Alignment: Overall Summary

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The Springboard Language Arts Common Core Edition 2018 materials for Grade 6 partially meet the alignment expectations. The materials include appropriately rigorous texts to engage students in reading and writing as well as working to build research skills. Tasks and questions provided offer students practice in academic speaking and listening as well as comprehensive writing skills development over the course of the school year. The materials partially meet the expectations of growing students' knowledge and academic vocabulary as they engage with increasingly rigorous texts and tasks. Supports for research, overall writing, and independent reading is present.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
33
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
26
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The SpringBoard Grade 6 instructional materials meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and that support students’ advancing toward independent reading. The materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

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.
20/20
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. The materials include an appropriate distribution of texts suggested in the CCSS for Grade 6. In addition to literary texts, the program supports student access to strong informational texts. Anchor texts within the materials are of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Over the course of the year, materials support students’ increasing literacy skills through a series of texts at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for Grade 6. The materials are accompanied by text complexity analyses and rationales for purpose and placement in the grade level, and the program’s anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. The reading selections include published texts, excerpts from published texts, and published authors. Texts are suitable for multiple examinations for multiple purposes, such as building academic vocabulary, gaining content knowledge, and facilitating access to more complex future texts. Texts offer personal perspectives on a variety of topics. Literary texts avoid stereotypes and one dimensional characters, representing instead a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Texts would meet a variety of student interests.

Examples of texts that demonstrate high quality include:

Unit 1

  • Dan Gutman, My Superpowers
  • Gary Soto, The Jacket
  • Langston Hughes, “Thank you, Ma’am”
  • Sandra Cisneros, “ Eleven”
  • Walter Dean Myers, “ The Treasure of Lemon Brown”

Unit 2

  • Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons
  • John Steinbeck, excerpt from Travels With Charley

Unit 3

  • Lisa Ling, “Most Dangerous ‘Sport’ of All May be Cheerleading”
  • John Adams, excerpt from “Letter on Thomas Jefferson”

Unit 4

  • Judith Viorst, The Southpaw
  • Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky”
  • William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Texts are of varying lengths and formats, and include poems, essays, articles, films, editorials, myths, novel excerpts, short stories, editorials, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. Over the course of the year, the program achieves a balance of time spent interacting with both literary and informational texts.

Texts reviewed for Grade 6 encompass a full spectrum of genres, ranging from Greek mythology to online news articles. Additionally, materials call for the use of film and video clips, incorporating a variety of media.

Examples of text types and genres include:

Unit 1 includes personal narrative, novel excerpt, short story, comic strip, picture book, fairy tale, poem. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez
  • “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • “Daedalus and Icarus” by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
  • “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” by Chris Van Allsburg

Unit 2 includes novel, film clip, biography, autobiography. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • “Farewell to a Faithful Pal” by John Grogan
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
  • Dogs Make us Human by Temple Grandin

Unit 3 includes editorial, opinion, speech, letter. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • "Should Dodgeball be Banned in Schools?" by staff of TIME for Kids
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams
  • “Print Almost Anything” by Stephen Ornes
  • “The First Americans” by Scott H. Peters

Unit 4 includes poetry, drama, play, short story, film. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • “Shakespeare’s Life” The British Library
  • “The Southpaw” by Judith Viorst
  • “Limericks” by Edward Lear
  • “Oranges” by Gary Soto
  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.

Indicator 1c

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

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

Quantitative tools (Lexile) measured dimensions of text complexity such as word frequency, sentence length, and text cohesion. According to CCSS standards, the suggested Lexile levels for grades 6-8 are 925-1185. Texts in these materials range from 660-1390.

Qualitative tools measure such features of text complexity as text structure, language clarity and conventions, knowledge demands, and levels of meaning and purpose that are evaluated by educators. The qualitative measures for Grade 6 materials include an appropriate mix of low, moderate, and high difficulty. While some texts might seem above the grade level expectations in quantitative measure, the qualitative features of texts that fall above or below the text complexity band merit their placement.

The demands of the accompanying student tasks range from low to challenging in their difficulty and demand difficulty correlates to complexity of text. More challenging texts may have lower difficulty task demands. Conversely, an accessible text may be paired with a challenging task.

Examples of texts with appropriate text complexity include:

In Unit 1, five of six anchor texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, indicating the upper range of suggested Grade 6 complexity.

  • Activity 1.2: Text: “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez. Lexile-1020. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
  • Activity 1.3: Text: “Daedalus and Icarus" by Geraldine McCaughrean. Lexile-750. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.

In Unit 2, three of four anchor texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, indicating the upper range of suggested Grade 6 complexity.

  • Activity 2.16: Text: “Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck. Lexile-800. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
  • Activity 2.17: Text: "Saying Farewell to a Faithful Pet” by John Grogan. Lexile-1100. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.

In Unit 3, eight of eleven anchor texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, the remaining three texts have an overall text complexity analysis of very complex.

  • Activity 3.6: Text: “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams. Lexile-1010. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze
  • Activity 3.11: Text: “The First Americans” by Scott H. Peters. Lexile-1000. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Challenging-Evaluate.

In Unit 4, three of four anchor texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex to very complex.

  • Activity 4.8: Text:”The Southpaw” by Judith Viorst. Lexile-660. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Moderate-Analyze.
  • Activity 4.3: Text: “Shakespeare’s Life” by The British Library. Lexile-1390. Qualitative: High. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.) Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.

Texts support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. The overall reading and writing demands gradually increase in complexity and challenges over the course of the school year as they incorporate previously-taught components and move students to synthesize literacy skills.

Students progressively build literacy skills through work with a variety of texts over the course of the school year. Texts sets are at various complexity levels, quantitatively and qualitatively, and therefore support learners as they develop literacy skills and background knowledge to support independent and proficient reading practices.

The overall reading and writing demands start at an accessible range in Unit 1 and gradually increase in complexity and challenges over the course of the school year. This range includes measures of quantitative and qualitative demand. In Unit 1, five of six texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, using qualitative and quantitative measures, indicating texts are in the upper range of suggested 6th grade complexity. In Unit 2, three of four texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, using qualitative and quantitative measures, indicating texts are in the upper range of suggested 6th grade complexity. In Unit 3, eight of eleven texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, using qualitative and quantitative measures indicating texts are in upper range of suggested 6th grade complexity. The remaining three texts have an overall analysis of very complex. In Unit 4, three of four texts have an overall text complexity analysis of complex, using qualitative and quantitative measures indicating texts are in upper range of suggested 6th grade complexity.

Further student supports online allow students to access texts audibly. Print and online student editions provide grammar handbooks, explaining language standards, as well as a variety of reading and writing strategy explanations. The print and online teacher edition contains these resources as well, along with teaching tips, resources, and suggestions, such as extra grammar lessons, Teacher to Teacher tips, and adapt and extend opportunities for ELL, struggling, and advanced students. There are multiple opportunities during collaborative discussions, Literature Circles, and class presentations to practice speaking and listening skills.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The core texts, and series of texts connected to them, are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement at grade level. The publisher includes a complete “Text Complexity Analysis” for each text used. This document includes a text description, a locator for where it is used, a section on context, a chart of the quantitative and qualitative measures, the qualitative considerations, the task and reader considerations, and the placement considerations.

In the online Teacher Edition, a complete text complexity analysis and rationale for that text's inclusion in the program is available. Included in the text analysis is the following: a paragraph setting the context of the reading within the rest of the unit; a quantitative/complexity measure; qualitative considerations including purpose/levels of meaning, structure, language and knowledge demands; as well as task, reader, and grade level placement considerations.

In the forward of the print Teacher Edition, an explanation of the metrics used for text complexity measures is provided. Quantitative measures are indicated with Lexile scores. Qualitative measures are indicated as "High," "Moderate," and "Low" difficulty and were determined by teachers considering meaning, purpose, structure, language, and knowledge demands of each text. Task difficulty was measured using Anderson's and Krathwohl's taxonomy based on the cognitive demands of tasks associated with the text.

At the beginning of each unit, the Teacher Edition lists rationale for materials included in the “Planning the Unit” section through Context, College Readiness Standards, and Instructional Practices and Pacing. When texts appear to fall below the grade 6-8 level band, a rationale is provided for justification. In the Print Teacher Edition, Text Complexity Icons and information appear as sidebars alongside the beginning of all prose text in Grade 6 student and teacher editions.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

There are numerous opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts throughout the year. Furthermore, students are given many opportunities over the course of school year to practice oral and silent reading fluency, and self-monitor their progress. Materials include a breadth and depth of text types. Student and Teacher Editions contain an extensive list of suggested fiction and nonfiction texts, correlated to each unit’s theme, along with Lexile level, in the front of each unit. Students are instructed at beginning and midpoint of each of four units to select a text from the list, or a similar one of their own, corresponding to unit’s theme. Students keep a Reader’s/Writer’s Notebook through the course of the year’s study. There, they record connections between anchor text and text selected for independent reading. The journal also serves as a repository for self-reflection on the success of reading strategies employed; multiple reading for multiple purposes, rereading, visualizing, and summarizing. The texts provide ample opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading. Additional support is given to struggling readers and English Language learners, as well as extension opportunities for those reading above grade level. Online programs include Desmos and Link, and all selections are available as audio versions for practice of oral fluency.

There are numerous opportunities for students to engage with a range and volume of texts throughout the year both in print and in mixed media. Suggested independent reading texts and support texts, when combined with anchor texts, provide a robust collection of opportunities for students to read broadly and deeply. Texts range in length and form from online articles to plays and novels.

Activity 1.3 in Unit 1 introduces students to independent reading expectations. “Use your Reader/Writer Notebook to create your reading plan and respond to any questions, comments, or reactions you may have to your reading. Your teacher may ask questions about your text, and making notes in your Reader/Writer Notebook will help you answer them.” Students are also asked to record their reading pace in their notebook, monitoring and recording growth.

