected to appropriate topics, such as advertising to kids and influential leaders. The texts included follow a logical sequence that scaffold students toward reading increasingly more difficult texts independently including stories, dramas, poetry, myths, 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.

Evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students explore the theme, “The Choices We Make.” Students read a series of literary texts including short stories, personal narratives, memoirs, poems, and myths to develop an understanding of how stories are created to reflect the concept of choice. Each text within the unit depicts characters that make notable choices that have a significant impact throughout the course of the story. This unit includes titles such as the following: Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers, “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost, “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni. The Planning the Unit page states that in the first half of the unit, students read texts that reflect personal narratives, and in the second half of the unit, they focus on more imaginative narrative writing skills in order to produce a personal myth that utilizes the skills they have developed throughout the unit.
  • In Unit 2, students begin by reading informational texts regarding advertising which directly relates to the theme of “What Influences My Choices.” The Planning the Unit page suggests that these readings prepare students about specific advertising techniques they will learn later in the unit. In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students read an informational text by Caroline Knorr, entitled “How Kids Can Resist Advertising and Be Smart Consumers.” In Unit 2, Activity 2.3, students read an informational text from Nielsen, entitled “Mobile Kids,” written to an audience of advertisers who are marketing to children. Students use the information learned from all texts to state and support a claim in their own argumentative essay.
  • In Unit 3, the texts are organized around the theme “Choices & Consequences.” The Planning the Unit page states that the first half of the unit is connected to the novel Tangerine, and the second half of the unit is focused on the life and work of Nelson Mandela. Students read a variety of texts, including a novel, a biography, an autobiography, poetry, a speech, a song, and informational texts which examine how the choices individuals make drives the consequences those choices have for not only themselves, but potentially entire nations.
  • In Unit 4, the texts are organized around the theme “How We Choose to Act.” In Activity 4.4, students read and analyze a trio of monologues, “The Paper Avalanche,” “Dreams,” and “Study Tips” all by Mary Hall Surface. Then they consider different performance techniques and present a monologue. In the second part of the unit, students read the play, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Connections are made with the literal definition of acting, and the choices that Viola makes acting as a man in the scene. After reading the play, students predict the reason she might have chosen to do this and the difficulties that might arise from her decision. In Embedded Assessment 2, the students “work collaboratively to plan, rehearse, and perform a dialogue from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. ” This is a culmination activity which connects to the theme of “How We Choose to Act.”

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 7 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 7 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, speeches, paintings, and plays, 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, Activity 1.3, students read the poem,“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. In Returning to the Text question 2, students are asked to identify the lines that name the factors that he considers while deciding and to explain the word diverged within the context of the poem. Students also read “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni. In Returning to the Text: Vocabulary Question 6, students offer examples of words that give a specific connotation, as well as, words and phrases with figurative meanings. Then, students examine the words trodden and satisfied contained within the poems and explain whether they have a more positive or negative connotation.
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, students read an excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers and analyze the language of the text. Students answer the following questions: “What is the metaphor in paragraph 14, and how does it help characterize Mrs. Conway? In paragraph 22, what word does the narrator use to describe his ‘Needs Improvement’ mark on his report card? What does that word choice convey to the reader?”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.14 students read a Nobel Lecture speech by Malala Yousafzai. In Returning to the Text question 7, students answer the question, “Find examples of cause-and-effect relationships in Yousafzai’s speech. How do they contribute to the overall tone of the text?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, students complete a graphic organizer to examine how setting influences the character and plot and affects the mood of a section of the novel Tangerine by Edward Bloor. In the Detail about Setting section, the students are asked the following questions: “How does the detail influence a character’s action or the plot?" (consequences) and “How does the detail affect the mood?” Then students complete the Writing to Sources: Informational Text activity in which they “write a paragraph that explains how the setting of Tangerine has influenced the plot so far. Students must: create a topic sentence about the setting; cite evidence from the text, such as details and quotations, to support your ideas; use transition words and a variety of sentence structures.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.2, students read “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and examine language, word choice, key details, craft, and structure by responding to several prompts, including: “Write a description of how the speaker gives the reader more information in each stanza, creating a complete explanation of the speaker's situation by the poem's conclusion. Each stanza in the poem ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’ is connected by rhyme. Using four different colors, highlight the words that rhyme with each other. Is there a pattern to the rhymes used? If so, what is it?”

