Alignment: Overall Summary

The Units of Study materials do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. The majority of anchor/core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Additionally, anchor/core texts do not progress in complexity to support students in progressing towards reading at grade level. 

Materials do not include text-dependent questions and tasks that support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the text being studied. Rather, materials focus on including strategy questions and cueing, including meaning, syntax, and visual cues. Questions and tasks do not support students in text-based discussions or writing and do not align to grade-level standards. Speaking and listening opportunities are not varied or text-based. The majority of discussions occur in teacher-led whole group or turn and talk. 

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing and process writing. However, the genres are not evenly distributed across the year and there is a lack of on-demand writing. Materials lack explicit instruction and student practice opportunities in all grammar and conventions standards. Materials also do not include a cohesive plan for vocabulary development.

Foundational skills instruction does not include a research-based explanation for the order of phonological awareness and phonics instruction and there is no presence of a cohesive and sequential scope and sequence. Materials do not include systematic and explicit instruction in all foundational skills standards to provide students with opportunities to progress towards reading proficiency. While materials include some grade-level instruction in foundational skills, the instruction contained in the Units of Study for Reading, Units of Study for Writing, and Units of Study in Phonics do not align, and at times, contradict what is occurring within each unit. The reading units mainly utilize a cueing system for solving unknown words that focus on the initial sound and meaning cues rather than on decoding strategies. Materials do not provide decodable or on-level texts for use in Reading Workshop.

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
26
52
58
20
52-58
Meets Expectations
27-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-26
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
N/A
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
15
22
25
N/A
22-25
Meets Expectations
16-21
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The Units of Study materials do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. The majority of anchor/core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Additionally, anchor/core texts do not progress in complexity to support students in progressing towards reading at grade level. 

Materials do not include text-dependent questions and tasks that support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the text being studied. Rather, materials focus on including strategy questions and cueing, including meaning, syntax, and visual cues. Questions and tasks do not support students in text-based discussions or writing and do not align to grade-level standards. Speaking and listening opportunities are not varied or text-based. The majority of discussions occur in teacher-led whole group or turn and talk. 

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing and process writing. However, the genres are not evenly distributed across the year and there is a lack of on-demand writing. Materials lack explicit instruction and student practice opportunities in all grammar and conventions standards. Materials also do not include a cohesive plan for vocabulary development.

Foundational skills instruction does not include a research-based explanation for the order of phonological awareness and phonics instruction and there is no presence of a cohesive and sequential scope and sequence. Materials do not include systematic and explicit instruction in all foundational skills standards to provide students with opportunities to progress towards reading proficiency. While materials include some grade-level instruction in foundational skills, the instruction contained in the Units of Study for Reading, Units of Study for Writing, and Units of Study in Phonics do not align, and at times, contradict what is occurring within each unit. The reading units mainly utilize a cueing system for solving unknown words that focus on the initial sound and meaning cues rather than on decoding strategies. Materials do not provide decodable or on-level texts for use in Reading Workshop.

Criterion 1a - 1e

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.

5/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The Grade 1 Units of Study materials do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include some anchor texts of publishable quality with engaging content and vibrant illustrations; however, materials also include several demonstration texts that are beginning readers and are labeled as texts meant for new and developing readers to read with some support. The materials include few anchor texts at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 1 according to quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task analysis. The unit books include a brief rationale for a few of the recommended demonstration texts but do not include comprehensive information on quantitative or qualitative text complexity. 

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. *This does not include decodables. Those are identified in Criterion 3.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet  the criteria of Indicator 1a.

The Grade 1 Units of Study materials include some anchor texts of publishable quality with engaging content and vibrant illustrations. There are a variety of books that consider a range of student interests. Grade 1 texts are heavily supported with illustrations. The texts have simpler storylines and often include repetitive story parts or lines. The materials include several demonstration texts that are beginning readers and are labeled as texts meant for new and developing readers to read with some support. 

Some anchor texts are of high-quality and consider a range of student interests, are well-crafted, content rich, and engage students at their grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Reading Unit 1, the read-aloud text is Ish by Peter H Reynolds. The text is a thought-provoking narrative with which many students can identify. The text includes vibrant illustrations and academic vocabulary, such as capture, savor, energized, springing, exclaimed, sneered. 

  • In Reading Unit 2, the read-aloud text is Super Storms by Seymour Simon. This informational text includes vivid photographs and varied sentence structure. Academic vocabulary includes millions, beware, uproot, howling, funnel-shaped, prevent, and content-specific vocabulary includes typhoon, tornado, hurricane, and blizzard.

  • In Reading Unit 3, Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky is a beginning chapter book with short chapters, rich vocabulary, and many illustrations. The story has engaging characters. The book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, the unit book suggests using the text, Tumbleweed Stew by Susan Stevens Crummel to guide students in drawing on the full set of word-solving strategies that they have practiced in this unit. The text is a variation of the classic folktale Stone Soup. The text is set on a western ranch and features animals as the characters. The illustrations are colorful, and the text includes some rich language, such as names of animals and foods.

  • In Reading Unit 4, Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole by Wong Herbert Yee is a beginning chapter book with a lot of rich vocabulary, colorful illustrations, and engaging characters. There are a variety of sentence and literary structures, such as onomatopoeia. This book was a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor award winner. 

  • In Reading Unit 4, the anchor text Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant is a publishable quality text. The text is worthy of reading multiple times and is revisited in four lessons in this unit. This text is engaging and grade level appropriate. Simple identification of which characters are speaking makes the story easy to follow. 

  • In Reading Unit 4, the anchor text is Iris and Walter and the Field Trip by Elissa Haden Guest. This text features rich text and illustrations. The text is worthy of reading multiple times and is revisited in additional lessons. The story is easy to follow and the illustrations support the text structure.  

Some anchor texts are not of high-quality, may not consider a range of student interests, are not well-crafted, content rich, and/or do not engage students at their grade level. For example: 

  • In Reading Unit 1, the shared reading text is Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea. The text includes a simple story with patterned sentences, animal characters, and illustrations. The story does not provide students with opportunities for knowledge building. 

  • In Reading Unit 1, Kazam’s Birds is a guided reader book. It has one sentence per page with a matching illustration. The text is composed of simple sentences and does not include any academic vocabulary. 

In Reading Unit 2, Hang On, Monkey! by Susan B. Neuman is an informational text with simple sentence structure. This book contains some limited vocabulary and each page has photographs of monkeys with labels. The book does not meet the complexity requirements for knowledge building in Grade 1.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. *This does not include decodable. Those are identified in Criterion 3.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1b.

The Grade 1 Units of Study materials do not include a balance of informational and literary texts. The materials focus mostly on fiction with the inclusion of a poem, informational text, and songs. There are no nursery rhymes, historical, scientific, or technical texts included in the Grade 1 materials. While the materials include a mix of informational and literary texts, there is not a balance between the two text types, as there is more literary text than informational.  

  • Materials do not reflect the distribution of text types/genres required by the grade-level standards. For example: 

    • In Reading Unit 1, Ish by Peter H Reynolds is a fictional story. Kazam's Birds by Amy Ehrlich is a guided reading fictional story. Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea is also a fictional story. There is one poem, “Make New Friends.” Unit 1 has no informational texts. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Hang On, Monkey! by Susan B. Neuman is a National Geographic Kids informational reader. Super Storms by Seymour Simon is an informational text. Owls by Mary R. Dunn is an informational text. This unit has no literary texts and no other genres. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Tumbleweed Stew by Susan Stevens Crummel is a fictional story. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel is a fictional story. Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky is a fictional story. All these stories have animal main characters. Unit 3 digital access also includes a song “Be a Reading Boss.” The song is not for knowledge building.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant is a fictional story. Iris and Walter and the Field Trip by Elissa Haden Guest is a fictional story. George and Martha: One More Time by James Marshall is a fictional story. Unit 4 has no other genres. 

  • Materials do not reflect a 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts. For example: 

    • In Reading Unit 1, there are four anchor texts used for core instruction. All four are literary. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, there are three anchor texts used for core instruction. All three are informational.

    • In Reading Unit 3, there are four anchor texts used for core instruction. All four are literary.  

    • In Reading Unit 4, there are seven anchor texts used for core instruction. All seven are literary.

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1c.

Most anchor texts in the curriculum are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 1, according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and the associated tasks. The materials do not provide a text complexity analysis document for recommended texts. The unit books include a brief rationale for a few of the recommended demonstration texts but do not include comprehensive information on quantitative or qualitative text complexity.  Some texts are not associated with comprehension tasks. Many of the associated tasks related to comprehension are limited to low level tasks, such as retelling. 

Core/Anchor texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation includes a limited rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 

  • The majority of anchor/core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Reading Unit 1, the shared reading text is Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea. The Unit 1 guide states this text was selected for its “sweet characters and provided an engaging storyline with repetition.” The text was also chosen, because it is slightly above the benchmark reading level for the beginning of Grade 1. This text is used to build fluency; however, students have not been introduced to the phonics patterns included in the text in order for them to build fluency. Students practice using MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. The associated task with this text is not complex.

    • In Reading Unit 2, the shared reading is Owls by Mary K. Dunn. The Unit 2 guide states the book was chosen because it is “above the level that most first-graders are reading independently. This way, they can be working in a grade-level, complex text with scaffolds and supports”. This book is used to introduce domain-specific vocabulary, and students use MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. Students practice fluency through repeated readings, emulating the teacher, and playing “Guess the Covered Word;” however, students have not been introduced to the phonics patterns included in the text in order to build fluency. The associated task of using MSV is not complex. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, the read-aloud text is Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky (540L). The Unit 3 guide states this book was chosen to introduce students to a beginning chapter book that is close to students’ independent reading level. Students use meaning to figure out unknown words in the story and learn to visualize the story. The associated task of visualizing does not make this text complex. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, the read aloud is Days of the Dinosaurs: The Dinosaur Chase by Hugh Price (420L). The Unit 3 guide states this book was chosen to work on word-solving and comprehension strategies, and the text is close to students' independent reading level; however, read alouds should be above what students can read independently to make them quantitatively complex. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, one of the demonstration texts is Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard (410L). Students retell the story and discuss the characters.

    • In Reading Unit 4, the shared reading selection is “The Scary Movie!” from the text George and Martha: One More Time by James Marshall. The Unit 4 guide does not explain the reason this text was chosen. Students practice using the MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, the teacher uses the text, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, which has a Lexile level of 400L. This selection also serves as a demonstration text for Kindergarten Units 1 and 4. In Grade 1, Unit 4, Session 16, the teacher guides the students in thinking about the life lesson that the text teaches, making the associated task of low complexity.

  • Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are not accompanied by a text complexity analysis and include a limited rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. For example:

    • There is no formal qualitative rubric included. Materials include some information in the unit guides as to the reason these texts were chosen. Texts were often measured based on the A–Z reading level metric. 

    • In Reading Unit 1, the read-aloud text is Ish by Peter Reynolds (510L). This is a complex book with vocabulary and varying sentence structure. The Unit 1 guide states this text was selected for the precise language and vocabulary as well as the message of taking risks and being original. This text is used to teach how and why the characters change in the story and how to find the message of a story. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, the read-aloud text is Super Storms by Seymour Simon (NC730L). The Unit 2 guide states the book was chosen because it is a topic Grade 1 students enjoy, is a highly-engaging book and is structured well. The book is appropriately above the grade level for a read aloud. Tasks include having students interpret the photographs and text. Students also compare and contrast storms.

    • In Reading Unit 4, page xiii of the unit book suggests: “In addition to our exemplar texts in the shared reading and read-aloud portion of this book, you also use Iris and Walter and the Field Trip by Elissa Haden Guest, and Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant. These two books are favorite series of both first grade students and teachers. Iris and Walter star in an engaging series that is just at or slightly above most of your first graders’ independent reading levels.” The unit book explains that first graders are familiar with the characters, Mr. Putter and Tabby, “and are able to focus on the thinking word when using this book in mini-lessons.” 

    • Some information is included in the online resources, Units of Study for Teaching Reading. The online resources contain a book list of titles and reading levels. There is also a document titled, “Recommended Books and Supplies for Reading Workshop.” This document provides suggestions for class libraries: what to include, reading levels, and engaging titles that are reflective of students’ interests and experiences. Each unit outlines the read aloud and shared reading titles, but materials do not provide a rationale of the text and level.

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1d.

The majority of read aloud and shared reading texts are not at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade band, and the complexity does not build across the school year. Tasks associated with texts are primarily of low complexity or moderate complexity, and many tasks are the same as tasks from Kindergarten Units. These units include using illustrations to discuss character’s feelings, using MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) to solve unknown words, making predictions, and acting out stories. There are no instances across the year of texts and tasks becoming more complex across the year.  Suggested read-aloud texts vary from two-three days. Unit 1 includes one read aloud for two days; Unit 2 and Unit 3 both include one read aloud for three days; and Unit 4 includes one read aloud for two days. Unit 4 lessons include more texts but not all are of higher complexity. For shared reading, the teacher is expected to take the model lessons at the end of the unit and replicate with other teacher chosen texts. Some texts are used in multiple units.  

  • The complexity of anchor texts students read do not fully provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. For example: 

    • In the beginning of the year, the Reading Unit 1 texts range in Lexile level from AD260–510L. Half of the texts are of low qualitative complexity; one text is of moderate complexity, and one is of medium qualitative complexity. Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated tasks, three Unit 1 texts have an overall complexity level that is accessible, and one text is moderate overall. 

    • In the middle of the year, the Reading Unit 3 texts range in Lexile level from 420L–540L. Three texts are moderate in qualitative complexity, and one text is high in qualitative complexity. Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated tasks, all Unit 3 texts have an overall complexity level that is moderate. 

    • At the end of the year, the Reading Unit 4 texts range in Lexile level from AD400L–510L. Four texts are of moderate qualitative complexity; one text is of medium qualitative complexity, and two texts are of high qualitative complexity. Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated tasks, six out of seven Unit 4 texts have an overall complexity level that is moderate, and one text has an overall accessible complexity level. 

    • In Reading Unit 1, students listen to the Shared Reading text, Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea (270L). On Day 1, students learn how to use MSV (Meaning, Syntax, and Visuals) to solve tricky words. On Day 2, the teacher reminds students to use MSV to solve unknown words. On Day 3, the materials provide teachers with options for word study that include supporting high-frequency word vocabulary by searching for sight words in the text or studying unfamiliar words using context clues and dramatization to determine meaning. On Day 4, students practice fluency by paying attention to punctuation. On Day 5, students participate in a final reading of the text. Teacher guidance states, “Emphasize how using all three sources of information (MSV) while reading, along with rereading, can make your reading so much stronger.” Students come up with three questions or big ideas they have about the book. The text and associated tasks are not complex and do not focus on growing students’ literacy skills. 