Access to text is available through a variety of methods. The Teacher Wrap on Springboard Digital gives suggestions and options for instructors to monitor student reading growth by employing reading strategies such as grouping students or reading aloud difficult passages. The Teacher Wrap in Unit 1, Activity 1.5, gives these instructions: “Based on the complexity of the passage and the knowledge of your students, you may choose to conduct first reading a variety of ways; independent, paired, or small group reading, or teacher read aloud. As students are reading, monitor their progress. Be sure they are engaged with the text. Based on the observations you made during first reading, you may decide for the second reading to read aloud certain complex passages, or you may group students differently.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
13/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the CCSS with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text. The materials contain sets of high quality, sequenced, text-dependent, and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks are rich and varied, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing over the year. The 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, and most materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. The instructional materials also include instruction of grammar and conventions and are applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts with opportunities for application context. The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing ; short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where appropriate; and frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate to the grade level. The program provides a variety of opportunities for students to write in the modes of argument, explanation, and narrative with writing assignments connected to texts and/or text sets.

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 for Grade 6 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, and require students to engage with the text directly. The questions and tasks require the students to draw on textual evidence, and often support students working with questions that ask students to make inferences.

Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent writing, speaking, and other activities. Every anchor and supporting text has a Second Read component that asks students to look at a particular section of the text and complete a text-dependent activity. Questions students have about the text are recorded daily in students-required Reader’s/Writer’s notebook. The Teacher Wrap in both online and print teacher’s editions provides extensive guidance to teachers. Students record, revise, and edit their responses digitally with online text, and are encouraged to use digital tools such as Highlight, Note, Mark, Annotate, and Question to help with understanding. Further support is provided to students digitally through Zinc and Desmos.

  • In Activity 1.2, students read “The Circut” by Fransisco Jimenez and are asked, “ On page 6 and 7, Jiménez describes the family’s departure. What do the details of the family’s departure help you understand? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.” There are additional Scaffolding the Text-Dependent Questions such as, “How does the ending to this story reinforce your understanding of the life of migrant workers? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer. To support students in answering this question, review the sequence of events for this narrative. How did it begin and how is the ending similar?”
  • In Unit 2, students read the novel, Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, or an optional novel of the teacher’s choice. The culminating task for the unit asks students to pick from the following writing prompts: "Explain how internal or external forces cause one character to grow or change; Identify one subplot from the novel and explain how it relates to the main subplot of the novel; Describe one setting from the novel and explain why it is important to a character or plot; or Discuss how plot, setting, characters, or conflict contributes to one of the novel’s themes."
  • In Activity 3.4, students read the text, “Most Dangerous ‘Sport’ of All May Be Cheerleading” by Lisa Ling and Arash Ghadishah. Students are asked questions such as, “ What kinds of evidence do the authors use in the beginning of this article to convey the idea that cheerleading is dangerous?” and “How do the comments from cheerleaders in paragraphs 13–17 contribute to the idea that cheerleading should have uniform safety and training standards?”
  • In Activity 4.11, students read the text, The Millionaire Misor by Aaron Shepard and are asked questions such as, "At the end of the story, how does Sushil feel about Nirmala making dumplings for the entire town?" and "Which details in the drama show the reader how Sushil feels? What is the story’s theme? Choose details from the text (e.g., events) and explain how they contribute to the development of the theme."

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

The following are samples representative of the Embedded Assessments in the Grade 6 resources. Skills development, particularly in writing, is strong. Materials refer to culminating tasks as Embedded Assessments. Students are exposed to the demands of these assessments at beginning and midpoint of each unit, and there is extensive support throughout the unit for students at all levels. Culminating tasks connect with texts consistently, although the central focus of these productions does not always privilege the learning within the texts. Connections to the texts studied are not always explicit or robust:

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1.2: Write a short story. This culminating task is supported by activities that require students to use textual evidence in the analysis of characterization, story and plot elements, and theme. Students also work to create text in response to various writing prompts and demonstrate command of short story techniques, sequencing, and language. After analyzing short stories, students create their own. While this task is connected to the skills of the unit, the materials do not make explicit connections between the assessment and the associated texts.
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2.1: Write an expository response to literature that addresses a given prompt. This task is supported through a variety of text-dependent activities, such as the writing of paragraph responses to prompts; use of a double-entry journal to practice recording textual evidence to support their analysis of character, plot, subplot, and setting, as well as make meaning from text; close reading activities and strategy focus; and collaborative discussions about literature using Literature Circles. To hold students accountable, the Teacher Wrap suggests that teachers decide how and when they will monitor students’ journal writing and to check periodically for completion. Other suggestions and practices suggested in Teacher Wrap: Check students’ graphic organizers to evaluate if students are identifying key plot events and making reasonable predictions about character change; Assess students’ understanding of how the setting relates to the theme of the novel by checking students’ writing prompt responses; Monitor collaborative discussion and assess the students’ ability to provide detail from the text in response to questions.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 3.1: Research and Debate Controversy. Students are supported to complete this culminating task through their prior selection of independent reading on a controversial issue, their identification of a writer’s claim and reasons for or against an issue, and their practice presenting information and supporting evidence.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 4.1: Research and Present Shakespeare. Students are able to complete this culminating task through activities that focus on learning about Shakespeare and his plays. Tasks include debating about the importance of teaching Shakespeare in school, using evidence from texts to support their claim, analyzing information about Shakespeare and his society, analyzing language by looking at quotes from various plays and poems, and presenting information.

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.)
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Students are provided opportunities for collaborative discussion using pair-share, small group discussion, jigsaw, whole class discussion, and Socratic seminars; however, discussion protocol and clear teacher guidance is not evident. Strategies are listed and defined. There is little guidance or direction for teachers and students. Strong guidance regarding the utilization of academic vocabulary and syntax is not present.

Each unit offers opportunities to engage with academic vocabulary in three separate differentiated lessons associated with the texts of the unit as well as in preliminary activities where students create a QHT (Questions, Heard, Teach) chart for the academic vocabulary they will encounter in the unit, which are provided in the Contents section of each unit. While academic and content specific vocabulary is listed in the beginning of each unit, and definitions are provided at point of use and in glossaries in the student and teacher edition, with audio available in Springboard Digital, the focus on vocabulary building resides in the process and does not focus deeply into apply academic vocabulary in a larger context. Additionally, to support ELL students, teachers are provided a list of cognates for the unit in the Planning the Unit section of their text and in Springboard Digital, and the textbook contains a glossary with first the English word and definition followed by its Spanish counterpart.

Examples of opportunities for evidence-based discussions include, but are not limited to:
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.1 “Preview Academic Vocabulary and Literary Terms,” students are introduced to QHT, a strategy for thinking about their own understanding of vocabulary words. The letters stand for Question, Heard, and Teach. Students are to mark each of their vocabulary words with either a Q, H, or T. Q-words the student may have seen but are not sure of meaning. H-words they have heard before, but not know well. T-words the students know so well they could teach them to someone else. After marking words, students who marked a Q of H find other students who marked a T for that word, and the student who marked a T will teach them the meaning. There is no evidence of how teachers will encourage students to engage with this Academic Vocabulary in future text-based discussions or practice teaching these words after the culmination of this Lesson.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.7: Roles of Literature Circle groups defines norms and rules for discussion groups as speakers and listeners and assigns the different roles: Timekeeper, Notetaker, Task Manager, Referee, Motivator. Examples of leveled questions provided: Level 1- Literal Level 2- Interpretive Level 3- Universal. Graphic organizer introduced that sorts group evidence into point made and evidence provided. Class discussions lead to guidelines and norms for literature circles. There is no evidence of how teachers will encourage students to engage with this Academic Vocabulary within this Lesson.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4 students are asked, " What is your opinion on a limit to full-speed hitting in youth football? Write your claim and reasoning in the My Notes section next to the most effective evidence in the text that supports it. Share your response in a collaborative group discussion." No further direction or guidance is provided.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.5 students are given limited guidance during Planning to Present Research. Students are directed that when you are a speaker to, "come to the discussion prepared, use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation, and to form and respond to specific questions relating to the topic under discussion." No other guidance is provided.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the expectations for indicator 1j. Materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. In every speaking and listening activity, the students are asked to use evidence from the text at hand, although main ideas and core themes may not be explored consistently.

Materials develop students' skills with focused discussions such as Socratic Seminars and Literature Circles, in which students participate in speaking and listening that is grounded in their reading and researching, and although the students are asked to use evidence from the text at hand, main ideas and core themes are not consistently explored.

Speaking and listening tasks and activities in the Grade 6 materials include active listening, audience, choral reading, clarity of pronunciation and speaking voice, debate, philosophical chairs, drama games, expert group, eye contact, facial expression, feedback, fishbowl strategy, group discussions, inflection, jigsaw group, literature circles, movement, multimedia presentations, oral interpretation, oral introduction, oral presentation, oral reading, pantomime, props, rate, reader's theater, rehearsal, role playing, sound, tableau, tone, visuals, and volume. The index directs students to where they can find text references and instruction of speaking and listening skills.

Although each activity is intended to be anchored by the text, it is noted that there is little accountability for teachers to support students who either do not comprehend the material and/or who work with the speaking and listening activities without referencing the text.