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 7 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 7 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 1.3, students read the poems, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni. The questions that follow these poems afford students the opportunity to analyze each individual poem, as well as, the two poems together. Specifically, the questions focus on the choice the narrator must face in “The Road Not Taken” and how the narrator in “Choices” describes not having a choice. Finally, students are asked to respond to this question: “How do choices impact the narrators’ lives differently in ‘The Road Not Taken’ and ‘Choices’?”
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.15, 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: “With a partner, discuss the different explanations for natural phenomena you have discovered through your independent reading. Consider these questions: Was one natural phenomenon explained in different ways in different myths or folktales you read? What might each explanation tell you about the culture from which it came?”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.14, students reread two speeches, “Nobel Lecture” by Malala Yousafzai and “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth. Then using a graphic organizer, they find examples of rhetorical devices, such as parallelism and repetition, and the effects of those devices.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.10, in the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with guidance to scaffold text-dependent questions, and “Leveled Differentiated Instruction” for Developing, Expanding, and Bridging support while reading the poem, “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman. For example, question 5 is scaffolded by providing more guidance with more specific guiding questions: “What effect does the final stanza have on the poem as a whole? What is the final stanza about? Who is the speaker talking to? How is it different from previous stanzas? RL.7.5”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.14, students read a biography and an autobiography about Nelson Mandela to analyze across texts. Students respond to several questions including: “Compare the details of the Mandela biography with those of Mandela's autobiography. How does each interpret his mission once out of prison?” Students also complete a graphic organizer with the following prompt: “Based on the two different versions of Nelson Mandela's life that you have read, analyze how biographical and autobiographical sources emphasize different evidence and interpret facts differently. Also think about the benefits and limits of each. Make one observation in each section of the chart that follows and then add to or modify your response during class discussion.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.15, after reading an act from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, students look at multiple images form different productions of the play. Using the images, they complete a graphic organizer on the effects that costume, set design, and props have on the play.

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 7 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 7 SpringBoard materials provide culminating tasks for each activity and/or unit that are multifaceted and require students to demonstrate mastery of multiple grade 7 standards. Culminating tasks include, but are not limited to, writing an advertising analysis and engaging in a collaborative conversation and writing and performing a dialogue. 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 are working independently, in pairs, or in groups to access readiness and are provided with scaffolding support, such as guiding questions, if needed. The culminating tasks build to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge about the topic or topics of the unit and/or activity.

Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.14, students read “The Burro and the Fox.” At the end of the story, students consider what would happen if a friend was in a similar situation as the burro. They respond to specific questions in writing in their Reader/Writer Notebooks and then discuss the problems they identified, as well as the solutions with a partner. During the discussion, they practice articulating their thoughts clearly as well as listening to their partners ideas. At the end, students agree on a decision-making process that could be used to help both students’ friends. This activity demonstrates reading comprehension and enables students to apply what they have read in the story to real-life situations through writing, speaking, and listening.
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, students “write an informational essay that explains the role of advertising in the lives of youth and then to exchange ideas in a collaborative discussion.” Students demonstrate their knowledge about the role of advertising to kids through reading and researching, writing an informative essay, and having a collaborative conversation.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students “Work with a research group to create and deliver a biographical multimedia presentation of a great leader whose choices have had positive consequences for society.” Students demonstrate their knowledge about their chosen leader through reading and researching, writing about their poet from their research, orally presenting the information, and listening and responding to the group members throughout the project process.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, students “work collaboratively with a partner to plan, rehearse, and perform a dialogue from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.” In the Teacher Wrap, teachers are provided with the following suggestions for adaptation of the activity: “If students need additional help understanding the role of costumes in Twelfth Night, have them reread Act 5, Scene 1, and highlight the stanza in which Viola reveals her true identity. Have them summarize the event.” In the culminating task, 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 7 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 7 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 carry over 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, Word Connections section, students learn how to use the words’ etymology to gain a deeper understanding of their impact on the meaning of the text. In the Vocabulary section, students learn the vocabulary terms, glint and indicated, which appear in the Walter Dean Meyers’ Memoir Bad Boy. Students learn the terms before reading and deepen their understanding of the words throughout the reading of the text.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.6, Vocabulary section, the following vocabulary words are listed: “Academic: credibility, primary; [Content/Text Specific] Terms: supplement, foster, dismayed, embedded, deceptive, violated, simulate, secondary sources.” Students then read the informational text “Re: Advertising in the New York Times For Kids.” Before reading, the teacher provides the following instructions, “As you read, underline the reasons and evidence that are mentioned in the text. Circle unknown words and phrases. Try to determine the meaning of the words by using context clues, word parts, or a dictionary.” In Evaluating Sources, students work with additional terms: “You can evaluate both print and online resources using five separate criteria, including authority, accuracy, credibility, timeliness, and purpose/audience. Use a dictionary or work with your classmates and teacher to define each term in the graphic organizer that follows. Then add questions that you can ask yourself when evaluating sources based on this criterion.” Under Vocabulary, students receive definitions for primary and secondary sources. Students revisit the terms credibility, primary, and secondary sources in Activities 2.7 and 2.13 when working with more texts and conducting research for their information and argument writing tasks for Embedded Assessments 1 and 2.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.13, Word Connections, before reading several texts about Nelson Mandela students explore the definition of Apartheid. Then in Activity 3.16, students answer the question “What can we learn from studying the perspective of both the ruling party and the anti-apartheid movement?” In Activity 3.16 students examine several images and graphs relating to Apartheid.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.1, Developing Vocabulary, students complete a QHT sort for the following academic and literary vocabulary words in Unit 4: diagram, improvise, precise, structure, alliteration, assonance, consonance, dialogue, internal rhyme, monologue, pantomime, parody, persona, prose, verse. Throughout the unit, terms are interspersed through activities and texts and are called out in the vocabulary sidebar and the Vocabulary section. The vocabulary terms are also bolded and underlined within the texts. Students revisit the terms in Activity 4.8, reflecting on their command of the terms in another QHT sort.