    • In Reading Unit 1, students listen to the read-aloud text, Ish by Peter H. Reynolds (510L). This text covers two class periods. On Day 1, the teacher points to the illustrations and prompts students to say what is on the page. Students figure out who the new characters are and what they might be doing using the illustrations and then make a prediction. The teacher then reads the text with expression. The teacher pauses on page 15 and prompts students to study the illustration and share their thinking. Students use facial expressions and body language to show how the characters’ feelings changed across the story and then act out the book. Students participate in a class retelling of the text. On Day 2, which the materials indicate may take place a number of days or even weeks later, students listen to the text with a new lens. Teacher directions state, “When we reach parts that help you see more and think more, put a thumbs up so I can be sure to give you a chance to turn and talk with a partner.” The teacher rereads the text with expression, and students act out a scene, dramatizing how characters talk, feel, and behave. Students discuss a tricky phrase, “Leon’s laughter haunted Ramon,” by thinking about what makes sense and what’s going on in the story. Students consider the lesson in the story and what caused Ramon to change. Students participate in a whole class discussion of the text about what the text teaches them. Students create bumper stickers for the story. While the text is complex, the associated tasks do not build students’ literacy skills. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, students listen to the shared reading text, Owls by Mary Dunn (490L). The text spans five days. Students participate in repeated rereadings of the text and use the MSV(Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. The teacher also plays “Guess the Covered Word” with students, using sentences from the text. While the text is complex, the associated tasks do not build students’ literacy skills and comprehension of the text. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, the teacher reads the text Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky (540L). The teacher uses this demonstration text during nine lessons. Students predict parts of the story and practice visualizing the events. While the text is complex, the associated tasks are not complex and do not build students’ comprehension of the text. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, students listen to “The Scary Movie!” from the text George and Martha: One More Time by James Marshall (Lexile not available). This shared reading text covers five days. On Day 1, the teacher guides students in using the MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. On Day 2, students continue using MSV and the teacher reminds students to use all they know to solve words. On Day 3, the materials provide suggestions to the teacher based on student data. The teacher facilitates a word study of words that have double consonants, contractions, possessives, compound words, or plurals. The teacher's suggestions also state that they can play word games after reading. On Day 4, the teacher rereads the story. Provided teacher suggestions include guidance on the use of parsing or prosodic cues. The teacher then points out special print, such as italicized words, to read with intonation. On Day 5, teacher prompts include, “Emphasize how using all three sources of information while reading (MSV), along with rereading, can make your reading so much stronger.” The text and associated tasks are not complex and do not advance students’ literacy skills. 

  • As texts become more complex, appropriate scaffolds and/or materials are not provided in Teacher Edition (i.e., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings). For example: 

    • Read-aloud instruction covers two-three day cycles and shared reading instruction always occurs in five-day cycles. There is no change based on the complexity of the texts. Many of the associated tasks throughout the year involve teaching students the MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) cueing system to figure out unknown words in the text. 

    • While there are repeated readings or references to previously read texts throughout the lessons, these repeated readings generate limited understanding with questioning and associated tasks often do not build students’ literacy skills or comprehension of the text.

Indicator 1e

Materials 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, including accountability structures for independent reading.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1e.               

The Grade 1 materials give general guidance about supporting students in reading a variety of texts and engaging in a volume of reading. Since sessions are designed around suggested texts, there is no guarantee as to the variety and volume of texts students would engage with in a unit. Similarly, the materials offer some general guidance and suggestions on establishing routines for independent reading and partner reading. The majority of recommendations are in the supporting material, The Guide to the Reading Workshop. There is not a clearly proposed schedule for independent reading. Rather, there is a recommended structure for students’ reading time during Readers Workshop. The supporting material offers a sample schedule for the school day but notes that the schedule would vary according to grade level. Some sessions include specific guidance to foster independence. Some sessions also include procedures for managing independent reading. The materials offer multiple suggestions for an independent reading tracking system, by whole-group methods. 

  • Instructional materials provide limited opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres. For example:

    • Students engage with anchor texts through recommended demonstration texts daily. Students also have independent reading time daily in which they read books in their Zone of Proximal Development. 

    • Each unit includes one read aloud with suggestions for before, during, and after reading. Materials recommend that the teacher select multiple texts to repeat the given strategies throughout the unit. “In most units of study, there are a few books threaded through the sequence of the unit. You could decide to substitute another book for any of the suggested demonstration texts (The Guide to Reading Workshop, 51).  

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 51, the authors recommend that students have bags or boxes for storing their books for independent reading and work time during the Readers Workshop. The authors recommend that students fill their book bags or boxes with about ten books. It is these texts that students work with during their reading time; when a reader finishes one book, they move on to another book from their selection rather than immediately returning to the classroom library to swap out a book. Once a week, students should refresh their selections with books from the classroom library. The text states, “Throughout the week, children read and reread their collection of books. Reading volume is key, and it’s important to supply children with enough reading materials, including not just books, but also copies of shared reading texts, word wall words, and so on, to keep early readers going across longer stretches of time, both in school and at home.” Materials include a stamina chart for Grade 1. This chart shows the goal of 40 minutes of independent reading in one session. The guide does not include guidance on exposing students to a variety of texts.

    • The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 52, discusses having students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 engage in both independent reading and partner reading during each independent work time. The authors state, “In kindergarten and first grade, as students are working to build their reading stamina, the teacher will transition students from independent reading to partner reading midway through the workshop each day. Partner reading is designed to give young readers a second wind, renewing their energy to continue on, allowing for more time dedicated to eyes on print, this time with the company of a peer.” The authors also recommend that teachers help their students increase their independence by gradually adding more time to the independent reading portion and subtracting time from the partner reading portion of work time.

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 146, materials indicate that teachers may select texts other than literary works for the read aloud, noting that the read aloud could be a meaningful way to bring content-area texts to life. The text states, “You can bring this magic to expository nonfiction as well as to narrative nonfiction. Reading aloud is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate that expository and narrative texts sound sound and feel different and are structured differently.”

    • In Reading Unit 1, An Orientation to the Unit, materials state that first grade students are energetic and curious, but do not typically have the urge to focus on one activity for long. The text states, “Engagement and independence, volume and stamina: these aren’t terms that you can take for granted in a first grade classroom at the start of the year. Don’t worry! In time, children learn that volume matters, and you’ll urge them to push themselves to read more and more.”

    • In Reading Unit 1, Mid-Workshop Teaching, the author recommends highlighting the positive reading behaviors of students. One such behavior is using all of their reading time to read. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, An Orientation to the Unit, materials note that in order for students to grow as readers of informative text, they must have access to many informative texts and receive instruction on strategies for reading these texts. The unit book states, “Let’s be clear about what you need to make happen in your classroom. Children must be given the opportunity to read a lot of nonfiction books, and they must be taught strategies for reading them. If not they will be flipping through the books to locate weird animal snouts or naked butts and not reading words at all, or they will be robotically churning through the sentences, tackling the hard words, without displaying a lot of curiosity about the topic.” Unit 2 is intended to teach students these strategies. Strategies for reading informative texts include rereading, talking about the text, finding key words, finding interesting things to share, reading with feeling, and talking about key words. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, An Orientation to the Unit, materials identify the classroom library as a way to encourage students to read a variety of texts. The unit book states, “To ensure children read with volume and stamina and have ample opportunities to practice what they are learning in both fiction and nonfiction books, you’ll encourage students to shop across genres throughout the unit. To do so, you’ll need to make sure your library is brimming with enticing nonfiction and fiction texts.” Additionally, the teacher should ensure that the classroom library has enough texts to span the students’ range of reading levels. The unit book states, “Your readers will need to have enough texts to last for a week of reading. Ideally, most students should be able to select between eight and twelve books a week.” 

  • Instructional materials identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading. For example:

    • Students pick 10 new books a week. In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, a stamina chart is included. This chart shows the goal of 40-45 minutes of reading in one session. 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 51, the authors recommend that students have bags or boxes for storing their books for independent reading and work time during the Readers Workshop. The authors recommend that students fill their book bags or boxes with about ten books. It is these texts that students work with during their reading time; when a reader finishes one book, they move on to another book from their selection rather than immediately returning to the classroom library to swap out a book. Once a week, the students are to refresh their selections with books from the classroom library. The text states, “Throughout the week, children read and reread their collection of books. Reading volume is key, and it’s important to supply children with enough reading materials, including not just books, but also copies of shared reading texts, word wall words, and so on, to keep early readers going across longer stretches of time, both in school and at home.” 

    • In Unit 1, An Orientation the Unit, the authors state that first grade students are energetic and curious, but do not typically have the urge to focus on one activity for long. The text states, “Engagement and independence, volume and stamina: these aren’t terms that you can take for granted in a first grade classroom at the start of the year. Don’t worry! In time, children learn that volume matters, and you’ll urge them to push themselves to read more and more.”

    • In Unit 1, Mid-Workshop Teaching, the author recommends highlighting the positive reading behaviors of students. One such behavior is using all of their reading time to read. 

    • In Unit 3, An Orientation to the Unit,  the authors identify the teacher’s classroom library as a way to encourage students to engage in a volume of reading. The teacher is to ensure that the classroom library has enough texts to span the students’ range of reading levels. The unit book states, “Your readers will need to have enough texts to last for a week of reading. Ideally, most students should be able to select between eight and twelve books a week.” 

  • There is limited teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers. (eg. Proposed schedule, racking system for independent reading, independent reading procedures are included in the lessons.) For example: 

    • The Guide to Reading Workshop, Chapter 4, materials include detailed information on how to build reading skills at all primary grade levels.

    • The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 5, materials discuss how students do independent reading of books from their baggies or book bins. This section also describes how students get approximately ten new books weekly and how teachers send books home for students to read. 

    • The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, materials discuss the need to foster independence so students read to meet their own goals. 

    • Teachers track independent reading growth by doing running records. An independent reading level is determined by the running record and teachers differentiate reading texts based on these levels. The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, informs how to assess using running records, and Chapter 14 gives information on how to differentiate for students.  

    • The Reading Unit 1 guide suggests Grade 1 students should have 10–12 books they can carry back and forth from home to school. They should also have a reading mat to help with goals and tracking goal progress and reading volume. 

    • In Reading Unit 1, the teacher introduces a strategy for students to support their partners during partner reading time. The teacher models reading aloud and pausing at an unknown word. Next, the teacher invites students to offer advice to solve the word, rather than just saying the word. The teacher emphasizes this strategy, and redminds students to refer to the strategies on the “Reading Partners Work Together” chart. Students practice this strategy with their partners at the end of the mini lesson and during partner reading time. 

    • The digital document, “Recommended Books and Supplies for a Reading Workshop” gives detailed suggestions of books for each unit in K–2. It also recommends teachers have a classroom library with a minimum of 500 books on the student’s reading levels. 

    • In the Reading Unit Guides, for each lesson, there is a “Link” that tells what the teacher says to start independent reading time. There is a reminder of what the students learned in the lesson and to use it when reading. Often, the teacher reminds students to use the anchor chart from the lesson while independently reading. 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 51, the authors indicate that students should read texts on their independent reading level during their private and partner reading time. The authors note that the students choose their own books on their “just-right” levels. On page 68, the authors reiterate that the teacher should focus on having students read texts on their independent level. The text states, “When a child achieves above a 96% accuracy with adequate fluency and comprehension, this is one indicator that he is able to read independently at that level.” 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, pages 96–98, the authors describe a variety of ideas and strategies for managing reading time during Reading Workshop. For example, the text states, “Sometimes you may disperse children by saying, ‘If you are going to be doing (one kind of work), get going. If you are going to be doing (another kind of work), get going. If you are not certain what goals you can work toward today and what strategies you can try using and need some help, stay here and I’ll work with you.’ Soon you’ll be leading a small group of children who’ve identified themselves as needing more direction.” 

    • In Reading Unit 1, the unit book recommends supporting the transition from the mini lesson to independent reading time after the transition has taken place. The text states, “After you send children off from the mini lesson, you will probably circulate around the room, using nonverbal signals to redirect students’ attention and get them started right away. If a child is sitting and waiting, gesture for him to start right away. You might say to the whole class, ‘You don’t need to wait for anybody. You can start as soon as you get back to your reading spot!’ If a child is chatting with a classmate for example, pantomime opening a book as a way to say, ‘Get started.’ If a child is standing near her table spot, spinning around and making noises, you’ll want to make the message clear that this is not expected behavior. Act stunned. ‘Where’s your book? We haven’t got a moment to waste during our precious time!’”

    • In Reading Unit 1, the unit book recommends establishing the routines for partner reading during the Readers Workshop. The text states, “Teach children to place one book in the middle anytime they are reading with partners. Teach them to put their own book aside or even to sit on it when it’s their partner’s turn. It helps to coach both kids to hold on to the book being shared, each partner holding on to one edge of the book. When young children aren’t actually touching the book being shared, they have a tendency to look away and become distracted.”

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

3/16
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials do not include text-based opportunities, protocols, questions and tasks that support students as both listeners and speakers. Speaking and listening protocols and opportunities are not varied across the year and the majority of opportunities are teacher-led or partner turn and talk. Additionally, the majority of questions and tasks are not aligned to grade-level standards and students do not have opportunities to participate in speaking and listening or writing focused on using evidence from the text. 

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing and process writing. However, the genres are not evenly distributed across the year and there is a lack of on-demand writing. Materials lack explicit instruction and student practice opportunities in all grammar and conventions standards. Materials also do not include a cohesive plan for vocabulary development. Students rarely have opportunities to learn and study core academic vocabulary related to the text which may impede students’ core understanding of the text being studied. 

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or 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).

0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1f.

The majority of questions, tasks, and assignments in the Grade 1 materials are not text-specific and/or text-dependent. Shared Readings for Grade 1 have some comprehension tasks that are text-based but  sessions focus mainly on fluency, phonics, or word work/vocabulary. Demonstration texts for mini-lessons in Grade1 have associated tasks and questions that are sometimes text-based and often not text-specific. These sessions often focus on generalized reading skills such as previewing and using the MSV (meaning, structure, visual cues) strategy.  Students practice general strategies that they can use for any of their self-selected texts during independent reading time.  Similarly, a few lessons include text-based strategies, but do not specify a text for the teacher to use in the demonstration. Although there are some text-based questions, there are not many for each text and the ones included are often not aligned to standards. 

  • Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks do not support students' in making meaning of the core understandings of the text being studied. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Text-dependent questions seem to occur loosely throughout the read aloud and shared reading and not in the other sessions.

    • In Reading Unit 1, the third day of the sample shared reading is a word study using the text, Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea. The unit book gives general suggestions and ideas for the teacher, listing several skills that the students could practice. The teacher must choose activities to use with the text. The unit book states, “You might choose to reinforce a feature in phonics that the students need to be aware of as readers, such as blends, digraphs, or inflectional endings. You might even begin to immerse students in the word-study principles that readers moving into level F/G need to know, such as those that govern long vowels with the silent e pattern, vowel pairs, or double consonants. You might also choose to support students’ high-frequency word recognition.” The unit book provides a brief example of how students might signal the teacher when they notice a high frequency word in the text.  

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 7, the teacher tells students that rereading is a way to notice key details in the text. The unit book does not specify a demonstration text; the teacher is supposed to select the text for the lesson. The unit book states, “Get kids working during the demonstration, prompting them to name what new details they see.” The unit book does not provide question starters or sentence stems. It does include some brief examples about what students might notice when rereading the text, Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea. Next, students practice this strategy using paper magnifying glasses to point to new details in their own self-selected texts. The unit book does not provide suggestions for how the teacher should structure this activity or support students in making meaning.

    • In Reading Unit 2, the teacher tells students “Now reread the pages with your  partner and think about what you would want to talk about with someone or what kind of question you might ask. Look at our chart about getting super smart and pick something. When you know what you want to do, put your thumb on your knee so I know you are ready. Go ahead, tell your partner what you would do.”

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 4, the title of the lesson is, “Make a Plan.” This session does not include a lesson plan or specific task to model with a demonstration text. The teacher is to tell students, “Today I want to teach you that readers who are in charge have big plans for their reading. They think, ‘What do I do a lot? What can I do even more? and then they make a plan to be the best they can be.” The unit book indicates that the teacher should think aloud, noting word-solving strategies that they might not typically use. Then, the teacher should model how to write the name of this strategy on a sticky note as a reminder. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 9, the materials indicate that the teacher should demonstrate becoming the character. The session does not specify a demonstration text. In the session narrative, the teacher says, “You can change your voice to show what the character is feeling and bring the character to life.” The materials suggest that the teacher reads the text to show how the characters feel. During the active engagement part of the session, the materials state that the teacher should choose whether students will practice the session’s strategy in a shared text or in their own self-selected books.