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6c, students will ask and answer questions about a personal narrative in collaborative groups, demonstrating active listening and drawing upon an expanding pool of language resources for discussing literature, as well as express and support opinion of the personal narrative in discussion groups. Teacher support strategies are modeled in Teacher Wrap found on Springboard Digital, "Teacher models 'What text evidence backs up your answer?'”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.7 “Questions and Discussions,” the Learning Target is to use verbal and nonverbal communication when posing and responding to literal, interpretive, and universal questions about Walk Two Moons. Students will identify and implement effective discussion techniques to engage in literary analysis in preparation for the Embedded Assessment in which they will write an essay responding to a prompt. During this lesson, norms and roles for Discussion Groups are set for speakers and listeners. Groups rotate to collaborate on various levelled questions from the story and the Teacher Wrap provides support and differentiated instructional strategies. Graphic Organizer asks students to record interesting points made by members of their group, along with text evidence and their own thoughts. Students self-reflect by asking themselves what were challenges, and how can talking and working with others help understanding. The teacher assesses students by monitoring fishbowl discussions, assessing students’ ability to provide details from the text as well as personal commentary in response to questions.
  • Activity 2.10: Synthesize the literary elements of Walk Two Moons in order to create a collaborative visual presentation. In a collaborative group, students compare and contrast their visualizations of conflicts of the two main characters in the novel.
  • Activity 2.11 Literature Circles: Teacher assigns roles and places students in Literature Circle groups, and supports struggling students by giving them a shorter, more accessible story to practice their roles.
  • Activity 2.12: Students write a paragraph explaining how communication and collaboration with their Literature Circle group helped them understand, appreciate, and analyze novel.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4, students participate in an effective debate by using evidence from texts, contributing ideas clearly, and responding to others’ ideas. The Teacher Wrap offers support for students who are having difficulty with text demands in the form of scaffolding, chunking, and phrasing questions. The teacher provides clear rules for debate with graphic organizers to record speaker's main points.
  • Activity 3.8: Present a position in a debate using evidence from research, contributing ideas clearly and responding to other’s ideas. The Teacher Wrap suggests discussion protocols to reinforce practice of taking turns when sharing and responding in collaborative groups.Students who have difficulty can practice by examining and answering questions in pairs using sentence starters.
  • In the Unit 3 Embedded Assessment 2: Work collaboratively and participate in a modified debate that incorporates a visual presentation. Scoring Rubric provided.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.2, students participate in a class debate, evaluating other speakers’ arguments to be sure their claims are supported by reasons and evidence.
  • Embedded Assessment 1: Students work collaboratively to conduct research, synthesize findings, and make a five minute presentation that incorporates multimedia elements.
  • Embedded Assessment 2: Performance of a scene from a Shakespeare play and does not analyze the content or meaning.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing throughout each unit in a variety of styles, formats, and lengths.

Grade 6 materials contain a mix of on-demand and process writing opportunities for students. Each unit has a culminating activity that focuses on the steps of the writing process. Materials include writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and writing instruction spans the whole school year.

On-demand opportunities include daily writing options in class instruction as well as opportunities in every unit to attend to the text at hand. Some examples representative of the program as a whole include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.7, after reading an excerpt from Flipped and using a graphic organizer to prewrite about an incident in their life that was witnessed by someone else, students will respond to a narrative writing prompt. The prompt asks students to write about the incident in a way that shows the differing attitudes about what happened, making sure to establish the incident, create dialogue that incorporates the feelings of the characters, use descriptive language, and correctly use proper nouns and pronouns.
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.2-2.3, students are introduced to several expository writing prompts and practice writing paragraph responses. Students work with classmates to write a response to a film clip from UP that explains character's life changes in response to internal forces, including a topic sentence that states the main idea, supporting details from graphic organizer, and commentary.

Process opportunities are woven throughout the program, and by the end of the year, students have had robust support in learning and working with the writing process. Multiple opportunities require short and extended research. Mode-specific Writing Workshops are in the online teacher's edition, which include open-ended prompts and Embedded Assessments with scoring guides to provide regular practice. The student edition includes writing instruction such as brainstorming, controlling idea, details, dialogue, drafting, editing, evaluating, feedback, outlining, planning, prewriting, quickwrites, research, revision strategies, multimedia components, writing process, and writing prompts. The Planning Unit section of the teacher’s edition provides an explanation of expectations of Embedded Assessments, as well as a comprehensive Instruction and Pacing Guide. A Writer's Workshop is available online for extra support.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards and may include blended styles.

Grade 6 materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflects the distribution required by the standards over the course of a school year. Embedded Assessments (2 per unit) cover a wide variety of writing activities which meet 6th grade level standards. Some examples include writing a personal narrative, writing a short story, responding to literature, writing an expository essay, researching and debating a controversy, writing an argumentative letter, and researching and presenting written work on Shakespeare.

Writing lessons and activities that represent this distribution of text types include the following examples:

  • In Unit 1, writing instruction includes writing a personal narrative and writing a short story. Language and writer's craft instruction includes transitions, revising for transitions, vivid verbs, and varied sentence patterns.
  • In Unit 2, writing instruction includes responding to literature and writing an expository essay. Language and writer's craft instruction includes pronoun usage and agreement, sentence variety, revising for figurative language, and parallel structure.
  • In Unit 3, ELA instruction includes researching and debating a controversy and writing an argumentative letter. Language and writer's craft instruction includes format style, using appositives, and revising by creating complex sentences.
  • In Unit 4, ELA instruction includes researching, presenting, and performing Shakespeare. Language and writer's craft instruction includes choosing sentence structure and pronoun usage.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, and claims.

Grade 6 materials provide frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. Evidence-based responses are required as follow up activities for all reading selections. Materials provide frequent opportunities throughout the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply their new knowledge in writing. Writing tasks often reference the reading content and mode in which the reading was presented. As students study a text for form and content, students are provided prompts and guidance to identify the components and then practice replicating or analyzing those components.

Across the consumable student edition, there are graphic organizers and note-taking prompts to assist students in producing writing associated with the texts being read. Prompts include questions that are dependent to the text, but used with multiple texts as well as text-specific writing demands. In the sidebars, students are provided organized space and guidance to annotate and collect evidence to use in the writing tasks at the ends of each text and/or section. This progression of working from reading to note-taking to organizer to frame to writing is common throughout the program.

Most writing tasks explicitly require students to cite components as students write, even in low-stakes annotations and note taking that occur almost daily. Cues such as "record evidence" and "cite phrases" occur throughout to build students' habits of going back to the text. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Activities 1.4-1.7, students "record evidence of setting, character, conflict, and dialogue from film and personal narratives" as they engage with them.
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.4-2.7, students use a double-entry journal as a primary tool for identifying relevant textual evidence on characterization, plot and subplot, and setting, addressing Response to Literature prompts. Also in Activities 2.16-2.17, students practice writing an expository essay that incorporates examples from text and research to support a thesis.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 4.1, students support a focused main idea with relevant descriptions, facts, and details from a variety of sources, including a complete and accurate bibliography or works cited page.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.

Language skills are taught explicitly and then applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts. Language skills addressed in the materials include active voice, adjectives, adverbs, appositives, clauses, conjunctions, dependent markers, parallel structure/parallelism, phrases, pronouns, punctuation (commas, dashes, exclamation marks, periods, quotation marks, semicolon), repetition, sentence variety, sentences, series, and verbs.

Grammar and conventions are taught in a sequence consistent with the demands of Grade 6 standards and are integrated with reading and writing instruction. Language standards for the grade level are found in forward of student edition. A comprehensive grammar handbook is in the back of the book for continual reference, as well as an Index of Language Skills identifying where instruction can be found in text. This handbook can also be found in both the student and teacher online editions. The Teacher Resources Online also have additional grammar lessons. In addition, there are ten separate Writer's Workshops online that incorporate grammar and language instruction. The Planning the Unit section at the beginning of each unit, in teacher's print edition, lists expectations for Embedded Assessments as well as a comprehensive Instructional Activity and Pacing Guide that provides grammar support and instruction in the context of actual reading and writing. English Learners and struggling students are supported by Language Checkpoints in each unit, as well as specifically designed lessons in Academic Language, Close Reading, Text Interpretation and Collaborative Discussions. Language Checkpoints are found in each unit, that address specific grammar or syntax skills.

Examples include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Activities 1.4-1.7, students practice command of conventions through Language and Writer's Craft lesson on commas, reflexive and intensive pronouns, and dialogue punctuation. Language Checkpoint 1.5 focuses on punctuating complete sentences. Students will understand the difference between complete sentences and sentence fragments, revising writing to use fragments appropriately for effect. Activities 1.8-1.10: Language and Writer's Craft focus on using transitions. Activities 1.13-1.17: Language and Writer's Craft lessons support students' use of varied sentence patterns to add variety and interest to writing, as well as use of indefinite and possessive pronouns. At the end of the unit, the Embedded Assessment 1.2: Write a Short Story, asks students to use a variety of transitions. "Use precise words and sensory details (vivid verbs, figurative language). Demonstrate command of pronoun use, sentence variety, dialogue punctuation."
  • In Unit 2, Activities 2.2-2.3: Language and Writer's Craft, the lessons teach students to use appropriate verb tenses. Activities 2.4-2.6: Continued writing practice gives students opportunities to use appropriate transitions and demonstrate correct verb tense and pronoun use. Lessons on sentence variety show students how to revise using compound sentences. Language Checkpoint 2.4 focuses on noun agreement. Activities 2.7-2.10: Language and Writer's Craft lessons revisit specific figurative language techniques from Unit 1. In the middle of the unit, Embedded Assessment 2.1: Write a Response to Literature, asks students to use a variety of transitions and topic sentences to create coherence. "Use precise, accurate diction to illustrate the topic and demonstrate command of parallel structures, commas in a series, and semicolons." In Activities 2.16-2.17, as modeled in Language and Writer's Craft lesson on parallel structures, students compose sentences, paying attention to variety.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 3.1: Research and Debate a Controversy, students are asked to demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English. Activities 3.11-3.13: Language and Writer's Craft lesson ask students to use appositives as an effective way to cite sources. In Activities 3.14-3.15, students draft and revise writing by using transitions and creating complex sentences. At the end of the unit, Embedded Assessment 3.2: Write an Argumentative Letter, asks students to use a variety of transitions, persuasive and connotative diction and demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English.
  • In Unit 4, Activities 4.3-4.4: In the Language and Writer's Craft lessons, students continue to practice using a variety of sentence structures as they collaboratively write an explanation of information gained from research. In the middle of the unit, Embedded Assessment 4.1: Research and Present a Portrait of Shakespeare, asks students to "maintain appropriate style and tone, consistently use academic and literary vocabulary. Demonstrate a command of the conventions of standard English, including a variety of syntax." In Activities 4.9-4.10, correct pronoun usage is revisited and reinforced through Language and Writer's Craft lessons. At the end of the unit, Embedded Assessment 4.2: Perform Shakespeare, asks students to use punctuation cues ( periods, commas, semicolons, dashes, exclamation points) accurately and consistently to inform vocal delivery.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

Criterion 2a - 2h

26/32

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

Grade 6 is developed around the thematic concept of change. During the year, students learn how writers use that theme to tell stories in poetry, short stories, and nonfiction texts. Students are also asked to research topics and deepen understanding using film. There are opportunities for students to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently as they build knowledge.