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 7 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 7 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, a research multimedia presentation, and an argumentative essay. 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.1, in the Teacher Wrap, teachers are instructed to set up portfolios and Reader/Writer Notebooks with students. Additional detail is provided for both: “Reader/Writer Notebooks may be made up of student daily work that you don't want written in the SpringBoard book, including: extended quickwrites, freewriting, writing prompt responses, personalized spelling lists, vocabulary study. Portfolios hold work that show growth and mastery of standards and learning targets. They also give students a place to organize culminating work for sharing with others and provide an organized way to show growth over the unit and throughout the year.”
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.10-2.16, teachers provide students with instruction and prompts to prepare them for writing an argumentative essay for Embedded Assessment 2. In each of the seven activities, students are provided with texts to model their writing after, and/or are provided brainstorming and reflective prompts to provide scaffolding and support. Some of these tasks are as follows: use a SOAPSTone graphic organizer for their own writing after having completed one for Andrew Rooney’s essay as a model; review the research process and an infographic entitled “Research Plan for an Argumentative Essay”; use a think aloud to analyze the rhetorical devices found in Sojourner Truth’s and Malala Yousafzai’s speeches. 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 “Work with a research group to create and deliver a biographical multimedia presentation of a great leader…” To prepare for this task, students engage in lessons on Nelson Mandela where they examine song lyrics, film clips, biography, and autobiography. These different types of texts and mediums serve as models for the students’ reading tasks in Embedded Assessment 2. In the Teacher Wrap, after students complete Embedded Assessment 2, teachers are instructed to do the following: “Portfolio: Have students respond to the Reflection question on the same paper they used in responding to the Reflection question for Embedded Assessment 1. Then you might want to ask students to reflect on the skills and knowledge they gained as they worked to accomplish the tasks of the Embedded Assessment. What was most valuable for their academic future? What did they especially enjoy or find challenging?”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.5, in preparation for Embedded Assessment 1 (Creating and Presenting a Monologue), students write a monologue for one of the characters from “The Highwaymen.” Students are reminded to utilize writing skills they have honed throughout the year including: using diction, syntax, and punctuation for dramatic effect, varying the length and complexity of your sentence structure for effect, and sequencing information.

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 7 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 7 SpringBoard materials provide students opportunities to conduct multiple short and longer research projects spread across a school year and include a progression of research skills appropriate for the Grade 7. 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 an aspect of Nelson Mandela’s life before comparing the movie and the text, Invictus.

Some examples of “short” projects include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.13, students conduct a short research project: “Working with a partner, select a god or goddess. Conduct further research in order to create a “Missing” or “Wanted” poster for him or her.” Students utilize reading and writing skills to create a poster about the god or goddess. Students then present the poster to a group.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.15, students “... gather, compose, and orally present research about the life of Nelson Mandela.” Students work in a research group to research topics that relate to Nelson Mandela from a provided list. Then students individually complete a KWHL (Know-Want to Know-How to Find the Information-Learn) chart. Next, students brainstorm research questions, and one question is assigned to each person in that group. Afterwards, students find three different websites that could answer their research question and evaluate each source. Students choose the best source and record it for later use. Finally, the teacher models writing an annotated bibliography and has students practice creating one.

An example of a “long” project is:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.3, students begin a longer research project on the “influence of advertising on young people.” First, they create a plan for their research. Then they choose a topic. With guidance from the Teacher Wrap, the teachers help students write research questions and also consider their audience. Next, they “write at least five possible research questions. Then they evaluate their questions with a partner. In Activity 2.6, students engage in a lesson on evaluating sources for credibility and reliability. In Activity 2.7 and 2.8, students gather evidence from a film and a news article. Then in Embedded Assessment 1, students write an informative essay and are to use “ the articles in the unit and at least one additional informational text that you have researched.”