    • In Unit 4, Session 2, the objective of the lesson is to teach students that readers use the storyline to make predictions. The session does not specify a demonstration text. The teacher should gather three to four books from the classroom library. In the session narrative, the teacher holds up different books and shows students how to make predictions. It is unclear whether the teacher is modeling and guiding the practice of this strategy by using illustrations or reading the text. Questions include, “What do you think will happen?” and “What do you think he’ll do next.” The teacher does not read on to guide students in verifying their predictions. Next, the students practice making predictions in their own self-selected texts. The students share their predictions. Then, the teacher instructs the students to read on in order to see whether their predictions were correct. 

  • Teacher materials provide limited support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks. For example: 

    • Lessons are written in narrative style as a conversation between the teacher and student(s). Lessons do not include any specific guidance on planning or implementation of text-based questions and tasks beyond the few that are in the lesson. 

    • There is limited support for teachers in the form of thinking sentences and questions within the sidebar notes. 

    • A Guide to the Reading Workshop provides support to teachers in understanding the components of the Read Alouds and Shared Readings on pages 135–150, but does not provide specific support around planning or implementing text-dependent questions. 

    • There is limited support regarding planning or implementation of text-based questions and tasks found within “If...Then..Curriculum” on page 55. “Another way to help children retell is to teach them to answer questions, “Who is in the story?” and “What did she do, or what happened to her?” Although, these questions will be asked around a specific text, these can be asked with any text and are not text-dependent questions. 

    • There is limited support regarding planning or implementation of text-based questions and tasks found within “If...Then..Curriculum” on page 55. Materials reference the Partners Talk about Characters chart with sentence starters, “The character looks…”, “the character feels..”, “the character said.. The character didn’t say..”, “At the beginning.. In the middle.. In the end..” Although these questions will be asked around a specific text, these can be asked with any text and are not text-dependent questions. 

    • There is limited supports regarding planning or implementation of text-based questions and tasks found within “If...Then..Curriculum” on pages 100–102. “Teach students how to navigate more complex texts, accumulating the most important information as they read, provide Key Details Mini-Charts or Bookmarks which guides students to ask specific questions when regarding, ‘Who or What is this mostly about?; What is happening?; When or Where is this taking place?; Why is this happening? Why is this important?; How does this work?’” Although these questions will be asked around a specific text, these can be asked with any text and are not text-dependent questions.

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1g.

Materials do not include protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Most sessions in the unit guides focus on the teacher leading the discussion. Protocols are not varied across the year. The majority of discussions occur either with the whole class or in a turn and talk. Students participate in discussions; however, unit guides lack specific guidance for the teacher. There is minimal support for evidence-based discussions and materials lack teacher guidance and support in implementing speaking and listening opportunities. The teacher guides student discussions through questioning but there is a lack of modeled answers.    

  • Materials do not provide varied protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. The protocols for speaking and listening are not varied across the academic year. The majority of the speaking and listening protocols suggest “turn and talk” with the teacher assessing students behavior, not the content of their discussions. Although there is a method for approaching speaking and listening, there are not specific protocols for students to follow with specific guidance and routines. For example: 

    • Some protocols can be found in Chapter 13 Read Aloud of The Guide to the Reading Workshop. The protocols suggest modeling thinking aloud and then asking students to turn and tell their partner what they are thinking. The protocols are vague and do not lead to evidence-based discussions. Materials state:  “When you come to the end of a chapter, section, or whole test, you’ll need to decide whether to channel the conversation in a particular direction or whether to let the children develop the starting idea.” If the teacher chooses to let the students develop an idea the guide suggests the teacher “[s]ay, ‘Oh my gosh, my mind is on fire, Is yours? So many thoughts right now. Whoa! Turn and tell your partner what you’re thinking. Go!’” The model think aloud is repeated often throughout the lessons but does not lead to evidence-based discussions.  

  • Speaking and listening instruction includes limited facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop - Primary Grades, Chapter 3, the authors share about how “learners need opportunities to talk in response to texts.”  The text states, “One of the most powerful ways to teach children to think is to teach them to engage in thoughtful discussions, and especially discussions that incorporate thinking under, between, and around texts.”  The authors share that it is “helpful to explicitly teach students to make claims that are grounded in the text, to supply evidence from those claims, to talk between the example and the claim, to uncover assumptions, and to explore ramifications.  It is also helpful to each student to develop a line of thinking through sustained talk about one subject, and as part of this to elaborate using transitional phrases such as the important thing about this is…of what is worth noticing about the example is.”  While the reading workshop supports talk, it also teaches talk.  “Readers are generally matched to a long-term partner, someone who is able to read and is interested in reading similar books.  Partners in kindergarten and first grade tend to read independently for half of the reading workshop and then spend the second half reading with a partner.  Right from the beginning of kindergarten, children are taught that partners can not only read together, but they can also talk about their texts.  In second grade, children spend most of the reading workshop time reading independently but in the last few minutes have the opportunity to get together with a partner to compare notes, raise and pursue questions, and learn to see the text through each other’s perspectives.  Readers also have the opportunity to work in small groups, inquiry groups or book clubs, so their talk can engage them not only with a partner, but with other voices and other perspectives as well.  The classroom community as a whole also engages in extended conversations around texts that are read aloud.”

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop - Primary Grades, Chapter 5, partnerships and groups are discussed in detail. The text states that “across K-2 units, children will work on ability-based partnerships. For other units, children will work in groups of about four students to form a reading club, each reading a title within a given series or connected to a particular topic. In kindergarten and first grade, as children are working to build their reading stamina, the teacher will transition students from independent reading to partner reading midway through the workshop each day. Partner time is designed to give young readers a second wind, renewing their energy to continue on, allowing for more time dedicated to eyes on print, this time with the company of a peer.  Beyond developing readers’ stamina, these partnerships and clubs also provide children with an immediate audience with whom to practice strategies.”

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 1, the lesson is focused on making predictions. The teaching notes state, “Listen in and coach students’ thinking once again, as well as their speaking and listening skills.”  Guidance directs teachers to observe the following student behaviors: “Are students taking turns? Are students building conversations, adding on to stay on topic? Are students asking questions? Are students using key details from the story to talk?” Protocols for this discussion are not modeled.

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 2, the speaking and listening task asks students to make an inference and talk with a partner about the meaning of “The more prepared we are the safer we will be.” The teaching notes suggest the teacher circulate while the students are talking and prompt them to extend their conversations by giving examples and adding on to each others’ ideas. Protocols for this discussion are not modeled.

Indicator 1h

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and support.

0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1h.

Over the course of the year, speaking and listening instruction is often not evidence-based. Discussions are simple and limited to retelling or a simple response to a question and are generally not standards-aligned. Speaking and listening opportunities are not varied. Materials primarily utilize turn and talk discussions that focus on comprehension strategies, as opposed to utilizing evidence from the text. 

  • Students do not have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. The majority of speaking and listening opportunities occur during whole group or turn and talk. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 1, students engage in turn and talk sessions about the text, Ish by Peter Reynolds. First, the students turn and talk with a partner to retell key details from the beginning of the text. Second, the students retell another specific event from the plot. Then, the students turn and talk with their partners about the character. The students also practice retelling the entire plot of the text. However, it is unclear whether the students are supposed to do this in a turn and talk session or call out their ideas.

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 2, students participate in a turn and talk and a small-group conversation after the teacher rereads a few selections of Super Storms by Seymour Simon. The materials suggest that the teacher could have the students turn and talk to compare and contrast hurricanes with other types of storms. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 10, the teacher reads Chapter 4 from Mr. Putter and Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant. Students turn and talk with partners about how the characters’ feelings change. 

  • Speaking and listening work does not require students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources. For example: 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Read Aloud, the teacher reads Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel over three sessions. In each session, the students participate in class conversation about the text; however, the discussions do not require students to utilize evidence from the text. In Session 1, materials state: “As you read the next few pages you might want to release the scaffold, prompting students to consider what the characters are doing and why, without thinking aloud first. You might say, ‘What is Toad doing here, and why is he doing that?’ After kids turn and talk, you could decide to share a few examples of things you heard partners say. Then, so as not to disrupt the flow of the stopy, continue reading.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 2, the teacher reads aloud Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole By Wong Herbert Yee. The teacher says:  “Let’s think about all the parts of this book and remember all the things these characters did together to grow ideas about them. What are you thinking about Mouse? What are you thinking about Mole? You might start by saying, ‘I think Mouse is… because…’ and then use examples from the book to explain your thinking.’” Materials include the following teacher guidance: “Coach students to build on one another’s ideas, providing more examples to support one side or the other.” Guidance for this discussion is vague and students do not necessarily need to utilize the text to answer the discussion question.

Indicator 1i

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1i.

Materials include process writing; however, materials include limited opportunities for on-demand writing. When on-demand writing is included in a session, it is usually a suggestion or choice, not a requirement. The on-demand prompts in Writing Pathways are the same across K-2. Additionally, on-demand writing prompts are not text-based. During process writing, students write about topics and ideas they choose within that genre throughout the units. The Guide to the Writing Workshop states, “Children will especially invest themselves in writing if they write about subjects that are important to them. The easiest way to support investment in writing is to teach children to choose their own topics most of the time.”  The digital resources include anchor charts and checklists for student references during the writing process. The resources are meant for the teacher to project and are not accessed directly by students. 

  • Materials do not include on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • The Writing and Reading Units do not contain on-demand writing tasks. The focus in the Writing Units is on process writing.

    • The Guide to the Writing Workshop, pages 5-6, explains that baseline and benchmark assessments for each type of writing are on-demand writing tasks.

    • In Writing Pathways, the following is an example of an on-demand prompt for opinion writing: “Think of a topic or issue that you know and care about, an issue around which you have strong feelings. Tomorrow, you will have forty-five minutes to write an opinion or argument text in which you will write your opinion or claim and tell reasons why you feel that way. When you do this, draw on everything you know about essays, persuasive letters, and reviews. If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source, you may bring that with you tomorrow. Please keep in mind that you’ll have forty-five minutes to complete this, so you will need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one setting.”

    • In Writing Pathways, the following is an example of an on-demand prompt for informational writing: “Think of a topic that you’ve studied or that you know a lot about. Tomorrow, you will have forty-five minutes to write an informational [or all-about] text that teaches others interesting and important information and ideas about that topic. If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source to help you with this writing, you may bring that with you tomorrow. Please keep in mind that you’ll have only forty-five minutes to complete this. You will only have this one period, so you’ll need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting. Write in a way that shows all that you know about information writing.” 

    • In Writing Pathways, the following is an on-demand prompt for narrative writing: “I’m really eager to understand what you can do as writers of narratives, or stories, so today, will you please write the best personal narrative, the best Small Moment story, that you can write? Make this be the story one time in your life. You might focus on just a scene or two. You’ll have only forty-five minutes to write this true story, so you’ll need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting. Write in a way that allows you to show off all you know about narrative writing.” 

  • Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 2, students plan narrative stories using “touch and tell, then sketch” before writing. 

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 19, the teacher demonstrates how to use an editing checklist. The teacher displays an anonymous student’s draft as well as a copy of the Editing Checklist. The teacher models editing the draft, reading through the checklist after reading each page of the draft aloud and making changes where necessary. The teacher models how to use a new editing checklist for each page of the draft. Next, the teacher directs students to practice editing the first page of their own selected drafts using copies of the editing checklist. The teacher circulates through the class while students work. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students to use the editing checklist to edit their drafts during their independent writing time. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 14, the teacher demonstrates how to revise a draft by pretending to be a reader and checking for mistakes or confusing parts. The teacher models this using a demonstration text written by a first grade student. The teacher models reading the draft, checking for clarity, and revising by adding punctuation and correcting spelling. Next, the students help the teacher reread and revise another part of the example draft. The students work with partners to discuss specific words that need to be corrected. The teacher makes changes to the draft using the students’ suggestions. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students that they can read their own drafts aloud in order to check for clarity, capital letters, punctuation, and spelling. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 15, the teacher shows students how to plan a draft of a chapter using a class anchor chart. The teacher also shows students how to use a mentor text to plan a draft of a chapter. The teacher refers to the chart titled “How Can I Teach My Readers?” The teacher does not model planning beyond talking about a potential topic for a draft. 

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 11, students learn about writing catchy introductions then review their previous writing to add catchy introductions. 

    • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 3, students learn about different types of endings for narrative texts. The teacher shows students an example ending for a model draft that is unsatisfying for readers. The teacher models how to revise the ending to show what happens to the character in order to make the ending feel more satisfying. The teacher tells students that they can end stories by getting their characters out of trouble, as well as by adding action, dialogue, or feelings. Next, the teacher invites students to create a new ending for the model draft. The students discuss their ideas with partners, and the teacher selects some to share. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students to draft or revise endings for their own narrative texts.   

    • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 5, the teacher supports students in using a checklist to review their writing and set goals. The teacher reads the items on the checklist aloud. After reading each item, the teacher models how to evaluate the model demonstration text. Then, the students examine their own drafts for evidence that meets that particular objective. If they find it, then the students mark their drafts with a sticky note labeled with a key word that matches the specific item on the checklist. Next, the students show their partners their examples of what they did well, using the sticky notes as a guide. The teacher also instructs students to think about which part of the checklist they might want to improve. The teacher invites students to share their goals. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher invites students to sit near other students with the same goal during writing time.   

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. For example: 

    • Online materials include a suggested scope and sequence for writing, as well as Anchor Charts and paper choices for student writing. 

    • The digital resources include anchor charts and checklists for student references during the writing process. The resources are designed for the teacher to project and are not accessed directly by students.

Indicator 1j

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria of Indicator 1j.

The Grade 1 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing. In Grade 1, there are four core units addressing narrative, opinion, and informative writing. Grade 1 students write realistic fiction stories and series, narrative stories, nonfiction chapter books, opinions, and persuasive reviews. However, the genres are not distributed throughout the school year as students will only practice each for a few weeks at a time. While the Grade 1 suggested scope and sequence does have narrative, informative, and opinion writing spread out across the year, this sequence does include two units from Kindergarten. There is only one Opinion Writing Unit if teachers do not include the second suggested unit from Kindergarten. Opinion Writing is not included in the If/Then book. Additionally, the materials do not indicate how many sessions to teach in a week.  Many lessons do include a text as a model or example. Other lessons use teacher or student writing as the model.

  • Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. However, different genres/modes/types of writing are not evenly distributed throughout the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Students have opportunities to engage in opinion writing. 

      • Writing Unit 3 is focused on opinion writing and contains 18 sessions. In this unit, students write opinions about various topics and give reasons for their opinions. They also write persuasive reviews and persuasive book reviews. 

      • In Writing Unit 3, Session 1, the teacher and students prepare shoeboxes that contain collections of their favorite things. The teacher displays an example collection. The teacher and students discuss how to judge the example collection in order to select a “Best in Show'' object. The teacher asks students to discuss the reasons why that particular object is the best. Next, the students select their own “Best in Show'' object. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher tells students that later, they will write about why they think the object they chose is the best. The teacher dismisses students to judge their own shoebox collections and select their “Best in Show'' object. During the Share portion of the lesson, the unit book directs the teacher to share two different examples of how students developed systems to assess the objects in their collections. 