Guidance for struggling students is incorporated into the curriculum. Each anchor and supporting text includes a Second Read activity, which asks students to look closely at selected excerpts and passages to answer text dependent questions. The Independent Reading lists also include specific suggested informational and literary texts corresponding to the theme.

Reading, questions, writing tasks, and speaking and listening activities all revolve around the study of choices made and how they impact society while growing knowledge about subtopics within each unit. Students have ample opportunity during collaborative discussions to share connections between concepts taught in class and their independent reading, and are provided opportunities to demonstrate new knowledge and stances on the themes and topics in culminating activities. There is teacher support embedded in Teacher Wrap to redirect or reteach should students misunderstand core work or need comprehension .The online Close Reading Workshops include strategies to support students in determining what each text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from what it does not say explicitly. Students have ample opportunity during collaborative discussions to share connections between concepts taught in class and their independent reading, and are provided opportunities to demonstrate new knowledge and stances on the themes and topics in culminating activities.

  • Unit 1 Stories of Change: Texts selected for this unit guide students through the art of storytelling while exploring the theme of change. Students analyze incident-response-reflection organizational structure and identify cause and effect relationships in selected texts. Independent Reading list is provided with Narrative and Informational texts related to the unit’s theme, with lexile levels provided that cover a range of ability and interest.
  • Unit 2: The Power to Change: Texts selected for this unit ask students to look at change and growth as a regular part of human nature. Students analyze the power that internal and external forces have on an individual’s life, including the relationship between humans and animals. Students write an explanatory essay on their interpretations of and conclusions on how animals can positively change the life of a human after reading a selected novel Walk Two Moons, and autobiography and biography of animal rights activist Temple Grandin. Independent Reading suggestions include a combination of Narrative and Expository texts that support the unit’s theme of varying Lexile levels appealing to a range of ability and interests.
  • Unit 3: Changing Perspectives: Students identify specific audience whose perspective they are trying to change. They select and organize information and language to communicate their position and learn to effectively debate contemporary issues through debate by reading a series of short articles, arguments, and letters. Independent Reading list associated with this unit provides students with a variety of texts associated with this theme, in a variety of ability and interest levels.

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

In most texts, students are provided opportunities to analyze language and author's word choice as they read, through sidebar word meaning and word connection lessons and questions that prompt them to interact with text to find examples of figurative, sensory and vivid language, as well as roots and affixes and other components of language. Lessons and questions require them to interact with the text to find examples of figurative, sensory and vivid language, as well as roots and affixes, etc. The tasks throughout each unit, as well as culminating activities, set expectations and purpose for analyzing structure and craft through activities and questions for each Anchor and Supporting text. In addition, support is given for struggling students in the Teacher Wrap, which gives strategies such as chunking, scaffolding, and rephrasing questions. English Learners are supported through specially designed lessons in each unit that go along with Anchor Texts, but are specifically structured to help students comprehend the text through Close Reading, Academic Vocabulary and Collaborative Discussions lessons, that provide scaffolded vocabulary instruction, and guided close reading opportunities.

The Planning the Unit section at beginning of each unit gives suggestions for Graphic Organizers that will assist English Learners in that unit. Leveled Differentiated Instruction activities are found in each unit, offering the instructor suggestions for scaffolding challenging tasks that lead to the culminating assessments. These suggestions model differentiation techniques that can be used to adapt tasks throughout each unit. In each Unit Opener, there is a one page summary of differentiation strategies that can be found in the unit. Each text contains a Second Read component and questions are specifically labeled as Key Ideas and Details, and Craft and Structure, The Teacher Wrap in print and digital edition provides teachers with a host of options to help differentiate instruction to reach all learners.

Each activity gives multiple opportunities for students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft and structure of texts. A representative example of this is shown in Unit 1: Activity 1.2: What Makes a Narrative?:

  • Students read “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez. Academic and Literary Terms are provided, along with definitions and cognates, available in audio in digital edition. Examples of these terms are “narrative,” “characterization,” “setting,” “dialogue,” and “conflict.”
  • Content vocabulary specific to the selection is provided at point of use with definitions and cognates, where applicable. Examples of content specific vocabulary are “bracero,” “sharecropper,” “jalopy,” and “labor.”
  • After the first read, the teacher is given various grouping options and strategies for students to answer text dependent questions about key details, craft, and structure, with increasing rigor and depth of knowledge demands. Suggested answers to Text Dependent questions are provided on the Digital platform. Questions include:
    • Key Ideas and Details: Reread the opening paragraph. What kind of work do the narrator and his family do? Cite details from the story that support your answers?
    • Key Ideas and Details: On pages 6 and 7, Jimenez describes the family’s departure. What do the details of the family’s departure help you understand? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer. Teacher is directed to guide struggling students to focus on portion of text to guide them to right answer.
    • Craft and Structure: What does the figurative phrase “ lump in my throat” in paragraph 12 tell you about the impact of events on the narrator so far in the story. Cite other evidence in the story to support your answer.
    • Key Ideas and Details: Revisit pages 6 and 7. What do you learn about the narrator? Cite textual evidence to support your answer.
    • Key Ideas and Details: On page 8, the narrator refers to the garage as home. What actions does the family take to make it a home? What does this tell us about how the family faces change?
    • Key Ideas and Details: Starting with paragraph 22, the narrator gets ready for school. What kinds of feelings does he have about leaving the family’s work and going to school. Highlight text that helps you answer the question. Teacher Wrap suggest that teacher guide students through the sequence of events leading up to the narrator’s arrival, paying attention to the narrator’s behaviour.
    • Craft and Structure: Reread page 9. What is the most important episode for the narrator at school?
  • In Teacher Wrap, there is a section titled “Scaffolding the Text Dependent Questions,” which suggests that “ if students are struggling to answer this question, have them reread paragraphs 1-3 to locate words that describe the field workers and the setting, Also review the word connections box for ‘bracero’ with students.”

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially 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.

Students read to analyze a variety of texts and engage with questions and tasks to understand the forms through which ideas are conveyed, such as poetry, essay, novel, and film. Rich texts are used as a vehicle to learn the component parts of texts, but students are not guided to engage in deeper critical thinking about the texts themselves.

Students read to analyze a variety of texts to understand storytelling. Through close reading and analyzing the narrative elements that skilled writers use to develop text, students learn to write real and imagined narratives. Students analyze components, organizational structures, and language of narrative text. Students closely read several short stories, analyzing plot development, figurative language, and theme. Students read across several genres with related themes, and opportunities to uncover and understand the core themes, content, and characterization. Texts are supported in Teacher Wrap as well as in the student edition with several support structures and strategies, including specialized Leveled Differentiated Instruction guides, specially designed English Language Development lessons. Close reading activities are embedded in every anchor and supporting text second read. Digital Support is also provided through Close Reading Workshops and online programs. While students are steeped in these elements, they are not consistently supported in building knowledge beyond the text structures. Some questions and series of questions support knowledge building, while others focus on reading strategy work that puts knowledge and content comprehension secondary. The materials consistently do not include a coherently sequenced set of questions requiring students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Consistent opportunities are not provided throughout the year-long materials to meet the criteria of this indicator.


Example include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, Forces of Change, students watch film clips from the movie Up. They use a graphic organizer to take notes on the internal and external changes in Carl Fredrickson’s life, and how he responds to them. This builds on initial study of character development in Unit 1, as well as the year’s theme of Change. The Teacher Wrap offers suggestions to encourage struggling students through a guided writing of the first paragraph. “Students will do another explanatory writing prompt in Activity 2.4. Depending on the results of your formative assessments, you may need to conduct a think-aloud to model writing the response to the next prompts, being sure to emphasize those areas that your students struggled with in this first prompt.” This support for teachers does not prompt focusing on the text itself; rather, it focuses on the activity completion.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, Students write an explanatory paragraph that compares and contrasts the two main characters in Walk Two Moons. Leveled Differentiated Instructional strategies are provided to support and extend activity for students. Throughout the rest of the unit, and leading to culminating assessment, students read and respond to a variety of texts about interactions between humans and animals. They then read an autobiography and biography of animal rights activist Temple Grandin, as well as view a film clip in order to synthesize this information to respond to a writing prompt.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.19, synthesizing the knowledge and ideas within Grandin’s story, students "compare the autobiography and biography of Temple Grandin, noticing that both talk about Temple’s relationship to horses, and their importance in her life. Which of the two selections gives you more insight into the significance of this experience? Give textual evidence to show why you think so." In this instance, the focus of the question is on the reading practice over comprehension of the information. In Working from the Text: Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text, students answer, "How did animals help Temple Grandin deal with the challenges of autism? Be sure to use textual evidence from both sources." In this prompt, students are integrating the text evidence to grow their overall understanding.
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2, students are directed to "Write a multiparagraph essay explaining how people can improve their lives through observing and interacting with animals. In your essay, give examples from your own life, from texts you have studied, from your independent reading, or from society that help support your claim." This prompt is representative of work that is related to the text, but does not leverage the text to build students' knowledge around a topic or theme.

Indicator 2d

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

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

Each unit contains two "Embedded Assessments" that act as culminating activities. They include the following activities: writing a personal narrative, writing a short story, responding to literature, writing an expository essay, researching and debating a controversy, writing an argumentative letter, researching and presenting Shakespeare, and performing Shakespeare. Text-dependent questions and lessons throughout each unit build towards these embedded assessments. However, the culminating tasks do not necessarily promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic, instead focusing solely on the skills in the end products themselves.

Tasks emphasize the completion and synthesis of more than one skill learned and practiced, usually inclusive of a writing skill. Over the course of the unit, students practice short writing by responding to prompts. Students read texts and are prompted to write and work in speaking and listening tasks prior to working with the culminating task. The teacher support is provided in Planning Unit, and Unit Overview sections, in Teacher Wrap in digital edition, as well as specialized Leveled Differentiated Instruction guidance. Three specialized lessons in each unit provide support for English Learners in accessing anchor texts. Independent Reading suggestions correlate to each unit’s theme, with literary and informational text suggestions at a variety of ability and interest levels. Close Reading activities are embedded in the second read of each anthology selection.