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 7 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 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 1.14 students read the fable, “The Burro and the Fox” by Angel Vigil. As they complete an independent reading of the text, they are instructed to pause and write questions they have in their “My Notes” section.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.10, Independent Reading Link, students establish their reading plan for the second half of the unit. Students are instructed: “You might consider reading famous speeches or informational texts about issues on which you have a definite position. Use your Reader/Writer Notebook to create a reading plan and respond to any questions, comments, or reactions you might have to your reading. You can also jot notes in your Independent Reading Log. Refer to those notes as you participate in discussions with your classmates about how the speeches or information affects the choices people make.”
  • In Unit 3, 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 3 include, but are not limited to, The Fault in Our Stars (850L) by John Green, Return to Sender (890L) by Julia Alvarez, and Cesar Chavez (930L) by Josh Gregory.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.5, 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 “Check students’ general comprehension of the text based on the observations and ask follow-up questions as needed.”
  • In Unit 4, students choose different dramas or monologues to read independently for the second half of the unit. Students select poems the poet has written, as well as things written about the poet, such as articles and biographies. In Activity 4.15, Independent Reading Checkpoint, students respond to the writing prompt: “Select a character from your independent reading and describe how the playwright developed the character through dialogue and staging.”

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 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 7 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 7 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The materials for Grade 7 contain four units containing 15-19 activities. The units are “The Choices We Make,” “What Influences My Choices?,” ''Choices and Consequences,” and “How We Choose to Act.” 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 to learn a skill from initially using models for instruction to finally completing tasks independently.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Instructional Pathways section, teachers are provided with several types of 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 26-30 day unit for a 50-minute instructional period.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students read “How Kids Can Resist Advertising and Be Smart Consumers” by Caroline Knorr to learn about advertising. In Activities 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6, students review a variety of advertisements and the claims and techniques used in advertising. In Activity 2.7, students watch a film entitled The Myth of Choice: How Junk-Food Marketers Target Our Kids and gather information about marketing to kids. Then, in Embedded Assessment 1, students write an informational essay and engage in a discussion regarding the media’s impact on consumers.
  • 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 the first half of the unit will have students “examining the structure of the novel.” Then students read to consider the use of setting, point-of-view and author’s language. The students complete a double-entry journal. Finally, they learn about locating and evaluating sources, and then create an annotated bibliography as they research a leader who has “made a positive difference in the world.”
  • In Unit 4, Instructional Pathways section, the table specifies that 36.5-41.5 class periods (50 minutes) should be allotted 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 four class periods are needed. This is an appropriate pacing for students to “Work collaboratively to prepare and present a scene from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.” 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 7 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 122.5-138.5 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 15-18 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 Unit 1, Instructional Pathways, English Language Arts Pathway, a total of 26-30 days are suggested for the unit. Twenty-one days are suggested for the 15 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 26-40 suggested days. Suggested Close Reading, Foundational Skills, and Writing Workshops are listed and detailed pacing information is provided for each.
  • In Unit 2, Teacher Wrap, Activity 2.3, students analyze informational text by reading “Mobile Kids” from Nielsen. The Teacher Wrap suggests the lesson will take two 50-minute class periods.
  • In Unit 2, Instructional Pathways section, there are several possible activity configurations Springboard recommends. The first recommendations include 33-37 days of instruction that include 16 activities from the main Language Arts program, two Language Checkpoints from the Language Workbook, and two Embedded Assessments. Another recommended Instruction Pathway for students who need extra language support includes a total of 33-47 days of instruction that include sixteen activities from the main Language Arts program, twelve activities from the Language Workshop, a Language Checkpoint and two Embedded Assessments.

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 7 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 7 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 reflection. All illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and other visual representations are correctly labeled.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.10, this activity unpacks Embedded Assessment 2 and gives students a preview of the second half of the unit on argument writing. Each activity in the second half of the unit focuses on elements of argument writing, including: claims, evidence, rhetoric and logic appeals, and acknowledging opposing claims. The prompt for Embedded Assessment 2 states “write an argumentative essay that states and supports a claim about an issue of importance to you.” Clear directions within the assessment lead students through the steps of Planning and Prewriting, Drafting, Evaluating and Revising the Draft, and Checking and Editing for Publication. A brief reflection also follows. The rubric for the assessment is provided on the page as well and provides clear explanations of score points for students.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.13, students watch three clips from the film Invictus by Clint Eastwood. Before viewing the clips, students are provided with the Learning Targets, Preview, and About the Film sections to provide context about the film. A clearly labeled photograph from the film accompanies the Setting a Purpose for Viewing section. Students answer several questions about information on the DVD packaging and the film clips. A detailed graphic organizer is provided for students to complete for each of the three film clips noting their questions about the characters, events, and setting of each clip. Students use these understandings to begin researching a great leader of their choice for their biographical presentation for Embedded Assessment 2.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.16, students practice gathering information from and making inferences with a variety of visual pieces, namely photographs, pie charts, posters, bar graphs, and timelines.
  • In the Close Reading Workshop, Activity 2, students conduct a close read of a map of the Underground Railroad. In the first read, the students are instructed to write a list of details they notice and then write questions they have about the map. For the second read, students make inferences about the map. Finally, the students make connections between their list and inferences.