      • In Writing Unit 3, Session 4, the teacher tells students that writers can support an opinion with reasons. However, the teacher does not demonstrate writing an opinion that is supported with reasons. Instead, the students complete a gallery walk, looking at each other’s “shoebox collections.” After the gallery walk, the teacher asks students to select one collection and then write their opinion about the exemplar object from that collection. The teacher provides sentence starters, including “I agree with…I think…is the best….in this collection,” and “I disagree with…I do not think...is the best in this collection. Instead I think…” 

      • In Writing Pathways, on-demand prompt for opinion writing, “Think of a topic or issue that you know and care about, an issue around which you have strong feelings. Tomorrow, you will have forty-five minutes to write an opinion or argument text in which you will write your opinion or claim and tell reasons why you feel that way. When you do this, draw on everything you know about essays, persuasive letters, and reviews. If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source, you may bring that with you tomorrow. Please keep in mind that you’ll have forty-five minutes to complete this, so you will need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one setting.”

    • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing. 

      • Writing Unit 2 is focused on informative writing and contains 20 sessions.  In this unit, students learn to write nonfiction chapter books. Lessons in Unit 2 focus on the parts of nonfiction books, using writer’s craft, and different types of writing.

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 13, the unit book suggests that the teacher teach students about writing introductions and conclusions to their drafts of informational books. The session text offers some ideas for the lesson. For example, the teacher could tell students that an introduction to a book is similar to a classroom’s schedule for the day. The unit book also suggests that the teacher show students a few examples of introductions from published texts, such as the mentor text, Sharks! by Anne Schreiber, and then guide students in studying the introductions of other texts. The unit book also suggests that the teacher make an anchor chart but does not include an example. The unit book notes that the teacher might teach students about conclusions during the Mid-Workshop Teaching portion of the students writing time.    

      • In Writing Pathways, materials include the following on-demand prompt for informational writing: “Think of a topic that you’ve studied or that you know a lot about. Tomorrow, you will have forty-five minutes to write an informational [or all-about] text that teaches others interesting and important information and ideas about that topic. If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source to help you with this writing, you may bring that with you tomorrow. Please keep in mind that you’ll have only forty-five minutes to complete this. You will only have this one period, so you’ll need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting. Write in a way that shows all that you know about information writing.” 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

      • Writing Unit 1 is focused on narrative writing and contains 21 sessions. Unit 4 is also focused on narrative writing and contains 20 sessions. In Unit 1, students use illustrations and sentences to write beginning narratives. Lessons in Unit 1 focus on narrowing the topic of the story to a specific moment and adding writer’s craft. In Unit 4, students learn to write realistic fiction stories then write a series of stories. Lessons in Unit 4 focus on the structure of narrative stories in a single story and the structure of chapter books. Lessons also focus on adding writer’s craft. 

      • In Writing Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher shows students that they can bring their stories to life by making characters think and feel. The teacher shares an example text written by a previous first grade student. As the teacher reads the example text aloud, page by page, the students indicate whether the student author showed her feelings by putting their hands on their hearts. Next, the teacher and students discuss how they could add feelings to their shared class story. Students work in pairs to discuss feelings that they could add. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students that they could add feelings to their own drafts. 

      • In Writing Unit 4, Session 1, the teacher shows students that writers use their imaginations to invent characters, their characteristics, and their actions. The teacher models how to imagine a character and the type of trouble they might get into. The teacher continues, thinking-aloud about the types of trouble that the character could experience near a tree fort. Next, the teacher models how to orally rehearse specific events to write about. Then, the teacher invites students to imagine a character with a name, place, and real-life trouble that they could get into. The students orally rehearse their story ideas with partners, sharing what their characters will do. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher directs students to start writing drafts of their realistic fiction books. 

      • In Writing Pathways, materials include the following on-demand prompt for narrative writing: “I’m really eager to understand what you can do as writers of narratives, or stories, so today, will you please write the best personal narrative, the best Small Moment story, that you can write? Make this be the story one time in your life. You might focus on just a scene or two. You’ll have only forty-five minutes to write this true story, so you’ll need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting. Write in a way that allows you to show off all you know about narrative writing.” 

  • Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher refers to the mentor text, Night of the Veggie Monster by George Clements, to show students an example of how writers can focus on smaller moments in their stories. In the narrative of the lesson, the teacher talks about the author deciding to write the text, but never reads any excerpts of the text. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 9, the teacher shows students that writers study books written by other authors in order to develop their tables of content. The teacher displays the table of contents of the mentor text, Sharks! by Anne Schreiber. The students and teacher read the table of contents aloud together. The teacher asks students “What has she [the author] done that maybe, just maybe, someone in this classroom might be willing to try?”. The students discuss their ideas with partners. The session also recommends that the teacher distribute an assortment of about ten informational chapter books that have tables of contents for students to examine. Next, the teacher facilitates a fishbowl conversation of one small group of students in which the students compare tables of content in several books. After a few minutes, the teacher directs the rest of the class to participate in the discussion. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students to think about what they might do when writing the tables of content in their own drafts. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 18, students revisit the mentor text, Night of the Veggie Monster by Georger McClements to encourage them to use pop-out words and speech bubbles in their nonfiction writing.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 3, the teacher shows students how to study the work of other writers to learn new strategies for writing opinion pieces. The teacher displays an exemplar text written by a first grade student, as well as the Opinion Writing Checklist, Grades 1 and 2. The teacher and students read the sample draft together and evaluate it according to the Opinion Writing Checklist. The students also work with partners to discuss the exemplar text. Next, the teacher asks students to share their ideas about what the student author did well in their draft. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher asks students to compare their own writing to the Opinion Writing Checklist. The teacher reads through the checklist, and the students use their revision pens to draw a star where they feel they are successfully meeting the objectives of the checklist. Next, the teacher tells students that, if they do not find a place in their writing that exemplifies an objective on the checklist, then they should mark that item on the checklist with a star. Students who are ready to work on revising their drafts leave the mini-lesson, while students who want extra help stay with the teacher. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 3, the teacher teaches students about different types of endings for narrative texts. The teacher shows students an example ending for a model draft that is unsatisfying for readers. The teacher models how to revise the ending to show what happens to the character in order to make the ending feel more satisfying. The teacher tells students that they can end stories by getting their characters out of trouble, as well as by adding action, dialogue, or feelings. Next, the teacher invites students to create a new ending for the model draft. The students discuss their ideas with partners, and the teacher selects some to share. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher reminds students to draft or revise endings for their own narrative texts.   

    • In Writing Unit 4, the teacher uses familiar series such as Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant as an example of how to write series books, introduce a character, describe the setting, and make the action exciting.

Indicator 1k

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1k.

The Grade 1 materials do not provide frequent opportunities to practice writing using evidence from texts. The mentor texts are often referred to as models, and students are asked to apply what they learn from the models in their lessons. The materials do not ask students to recall information to support opinions or to work closely with sources for evidence. The writing opportunities are not grounded in the texts students read; they are only based on teacher read mentor texts. Lessons that do include texts often use the text for an example of writer's craft, not content. The majority of student writing assignments ask students to use background knowledge, not recall or information from texts and sources.  

  • Materials do not provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 14, the lesson asks students to study stories to learn ways that the author makes it special. The teacher coaches students to notice where a mentor author does something special and then to transfer what they have learned to their own writing. The lesson does not require students to practice applying evidence in their writing.

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 9, students use the mentor text, Sharks! as an example of a title and table of contents in an information book. Then, students look at other informational chapter books for the title and table of contents. Next, students write a table of contents for their informational books. Students do not have to recall information because their books are not about sharks. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 17, the teacher uses an example writing to demonstrate using different kinds of punctuation. The teacher also reminds students of the book, Yo, Yes! by Raschka to give examples of using voice. Students write nonfiction chapter books but do not use text evidence. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 7, the instructional focus is introducing characters in book one of a series. The lesson reviews books the students have read and guides them through inquiry of how authors often give a lot of details when introducing characters. This is an example of using text to apply learning to their own writing, but students do not write using evidence from the book.

    • In the If/Then Writing Unit, “Science Information Books about Liquids, Solids and Gases,” the teacher uses Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Ginger Garrett as a mentor text. Guidance also encourages the teacher to read aloud many books about this topic so students learn content knowledge. Students write information books with recall of knowledge about solids, liquids, and gases. The lesson does not require students to practice applying evidence in their writing.

  • Writing opportunities are not focused around students’ recall of information to develop opinions from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 15, students review informational text features. A mentor text is used to demonstrate noticing features and students are encouraged to try using these features in planning a new chapter for their own writing. The lesson does not require students to recall information from the text or use sources in their writing. This informational writing is completed solely by drawing upon what students already know.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 2, the students learn that writers of opinion texts provide several reasons and supporting details. The teacher tells students that writers can say more about a reason for an opinion using sentence stems, such as “I think this because…” and “For example…” The teacher divides the students into groups and gives each group a different type of toy dog, each representing a different breed. The students work in groups to brainstorm reasons to support the opinion that their type of dog is the best. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher instructs students to think of more reasons and details that they could add to their own opinion drafts. The students make detailed observations of their own artifacts in order to support the opinion that their particular artifact is the best. The lesson does not require students to practice applying evidence in their writing.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 14, the teacher models planning and writing a book review. Using a familiar read-aloud text, I Am Invited to a Party by Mo Willems, the teacher models reflecting on reasons why the text is funny. Next, students plan to write book reviews using one of their independent reading books. The students briefly reflect on reasons why their selected book is great and then discuss with a partner. Then, students begin working on their drafts during independent writing time. The lesson does not require students to practice applying evidence in their writing.

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials including 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. 

Materials include limited explicit instruction in grammar and convention standards. Some grammar and usage conventions lack explicit instruction, i.e., singular and plural noun/verb agreement, pronouns, verb tenses, determiners, and prepositions. Based on the description of the Reading and Writing Workshop provided in each Unit of Study, the teacher and individual students may address some of the grammar concepts not explicitly taught in the materials during conferences guided by student writing samples. Students work individually and meet with partners and groups to investigate their writing to determine where and if a standard can be integrated into their writing. Some standards are addressed in the Small Groups to Support Phonics sessions; however, these are not necessarily taught to all students. While conventions that are not explicitly taught may be addressed with individual students in the context of reading and writing conferences, the materials do not provide explicit instruction of these conventions nor direct application to student work. Additionally, some grammar concepts evident in the reading, writing, or phonics materials are not evident across the materials. There are opportunities for students to write sentences in and out of context; however, these opportunities do not relate to all grammar and convention standards.

Materials do not include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level.  

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to print all upper- and lowercase letters. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson on writing students’ names using uppercase and lowercase letters. The teacher models using the name Rasheed. Students practice writing their names by tracing and then moving to write directly on the whiteboard. Students trade name tags with a partner and practice writing the letters in their partner’s name.

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 3, the teacher prepares name maps for each student. The name maps show the letter formation pathway with arrows. The teacher models the letter formation pathway for the name of the class mascot. Students first trace their name maps and then write their names on a whiteboard while verbalizing the letter formation pathway of the letters. Students continue with the work by exchanging name maps with a partner. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 5, Session 12, the teacher models printing lowercase letters quickly and correctly. Students study the lowercase letter chart and practice forming letters on each other’s back or on the rug. 

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use common, proper, and possessive nouns.

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences.

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns. 

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future.

  • Materials contain limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to use frequently occurring adjectives. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 2, reading partners use the “How Can I Teach My Readers?’ chart to talk about their reading. The teacher points out the bullet, “Use shape, size, and color words” and directs students to notice shapes, sizes, and colors in their reading and talk about those details with their partner. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 4, the teacher recalls a mentor text with illustrations that provide information. When a student shares a detail about color, shape, or size, the teacher tells students that details about color, shape, and size make a difference in writing. Students find at least one page in their writing where they can add color, shape, or size details using illustrations or words. The teacher adds “Use color, shape, and size words” to the “How Can I Teach My Readers?” anchor chart. 

  • Materials contain one example of explicit instruction designed to teach students to use frequently occurring conjunctions. 

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 16, the teacher introduces a list called “Is This Sentence Just Right?” The list says, “If a sentence ends too soon, use AND, SO, or BUT to say more.” The teacher models using the list to revise student writing. Students use the list in their independent writing to fix sentences that are too long or too short. 

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use determiners. 

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use frequently occurring prepositions.

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts. For example:

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session11, students reread and revise their books by looking for general sentences and adding details. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 17, the teacher uses a shared writing piece to demonstrate adding sentences that tell facts, ask questions, or tell something exciting. Students work with partners to add their sentences to the shared story using varied end punctuation. Students work independently to practice the skill in their writing. 

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to capitalize dates and names of people. For example:

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 7, students check their writing for correct capitalization and punctuation. The teacher directs students to check to make sure that they are using capital letters at the beginning of sentences and for characters’ names. Students reread their writing and add missing capital letters. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 5, Session 12, the teacher shares a prepared note “from the principal” that contains capital letters in names, sentences, the pronoun I, and dates. The teacher asks students to notice where and why there are capital letters in the note and uses the students’ observations to make an anchor chart called, “How Grown-Ups Use Capital Letters.” Students tour the room, notice capital letters, and discuss their observations. 

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use end punctuation for sentences. For example:

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 19, the teacher reviews an editing checklist that includes, “I used ending punctuation and capital letters to start sentences.” Students edit a page of their writing using the checklist. 

    • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 16, the teacher describes a punctuation party to revise students’ writing for publication. The teacher uses a piece of shared writing that is missing punctuation marks. End punctuation marks are written on sticky notes. The teacher reads the first part of the story aloud and models choosing end punctuation based on how they want the reader to read the sentence. The teacher reads the next part of the story aloud, and students work with partners to decide which punctuation marks to use for the next part of the story. Students use colored pens to add punctuation to their writing. 

  • Materials contain some explicit instruction designed to teach students to use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series. For example:

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 14, the teacher shares a sentence that contains a series of words. The teacher reads the sentence without pauses and tells students the sentence is confusing. The teacher introduces the comma and tells students that writers use commas to separate items in a list. The teacher adds a comma to the sentence, saying, “swoosh,” and students make commas in the air with their hands while making the sound effect. Students find a place in their writing where they can add commas to a series. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 19, students use an editing checklist that includes “Commas too!” to carefully read their work and make changes as needed.

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. For example:

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 12, the teacher shows students how to use a familiar word to spell a new word. The teacher uses an example from student writing in which the student needs the spelling for the word took. The teacher prompts students to check the word wall for a word that sounds similar. Students identify look, and the teacher models changing the initial letter to spell took. The teacher asks students to use the same process to spell the word crunch, prompting them to look around the room for a similar word. Students write crunch with the support of the word lunch

    • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 30, students identify the vowel pattern in items around the classroom. Students then work together to correct a piece of writing using words with the CVCe pattern. 

  • Materials contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions. For example:

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 4, the teacher tells children that when they want to write a word they do not know automatically, they need to say the word while sliding their finger across the page and recording each sound as they go until there are no more sounds. The teacher uses a piece of shared writing to model adding the word push. Teacher and students say the word slowly, and the teacher models starting with a p. The teacher models starting over with the /p/ sound and continuing with the remaining sounds, sliding a finger under the letters each time. Students practice spelling the next tricky word in the story on whiteboards while the teacher verbalizes the process. Students turn to their own writing to practice the process. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Section 5, the teacher demonstrates spelling a “fancy word” syllable by syllable. Students use a “Ways to Spell Words” chart to spell untaught words drawing on their knowledge of syllables. 