In the forward of each unit in Teacher's Edition, in Planning the Unit section, there is a comprehensive Instructional Activity and Pacing Guide that outlines expectations of Culminating Tasks and maps students' sequence of instructional expectations toward mastery of skills needed. This structure and focus does support students' development in writing to prompts and preparing materials while accessing reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills in concert.

The Embedded Assessment 2.1 is to “Write an expository response to literature that addresses a given prompt”. This task is supported by the following activities:

  • 2.12-2.13 Collaborative discussion leading to synthesis of ideas. Respond to expository writing prompt.
  • 2.12-2.13 Collaborative discussion leading to synthesis of ideas. Respond to expository writing prompt
  • 2.4: Students practice writing paragraph responses to writing prompts. They respond to a specific writing prompt asking them to compare and contrast two main characters from Walk Two Moons. Support is given through suggested strategies in Teacher Wrap.
  • 2.8-2.11 Close reading strategies and collaborative discussions about literature. Literature Circle roles are defined and applied. Expository writing prompts ask students to explain correlations of class novel examples of setting, plot and characters to self-selected independent reading text.

The Embedded Assessment 2.2 is to “Write a multi-paragraph expository essay that addresses a given prompt, giving examples from your own life, from texts you have studied, from your independent reading, and from society.” This task is supported by the following activities:

  • 2.14-2.15 Compare and contrast elements of literary text to elements of expository essay.
  • 2.19: Students view a film biography, and read excerpts from a biography and autobiography, synthesizing information from all three sources to respond to several writing prompts.

The Embedded Assessment 4.1 is to “Research and Present Shakespeare”. This task is supported by following activities:

  • 4.1-4.2 Read an article to create and support argument about teaching Shakespeare in school. Engage in a debate to support claim (protocols and procedures for debate are not found).
  • 4.3-4.4 Analyze information about Shakespeare and his society.
  • 4.5-4.6 Synthesize research and work collaboratively to create multimedia presentation about Shakespeare and his society. Analyze quotes from various Shakespeare plays, explaining language through writing and collaborative discussion.

As identified in the above examples, students do engage in skills-integrated culminating tasks. However, the focus is consistently on the task itself, rather than building knowledge or thinking deeply about the texts in service of transferring critical thinking skills to other texts and concepts.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially 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. Students do have year long engagement with vocabulary; however, the majority of word work focuses on literary terms and less time is used for engaging in Tier II practice.

Grade 6 materials provide students a list of academic and literary terms at beginning of each unit, specific to skills being taught in that unit. For example, Unit 1 academic and literary terms focus on characterization, plot, and dialogue, as students study narratives. Unit 2 delves deeper into character development and interaction, and words related to comparing and contrasting are used throughout the unit. Unit 3 focuses on argument and debate. Unit 4 focuses on the drama genre as students research and perform Shakespeare, and the vocabulary follows accordingly.

Student instructions for academic vocabulary repeat across all units. Students are given the same instructions under the heading Developing Vocabulary in each unit: "Look again at the Contents page and use a QHT strategy to analyze and evaluate your knowledge of the Academic Vocabulary and Literary Terms for the unit." In the middle of each unit, students are asked to reevaluate initial understanding. For example, in Activity 4.8 students are given the following instructions: "Use the QHT strategy to re-sort the vocabulary you have studied in the first part of this unit. Compare this sort with your original sort. How has your understanding changed? Select a word from the chart and write a concise statement about your learning. How has your understanding of this word changed over the course of this unit?" Students are also asked to keep a Readers/Writers notebook over the course of the year where they are to note vocabulary words that are unfamiliar to them.

The examples of structural support for vocabulary are present but may need to be supported by the teacher, as they are not consistent throughout the program and may not support students' building knowledge. Additionally, the use of time for these activities is not consistently clear and connected to the texts at hand.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating a substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Grade 6 materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Writing instruction spans the whole year, and instructional materials include well-designed lesson plans. These plans are located in the Foreword of each unit under the heading, Instructional Activities and Pacing. Skills identifiers are a located in the Index, in sidebars, and wraparounds in both the print and online Teacher Edition, as well as within Online Writer’s Workshops. The Teacher’s Resources in the digital teacher's version also lead instructors to a Writing Exemplar tab where student examples of writing from all genres can be found. These student samples are leveled and include exemplary, proficient, and do not meet standards. Protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students' writing development are also included there.

At the beginning of the year, students are directed to create a writing portfolio to keep all writing and revisions in order to monitor their growth as a writer. Protocols for this portfolio are described in the first lessons of Unit 1 in Activity 1.2 Understanding Change Creating a Reader/Writer Notebook and Portfolio. There is also a mechanism in the digital edition where students may edit and send their writing online to the teacher.

Writing projects, tasks, and presentations are aligned to the standards of the grade level. They provide substantial support for the students to learn new skills, to practice and develop learned skills, and to apply these writing skills to various tasks. Some components of writing are taught in isolation to learn and practice a skill, but the overall writing work of students has coherence and ensures attention to the integrated nature of the standards. Writing tasks are integrated and coincide with texts and themes. Students demonstrate their writing skills learned in class, while topics and tasks increase in rigor over the course of the school year. Teacher materials support students' writing development and include comprehensive supports, models, examples, and strategies, as well as graphic organizers. Materials provide guidance for time spent creating, revising, publishing, and reflecting.

Examples include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.2: Exploring the Concept of Choice Learning Targets, students "identify elements of a narrative by recording evidence of setting, characterization, dialogue, and conflict. A graphic organizer is provided so students can record these elements as they find them in suggested film clip of The Lion King." The Teacher to Teacher sidebar states “This activity begins the practice of finding textual evidence to support inferences and conclusions.” Students respond to a narrative writing prompt that asks them to tell a friend a story of going to the graveyard as Simba did in The Lion King, using pronouns correctly as they write in first person point of view, describing the conflict, sequence, and setting of events of the incident, and including details of your character’s feelings and dialogue. Students are instructed to keep this writing piece in their portfolio.
  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.8: Creating a Narrative: Prewriting and Drafting. Learning Targets, students demonstrate an understanding of narrative elements by drafting a narrative. "Apply the writing process while drafting a personal narrative." Learning Strategies: Prewriting, Rereading, Drafting, Graphic Organizer.
    • Students pick a topic of their choice and use reporter's questions who, what, when, where, and why to complete a graphic organizer that includes the Incident, Cause, and Effect.
    • A second graphic organizer helps students plan the characters by deciding what they say and do.
    • To write the beginning, the AQQS Strategy is introduced (Anecdote, Question, Quote, and Statement).
    • Students then revisit narratives they have already read from the anthology, looking at particular quotes, and deciding which part of the AQQS strategy is being employed.
    • The next graphic organizer gives endings from the narratives they have read and asks students to describe how narrator ends the story and summarize how the narrator changes because of the incident, considering what the narrator has learned.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4: Planting the Seeds of Character Analysis Learning Targets, students use knowledge of characterization to write expository literary analysis paragraphs that compare or contrast characters. "Record textual evidence and write commentary explaining or analyzing it." Learning Strategies: Graphic Organizer, Note taking. Skimming/Scanning
    • Students use a graphic organizer to record details about characters in novel study while reading Walk Two Moons. Students "take a closer look" at the two main characters by taking notes on all the ways the author uses characterization with the graphic organizer.
    • The Academic Vocabulary sidebar provides definitions of compare and contrast, and the Grammar and Usage sidebar provides transition words for comparing and contrasting.
    • The Expository Writing prompt asks students to write an expository paragraph that compares and contrasts the two main characters in Walk Two Moons, including examples of appearance, actions, words and reactions of others , being sure to include a topic sentence, supporting details and commentary, transition words, present tense verbs, and correct pronouns.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.6: The Formality of it All: Style and Tone, students write an original text using a formal style and tone. Learning Targets include analyzing the purpose of formal style and tone. Learning Strategies: Close Reading, Marking the Text, Rereading, Graphic Organizer. Literary Terms: tone, formal style Language and Writer’s Craft: formal style.
    • Students are given a definition of tone, as well as a word bank with examples such as angry, sharp, urgent, boring, etc. The Language and Writer’s Craft lesson on formal style explains that style is how an author or speaker uses words or phrases to form his or her ideas and to show his or her attitude toward the subject (tone). "Most often in academic settings, you should use a formal style." Examples of informal and formal sentences about the same subject are given, as well as a list of characteristics that show what to do or not do when using formal style.
    • Students then read an excerpt from “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams, marking the text for precise nouns, active verbs,and diction specific to the topic and audience. After reading, students use a graphic organizer to analyze tone and style of letter, defining purpose of the letter, and examples of formal style. The formative assessment checks students’ understanding by asking them to write two letters. In the first letter, they are to write a short letter to their principal using informal style and an inappropriate tone. They are reminded to refer to the don’t list in the characteristics of formal style chart. In letter two, they are to transform the letter to use formal style and an appropriate tone, being sure to state a clear claim, support claims with reasons and evidence, and pay attention to style and tone.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.8: Play Ball: Analyzing a Game of Life. After a close reading of the short story, "The Southpaw" by Judith Viorst, students respond to an expository writing prompt by explaining the theme of the story, using characters, conflict, and plot to identify supporting details. Students are instructed to be sure to establish a central idea, supporting the central idea with textual evidence from the story and thoughtful analysis, using precise diction to create a formal tone.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Grade 6 materials include research projects that are sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research-related skills. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students' knowledge on a topic via multiple resources. Materials provide many opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking/listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze per their grade level readings. Materials provide opportunities for both short and extended projects across the school year. Students have the opportunity to develop research skills throughout the school year, starting in Unit 2.