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 7 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, 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 that assessment.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2, Teacher Wrap, the following writing standards are identified for the Creating An Illustrated Myth prompt: W.7.3, W.7.4, and W.7.5, as well as, W.7.3a-e, W.7.10, W.7.1, and W.7.2a.
  • 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 3, Activity 3.4, the focus standards provided are RL.7.1, RL.7.3, RL.7.6, W.7.2, and the additional standards that are addressed are RL.7.2, RL.7.4, W.7.2a, W.7.2b, W.7.5, W.7.9a.
  • In the Springboard digital platform, there are assessments including quizzes that align to 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 7 Activity 1.15 Quiz — Digital, the first question is considered hard difficulty, a D3-Thinking/Reasoning, B4-Analyze, and CCSS RL.7.3.
  • The 6-12 ELA Standards Correlations document states that Writing Standard 7.1 can be found in the ELA book for the following questions and steps of activities: Unit 2, pages 136–137, Writing to Persuade; Unit 2, page 143, Writing Process: Writing a Claim for an Argumentative Essay; Unit 2, page 155, Step 15, Argumentative Writing Prompt; Unit 2, page 167, Argumentative Writing Prompt; Unit 2, page 176, Argumentative Writing Prompt; Unit 2, page 180, Argumentative Writing Prompt; Unit 2, page 185, Embedded Assessment 2; and Unit 2, page 186, Scoring Guide. Links are also provided that lead directly to the page within the materials.

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 7 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 7 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 provides some graphics, mainly photographs, film clips, and graphics 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 engaging for students and has easy navigation in the platform. It provides appealing digital articles, novels, and other texts.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6, Timed Writing: Choosing a Topic and Drafting a Personal Narrative, students are able to view a chart of writing group roles that details the role, the guidelines for that role, and response starters that this role can use when communicating with their peers.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, What Influences my Choices, there is a graphic embedded in the informational article that students read.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, the materials display the Learning Targets and Preview in a light blue box at the top. Students read from the top of the page to the bottom for the sequence of tasks. Links are provided to learning strategies, and vocabulary. Charts and prompts allow students to type in an answer, add a link, or add an attachment. There is also the ability to do simple annotations such as highlighting. underlining, and starring. Color 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 4, Activity 4.2, students can view a picture of E.E. Cummings and then a picture of one of his poems, “maggie and milly and molly and may.”
  • In Zinc, the poem “Nikki-Rosa” by Nikki Giovanni has the text of the poem, a photograph, additional poems by Giovanni, 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 7 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 7 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.11, Teacher Wrap, Teacher to Teacher section, teachers receive the following information to help guide their instruction: “Students worked with these terms and used this same plot diagram in SpringBoard Grade 7. Use students' understanding of these terms as a formative assessment to guide your instruction, emphasizing the elements students are struggling to understand. Students begin working on creating myths.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.3, students learn to analyze informational text through reading “Mobile Kids” from Nielsen. In the Teacher Wrap, Teach section, teachers receive detailed guidance on presenting content, including instructions on conducting the first read, scaffolding text dependent questions, the second read, research, and vocabulary development. For example, the Teacher Wrap states, “After reading the text for the first time, have students form groups and briefly discuss the Knowledge Quest questions. Ask follow-up questions or prompt them to revisit sections of the article if needed before moving on to the text-dependent questions.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, Teacher Wrap, Adapt section, teachers receive suggestions to help students who are experiencing difficulty with the assignment. “If students need additional help creating a topic sentence and determining the differences between the two schools, have them work in pairs to fill out the Venn Diagram for Writing a Comparison graphic organizer.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.9, students study drama through analyzing “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. After reading, students “Select a line from one of the readings in the unit or from your independent reading. Create a mask with symbols and imagery to convey the tone of the quote. Include colors and other details that you associate with the emotion or attitude of your chosen quote.” In the Teacher Wrap, Teach section, teachers receive the following guidance, “Either in class or as a homework assignment, have students create their masks. Next, have students memorize their chosen quote. Note: If this activity is assigned for homework, you can invite students to find their own quotes online.”

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 7 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 7 SpringBoard materials include a Teacher 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 purposes for the activities. 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.

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

  • The Teacher Edition introduction provides teachers with an overview of all the features available for them. This introduction includes, but is not limited to, Instructional Pathways that provide guidance for 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 2, Activity 2.14, 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 examine the concept of logos. The Teacher Wrap includes guidance instructing teachers to ask students to “...think of other words that come from the Greek word logos. Students read the speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” by Sojourner Truth. The teacher prompts the students to “...mark examples of logos as they read.” The Teacher Wrap lists the claim made by Sojourner Truth, and where to have students focus on the support of her argument.
  • 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 3, Activity 3.7, students use the learning strategy “Double-Entry Journal.” In the Resources: Reading Strategies section for the “Double-Entry Journal,” the materials note that the strategy involves “Creating a two-column journal with a students-selected passage in one column and the student’s response in the second column.” The purpose is listed as “To assist in note-taking and organizing key textual elements and responses notes during reading in order to generate textual support.”