  • Materials include some opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in and out of context. For example: 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 8, the teacher gives students a list of previously learned long u words. Students compose a silly sentence using at least one of the words. Students share their sentences. The teacher records one of the sentences, and students read it along with the teacher.

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher models using the “How Did I Make My Writing Easy to Read?” checklist. The checklist includes spacing, using the word wall for spelling, spelling tricky words as best as possible, rereading writing while touching each word, using capital letters at the beginning of sentences, and using different types of end punctuation. Students work with partners to revise their writing using the checklist.

Indicator 1m

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the criteria of Indicator 1m.

 Grade 1 materials lack guidance outlining a cohesive plan for vocabulary development, such as a year-long vocabulary component. Vocabulary is not included as part of daily lessons, and materials do not include vocabulary lists for texts. Students use pictures in texts to figure out the meaning of unknown words. Vocabulary is not practiced in speaking, reading, or listening with any consistency. 

  • Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Grade 1, Reading Unit 3, Read Aloud, the teaching notes state, “You’ll also engage children in noticing and solving unfamiliar vocabulary, coaching them to use the strategies you’ve taught to understand new words and to discuss their meaning with partners.” No vocabulary words are listed. No vocabulary strategies are listed or taught explicitly.

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, the chapter entitled “Word Study” explains word knowledge in Grades K–2. These lessons focus on studying names of students in the class, letters, phonics, and high-frequency words, not vocabulary. 

    • In The Guide to Reading Workshop, materials provide a lesson schedule on pages 48–49. It suggests that the teacher spends 20 minutes on word study. 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 54, the materials list the exposure to new vocabulary among the benefits of reading aloud to students: “Besides offering a chance to model proficiency reading behaviors, read-aloud time can also expose them to new vocabulary, concepts, and text structures. This ongoing exposure to varied language and texts is essential to students as they continue to explore the world of books and build their social skills.” The guidebook does not include teacher guidance outlining a cohesive plan for vocabulary development.

    • In The Guide to Reading Workshop, page 54, the materials suggest that teachers have a word wall within their classroom to display words in conjunction with read alouds: “Besides offering a chance to model proficient reading behaviors, read aloud time can also expose them to  new vocabulary, concepts, and text structures. This ongoing exposure to varied language and text is essential for students as they continue to explore the world of books and build their social skills.” There is no evident vocabulary instruction within the lessons. 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 54, the materials provide suggestions regarding word study and vocabulary acquisitions. Guidance states, “Using data, you can decide on your whole-class course of study and also design auxiliary small-group activities that support students in various stages of development. Your would study sessions might begin with a mini lesson that is applicable to most of your students, and then you can provide time for students to work independently or in partnerships or groups.” There is no evident vocabulary instruction within the lessons. 

  • Vocabulary is not repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts.

  • Attention is not paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words. For example: 

  • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 11, the title of the lesson is “Readers Use Meaning to Figure Out Words.” The unit book states, “In this session, you could remind readers to use meaning as a source of information, using picture clues to consider words that would make sense.” The session does not include a lesson outline, anecdotes from an example lesson, or a recommended demonstration text. Rather, Session 11 includes suggestions for instruction. For example, the unit book notes that the teacher could cover both the unknown word and the accompanying illustrations and/or photos, and then coach students to think about story events and possible words that might make sense. Guidance states, “This helps children realize the value of the illustration in supporting meaning and solving tricky words.” During the “Active Engagement” part of the lesson, the unit book suggests that teachers repeat the same process—covering a word and the illustration, and then prompting students to search for meaning in the picture and the story before looking at the unknown word. In both parts of the mini-lesson, the unit book instructs teachers to emphasize the illustrations as important sources of information to determine unknown words. The session does not include guidance on vocabulary discussion and instruction.

  • In Reading Unit 2, Session 16, materials state: “With the key words from the demonstration text in a pocket chart nearby, you might then demonstrate how, when you read aloud, you stop when you get one of those words so that you can explain what it means and why it's important to the topic. You might say, if prey is the key word you want your listeners to think about, what can you say to help them understand what it means and why it's important to the topic? Turn and talk about that with your partner.” This teacher guidance does not include specific vocabulary to help unlock the meaning of the core text. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, Shared Reading, the teacher reads Tumbleweed Stew by Susan Stevens Crummel. On Day 3 of the Shared Reading, the teacher points out that the author “chose specific, fancy words” to tell how the animals moved. The teacher discusses the word slithered. This is the only word listed as an example but the guide says, “you might decide to do this for several other words in the book.” This is the only vocabulary mentioned during the five days of reading this text. 

In Reading Unit 4, Bend 1, Sessions 1–4, students read Iris and Walter and the Field Trip by Elissa Haden Guest for five lessons. Vocabulary is not mentioned in any of the lessons.

Criterion 1n - 1s

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.

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Criterion Rating Details

Foundational skills instruction does not include a research-based explanation for the order of phonological awareness and phonics instruction and there is no presence of a cohesive and sequential scope and sequence. Additionally, systematic and explicit instruction in foundational skills is largely absent in the materials. The instructional sequence of phonics skills, including digraphs, final e and vowel teams, decoding multisyllabic words, and inflectional endings, is not explicit due to the narrative structure of the daily lessons. Materials provide limited opportunities for students to develop orthographic and phonological processing. Materials include a sufficient number of high-frequency words called snap words. A standard process for learning new snap words includes, “Read it! Study it! Spell it! Write it! Use it!” The materials include some lessons that provide explicit instruction in fluency elements, but instructional opportunities and student practice opportunities are limited. Many of the opportunities labeled as fluency practice in the materials occur in the Shared Reading routines; however, these opportunities take place in the context of repeated readings of previously-read texts, and do not provide students the opportunity to apply phonics skills to fluent reading of unfamiliar text. Materials do not provide decodable or on-level texts for use in Reading Workshop. 

The phonics units are loosely paired with the reading and writing units. While these units provide opportunities for application, the transfer of phonics skills to lessons in the reading and writing units is not explicit. The use of a given phonics skill may naturally surface in the context of the Reading and Writing Workshop, but the writing and reading units do not explicitly support the development of the specific phonics skills through targeted instruction and practice. The reading units mainly utilize a cueing system for solving unknown words that focus on the initial sound and meaning cues rather than on decoding strategies. 

The Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Units of Study in Phonics materials sometimes present conflicting information about how and when to assess different skills. The teacher is encouraged to conduct running records during Reading Workshop to assist the teacher and student in book selection and lesson plan implementation based on student needs. The Guides to the Units of Study include limited information on supporting students who are English Language Learners and students performing below grade level, but these supports are not explicitly included in lessons within Units of Study.

Indicator 1n

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1n.i

Explicit instruction in phonological awareness (K-1) and phonics (K-2).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in phonological awareness based on a research-based continuum (K-1). 

Grade 1 materials provide opportunities throughout the phonics units for students to engage in activities designed to foster phonological skills such as blending and segmenting sounds and distinguishing long and short vowels. Session lessons provide students with teacher modeling of key concepts during mini-lessons and connections opportunities. Practice opportunities include various activities for phonological awareness, e.g., sorting, singing songs, and the use of unifix cubes. Additional practice is encouraged during independent reading and writing time to occur as part of the Reading and Writing Workshop. Hands-on manipulatives, sound charts, and anchor charts are provided. Small Groups to Support Phonics provides additional specific phonological awareness lessons for students who would benefit from additional support on various skills and concepts. However, the materials include a limited scope and sequence of skills. While the materials cite other programs, there is a lack of a research-based explanation for the order of phonological awareness sequence. Although A Guide to the Units of Phonics Units of Study explains that the unit “doubles as support for developing phonological awareness and support for learning the alphabetic principle”, there is no systematic and explicit instruction scope and sequence designed to teach foundational skills directly. 

  • Materials have a limited sequence of phonemic awareness instruction based on the expected hierarchy to build toward students’ application of the skills.

    • In A Guide To the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, materials state that the program follows a hierarchy of skills in phonemic awareness, starting from rhyming and hearing phonemes and moving to blending and segmenting sounds.

    • There are five units in the Grade 1 Phonics Units of Study:

      • In Phonics, Unit 1: Hear, say, and clap syllables; hear and generate rhyming words; change the beginning phoneme to make new words; segment and blend phonemes in words; isolate the initial and medial phoneme in words; hear and divide onsets and rimes; change the consonant cluster and replace it with a different consonant cluster onset to form a new word; delete and change the onset to make new words with the same rime.

      • In Phonics, Unit 2: Review long and short sounds; distinguish the long and short vowel sound in a spoken word; generate words with the vowel a; segment single-syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or ending phoneme to make a new word; hear syllables in high-frequency words; hear medial phonemes in words; hear and clap syllables in two syllable words; blend three or more phonemes in a word; hear familiar blends and digraphs in spoken words; hear familiar phonograms in spoken words.

      • In Phonics, Unit 3: Segment words into syllables; segment syllables into onset and rime or individual phonemes.

      • In Phonics, Unit 4: Segment single syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or end phoneme to make a new word; distinguish the long and short vowel sounds in spoken words; isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and ending sounds in spoken single-syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or ending phoneme to make a new word; isolate and hear different medial vowel sounds in single-syllable words; hear and connect rhyming words; segment onsets and rimes; hear, say, clap, and identify syllables in spoken words.

      • In Phonics, Unit 5: No phonological awareness activities are mentioned on the scope and sequence. 

  • Materials contain an explanation for the expected hierarchy for teaching phonological awareness skills. 

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, materials state that lessons are based on the research of at least nineteen educators and especially that of Marie Clay’s Reading Recovery. It is noted that researchers have differences of opinion related to the development of phonemic awareness and the order of a phonics curriculum. “This curriculum is based...with a commitment of giving young children the opportunities to take risks, try again, talk, explore, pretend, move, play, question, invent, sing and laugh.” 

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, materials state that the program follows a hierarchy of skills in phonemic awareness, starting from rhyming and hearing phonemes and moving to blending and segmenting sounds.

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, the hierarchy for teaching phonological skills is attributed to the evidence-base of key researchers Bear, Cunningham, Beck, and Fountas and Pinnell. 

  • Materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness. 

    • In A Guide To the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 3 materials include a description of activities and materials that are used to develop phonological awareness. Activities listed to support phonological awareness include shared reading.

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher models how to orally produce single-syllable words: cat, hen, hog, chick, bug by blending sounds including consonant blends. The students play the Robot Game to orally produce and blend each sound including consonant blends.

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 13, students sing “There is a Blend with Three” song. 

  • There are frequent opportunities for students to practice phonological awareness. 

    • Throughout 5 units of study, students have opportunities to practice phonological awareness skills after a mini-lesson from the teacher. The units allow for additional extension opportunities and cues are provided to apply the skills and concepts when students are engaged in reading and writing workshops.

  • Materials provide some opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern.

    • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. For example:

      • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 2, students work in groups to sort pictures by distinguishing between long and short vowel sounds. 

  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher models how to orally produce single-syllable words cat, hen, hog, chick, and bug by blending sounds. Students play the Robot Game to practice blending sounds to produce words.

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 5, the teacher demonstrates how blends sometimes come at the end of words, and models -nd, -lt, and -ld, the students engage in solving a word ladder, changing words with ending blends one letter at a time to transform junk to gold.

  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher leads the students through a “Let’s Study a Name!” “1. Read it. 2. Clap the syllables. 3. Name the letter. 4. Study it closely. 5. Use the sounds. 6. Notice the vowels. Use short-vowel power.” The students meet with their rug club to study the vowels in a second name through the identification of the number of syllables in a name and identify the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds.

  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes). For example:

    • Only partial evidence was found as there was evidence of blending but not segmenting. 

Indicator 1n.ii

Phonological awareness based on a research-based continuum (K-1).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.ii.

Grade 1 materials provide opportunities throughout the phonics units for students to engage in activities designed to foster phonological skills such as blending and segmenting sounds and distinguishing long and short vowels. Session lessons provide students with teacher modeling of key concepts during mini-lessons and connections opportunities. Practice opportunities include various activities for phonological awareness, e.g., sorting, singing songs, and the use of unifix cubes. Additional practice is encouraged during independent reading and writing time to occur as part of the Reading and Writing Workshop. Hands-on manipulatives, sound charts, and anchor charts are provided. Small Groups to Support Phonics provides additional specific phonological awareness lessons for students who would benefit from additional support on various skills and concepts. However, the materials include a limited scope and sequence of skills. While the materials cite other programs, there is a lack of a research-based explanation for the order of phonological awareness sequence. Although A Guide to the Units of Phonics Units of Study explains that the unit “doubles as support for developing phonological awareness and support for learning the alphabetic principle”, there is no systematic and explicit instruction scope and sequence designed to teach foundational skills directly. 

  • Materials have a limited sequence of phonemic awareness instruction based on the expected hierarchy to build toward students’ application of the skills.

    • In A Guide To the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, materials state that the program follows a hierarchy of skills in phonemic awareness, starting from rhyming and hearing phonemes and moving to blending and segmenting sounds.

    • There are five units in the Grade 1 Phonics Units of Study:

      • In Phonics, Unit 1: Hear, say, and clap syllables; hear and generate rhyming words; change the beginning phoneme to make new words; segment and blend phonemes in words; isolate the initial and medial phoneme in words; hear and divide onsets and rimes; change the consonant cluster and replace it with a different consonant cluster onset to form a new word; delete and change the onset to make new words with the same rime.

      • In Phonics, Unit 2: Review long and short sounds; distinguish the long and short vowel sound in a spoken word; generate words with the vowel a; segment single-syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or ending phoneme to make a new word; hear syllables in high-frequency words; hear medial phonemes in words; hear and clap syllables in two syllable words; blend three or more phonemes in a word; hear familiar blends and digraphs in spoken words; hear familiar phonograms in spoken words.

      • In Phonics, Unit 3: Segment words into syllables; segment syllables into onset and rime or individual phonemes.

      • In Phonics, Unit 4: Segment single syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or end phoneme to make a new word; distinguish the long and short vowel sounds in spoken words; isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and ending sounds in spoken single-syllable words; change the beginning, middle, or ending phoneme to make a new word; isolate and hear different medial vowel sounds in single-syllable words; hear and connect rhyming words; segment onsets and rimes; hear, say, clap, and identify syllables in spoken words.

      • In Phonics, Unit 5: No phonological awareness activities are mentioned on the scope and sequence. 

  • Materials contain an explanation for the expected hierarchy for teaching phonological awareness skills. 

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, materials state that lessons are based on the research of at least nineteen educators and especially that of Marie Clay’s Reading Recovery. It is noted that researchers have differences of opinion related to the development of phonemic awareness and the order of a phonics curriculum. “This curriculum is based...with a commitment of giving young children the opportunities to take risks, try again, talk, explore, pretend, move, play, question, invent, sing and laugh.” 

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, materials state that the program follows a hierarchy of skills in phonemic awareness, starting from rhyming and hearing phonemes and moving to blending and segmenting sounds.

    • In A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, the hierarchy for teaching phonological skills is attributed to the evidence-base of key researchers Bear, Cunningham, Beck, and Fountas and Pinnell. 

  • Materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness. 

    • In A Guide To the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 3 materials include a description of activities and materials that are used to develop phonological awareness. Activities listed to support phonological awareness include shared reading.

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher models how to orally produce single-syllable words: cat, hen, hog, chick, bug by blending sounds including consonant blends. The students play the Robot Game to orally produce and blend each sound including consonant blends.

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 13, students sing “There is a Blend with Three” song. 

  • There are frequent opportunities for students to practice phonological awareness. 