Examples of general progressions include:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.8: Diction Detectives and Evidence. Skills are developed through Activity 2.19: Synthesizing Temple’s Story. The embedded assessment for this unit is Writing an Expository Essay.
  • In Unit 3, research skills are further developed through several lessons, including: Activity 3.4 Creating Support with Reasons and Evidence, Activity 3.5 Do Your Research: Sources, Citation, and Credibility, Activity 3.6 The Formality of it All: Style and Tone, Activity 3.12 Citing Evidence.
  • In Unit 4, students work toward the Embedded Assessment: Researching and Presenting Shakespeare. Lessons include Activity 4.4 Researching to Deepen Understanding and Activity 4.5 Planning to Present Research.

A specific sample from Unit 3 illustrates how the program focuses students on building their research skills in a carefully scaffolded manner:

  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.5: Do Your Research: Sources, Citation, and Credibility.
    • Learning Target: Apply understanding of sources, citation, and credibility through discussion and note taking.
    • Learning Strategies: Quickwrite, Graphic Organizer, Note Taking.
    • Academic Vocabulary: research, plagiarism, credibility.

Students are provided with a graphic organizer to self assess their level of comfort with the steps of the research process. A second graphic organizer asks them to record what they know about the words sources, citation, and credibility. Primary and secondary sources are defined and examples are provided. Models are provided, showing the standard format for citing basic bibliographic information for common types of sources, such as books, films, personal interviews, internet sites, magazine and newspaper articles. Sample sources are given in a graphic organizer, and students are given opportunity to practice correct citations. Internet sites are evaluated for credibility and a list of common Internet suffixes is provided, with definitions and descriptions. As an informal assessment, students check their understanding by applying what they have learned about sources, citation and credibility as they conduct initial research using a graphic organizer as a guide. The teacher is instructed to return to a text students have read earlier in the unit for more practice evaluating sources, how to cite it, and its credibility.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Grade 6 materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading inside or outside of class. The Planning the Unit section at beginning of each unit contains a suggested reading list that corresponds to the unit theme. This list is categorized by literary and nonfiction texts, and gives the Lexile level to accommodate students’ varying abilities and interests. The first activity in Unit 1 sets up a mechanism for students to self monitor their reading progress, comprehension, and fluency. The grade-level-specific Close Reading Workshops are designed to help teachers guide students as they develop the skills necessary for close reading of a broad range of high-quality texts of increasing complexity. These models can be used to support or extend the instruction already in the SpringBoard materials and serve as models for differentiation.

Examples of how Close Reading Workshop activities support independent reading:

  • Activity 1 provides guided reading instruction that emphasizes multiple readings, vocabulary development, and close-reading strategies with a complex text.
  • Activity 2 gradually releases students from teacher-guided instruction and modeling to a collaborative analysis of a visual text to which students apply the skills and strategies of close reading.
  • Activity 3 releases student to closely read texts independently to respond to analysis of question and to make connections to previous texts.
  • Activity 4 requires students to respond to synthesis writing, presentation, or discussion prompts to demonstrate their mastery of the close-reading skills they have practiced in the workshop.

Guidelines to set a deadline to complete the independent reading are included. After students complete the assignment, they use prompts such as the following to to assess their reading: "Consider the change(s) the character(s) from your independent reading book experienced. What was significant about the change? How did the change leave an impact on the character or those around him or her?"

Throughout the units, the materials incorporate Independent Reading Links, which include opportunities for students to connect concepts in the unit to their independent reading and include prompts for students to keep responses in their reading journals and/or Reader/Writer notebooks.

Close Reading Workshops include five separate workshops. Each consists of two texts correlating with the unit topic, as well as a visual literacy component. Texts are from published authors, many who are mentioned in the appendices for CCSS. The focus of the workshops are: Informational/Literary Non-Fiction, Argumentative, Poetry, Shakespeare, and Informational/Literary Nonfiction in History/Social Studies. In these workshops, students learn how to make meaning of the three different texts, self-reflect on strategies that worked, and ask themselves how can they use what they have learned in future texts. After completing activities for each text, students complete a writing prompt that is used as formative assessment, assessing their ability to write a topic sentence, choose proper textual evidence for support, and explain the significance of evidence they have chosen. Students have four options at the end of each text that require them to choose how to assess their knowledge: they may write a synthesis of the text, participate in a debate, create a multimedia presentation, or write a reflection piece. Text complexity levels are provided for each prose text.

Literature Circles reinforce communication and collaboration, and in addition, support the independent reading process as well, as students are held accountable to their groups in that process.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3e

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Criterion Rating Details

SpringBoard Grade 6 materials meet the criteria for being well designed. Materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Materials can reasonably be completed within an academic year. There are ample resources as well as publisher produced standards alignment documentation.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
N/A
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Grade 6 materials contain four units, each with a range of 15-19 Activities or lessons and two Embedded Assessments designed with a consistent instructional plan. Each of the units is divided into two halves with each half concluding with one of the two embedded assessments. Each unit opens with Planning the Unit and Unit Overview for teacher guidance. Planning the Unit describes all instructional and assessment goals for the unit and provides pacing for the unit as well as the list of texts. The Unit Overview provides a descriptive narrative of the unit’s breadth and a sequential listing of unit activities and associated texts. Instructional activities are designed to be delivered over single and multiple days while the lessons within activities are designed for a 50-minute class period which is indicated within the Teacher Wrap, “an instructional roadmap alongside the student pages.”

The first lesson in each unit provides learners with a preview of the unit’s general learning targets and learning strategies and is followed by Making Connections to develop links between new learning, existing knowledge, and the culminating assessments. Thereafter, each activity or lesson opens with an introduction of specific learning targets, followed by a specific learning strategy, grammar structure, or reading strategy, and the establishment of the reading purpose. The prereading activities are followed by the text or texts, Second Read questions, Working from the Text practice, and Writing to Sources, all crafted to support learning targets in developing literacy skills. The pacing of individual lessons is appropriate for classes with time allowed for supplementary activities as well.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The four-unit curriculum can be effectively delivered over the course of a 30-36 week academic year allowing sufficient time for practice with instructional materials to ensure opportunities for standards’ mastery by the end of the course. Instructional Activities and Pacing Guide, provided in Planning the Unit, indicates the total number of 50-minute class periods for the unit’s completion and further delineates the associated activity number and suggested class periods for delivery of those lessons. Additionally, Teacher Wrap, within the margins of the Teacher’s Edition, indicates the time to be allotted for each lesson and offers support for block scheduling by indicating combinations of 50-minute sessions or extensions of lessons, optional instructional materials, and the expectation of homework as part of enrichment and/or the class assignment.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Grade 6 materials include a variety of resources demonstrating specific and clear directions, easy-to-find references and accurate labels. Other resources available to students include text collections, close reading, performance tasks, independent reading plans, digital interactive tools such as Writer’s Notebook, text boxes to record answers, and highlighting tools for annotations.

Close reading material in the form of Second Read questions provide students with questions for key details, craft, and structure designed to engage students in careful textual analysis. Text-dependent and text-specific writing opportunities and writing workshops appear with regularity throughout the units to deepen thought and allow practice with newly taught skills as well as integration of ideas among concepts and skills. Directions for activities are clear and often make use of graphic organizers and rubrics to help students more clearly see the relationship among concepts as well as understand the expectations set before them.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Examples of materials of publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed include, but are not limited to the Common Core Correlations page, which can be found next to the login portal on the homepage of Springboard Digital and a list of Common Core focus standards and additional Common Core Standards addressed for each activity in the Teacher Wrap for the activity.

Additionally, California ELD standards are included in the nine ELD activities in each unit.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Grade 6 materials (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The Springboard visual design, whether referencing the textbook or online curriculum, supports student engagement in literature and literacy without distraction. The units offer engaging visual prompts and graphics appropriate for Grade 6 students. The materials are logically presented through balance in layout and appropriate use of white space throughout both the print and digital textbook. Activities with essential information and tasks are found at the center of the page while supplementary and enrichment information are found in the margins. Additionally, the pdf version of the student text includes space for notes in the margins when there is no additional information provided.

Graphic Organizers are large enough for students to fit their notes in them and are free of pictures and distractions. Additionally, these graphic organizers are also available to be copied from the end matter of the teacher text.

In Springboard Digital, supplementary and enrichment items in the margin are presented in colorized text boxes separated from the page body: Grammar and Punctuation, blue; Word Connections, red; Independent Reading Links, orange; Literary Terms, yellow; Level 2 Academic Vocabulary, beige; and Level 3 Academic Vocabulary, lavender. Standard unit activities are identified through colorized title fonts. For example, Learning Targets, Learning Strategies, Preview, Setting a Purpose for Reading, Second Read, and Working from the Text appear in blue font while literary titles are printed in green. Assessments and writing assignments are also coded in colorized banners, i.e., Check Your Understanding in purple, Writing to Sources in green.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The SpringBoard Grade 6 materials meet the criteria for supporting teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Materials contain useful annotations and suggestions as well as adult-level explanations and examples of advanced literacy concepts. The Specific ELA/Literacy standard roles, instructional approaches and research based strategies are identified and explained. Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders about the ELA/Literacy program.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials.

Grade 6 materials contain a teacher’s edition with 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.

Planning the Unit, opening each of the four units, offers teachers a roadmap in preparation for the unit’s presentation while Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher, both found in the digital and print versions, provide teachers daily step-by-step instructions for delivery. Sample student responses are found in the digital teacher edition.

In addition to detailing discrete components of the unit, e.g., goals, pacing, assessments, etc., Planning the Unit unpacks the Embedded Assessments, suggests texts for independent reading, lists English Language Development resources available for each activity, describes instructional activities within the pacing guide, suggests advance preparation of learning guides for differentiated instruction, provides a detailed unpacking of language demands for Embedded Assessments, and suggests cognates appropriate to the unit for inclusion on a word wall.

Daily support and suggestions are provided to the teacher through Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher following Springboard’s 4-step approach to instruction: Plan--Teach--Assess--Adapt. Additionally, the marginal guides offer suggestions for student support with instruction on approaches found effective for other teachers and methods for scaffolding questions to differentiate instruction to support of student learning. For example, in Unit 1 Activity 4, Teacher Wrap suggests, “If students need additional help completing the writing prompt, have them work with partners and provide them with a Narrative Analysis and Writing graphic organizer. Have them work together to organize the events of their alternate endings into the Incident-response-reflection structure.”