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 7 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 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 7 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 individual text-dependent questions. Additionally, the Introduction to SpringBoard English Language Arts provides connections across multiple grade levels through AP/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.

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

  • 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 2, the following SAT Connections are provided: “In this unit, students will practice many important skills that will help them succeed on the SAT and other college readiness exams, including: Recognizing and correcting inappropriate shifts in pronoun person and number within and between sentences. (LC 3.17), Recognizing and correcting problems with unclear or ambiguous antecedents. (LC 3.17), Recognizing and correcting lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent. (LC 3.17).”
  • 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 3, Activity 3.4, the Focus Standards listed are as follows: “RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). RL.7.6 Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text. W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.”

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 7 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 necessary skills that students need to build in order to be successful. The instructional design rationale is based on research-based strategies by leaders in the field of education.

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

  • In the Teacher Edition, on page xxi under Assessments, it states that the units are built to provide effective scaffolding for students as they prepare to complete 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 392, the Think-Pair-Share strategy is listed in the chart. The definition provided is as follows: “Pairing with a peer to share ideas before sharing ideas and discussion with a larger group.”
  • 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 that is 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 7 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 7 program. The online and print versions of the Teacher Edition Introduction contain a letter to students. The materials include a Family Letter in English and Spanish for each unit; however, the Family Letter is not available in Spanish in the print or online versions of the materials at this time. 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.

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

  • 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, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and Greek Gods and Heroes by Robert Graves 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 2, Activity 2.12, the Teacher Edition and Teacher Wrap state that the teacher should engage students in a think aloud to discuss how the author develops his argument using the SOAPSTone strategy. Instructions direct teachers to let students know that this strategy may lead them to focus on multiple elements simultaneously or one element more than another, helping to build their literacy skills by realizing that they are not required to address each element individually and equally.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1, the Teacher Edition and Teacher Wrap state that teachers should remind students of the various resources--including their peers and their parents--available to them to help them best edit their work, helping them progress with their writing skills.

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 7 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 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The Grade 7 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.

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

  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2, students “...write an argumentative essay that states and supports a claim about an issue important to you.” This assessment is graded using a standards-aligned rubric to measure the students’ development of ideas, structure, and use of language. In Unit 2, Activity 2.6 students learn to evaluate print and online sources using five separate criteria. In Activity 2.9, students learn about the structure of an informational essay and practice writing conclusions. In Activity 2.14, students analyze the effectiveness of a counterclaim and learn about the use of rhetorical appeals. The students engage in a variety of tasks including text-dependent questions and completing a graphic organizer. Then the students return to a body paragraph written in a previous lesson to “...add counterclaims, rhetorical devices and appeals to logic to strengthen your argument.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.13, teachers assess students on their viewing skills as well as their listening and speaking skills. Students view a film clip from Invictus and gather their observations on graphic organizers. In the Teacher Wrap, Assess section, teachers receive the following suggestions: “Review the students' Active Listening Notes graphic organizers to ensure they have answered the questions with specific details from the film.” After this process is complete, students use their notes to participate in discussions about their findings in the clip, while the teacher listens in to assess student progress toward gathering meaningful information from multimedia sources.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.3, students examine clips of a comedic monologue and analyze each for ideas, structure, and language. In the lesson, there are multiple points for assessing students' understanding. At the end of Activity 4.3, students complete a Narrative Writing Prompt to “Draft an original narrative monologue…” Later in the unit, they complete Embedded Assessment 1, which requires the students to use their learning to “....write and present a monologue about a topic that sparks a strong emotion….” In the Teacher Wrap, Assess section, the materials include the following suggestions: “Review students' responses to the writing prompt to ensure they understand how to use narrative techniques. Look for logical sequences of events and specific language that communicates a humorous tone. Also, check that students have noted where they should use movement, facial expressions, and changes in intonation to enhance their performances.”

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 7 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).

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

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2, students create an illustrated myth. The Teacher Wrap includes these Focus Standards and their associated full text: W.7.3, W.7.4, and W.7.5. Additional Standards W.7.3a, W.7.3b, W.7.3c, W.7.3d, W.7.3e, W.7.10, L.7.1, and L.7.2a are listed without their associated full text.
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 1, students write an informative essay and participate in a collaborative discussion. The Teacher Wrap lists the Focus Standards as W.7.2, W.7.5, and SL.7.1. The Additional Standards listed are W.7.2a, W.7.2b, W.7.2c, W.7.2d, W.7.2e, W.7.2f, SL.7.1a, SL.7.1b, SL.7.1c, SL.7.1d, and L.7.2.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, students answer two questions aligned to standards RL 7.1 and W 7.2 during an Activity Quiz. The Activity Quiz includes a link to the full text of the standard.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.7, students read “The Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath” (no author cited) and answer text-specific questions. These Focus Standards along with their associated full text are listed: RL.7.4, RL.7.9, and W.7.3.