    • Throughout 5 units of study, students have opportunities to practice phonological awareness skills after a mini-lesson from the teacher. The units allow for additional extension opportunities and cues are provided to apply the skills and concepts when students are engaged in reading and writing workshops.

  • Materials provide some opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern.

    • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. For example:

      • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 2, students work in groups to sort pictures by distinguishing between long and short vowel sounds. 

  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher models how to orally produce single-syllable words cat, hen, hog, chick, and bug by blending sounds. Students play the Robot Game to practice blending sounds to produce words.

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 5, the teacher demonstrates how blends sometimes come at the end of words, and models -nd, -lt, and -ld, the students engage in solving a word ladder, changing words with ending blends one letter at a time to transform junk to gold.

  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher leads the students through a “Let’s Study a Name!” “1. Read it. 2. Clap the syllables. 3. Name the letter. 4. Study it closely. 5. Use the sounds. 6. Notice the vowels. Use short-vowel power.” The students meet with their rug club to study the vowels in a second name through the identification of the number of syllables in a name and identify the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds.

  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes). For example:

    • No evidence was found. There was evidence of blending but not segmenting.

Indicator 1n.iii

Phonics demonstrated with a research-based progression of skills (K-2).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.iii.

Grade 1 materials include a limited scope and sequence of skills. Although there is no clear scope and sequence related to the standards addressed, A Guide to the Phonics Unit of Study provides an overview of the philosophy principles undergirding the phonics curriculum and an explanation of the skills presented. While the materials cite other programs, there is a lack of a research-based rationale for the order of phonics sequence. The instructional sequence of phonics skills, including digraphs, final e and vowel teams, decoding multisyllabic words, and inflectional endings, is not explicit due to the narrative structure of the daily lessons. Additionally, the materials lack repetition and systematic opportunities for students to hear, say, encode, and read words with the newly taught phonics patterns. Students have limited opportunities to practice reading words using newly taught phonics skills. Practice is usually guided by the teacher with students directed to try the same thing in their independent reading, which does not guarantee that the students will encounter the newly taught skill. The phonics units are loosely paired with the reading and writing units. While these units provide opportunities for application, the transfer of phonics skills to lessons in the reading and writing units is not explicit. The use of a given phonics skill may naturally surface in the context of the Reading and Writing Workshop, but the writing and reading units do not explicitly support the development of the specific phonics skills through targeted instruction and practice. 

  • Lessons provide students with limited opportunities to decode (phonemes, onset and rime, and/or syllables) phonetically spelled words. 

    • Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs. For example:

      • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 6, students create “stuff” for the classroom that shows digraphs. The teacher shares ideas and students create charts with digraphs, label pictures containing digraphs, highlight digraphs in favorite shared songs or texts, or create classroom labels for items with digraphs. 

      • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 1, the teacher demonstrates how to build words, including those with digraphs, by thinking about the different ways that word parts go together to make words. Students work in pairs using letter cards as a means to sound out words. 

    • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words. For example:

      • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 15, the teacher asks students to write up on their whiteboards and then directs them to add a c to get cup and m to write mup. Students read a short decodable book, “The Fat Rat” that includes decodable regularly spelled one-syllable words: fat, rat, bit, pup, ran. 

      • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 7, the teacher introduces the vowel team, ou, and builds the word out with unifix cubes labeled with letters and word parts. The teacher models how to build a word when the /ou/ sound is in the middle of the word, using the word proud. The teacher gives students word cards containing the words sour, count, loud, mouse, and ground. Students work together to break the words apart and put them back together to read the word. 

  • Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 3, students walk through the school and look for words with long and silent e. When they spot a word, students pause to read it out loud and listen for the vowel sound. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 2, students use unifix cubes labeled with letters and word parts to make words containing the vowel team ea. The teacher models beginning with the word eat and building the words seat, beat, beach, teach, teacher, and teaching. Students work with partners with the vowel team ee to build and read new words from the word see

  • Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 11, the teacher models pointing to each word, clapping the syllables, and carefully checking that each syllable has a vowel. Students act as vowel inspectors to check each other’s writing for vowels in every syllable. Students choose a piece of their writing and take three minutes to check that every syllable has a vowel, correcting as necessary. Students lay their writing out and take on the role of vowel inspectors, putting sticky note flags on any words with missing vowels. Students return to their writing to correct any errors. 

    • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 55, the teacher models how to write longer words syllable by syllable by following a strategy of “say it, clap the beats, say the syllables, write the syllables.” Students look at their writing to find big tricky words and apply the strategy. The teacher coaches and cues students to write each syllable, ensure each syllable has a vowel, and say the word syllable by syllable. Since this is a small group lesson, all students may not receive this instruction.

  • Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 12, following teacher modeling of breaking long words into syllables, partners practice chopping off the endings and saying the word parts to tell the whole word. The teacher then displays a song sheet about “We Can Read Long Words” and engages students in singing the verses that emphasize the strategy of reading word parts by chopping and crashing the words.

  • Read words with inflectional endings. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 3, students work in pairs to sort a collection of words with -ed endings. Students look for -ed endings in a text and determine ending sounds with their partners. 

  • Lessons provide students with limited opportunities to read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher shares sentences containing many words that begin with common blends, e.g., blue, green, bright, drawings, small, snow, clean, slip, slide, sled, and snow. Students look for words with blends, read, and call out the words. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 7, students read a familiar shared reading and locate and decode CVCe words with the vowel i. Students work in pairs to collect pairs of words, one with a silent e and one without (kit and kite)

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 6, students look for and record CVCe words with the vowel o in their independent reading books. Students share the words they found, and the teacher records them. Students study the words, and the teacher guides them to notice the common phonograms ole, one, ope, and ose. Students read the word cards hole, cone, mole, stone, pole, rope, bone, and hope

  • Lessons provide students with opportunities to decode words in a sentence. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 15, students work in groups to read the decodable book, “The Fat Rat.” One student acts as the “teacher” and points to each word as the rest of the group reads together. Students read the text three times, then make observations about the words in the text. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 10, students read a page containing 12 snap word sentences. Students read each sentence with a partner and underline the snap word in the sentence. 

  • Lessons provide students with limited opportunities to build/manipulate/spell and encode words using common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns phonics. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 2, students use the letters s, h, f, e, e, d, n, g, r, p, d, and y to build the mascot’s name Rasheed. Students find the part of the name that can help them spell need - sheed. The teacher tells students to take away two letters and add one to spell need. The teacher repeats the process to make feed, needy, greedy, peed, and indeed. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 3, following the mini-lesson, the teacher gives student groups baggies of word cards with vowel teams ea, ai, and oa. Students read the word cards together, ensuring that they make the long vowel sound with the vowel team. The teacher coaches students, as needed, in figuring out the words. Students get notebooks and are directed to look out for words with vowel teams and record them in their notebooks.

    • In Phonics, Unit 5, Session 6, the teacher invites students to help change the word cat into shark in five moves. Students write the word car, and the teacher guides them to turn the word into cart. The teacher and students continue with the words part, park, dark, and shark

  • Materials contain some methods to promote students’ practice of previously taught grade-level phonics. For example: 

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 1, the teacher labels items in the classroom. Students read, then study the labels, including syllables, letter names, and generating new words that begin with the same sound. 

    • In Phonics Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher reviews short and long vowel sounds using the vowel chart. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 4, students sort long u words. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 6, students read words with the short o sound. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 11, students conduct a vowel inspection” of their writing to ensure that words parts look and sound right because there is a vowel in each syllable.

  • Materials delineate a limited scope and sequence with a sequence of phonics instruction and practice to build toward application of skills. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, the materials provide a research-based explanation of the program’s focus on teaching phonics skills in order of utility for use in authentic reading and writing. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, the materials cite decades of research used as the base of the phonics sequence. The materials explain that instruction moves from consonant blends and digraphs to trigraphs to long vowel patterns, diphthongs, r-controlled vowels, and inflected endings in the first and second grades.

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2 delineates the sequence of phonics instruction and provides a rationale for the timing and approach to each element. 

    • There are five units in the Grade 1 Phonics Units of Study:

      • Phonics, Unit 1 contains 19 sessions. “Talking and Thinking About Letters” focuses on studying names to learn about phonics, studying high-frequency words to learn about phonics, and using snap words and word parts to make and read more new words.

      • Phonics, Unit 2 contains 17 sessions. “The Mystery of the Silent e” focuses on word detectives taking the case investigating silent e, testing their theories to learn more about vowels, and using words they know to solve new mysteries. 

      • Phonics, Unit 3 contains 18 sessions. “From Tip to Tail” focuses on reading and hearing all the way across words, dealing with trickier words, and raising the level of work with high-frequency words.

      • Phonics, Unit 4 contains 17 sessions. “Word Builders” focuses on using vowel teams that make a long vowel sound, studying vowel teams that make two sounds, and provisioning our toolboxes with vowel teams that make the same sound. 

      • Phonics, Unit 5 contains 17 sessions. “Marvelous Bloopers: Learning Through Wise Mistakes” focuses on studying bloopers to learn from them, words you use and confuse: Snap word bloopers, and a phonics project: Studying Capitals.

  • Materials have a limited research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, materials state the sequence for study of phonics follows research. Materials references Bear’s Words Their Way, Cunningham’s Phonics They Use, Fundations, Fountas and Pinnell’s Phonics Lessons, or “many other programs”. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, materials list the strands of early phonics development, followed by a detailed section explaining each strand. 

  • Materials provide limited opportunities for students to develop orthographic and phonological processing. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, introductory materials explain that each phonics unit is designed to be taught concurrently with a writing and a reading unit of study. The writing and reading units of study use a Writer’s and Reader’s Workshop structure to create daily opportunities for students to apply phonics lessons to authentic reading and writing; however, these opportunities are not explicit in the materials, and students may not have opportunities to develop orthographic and phonological processing skills fully.

Indicator 1n.iv

Decode and encode common and additional vowel teams (Grade 2).

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures, and features of text (1-2).

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1o.

Materials provide limited opportunities to explicitly teach key concepts about features of a sentence, text structure, and text features. Instruction for the organization of print concepts is presented implicitly as students are encouraged to engage with books during Reading Workshop. There is mention of the features of a sentence when dictating sentences or writing sentences using snap words; however, there is no direct instruction related to the organization of print concepts in a text. While different types of writing are addressed in the writing units, there is minimal instruction included related to text structures. Materials located in the If...Then... units include explicit instruction on text structures and features during lessons using mentor texts and shared reading. Students have opportunities to identify and interpret structures and features using independent reading texts. 

  • Materials include limited lessons, tasks, and questions about how to recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation). Features of a sentence are addressed as students write sentences. No evidence of recognizing features of a sentence during reading was found. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 4, during the mini-lesson, “Writing Sentences That Tell a Story”, the teacher says, ”Today I want to teach you that a writer says a sentence in his or her mind, then writes it, writing word after word.” The teacher refers to a previously drawn picture saying a word, recording it, leaving a space, and saying the next word. The teacher asks children to help write each part of the next sentence saying aloud to a partner what they should write next. The teacher recruits help to work on the shared story with the students to create the next sentence. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 5, Session 12, the teacher shares a letter with students “written” by the principal. The students study the capital letters in the text and share capitalization rules they notice. The teacher generates a chart called “Use Capital Letters for. . .” and includes “at the start of sentences.”

  • Students have limited opportunities to identify text structures (e.g., main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). For example:

    • In Reading, If...Then... K - 2 Unit, the teacher tells students they can get ready to read nonfiction books by taking a tour of the book and noticing text structures before they begin reading. The teacher models how to preview a book from cover to cover, looking for clues about text structure. The teacher shares a list of potential text structures, including procedural, expository, lists, categories, timelines, life cycles, pros and cons, cause and effect, and question and answer. Students read independently, focusing on text structures, then share the text structures they encountered. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 12, the teacher talks about different writing types. Students think about what kind of text they are making. 

  • Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g., title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). For example: 

    • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 4, the teacher shows students a page from a nonfiction book that includes an illustration with labels. The teacher leads students to read the labels. The teacher tells students that labels give the reader more information about the topic, and readers should not skip them. 

    • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 15, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson by sharing the non-fiction text, Owls. During the small group and conferring part of the session, students are provided support when reading and writing non-fiction to help them understand how nonfiction books sometimes provide headings to highlight main topics or ideas for each section. Students are encouraged to use headings in their non-fiction writing and to notice headings in-text they read.

    • In Reading, Unit 4, Session 11, the teacher reviews clues that help readers know how to read. A clue reviewed is to pay attention to special print, i.e., bold, italic, and capital, and to pay attention to pictures.

Indicator 1p

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1p.

Grade 1 materials provide explicit instruction in high-frequency words and regular opportunities across Phonics, Reading, and Writing units for students to practice identifying, spelling, and writing high-frequency words in isolation. Phonics materials address high-frequency words, called snap words, throughout the school year. The teacher uses a standard process for students to learn snap words, “Read it! Study it! Spell it! Write it! Use it!”. There is a sufficient number of high-frequency words addressed. The materials include a limited selection of emergent-reader texts in the form of poems, songs, and a limited selection of decodable texts. A selection of mentor texts for teacher use in lessons is included with materials, but the materials do not include on-level text selections for students. Materials indicate that classrooms will need engaging, high-quality books at a range of levels that match the students’ interests and the teaching points of the units of study. Students practice applying automatic and accurate word reading through Shared Reading opportunities with the teacher using text that is projected using a document camera. However, student reading materials to practice fluency call for students to use books found in their book bags, which may not contain the newly taught words. Materials include some lessons that provide explicit instruction in fluency elements, however, instructional opportunities and student practice opportunities are limited. Many of the opportunities labeled as fluency practice in the materials occur in the Shared Reading routines; however, these opportunities occur in the context of repeated readings of predictable texts, and do not allow students to apply phonics skills to fluent reading. While the materials include explicit instruction in applying letter-sound knowledge to decode words, there are limited opportunities for students to explicitly practice decoding skills using decodable texts to build toward automaticity and accuracy. The reading units mainly utilize a cueing system for solving unknown words that focus on the initial sound and meaning cues rather than on decoding strategies. Materials do not provide decodable or on-level texts for use in Reading Workshop.

  • Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text.

    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

      • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher observes students’ reading. If students stop to read for meaning and reread to clarify an idea, the teacher should design a series of small groups to teach across the next few days to support the students’ learning. Texts are not included with the materials. 

      • In Reading, Online Teacher Resources, materials provide book lists of recommended on-level texts at a range of Grade 1 reading levels. The books listed can be purchased separately but are not included with teaching materials. 

  • Materials do not support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words over the course of the year. One instance was located in the materials:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 8, the teacher shows students two nonfiction riddles that contain words that end in digraphs and blends, including thick, track, mash, lick, wish, fastest, trucks, reddish, flash, crank, bring, pump, dash, bricks, and rocks. Students warm up by reading the word parts -ish, -ash, -ack, -ick, -ock, and -uck on the word part chart. In groups, students read and solve two riddles. 

  • Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and decodable words. For example:

    • Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

      • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 5, the teacher models reading a page from instructional-level nonfiction text in a monotonous voice. The teacher rereads the page fluently with expression and tells students that reading expressively can help readers remember information. The teacher reads more of the text aloud and invites students to join in using a smooth and lively voice. The teacher models emphasizing important words. Students choose a book from their book bags to practice reading smoothly, emphasizing important words. 