Within the teacher edition, sample responses to Second Read questions and completed graphic organizers provide teachers an indication of what student responses should include.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Grade 6 materials contain a teacher’s edition that supports teacher knowledge regarding the relevance of academic vocabulary as well as knowledge differentiating between Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary, i.e. “Academic Vocabulary features that discuss Tier Two terms and concepts that students will use in academic discourse” and “Literary Term features that equip students with Tier Three language from the domains of literature, literary analysis, writing, and rhetoric.” Additionally, the front matter establishes the relevance of text features and rigor to preparation for College and Career Readiness. Key Themes of English Language Arts Instruction explains, “SpringBoard is designed to help students make meaning of complex texts and prepare them for the rigorous textual analysis expected of them in Advanced Placement (AP) English and college courses. The skills students acquire in SpringBoard allow them to think critically about and respond thoughtfully to important topics in all disciplines, and in society.”

The teacher edition end matter provides teachers with a complete list of reading and writing strategies both defining strategies and establishing purpose behind the strategies. An example includes:

  • The definition of the SIFT reading strategy is “Analyzing a fictional text by examining stylistic elements, especially symbol, imagery, and figures of speech in order to show how all work together to reveal tone and theme” and its purpose is “To focus and facilitate an analysis of a fictional text by examining the title and text for symbolism, identifying images and sensory details, analyzing figurative language and identifying how all these elements reveal tone and theme.”

Teacher Wrap provides teachers with information necessary to frame lessons and establish relevance for students. An examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.6 teachers are provided framing in Step 7: “You will note that the incident in this narrative is minimal; the majority of the narrative is concerned with response, and the reflection is implied by the image of the 'ugly brother' in paragraph 10. As students read paragraphs 2-5, they should mark the text by highlighting all the descriptions of the jacket—adjectives, colors, and so on—watching especially for similes. Discuss with students the overall impression of the jacket created by Soto’s descriptions.”

Additionally, as learning strategies are introduced to students, Teacher Wrap provides modeling guidance. An example includes:

  • In Unit 2, Activity 4b, the Teacher Wrap guides modeling annotating: “Introduce the annotating activity by calling students’ attention to the directions. Read the directions aloud. Then model annotating the first and second paragraphs of the text for students doing a think aloud. Circle words that might be unfamiliar or unknown to students, such as bangs, naturally, and whang-doodle. Use the notes section to ask a question, such as Why did everybody keep touching Sal’s hair?”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Grade 6 materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Connections between specific ELA/literacy standards and the context of the overall curriculum are offered within the Teacher Edition Front Matter, Planning the Unit, and Teacher Wrap. Specifically, the Teacher Edition Front Matter explains the “instructional design assures teachers and students that everyday activities are building a foundation of skills and knowledge that will help students perform on the assessments, which ultimately align with the standards” and promises to help “students develop the knowledge and skills needed for Advanced Placement as well as for success in college and beyond without remediation.” The Front Matter continues by explaining, “While not every student will take an AP class, we believe strongly that ALL students should be equipped with the higher-order thinking skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary to be successful in AP classes and post-secondary education. SpringBoard focuses on content connections, pre-AP strategies, and writing tasks anchored in the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful on the AP exams.”

Planning the Unit provides a list of activities within the unit that focus on refining “important skills and knowledge areas for AP/College Readiness.” Clickable CC icons linked to standards associated with the task at hand are included in the margin of the online teacher’s edition.

Teacher Wrap lists Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed at the beginning of each lesson. Within the instructional guide are also listed the Common Core standards associated with each of the Second Read questions.

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Grade 6 materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies. The Teacher Edition Front Matter provides both clear explanation of instructional approaches and identification of research-based strategies relied on throughout the text.

Additionally, the text provides an explanation for Springboard’s instructional approach. The section “Research-Based Pedagogy” sites the use of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design instructional model and the American Institute for Research “focus on students moving through multiple levels of cognitive engagement: progressing fluidly from understanding and comprehension, to analysis, and ultimately to synthesis.” Springboard also sites application of Charlotte Danielson’s facilitation and flexibility methodologies, Marzano and Pickering’s research on “building students’ background knowledge in the area of Academic Vocabulary development” and “Robyn Jackson’s work on rigorous 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Grade 6 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.

Found under Teacher Resources of the Springboard Dashboard are Family Letters for each of the programs four units. Letters are available in English and Spanish. Each letter provides an overview of the unit including the unit’s essential questions, a description of the unit’s two embedded assessments, a narrative description of the skills students will practice and learn, as well as a brief overview of the texts students will be reading. The letter concludes with specific tips on how parents can support their child’s progress in learning. Additionally, available in the Student PDF Front Matter, is a letter from Springboard to the student introducing the benefits of the Springboard program and highlighting key features of the text and methods to increase learning and achievement.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for offering teachers multiple resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities, denote standards being emphasized, and indicate how students are accountable for independent reading.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Grade 6 materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Short-cycle and long-term assessments integrated within each of the four units provide opportunities for measuring student progress both formatively and summatively. Short-cycle assessments allowing teachers to measure student proficiencies and adjust or adapt instructional methods. Long-term assessments are offered twice during the unit, one midway through the unit’s activities and the second at the unit’s end. Most activities/lessons feature Check Your Understanding and Writing to Sources. Lessons and related formative assessments preceding the embedded assessments typically lead towards the culminating performance task.

Also provided within the program materials are supplementary workshops for close reading, writing, and foundational skills as well as supplementary materials for grammar instruction. Each of these lesson sets also include assessment components consistent with the organization and structure of the core curriculum. Additionally, the Springboard Digital dashboard provides an Assessments link offering teachers short-cycle End of Lesson/Activity assessments and End of Unit assessments as well as choices between Springboard developed assessments or custom-built assessments.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Grade 6 assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Common Core Standards emphasized by instruction and assessment are noted in the Common Core Correlations chart found on the Springboard Digital log-in page. Each ELA Common Core Standard is correlated to unit and activity numbers and/or embedded assessments (denoted by EA) addressing the listed standard. Additionally, Teacher Wrap lists both Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed for each embedded assessment.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

Grade 6 assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Springboard’s four-step structure, Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt, provides a road map towards assessment that includes checkpoints and suggestions for adapting lessons and strengthening student skills before they are asked to demonstrate specific skills on culminating embedded assessments. The progression of these four steps is found in Teacher Wrap on the margins of the digital page of the Teacher Edition. An example includes:

  • After following Plan and Teach steps in Unit 1 Activity 4, teachers are instructed in Assess to “Use the written Check Your Understanding responses to assess your students’ ability to summarize what the narrator learns from the incident in the story. The summaries should include a description of the event, the narrator’s response, and the lesson he learned. Students should include details from the text to support their statements.” After the assessment, teachers are instructed in the Adapt step: “If students need additional help summarizing what the narrator learns from the story, have them work with a partner. First, they should make a checklist of all of the components of the summary. Then, as they complete the summary, they can check off the components they have used.”

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Grade 6 materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. Teacher Wrap indicates opportunities for monitoring student progress in reading and expression of ideas. Teacher Wrap provides sequentially detailed steps for teaching each lesson. Included within instructional notes for teachers are guides and prompts for monitoring student progress. Additionally, instructional notes indicate what teachers should be monitoring. An example includes:

  • In Unit 2 Activity 3, teachers are encouraged to follow up on the lesson, “You might wish to work through another sample entry to be sure students have grasped the process and purpose of this strategy. The sample could serve as a model.” The Assess portion of the Teacher Wrap indicates what teachers should be assessing with each activity and suggestions for how to adapt the lesson if students are struggling or need more practice.

The Front Matter of the teacher edition introduces teachers to two supplemental resources that “support the development of foundational reading skills for students who need continued support with these foundations to become successful at the secondary level.” The first of these resources is the Foundational Skills Workshop which “supports teachers in planning and delivering intervention instruction to those students who will benefit from one-on-one or small-group lessons in phonics, word recognition, and fluency.” These materials include Observational Look-Fors, Foundational Reading Skills Screening Assessment, Diagnostic Checklist, Individual Progress Monitoring Chart, and Group Planning Chart. The second resource is Routines for Teaching Foundational Skills which “presents mini-lessons and techniques that teachers can incorporate into the core ELA instruction to differentiate for students who need it.”

The teacher edition provides an Independent Reading Log for students to record “progress and thinking” about “independent reading during each unit.” Also provided are a range of graphic organizers for ELA and ELD tasks that can be used to monitor student reading and understanding before moving students into writing assignments.

Indicator 3n

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

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

Grade 6 materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Springboard allows for students to read independently based on “choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation” and asks students to show accountability for their independent reading in a variety of ways. Students are required to select a text for independent reading “twice a unit, at the beginning and after the first Embedded Assessment.” Reading selections should relate to the themes of the unit. While Springboard provides a list of suggested readings, students should not be limited by the list. Rather, students should be urged “to do their own research and select a title that intrigues them.”

As students progress in their reading, they are held accountable through an independent reading log and encouraged through independent reading links with activities asking them to respond to questions, conduct further research, connect classroom texts and themes, discuss ideas in book talks, and make recommendations to peers. To further support and encourage independent reading, related tasks appear as independent reading checkpoints in the margins of the student edition.

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.
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for providing strategies for teachers to meet the needs of a range of learners so that they can demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. Teachers are provided with strategies to support all learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard dashboard. Every lesson in the SpringBoard program offers opportunities for students to work in groups.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

Grade 6 materials provides accessible content through the integration of texts at varied Lexile level in the core curriculum and as suggested titles for independent reading. The unit texts range from slightly below grade level, typically used with introducing a new concept, to at grade level and above grade level. The Practice of Reading Closely, found in the teacher edition Front Matter explains the range of texts as a means of bringing “readers up to the level of the text, not the level of the text down to the reader.” Each unit also offers a list of narrative and expository suggested texts for the Independent Reading Assignments, along with Lexile levels, occurring twice in each unit. As in the core curriculum, suggested texts range from below grade level to above grade level allowing students to choose a text of interest that also connects at reading level.