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

The Grade 7 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 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1, students revise a personal narrative. 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 narrative to aid in scoring. The Focus Standards for this activity are listed as W.7.3, W.7.3c, and W.7.5. For follow-up, students reflect on their work by answering the questions provided in the text and place the final draft and the reflection in their portfolios.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, students engage in learning about advertising techniques. At the end of the Activity, they complete a Check for Understanding task. “Select one of the advertisements you identified in Step 4. Write a thesis statement that explains how the advertisement tries to influence its target audience.” In the Teacher Wrap, the directions guide teachers to “...look for [students] to identify a persuasive technique, a cause and effect relationship, and an opinion as to why a particular technique was used.” In the Adapt section, teachers display a model of a good thesis and facilitate a class discussion on the reason it is successful. Then teachers have students go back and revise their thesis.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2, students create a multimedia presentation about a great leader. 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 presentation to aid in scoring. The only Focus Standard for this activity is SL.7.6, but there are two Additional Standards addressed as well, W.7.2 and W.7.7. In addition to teachers evaluating students, students conduct a peer evaluation. Students give their presentations, share their comments, and reflect on their projects using provided questions, while working in groups. Then, students must determine which materials should become a part of their portfolio for the year.
  • In Unit 4, End of Unit Assessments, the digital platform includes two digital assessments comprising a text and fifteen multiple choice questions. Each question also includes metadata for the teacher. The metadata includes the difficulty level, DOK level, Bloom’s Level and CCSS alignment. However, no guidance is provided on interpretation or suggestions for follow-up steps.

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 7 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, students complete a first read of an excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers. The Teacher Wrap includes guidance to monitor student understanding of the text: “Monitor students’ engagement with the text as you read. Be sure they are annotating the text and noticing the multiple incidents in the story.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.16, students write an essay for Embedded Assessment 1. In the Assess section of the Teacher Wrap, teacher directions include: “Check to see that students are able to identify the components of an introduction and conclusion both while reading the model text and in their own writing. See the indicators in the “'Be sure to' statements and the outline format.”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.9, students analyze how the conflicts in the novel shape the plot and subplot. In the Teacher Wrap, the materials include the following information for teachers to assess students effectively: “Review students' journal entries to be sure students are accurately identifying Part 3 conflicts and subplots and making reasonable predictions. Check students' literary analysis paragraphs to look for a clear topic sentence describing the conflict, supporting evidence from the text, and use of active voice with a variety of sentence structures. As you review students' paragraphs, also check to ensure understanding of the story's subplot and how it reflects the main conflict.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.13, students read Scene 4 from Act I from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and answer text-specific questions after reading. In the Teacher Wrap, teachers guidance to monitor student progress includes: “Move from group to group 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 7 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The Grade 7 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.”

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

  • 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 included are as follows: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan, and The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.18, students receive the following instructions during an Independent Reading Checkpoint: “Use your independent reading notes to list three facts you have learned about Nelson Mandela and three facts you have learned about the subject of your independent reading text.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.1, the Independent Reading Link provides students with the following instructions to create their reading plan for the unit: “During this half of the unit, you will read and create monologues. For independent reading, choose a work of fiction written from a first-person point of view. Preview possible choices by reading a few pages to make sure the text is interesting to you. Use your Reader/Writer Notebook to create a reading plan and respond to any questions, comments, or reactions you might have to your reading. Also, you can jot notes in your Independent Reading Log.”
  • 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 7 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 7 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the 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.

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

  • 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 coherence/cohencia and myth/mito.
  • 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.
  • 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 3.4, students compare and contrast the two characters in the text they are reading. In the Teacher Wrap, there is a section labeled Leveled Differentiated Instruction, which gives the teacher suggestions on how to differentiate this activity. For example, the Developing instructions state, “Have students use the completed Venn diagram to write a comparison using comparison sentence frames. For Bridging, the instructions are “Have students use the completed Venn diagram to write longer original sentences to compare the two characters using words such as both, similarly, like and unlike. Have them include details from the text in their sentences.”
  • The Teacher Wrap includes specific prompts to scaffold each activity’s text-based questions. For example, in Unit 4, Activity 4.5, Question # 3 asks students “How does the speaker describe his mood in lines 7-12 of the poem? What can you infer about the cause of his mood?” In the Scaffolding the Text-dependent Questions section of the Teacher Wrap, teacher guidance includes the following verbiage to support students: “From what feeling does the speaker want relief? What is causing this feeling? What can you infer about Lenore?”