      • In Reading, Unit 4, Session 11, the teacher tells students that authors leave clues in their stories that help readers know how to bring characters to life. The teacher breaks the students into groups of four based on reading levels with each group reading a different book. The small groups read the text aloud and think about how the author wants them to read that part. As students read, the teacher walks around to groups providing feedback and prompts to support students’ reading to bring characters to life. After reading, the teacher charts with the students “Clues that Help Readers Know HOW to Read.Clues include: focusing on punctuation at the end; punctuation in the middle, use of bold, italics and capitals, use of dialogue and pictures.

  • Materials include limited opportunities for explicit, systematic instruction in fluency elements using grade-level text. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher models reading in bigger “scoops” with a partner while reading a poem. Students practice in pairs. 

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 11, the teacher tells students they can apply knowledge of high-frequency words to make reading as smooth as possible. The teacher models reading a page in a book and slowing down to attempt to decode snap words the class studied. Students remind the teacher that the word is a snap word, and the teacher rereads the sentence fluently. Students practice with partners. One student reads aloud while the other student listens for snap words and coaches the reader to read the snap word fluently. Then students switch roles. 

  • Materials provide opportunities for students to hear fluent reading of grade-level text by a model reader. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Shared Reading, the teacher reads “Ollie the Stomper” or another narrative text that is just above benchmark level in a fluent voice. The teacher invites students to join in, but the materials caution that the teacher should avoid reading in a staggered way to match student reading. The same shared text is repeatedly read aloud over five sessions. 

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 16, the teacher demonstrates a non-example as a way to show students the difference between “slow staggered word solving and well-orchestrated reading”. Students take turns reading from a familiar text. 

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 17, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson having students identify “Ways to Sound Like a Reading Star!” The teacher plays part of an audio recording of the text, Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel. The teacher cues the students as they listen to the story being read aloud on the recording to think about “How do readers make their reading sound great?” The teacher records students' ideas on a chart of characteristics of fluent reading. The teacher encourages students to use the characteristics they reviewed to sound like good readers as they read on their own. 

  • Materials include systematic and explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher reviews previously taught high-frequency words. The teacher reviews the ways to study words and learn more about snap words. Students read it, clap the syllables then snap them, name the letters, study it closely, use the sounds, notice the vowels, and notice the blends and digraphs. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 11, the teacher introduces the snap word into. The teacher shows students the “Make it a SNAP Word!” anchor chart and reminds students of the following steps: “Read it! Study it! Spell it! Cover, write, and check it! Use it!” The teacher guides students to practice each step with the word into. The teacher posts a sentence containing the word. Students read the sentence, observe and share characteristics of the word, spell it orally, spell it on whiteboards, then orally generate a sentence using the word. Students repeat the process for I’m, little, three, and now.

  • Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words in isolation. For example:

    • Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

      • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 12, the teacher uses a flashlight to highlight snap words on the word wall. Students read the word, then chant the letters in the word. Students take turns using the flashlight to highlight words for the class to read. 

      • In Phonics, Unit 5, Session 11, students review reading and writing irregularly spelled words by inventing interesting ways to practice these words including rainbow writing, making up a wacky songs, tracing the word over and over, and searching for these words in books.

  • Materials include a sufficient quantity of new grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words for students to make reading progress. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, the materials indicate that the Grade 1 materials explicitly teach about 100 high-frequency words. The order of words prioritizes high-utility words for emergent reading and writing.

    • Grade 1 materials include:

      • Phonics Unit 1: 

        • Review words from Kindergarten: my, by, see, like, lock fun, here, is, in, on, it, at, an, and, can, this, got, went, will, up, so, go, no, has, had, some, as, play, ball, all, did, get, she, for, you, to, do, we, his, said, saw, say, then, they, but, let, run, us, yes

      • Phonics Unit 2: eat, make, take, out, big, have, came, same, put, not, your, more, home, of, into, little, I’m, three, now, if, or, read

      • Phonics Unit 3: jump, where, never, going, any, very, today, just, back, best, think, with, than, that, when, could, should, would, mother, from 

      • Phonics Unit 4: easy, wait, away, each, near, need, next, last, been, house, about, down, our, know, school, much, such, two, who, few, because, high, might

      • Phonics Unit 5: under, over, were, went, find, kind, ask, walk, them, what, things, everything, everyone, myself, after, always, soon

Indicator 1q

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Grade 1 materials provide instruction and practice in encoding words in connected tasks. As new word recognition and analysis skills are introduced, both the Phonics and Writing units provide opportunities for students to apply skills to writing sentences. Materials include opportunities to learn about snap words (high-frequency words), identifying word patterns for short and long vowel words, consonant digraphs and blends, and multisyllabic words in isolation. The materials contain some opportunities to apply word recognition and analysis skills to decoding in connected texts. Materials include student copies of a limited selection of songs, poems, and emergent-reader texts to support instruction. The teacher cues students to practice newly learned concepts during Reading Workshop using their individual bags of books. However, it is unknown what text students read to connect and apply concepts. 

  • Materials support students’ development to know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs in connected text and tasks. For example:  

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 7, students practice digraphs by reading a riddle their mascot wrote for them, “Rasheed’s Digraph Riddle.” The riddle contains the words Rasheed, sharp, them, teeth, chomp, chew, goldfish, whale, and what. The teacher guides students in a choral reading of the riddle, stopping to notice and underline digraphs. Students solve the riddle, notice the digraph in the riddle’s answer, and write the word shark

    • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 19, the teacher shares that as writers, students sometimes forget to use digraphs and blends correctly in the words that they write. Following teacher modeling and guided practice, the teacher encourages students to look at their writing to ensure they use blends and digraphs correctly.  

  • Materials support students’ development to learn to decode regularly spelled one-syllable words in connected text and tasks. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 1, Session 15, students read the decodable text, “The Fat Rat”. It has various -at, -up, -it, and -an words. After reading, students share the words from the text that are in the same word family as familiar word wall words. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 16, students read a nonfiction riddle. The teacher tells students, "You'll have to use everything you know about word parts, word wall words, and even contractions to help you solve it." 

  • Materials support students’ development to know final –e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds in connected text and tasks. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 1, the teacher compares the words tap and tape as a means to explain that when there is an e at the end of a word, the e doesn’t make a sound. It changes the letter a to a long sound. Students record interesting words, e.g., words with a silent e, they find in trade books and environmental print throughout the day.

    • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 5, students read a postcard from the class mascot with vowel teams they’ve been studying: ee, ea, ai, ay, and oa.  

  • Materials support students’ development to learn to use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word in connected text and tasks. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 11, the teacher reminds students that when writing, they need to think about the vowel. The teacher tells students it can be easy to forget that there is a vowel in every word part and every syllable of a word. The teacher models checking spelling by checking each word/syllable to ensure it contains a vowel. Students read sentences about bees sticking together and check for vowels in each word/syllable. Students then do a “vowel inspection” of their writing to ensure that words parts look and sound right because there is a vowel in each syllable.

    • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 55, the teacher models how to write longer words syllable by syllable by following a strategy of “say it, clap the beats, say the syllables, write the syllables.” Students look at their writing to find big tricky words and apply the strategy.  

  • Materials provide limited support for students’ development to learn to decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables in connected text and tasks. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher demonstrates how to tackle long words in their nonfiction reading by karate chopping off the ending, breaking the word into parts, and then crashing all the parts together to confirm it makes sense. The teacher gives a copy of the writing to each student. Partners reread the writing and practice chopping off the endings and saying the word parts to say the whole word.  

  • Materials provide limited support for students’ development to learn to read words with inflectional endings in connected text and tasks. Inflectional endings are addressed in Unit 3, for example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 2, the teacher leads students in a reading of the book “My Hot Dog,” with the words digging, dropped, eating, playing, seemed, critters, and hungrier underlined. Before reading, students look for and share common word endings they see in the text. Students read the text chorally, and the teacher stops students at underlined words. The teacher models reading these words in parts, then putting them together and checking that they make sense. 

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 3, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson sharing a story about hiking and seeing a bear. The story has several words ending in ed, e.g., stopped, stayed, and started. The teacher asks the students, “What do you notice about the underlined words?” The teacher emphasizes that ed can make three different sounds and categorizes the words under the headings /d/ /t/ and /id/. Partners read and categorize word cards based on the ending ed sounds. The teacher reviews the cards with the students and reminds them to be on the lookout for ed endings in their reading and writing. 

    • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 36, students engage with the teacher in interactive editing to analyze words with inflectional endings. Students act out action words and add -ed endings to the words, e.g., jump, skip, walk. The teacher gives students a page of student writing with errors in using endings. Partners edit the words with incorrect inflectional endings. The students are then encouraged to go back to their writing to look at inflectional endings.

  • Materials do not provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected tasks. For example:

  • Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. For example:

    • In Phonics, Unit 3, Session 10, the teacher models trying to write the word benches to use the word in a class book called “All About School”. The teacher models how to write the word bench part by part. Students say the word, count the syllables, listen for the vowel sound, and listen for the ending. The teacher cues students to revisit their non-fiction writing about school and identify words to edit so that they can apply the word parts strategy to spell the words correctly.  

    • In Phonics, Unit 4, Session 8, students read a story called “My New Home,” containing words with ou and ow.  

  • Materials include decodable texts that contain grade-level phonics skills aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. For example:

    • In Phonics, “A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study,” Chapter 2, the materials state that a leveled library that includes decodable texts will be important for students to practice decoding CVC words. The materials do not include these decodable texts. 

    • The following decodable texts are included in the online materials for the Phonics Unit of Study. 

      • Phonics Unit 1:  

        • Story #1:  The Mess

        • Story #2:  The Big, Big Bug

        • Story #3: Rasheed’s Cut

        • Story #4: Ben and Rasheed Play Ball

        • Story #5: The Blob

Story #6: Bump, Bump, Bump

  • Story #7: The Crash

  • Story #8: Let’s Go Camping

  • Story #9: The Gift

  • Story #10: Pick It Up!

  • Phonics Unit 2:

    • Story #1: The Case of the Vase

    • Story #2: The Case of the Bad Smell at Home

    • Story #3: The Case of the Lost Cape

    • Story #4: The Case of Pete’s Crate

    • Story #5: The Case of the Beep

  • Phonics Unit 3:

    • Story #1: Meet the Frog

    • Story #2: Meet the Ape

    • Story #3: Meet the Snake

    • Story #4: Meet the Cat

    • Story #5: Meet the Whale

    • Story #6: Meet the Crane

    • Story #7: Meet the Mole

  • Materials do not include decodable texts that contain grade-level high-frequency/irregularly spelled words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. 

Indicator 1r

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1r.

Grade 1 materials include assessments in the areas of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and decoding, and word recognition. There is no evidence of an assessment to measure student progress in the area of fluency. Assessments to address print concepts and phonological awareness are to be used only if the teacher feels a student is exhibiting weakness in one of these areas or if the student did not pass the assessment in Kindergarten. Grade 1 assessments consist of an informal assessment of high-frequency words and three developmental spelling assessments to be used throughout the school year. After each assessment, the teacher is given a brief descriptive paragraph sharing implications for teaching if the data collected indicates the student needs additional practice on a certain foundational skill and concept. The If/Then chart includes some guidance about where to go in the materials for additional lessons, mostly through the Small Groups to Teach Phonics book or the small group and extension sections of the Reading lessons. When score ranges are included, they are vague and do not indicate exactly when a teacher should intervene. The word recognition assessment includes overall attainment goals for the year but does not include benchmarks for proficiency. The Units of Study for Teaching Reading and Units of Study in Phonics materials sometimes present conflicting information about how and when to assess different skills. The materials encourage the teacher to conduct running records during Reading Workshop to assist the teacher and student in book selection and lesson plan implementation based on student needs. Forms for running records assessments are in the online resources, but the materials indicate that the books for these assessments must be purchased separately. Additionally, materials include general guidance as to what to look for in foundational skills when completing a running record, and the focus is primarily on reading comprehension and miscue analysis which focuses on MSV (meaning, structure, and visual cues). While conferring during Readers and Writers Workshop is discussed in the materials, specific guidance concerning how and when to include students' current skills and level of understanding is not provided. Materials recommend using an outside formal spelling inventory assessment, such as Words Their Way.

  • Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, materials include five assessments to be used with every Kindergarten student. If students “test out” of those five assessments, there are two assessments to be used for Grade 1 students and two assessments to be used for Grade 2 students. Materials state that some students will need to be tested on the suggested Kindergarten assessments beyond Kindergarten. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the text indicates assessment tools for each grade, followed by a more detailed explanation of each assessment. Some assessments include an asterisk, indicating that the assessment is also recommended in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading. The text states, “Of course, we also hope you are conducting other reading and writing assessments, including especially running records of your children’s reading and informal inventories of their writing particularly their on demand writing.”

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, materials include the Grade 1 assessment tools:

      • Assessing Developmental Spelling: 

        • “Help Rasheed Write a Picture Book Version 1: My Dog Max”: Recording features in a format that matches expectations for end of kindergarten/start of first grade initial consonants final consonants, medial short vowels, and blends and digraphs when writing labels for items in pictures of a wordless book. 

        • “Help Rasheed Write a Picture Book Version 2: My Stick Ball Game”: Recording features in a format that matches expectations for end of first grade: CVCe words, endings, advanced blends and digraphs, CVVC words, diphthongs, and r-controlled vowels to fill in the blanks in sentences for a picture book. 

      • Assessing Snap Words: ”Blacking Out Your Word Wall”: Reading and writing high-frequency and other important words with automaticity. 

      • Assessing Phonic Blending: Silent E, Vowel Teams, R-Controlled Vowels.

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of print concepts. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, materials state it is not necessary to provide the full assessment of concepts of print to all children. The whole concepts of print assessment with 13 questions created by Marie Clay is available on the TCRWP website and in the online resources for Units of Study in Phonics. The teacher is directed to use a condensed version of the full concepts of print assessment that has four questions to ask to individual students after teaching the first reading unit. The teacher is to administer the mini-assessment again in a month to students who only got two out of four correct. If students still can not answer the four questions, it is recommended to administer the full Marie Clay concepts of print assessment. Materials state thatEven if your students come to school unsure how to handle books, chances are they’ll pick up this concept and so much more, simply by immersion in their daily work.”

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, materials direct teachers to assess concepts about print only if a student demonstrates a weakness in one of these areas or if the student did not pass the assessment in Kindergarten.

  • Materials include limited assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonological awareness; however, no phonological awareness assessments are recommended in that schedule beyond Kindergarten. For example:

    • In Reading, The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, materials state that phonological awareness should be assessed informally through observation of students during conferences and shared activities. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the materials include a phonological awareness assessment for blending and segmenting, rhyming, and phoneme manipulation. Materials indicate these assessment tools should be used after Unit 1 with students who have not reached proficiency levels. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, materials direct teachers to assess phonological awareness if a student demonstrates a weakness in one of these areas or if the student did not pass the assessment in Kindergarten.

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, there is a recommended schedule for assessment for Grade 1. No phonological awareness assessments are recommended in that schedule beyond Kindergarten. Assessing Phonological Awareness: Blending and Segmenting quick assessment for blending and segmenting can be used in Grade 1 as deemed necessary by the teacher due to the nature of the guidebook that allows the teacher flexibility to use all of the assessments provided in Kindergarten - Grade 2. The assessment allows the teacher to gather data on the student’s ability to blend two syllables, blend onset-rime and blend phonemes. The teacher is cued to start the assessment on a skill that they believe they would like more data on. The teacher is told to decide if they would like to assess segmenting based on the data collected on blending to make words. The teacher is cued to reassess students within a few weeks as necessary. 