Teachers are provided with strategies to support learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the Springboard Digital dashboard. Within the core curriculum, Teacher Wrap provides step-by-step guidance in teaching each lesson. Within most steps, teachers are offered advice, alternatives, suggestions for connecting new and existing knowledge and skills, and methods for scaffolding in class-reading and assignments. Additionally, Teacher to Teacher and Leveled Differentiated Instruction call out boxes within Teacher Wrap provide specific instruction and guidance for learners needing extra support and English language development. English Language Learners are further supported by specific lessons connected to three Anchor texts from each unit. These lessons focus on Academic Vocabulary, Close Reading, and Collaborative Discussions.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials 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.

Grade 6 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 Front Matter of the teacher edition outlines where English Language Learner resources are located in the materials. The following resources are available:

  • Planning: In the Planning the Unit section, a list of academic and literary terms for each unit are given along with the Spanish cognates, where available. Audio pronunciation is available in both English and Spanish, as well as audio definitions in English. Content vocabulary specific to anthology texts is provided at point of use, with audio pronunciation and definitions available in digital edition, as well as definitions and cognates where available. Unit overview provides a list of Graphic Organizers that English Language Learners will need to be successful in each unit.
  • Leveled Differentiated Instruction: Color-coded sidebars in digital Teacher Wrap offer numerous and extensive suggestions and activities for five levels of language proficiency; Level 1 representing initial stage of language development, Level 5 representing the stage nearest to proficiency, as well as Support and Extend suggestions. These features found throughout materials scaffold challenging tasks embedded in the program, “providing the tools that learners at various levels of proficiency need in order to successfully participate in or complete tasks that build toward culminating assessment.” These strategies can be adapted to other tasks throughout the materials. “As students move along this continuum of proficiency, teachers can select flexibly form the leveled scaffolding options provided in order to offer the amount of support that enables students to complete the task successfully while still being appropriately challenged.” Further support is given for each text in anthology, where Teacher Wrap offers Scaffolding the Text Dependent Questions, strategies to help struggling students locate text evidence by rephrasing, chunking, and scaffolding questions.
  • English Language Development Activities: Every unit features a set of nine English Language Development Activities that teachers can use to provide differentiated support to students who are developing academic English. These interactive, digital activities are built around three unit texts and support students’ comprehension with guided close reading. They use a scaffolded approach focused on academic and social vocabulary development, text analysis, and collaborative academic discourse. California’s English Language Development Standards are provided in Teacher Wrap alongside each lesson, as well as in teacher and student edition under lesson title. Strategies for specific Emerging, Expanding, and Bridging levels of English Language Development are provided in Teacher Wrap alongside each lesson, with most tasks and targets focused on the Production Strand.
  • English Language Development Graphic Organizers: These are tools teachers can use to scaffold reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks, suggestions for specific organizers are given in Unit Opener section of each unit.
  • English Language Development Strategies: Located at point of use of content vocabulary, such as "bracero.” These are techniques teachers can use to boost students’ ability and confidence with academic language.
  • Language Demands of the Embedded Assessment: This is an unpacking of the Embedded Assessments that specifies the word-, sentence-, and text-level features of the academic language that students need to develop as they work through the unit.
  • Initial Screening Assessment: A screening tool that provides teachers with essential information about students’ education history, home language proficiency, and English language proficiency.
  • Foundational Skills Workshops and Routines for Teaching Foundational Skills: Online materials that offer guidance to teachers on how to support students who need continued practice with literacy foundations to become successful at the secondary level, such as left to right text directionality, and conventions of punctuation and capitalization in American English.
  • Family Letters: Customizable letter templates in both English and Spanish that help teachers connect with families to encourage their active engagement in students’ learning.
  • Zinc: Online program provides targeted vocabulary and informational text instruction.
  • Workshops: Online Writing and Close Reading Workshops specifically target writing and reading genres.
  • Teacher Resources: This tab at each grade level is an English-Spanish Glossary, although currently, the resource bears a 2014 copyright. Also provided is a Flexible Novel Unit allowing teachers to replace the novel suggested in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for student needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Materials for grammar instruction and interventions (also provided in the teacher edition End Matter) and learning strategies are included.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout the materials.

Grade 6 materials include minimal extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. The Leveled Differentiated Instruction text box within the Teacher Wrap on applicable activities offers opportunities to extend the learning for those students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level, and are “ready to be challenged beyond the scope of the activity."

Suggestions for Extend activities are minimal. Where they do occur, the tasks seem less an extension and more of an application. Another concern is where the Extend activity seems to be designed to have advanced students teach the class via oral presentations, before norms have been introduced. The Adapt step of Teacher Wrap provides only three suggestions for extension activities over the course of the materials. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.4 Support the Sport: The Teacher Wrap section Creating Support with Reasons and Evidence Extend Activity states: “Challenge students to look at each piece of evidence and discuss its credibility.” The concern is that the concept of credibility of sources has not been introduced.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3:12 Citing Evidence: The Learning Target is to find evidence supporting claims. The Leveled Differentiated Instruction Extend activity challenges students above grade level to create an oral presentation of their evidence. Using presentations as a challenge activity occurs again in Activity 3:15 Saying Too Much or Too Little and again in Activity 2:11 Stepping into Literature Circle.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3:10 Looking at a Model Argumentative Letter: Suggestion for the teacher states: “This is also a good time to extend the task by introducing the concept of the 'counterargument' and how writers address it in argumentative writing. While this is not a grade level expectation, it is where students will need to move as they become more sophisticated argumentative writers."

Each unit also contains Language Checkpoints. The Planning the Unit section stresses the importance of these skills to success on the SAT and other college readiness exams. Language Checkpoint 3.11 guides students to “Correctly use punctuation-commas, parentheses, dashes, to set off nonrestrictive and parenthetical sentence elements as well as recognize and correct cases in which restrictive or essential sentence elements are inappropriately set off with punctuation.”

Online Reading and Vocabulary Lab Zinc provides opportunities for students to study advanced vocabulary in preparation for Advanced Placement and College Readiness skills.

Planning the Unit section also includes Advanced Placement/College Readiness skills and knowledge areas as well as where these skills are addressed in the unit. Examples from Unit 3 include:

  • Synthesizing information from a variety of genres (3.3, 3.4,3.8)
  • Evaluating and incorporating referenced sources (3.3, 3.4,3.5,3.10)
  • Analyzing how graphics and visual images relate to and support written tasks ( 3.7, 3.8, Embedded Assessment 1)
  • Creating and sustaining arguments based on reading, research, and/or personal experience (3.8, 3.12, 3.14)
  • Controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure ( 3.6, 3.13, 3.15)

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.

Grade 6 materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Every lesson offers opportunities for students to work in groups whether reading, writing, or speaking and listening about texts. “Specific strategies for collaboration and oral communication are taught and practiced leading to the development of independent, skillful conduct of academic discussions.”

Both the teacher edition and student edition regularly and repeatedly ask students to work as partners and in small groups. Among the means used to and for grouping are Think-Pair-Share, heterogeneous groups, simple partnering, forming small groups based on interest, working as whole class in discussions and guided writing, and forming jigsaw groups to build and share information and ideas. Additionally, students are grouped for purposes of peer editing and feedback, practice with speaking and speech delivery, and reading discussion groups. Specific support for English Language Learners is provided with three Collaborative Discussion lessons in each unit, tied directly to core texts.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors use a larger device to log into SpringBoard. Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. Also, the digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers, “platform neutral”, follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Grade 6 materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms with multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors to use a larger device to log into Springboard.

Indicator 3t

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

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

Grade 6 digital materials effectively uses technology by providing interactive tools for close reading exercises, vocabulary work, populating graphic organizers, and supporting evidence-based writing. In both the digital teacher edition and student edition, space is provided to enter answers to questions, attach sticky notes, highlight and mark text with annotations. Students and teachers can add vocabulary to the existing lists provided by the program as well as edit close-reading questions. Additional opportunities for learning provided within the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard Dashboard offer consistent organization and structures for using technology as a tool in the learning process. The teacher edition provides tips for sharing documents via external programs such as Google Docs. Additionally, there is a digital SpringBoard community supporting conversations among teachers from across the hall or across the country. The additional resources also include online workshops/webinars.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that digital materials include some opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students.

Using a generally accepted definition for adaptive technology as objects or systems specifically designed to increase or maintain the capabilities of people with disabilities, reviewers conclude there are few examples of such in the materials. Indeed, the technology available through the digital version allows users to change font size, populate graphic organizers, use word processing technologies, annotate text, and hear audio pronunciations of some vocabulary words, but there is no text to speech or speech to text adaptations which would truly be adaptive and useful to those with hearing, vision, and disabilities related to the hands. Additionally, the program allows teachers to edit questions and use alternative texts, but these means of personalizing instruction are not within the realm of adaptive technology.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

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

Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard digital Dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. At each grade and within each unit, a Flexible Novel Unit supports a teaching decision to replace the suggested novel in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for local needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginal guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the resources is a Custom Assessment builder to create Common Core aligned questions to check for understanding. The Letter to Parents, also available through Teacher Resources, is customizable for local needs. Additionally, many features within the unit activities are customizable, supporting the professional judgment of classroom teachers.

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

The digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have Springboard. Springboard also provides the ability to create “‘digital ‘sticky’ notes that can be inserted on-screen and offer on-demand planning and notation for teacher suggestions or student work” as well as “the ability to edit teaching commentary, personalizing it by adding notes and comments to lesson.”’

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 03/16/2018

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Springboard English Language ArtsGrade Grade 6 Student Edition 978-1-4573-0835-2 Copyright: 2018 2018
Springboard English Language ArtsGrade Grade 6 Teacher Edition 978-1-4573-0842-0 Copyright: 2018 2018

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.

About Technology Information

EdReports requested that publishers fill out The Instructional Materials Technology Information document about each of their products that met our alignment criteria. This document does not evaluate the quality or desirability of any product functionality, but documents features in order to empower local schools and districts with information to select materials that will work best for them given their technological capabilities and instructional vision.

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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