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 7 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, 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 2, Activity 2.12, the Adapt section contains suggestions for teachers to use to help those who are struggling with using SOAPSTone. First, teachers offer students another opportunity to use the SOAPSTone technique with another text that they have already read and are familiar with. Also, if needed, teachers can review a claim with the class.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.3, the Teacher Wrap section includes the following considerations for teachers of English Language Learners: “If students need additional help identifying a choice a character made, have them work in pairs to revisit and discuss the notes they made in their double-entry journals.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.2, the Adapt section includes support for students who are having difficulty connecting how an oral presentation of the poem affects the listeners. Students may work in pairs to read the poem to each other. Then, students may share something that they learned from the oral interpretation that they had not noticed during their silent reading of the text. Also, if students are having difficulty comparing and contrasting, teachers may provide them with a Venn diagram.

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 7 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 to provide more advanced opportunities for students above grade level are not provided.

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

  • 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 2, Activity 2.7, the Teacher Wrap provides an extension activity for students in the Teacher to Teacher section. The materials state, “You can extend students’ learning by sharing additional short films or audio podcasts about advertising to youth. Have students use the same graphic organizers to analyze, respond to, and discuss the films.”
  • In Unit 3, Planning the Unit, Suggestions for Independent Reading, three titles of the thirty-four titles included have a Lexile measure that is at or beyond the recommended stretch band for Grade 7.
  • In Unit 4, Leveled Differentiated Instruction in the Teacher Wrap includes Extend suggestions three times. In Activity 4.5, Teacher Wrap, Leveled Differentiated Instruction, Extend, students write an additional stanza in their poem. In Activity 4.9, Teacher Wrap, Leveled Differentiated Instruction, Extend, students write a poem in addition to the work in the activity. In Activity 4.12, Teacher Wrap, Leveled Differentiated Instruction, Extend, students write and then perform additional lines to a play.

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 7 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The Grade 7 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2, the Teacher Wrap provides teachers with the following instructions: “Form groups of four and assign one quote to each group. Give the groups a set amount of time to define unfamiliar words using either print or digital resources. Then have student groups complete the graphic organizer on the next page by paraphrasing the quote, brainstorming and listing examples from life and literature that support the speaker's ideas about challenges, and voting as a group to categorize the quote as an obstacle, a difficult task, or an opportunity.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, students participate in a collaborative discussion of a text and video. The groups receive guidelines such as “Be alert, use appropriate eye contact and engage with your partner” and “Paraphrase comments from other group members to ensure understanding” to use during the discussion.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, students participate in literature circles to improve their active listening and collaboration skills. This activity serves as a prerequisite for the novel study to ensure students are knowledgeable about working effectively in literature circles since they will follow this format through the novel study. Collaborative Strategies in the Resource section of the materials includes the following information about Literature Circles: “Definition: Groups of students read the same text to participate in a mutual reading experience; based on the objective(s) of the lesson, students take on a variety of roles throughout the reading experience; texts may be selected based on individual preferences or on the demands of the text. Purpose: To provide opportunities for students to interact with one another as they read, respond to, and interpret a common text.”
  • In Unt 4, Activity 4.10, guidance in the Teacher Wrap instructs teachers to “Assign different summaries to pairs of students to role play and to prepare an improvisational performance. Point out that their lines do not need to be written down or memorized and that they can change every time they rehearse.”

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 7 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 7 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 7 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 Bookshelf. The materials did not function well on the Microsoft Edge browser.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 7 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.7, students use technology by viewing film clips, such as The Myth of Choice: How Junk-Food Marketers Target Our Kids (no author cited). Students evaluate the purpose and credibility of the information presented in the film.
  • In Unit 3, Teacher Wrap, the Teacher to Teacher box for Activity 3.5 suggests that students first type their own paragraphs and then create a collaborative essay using Google Docs or a similar tool.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.7, after reading “The Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath” (no author cited) and other texts, the Independent Reading Link includes this student task: “You can continue to build your knowledge about highwaymen by reading other articles at ZINC Reading Labs. Search for keywords such as highwayman or heroes.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.10, students use technology to find images and text relating to Twelfth Night.

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 7 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 7 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 accordingly. For example, in Unit 2, Activity 2.6, the Teacher Wrap states, “If students need additional help understanding how to evaluate their sources, guide them as they use the questions in the graphic organizer to evaluate two sources for a topic for which they have prior knowledge. For example, consider using two reviews of an electronic device, one from a reputable organization that offers unbiased reviews and another from a person who recently bought the device.” There is no way to add the additional practice to the lesson, so teachers would need to have a blank copy of the graphic organizer and locate the sites beforehand.
  • The Teacher Wrap includes the ability for teachers to add notes or materials by clicking on the Edit or Add Section links in the Teacher Wrap.
  • 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 and annotating, 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 7 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Grade 7 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 7 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.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 978-1-4573-1286-1 Teacher College Board 2021
National Edition English Language Arts Print Student Edition 978-1-4573-1293-9 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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