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics and decoding. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the materials indicate that the following assessments should be formally administered to all students: Assessing Developmental Spelling (after Units 1, 3, and 5 and as needed), Phonic Blending - CVCe (after Unit 2, then as needed), Phonic Blending - Vowel Teams (after Unit 4, then as needed), Phonic Blending - R-Controlled Vowels (during Unit 5).

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, the teacher can use an assessment for phonics blending of various vowel pattern words, i.e., silent e, vowel teams, and r-controlled vowels. The assessment uses five low-frequency words that students can demonstrate their blending skills to say the words. A second part of the assessment has students decode five nonsense words in order to gather additional data if the teacher believes the student knew words more by sight than using blending skills. The teacher is directed to use the assessment for silent e after teaching Unit 2 of the Phonics Unit of Study; use the assessment for vowel teams after teaching Unit 4, and use the assessment for r-controlled vowels after teaching Unit 5. The teacher may administer additional sessions of the assessment as needed. 

  • Materials include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, materials include a schedule of assessments. The teacher is to administer three developmental spelling assessments. The first occurs after Unit 1, the second after Unit 3, and the third is after Unit 5. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, materials contain an assessment for developmental spelling. Students are given a copy of “My Dog Max” and asked to write their names on the booklet. The teacher gives students words to spell. Students spell the words. The teacher scores using the Developmental Spelling Scoring Assessment Sheet. The scoring sheet is broken down to identify initial consonants, final consonants, short vowels, digraphs, and blends. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the materials include a Snap Word Assessment to be given after Units 1 and 3 and during Unit 5, and as needed for students below benchmark after Units 2 and 4. This assessment uses each student’s copy of the word wall. Students read the words on the word wall. For words read correctly with automaticity, the student also writes the word. The teacher highlights the words that are read and written with automaticity. The materials indicate a goal of 150 words read correctly and 110 words written correctly by the end of Grade 1. 

  • Materials do not include assessment opportunities that measure student progress of fluency. For example:

    • In Reading, A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, the teacher is directed to notice a student’s fluency when completing a running record. 

    • In Reading, A Guide to Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, materials state the importance of conducting running records to gather data on student’s fluency, accuracy, word solving skills, and comprehension. Materials offer guidance on how to select a tool to conduct running records, e.g., Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System, DRA, QRI. Materials recommend that teachers get in-depth training on the administration and analysis of running records. Materials include an overview of running records at the beginning of the year; administering running records during Reading Workshop; analyzing reading errors based on meaning, structure, or visual cues; reviewing a sample running record; determining reading levels; and analyzing data. 

  • Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. For example:

    • In Reading, A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Chapter 6, the materials encourage the teacher to conduct running records during Readers Workshop. Materials explain that when running records are conducted correctly, the teacher can share with students areas of strength, need, and reading level that are used to guide book selection and lesson plan implementation. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, materials state that they need to figure out norms against which the assessments gauge progress. Materials state that determining if a child is “on track” depends on whose standards you are using. They state that Common Core Standards are no longer widely accepted across the United States and that states that do use the standards have revised them. Materials say that one way to think about expectations is to “think about the levels of text complexity that students are able to handle at certain grade levels, and the implications those levels have on what students need to know and be able to do in phonics.” A chart is included detailing the “big work” readers need to do at corresponding phases of development and reading levels. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the materials state, “the purpose of these assessments is to check whether a child is developing phonics skills, and whether the skills are developing progressively so that you can shift your vigilance to other aspects of development. It is not really all that important to mark the difference between proficient and highly proficient phonics skills - those who are skilled with phonics will be putting most of their attention to reading and writing itself rather than AP level phonics achievements. Therefore, for students for whom reading, writing, speaking and listening appear to be progressing at pace, a detailed analysis of each minute portion of that child’s knowledge of phonics is usually not necessary. On the other hand, it is helpful for you to be able to see when the phonics instruction isn’t sticking so that you can give that youngster an extra hand now, rather than waiting. If a student’s progress is worrying or puzzling you, you will want to conduct more detailed assessments to better understand what is going on. Chances are good you can make a world of difference.”

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, Assessing Concepts About Print, the teacher is told, “If children can answer these four questions soon after you teach the first unit, don’t worry, their concepts about print understanding is on track. If a child is able to answer three out of the four assessments, you might wait a month then assess again, using a different book, and these same four questions. For children who only answer one or two of the questions correctly the first time you give the assessment, or who are not able to answer all four questions by early December, you might consider giving them the full thirteen point assessment to pinpoint specific areas of confusion. With these results, you can plan small group intervention to support these children.”

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, the materials provide guidance on interpreting the developmental spelling assessment. Materials state: “Benchmarks for proficiency with each feature vary, depending on the time of year you give this assessment. The chart below will help you set expectations and know when to plan additional support for students, depending on when you give this assessment.” 

  • Materials provide limited support to teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. For example:

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, the materials state “these efficient assessments will give you the information you need, in most cases, while still being realistic in their demands on your and your students’ time. From there, you’ll be better able to use the Units of Study resources to support particular students in targeted ways. We’ve constructed an Assessment If/Then resource in the Appendix that can guide you from the area of need to targeted instruction.” 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Unit of Study, Chapter 5, the materials indicate that assessment data should be used at the end of each unit to guide instruction. The materials state that if “most” of the students demonstrate mastery on assessments at the end of the unit, then the teacher should proceed to the next unit, using the If/Then chart to locate specific supports for students who have not demonstrated mastery of specific skills. If most students do not show mastery, then the materials indicate that the teacher should use spiraled instruction and repeated exposure to concepts from the current unit before moving on. Materials recommend using the If/Then chart with assessment results to identify which skills to reteach and how to reteach them. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 5, after assessing letter/sound knowledge, teachers are told to identify students who have “very little knowledge of the alphabet.” The materials state, “it’s crucial that you don't wait before giving those children extra opportunities to work with their alphabet. In the Small Groups to Support Phonics, you’ll find practical suggestions for small group work to support letter knowledge, and letter-sound correspondence. In addition, tap the power of environmental print, shared texts, and especially children’s writing to help them learn more about the alphabet as soon as possible. You might also assess the child’s phonological awareness, blending, and segmenting because chances are good that the child will also need some shoring up in this area.” The text also states that children who know all letters/sounds no longer need this assessment. For students who are not demonstrating mastery, the teacher should “continue to pull out this assessment at frequent intervals, marking off more representative letters as you see the child use them.”

    • In Phonics, A Guide to Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, after administering the phonics blending assessment of vowel pattern words the teacher is provided a paragraph sharing implications for teaching. The teacher is told to address the readers' needs during conferences by coaching the student to practice decoding individual phonemes they encounter in print and blending them back together. 

    • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Appendix, the assessing digraph-sound correspondence assessment includes an “implications for teaching” paragraph. It is recommended that students take this assessment at the end of Unit 3. The text states, “if children are not able to identify and produce the sounds that go with any digraph you will want to continue supporting them with extensions and small groups that can be found in the ‘Assessment If/Then’ resource.”

Indicator 1s

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.  

Grade 1 materials provide some opportunities for the teacher to differentiate instruction for students. In the mini-lessons for phonics instruction, the teacher is often cued to support students by scaffolding their learning through provided prompts during rug time practice. Most rug time and extension activities are completed with a partner or small group. Materials indicate differentiation occurs through students practicing and applying skills and concepts in their independent reading books at their individual reading level. The teacher directs students to take learning from the lesson for that day and use it during the Reading and Writing Workshop, where students are reading books from their own book bag and writing independently. It is unclear whether every student has the opportunity to reach mastery before moving on to the next lesson’s concepts. While the reading and writing units provide small group instruction for each lesson that can be used to differentiate and support individual student needs, the phonics unit materials do not include small group instruction within each individual session. The Small Groups to Support Phonics resource is the same book for Kindergarten and Grade 1. The If...Then….Curriculum is designed for Kindergarten - Grade 2. Because the resources span grade levels, there is a limited number of lessons for specific concepts, and not all skills have an additional lesson to support students with varying needs. The Guides to the Units of Study include limited information on supporting students who are English Language Learners and students performing below grade level, but these supports are not explicitly included in lessons within Units of Study. While opportunities for acceleration for students working above grade level may occur naturally in the Reading and Writing Workshop format, there is no guidance for supporting above-level students. The materials call for students to have access to texts at their reading level as a means of differentiation, but these texts are not included with the materials; and leveled reading would not guarantee students are practicing the skills taught during foundational skills instruction. 

Materials do not provide strong strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

  • Materials include online Spanish resources, which have teaching points for each session written in Spanish and anchor charts translated into Spanish. 

  • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 4, the materials explain that the teacher will lead small group lessons daily during reading and writing workshop time to give students who need it more practice with foundational skills. The small group lessons are detailed in a Teacher Guide, Small Groups to Support Phonics, and determined by the assessments indicated in the assessment schedule. Materials suggest that, among others, students who are English language learners and students with dyslexia will benefit from small group foundational skills instruction in addition to whole-group instruction. 

  • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, the materials state, “The most important thing you can do is listen when your ELL speaks to assess the sounds that he or she is confusing and coach immediately. Ask the child to study your mouth and even the placement of your tongue as you make a sound--invite him or her to copy you and practice isolating the tricky sound. Even a small bout of deliberate, multisensory oral practice, either tucked into a one-on-one conference or as part of small-group work, will reap tremendous benefits in helping with pronunciation.”

Materials provide limited strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

  • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics K-1, Orientation, materials state that the provided small group lessons occur during Reading and Writing Workshop, and the main goal of the 5-7 minute small group lessons is to transfer all that the teacher teaches during phonics time into their reading and writing. Small group lessons are also recommended to individualize instruction based on assessments to support phonics learning. 

  • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, the materials indicate the teacher should provide students with flexibility in expressing what they know by offering alternatives to whiteboards such as magnetic letters, iPads, or voice-activated technology when appropriate. 

  • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 1, materials state that the whole-group nature of the phonics lessons means that “utterly crucial” differentiation for individual students will take place in small group work during the writing workshop, reading workshop, “choice time, and other stolen moments throughout your day.” Small group work is guided by the assessment-driven Small Groups to Support Phonics.

  • In Phonics, A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study, Chapter 2, materials state, “There will inevitably be children for whom additional, explicit instruction is needed. If you find that a student, even with much small-group support, is not developing a strong foundation of phonological awareness, you might decide to collaborate with an Orton-Gillingham trained specialist, to provide that student with additional support using specialized techniques such as multisensory instruction.” Materials suggest students who have been diagnosed as dyslexic be provided a small group phonics curriculum that is “especially designed for that youngster instead of participating in your whole class units. Wilson Phonics is one good place to look for help with this.” 

  • In Reading, The Guide to the Reading Workshop, Overview, materials state the curriculum is designed to spiral, one grade building upon another. Teachers are expected to meet across grade levels to talk and think about the units fit together. Grade 1 teachers are expected to test students at the beginning of the school year and throughout the school year at the end of each using the first-grade assessments found in the appendix of A Guide to the Phonics Units of Study as well as to keep running records assessment to track the progress of each student. The assessment information is used to determine needed scaffolding if a student or groups of students would benefit from additional instruction found in the If...Then...Curriculum or from the K-1 Small Groups to Support Phonics session lessons and corresponding follow-up activities.

  • In Phonics, Unit 2, Session 7, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson on vowel i in the middle of the word and a silent e. The teacher shares that the words have a long i sound. The teacher reminds students that the letter i can make different sounds. During rug time, the teacher provides coaching by supporting students with possible statements such as, “Look at your cards before you start. Do you already have some matching sets? What would this word say if you add silent E on the end? Make a long-vowel sound. What would this word say if you took the E off?”

  • In Phonics, Small Group to Support Phonics, Session 13, the teacher models making simple CVCe words, changing one letter at a time. The teacher challenges students by coaching students to use their knowledge of letter sounds, particularly long vowel sounds, as they work on their own writing pieces. Other supports to replicate this lesson are included. 

  • In Phonics, Small Groups to Support Phonics, Small Group 21, the teacher leads a lesson for students having trouble reading words with blends and digraphs. The teacher models making two columns on a whiteboard and labeling one for digraphs with sh and one for blends with st. The teacher reviews the difference between blends and digraphs. Students list as many blends and digraphs as they can think of in the correct column. The teacher challenges students to hear blends and digraphs in words. The teacher models holding up a picture of a crayon, saying the word crayon, saying the sound of the blend /cr/, then spelling the blend, c - r. Students practice with picture cards of a smile, block, french fried, thirteen, brown, shadow, stapler, and clip

Materials do not regularly provide extensions and/or advanced opportunities to engage with foundational skills at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

  • While the materials offer extensions for each daily lesson, extensions are not designated to be for students to engage with foundational skills at a greater depth. Additionally, extensions do not consistently align with the lesson focus and, at times, introduce a new skill. Materials do not indicate how or when to use extension activities. 

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Not Rated

Criterion 2a - 2f

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

N/A

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality questions and tasks.

N/A

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

N/A

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

N/A

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

N/A

Indicator 2f

Materials include a progression of research skills that guide shared research and writing projects to develop students' knowledge using multiple texts and source materials.

N/A

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

N/A

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

N/A

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content.

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students' literacy development.

N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade/course-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series.

N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials provide strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

N/A

Indicator 3e

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities.

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

The program includes a system of assessments identifying how materials provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards.

Indicator 3i

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

N/A

Indicator 3j

Assessment system provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

N/A

Indicator 3k

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and practices across the series.

N/A

Indicator 3l

Assessments offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

The program includes materials designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level/grade-band/series content.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

N/A

Indicator 3o

Materials provide varied approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for students to monitor their learning.

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards to regularly participate in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.

N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

The program includes a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology (when applicable) with guidance for teachers.

Indicator 3w

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3x

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3y

The visual design (whether in print or digital) supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

N/A

Indicator 3z

Materials provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/10/25

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
CALKINS /PATHWAYS TO THE COMMON CORE 978‑0‑325‑04355‑5 Heinemann 2012
UNITS STUDY WRIT GR 1 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑04745‑4 Heinemann 2013
CALKINS /WRITING PATHWAYS 978‑0‑325‑05730‑9 Heinemann 2014
CALKINS /UNITS READING GR 1 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07465‑8 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READING GR 1 978‑0‑325‑07694‑2 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READ GR 1 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07724‑6 Heinemann 2015
WORD DETECTIVES TRADE PACK 978‑0‑325‑08885‑3 Heinemann 2016
WORD DETECTIVES GR 1 978‑0‑325‑08895‑2 Heinemann 2016
FRANCO /WORD DETECTIVES GR 1 W/TR PK 978‑0‑325‑08896‑9 Heinemann 2016
UNITS WRITING GR 1 W STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08948‑5 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /UNITS WRIT 1 W/TB & STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08954‑6 Heinemann 2016
Units of Study: Phonics 978‑0‑325‑10554‑3 Heinemann 2018
CALKINS /LEADING WELL 978‑0‑325‑10922‑0 Heinemann 2018
CALKINS /UOS PHONICS RES PK GR 1 UPD 978‑0‑325‑11070‑7 Heinemann 2019
UOS Phon Rsrce Pk G1 Bx 1 UPD 978‑0‑325‑11071‑4 Heinemann 2016
UOS Phon Rsrce Pk G1 Bx 2 UPD 978‑0‑325‑11075‑2 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /SMALL MOMENTS W/TR PK & STK 978‑0‑325‑11265‑7 Heinemann 2019
CALKINS /TEACHING WRITING 978‑0‑325‑11812‑3 Heinemann 2020

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

ELA K-2 Review Tool

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports 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 review criteria evaluates 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 review criteria 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.

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

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations